Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking Back: Movies:Part 1

Not sure I'm ready for a retrospective on 2010 yet, but thought I might get started.

One thing is certain, this year rattled by like a runaway train on an unrepaired part of the track.  Nothing smooth, just a lot of jumping, leaping, clanging going on at high velocity. It's a messy blur, but here I go.

I'll start with movies, maybe?  Didn't see very many.  Finding less and less out there that I am willing to go see, but there were a couple I  liked.  I just looked for a list of movies released in 2010 to refresh my memory but can't find one that isn't a top 10.  I haven't seen anything in the top 10.  Yikes.  That's pretty sad.  What movies can I remember seeing?

Sherlock Holmes (hated it).  Why?  I didn't have that much of a problem with Robert Downey, Jr.'s take on the character of Sherlock Holmes.  Well, I did, but could have tolerated it since it was aimed at showing us a young Mr. Holmes.  BUT I did hate it because there was no story, or at least no story that worked for a Sherlock Holmes story (or any other in my book).  Sherlock Holmes working against someone taking over the world just seems stupid to me.  SH is about brains, finesse, clarity of thinking, observation, small details, and stories that are real enough that I feel transported to a different time and place.  This movie lost me in the first 15 minutes and although I admit there was some humor throughout that I enjoyed, overall it was a borefest.  Noise and action are just noise and action without a story that matters. Give me Basil Rathbone anytime.

Iron Man 2 (hated it).  Like the first one well-enough though I'm tired and bored with superheroes in general. This one, however, sucked the big one. Boring from the very beginning with the preening show put on by Iron Man.  I think it was on purpose--the preening--because eventually I caught on that IM really wanted the world to think he'd lost it (I think).  But the boring part is unforgivable.  There's some old saying I've heard that one minute of screen time feels like 10 minutes to the audience one the point is made, but the makers of this movie either didn't know about this or didn't give a shit.

Oh crap.  The review below?  That movie was in 2009.  THAT's shows you how many good movies came out before December this year.  I'm leaving this though, because I haven't yet found a 2010 movie I like as well

500 Days of Summer (kind of loved it considering what else was out there this year). This had charm. I enjoyed both the characters and the fact that, as I recall, they don't end up together.  This felt real and fun and authentic to me.  Not one of the greatest movies I've ever seen but a real oasis for someone who wants more story and character, less ka-boom.

Date Night (meh). Wanted to love it, but it was boooooriiiing.  Love Steve Carell, like Tina Fey, and hoped that there would be a terrific story for these two, but this wasn't it.  Again the problem is/was the screenplay itself wasn't really developed.  I think people writing comedy these days need to go back to the 80's and learn about structuring a movie so that the comedy builds, that there is conflict for the characters through out, with each other, with the enemies, with the world. For example, it might have helped if Steve and Tina (can't remember their names) had some real problems between the two of them, any meaningful conflict at all.  As any eighties comedy would suggest, people cannot get along, there must be misunderstandings that the main characters must work through themselves in addition to fighting outward forces.  The whole thing with the drawers being left open--what a great gag I thought-- but it was never brought up again.  Comedy requires setup and pay-off and escalating pay-off at that.   I don't remember much about this except disappointment and I don't really want to see it again enough to analyze everything I found disappointing.  Hopefully they might make another, better movie together in the future.

Alice in Wonderland (meh) Forget the 3-D.  I would have enjoyed this movie much more had I seen it in 2-D.  I didn't mind the combining of varies Lewis Carroll stories for this particular movie and thought Helena Bonham Carter was pretty amazingly good and Anne Hathaway was pretty dreadful.  I wouldn't bother to see this again...or recommend it.

How to Train Your Dragon (like it). Not one to adore kids' movies, but liked this one.  It was surprisingly entertaining.

That's for today and maybe more tomorrow.  I finally found a list of 2010 movies here: