It’s that time of year again; time to look back on the year passed and recognize the best of the best. It seems every year we complain the crop of movies isn’t up to par, but then the time to compile a list of the best of the year arrives and it’s increasingly difficult. This year gave me a particularly tough time thanks to my latest endeavor: film school.
Over the summer, I decided to take my passion for film one step further and enroll in Columbia University’s Film MFA program. It didn’t take long for the education to collide with my work. As I learned more about the filmmaking process, my perception in the theater started to change quite drastically. Misused techniques began to bother me, poor camerawork became as distracting as ever and too much exposition in the dialogue made my blood boil.
Last year I strove to keep my list as entertainment-based as possible. My top ten films of the year consisted mainly of selections that I’d watch over and over again without hesitation. Well, this year is different – slightly. While I’ve tried to keep my focus on films that simply made going to the theater a downright joy, what made this activity enjoyable for me changed a bit. With that being said, here are my top ten films of 2010, the purely fun, the poignant and simply well made.
Click here to see my top ten films of 2010.
Bust out your Slim Whitman records because the aliens of Mars Attacks! are back. Nine years after the film hit theaters, Warner Home Video is letting us enjoy the absurdity on Blu-ray and now that we’re getting alien invasion movie after alien invasion movie, the genre could use some comedic relief. We get a little of every type of humor in this one from political satire down to dark comedy, all of which are undeniably memorable and still hilarious even after multiple viewings.
However, even though Mars Attacks! is certainly a comedy, many of the main characters meet grizzly ends at the hands of the violent invaders. On top of the on screen casualties, Mars Attacks! also faced a painful destruction at the domestic box office. It opened with just $9.4 million and only went on to make $37.8 million in total. Even with the additional $63.6 million it accumulated overseas, there was no overshadowing the heaps of mixed reviews. Mars Attacks! now stands at a rotten 50% on the Tomatoemeter and a weak, but somewhat respectable 52 on Metacritic.
Mars Attacks! may not have emerged victorious in the eyes of the money-hungry studio folk or the critics, but that’s not to say the stars headlining the film met the same fate – even if they were annihilated in the film. In fact, Mars Attacks! must have taught the cast and thing or two about survival tactics because just about every member has eluded a beating in their careers at some point since that film hit theaters. Check out the most impressive survivors of Mars Attacks! after the jump.
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Why do we dream? Does anyone really know for sure? Probably not, but writer-director Christopher Nolan takes a stab at breaking down the structure of a dream and the influence of the subconscious in Inception. There’s nothing more perplexing than the unknown and Nolan uses that to his advantage. It’s one thing to simply make up a story about a theoretical concept, but it’s another to come up with a scenario and actually make it feel real and that’s exactly what he achieves in Inception. It may be Nolan’s dream world, but it’s so exciting, so disturbing and seems so authentic, you might start to wonder.
Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an extractor. He’s employed to sneak into people’s dreams and steal their secrets. Turns out the gig comes with some serious baggage and Cobb wants out, but the only way he can safely return home is by completing one last job for a businessman named Saito (Ken Watanabe). The problem is, Saito doesn’t want Cobb to snatch someone’s secret information, he wants him to do the unthinkable, plant an idea in a subject’s mind – inception.
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