Since the dawn of time, mankind has had a profound fascination for the moving image and the world of story and imagination. Everybody who watched these “movies” had some kind of opinion on them and everyone would voice it. Things have changed through the ages, with the most notable addition being the creation of “the internet”. But everyone has still conformed to the same time honoured tradition of putting their favourite “movies” of the year into lists. I am no different. And so it is with that laboriously long winded introduction that I present to you The Screen One Top 10 Films Of 2010 Besides Toy Story 3!
Believe it or not, 2010 has actually been a damn damn good year for movies. We’ve had the return of big dumb action movies, a movie about Facebook that wasn’t crap, the conclusion of the greatest trilogy in the history of cinema, the beginning of the end for the biggest movie franchise of the last decade, a sequel to the biggest geek film of all time and one of the most powerful documentaries I’ve ever seen. But now, it’s time for me to compile these into my 10 favourite.
A couple of things that I’d like to note. First off, I am only able to include films that I have seen. So whilst films like Ponyo, Four Lions and Shutter Island sound like great films, I haven’t seen them so, sadly, I can’t include them on the list. Secondly, I can only include films that have been released in the UK in 2010. So no Black Swan, no The Fighter, no 127 Hours and basically no Oscar bait movies that came out in the last couple of months in America and look really interesting. Lastly, I’m not restricting myself to films that I’ve reviewed. Partially because it would be a very short list that would feature a lot of crap, but mostly because there are some ace films that I haven’t talked about that need showing.
Oh, and there is no Toy Story 3 on this list. It’s not only an unfair advantage on every other film released this year (it’s just THAT GOOD) but it is also so good that such mortal and trivial lists don’t do that film justice! So, in case you need reminding, Toy Story 3 is the Film Of The Year but I’m counting down the 10 Best Non-Pixar Films Of The Year.
It’s been tough to put together and decide positions in a non-Toy Story 3 list, and some great films had to be cut. You may not agree with the list, but, as Stuttering Craig says, that’s what makes it such a good list. Let’s get cracking!
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde
Original Score: 4/5 (December 19th)
It was never going to be as good as the original. Of course it can’t! The original Tron is like Chuck Norris, talked up to being way better than it actually is. When people talk about how great the original Tron is, they do have a point. At the time the special effects were world leading (and are still impressive today), Jeff Bridges leaped onto everyone’s radar with an excellent performance and it, whilst very cheesy, is great fun seeing as it never took itself seriously. But the thing that people forget when they big up Tron is that it’s not actually that good. The story is a bit pap, some of the acting is decidedly dodgy, the ending is sudden and quite rubbish and there are a lot of bad pacing issues.
So of course it was never going to be as good as the original. But Tron: Legacy is arguably the better movie. Why? Because it fixes nearly every single problem with the original and becomes a sequel that is more than capable of living up to its legacy (please shoot me for that pun).
Let’s go through each of the original’s problems and see how they’ve been fixed then. First off, Acting. Much better all round. Jeff Bridges is doubly ace as both Flynn and Clu, but of course you already knew that. Garrett Hedlund has the leading man thing down to a tee and should have a great career playing Sam Worthington roles with depth and emotions (in case you’re wondering, this is a good thing in my book). Olivia Wilde shows promise in her very limited role and Michael Sheen... I think I summed up everything I need to say about him in my review.
The ending. Without wishing to spoil anything, it’s much better. It may set up for a sequel(s) but at least it doesn’t just suddenly happen. It’s preceded by a superb action sequence and is well written and bittersweet (am I the only person who likes the occasional sad ending in movies?). Pacing issues. Sadly, these do return but they aren’t as bad as before. It doesn’t take as long to get into The Grid this time and the events leading up to it are much more interesting. That said; the film does load the 1 and 3 acts with all of the action scenes, meaning the middle drags a bit.
The story. It’s paper thin and not really necessary at all. But it works in service of the action. Those action sequences are exhilarating. The multi-tiered light cycle chase is, without a doubt, the highlight of the movie and for all you purists who thought that light cycles that could move in any direction were going to be less tense, you were dead wrong. But it’s not all about the light cycles. The disc battles (now with added gravity switches) look ace. The dogfight is clever and inventive, and the night club fight (with added Michael Sheen playing air guitar) is both hilarious and stellar.
Once again, I need to make special mention to Daft Punk’s soundtrack. Never mind the fact that this is the first new material we’ve had from them in six years, it’s also up there with some of their best work. It helps drive the film (some scenes seem like they’re struggling to keep up with the music) and, unlike most soundtracks, is perfectly listenable outside of the film. Don’t believe me? Here’s the end credits music. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Having re-read my review, I think I made Tron: Legacy out to be more of a 3* film rather than the 4* I gave it. In case you’re wondering, I gave it a 4 because of one thing that I realised about an hour and a half into the movie. I hadn’t checked my watch once. I was having too much fun. No matter what film I watch, I nearly always check my watch to see how long is left (it’s to do with my rubbish bladder. Leave me alone!). But when I was watching Tron: Legacy, I didn’t care. I was enjoying nearly every second of it. I didn’t enjoy it enough to ignore its flaws but I enjoyed it enough to forgive it of its flaws. And for that admittedly odd reason, Tron: Legacy makes it onto the list.
Tron: Legacy is my 10th favourite movie of the year! Agree? Think this list is going downhill already? Want to predict what my number 1 movie is? Comment below and join me again in a few hours for my number 9 slot!