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Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Top 12 Films From 2010: #5 and #4

Back to business...

The top 12 so far:
12) Scott Pilgrim vs the World
11) Winter's Bone
10) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
9) Jackass 3D
8) Black Swan
7) Kick Ass
6) True Grit

5) The Town

"FACK YOU, YA BAY AREA TOONIE!"

The town is everything you thought it'd be! Cliche! Boston Accents up the wazzu! Over the top lines! The criminal with the heart of gold! His loose cannon friend! Guns! Heists! Blake Lively's Tittays! Red SAWXXXXXX! Ben Affleck's forehead! And yes, Don Draper as a f'in cop.

But that doesn't make it a bad movie. In fact, these things make it a great movie. I feel when Afflect directed this movie, he wasn't making it out to be the next stuuuper sterious heist movie people thought it would be. Instead, he knew it would be a movie people could go watch and have fun with. Which is great, because I did have fun with it. There were times when I was watching the movie where I'd think, fuck yeah, put that goddamn town in your goddamn rear view mirror. And when Jeremy Renner's character did something hot headed, I'd think, oh hell nah!

The movie's cliches are many. It's set in Boston, and within the first five minutes, you know it is. Red Sox logos are everywhere. The words Smahhht and Facccck fly around like they're the letter e. They even rob Fenway Park, I shit you not. And while it's easy to laugh at their dopey Bostonian toughness, it also makes the movie entertaining to watch. I feel like it's almost purposely over the top for this reason.

The directing is pretty straightforward, another reason why I liked it. No Chris Nolan camera tricks or Aronofsky mind fucking, just straight forward shoot em up action that is raw and gritty. It's not like the Departed at all. The Town doesn't take itself too seriously like The Departed did, which makes things less intense but flows a lot smoother.

The acting is.... all right. Jeremy Renner is awesome, as always, but Affleck is Ben Affleck, and Jon Hamm is Don Draper with an FBI vest. I wish Afflect had gotten someone else to be his character, like Matty Damon or Tom Hardy or something. But what can you do.

The Town isn't a film that will blow you away, but it's much more solid than films that are trying to hard (Black Swan).

4) Inception

After I saw Inception, I thought it'd be my movie of the year, but then as more months past, and as I watched it again, I realized it was not. It really is hyped a bit too much.

Mind you, that doesn't make it a bad movie, but Inception reminded me of Avatar, a movie that was a breakthrough, but in the end not a movie of the year. But at the same time, as a movie, it's a lot better than Avatar, which after watching it in non 3D, I realized is a piece of trash.

Everyone knows why Inception is great: the shifting gravity fights, the action, the way the tone is set for all the scenes, the great performances by the ensemble cast, so I'm going to list why Inception is not the top movie of the year.

First off, one dimensional characters. When I saw the advertising for Inception, they broke down each character by their roles: Extractor, Point Man, Shade, etc. Well, apparently, these roles were also stuck in the film, and each actor acted to this role perfectly. But in the end, that leaves you stuck with characters who have no complexity. Joseph Gordon Levitt is the point man, he gets action done, and basically that's all to his character. Tom Hardy is the forger, he creates new identities, and that's all to his character. That's about it. I felt that after watching a movie with all these characters, I still could not relate to them.

Even Leo's character, who the audience is supposed to identify with, comes off a little one dimensional. The man with the broken past. And that's all there is to him. Every scene he's in, he's either mumbling about Mal or talking about how inception was done.

Also, it's too obvious that Ellen Page's character is there just to explain stuff to the viewer. She spouts off lines that are clearly just explanation lines, and throws in a few worried glances to Leo's character Cobb. That's about it.

The other problem I had with it was plot. It's confusing. Unless you spend analyzing it for a while after watching, you don't understand what the hell went on after walking out of the theatre. I suppose Nolan did the best job to tell a story that had too many stories within a stories. Too many characters, too many settings, too many plot lines, it's hard to juggle, and Nolan does a great job. That doesn't mean though that he was trying to be too ambitious.

For those reasons, Inception is not my top movie. But it's still in my top 5 for all the reasons that everyone else loved the movie.

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