Posts Tagged ‘ tron: legacy ’

2010: A List of Movies.

I wasn’t planning on doing a movie list, but Joe here inspired me, so here it goes.  Like the music list, I’m doing every movie I saw this year.

First, here are the movies released this year that I still want to see

Dogtooth, Winter’s Bone, Enter the Void, and Valhalla Rising.

And now, the list.

19. The Social Network

18. Kick-Ass-Having already insulted these in my “ten things that sucked” post, I’ve got nothing new to add.

17.      Defendor- A more realistic look at “real world superheroes.”  This is the movie Kick-Ass claimed to be.  Woody Harrelson does a great job with the title character, but a bland story and a reliance on luck and coincidence make this one forgettable.

16.      The Book of Eli-I’m getting sick of muted color schemes.  This was an okay movie, but please, no more.  Denzel Washington is running on autopilot, but Gary Oldman is appropriately cartoonish and Tom Waits has a small role, so it aint all bad.  The fights and battles are all impressive too.

15.      Easy A-No, I didn’t see many movies this year, but this one had enough sexy-adults-as-teens to keep me interested.  (Even the ugly kids were rich and beautiful)  The story was surprisingly funny, and Stanley Tucci was outright hilarious as “wacky dad.” I still don’t get why everybody was so well off, though.

14.      Centurion-The characters were all interchangeable and there’s too much digital blood, but also a lot of stabbing and chopping of limbs.  The battles in this medieval adventure story are all impressive and the movie moves fast enough that it succeeds.  The outdoor scenery is all beautiful too, just don’t expect any depth.

13.      Tron: Legacy-Really boring and terribly paced, but in a good way.  It’s the best boring movie I saw this year.  It also had the best use of 3D I’ve seen since Beowulf.  The simple color scheme is lovely.  As a friend pointed out, the simplicity of red/black/blue make it easy to follow and keeps it believable.

12.      Greenberg-Greenberg’s a lot like the Social Network.  The protagonist is an unlikable, self-absorbed asshole, nothing of importance happens, and it ends just when things start to get interesting.  Being fictional, Greenberg at least has a glimmer of hope.  Ben Stiller turns in a cringe worthy performance as the title character.  He’s a middle aged carpenter, barely anybody can put up with him, and any windows of opportunity are closing fast.  I want Greenberg to succeed.  I want him to become a better person.

11.      127 Hours-127 Hours beats you over the head now and then, trying desperately to make you “get it.”  This only accounts for a few brief moments in the movie though.  When the majority of the thing takes place underneath a rock, those things really stand out.  James Franco is great as real life asshole Aron Ralston, and Boyle’s excessive style of filmmaking really lends itself to the arm chopping scene.  He should make more gory movies.  It’s easily his best movie, considering it’s the only one I’ve enjoyed all the way through.

10.      Cyrus-Like Seth Rogen before him, Jonah Hill got really fat to play his best role ever.  Hill is the creepy title character in this low key romantic comedy with John C Reilly and Marissa Tomei.  Cyrus is Tomei’s creepy adult son that still lives with her.  Cyrus is short and sweet, and it mocks trance music.  I’m down with that.

9.      Iron Man 2-Iron Man 2 learns from the mistakes of the first movie, and creates some nice new mistakes while it’s at it.  Instead of a thrown together shitty ending, we’re instead barraged with too much happening at the beginning and none of it making any sense, but once the movie’s finally found itself, it picks up a lot.  The second half is a blast, and frankly, that’s enough for me.

8.      Black Swan-A little too melodramatic and goofy for me, this tortured woman-child tale is still told engagingly, and Natalie Portman’s performance is damn good.  It’d be cooler if she really was a were-swan, but what I got was still a fun 90 minutes.

7.      Shutter Island-As far as spooky and creepy goes, I liked Shutter Island a lot more than Black Swan.  Shutter Island had atmosphere, it had scares, and it had a much less predictable plot.  Both movies made me feel like a lab rat in a maze, with the director shouting at me from a distance, telling me which way to go, and…  Man, I don’t know where I was going with that.  Fuck it.  Both the movies are good, but neither are truly incredible.  That’s the point I wanted to make.

6.      Inception-For the longest time, I wasn’t planning on doing a movies list because I simply had nothing new to say. That’s exactly how I feel about Inception.  I will say that it’s a good movie.

5.      I Love You Phillip Morris-Gay prison romance from the writers of Bad Santa.  They left Zwigoff out of this one and directed it themselves, and it’s every bit as good as their last one.  The movie’s hilarious, but it still has respect for its characters.

4.      Scott Pilgrim vs. the World-Of the three big comic book movies released this year, two of them missed the point of the original material.  Unlike Kick-Ass, Scott Pilgrim had the basic sense to change the point.  No longer does Scott Pilgrim suck and need to grow the hell up.  He just needs love and self respect to conquer all.  (Mostly love)  I could do without pointless text inserts, and a little breathing certainly wouldn’t hurt.  I never saw why Ramona would want Scott, but it looks great, the jokes are hilarious, it has a pro-rock and roll message, and the fight scenes are the best I’ve seen in a long, long time.  It’s an odd movie, always jumping around and throwing more and more bizarre special effects at the viewer.  I’m glad to see people are catching on to Speed Racer and using more abstract, colorful and cartoony digital effects.  Realism is overrated.  Go Scott Pilgrim go.

3.      True Grit-God, here’s another one I’ve got nothing interesting to say about.  Hmm, let me try.  Let me try…  Okay, I loved the Bear man-that scene when Rooster and Mattie are lost in a blizzard and they get advice from a crazy old trapper.  Beautiful.  The ending has also got to be the most intense, brutal, heroic ending of any movie I saw this year.  And uh, shit.  I guess that was all I had to say.

2.      The Fighter-David O’Russell makes magic with Marky Mark.  Marky plays Mickey, a real life boxer from Lowell, Massachusetts, where they smoke lots and lots of crack.  Apart from him and Amy Adams, the cast is all fairly hideous, even Batman looks like a monster.  It’s got crack smoking, it’s got cop punching, and damn, does it have some hideous looking people.  It reminded me a lot of The Wrestler, except this one’s better, and that’s without the benefit of Mickey Rourke.  I love The Fighter.

1.      Toy Story 3-Toy Story 3 was simply the best. That’s just the way it is.  Nothing new to say here.  Stay tuned for more engaging reviews of other movies.

0.      TRASH HUMPERS. I don’t mean this as an insult. It just wouldn’t be fair to the other movies to judge them against Trash Humpers.  It exists on an entirely different plane of criticism.

2010 Music in Review

This is part 1 of my list.  This thing’s so big, I had to separate it into two posts! Instead of just listing the good albums, I decided to review every new album I heard in 2010.  So here’s albums 34-16.

 

34.      4×4=12-Deadmau5-Rave program Deadmau5 outdid himself with his most creative album title yet.  If only I could say the same about anything else.  4×4=12 is a groundbreaking work in predictability, even when he tries his hand at some obnoxious rave-rap and dubstep.  (How topical!)  Give it a spin if you’re looking for something to put you to sleep.

33.      Straight Killa No Filla-Freddie Gibbs.  Oh really?  Look, I know it’s just a mixtape, but so was The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, and that was incredible.

32.      I Am Not A Human Being-Lil Wayne-Lil Wayne has no fucking taste.  All of these songs are lazy, the beats are uninspired, and the rhymes are just stupid.  “So smart she coulda’ gone to college?”  What the hell, Wayne?  I didn’t have the highest expectations for this record released from prison, and at least Drake isn’t on every song.  Unfortunately, Drake is on all of the good songs.  All three of them.  And they’re not even really good.  They just sound a little better than the fucking banal pop-rap production that dominates the record.  Seriously, it’s like he’s using the demo that came with his EZ-Synth Jambox.  Lil Wayne being in prison, there’s a lot of guest stars.  Because what else, Young Money goons are all over this thing, and Nicki Minaj doesn’t even have to decency to rap on it.  A half-hearted effort from everybody involved.

31.      Pink Friday-Nicki Minaj-Nicki Minaj fared a little bit better on her solo debut than anything else a Young Money Goon* did this year.  If only it were good!  She wastes most of the album singing, which she sucks at.  She still managed to get in a few decent songs.  I’m a fan of “Did it on Em” and the Kanye assisted “Blazin.”  “Roman’s Revenge” is the only other song worth checking, if only for the novelty of Eminem making animal noises while referring to himself as a dungeon dragon.

*. Is “young Money Goon” the official term, or should I not take Gudda Gudda so seriously?  Also, is  it Wu-Tang Clansmen?

30. Hurley-Weezer-Ugh.  They came so close!  Hurley’s the best album they’ve made since Maladroit, but it’s still not very good.  I can live with the weak lyrics, it’s the production that’s killing me.  This shit is so clean and shiny, it sounds instantly dated.  At least they stopped trying to reinvent themselves.

29.      OMG!-Rusko-Wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp Gucci Mane wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp.

28.      Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys-My Chemical Romance-Was The Black Parade a fluke, or am I just delusional?  The follow-up to that record I loved so much is overproduced and uninspired to its breaking point.  C’mon guys.  That over-the-top dour shit was what made you good.  This is a step backwards.

27.      Album of the Year-Black Milk-More like 27th best album of the year!  Ha ha!  There’s nothing bad about this record, there’s just nothing great about it.  It’s like Be with weaker beats.  I don’t care how good a rapper Black Milk is, he doesn’t make good songs.

26.      Trunk Music 0-60-Yelawolf Yelawolf isn’t incredible by any means.  Right now he just sounds like a white trash T.I.  But as we’ve learned from Rick Ross and T.I. himself, nobody starts out great anymore.  I’ll give him a few more years, see if this goes anywhere.  At the very least, he’s a big improvement on Asher Roth.  Good job, white rapper committee.

25.      Distant Relatives-Nas and Damien Marley-This was almost a good album, and then Damien Marley showed up.

24.      Pilot Talk-Curren$y-Curren$y’s come a long way since I first encountered him three years ago.  It’s now possible to understand what he’s saying, there’s some emotion in his voice, he’s classed up his production, and he’s upgraded the guest features to include Snoop Dogg, Mikey Rocks and Big KRIT.  Mos Def lends his voice for the chorus of the two best songs on the album, (“Breakfast” & Jay Electronica assisted “The Day”) The guests make for the highlights of the album, simply because Curren$y has the worst fucking hooks.  Curren$y’s a big fan of the Bobby Digital method, where you repeat the title of the song 8 to 44 times or spell a sentence.  If he could get it together and spend more than 20 seconds crafting the song, he’d be set.

23.      Tron: Legacy-Daft Punk-Will a new Daft Punk album ever come?  It seems unlikely after this excursion into the world of movie soundtracks.  It’s lacking in computer wizardry, and most of the songs all sound like typical blockbuster music, but there’s just barely enough to make it okay for a few listens.

22.      Wu-Massacre-Meth, Ghost & Rae-Actually, it’s mostly the cronies of Meth, Ghost, and Rae.  Sheek Louch, Sun God and more also-rans do the bulk of the work here.  It sounds more like a mixtape than an actual album.  Tired beats, tired rhymes. There’s still a few god ones, like “Miranda” and “Youngstown Heist.”  It’s not a crowning achievement for any of these guys, but coming out six months after the incredible Only Built 4 Cuban Links Pt 2 and the awful Ghostdeni Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City, it’s forgivable.  It’s not like I was that lacking in Wu-Tang.

21.      Swim-Caribou-This record might be in the top ten if I didn’t have to listen to the guy sing.  As is, it’s still a damn good collection of electronica.  It’s not as high-energy as I typically like my computer music, but at least it feels like he’s trying.  If Kid Cudi was good, this is what his beats might sound like.

20.      Congratulations-MGMT-One of the year’s most unexpected records, Congratulations is also one of the few albums of “neo-psychdelica” worth listening to.  It sounds a lot like early Bowie-Jangly guitars, lyrics about famous people and fantasy.  There’s nothing here even trying to be as good and catchy as “Kids” or “Time to Pretend,” but they at least made enough changes to their sound to keep it interesting.

19.      Sea of Cowards-The Dead Weather-Jack White takes over on the second Dead Weather album.  It reminds me of the second Raconteurs album.  It has little to say, but it rocks a lot harder and benefits from it.  It’s not as good as anything The White Stripes ever put out, but it’s the best non-White Stripes record Jack White’s made.

18.      The Monitor-Titus Andronicus- If Bright Eyes wasn’t afraid to rock, this is exactly what he’d sound like. If that statement doesn’t make you cringe, you’ll love this album.  It also features the best saxophone solo of the year.

17. The Archandroid-Janelle Monae-Not quite as groundbreaking and futuristic than everybody says it is, but it’s a contemporary R & B album, so “groundbreaking and futuristic” is a relative term.  What it is is a collection of great pop songs.  Monae can sing better than anybody else on this list, and she delivers her lines with such conviction that I forgot I was listening to a sci-fi pop-opera about robot spiders (or something.)

16. The Suburbs-Arcade Fire-I didn’t listen to much serious music this year.  Until this came out, none of the good stuff was that serious.  The Suburbs caught me off guard.  It’s a lyrical album that came out in the middle of a six month Phish binge.  (Well, really a one month Lightning Bolt/Daft Punk binge. Suddenly trapped with lyrics to scrutinize, I was lost.  The Suburbs has meaning and a message.  It’s also incredibly dense.  The music’s still great.  We’ve got some more Springsteen posturing, some radio pop, and mandatory stadium blaster, but they’ve expanded into some cool new territory too.  There’s a lot going on, and I may not like sitting through all of it, but I’m not going to hate for sheer ambition.  It’s a fine album.  I just wish somebody had the decency to make one that rocked harder than its predecessors.