2010 – That Was The Year That Was

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And so 2010 has come and gone and brought with it the usual wealth of changes that any year brings. More importantly, as far as we’re concerned, 2010 saw the first full year for Flickfeast. From acorn to mighty oak? Okay, we may still actually be a sapling but this sapling has gone from a small, informed movie site to a little terrier snapping at the heels of the higher-uppers as the site’s presence turned up at numerous premieres (including the latest instalment of the Narnia movie franchise and TRON: Legacy) as well as festivals as diverse as the New York Film Festival to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, The London Film Festival, Dead By Dawn and the San Francisco International Film Festival. That’s quite impressive coverage, by anyone’s standards. And I think I can safely speak for everyone when I say that we hope to move ever onwards and upwards in 2011 (I know that I’m once again eagerly awaiting the time I can purchase my ticket for Dead By Dawn 2011 and will be over the moon if I get a chance to return to the EIFF when it happens all over again) so I can only hope that people keep reading and enjoying what we review.

Sadly, life and growth are often counterbalanced by loss and death and this year was no exception with the acting world losing names as diverse as former teen heartthrob Corey Haim, legend Dennis Hopper, mega-producer Dino De Laurentiis, troubled Gary Coleman, the lovely Jean Simmons, the suave John Forsythe, the wonderful Lionel Jeffries, Peter Graves (aka the one man who topped Leslie Neilsen’s move into comedy in the Airplane! movies), Mr Cunningham aka Tom Bosley, THE Tony Curtis and the spooky house-clearing lady who horror fans will sorely miss . . . Zelda Rubinstein. There were, of course, others who will be missed but I can’t possibly cover every name. It would be both difficult and a bit depressing. Thankfully, their work will live on to be enjoyed and discussed by fans for many years to come.

One thing that certainly isn’t dying is 2D entertainment and the argument rages on, and will continue to do so for some time, about the benefits of the third dimension in cinematic entertainment. It was the main cinema trend that you couldn’t escape this year and a lot of people still think it’s just an excuse to charge more for the ticket. I’m still undecided. I don’t like to see everything in 3D but have to admit that the final Saw movie and the last Resident Evil movie were a whole heap of fun with their eye-popping tricks. And, of course, Piranha managed to bite off some box office action. TRON: Legacy overshadowed all though, blending great visuals with a very cool moment moving the viewer from 2D into the 3D world. But I’m certainly not rushing to queue up whenever they decide to re-release Derek Jarman’s Blue in this format.

Alongside the 3D boom, cinema decided it should maybe “like” Facebook with both The Social Network and Catfish released to major acclaim. The latter suffers from some serious mis-marketing but is still well worth seeing while Fincher’s latest movie was right up there with the rest of his ouvre. Yes, I am a huge Fincher fanboy.

Oh, speaking of fanboys . . . . . *Newsflash* – anyone who missed Inception at the cinema missed out on the chance to discuss, arguably, the most talked about movie of the year, whether loved or hated (and most loved it).

For the year ahead it’s hard to pick out any major trends or hard-hitters ahead of time. My crystal ball is out of action and I’m a lousy gambler. However, if there was ever a sure-fire box office hit then it’s surely the final instalment in the Harry Potter series. And, yes, it should be in cinemas in 3D. Later in the year will see the release of the third Transformers movie and here’s the trailer that some have taken a liking to. I think it could be okay but I have enjoyed both movies to some degree, though no denying that the second one was a big mess it was often an entertaining mess. There are two green superheroes heading our way with Ryan Reynolds as The Green Lantern and Seth Rogen as The Green Hornet. The latter looks like the more difficult sell but the fact that it’s directed by the quirky and fantastique Michel Gondry could be the ace up it’s sleeve. And then we have Thor coming, which had me yawning by the end of the trailer so I’m sorry to say that I’m not eagerly awaiting that one. I may even be bullied by my peers and fellow cinemagoers for not being all that excited by the prospect of Cowboys & Aliens. I AM excited to see Paul when it comes out (Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and an alien = potential greatness). I am going to put my neck out slightly and recommend Blitz as a potentially excellent slice of gritty nastiness (it’s actually a 2010 movie so may appear on DVD, I’m not sure about the release schedule) , Drive Angry could be some immensely dumb fun and Kevin Smith’s Red State appears to be something to really go into without any pre-judgment. The man may be known for being the king of crudely-worded verbal comedy but his latest looks like it could be a 21st century relative of The Wicker Man. Figers crossed now that I’ve just said that. Oh, and there’s a certain pirate returning, a Terence Malick movie and much, much more to come.

So without further ado, because we all have parties to go to and then hangovers to recover from, here is my personal Top 10 of the year. I’m missing a couple that I was keen to see (namely Black Swan and The Fighter) but don’t hold that against me and I put those titles forward as blind recommendations regardless. But here goes:

10) Outcast – I’m sneaking this one in here because a) I’m a horror fan and b) I’m a proud Brit. This was made by two talented young countrymen and was one of the best modern horrors I’d seen in some time. It brought something different while also keeping a lot of the genre staples in there. Kudos. Here is the full review.

9) TRON: Legacy – Perhaps more of an event than just a movie, it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for but it was bloody marvellous in many ways. Another movie that hit just the right spot for fans. And it has, quite possibly, the soundtrack of the year. Take a listen.

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8.) The ExpendablesThe Losers was a lot of fun, The A-Team was a better movie overall but neither of those had the absolutely gold-plated cast that The Expendables had. It was a fight-tastic film frenzy.

7) Piranha 3D – It was made for a certain kinda fan and it delivered for that fan. By the bucketload.

6) Iron Man 2 – It was big, it was loud and it kicked all kinds of metal butt. Cracking soundtrack, cracking action set-pieces, this was perfect popcorn entertainment.

5) Restrepo – The most visceral war experience I’ve ever seen onscreen and one of the best documentaries that I’ve seen in recent years. Totally deserving of it’s Oscar nomination, I hope it wins.

4) Inception – I didn’t like it as much as many other folk and I still gave it 8/10. You have to see it and make up your own mind.

3) Scott Pilgrim Vs The World – Edgar Wright did it again with this brilliant, and brilliantly funny, movie that may have underperformed slightly at the box office but will hopefully outlast many other movies released beside it.

2) How To Train Your Dragon – Yes, this opinion will keep getting me in trouble but I don’t care. THIS was the best animated movie of 2010 and that is that.

1) The Social Network – A film about Facebook, a film about lawsuits, it really should have been a trip to dullsville but David Fincher delivered once again. An amazingly well-executed movie that deserves all of the praise it has been receiving.

So that’s that. The year when I seemed to be the only person who didn’t see what all the fuss was about Monsters but was also the only person who loved the blockbuster entertainment of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Well, nobody can ever accuse me of always just going with the flow. And, come to think of it, THIS MOVIE deserved a place in my Top 10 but just missed out.

Raise a glass, toast to the health of your loved ones and I hope everyone has a great 2011, both in and outwith the local cinema.

9 Comments
  1. Tue Sorensen says

    Fine list! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  2. Kevin Matthews says

    Thanks Tue, I also forgot to mention Source Code. That’s the new movie coming out from Duncan Jones and it looks good to me.

  3. Kevin Matthews says

    *figers crossed should, of course, be “fingers crossed”. My speedy typing is not always flawless.

  4. Chris Knipp says

    We have a sad loss and a significant one to cinema already for 2011 in Pete Postelthwaite.

    I see a lot but your list includes three I did not see, Pirhana 3D, The Expendables and How to Train Your Dragon. I should have seen How to Train Your Dragon because it got quite good reviews, but the other two received horrible press and I felt and feel no obligation to see them, though macho nonsense like The Expendables sometimes appeals to met, e.g. the Fast and the Furious franchise.

  5. Chris Knipp says

    I forgot: I didn’t see Outcast either. That is because I wasn’t at the SXSW or Screamfest Horror Festival and it has not had a US theatrical release.

    I gather from this list that you’re a bit of a Grindhouse kind of guy. I’m more of an arthouse kind of guy.

    And yet we have one thing in common despite big deviations otherwise: I am very likely to put The Social Network at the top of my English language films list for the year.

  6. Kevin Matthews says

    Yes, Pete Postlethwaite is a sad loss indeed for fans of great acting.

    I highly recommend How To Train Your Dragon but the other two are definitely geared more towards my tastes. It was actually hard to narrow it down to 10 and I felt I’d create something that included my own preferences while incorporating some of the things worthy of notice for the year. Considering I also saw the likes of Pelican Blood, Donkeys and the superb Get Low this year I had to make a conscious choice to plump for some more generic thrills and spills before those movies. When it comes to any of these lists I always just go for a “print and be damned” approach. I’m just happy that someone read it 😀

  7. Kevin Matthews says

    I have promoted Outcast more due to the fact that it deserved a wider release and managed to get a limited run outside EIFF 2010. I’m definitely a cinema fan first and foremost but my love of all things horror goes hand in hand with that. However, I also loved Winter’s Bone (which I saw as a contender in your own Top 10) and enjoyed Greenberg. I have Exit Through The Gift Shop lined up to view and am really looking forward to it. Essentially, while some people line up the latest Polanski movie or a re-released Tarkovsky I will tend to be overly enthusiastic about any forthcoming picture that features some mutated megabeast 😉

  8. Tue Sorensen says

    Has a Tarkovsky movie been re-released…?

  9. Kevin Matthews says

    I don’t think so, it was just a flippant example. Sorry to disappoint you, though I’d be surprised if some of his work had not had limited reruns in cinemas that provide quality fare.

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