Is it just me, or was 2010 a really bad year for movies? Based on the number of ticket stubs in my Toshiro Mifune mug, I watched 68 new films over the past twelve months and less than a handful were even remotely decent. On the flip side, I added more than 150 older films (all on Blu-ray) to my collection and a vast majority were quality movies. Home video is saving our bacon right now. 2010 was also the year that 3D films took their big step (following in the footsteps of "Avatar"), but the reality is that most of them were unremarkable. "Clash of the Titans"? Putrid. "Piranha 3D"? Not great 3D, but it was one of the sleeper films of 2010. The best 3D films were all animated movies: "Toy Story 3", "Tangled", "Despicable Me" and "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole".
2010 was also the year that MGM declared bankruptcy, almost killing off the James Bond franchise (which was revived only days ago with the announcement that the next installment of 007 is coming in 2012). Films such as the remake of "Red Dawn" were shelved at the last minute due to budgetary constraints. Hopefully, a similar fate will befall the remake of "Slapshot", before it destroys the legacy of that great film.
Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston continued to make terrible films in 2010, so the universe hasn't been thrown that out of whack.
Grab your popcorn and take some gravol because things are about to get unsettled.
Disney's much anticipated sequel to the original "Tron" could have been the next "Avatar", and generated tremendous interest in 3D films. Disney should have diverted more marketing funds to "Tangled", because this sequel was a dog. Not only did the film's plot make little sense, but it was a significant disappointment on the 3D front. If not for Olivia Wilde, most male viewers would have fallen asleep watching this dud. Daft Punk's superb soundtrack (which is worth buying) couldn't save this incoherent mess that left my lightcycle idling in the garage. It may not have been the worst film in 2010, but it was certainly the most disappointing. Now we have to live with all of the Tron-inspired merchandise for the next 12 months. Can't wait to see the illuminated condoms from Trojan.
Sitting though the final installment of this overrated series was utter torture. Its success at the box office doesn't make it good; only profitable for the studio. Cardboard cut-outs of the stars would have sufficed because anybody who actually watched this film knows that nobody breathing participated in the movie. Aside from greed, one wonders what could have motivated superb actors like Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman to lend their talents to such drivel. Ben Stiller continues on the path to the dark side, becoming as unwatchable as Jack Black. The sad part is that somebody at the studio is getting a promotion for this film.
Putting five funny (sometimes) actors in a film doesn't guarantee laughs. Adam Sandler and his brat pack used to make funny movies ("Happy Gilmore") but he has veered so far off the beaten path that it has become tedious to watch him trudge his way through pointless scripts. Rob Schneider has never been funny and just drifts through the film, clearly thinking about what he's going to buy with his check. You know what would have been funny? All five of these guys getting stuck in the middle of nowhere, with the sadistic cannibals from "The Hills Have Eyes" in hot pursuit. That would have garnered at least one star. Good thing Bob Barker wasn't asked to be in this one. He would have kicked all of their asses.
Many years ago, I walked out of "Nacho Libre". Not only could I not stand listening to Jack Black make a mockery of the fabulous sport that is Mexican wrestling, but he even made the beautiful actress Ana de la Reguera look ridiculous in the process. Jack Black stumbles his way through "Gulliver's Travels", and not even Amanda Peet, Emily Blunt (who gets better looking with each film), or Jason Segel can save their co-star from making a total ass of himself. Having to watch Jack Black in 3D was not only dangerous to one's mental health but hard to explain to my children who know him from his appearances on Nickelodeon. We had to reassure them that he won't be on our upcoming cruise sponsored by the network. Way to go, Jack. You not only cost us $60, but my kids are afraid to meet SpongeBob because they think you're gonna be the idiot standing next to him pretending to be cool. 3D at its worst.
Sex and the City 2 No Stars
Once upon a time, HBO aired a great series that was tightly written, relevant, and packed with great performances. Yes, I really miss "The Wire". During that same period they aired "Sex and the City", a show about narcissistic career-driven women who nailed three quarters of the men within 30 miles of NYC. The best part of that show? When it ended. I recognize that the show wasn't written with me in mind (as my wife likes to remind me), but I did watch with an open mind. The first film post-series was well constructed and a worthwhile companion to the show. Not only did the sequel not posses a plot, but it didn't even take place in New York. How do you walk away from the greatest setting on earth and toss your stars into the Persian Gulf? I was waiting for a Mossad hit team to pop up and assassinate one of the four leads in an elevator. Sitting through this headache of a film, I closed my eyes and imagined I was back in 1982 (I was twelve), watching Kim Cattrall do her best impersonation of Lassie in the epic "Porky's". It didn't help. A dog is still a dog.