2014年6月19日 星期四

Movies of the Early 2010s

I will not attempt to put this era into any kind of historical context, since it isn't over yet.  Only the future can put the present into proper context.

This overview is also incomplete, since I am writing it in June 2014, only half way through the last year discussed below.

Biggest Movies of 2010: Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Inception, Shrek Forever After, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Iron Man 2, Tangled, Despicable Me, How to Train Your Dragon

Inception is a great movie.  Maybe Christopher Nolan's best. 

Honorable Mentions: The King's Speech, Black Swan, The Fighter, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Book of Eli, Edge of Darkness, Shutter Island, Brooklyn's Finest, Hot Tub Time Machine, The Losers, The Human Centipede (First Sequence), A Nightmare on Elm Street, Get Him to the Greek, Predators, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Machete, The Town, Red, Due Date, I Love You Philip Morris, True Grit

Black Swan is an excellent film.  Perhaps the best film of that year.

I know a few people who can't stand the idea of the Human Centipede movies, but I liked this film.  Dieter Laser is super creepy.

I Love You Philip Morris was overlooked at the time, but it is one of the few Jim Carrey vehicles in which he's not completely irritating.

Biggest Movies of 2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Kung Fu Panda 2, Fast Five, The Hangover Part II, The Smurfs, Cars 2

None of these movies are very good, though Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol was alright.  With the exception of The Smurfs, all the other blockbusters of 2011 were sequels.

Honorable Mentions: Barney's Version, The Company Men, The Adjustment Bureau, Limitless, Source Code, The King's Speech, X-men: First Class, Super 8, Bad Teacher, Larry Crowne, Horrible Bosses, Captain America: The First Avenger, Crazy Stupid Love, Contagion, Moneyball, The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), Tower Heist, The Descendants, A Dangerous Method, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

I found The Company Men particularly moving.  I was in the States when the economic implosion was well underway, and this movie reminded me of many things from that time.

The Adjustment Bureau is a great film.  

I didn't think I'd like Moneyball (I'm not a baseball fan), but I liked this one a lot.

The Descendants is an excellent film starring George Clooney.

A Dangerous Method is one of the lesser-known movies from that year.  It is another Cronenberg picture.

Biggest Movies of 2012: The Avengers, Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, The Amazing Spider-Man, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, The Hunger Games, Men in Black 3

Judged by its blockbusters, it was a good year for film.  The Avengers, Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Men in Black 3 were all very watchable.

In case you were somehow incapacitated, The Avengers was a very popular film.

Honorable Mentions: Haywire, The Cabin in the Woods, The Dictator, Antiviral, Prometheus, Searching for Sugar Man, The Master, End of Watch, Argo, Wreck-It Ralph, Silver Linings Playbook, Killing Them Softly, Promised Land

I really liked Haywire.  That actress should feature in a Wonder Woman film (if one ever gets made).  I realize that another actress (Gal Gadot) has already been cast in this role for the Batman V. Superman film, but the woman from Haywire would be so much better.

Antiviral introduces a future where we're all dying to get the most famous disease.

Prometheus isn't that good, but there's some good gore in it.  I'm hoping the sequel will be better thought out. 

I've seen The Master many times.  I've always been fascinated by L. Ron Hubbard, and the performances in this movie were exceptional.

Argo was a terrific film, based on real events.  Affleck won the Oscar for it, and I think his win was well-deserved.  This film, and the film it is about, has a fascinating backstory.

Anyone who grew up in the 80s will find a lot to like in Wreck-It Ralph.

Biggest Movies of 2013: Frozen, Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Fast and Furious 6, Monsters University, Gravity, Man of Steel, Thor: The Dark World

Iron Man 3 wasn't very good.  What?  Is he Tony Stark or Jackie Chan?

I liked Gravity, but anyone who raves about that movie should see Apollo 13.  I think that as a story of space survival, the latter movie has much more to offer.

Thor: The Dark World was a vast improvement over the first Thor.  I am eagerly awaiting Thor 3. 

Honorable Mentions: Gangster Squad, Broken City, Evil Dead, Oblivion, Pain & Gain, The Purge, Jodorowsky's Dune, Only God Forgives, This is the End, The Bling Ring, The Wolverine, Jobs, Rush, Prisoners, Captain Philips, 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers' Club, Philomena, Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis, American Hustle, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Her, The Wolf of Wall Street, August: Osage County

Gangster Squad and Broken City are in some ways very similar movies that would go well together.  That scene where Mark Wahlberg finds out the truth about his girlfriend really hit me in the chest.

Many despise the Evil Dead remake.  I don't.  Honestly, the original wasn't that good anyway.

Jodorowsky's Dune is a documentary about the greatest science fiction movie never made.  I don't agree with the conclusion drawn by the film makers, but it's still interesting.

That bar confrontation in Only God Forgives is so over-the-top it's worth seeing.  That is one policeman I wouldn't want to fuck with.

Prisoners features Hugh Jackman and Jack Gyllenhaal.  It's a great (and at times profound) movie.

The Wolf of Wall Street has some truly hilarious scenes.

August: Osage County is one of the best movies to come along in years.  Meryl Streep deserved another Oscar for that one. 

Biggest Movies of 2014 (so far): Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-men: Days of Future Past, Rio 2, The Lego Movie, Maleficent, Godzilla, Noah, 300: Rise of an Empire, Divergent

I thought Captain America 2 was good, but not as good as some made it out to be.  That movie was just trying too hard to make a point.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was decent but forgettable.  Too much CGI for my taste.

I think X-men: Days of Future Past was one of the best superhero movies ever.  I say this as someone who was not a big fan of previous installments.

The Lego Movie is the most hyperactive movie I've ever seen, and that's saying a lot.

Godzilla is terrible.  It is so terrible it makes the Roland Emmerich version look good.

I'd like to see Noah, though judging by the previews I don't think I'll like it as much as other films by Darren Aronofsky.

Honorable Mentions: Edge of Tomorrow, Cesar Chavez, Robocop

I thought Edge of Tomorrow was quite good.  Not spectacular, mind you, but good.  Who doesn't want to see Tom Cruise killed over and over again? 

Cezar Chavez is a good movie, but it's not great.  It seems to me that it could have touched more upon contemporary themes, and upon problems that continue to plague our society today.  As it is, it gets bogged down in the details of Chavez's life.

The Robocop remake could have been much better.  I think that if they'd dispensed with the family drama, they might have made a much deeper film.  The scene where Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman discuss whether he's a man who thinks he's a machine or a machine that thinks its a man could have been expanded upon, to much greater effect.