2010 Films in Review

Even later than last year!
  • Top 10 Films of 2010 (in Alphabetical Order):
    • The Fighter
    • Inception
    • Jackass 3D
    • Kick-ass
    • The King’s Speech
    • Micmacs
    • Perrier’s Bounty
    • The Social Network
    • True Grit
    • Winter’s Bone
  • Bottom 6 films of 2010:
    • Clash of the Titans
    • The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
    • A Nightmare on Elm Street
    • Predators
    • Salt
    • Splice
  • Best Remake/Reworking: The Crazies
  • Most Unnecessary Remake/Reworking: A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Best Director: Christopher Nolan for Inception
  • Best Actress: Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit
  • Best Actor: Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
  • Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo in The Fighter
  • Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale n The Fighter
    • Honorable mention for John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone
  • Best Ensemble: Jackass 3D
  • Best Original Screenplay: Inception
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network
  • Best Cinematography: Inception
  • Best Soundtrack: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  • Best Score: Inception
  • Most Alarming Cinematic Trend: Second Year for both 3D and Fake IMAX
  • Most Memorable Lines:
    • Hot Tub Time Machine
      • Lou: Here’s a question. Was it morally wrong for me to exploit my knowledge of the future for personal financial gain? Perhaps. Here’s another question. Do I give a fuck?
    • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
      • Stacey Pilgrim: I mean, did you really see a future with this girl?
      • Scott Pilgrim: Like… with jetpacks?
    • Kick-Ass
      • Big Daddy: Good job. I’m so proud of you, baby doll. Are you okay?
      • Hit Girl: Mhmm… but getting shot, Daddy… it hurt a lot more than when you did it.
      • Big Daddy: That’s because I used low velocity rounds, child… he… he…
      • Hit Girl: You’re the kindest Daddy in the whole world.
      • Big Daddy: No, I just… I love you…
      • Hit Girl: I love you, too, Daddy… I love you, too, Daddy. Sleep tight.
    • Jackass 3D
      • Steve-O: How many stings do you think we can take?
      • Manny Puig: I think it takes about 100 to kill a man.
      • Dave England: Are you serious? Did you just make that number up? There’s 50,000 bees and it takes 100 to kill a man?
      • Manny Puig: I think it takes 100.
      • Loomis Fall: Then what are we doing here?
      • Manny Puig: Making a hit movie.
  • Best Documentary: Exit Through the Gift Shop
  • Guilty Pleasures:
    • MacGruber
    • Tron: Legacy
  • Films I feel guilty for missing:
    • OSS 117: Lost in Rio
  • Films I don’t feel guilty for missing:
    • Edge of Darkness
    • Repo Men
    • Babies
    • Robin Hood
    • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

My Movies of 2010

Here’s the list of movies I saw in 2010…  I saw 147 movies this year, exactly as many as the year before.  As I have done the past few years, my “Best of 2010” list will probably come closer to the Academy Awards, so I have the opportunity to see some of the well-regarded films of the year that I missed.

As I mentioned last year, in 2010 I gathered more data about the movies I see.  I also decided to no longer split up the list between “Theater” and “Home”, as the distinction doesn’t mean much to me anymore.  I did, however, gather statistics about how I watched a film, which you can view after the split:

Continue reading “My Movies of 2010”

2009 Films in Review

Better late than never, right?

The Movies I Saw in 2009

Here’s the list of movies I saw in 2009…  I saw 147 movies this year, which is just about where I was the year before.  I think the number of films I can see in a year given all of my other interests and responsibilities is right in the neighborhood of 150.  I haven’t really sat down and thought about my "best of" list yet, as I usually take January to try and catch up on acclaimed movies I missed, but my gut tells me it was a pretty good year for movies.   

I think in 2010 I’m going to keep more data about the movies I view, but I also think I may eliminate my distinction between "Theatre" and "Video" in the list I actually publish next year.  We’ll see.

The list is mostly in the order I viewed them, and I tried to italicize any films I had already seen.

IFF Boston 2009

While I missed the opening night festivities on Wednesday evening, choosing to go to the Sox game instead, last night the Independent Film Festival of Boston 2009 began for me.  Last year’s festival I set the goal of writing reviews of all 15 films I saw in the fest, but crapped out after 6 reviews.   This year, I’m trying to set a much more modest goal for myself:  Write a 140 character review on Twitter for each of the films I see this year.  I’ve already posted my first two mini-reviews last night over there, and will hopefully do better than I did last year with the bar set so low.

My current plan is to revisit some of my favorite films after the end of the festival with more in-depth discussions, but we’ll see how that plan turns out.

Also, if you’re interested in joining me for some of the films I’m seeing, here’s an iCal feed of the movies I’m planning on seeing.  There are descriptions, links, times, and locations in there.

2008 Films in Review

Another great year for film..  Trying to pick my favorites this year might have even been harder than in 2007.  

To reinforce my tradition of not placing importance of one film over another in each category, I decided to alphabetize the lists this year.  

The Movies I Saw in 2008

Here’s the list of the movies I saw in 2008…  I was a little lazier about keeping this list up to date this year, so it’s possible I missed one or two movies.   I saw 150 movies this year, which is a handful less than last year, but still fairly ridiculous.  This year was very polarized, with some completely amazing movies and some complete stinkers.  I’m going to wait a few weeks (until before the Oscar ceremony) to compile my "Best Of 2008" list, which should hopefully give me some time to catch up on some of the ones I missed this year.

Also, I am coming to the point, with my HDTV and surround sound system, that the distinction between "Theatre" and "Video" viewing is becoming rather academic.  I do still prefer to watch movies in the "art house" theaters in Boston, because the audiences are usually quite respectful.  But the downsides of going to one of the multiplexes easily match (and probably surpass) any downsides of watching a movie in your living room.  So it’s possible in the future I may not keep track of the distinction, but I haven’t decided yet.

The list is mostly in the order I viewed them, and I tried to italicize any films I had already seen.

    Continue reading “The Movies I Saw in 2008”


  1. What movie have you seen the most time in the theater? How many times?
    Semi-embarassingly, I believe the answer to this question is
    Jurassic Park.
    I saw it many, many times in the theater with back
    when it was current
  2. What was the last movie you walked out of in the theater?
    I almost never walk out. The last one I can remember was
    Brainscan. And I didn’t
    walk out until the last 5 minutes. I really tried.
  3. What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
    I have a vague memory of seeing
    The Empire Strikes Back
  4. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?
    Repo Man
  5. Have you ever dressed up as a movie character for Halloween? If so, who?
  6. What was the first R-rated movie you ever saw? Were you allowed or
    did you sneak?

    I honestly don’t remember… I probably snuck in, though…
  7. Star Wars (orig. trilogy) or Lord of the Rings?
    Star Wars. No contest.
  8. Pacino or DeNiro?
    They are both caricatures of themselves at this point. Historically,
    though, I’d have to lean towards DeNiro. Although it’s more fun pretending
    to be Pacino. Especially from
    Glengarry Glen Ross.
  9. Titanic…did it suck or was it great?
    Pretty but awful.
  10. What’s your take on Cassavetes?
    Ignorance, unfortunately.
  11. Favorite John Hughes character?
  12. What movie gives you a boner (or makes you tingle)?
    Crash (the real
  13. What movie always makes you cry like the big puss you are?
    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
  14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever gotten in a movie theater? (i.e, second base…)
    No comment.
  15. Speaking of sports metaphors, what’s your favorite sports movie?
    Major League
  16. Favorite
    1. …teen movie?
      Real Genius
    2. …Quentin Tarantino movie?
      Reservoir Dogs
    3. …Bill Murray movie?
    4. …romantic comedy?
    5. …gangster movie?
      My Blue Heaven
    6. …horror movie?
      A Nightmare on Elm Street
    7. …made for TV movie?
      Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of
    8. …director?
      David Fincher
    9. …drug movie?
      Fear and Loathing in Las
      A Scanner Darkly
  17. What movie have you seen already but will never, ever, ever watch again?
    I’m fairly certain I will never watch
  18. What movie are you embarrassed to really like?
    The Wrong Guys
  19. What movie should be remade asap?
    Not a fan of remakes, generally.
  20. What’s your favorite musical?
    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
  21. For the love of everything that’s sacred, please someone stop (insert
    answer) from making another movie!

    Darren Aronofsky and
    M. Night Shyamalan
  22. What movie do all your friends love but you’re not that crazy about?
    Pi sucks ass.
  23. What movie do you love but none of your friends do?
    Salo. My friends are
  24. If you could hump/date/marry any movie character, who would it be?
    Any Alicia Witt character.

  25. Best…movie….ever?
    All of my “favorite” or “best” picks for this list are rather arbitrary,
    because really I have trouble picking one… Let’s say:
    My Blue Heaven
  26. Book you wish would be made into a movie, and who would direct it?
    I still hold out hope someone will let Chris Cunningham do Neuromancer. It would
    either be amazing or a beautiful failure.

Review: Frontrunner

“Frontrunner” follows
the presidential campaign of Dr. Massouda Jalal, a woman who ran in
the 2004 Afghanistan presidential election. The film moves from her
impressive performance in the 2002 interim presidental election through her
2004 campaign. Jalal entered a heated political environment emerging from
Taliban rule, and seeing the struggles and successes of her campaign was
fascinating as an outsider.

While this subject was fascinating, the film itself was a bit
disappointing. I just don’t believe there was enough meat for this to be a
90-minute feature film. Sometimes, instead of using other techniques to
communicate some of the periods of waiting, the film just showed the
waiting. This might have been fine once or twice, but it felt overused in
this film. I also would have liked to see more interviews with the
public, both her supporters and her detractors.

This wasn’t a bad film, but I think it may have been better as a
60-minute PBS special (or if it had had more of the public voice).

Review: The Greening of Southie

“The Greening
of Southie”
documents the construction and design of the Macallen
building in South Boston. Macallen is Boston’s first residential “green”
building, and the goal in desigining it was to achieve LEED “Gold” certification. The
film begins with the foreman briefing the crew on day one and continues
through the first residents moving in.

This was a pretty well-paced film, and took time to explain how the LEED
point system worked and how several design decisions effected the score.
Not only were the design and construction phases shown, but the film also
travels to the source of many of the materials, many of which were local to
New England, as LEED emphasizes local materials.

One of the things which struck me about this film was how the
construction workers reacted to the green mission of this building. Some
were skeptical, some embraced it, and others simply didn’t care one way or
another. Most seemed to acknowledge that green methodologies and design
would likely continue to effect their work moving forward. It is in these
interviews where the film finds its heart.

This film is airing occasionally on Sundance, so if
you are interested in green building or just want to see a solid documentary
with great interviews, check it out.