Films of 2010

Published by: Matthew Kerwin

 Well folks, 2010 has come and gone, we had some laughs, we had some cries and we also saw some films that made us do both.

I wont make a top 10 of the year, instead i’ll talk about the  films that left an impression on me for better or worse. First and foremost, it was a fairly slow year in terms of great films so that is why i take this approach instead of a traditional ” top 10 list”.  I would like to designate  the 2010 year in movies as “the little engine that couldnt”.  It started out with great promise with such releases as ” Shutter Island, Toy Story 3 and Secretariat” , but  followed with the absymal, Takers, Book of Eli, Paranormal Activity 2, and Alice and Wonderland. (there were more horrible films, but i wont go Debbie Downer on you.) Also, if you liked any of the films i catagorized as terrible, i am so sorry for your taste in movies.

This year just never had many original concepts or ideas like we have seen in the past. Alot of the good films were even pusing it with recycled material or sequals. This is a bit alarming, but i hope it was just one of those years where nothing came together just– perfectly.  Dont get me wrong i absolutely loved some of the films that were released last year, but i wasnt blown away like years past. Maybe i have been watching too many movies and have become too picky for my own good, i’ll let you be the judge of that.

These films are in no paticular order.

  Blockbuster films

 Inception, The Social Network, Black Swan,The Kings Speech, 127 Hours,The American

Limited released films

Winters Bone, Blue Valentine, Somewhere, Animal Kingdom, I Love You Philip Morris, Another Year

 Documentaries

Exit Through The Gift Shop, Citizen Architect, Lemmy, Catfish,Restrepo

 Animated Films

A Town Called Panic, Toy Story 3

Foreign Films

Mother, The Secret In Their Eyes, Biutiful and Dogtooth

Other films that you might want to check out as well,

Shutter Island, And Everything is Going Fine, Never Let Me Go,Carlos, Monsters

Most challanging film this year goes to:

Enter The Void

Drop me a comment,

Let me know if you agree or disagree with the films i chose and what ones you would have put in their place.

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Black Swan

Review by: Matthew Kerwin

Rating: B +

Independent film maker Darren Aronofsky adds another notch under his belt of high tension character studies. He showed us the harsh realities of drug use in Requiem for a Dream and the sad and desolate world of a wrestler, in The Wrestler. With Black Swan, Aronofsky shows us the cut throat world of competitive ballet. Going into this film i wasn’t sure what light the ballet would be perceived in, but boy was i mesmerized.

A young girl in her early twenties is in her room standing in front of a mirror looking at her small, petite, malnourished body. She has tears in her eyes, bruises cover most of her back and legs. She just got home from ballet practice and is still not satisfied with her practice session a half an hour prior. She starts to stand on the tips of her feet, they begin to crack and she winces in pain. She falls back down on her feet and reaches for her foot. As she slowly begins to take the ballet shoe off, her bandage reveals a small patch of blood. She continues to unwind the bandage from her foot and examines her toes. They are very disfigured, swollen and bleeding. She nonchalantly picks at her big toe and starts to peel away the nail. After disposing her nail she gets a fresh bandage, wraps up her foot, slips her shoe back on, wipes the remaining tears from her face and continues to practice.

Perfection is an understatement for this young ballet dancer named Nina, wonderfully portrayed by Natalie Portman, who will most certainly be nominated for an Oscar, for an extremely chilling performance about a ballet dancer who is driven to the edge when her professional drive overwhelms anything else in her life. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica, (played by Barbara Hershey), who treats Nina like she is a five year old child and is also very jealous of Nina’s accomplishments as a dancer.When artistic director Thomas Leroy , (played by Vincent Cassel), decides to replace the aging ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new, much more stripped down version of Swan Lake, Nina is at the top of his list. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (played by Mila Kunis), who in comparison is much more raw and carefree opposed to Nina, who is tame, shy and vulnerable. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina exemplifies the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted and sensual friendship, Nina begins to channel her dark side, a sign that could lead to self destruction.

Clint Mansell adds a beautiful score that compliments the movie nicely, frame by frame. Mansell reinvented and used much of the original score from Swan Lake,  composed by the legendary Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Black Swan is a must see film this year, check it out!