Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: My Year in Movies (part 1: Horror/Sci-fi)

It's been a less-than-prolific year for this barely-breathing-blog, but I figured I'd at least close 2010 out with a somewhat prolific list of the new movies I've seen over the past twelve months. Since I've watched more movies this year than I care to count (fuck you, Netflix-on-demand), the following list comprises only films which were released in 2010. The list totals 33 movies, several of which symbolize my willingness to watch anything so long as it can be done with the simple touch of a button (I'm looking at you, Bounty Hunter). Ratings are done on a five-star scale.


Daybreakers **
Legion *1/2
The Crazies ***
The Human Centipede **1/2
Tron: Legacy ***1/2
Predators **
Splice **1/2

Daybreakers wins the award for "best preview and best poster with worst payoff," as the movie was about a hundred times duller than its very cool-looking trailer. The reality is this movie bites. Get it? It's a vampire movie starring Ethan Hawke. Star of Reality Bites! (fist pump)

Legion is about a British-accented angel...toting machine guns...battling God-sent zombies in Rio Bravo-style isolation. Honestly, how do you fuck that up---because they totally did. Also, Dennis Quaid is kind of an awful actor. I'm retroactively realizing this now that his looks have faded.

The remake of George Romero's The Crazies is surprisingly taut and features a likable lead performance from Timothy Olyphant. Joe Anderson, as bland of a stage name as one can have, gives a performance that's anything but. He's an up-and-comer about to break out and this supporting role is evidence.

The Human Centipede is neither as gross as its buzzy reputation, nor as schlocky. While it isn't a "good" film, it is actually sort of charming and, that is for a film about a mad surgeon who sews three people together from mouth-to-anus-to mouth-to-anus. Looking forward to 2011's "The Human Centipede: The Second Sequence"!

The premise for Tron was (and remains) utterly ridiculous, but there's no denying the sexy-cool vibe of its long-awaited sequel. It runs about 20 minutes too long, but the return to "The Grid" is satisfying for fans of the original. Michael Sheen is at his scenery-chomping best as a charismatic nightclub owner.

As a big fan of the original Predator movie, I had high hopes that producer Robert Rodriguez would restore dignity to this in-the-dumps franchise. Did he succeed? Eh. It's better than all the other Predator-related sequels, and Adrien Brody is surprisingly effective as the commando leader, but overall the movie lacks charisma, originality and effective pacing. Also, I'll take Carl Weathers and Jesse "the Body" Ventura over Topher Grace and Walton Goggins, thank you very much.

Oh hey, look--another Adrien Brody sci-fi film. Splice is one of those films that sneaks up on you and makes you enjoy it in spite of itself. The two lead characters, annoying hipster geneticists, are fundamentally unlikable. Even having to shoulder this burden, the film excels thanks to a fine performance by Delphine Chaneac as the hybrid life-form co created by Brody and Sarah Polley. A little kinky, a little weird, a little campy...Splice is kinda fun.


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