31/12/2010

My Top Ten Of The Year

10) Good Hair

Chris Rock's documentary has been an eye opening experience for those who class a 'perm' as something Kevin Keegan used to do in the 80s along with those who've been spending all their cash on the most realistic looking weave they can find. Rock spent two years making this after his young daughter asked him why she doesn't have 'good hair' and although the film is not the best constructed doc ever, it's an interesting look at the attitudes in America to African-American hair. It barely scratches the surface and spends a little too much time focusing on an important hair show in Atlanta but the talking heads, barber shop debates make this a well rounded if albeit light-hearted look at the issues that remain tangled in African-American communities across the pond.

9) How To Train Your Dragon

When I stumble into one of those awful early morning Sunday screenings that have far too many kids running around screaming while I'm trying to stop myself from throwing up a lung, I hardly ever expect to enjoy the film. Especially when said film was made by Dreamworks who offended me with Monsters Vs Aliens only a year earlier. Well, as the credits rolled I was chewing on some humble pie as HTTYD is charming, sweet and funny that uses 3D well and has one of the most brilliant scores of the year courtesy of Mr John Powell.

8) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

OK, it isn't perfect but if you like your films fun, colourful and full of wit with expertly choreographed fight sequences that culminate in people exploding into coins, you'll like this.

7) Black Dynamite

This sleeper hit (was it a hit?) proves that you can still make awesome spoofs if you have enough knowledge, affection and talent in tow. Rather than relying on lazy gags, everything in Black Dynamite seems so genuine most would think it was a hidden gem from the 1970s. Apparently there's a sequel coming, HURRAY!

 6) Kick Ass

Since the noughties was the decade in which superhero movies found their feet, it was inevitable that they would start to get a wee bit shit. Thankfully Matthew Vaughn rolled into town with this sweary, violent and somewhat brilliant adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr's 2008 Marvel series. I loved this so much that I paid to see it for a third time after two press screenings. Yes, I PAID. When someone who is paid to watch films for free actually forks out to see something she's already seen, it must be pretty damn good.

5) American: The Bill Hicks Story

In some quarters, Bill Hicks is worshipped as a God and rightly so. He chose to forgo the obligatory stint on Saturday Night Live and instead chose to go from dingy bar to dingy bar and never got the recognition that he deserved. Equally influential and controversial, Hicks was known for wandering across the stage, fag in one hand, mic in the other spouting off expletive laden humour. He even described himself as "Chomsky with dick jokes" but his satirical style broke the rules by challenging mainstream beliefs and leaving no stone unturned. This was a brilliant and informative documentary made with affection by Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas who I had the pleasure of interviewing not once, but twice. Please see it.

4) Toy Story 3

Meh, what can I say about this that hasn't already been said. I didn't love it as much as other people but the last scene had me blubbing like a damn fool. A fond farewell to not only Woody and the gang, but most of our childhoods.

3) Inception

The more I watch this the more I realise it isn't perfect but I still absolutely, positively, love this film and all it's flaws. Not as mind bending as it thinks it is nor is it that difficult to follow as some bemoaned, it's just a beautiful advert for what film can do when it wants to try and do something different. The music (Obligatory BRAHHHHHHHHHHHHM), costume design and mere idea is great and I will wrestle anyone to the death who doesn't watch the spinny corridor fight sequence (NOT made using CGI) and not immediately want to rewind it and watch that mother again.

2) A Single Man

Stunning, gorgeous, sumptuous, affecting. I love this film more than I loved Tom Ford's 2002 collection.

1) The Social Network

Let's be honest, most of us rolled our eyes and said 'whatevs' when we heard that there was going to be a Facebook movie but when the creative minds of David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin came together along with the perfect cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew 'Hair For Days' Garfield and Justin Timberlake it created the most flawless film of the year. Immaculately structured, brilliantly scripted with a great score and awesome performances, The Social Network managed to be utterly gripping and entertaining even though it was basically people talking for two hours. If this doesn't nab best adapted screenplay, best director and best film (AT LEAST) at every award ceremony going, I will lose the little faith in humanity I have left.

Honourable Mentions

A Prophet, When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors, Up In The Air, Beautiful Kate, Dogtooth, Bad Lieutenant, World's Greatest Dad, Buried.