Sunday, January 16, 2011

Top 10 of 2010

I had wanted to do this earlier, but I just didn't have the time. Now that I do, let me give you my top 10 films of 2010.

This list will comprise of my favourites of the year, and I have tried seeing as many movies as I could. Some films won't make the list because they had been banned or delayed, so bear with me.

1. The Book Of Eli
Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Denzel Washington plays Eli, a man on a mission to deliver a very important book to a location west of the country. As he walks through a small town, he runs into Carnegie (Gary Oldman), a gangster who is very interested in that book, and goes all out to get it. A battle ensues. Washington and Oldman deliver sterling performances as expected, with Mila Kunis providing some good support. A great film with a neat twist towards the end.

2. Clash Of The Titans
Most critics hated this film, but I actually found it fun. Avatar's Sam Worthington plays Perseus, the human son of Zeus whose foster family is killed by Hades. Hades threatens to unleash his monster The Kraken on the city of Argos unless they sacrifice their princess. Argos turns to Perseus for help. With a few brave men and a half-god, they set out to find a way to kill The Kraken. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes step into the roles of Zeus and Hades respectively. The film isn't perfect, but I had a blast watching this.

3. Frozen
What would you do if you found yourself trapped on a ski-lift after operating hours are over, high above the ground and nowhere to go? That is the premise of this thriller. Three friends, Joe, Dan and Parker decide to take one last run up the mountain, but the operator, not knowing that there is still someone on the lift, shuts it down and calls it a night. The three, now stuck up there with no way down, suffering in the freezing temperatures and facing the prospect of being there till next weekend, start to panic, and desperate measures are taken, with very unpleasant results. Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell and Kevin Zegers are terrific as the three kids, and director Adam Green deserves a lot of credit for his realistic direction of the film.

4. How To Train Your Dragon
This animated feature tells the story of Hiccup, a young boy from a village of Vikings. Unlike his fellow brethren, Hiccup isn't brave or strong. His father Stoick, is a brave leader as he rallies the Vikings in defending the village against dragons. Hiccup, in his attempt to prove himself worthy, manages to capture a dragon, but instead of killing it, he befriends the creature, whom he names Toothless. Together, they strike an unlikely bond and he learns more about dragons in the process. But trouble ensues when his dad finds out. The animation here is awesome and the story very engaging. One of the better animated films of last year.

5. Toy Story 3
Pixar's flagship film comes to a close at last, and what a finale it is. Woody, Buzz and the other toys face the prospect of being put away forever when their owner Andy goes off to college. Through a few mishaps, they end up in a day care centre, where the toys are run by Lotso, a teddy bear who seems nice at first, until he shows his true colours. If you have been following the Toy Story films, you shouldn't miss this. It has a great storyline and tons of funny moments, and the ending is just beautiful.

6. Inception
Christopher Nolan brings yet another masterpiece that everyone seems to call the movie of the year. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a man who can enter other people's dreams and steal their secrets. A Japanese businessman, Saito hires Cobb to plant an idea into his business rival's mind. In order to perform this complex task, Cobb assembles a team of experts to assist him. And as expected, chaos follows. Nolan has not only succeeded in creating a brilliant story, but also manages to rope in the best Hollywood cast to make it happen. Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe and Marion Cotillard also star. In the end, Inception may be a bit too cerebral for mainstream audiences, but give it a chance and you might find it fun.

7. Repo Men
In this film, there are companies that manufacture artificial organs, and they offer them to needy patients for a price. But when patients don't pay their bills on time, they send over their men to repossess the organs by force. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker play Remy and Jake, two such repo men who are best friends. However, when Remy gets injured and ends up with an artificial heart, he finds himself on the run and learns what it's like to be on the 'other' side. This film may not make any statements worth saying about health care, but it does offer plenty of violent, in-your-face action, which makes it a lot of fun to watch.

8. Buried
Rodrigo Cortes directs this unique thriller where Ryan Reynolds stars as Paul Conroy, a truck driver in Iraq who wakes up in a box, several feet underground. He only has a lighter and a cellphone with him. For the next 90 minutes, you will see him do many things to try and escape, mostly involving calling for help on the phone, only to be denied time and time again from the person on the other end. The film is pure brilliance as it manages to sustain your interest for the entire 90 minutes without leaving the box. Now how does that not count as amazing?

9. Let Me In
Out of all the films I watched last year, this is probably my favourite. Based on the Swedish novel and film Let The Right One In, this film is about two young adults; Owen, a boy who suffers bullying at his school and feels isolated from his mother, and Abby, the mysterious girl that moves in next door to him. They strike an unlikely friendship, but Owen soon learns that Abby is a vampire, which complicates matters. Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz are simply fantastic in their roles, and I feel that they both deserve Oscars for this. The film itself deserves more attention than its getting, and that's just unfair. Never before have I seen a story that's so tragic, yet dark and beautiful at the same time. You should see this if you haven't yet.

10. The Social Network
David Fincher directs this very fascinating drama about the formation of Facebook, a site which I'm sure you're all familiar with. It chronicles how Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student, forms the site with best friend Eduardo Saverin, their involvement with Napster creator Sean Parker, the fallouts that followed and the lawsuits that came forth. Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield are great as Mark and Eduardo respectively. I think that this film would appeal not only to Facebook users, but also non-users who may end up joining the site. It's a phenomenal piece of work.

Some other films that deserve some mention (even though they didn't necessarily get the higher ratings on my review blog) are The American, Despicable Me, The Crazies, Kick-Ass and The Next Three Days.

So there you have it. If you need to know what to rent or buy the next time you walk into a video store, look out for some of these pictures. Bring on 2011!