JR'S TOP 10 FILMS-2010
2019 MID YEAR,
2018 MID YEAR,
"Good Old JR" Jim Rutkowski
weighs in with his picks for the TOP 10 films of 2010
JR & BO'S TOP 10 FILMS OF 2010
JR is joined by Bocepheus in
the Video Outhouse and together they give their TOP 10 FILM lists of 2010. They
agree on some but disagree on many more as 20 films from the past year are
discussed. and debated.
THE BEST OF 2010...
Movie Reviews by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
This years list took longer to compile than previous years. Getting the
placement nailed down was the the sticking point for me. It seemed that I could
take the top 5 choices, blow them up and whatever order they landed in would be
just fine. So after a solid week of rearranging, deliberating and rearranging
again, I decided to just throw it out there with the proviso that if you chat me
up about this list in the next few days/weeks, the placement has probably
What hasn't changed is what you WON'T find on the 10
best list. That's right. Your eyes aren't deceiving you.
Social Network does not
appear here. The one film that is at the top of virtually every other year end
list does not show up on this list. Why? It wasn't that I thought David
Fincher's film was not well made. It was. Unfortunately it's not so much a
narrative as a deposition about an anti-charismatic Charles Foster Kane with
social issues, class status anger, and homoerotic panic without a “rosebud”
moment. To me it was lackluster, pedestrian, emotionally hollow and
The other movie that has pulled the wool over many peoples eyes this year is
Darren Aronofsky's, The Black Swan.
Black Swan is little more than exploitation
cinema but its heavy pop psychology and complete lack of subversiveness make it
shallow exploitation rather than transgressive. A cheap, campy horror movie
masquerading as a psychological drama. Without any of the fun of a cheap, campy
horror film. An overblown sandwich of a movie with Natalie Portman supplying the
ham and Aronofsky bringing on the cheese. You want a great ballet movie? Look no
farther than The Red Shoes.
Not that I've gotten that off my chest, we can get the festivities underway.
#10-EXIT THROUGH THE GIFTSHOP
The years best documentary. Or is it? The story of
how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate
and befriend Banksy, a renowned street artist, only to have the artist turn the
camera back on its owner with spectacular results. Billed as 'the world's first
street art disaster movie' the film contains exclusive footage of Banksy,
Shephard Fairey, Invader and many of the world's most infamous graffiti artists
at work. Is it the big hoax some have claimed? What makes Exit Through the Gift
Shop so fascinating - and it is riveting, regardless of your interest in the art
world - is the eloquent and exciting way in which it illustrates how beauty and
meaning really are in the eye of the beholder and how that eternal phrase still
holds true: There's a sucker born every minute.
A mother desperately searches for the killer that
framed her son for their horrific murder. As fleshy as it is funny, Bong Joon-Ho's
Mother straddles family drama, horror and comedy with a deft grasp of tone and
plenty of eerie visuals. As with Korean director Bong Joon-ho's previous film
"The Host," "Mother" also is a movie about a monster. Only this one wears an
apron. Bong once again pulls off the impressive trick of telling a story that
manages to work as a splendid, straightforward example of a time-honored genre
as well as a slyly subversive take on its conventions. This time around, he is
aided immeasurably by the central performance from Kim Hye-Ja as the mother who
will go to any lengths to help her son, even though her smothering manner
towards him may be equally destructive--her place in the rankings of the great
domineering screen mothers is all but assured.
#8-THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
The most talked-about movie at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, The Kids Are All
Right is directed by Lisa Cholodenko from an original screenplay that she wrote
with Stuart Blumberg. Starring Annette Bening in a award caliber work. Mark
Ruffalo and Julianne Moore are also top notch. A gay couple's two teenage
children decide it's time they got to know their biological father, both
children having been conceived through artificial insemination. The movie
combines comedic surprise with poignant emotional truth in a funny, vibrant, and
richly drawn portrait of a modern family. Worthwhile as both a well-acted
ensemble piece and as a smart, warm statement on family values,
"...an ode to survival, a bracing story of man and nature and an exhilarating
sensory experience. It's my favorite movie so far this year."
A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoning alone near
Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive. In his
impressive follow-up to
Slumdog Millionaire, the Academy Award-winning director honors the lure of
solitude while at the same time celebrating the beautiful necessity of other
people. As gut-wrenching as it is inspirational, 127 Hours unites one of Danny
Boyle's most beautifully exuberant directorial efforts with a terrific
performance from James Franco. How do you make a movie about immobility? For a
hyperactive stylist like Boyle, whose movies are at best thrillingly kinetic,
the solution turns out to be absurdly simple. He heads inward.
" ...destined to be discussed and dissected by enthralled viewers for
years to come."
The Dark Knight
director Christopher Nolan brings us his dream project. One that he has been
writing for the better part of a decade. In it he brings us a world where
technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, and a single
idea within one's mind can be the most dangerous weapon or the most valuable
asset. What he also brings us is the years most ambitious film. Smart,
innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that
succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually. Rarely is popular entertainment
#5-NEVER LET ME GO
"...a handful of sensitive moments that explore the grasp of love and death, two
experiences horribly perverted in this sci-fi dusted saga of medical
Director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) directs an adaptation of the novel by
Kazuo Ishiguro (one of the finest novels this reviewer has ever read). You could
describe "Never Let Me Go"
as set in an alternate-history version of postwar Britain, but as with all
really good alternate histories, the changed universe really isn't the point.
Romanek captures the slightly seedy and rundown reality of '70s and '80s British
life in astonishing and even tragic detail; this is more like a period piece
than a science-fiction movie. Starring the luminous Carey Mulligan, soon to be
Spiderman, Andrew Garfield and former pirate girl Keira Knightly as children
that meet at a peculiar boarding school called Hailsham House. I won't spoil the
ultimate destiny of these characters. But it's a truism to say that speculative
fiction is always about our world rather than an imaginary world, but it's
certainly true in this case. The specific reality imagined by Ishiguro -- a
caste system in which some human beings are sacrificed so that others may live
-- may seem far-fetched. It will strike nearly everyone as morally
reprehensible, and even the most hard-hearted science geek would not defend it.
But things as bad as that have happened before and will quite likely happen
again, and in any case this movie isn't a lecture about the horrors of human
history. It's more like an allegorical reminder that we all live and die amid
confusion and injustice, and that life seems too short no matter how long it
lasts, and that the days we have are miraculous and then they are gone. rewarding.
#4-TOY STORY 3
"...the last twenty-odd minutes of the film is as beautiful a stretch of
film-making as you are likely to see anytime soon...”
Pixar. Every year another film. Every year that film ends up on my list. This
studio reminds me of the golden age of Hollywood and the old studio system. No
talk of franchises or ancillary marketing. This is a studio intent upon making
the best possible quality entertainment.
Toy Story 3 ontinues the gold
standard. Rare is the sequel that is as good as the original. Rarer still is the
second sequel that matches its predecessor. In
Toy Story 3, Pixar has not only
tied a glorious bow on this series but also topped the previous entries. Never
has the phrase “more of the same” been so rewarding. Alternately affecting,
hilarious and heartbreaking and the most original prison-escape movie ever made.
"Astonishing in its authenticity and never less than riveting...."
Bleak, haunting, and yet still somehow hopeful,
Winter's Bone is writer-director
Debra Granik's best work yet -- and it boasts an incredible, star making
performance from Jennifer Lawrence. An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks
through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while
trying to keep her family intact. This is a world out of time and, despite the
trappings of flinty realism, the film too unfolds like an elemental myth from
the stormy past – a Greek tragedy driven by dark fates and struggling toward a
catharsis. Every so often a film gets under our skin with its haunting
authenticity, reinforcing our faith in the wonderfully transporting power of
cinematic storytelling. Winter's Bone
is unquestionably that film. This one got under my skin.
"It’s nearly impossible not to like this literate period drama that
relocates the “Rocky” formula from the boxing ring to the royal palaces...”
After the death of his father King George V (Michael Gambon) and the scandalous
abdication of King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), Bertie (Colin Firth) who has
suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life, is suddenly crowned
King George VI of England. With his country on the brink of war and in desperate
need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), the future Queen
Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel
Logue (Geoffrey Rush). After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox
course of treatment and eventually form an unbreakable bond. With the support of
Logue, his family, his government and Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall), the
King will overcome his stammer and deliver a radio-address that inspires his
people and unites them in battle. What may outwardly seem like middle-brow,
crowd pleasing Oscar bait ends up being not merely a spot-on period piece; it's
also a heartfelt study in the shadings of courage, a film about duty and
friendship that's often warmly funny and sometimes painful to watch.
Despite being about a royal family at a critical moment in history, "The
King's Speech" doesn't shout about its many strengths. Rather, it urges you
to lean in close, where its intelligence and heart come through loud and clear.
We have begun to take the performances of Colin Firth for granted. Each time
out, it's another award caliber portrayal. The same can be said here for his
work here. But he is matched scene for scene by Geoffrey Rush. This film is a
pleasure from beginning to end.
#1 TRUE GRIT
"... the visuals are a vast improvement, but they also keep the film rooted
in outdated nostalgia, rather than unbound creativity."
Standard Coen Brothers Review Template: [Insert movie title] is the latest opus
from the supremely talented writer/director/producer/editor duo. They reach into
the annals of movie history to toy with the styles and conventions of a
traditional [insert genre], and once again tell the parable of a man who
unlawfully comes into some money, and is cosmically punished for his crimes.
Carter Burwell’s score and Roger Deakins’ cinematography are peerless, and the
performances are brilliant across the board. But best of all are the glimpses of
the Coens' finger marks throughout proceedings; they’re like two wickedly funny
deities who have crafted a cruel world in which everyone has a whip-fast sense
of humour. It’s enough to make the doomed fates of even their most honourable
characters palatable. [Restate movie title] is brilliant.
A rare remake that bests its predecessor on every level. Then again, this is not
a remake of the 1969 John Wayne film but an adaptation of the great novel by
Charles Portis. The novel has its narrative spotlight on the character of Mattie
Ross. Here played by 13 year old first-time actress Hailee Steinfeld in what
should be an Oscar winning performance. Jeff Bridges in the Rooster Cogburn roll
is, in turns, funny and deadly. Whereas Wayne played the roll, as, well, John
Wayne the legend. Bridges plays cogburn as a genuine individual. No pretenses.
You can practically smell the stink coming off the character. Bridges could very
well walk home with another Oscar this year. Matt Dillon as the hapless Texas
ranger does fine work as well.
Only filmmakers with as impressive a back catalogue and supreme a talent as the
Coen brothers could relax and produce a film as 'simple and straight' as
True Grit and have it still be a
thrilling, haunting, hilarious, minor-masterpiece.
Images © Copyright 2019 by their respective owners No rights given or
implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated
Review © 2019 Alternate Reality, Inc.
FORWARD INTO THE PAST
(aka "Old Reviews")