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2010 A Historically Bad Year for Films?

Discussion in 'Pop Culture Board' started by KIMaster, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. KIMaster

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    I thought the 2000s were an awesome time for films. Maybe even the second best decade ever, after the 70s. For all the crappy, relentless superhero adaptations, endless big, dumb CGI blockbusters, and other pandering, lowest common denominator nonsense, there were also a bunch of amazing masterpieces, many of them showing a level of sophistication and depth I have rarely seen from any director or era.

    In my opinion, 2009 was at least a decent year for films, and probably a good one.

    But 2010? As the year draws to a close, I think that with regards to Hollywood films, it's not just bad or weak...it might be one of the worst ever. Thinking about it, has there been a more pathetic offering in the last 40 years?

    Granted, I haven't seen some critically acclaimed stuff, like "The Social Network" or "Secretariat", but it's painfully slim pickings from what I have.

    "Inception" was a near-perfect blockbuster film; a masterpiece of pure entertainment. But after all, it was just that; a pure entertainment blockbuster. Among more serious fare, the best I've seen was "The Town"; a good movie that would have been great if not for the horrendous, completely out-of-place ending. Beyond that, the ONLY other good film in either type (pure entertainment or serious art) I saw was "Red", a silly little adventure comedy with humble goals and aspirations.

    Honestly, I don't see how it gets more dire than that. Two good films and a single entertainment masterpiece. No serious films that were very good, let alone great. "Red" as the third best film I saw in a year.

    Maybe I'm missing a horde of great, limited release films, and 2010 was actually a solid year. Maybe some of the releases at the end of this year (127 Hours, Black Swan, True Grit) will turn out to all be masterpieces, and turn the year into a respectable one. Maybe there were some years in previous decades that were just as bad. But after a cursory glance, I couldn't find examples of either.

    Focus

    Agree/disagree? How does 2010 compare to other years?
     
  2. Aribidi

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    I have to admit, I was ready to really disagree with you here. I think you are often too hard on movies and don't seem to enjoy them very much. I get why you don't like some movies, but you are too much of a 'glass is half empty'-kind of guy to my liking when it comes to movies. So when you said 2010 was a horrible year for movies, even though it contained some of my favorite films, I was ready to whip out an incoherent and angry response. But after viewing the lists of movies from the last decade (because I didn't feel like going all the way back to 1970), I think you're right.

    Like you already said, there were some great movies this year, but the gap between the good ones and the rest is immense. The only year that strongly resembles 2010 is 2006. That year lacks a group of really great movie, the only great/good/whatever movie being The Departed. This is also the year that had Cars, the worst Pixar movie. But overall it has some solid movies; Borat, Casino Royale, Children of Men, Thank you for smoking, United 93 and The Prestige. I guess it's a tie between 2006 and 2010. It depends on what you value more, a year filled with decent to solid movies, or a year with either great or horrible movies.
     
  3. KIMaster

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    Not only are you wrong, but the reality is the exact opposite. The films that I DO like I enjoy way more than the average person does. (Check out some of my positive, glowing reviews) I can rave about them for days, and get a large degree of satisfaction merely from thinking about them, even years later.

    Either you like the majority of films out there, in which case your enjoyment of each is more minor, or else you like a far smaller percentage of those movies, but your enjoyment of each is more intense. There is another possibility, which is that watching films is a relative rarity, so each new one is a spectacle that impresses the hell out of you. However, the last time that applied to me, I was 11.

    I haven't watched "The Departed" (seriously) or "Children of Men" (regrettably) yet, but I still think 2006 was a stronger year than 2010.

    There were three genuinely great, borderline masterpieces I saw from that year; Find Me Guilty, The Prestige, and Imprint. (Slightly debatable whether the last one counts as a true film, but whatever) Also, "Borat" and "Idiocracy" were two good, very funny films, each one better than any comedy in 2010.
     
  4. JeffPrevails

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    It would be interesting if rottentomatoes.com had a year by year option so we could get some statistical backing on this. I know RT isn't foolproof and they lean really heavily on kiddie movies, but it would be something.

    To KImaster regarding The Departed: at this point the bar has probably been raised so high and it has probably been so over-hyped that it will be hard for it to live up to your expectations. You should still see it though based on the acting performances alone.

    This year has been thoroughly mediocre for movies. I'll break it down into a few categories-

    Movies that made me want my money back: Nightmare on Elm Street, The A-Team, Splice, Get him to the Greek, Hot Tub Time Machine, Date Night(Sorry, wasn't funny to me), Wall Street, Book of Eli

    Movies that were okay: Easy A, Alice in Wonderland, Shutter Island, Red,Kick-Ass

    Movies I would watch again: The Town, Inception, Toy Story 3

    Probably the most lame movies I've seen in one year, and I avoided quite a few obvious turds.
     
  5. bebop007

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    I think it all evens out every year. If you look at the list of 2010 films and compared to any other year, The results would more or less be the same. A dozen or so worthwhile, long lasting films and a hundred or more mediocre to crap films that probably won't be revisited too often.

    2010 wasn't the most exciting year, I'll grant you. It didn't have Avatar, The Dark Knight, The Lion King, Exorcist, or The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, etc.. On the other hand, it didn't have Crossroads, Glitter, Heaven's Gate, Krush Groove, From Justin to Kelly, Waterworld, etc..

    I would hazard a guess that the average age of TiB members would be mid 20s to early 30s, which tells me that most of our collective theater going experiences started more late 80s early 1990s. Thing is, there were plenty of shitty movies released in the 70s, 60s, 50s etc.. It's just that only the quality films are worth remembering and rewatching while the bad ones are quickly forgotten, so I think there sometimes exists a mindset that previous decades had far, far greater output of quality films which isn't necessarily true. Plus, it's hard to know which, if any, movies will attain "Classic" status or cult status until years after its initial release. A movie like Top Guncomes across as a corny run of the mill popcorn flick, but for one reason or another its campy charm makes it popular today. And then, you'll have films like Blade Runner or John Carpenter's The Thing, neither of which made a huge impact on the box office on initial release, but were vindicated by VHS and DVD release in later years. I think we'll probably have to wait a few years, at least, before we can properly judge 2010 in film
     
  6. KIMaster

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    I haven't watched it yet because I've seen the film that it's a remake of. (Infernal Affairs) Among those that have seen both, some think "The Departed" was better, others think "Infernal Affairs" was. Either way, I'm already familiar with the story and characters, so it takes some of the excitement and anticipation off.

    But I did think "Infernal Affairs" was terrific, so "The Departed" is probably at least good.

    I'll resist getting angry that you lumped "Avatar" and "The Lion King" (shit) with "The Godfather", "The Dark Knight", and "Apocalypse Now".

    However, I need to clarify something, because I did a poor job of explaining how I rank years; basically, I don't care how many bad/shitty films there were in a single calender year. If there were 600 completely shitty films and 15 great ones, for instance, that was a phenomenally good year for movies.

    In ranking a year, only the good/great stuff matters. The crap is irrelevant. Even the mediocre/average stuff is irrelevant. Just a wasted film, a wasted opportunity to do something cool. Anyways, I probably wouldn't have noticed this if Criticker scores weren't split up into years and tiers so nicely, but here is how I see it since 2007, for instance (US films only);

    2010: 1 great film (Inception), 3 good films (The Town, Once Brothers (TV documentary), Red)
    2009: 2 masterpiece (The Hurt Locker, Crank 2), 1 great film (Fantastic Mr. Fox), 7 good films (Moon, Up in the Air, Adventureland, Coraline, I Hope they serve Beer in Hell, The Hangover, A Serious Man)
    2008: 1 masterpiece (Slumdog Millionaire), 2 great films (The Dark Knight, Burn after Reading), 6 good films (Revolutionary Road, Tropic Thunder, Rambo, Wallace and Gromit in a Matter of Loaf and Death, The Wrestler, JCVD)
    2007: 1 masterpiece (No Country for Old Men), 1 great film (Planet Terror), 4 good films (Afro Samurai (animated), 300, Chasing Ghosts (documentary), Mission Zero (short)) (and fuck me for not watching "There Will be Blood" yet)

    There is a lot of stuff I haven't seen, and some of it is my own unique taste, so I'm interested in seeing what others think. I posted this on another forum, and about half agreed, others disagreed, while others noted it's too early to tell about 2010, especially with several anticipated December releases (decent point).
     
  7. bebop007

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    I feel I should clarify. I didn't care for Avatar, at all. I found the story boring, contrived (most stories this one insulting so) and just insulting. That being said, being credited as the most financially successful movie of all time, pioneering new filmmaking techniques and setting the standard for animation, special effects, blah blah blah blah - I think it's a movie that will be remembered, good or bad, for a very, very long time either through critical analysis, satire or whatever. Much like The Exorcist and The Godfather and so on are still very much referenced, analyzed, critiqued, remembered decades later.
     
  8. Juice

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    I only saw 4 movies in the theaters this year, Inception, Toy Story 3, Red, and Expendables. I really enjoyed them all for a variety of reasons. The only ones I didt but wanted to see are Social Network and The Town. However overall 2010 was garbage. Why? Because it was nothing much more than sequels, reboots, reimaginings, and rehashings of the same plot.

    1. Not 1, but 2 Nicholas Sparks adaptations. And guess what? They were the exact same movie and you didn't have to see either to know that.

    -Guy and girl fall in love during the summer
    -Summer ends
    -[insert guy goes to war/parents dont approve/a terminal illness]
    -Unrequited love never gets rectified

    Sound familiar? That's because that's what the Notebook was about. It's as if he writes his books with Madlibs. Yet, they both were released in 2010.

    2. Did u enjoy Karate Kid? Nightmare on Elm Street? Death at a Funeral? Robin Hood? Clash of the Titans? Alice in Wonderland? Wolfman? Of course you did. They're all remakes/reimaginings of already decent films that were completely unnecessary. Hell, Death at a Funeral is a remake of a film from 3 years ago.

    3. Sequels come out every year, but the amount keeps growing year after year. This year we were treated to:
    Hairspray 2, Iron Man 2, Sex and the City 2, Tron 2, Wall Street 2, Resident Evil 4, Pararnomal Activity 2, Narnia 3, Jackass 3, Saw 7, Shrek 4, Toy Story 3, Twilight 3, Harry Potter 7 pt 1, Meet the Parents 3

    Sadly almost all of these were big draws which means sequels and remakes aren't stopping. 2010 was abysmal in terms of creativity. A sequel doesn't automatically make a movie bad and most of these weren't "bad", but mediocre and forgettable cash-ins on already popular movies. I'm now paying 12 dollars for a movie ticket and I want a little quality and creativity for my money. 2009 had it's share of sequels/remakes but nothing like 2010.
     
  9. Dmix3

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    What you really need to clarify is how in the fuck you considered Crank 2 a masterpiece. Jason Statham has never been in ANYTHING remotely considered a masterpiece.
     
  10. Misanthropic

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    I am no student of film, but the Crank 2 comment, as well as rating I Hope they serve Beer in Hell a good film, had me scratching my head. Knowing you, you have some well thought out reason's for these, and I'd be curious to read them.
     
  11. Aribidi

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    I wouldn't say 'Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels' and 'Snatch' are masterpieces, but I think they were good movies.

    I would add Toy Story 3, Shutter Island, The Social Network and the Ghost Writer to this list. Also (I know this is a love/hate movie with a lot of people, especially KIMaster, leaning towards the latter, but I liked it) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

    I also don't think you can ignore all the crap. I know we can't come up with some kind of formula like X(good movies) - Y (shit movies) x 0,65/Pi= Rating of the year. But when you think back about a certain movie year you'll also remember the horrible movies. I'll look back fondly to 2009, with the Hurt Locker and The Hangover, but then my memories also get a little bit smellier when I realize Transformers 2 was released that year.

    But picking the good and the bad movies aren't the only factors for rating a movie-year. It also has to do with how many movies were released that were 'reasonable' or 'just okay'. Movies like The Expendables, Iron Man 2 or 'The A-Team'. The thing that makes 2010 such a bad year is that the gap between the great and horrible movies is really wide, with not a lot in between.
     
  12. scootah

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    You don't consider Snatch a masterpiece? Seriously? I mean I know it was the first movie that he was really a focal point in (although Bacon was pretty awesome in Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels) - and those were far more Guy Ritchie movies than Jason Statham movies - but I'd argue that Lock Stock was an actively great movie, and Snatch was absolutely a masterpiece.
     
  13. Juice

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    One of my favorites with Statham is Revolver, what a crazy movie.
     
  14. RCGT

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    I agree that that's probably the best way to do it. Everything else will get lost to the sands of time anyway.

    What!? Go see that movie. Seriously though, I'd be interested to see what you think of it. I think it's a fucking masterpiece, but I'll try not to hype it up too much.

    Anyways, I agree with you - Inception is really the only movie that everyone absolutely, no exceptions had to see this year. I'm trying really hard to think of more good movies besides those you listed and coming up blank.
     
  15. KIMaster

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    You didn't think that least "Snatch" was a masterpiece? Wow. (Edit-Didn't read the following replies)

    Anyways, I remember a bunch of us talking about and pimping Crank 2 non-stop on the old board, so I thought it would be old territory to explain why. In fact, it was Chater who first hyped it up, which I was very skeptical of, since I didn't think much of the original. I could write an essay about what was so brilliant about the sequel, but here's a condensed version;

    "This film was marketed completely wrong. It's not an action movie. It's not even an action comedy. Instead, it's an over-the-top comedy with lots of action sequences. Whereas the first Crank was often predictable and tedious, the sequel is one jaw-dropping, hilarious scene after another, so much so that you're still dying of laughter when the next one comes.

    At its heart, it's an absurd, hyper-violent, sexualized parody of Los Angeles. Porn stars on strike. Crazy Chicano gangs with machetes. The race tracks. The drug addicts. Nothing here is presented seriously; it's played as a crazy joke.

    It's a pure entertainment film, with zero depth or intelligence, but in that capacity, it's the best I have ever seen. If you thought "The Hangover" was funny, how can you not find a far more original, well-executed comedy like "Crank 2" hilarious?"

    I watched it when everyone was gushing over it on Tucker's board, re-watched it when everyone was slamming it on here, and my opinion didn't change.

    Focus-

    I haven't watched Shutter Island, but can a "suspense film" with a "twist ending" really be great when I instantly guessed said ending from a 90 second trailer? Perhaps it can still be good, but probably not great.

    No "leaning" on my part; it was a disaster. It's exactly the kind of blatant pandering, adaptation/remake film that there seems to be no end of in the US these days.

    You remember the 2009 crap now. But go ahead and tell me about the crap movies of the 70s. You can't. However, most people remember "Apocalypse Now", "A Clockwork Orange", "Godfather" 1 and 2, "Star Wars", "The Sting", etc.; the great stuff.

    In a few years, you will forget about the crap when thinking about "2009 in film", too. It becomes irrelevant and is forgotten. Besides, the vast majority of films in any given year are of the same quality; shit.

    The only meaningful way to distinguish one year from another is to look at the worthwhile movies.
     
  16. mpare1987

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    Am I the only one who finds the film evaluation competency of the thread maker to be in horrible jeopardy given the 2009 rankings?

    2009: 2 masterpiece (The Hurt Locker, Crank 2), 1 great film (Fantastic Mr. Fox), 7 good films (Moon, Up in the Air, Adventureland, Coraline, I Hope they serve Beer in Hell, The Hangover, A Serious Man)

    I do not masquerade as a film scholar, but I know for a fact that Crank 2 was an overblown, strung out, senseless, shock for shock's sake movie that broke no new ground over the original installment which succeeded in most part DUE to its originality. I also know that I hope they serve beer in hell was not even a mediocre film, let alone a good film. Any success that movie had was solely based upon the ravenous following Tucker Max enjoys from his better known and better produced written work.

    All in all, I highly doubt that anyone who is not a film scholar and who is not privilege to enough free time to sink their couch through their floorboards while they watch new releases all day and night is qualified to argue the merits of one filmmaking year over another. Particularly when said individual knowingly omits purportedly "great" movies from his viewing schedule. Maybe it was an off year, but I think in this day and age you can pretty much go to the movies whenever you want and be entertained..if not always intellectually stimulated.
     
  17. Obviously5Believer

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    The best films of the 70's and 80's are miles above the best movies now. I know it's pretty difficult to objectively compare films that have a 40 year age difference but of every film you mentioned, including the masterpieces, only No Country For Old Men holds up as a truly great film by any standard and the Coen Brothers are the exception that prove the rule. The Hurt Locker? Fucking Crank 2? Even Inception was a pretty mediocre film that only blew people away because we were used to seeing one piece of shit mindless action movie after another. I saw 127 Hours over the weekend and left thinking it was an excellent film, but that it didn't come close to hitting me like the classics from that era.

    So you stack the true classics up against each other. Does The Hurt Locker, the supposed masterpiece, in any way come close to the depth and complexity of themes and visions in Apocalypse Now? Is it a more compelling war film than Das Boot? Is it a better action movie than Jaws? Fuck no, it is none of those things. It's only better than Transformers. There used to be a time in America where you could go to the movies once every year and see a film that challenged your notions of what film can do, or a something that left you absolutely breathless in the genius of it all. In fact if you only saw one movie you would be missing out on a whole lot of other amazing films that were destined to become classics.

    According to you, the best film 2008 had to offer was Slumdog Millionaire. A perfectly fine film, but not one I have had any urge to watch again. Now ask me how many times I've seen Raging Bull.

    EDIT: To actually get to a point, I would say 2000-2010 has been a historically bad decade for films.
     
  18. Aribidi

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    I didn't really clarify in what category I listed Toy Story 3, Shutter Island, The Social Network and the Ghost Writer. I agree that Inception (and in my opinion The Town), were the only 'great' movies of 2010 so far. The other movies were just 'good' in my opinion.

    And yes, 'Shutter Island' was good in my opinion. I suspected the twist, but then again, my paranoid mind has come up with about 80 different twists by the end of a thriller. But that didn't mean I didn't think it was a good movie.

    The thread seems so be turning in a Statham-fest, so I will try and not also inject too much Scott Pilgrim-discussion in here. I get why you don't like it, but can't you see why other people do like it? I'm not really good at explaining why I like movies, books, shows etc. in depth, but I do agree with a lot of points the guy from Filmdrunk made of Scott Pilgrim: Review[
    Well no.....but I was born in 1986.

    [/quote][/quote]

    The movies itself become irrelevant, yes. But when you look back on a certain year, you will also think about some of the horrible movies of that year. You won't remember much though. I only remember 'Jesse' from Saved by the Bell getting fucked in Showgirls, but I do recall the movie sucking ass.

    Look, I get that the quality and amount of great films make up almost everything about how you would rate that year. But all I'm saying is that the quality and amount of awful movies also factor in my opinion of that year.
     
  19. KIMaster

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    This topic is not about debating my own or anyone else's taste, and it's not for wankers who use "film scholars" as a serious term. EVERYONE here is "qualified" to give an opinion. The topic is for people, casual or more regular movie-goers, who have something meaningful to say about what they watch based on their own thoughts and feelings.

    Normally, I just have my opinion on a subject, and that's all that matters to me. But here, I'm mainly interested in what others think. It's a "historical" subject, and I'm operating strongly on my personal taste. But is the conclusion I've come to ("wow, 2010 really sucks for movies, no?") true for others as well?

    Apocalypse Now, an amazing masterpiece and Coppola's best film, is completely different than "The Hurt Locker", although superficially, they're both war films.

    But yes, I would take "The Hurt Locker" over any of the films you mentioned above. It's a little bit better than "Apocalypse Now", significantly better than "Das Boot" (great film, nonetheless), and so much better than "Jaws" it's insulting you would compare the two in the same sentence.

    In fact, it's the best "war" movie I have ever seen.

    While I hate the "latest is greatest, nothing before 1995 matters" crowd, I also hate the "virtually every movie today is total shit compared to those of 20+ years ago" crowd equally, as exemplified by the post above.

    Obviously, you're going to get skewed results if you think one era is intrinsically superior to the other, instead of just rating the fucking films on their own individual merits.
     
  20. bebop007

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    The arguments surrounding remakes always interests me. Films have been getting remade since the fifties, at least. And I would wager most people aren't even aware just how many films are remakes, especially popular ones. Fistful of Dollars? Remake. I Am Legend? Not the first or even second time filmmakers have had a go at adapting Richard Matheson's novel. Red Dragon? Not only a remake but not even the first appearance of Hannibal Lector as Silence of the Lambs fans might think. Hell, even Hitchcock remade one of his own films. The remake/sequel trend is just one of many trends Hollywood has adopted and will adopt. How many westerns do we typically see being released? A couple a year maybe. Compare that to the 40s to mid 70s. Or the disaster movie trend of the 70s. Or movies dealing with drug addiction in the 80s. And the trends'll continue throughout the 2010's, 2020's, 2030's etc.

    Not that I think KIMaster needs help sticking up for himself, but I think this is a point well worth covering. KIMaster's explanation of Crank 2's merits mirrors a lot what Roger Ebert says about his film reviews (mind you, I don't much care for Ebert, and I'm loathe to agree with him, but he makes a good point here), is that he evaluates a film's merits based on what it is and how it goes about accomplishing what it sets out to accomplish. For example, using a film that I think KIMaster and I can agree on - Krull. Not a masterpiece, by far and definitely not original in any sense of the term. But, does it accomplish what it sets out to do? Yes, and then some. For a corny sci-fi/fantasy flick it has some tremendously solid acting (Alun Armstrong not getting anything for this role is a damn shame) and an phenomenally entertaining adventure story. Is it a contrived "Save the Princess" story? Sure. But it does a top notch job of being one, in my book. Personally, I'd rather masterful and contrived than original and shitty.

    The Marx Brothers movies are another example. If you've seen one, you've basically seen them all. The brothers involve themselves in some hare brained moneymaking scheme. A down on his luck, lovelorn guy tries to woo a woman way out of his league. And the rest of the movie is just a showcase for Groucho's one liners, Chico's piano playing, Harpo's harp skills. I've just described the majority of Marx Bros. films. Does that make them bad for not even bothering to change their formula or strike out to be original? Of course not. Watch A Day at the Races or A Night at the Opera. For films made in the 30s and 40s they still hold up quite well and are still highly regarded even today. Films don't have to be triumps of cinematography, screenwriting or directing in order to be successful, necessarily. If they establish a solid premise of what they want their movie to be and perform an expert job in how they do it, then I would say the filmmakers succeeded in making a good film. Doesn't matter if its a slapstick comedy, cheezy scifi/fantasy, over the top action flick, serious period drama, war film, epic or whatever.

    Random point - Do see The Social Network. I think Sorkin is the patron saint of pretentious douches, but he can really write a solid film when he wants to. Fincher is a great director too, so that's certainly a plus as well.