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Joe Belcastro's 20 not-so critical thoughts on film in 2010

2010 is over. No more. Done. Finito. Some are more than happy to kiss that year goodbye, while others wish it would have never ended. In the realm of movies, 2010 looked great in terms of box office receipts. However, even with the second highest grossing domestic box office of all-time ($10.5 billion) in the books, let’s just say the quality of the product put out, is far from what the numbers suggest in terms of stellar entertainment all year around. Yet 2010 did have a few exceptional moments.

With all that said, here’s 20 topics, accompanied by my candid/stripped-down thoughts, on what caught my critical eyes in cinema for 2010:

1) Favorite film of 2010: Being an admitted fan of the horror genre, Let Me In trumps all the rest in my book. When’s the last time a horror flick actually made it on critical Top Ten lists? Blair Witch perhaps? How’s the replay value on that guy going these days? Let Me In is getting shunned cause it is a remake. Fair enough. But tell me the last original story/concept to come out of Hollywood in the last decade. Even if you’re not a horror crack-head like yours truly, this flick has the entire package flowing.

2) Least Favorite film of 2010: Best way to answer this one is to present the Ass-Five of 2010: 5. Babies – A vasectomy may have been more fulfilling. 4. Robin Hood – I started looking down shirt of the cougar in front me about halfway through. It’s true! And they were nice! 3. The Last Exorcism – You got that right. 2. Lottery Ticket – Pondered the existence of God, and if this flick was part of his plan, dude needs an editor. 1. Tooth Fairy – Was about to pull my phone out and start illegally recording so security would take me out and taze my memory. Mind you, this flick came out in January.

3) Best Sequel/Remake: Let Me In. I know, broken record. Yet, the remake was better than the original. That rarely happens my young padawans.

4) Studio with the Best Batting Average: Warner Bros. has the best slugging percentage (box office grosses) but Paramount (2nd in grosses) wins this duel, for their films were just better. Barely. I have nothing else to add in this matter. This wasn’t a fun question, but it had to be addressed.

5) Studio with the most strike-outs: Universal and Disney struck out more than most of the male movie critics in the world when trying to engage a lady in 2010. Seriously, look at us. Universal put out a decent product, they just needed to follow marketing tips from a hooker in Vegas. Disney/Buena Vista has lost touch with society and aside from Toy Story 3 and Tangled, they made about as much noise as a mouse (see what I did there…Creative genius at work people).

6) Most Underrated Movie of the Year: Kick-Ass. I didn’t give out many 5-star reviews this year but this flick was the first to claim it. And no, I’m not a comic book geek. If one watches Kick-Ass and doesn’t feel a slew of emotions, check your pulse. Or if you’re a guy, put on some porno and see if anything “registers.” Just to be sure everything is working properly.

7) Most Overrated Movie of the Year: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Sure the rest of it has yet to be seen, and many say that upcoming installment will justify the direction of this flick. I actually hope they’re right. Truth is, David Yates is not the director this franchise needed to close out the epic journey. Yates didn’t completely castrate the Harry Potter franchise, but he did give it a swift kick to the groin.

8) Favorite Performance of 2010: The entire production of Piranha 3-D. Piranha was this year’s Zombieland sans the brain-power. Naked girls, tools getting chomped on by hundreds of CGI’d killer fish and Richard Dreyfuss in his JAWS character. The most fun I had in a theater in some time my friends.

9) Least Favorite Performance of 2010: Tom Cavanagh as Ranger Smith in Yogi Bear. It may be a kid’s flick, but have some dignity and get someone who wants to be in the film. A close second is Carey Mulligan in Never Let Me Go. Her and I just fail to click as noted in all my reviews of her work. I’m sure she takes my criticism to heart and cries like a baby, which is ironically all she did in that flick.

10) Best Opening: Jackass 3-D. To this day, the first Jackass flick is easily the best opening these green eyes have ever witnessed on the big screen. Jackass 3-D continued that tradition. As for the rest of the movie…That’s another story.

11) Best Ending: The wise-ass in me wants to say when Tooth Fairy’s credits began to roll. Walking out of the theater was a major relief after that debacle. However, when an entire theater gasps (myself included) when the screen goes black during Inception. How can you top that? Honorable mention goes to the Paranormal Activity franchise, for it managed to keep me awake after executing another frightening ending sequence in the sequel.

12) Movie Title I felt Sounded the Most Like A Porno Flick: Three-way (pun intended). Rabbit Hole, Waiting for Superman & Inside Job.

13) Best Action Sequence: Kick-Ass. Watching “Hit Girl” (Chloe Grace Moretz) and hearing her dialogue as she slices through a bunch of goons, complimented by an array of slow-motion shots, was cinematic bliss people.

14) Biggest Badass: The Expendables was the obvious choice to start with, yet picking which steroidal-character is a tough one. Jason Statham destroying people on a basketball court seals the deal for me.

15) Best Piece o’ Ass: This isn’t going to be a popular choice but Emma Stone was delicious in Easy A. She has no idea how many times she has faked rocked my world. Gemma Arterton also managed to enter my lustful mind as the tempting country vixen in Tamara Drewe.

16) Trend I’d like to see end in 2011: Stop the Saw franchise! By part 3, they were thoroughly embarrassing themselves. As mentioned, I’m horror junkie, but even I decided to take a stand and tell Hollywood HELL NO to this mess. Also, the 3D fad needs to die quickly. I constantly make fun of guys who wear sunglasses indoors and now I feel like I’m slowly becoming one. Too close for comfort.

17) Trend I’d like to see continue: M. Night Shyamalan receiving more critical wrath. Arrogant hack.

18) Favorite Quote from a Film in 2010: “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 f***?” That would be “Lou” played by Rob Corddry. Just about every line he has in Hot Tub Time Machine cracked me up.

19) What were they thinking? – Tons of people made questionable moves in cinema for 2010. Mel Gibson’s career suicide rants still has me scratching my head. Having said that, the news revolving around The Hobbit production is baffling. Peter Jackson created a masterpiece with the first trilogy. And I realize business decisions on fledging studios had something to do with the delay. Having said that, why is green-lighting pure gold such a chore? A piece of garbage such as Skyline had no trouble getting made and distributed. So I guess the answer to this question is, why are studios still in the dark on what equates to a solid product? 2010 releases provide evidence that the art side has lost to the business side in Hollywood. Yet, too many fools (you know who you are) are still paying for this crap. What are moviegoers thinking? And that concludes my Oliver Stone impression, as in, not truly answering the question directly. Which is fine, cause Mr. Stone didn’t actually deliver a solid Wall Street sequel this past year.

20) Most Wanted Movie in 2011: Well, let me answer this one like this (clearly I have issues following my own directions)…I want the summer blockbusters to be BLOCKBUSTERS once again. After three mediocre seasons, I’m hoping Pirates of the Caribbean 4 can capture the magic of the first installment. Harry Potter needs to go Lord of the Rings on me. Holding out a small sperm cell of hope that Transformers 3 can bring the nostalgia back. And Twilight…Haha, yeah right. Death to all glistening vampires and 17 year-olds who are more buff than I.

Cheers to finding cinematic heaven in 2011 my friends!

Chloe Grace Moretz stole the show in 2010 with Let Me In and Kick-Ass

Chloe Grace Moretz stole the show in 2010 with Let Me In and Kick-Ass

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Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jason

    January 17, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    7) Most Overrated Movie of the Year: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Sure the rest of it has yet to be seen, and many say that upcoming installment will justify the direction of this flick. I actually hope they’re right. Truth is, David Yates is not the director this franchise needed to close out the epic journey. Yates didn’t completely castrate the Harry Potter franchise, but he did give it a swift kick to the groin.

    Most bullshit comment on this film I've ever read. If anything, the film is underrated by critics that doens't know what is coming in Part 2. This is a perfect adaption of the 1st half of the film and Yates is honestly the best thing to happen to the film.

    Since you're to stupid to not go out and get the damn book to find out what happens in Part 2, I'll spoil it for you.

    -After finding out about Voldemort gaining possession of the Elder Wand, Harry realizes they need to make finding the remaining Horcruxes a priority.
    -Hermione makes the connection that Bellatrix is hiding something of value in her vault by the way she was scared for her life in Malfoy Manor(expressed by torturing Hermione till she tells her where she got the Sword and if she has anything else..). They expect Voldemort told her to hid his things in her vault, including a Horcrux.
    – They plan their break-in with Griphook the Goblin, making a deal that they will hand over the Sword in exchange of helping them(Although they worded the deal so they still can keep the sword after the help)
    – They find out Tonks gave birth to Teddy Lupin, Harry is the godfather.
    -They go to Gringotts under disguise(cloak, polyjuice potion)
    -They break into the Gringotts cave after using unforgivable curses. They take the cart down to the depths of the caves and get hit by a magical waterfall which wipes out their disguises. The Goblins found out who they are.
    -They find the vault but it's protected by a blind dragon, they manage to get inside it and spot the Horcrux(Hufflepuff's cup). Everything is enchanted so by touch it burns and multiplies.
    -They get the Cup and manage to get out of the expanding golden inferno. Goblins and wizards are waiting for them outside. Griphook betrays them and takes the sword, they escape on the dragon.
    -After flying on the back of the dragon and passing the British countryside, the dragon lands by a lake and they jump off. Harry has a vision that shows Voldemort demonic as he finds out what they stole and what they are doing, he takes off to check on his horcruxes to make sure they are safe.
    -The trio knowing they are running out of time apparate to Hogsmeade and fater a close call with the death eaters and dementors patrolling the place, they get inside Abeforth's pub. He tells them of Dumbledore's true story.
    -Neville appears by a secret corridor and takes them to Hogwarts, he tells them what is going on at Hogwarts(terrible things). They walk into the RoR and find many members of the DA waiting for them in some sort of underground resistance.
    -Blah blah Horcrux, Chamber of secrets battle, Fiendfyre, BATTLE, Death, Battle, Death, Epic scenes, Final duel, Blah.

    So there you go.

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