Best of 2010

So, here we are again, reviewing the movies I saw in the past year and seeing what stuck out and what faded away. My list of movies was quite a bit shorter this year (I finally went and got myself a life; didn’t see that one coming). But while the quantity was small, the quality was remarkable.

Or maybe I’ve just gotten more forgiving. Anyway, here’s my list, in alphabetical order.

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Best of ’09: Eight is Enough

It’s that time of year again at Film Cannon where I pick out my top films of the year and try my damnedest to get you see them.

When I was looking over my movie list of the year, I was surprised to discover that I don’t have a top ten this year.

At first, I thought it was because I just watched a lot of crap movies this past year, but that’s not really the case. Yes, I saw some bad ones (looking at you, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”), but mostly, I didn’t see a lot of movies that moved me.

Part of that is that while I didn’t watch a lot of *great* movies, I did watch a lot of really, really good TV.

Over the year, I watched the entire run of “Stargate: SG1,” new “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Dollhouse,” “Cosmos,” “Sanctuary” and probably some other shows I’m forgetting too (plus new episodes of “Lost” and “Battlestar Galactica”), and while this is primarily a movie blog, I must admit that television delivered for me while the movies just kind of let me down.

Granted, television has a clear advantage in that fight, but usually they come out even. Oh well, enough of that talk; the list is short this year with just eight entries, but all the films are worth seeking out.

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Best of the ‘Westerns’

I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again; I really, really dislike Westerns.

For starters, I hate the West (never mind that I live there; that’s a different post); it’s the most ugly and unphotogenic region captured on film. I see no reason to revel in a landscape that’s mostly barren and dead.

But more importantly, the movies themselves are generally repugnant; they mostly celebrate the ugly side of American history while ignoring the complexity of Manifest Destiny. Indians are always pure evil, and Americans are always the victims of violence, and the historical whitewashing only serves to piss me off.

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Memorable Moments in 2008

This isn’t going to be a typical end of the year list, mainly because I’m not a typical critic. I saw five movies in the theater (as opposed to 119 total…I counted) this year, and a few that came out this year that I rented, but for the most part, I was skipping around in time and watching movies from all over the spectrum (like normal).

And in that spirit, I’m not necessarily picking the movies I thought were “the best.” Here are the films that, in one way or another, stuck with me after watching them. Bad and good is a bit easy to determine, especially in the cold light of January, but it’s a bit harder to pin down why a film haunts you, which I will attempt to do now.

So here’s my list, in alphabetical order. Happy reading.

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Desert island movies

I don’t often indulge in list making (well, publicly anyway), but recently I was chatting with a friend and brought up the age-old hypothetical; if you were stranded on a desert island, and could only watch five movies for the rest of your life, what would you pick?

He brought up that hopefully you would bring a DVD player with you; but on my hypothetical island, there’s a tricked-out entertainment center with an online library filled with every movie ever committed to film. Like the “Lost” island, but way cooler. (Incidentally, on this island, next door to the entertainment shack, there is a similar setup with a library, where you can access five novels for your stay, but that list is for another post.)

So, here’s my five, the movies I would want to spend the rest of my life watching, in no particular order.

1.      “The Apartment” (1960) – As close to perfect as movies can get; it’s funny, dark, moving and a little sad. Just perfect.


2.      “Wild Strawberries” (1957) – Also another perfect one and probably my favorite movie ever; every time I watch it, it makes me believe that we all can changes our lives for the better, we just have to make the leap.


3.      “Vertigo” (1958) – They can’t all be feel-good pictures; one of my two favorite Hitchcock movies (the other one is “Notorious”), and the one I couldn’t leave behind. Tortured souls never had such good celluloid representation as Jimmy Stewart here.


4.      “The Princess and the Warrior” (2000) – I adore this sad little German fairy tale about love and change, but as much as I love it, I don’t need to see it all the time. Once every two or three years is just right, and a perfect accompaniment to island living.


5.      “Clerks” (1994) – Sure, it’s not the greatest comedy ever made, or even the best Kevin Smith film (IMHO, “Dogma” takes that title), but it never gets old and I laugh every time I see it, and on the island or off, we can all use more of that.

There you have it; judge at will. Anyone else care to share?

Another Top Ten list

Yes, it’s that time again; critics everywhere shift through the movies of the past 12 months and give you a quick list of their favorites.

And, hey, I’m no exception. I missed most of the Oscar-bait movies that came out this year, but nevertheless, here’s my year in film in alphabetical order, just to keep things fair.

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