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2010 – The Year in Movies, So Far

May 3, 2010

By John C.

It’s hard too believe we’re already a few months into the 2010 movie season.  In a few short days, the summer season will kick off with Iron Man 2, and the wonderful films released so far this year will have to compete with more great ones if they are to be remembered at the end of the year.  We’ve already reviewed many movies, and were in agreement on a lot of them, but not always – so please follow the links to read our full reviews.  Without further adieu, I’m going to take a look back on the year in movies, so far.

First I’ll start with the lesser ones, and then make my way up to the great ones.  I personally didn’t like Valentine’s Day, and that one could end up on the old worst list.  But the worst movie I have seen so far this year is the disturbingly overrated Grown Up Movie Star.  There are several other terrible films that I have not yet had the misfortune of seeing – but will likely catch up with on DVD, just to stay on top of things.

Next up is the mediocrity.  These ones weren’t terrible – just impossibly average.  There was The Last Song and Clash of the Titans. Both incidentally released in the same week, one left me with a headache, the other left me bored – guess which one was which.  Earlier in the year the Belgium animated film A Town Called Panic got released, and I still can’t figure out what all the fuss is about.

There were several releases that I thought were pretty good, but not great.  These ones all got a rating of **1/2, albeit sometimes at entirely different ends of what I am starting to think is the most versatile rating.  Including When in Rome – well, it’s really not a great movie – but it had enough charm, and Furry Vengeance – well, that’s another story.

Dear John was the first of two Nicholas Sparks’ adaptations to be released this year, and the second (The Last Song) was a substantially weaker film.   I liked Dear John well enough, but especially for Richard Jenkins in a great supporting role, playing a character with Asperger’s syndrome.

There was also St. John of Las Vegas which had a good performance from Steve Buscemi, but it just didn’t have quite enough substance, and Hot Tub Time Machine, which was admittedly very funny, but not a great movie.

There are a few releases, although nothing major, that I would have liked to have seen, but I’ll have to catch up with on DVD.  As is, I’ve already seen some early contenders for my best list, and one film that blew me away and is almost guaranteed a spot.

Crazy Heart got its Canadian release at the beginning of this year, and we were finally able to see why Jeff Bridges had so much Oscar buzz – he deserved it.  I also loved the soundtrack for this one, and I’ve already listened to it several times.

There were two wildly different documentaries, Soundtrack for a Revolution and Oceans.  The former offering a unique, incredibly moving look into the civil rights movement through the use of music, and the latter offering a stunning view beneath the surface of the ocean.  I loved both.

I quite liked Noah Baumbach’s brilliantly observational film, Greenberg, which starred Ben Stiller in an excellent, dramatic turn.  And though it had some detractors, A Shine of Rainbows was a touching, memorable family film.

I had a great time watching both Date Night and Death at a Funeral, and Alice in Wonderland was a visual joyride.  Both Defendor and Kick-Ass were released, both unique takes on the superhero genre.  Both were very good, but I think Defendor is better.

Like I said, many great movies have already been released, but the best one I have seen so far this year is How To Train Your Dragon.  Dreamworks Animation has outdone themselves with this one.  A truly great movie – one of the best of the year.

We’ve already reviewed many great movies, and look forward to seeing and writing about many more great ones in the coming months.  And in a summer season that includes such films as Toy Story 3, it shouldn’t be too hard either.

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