Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sven's 10 Favorite Movies of 2010



  1. Hello, and welcome to The Official List of Sven’s Ten Favorite Movies of 2010! This hierarchy is meant to function as a companion piece to Byting Reviews’ year-end wrap-up (as heard in Sound Bytes 05).

    Let’s begin!

    11. 127 Hours - Remember when that mountain climber hacked through his own arm after he got stuck in a canyon? Well, this is the filmic adaptation of that event. It’s amazing how visually exciting director Danny Boyle can make such a “locked in” premise. It’s gruesome in parts, but ultimately, a triumphant celebration of what extraordinary things people can do.

    10. Frozen - The infamous ski-lift movie. I’ve taken a lot of flak for recommending this one, but I stand by my opinion. Rarely does a horror movie succeed viscerally without resorting to excessive gore or cheap BOO! effects. Frozen manages to disturb psychologically, and that is such a difficult thing to pull off. The material might not work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me.

    9. The Chaser - Fucked-up foreign movie 1 of 4 on this list. This genre-defying piece comes from South Korea. Trying to describe a Korean film is often a futile endeavor. There’s the same violence, humor, and eroticism that sells movies everywhere, but the story-telling is so original that rarely can one determine where any given movie is “going.”

    8. Shutter Island - A thrilling thriller.

    7. The Kids Are Alright - Children of a lesbian couple decide to meet their sperm donor. Typically this sort of movie (essentially a suburban drama) doesn’t do it for me, but The Kids Are Alright is just super-endearing. The characters are great, the humor works, and there’s a general sweetness that’s just intoxicating.

    6. Easy A - The plot scales in ridiculousness, but I’m willing to forgive that, because Easy A really captures something that feels like high school. Emma Stone is fantastic, and this is probably my favorite teen movie since The Girl Next Door.

    5. The Secret in Their Eyes - Fucked-up foreign movie 2 of 4. This decades-spanning murder mystery hails from Argentina and, if I’m not mistaken, won the foreign film Oscar at last year’s ceremony. Secret should appeal to pretty much any filmgoer. There’s a relatable love story, an unforgettable villain, and some spectacular visual flares (notably the long-take in the soccer stadium).

    4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Fucked-up foreign movie 3 of 4. Tattoo is a Swedish murder mystery based on the book of the same name. The most striking aspect of this movie (and the film series it launches) is the brazen uniqueness/originality of the title character. As written and as realized by actress Noomi Rapace, the character jumps off the screen with undeniable credibility. While the author of the original novel gets much of the credit for the audacity of certain moments, there’s a lot done cinematically to enliven the adaptation. The imagery in the parole officer subplot, for example, is unforgettable.

    The Byting Reviews staff share their individual Top 3’s in Sound Bytes 05. To hear discussion on the following, check out that episode.

    3. Inception

    2. Mother
    - Fucked up foreign movie 4 of 4.

    1. The Social Network

  2. I agree with maybe two movies from that list!

  3. Like it or leave it, that's an interesting list. I need to work further through it, but I watched Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Loved it -- pacing is poor, though; could stand to be edited into a tighter movie so my hopes are up for the remake having something to improve upon) and Mother (I didn't love it. It was actually a fully decent movie, but the story is the type that doesn't interest me. The opening scene grabbed me and I loved it at that point, but the more bleak the story became the less I cared what happened).

    Obviously I've seen Inception and it's the shit.

    I've seen Shutter Island, too. I'm going to blame my dislike for this movie on the story, too: Utterly predictable, and by the end we're left knowing that the movie didn't really take us anywhere, give us anyone to root for, or introduce us to interesting characters we might be able to care about. Big fucking yawn. I hate those kinds of movies. Good acting, though. And Kingsley's "evaporated straight through the walls" gesture has become a part of my personal gesture lexicon for all time -- it's just such unnecessary over-the-top acting that I can't stop doing it. I won't judge you for liking this movie, but I hope you can understand why I think it was a waste of time.

    I haven't seen, but feel I know I'll like, Easy A and 127 Hours. I gotta get on those. Will watch The Chaser and The Secret In Their Eyes next, though; I'm sure I'll totally dig at least one.

  4. Hey, I watched Easy A and The Chaser!

    Easy A, well, I can easily put that in my own top 10 of '10. Really sweet, really funny, really refreshing. Emma Stone (I'm single if you're Googling yourself, Emma) is obviously fantastic, and her in-movie parents (Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson) are now my favorite "movie parents" ever; every scene of theirs shines with hysterical intelligence.

    The Chaser is a bit of a downer (Trying not to spoil it), like Mother. Unlike Mother, the story and characters were interesting (And better fleshed-out) and there was a real sense of suspense, horror, and anger throughout the film. Totally worth watching, but I'll leave it at that.


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