2010 Movie Releases I Saw at the Theater
Hot Tub Time Machine Movie Poster
2010 Movies I Saw at the Theater
I thought it would be fun to list all of the movies I saw at the theater in 2010. In a perfect world, I'd see two theatrical releases a week, or 100+ movies per year, because that's the way movies are supposed to be seen. Here in the real world though, these are all of the ones I saw. They're ordered according to when they were released, not necessarily when I saw them. And I haven't included movies that I watched at home, which were many.
I'll update this as I see more movies, and launch a new hub like this in 2011.
1. Daybreakers - Not bad. I liked Willem Dafoe, and I thought the concept was clever enough. Sam Neill was good too. It wasn't scary at all, but it was fun. Critics in general liked this one, although it didn't make many "best of the year" lists.
2. The Ghost Writer - Also not bad, but overrated. Good performances, but slow and sorta pointless. I liked the ending. Roman Polanski directs. The Ghost Writer was popular with critics, but I didn't like it as well as most of the reviewers.
3. The Crazies - Better than the original, but that's not saying much. I like Timothy Olyphant a lot, and that helped me enjoy the movie more than I otherwise might have. It was more popular among critics than Daybreakers, but I think I probably enjoyed Daybreakers more.
4. Alice in Wonderland - I'm so tired of watching Tim Burton reach into the same bag of tricks over and over again. That being said, this was better than some of his other recent films, like that awful Willy Wonka movie he made a while back. Critics were split on this one. Add me to the "thumbs down" column.
5. Hot Tub Time Machine - One of the highlights of the year. I'm an 80s nostalgia nut anyway, and I loved the cast. It was also genuinely funny. Roger Ebert describes this as a "gross-out guy comedy", which I guess it is, but it's one of the better ones. (Ebert agrees, by the way.)
Movie Poster for Date Night
6. Date Night - Much better than expected. I watched the trailer and though, boy, what a lazy way to capitalize on NBC's sitcom stars. But the movie was actually funny and well-written. Ebert gave this one three and a half stars, but most critics were a little more reserved in their praise.
7. Iron Man 2 - I didn't like this as well as the first one, but I enjoyed it. The character of the Black Widow was tacked on for no real reason other than to set up the upcoming Avengers movie, but she's pleasant enough to look at. Jon Favreau directs. The critics liked it.
8. Shrek Forever After - Can you tell I have kids, and I take them to the movies once in a while. This was no better nor worse than expected, but the series has gotten a little bit tired. This one got mixed reviews from the critics, most of whom agree that it wasn't as good as the earlier two entries in the series.
9. Piranha 3D - I got my money's worth out of this one--a return to exploitation cinema in a big way. Lots of boobs, lots of blood, and lots of laughs. One of my favorite movies of the year so far. (It's not meant to be taken too seriously.) Alexandre Aja directs. Most of the critics seemed to like this one, too. I was afraid that many of them might not get the joke, but it seems like they did.
10. The Social Network - Overrated, but good. It's based on a Ben Mezrich book, and I don't know that he's a "reliable journalist." The performances were good, but the movie was dark, which made it way too gloomy and depressing. Justin Timberlake's performance was notably good. And the screenplay and dialogue were as well-written as you'd expect from Aaron Sorkin. David Fincher is one of my favorite directors, but this is not one of his best efforts.
Paranormal Activity Movie Poster
11. Paranormal Activity 2 - I didn't have great expectations for this movie, so I wasn't disappointed. Love Sprague Grayden, and was excited to see Katie Featherston in a bikini, but the movie wasn't scary or creepy. The characters weren't as interesting and didn't seem as real either. Bummer. It did break the record for biggest opening weekend for a horror movie, ever.
12. Red - A real delight. The cast was terrific, even if they are all getting older, and the movie was fast-paced and exciting. Good action movies are hard to find these days, but this one definitely qualifies. I hope there's a sequel--it would be easy to do. Just find another old action movie star or two to add to the cast in each sequel. Maybe Nick Nolte? Ebert didn't like this one much, giving it two stars, but he was swimming against the critical tide here. Most reviewers liked it a lot, as did I.
13. Stone - A disappointment. The trailer made it look like this was going to be a really tight psychological thriller, but it turned out to be a bit of a mess. I don't need everything wrapped up in a big package with a bow on it, but I do need something to hang my hook on. And Stone asks so many questions and delivers so few answers that a viewer can't help but leave confused and unsatisifed. Great performances from Robert Deniro, Edward Norton, and Milla Jovovich didn't save this one. Critics were split on this one. Ebert liked it a lot, but put me in the column with the other critics who didn't care much for it.
14. Megamind - Absolutely wonderful in just about every way I could imagine. I hope that the producers of the next Superman movie see this before they go into production, so they can see what potential some of these ideas still have. Some critics panned the movie for being unoriginal, but that's missing the point. It was generally well-received, though. I think I liked it better than most people.
15. Tangled - Top notch animation. One of my favorite films of the year, and one of the best family movies ever. I'm not alone in my admiration of this one. Rotten Tomatoes has an 89% fresh rating for Tangled, making it the most critically-popular movie I saw this year.
It's pretty pitiful that a self-described film geek like me has only seen on average a single movie each montht this year. I've slowed down a lot. On the other hand, I've seen a lot of stuff on my home theater. I'm going to try to get to more movies for the rest of the year after seeing this list, for sure.
Oscar Winners I Saw at Home
Most of the Academy Award winners this year I saw on home video. The wife and I both really enjoyed The King's Speech, which won Best Picture. I enjoyed 127 Hours even more. Black Swan was overrated. So was Inception. I also really loved True Grit and Winter's Bone. I never got around to seeing The Kids Are All Right.
I was also really excited to see Melissa Leo win Best Supporting Actress for Winter's Bone.
And Toy Story 3 got the attention it deserved.