Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Film Year of 2010

EDIT: This post was written when I was still writing about other film industries, so some of the mentioned reviews might not be available on this blog anymore.

In the last few days I've been thinking about the film year we soon will have passed. To get an overview, I thought it might be wise to create a list of the movies released this year, that I've seen.  So after I had fished together all cinema tickets and had been thinking, what movies I had seen in any other way, the final list contained 21 films. Are that a lot or not many movies, I ask myself...? And come to the conclusion that it's a normal amount, but as I also watch many movies from other vintages every year, maybe the amount is rather upper middle. Well, however, here are the films, divided into several categories:
(Note - Some of the film such as "Avatar" were released at the very end of 2009, but I count them to the movies of 2010).

The worst films:
I must say that creating this selection was quite hard, as there weren't really incredibly bad films on my list... But someone has to be the black sheep, so here are the results of my rigorous selection.

"Letters to Juliet" by Gary Winick
This summer, my sister and my best friend persuaded me to go to the cinema with them and watch this summer romance. It's not necessarily a bad movie, but it's just easy cinema with an easy story... A few unexpected twists in the plot, but if you've seen the trailer, you already know the end. Nevertheless, the Italian scene and the likable actors make the movie bearable to enjoy.

"Kites" by Anurag Basu
I already explained the circumstances that brought me and "Kites" together in my review (find it at Bollywood Reviews).
The film is especially entertaining, but also at times exaggerating, illogical and a bit too brutal. Although the film manages to entertain without song-and-dance, Hrithik may nevertheless, camouflaged as a dance teacher, demonstrate his famous dance moves. Barbara Mori is also a quite interesting actress.

"Karate Kid"by Harald Zwart
Since I have not seen the original movie yet, I do not agree with the mercilessly biting reviews - the film does have entertainment value - especially as a family movie. Admittedly, the movie is not further convincing outside that genre, apart from the new facet of Jackie Chan and an unusual scene.

"Badmaash Company" by Parmeet Sethi
Another movie that has great potential and could have been better, if someone had just put a modicum more effort in the preparation of the script instead of the trappings. All of the actors are all right, though Shahid Kapoor is the one standing out. Apart from that, this is not a movie you want to buy .

The best comedies:
In this category, I distinguish between "normal" comedies and romantic comedies. Choosing the movies for this category wasn't a hard decision, as this year was comparatively rich in humor.

Normal: "Due Date" by Todd Phillips
I think everyone is familiar to this scenario: A group of teenagers, around 15 years old, are determined to watch a film that is not allowed for people under the age of 16 - in this case "Wir Sind die Nacht". This plan is interrupted promptly by the very destructive cinema employee. So then, we had to make a quick decision (we were all girls, by the way). Curtly, we chose to watch the child-appropriate "Due Date", which was allowed to be watched by us, the minors. Firstly: I would certainly not call this movie child-appropriate after having seen it, it is, however, quite funny, despite the fact that some of the scenes leave a slight impression of perversity. Just the right actors, the right dog and the wrong highway for a successful comedy.

Romantic: "Groupies Bleiben Nicht Zum Frühstück" by Marc Rothemund
(= Groupies Don't Stay For Breakfast)
My sister and I had been waiting for this movie to release for several months (well, sometimes you just really gotta be a teenager). In any case, we were not disappointed and became all we had wanted - and more. Because aside from a very sweet romance and funny subplots, the movie is in some ways also realistic.  As opposed to High School Musical, for example, the huge mansions have been transformed to normal flats and the characters seem to be quite normal, too.

Romantic: "Valentine's Day" by Garry Marshall
Once again, my split personality revolves itself: On one hand, I'm very pleased by inside tipps, which others find deadly dull, and on the other hand, I also love nice romantic comedies - under one condition: They have to be something new, have new ideas. This movie seems to satisfy the condition, as it has really turned up my humormeter... The cast is also a great mix.

Normal: "Grown Ups" by Dennis Dugan
"Grown Ups" is to me the ultimate comedy of 2010 and one of the best comedies I've seen for a long, long time. The actors fit their characters perfectly, the timing is right, the humor is right... What can I say?  The one who has not seen this film has surely missed something!

The best thrillers:
Only two films made it into this category, whereas one is not even a true thriller... But let's have a look on the chosen ones.

"The Tourist" by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Right, this is the mentioned, not to be labeled as a thriller, film. Somewhere in the deep seas of the world wide web, I stumbled upon the indication Thriller-Dramedy... and I do find it quite appropriate for this felicitous Genre-mix. Find out more about it in my review.

"Chloe" by Atom Egoyan
This movie, though, does truly deserve the title; the "thrill" is just within reach! If you've read my review, you'll remember how enchanted I was by this film (and I still am). The atmosphere is literally one-of-a-kind and there couldn't have been found better actors.

The best chick-flicks:
Also this category includes only two films this year: a very successful Hollywood movie and a Bollywood movie that has been not exactly high-flying at the box-office, but also ok, and which has been extolled by (not only) Indian fashionistas.

"Aisha" by Rajshree Ojha
The best thing about Aisha is definitively the fashion... which was also the main reason for the hype that the movie had caused before releasing. All single female Bollywoodfans with just the slightest interest in fashion were ready to do anything, if they'd be able to see this movie. I've personally only had the chance once yet, but nevertheless, my pulse of fashion was quickened to an almost unhealthy speed. Joking apart, it is needless to say that Aisha has boo-boos too, but they just don't seem that big to me. Is fashion blind?

"Sex and the City 2" by Michael Patrick King
In spite of the huge amount of rather bad reviews, I   and one of my girlfriends (big fans of the series) dared to enter the cinema to watch this movie, and behold: Our braveness was remunerated. It very well may be, that the movie has been carried to excess a little and it very well may be, that 20$ for shoes is not the sale of the Century - but: SATC is cultic, and we won't let it be goofed on by some critic that's in a bad mood. Also the flashback to the beginnings of our four Desperate Fashionistas is an amusing idea and teaches us, that we can be happy not to have lived in the 80s (well, us).

The best fantasy movies:
There was no lack of fantasy this year, especially after the (so far) successful comeback of 3D, which we'd been introduced to in 2009.

"Alice in Wonderland" by Tim Burton
A movie that had been eagerly anticipated by film and fashion aficionados and prettified my birthday with sophisticated 3D technology and Tim Burton's illimitable imagination. Who doesn't want to step into Alice's (pretty) little shoes and give the wondrous wonderland a visit...? I do. Just to once meet this crazy hatter with his shiny green eyes and... well, disputable make up. Leading actress Mia is a newcomer, and is well received... only her German dubbing voice wasn't overwhelming.

"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" by David Slade
Okay, I slowly seem to loose the intellectual part of my personality...  Where are you? Well, it wasn't my original plan to only talk about mainstream movies here, but this one had to get in. I must recognize that "New Moon" was kind of a blooper, but the Twilight Saga is just fabulous, and I will stick by this now. Yes, I like Twilight. The books were the very best, but "Eclipse" has definitely got cinematic potential, if I can observe it in an objective way. 

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I" by David Yates
It almost appears to me, that I've been looking forward to extraordinarily many movies this year. Off course, as a born-and-bred fan, you look forward to the next Harry Potter movie from the moment, where the credits of the latest one are projected onto the silver screen. This year, the opening night had a melancholic touch; next time will be the last time... But what can I say: the movie was marvelous! Asides of the third movie (Prisoner of Askaban), this was the best of the series.

The best love stories/ dramas:
Every movie, in some way or another, gives attention to the subject of love - I have never seen a movie not doing so, because even if it isn't about love, it therefore is about love. That's how it appears... either because it's a humane primary instinct... or maybe just because it's our favorite subject. As the case may be.

"Same Same But Different" by Detlev Buck
Already in my review, I gave this movie the best rating possible (10/10), so I don't have that much more to say. It is one of the best films known to me, I can say that much. And I know a lot of films. If you think this one is to negative for you, don't be put off by that thought: The story is narrated in a casual way and not only something for film snobs (like me).

"Remember Me" by Allen Coulter
Maybe the end... The only contra I can give to this movie would be because of the end. It is a little long drawn-out, I must admit that. But by that we're only talking about the last 7 minutes or so. In other respects, Remember Me is one of the most beautiful and best love stories we've had for a long time... in contrast to Twilight, Robert Pattinson is very alive in this flick. His partner, Emilie de Ravin, also delivers a quite solid presentation.

The best bio-pics:
Biographies are always absorbing, especially in the shape of prose, while the tend to have to struggle in the cinematic world, for example by having rather small budgets. The two movies I will present to you in this category, were only showed for max. 2 weeks in our cinema. By the way, I watched both of them with the same friend... interesting.

"Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky" by Jan Kounen
The reviews for this film have been very dissimilar: One half says, the movie is vacant and only worth to be seen for the costumes, while the other half believe it to be a magnum opus. I myself seem to be somewhere in between those two attitudes, because I have to add, that with a magnum opus there is meant a magnum opus of erotic. And it is just that aspect of the movie, which I found to be too animalistic and unromantic. That off course fit the atmosphere, but it also caused many a face in the theater to blush. A big accolade to the actors (I'm a huge fan of Mads Mikkelsen) and also especially to the soundtrack, which is absolutely intense.

"The Last Station" by Michael Hoffman

The second bio-pick is about the late Russian author Leo Tolstoi and other persons involved in his life. It caught my attention just because of the fact that one of my absolutely favorite actors is in it, namely James McAvoy. The film at once satisfied and carried me away, while especially Helen Mirren accomplished a great acting achievement.

The very best films:
We have now moved on to the final category and the movies described here are among my favorite favorites. Just after watching them, I laid them into my imaginary favorite-movie-treasure-chest.

"Avatar"by James Cameron
 He has brought it off again. He has bedazzled all of us... literally! After coming out of the movie theater where I'd watched  Avatar for the first time, trying to blaze my trail through the snow, I was confused. Just confused, I don't know how to explain that feeling. I felt 1000s of feelings at the same time: exhilarating beatitude, burdensome bad conscience, deep sorrow... bewitching confusion.

"My Name Is Khan" by Karan Johar
And he has brought it off again, too. He has made us sing, laugh, dance and cry. He has made us fall in love, even without the magic "K" as initial letter. He has once again united the dream jodi of cinema, and he has taken up one of the most ongoing and delicate subjects at all, so he finally made us cogitate.

Thank you so many times, James and Karan, for enriching the world of cinema, with the two best movies of 2010.


  1. Hi some lovely choices on here but i didn't like My name is Khan much at all, found it way too pretentious and a tad bit too preachy and slow for my tastes, i want Karan to return to what i think he does best fluffy romances

  2. @ bollywooddeewana: I know that many people didn't like MNIK, and I know it was pretentious. But, what can I do... I just liked it.
    Anyways, thanks for commenting!


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