The Best of 2010 in Entertainment (Movies & Music)

Once again we take a brief look at the cinematic and musical highlights of the year.

2010 in film summary: Not a bad year really, a couple of decent big budget films in The Social Network (massively over-rated but still good) and The Town, some fun schlock in Machete and Piranha 3D, the usual excellent Pixar flick – with Buzz and Woody no less! – and some “smaller films” that didn’t suck like Scott Pilgrim, The Descent sequel, The Book of Eli and Fantastic Mr Fox.

Hell even The A Team, Prince of Persia and Sherlock Holmes were better than expected even though they were no world beaters.

Australia enjoyed the best year in cinema that I can recall, with

2010 might be best remembered as the year of Lizbeth Salander though – the Millennium Trilogy never reached great heights but there aren’t many better developed and intriguing characters on film than she.

Now perhaps not worst but definitely most ordinary… lots this year.

The Wolfman. The Lovely Bones. Law Abiding Citizen. Cop Out. Nightmare on Elm St 2010. The Spy Next Door. Clash of the Titans. Date Night. From Paris with Love. Dinner for Schmucks.

Perhaps the most disappointing of the lot would be The Spy Next Door (for proving once and for all that the legendary Jackie Chan is done) or Cop Out (if Kevin Smith can’t make Bruce Willis interesting or a buddy cop film funny I give up).

WORST.

 Worst Film overall though: Nightmare 2010. Unnecessary and just awful.

All the above films got cinematic releases this year in Australia… ALL OF THEM!.. and guess what? 8 of the 10 films listed made more than Scott Pilgrim Vs the World, a film that will continue to find an audience over the next decade while everything above vanishes before the ticket stub gets pulped in the washing machine.

Movie of 2010

The Contenders

Avatar

Inception

Scott Pilgrim Vs the World

Toy Story 3

Winner – Kick-Ass

Avatar was more an event than a film.  (I know it came out in 09, I saw it in January 10.)

Inception didn’t quite live up to the hype (that it didn’t ask for).

Scott Pilgrim was the most ambitious and different film of the year.

Toy Story 3 perhaps suffered by being slightly less impressive than its two mighty predecessors.

That leaves Kick-Ass, maybe not as good technically as any of the other nominees, but more fun than almost any film I saw this year.

Violent, profane and creative, with characters that will resonate and be remembered for years to come. (Hit Girl will be a Halloween and/or convention costume for, like ever.

Worthy Mentions

Perhaps not quite as stellar, these 5 films are still very much worth a look.

Animal Kingdom

An Australian drama about a crime family that is more tense, realistic and just plain better than almost every other crime family released in years, including The Town.

Piranha 3D

A splatter film that basked in all that is (and should be) associated with the MA rating – Dumb jokes, boobs, gore… and angry fish!

Machete

Robert Rodriguez makes a Robert Rodriguez film, almost always a good thing.

Sherlock Holmes

The film that exceeded my expectations most this year. (I had extremely low expectations though.) A pretty good little big budget mainstream effort.

The Town

Little Benny Affleck proves Gone Baby, Gone was no fluke by making a film 75% as good.

Sigh… onto music. I shouldn’t even discuss music any more as my taste has hardly changed in a decade – while what is now considered “good” has moved a long way away from my comfort zone.

Not saying I’m right (but I am), 99% of new music sucks. So rather than me grandiosely anointing the Album of 2010 it might be simpler for me to say “Here are the CDs I paid money for this year”.

Here are the CDs I paid Money for in 2010

The Contenders

Big Boi – Sir Lucious Leftfoot, the Son of Chico Dusty

Cee-Lo Green – The Ladykiller

Crowded House – Intriguer

Gb3 / Steve Kilbey – Damaged / Controlled

David Gray – Foundling

Hoodoo Gurus – Purity of Essence

Massive Attack – Heligoland

The Roots – How I Got Over

You Am I – You Am I

Winner – Ash – A – Z Volume 1 & 2

It is no coincidence that every album listed above was released by an artist that was already represented in my CD collection, more than once as it happens.

I can’t really comment much on the GB3 / Steve Kilbey collaboration as I only picked it up a week ago. But everything else listed is not as good as previous albums released by that artist – yes I am talking about Big Boi’s work with Outkast. In saying that none of the albums above are bad, just not as good as the earlier stuff.

So I have made the executive decision to award the coveted Best award to Ash, more for innovation and trying something new than anything else really. After all, the decision to release 26 singles at a rate of one per fortnight – then offer the accumulated works as compilation albums over two separate releases with colour coding and letters representing the tracks rather than simple tracklistings took balls.

Especially when you factor in the various B Sides, acoustic versions and remixes that they came up with on top of all that. This is a fair effort given most new releases are delayed for more time than it took Ash to bust out 40+ songs and two whole albums.

As a result Ash win the category hands down.

Song of 2009

Can I just say that the Hot Chip remix of Let the Spirit by Roots Manuva has been out a while, but I only discovered it this year… and it is great.

I can’t think of more than 5 songs that I listed to on the radio this year so I am not the guy to ask about song of the year. I liked Xzibit’s Hurt Locker track though, but from the album’s purchased the one song that I can’t get out of my head for days after I hear it is Crowded House’s Twice if you’re Lucky… I’m humming it in my head now.

Winner – Crowded House – Twice if you’re Lucky

Intriguer was an extremely impressive album that was unfairly overlooked, it is almost as good as some of the 90s Crowdies albums which is more than a fair effort. Twice if you’re Lucky was the best track on a very good album.

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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