A Year In Film 2010

This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 14th December 2010.

With the end of the year looming and it becoming very clear that my crazy Christmas schedule will not allow me to see the inside of a cinema before Boxing Day, here are my top five films of 2010. I haven’t frequented the flicks as regularly during this past twelve months compared to previous years so I have also listed what I think will be the critics’ top five picks, the majority of which I haven’t seen, but hope to, eventually.

My top five

5. Daybreakers – Directed by the talented brothers Peter and Michael Spierig from Brisbane, this clever Australian flick turns the vampire mythology upside down by creating a world populated by the undead with humans being the endangered food source. Featuring international stars Willem Dafoe and Ethan Hawke, with local actors Sam Neill and Claudia Karvan, this is a vamptastic sci-fi horror. The feature length making of documentary included on the blu-ray is fascinating.

4. Piranha 3D – Forget your lush alien planets and their blue skinned residents, this is exactly what 3D cinema should be about. It was crass, bloody and deliberately badly acted, and I loved it. A hoard of hungry, primeval flesh eating fish get unleashed upon a lake full of nubile teens celebrating spring break. Ok, so it’s not Shakespeare but you’ll laugh and scream as various body parts jump out of the screen at you.

3. Kick-Ass – Based on the Mark Millar comic book, this smart action comedy directed by Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake and Stardust) subverts the standard super hero movie genre and shows that actions have real consequences. Starring Nicholas Cage hilariously channelling Adam West’s Batman and featuring a breakout performance by Chloe Grace Moretz, don’t be distracted by the controversy regarding the use of a certain sensitive word, Kick-Ass is exactly what it says on the tin.

2. Toy Story 3 – The perfect farewell to some very well loved characters. Pixar continue their unbroken run of beautiful, near perfect pictures that somehow manage to reach out to the child in all of us. Released theatrically in 3D, nothing is lost in the two dimensional version now available on DVD and blu-ray. I may have shed a tear at the end but I’ll deny it if you ask me.

1.5 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – Alright, so I can’t count. From the director of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright, comes the strangest romantic action comedy of the year. Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera, who hopefully has gone to the wimpish nerd character well for the last time, must fight off the seven evil ex-lovers of the beautiful Romona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) in order to win her heart. A flop at the cinemas, this is destined to be discovered on DVD and will soon be regarded as a classic.

1. Animal Kingdom: Wow, a home grown film as my number one. This Aussie crime drama will devastate you. With outstanding performances by Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Pearce and newcomer James Frecheville, this is Jacki Weaver’s movie. Her portrayal of the matriarch of a crime family is stunning. I know that Australia has gotten a bit of a reputation for producing depressing drug and crime dramas lately but you simply must see Animal Kingdom.

My predictions for the critics’ top five

5. Let Me In

4. The Social Network

3. Toy Story 3

2. The King’s Speech

1.5 Sex and the City 2 (just kidding)

1. Inception

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