As the world finishes taking a look back at the year that was, you're going to read a lot of dissection and discussion of what was popular in 2010. We could tell you about the things which we did here on Cinema Blend which earned the most eyeballs, but for us this isn't a popularity contest.
So rather than ply you with proof of our popularity, Cinema Blend's movie squad sat down to talk about the things we wrote this year that mattered the most to us. This is our one chance to brag about the times when we pushed "submit" and walked away absolutely certain that here at least, we'd gotten it absolutely right. Maybe it mattered to each of us because of the experience around what we wrote, or maybe the article simply expressed an idea we think is worth your time. In the hopes that we can convince a few more people to read some of our best work, here's a look back at some of the things we're most proud to have sent your way through the internet's series of tubes in 2010, as chosen by the people who wrote them.
I feel like I've said this countless times this fall, but allow me to say it again: Back to the Future is my favorite movie of all time, period. And not only was I lucky enough to get to see it for the first time on the big screen, in a theater crammed with my friends and other movie fanatics, but I write for a website where I got to pour out my lifetime's worth of Back to the Future love into this article. It was an amazing experience that I'll remember even better for writing about it, and maybe the most personally fulfilling thing I've written so far.
Toronto International Film Festival Coverage [read it]
This year wasn't just my first trip to the Toronto film festival, but the first time Cinema Blend has ever been represented up there, at one of the most significant stops on the fall festival circuit. Covering the whole thing by myself, I missed a lot of biggies, but managed to catch an amazing mix of soon-to-be-Oscar-contenders (Black Swan, 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole), small indies to keep an eye on in the future (Meek's Cutoff, Kaboom, Submarine), and mind-boggling disasters no one may ever see again (Passion Play, What's Wrong WIth Virginia). It was an amazing 10 days, and one I was thrilled to bring back to you guys through sleep deprivation and some seriously exhausted eyeballs.
Interview With Darren Aronofsky [read it]
This was an easy pick, an interview with the director of my favorite movie of the year, a director who has done fascinating work for over a decade and who is happy to get into specific, intricate details about his movie as well as accept a little sparring from me about some of the gender issues at play. I'd like to think that even if I had gotten along so well with Darren Aronofsky I would still be proud of the interview, but as it is it's a written record of one of the most satisfying and interesting conversations I've had with anyone, period, in the last year.
Oscar Eye [read it]
There are lots of different ways to look at the Oscars, from revering them as the fashion event of the year to lamenting the fact that they never recognize whichever acclaimed indie you fell in love with. But man, is it fun to write about them, no matter what attitude you take. Writing the Oscar Eye columns has helped me translate all the buzz both in last year's Oscar race (The Hurt Locker vs. Avatar! Bigelow makes history!) and the one we're in the middle of now (The Social Network vs. everybody else!) Hopefully writing about them has made you guys appreciate the awards at least some of the ways I do.
Rant: Movie Productions Leaving New York Because The State Is Run By Idiots [read it]
I'm no political expert, but I am a resident of New York City who's been frustrated over and over again by the state government's failure to do, uh, anything right. So when the state's refusal to pull it together with a budget affected the tax breaks we've offered to film productions for years, I couldn't help but unleash my frustration over subway fare hikes into a classic Cinema Blend rant. Eventually they got it together and extended the tax breaks-- which includes $420 million to go toward film production-- through next year; I'd like to think the ire of outraged taxpayers like me had at least something to do with it.
I walked out of Toy Story 3 wiping tears off my face and with a lump in my throat. I wasn't alone. Director Lee Unkrich's instant classic had a pretty universal effect on people, in those few animated moments on screen he tapped into something pretty big, something important, about what makes us human. It felt important to me at least, and when I got home, I looked for a way to express it. The result is this review which, I think is maybe the best review I've ever written. Maybe that doesn't mean much, considering my admittedly limited writing talents, but hopefully I tapped into something that really expresses why for me, and maybe a lot of you, Toy Story 3 is the best movie of 2010.
An Illustrated Guide To The 5 Levels Of Inception [read it]
Inception spawned an endless number of theories and discussions here on Cinema Blend this year, with thousands of readers chiming in on our site. To help get things on the right track, Cinema Blend's graphical guru Matt Sinopoli and I spent hours putting together this handy infographic, explaining the levels of Inception's dreams within dreams. To be honest we're still not entirely sure we got it right, but this handy little chart proved to be a great place to start.
You're Wrong: 10 Common Movie Blog Reader Misconceptions [read it]
Talking movies is a far more complex proposition than you'd expect and the truth is that the average reader of this website or others like it, has a life. That means you don't have the kind of time we do to spend every second obsessing about movies and the way we all talk about them. Katey and I set out to help fill the gap in our readers' knowledge by correcting a few of the most common misconceptions we encounter among movie blog readers here on Cinema Blend and on other sites. In this editorial we tackled a variety of wrong-headed ideas from strange notions about our code of ethics to cinematic fallacies people hold on to, simply because they don't know any better. Cinema Blend's readers are already the best thinkers on the internet, hopefully by clearing a few things up, we made you even smarter.
20 Must See Movies To Share With Your Kids [read it]
Fathers, Don't Let Your Daughters Grow Up Without Alice In Wonderland [read it]
Fathers, Don't Let Your Sons Grow Up Without The Expendables [read it]
2010 was the year I almost became a father. My wife and I were expecting and, rather than turn into one of those weak-kneed expectant parents who suddenly waters down everything they do to make it more kid-friendly, I started thinking about all the things which mattered most to me and the way they're reflected in the movies that project themselves across our lives. That mindset resulted in three specific editorials here on Cinema Blend which I think pretty accurately define a lot of the values which make up who and what I'm all about. Even though we eventually lost the baby to a miscarriage just a few months in, those ideals still mean a lot to me and I hope they're the sorts of things other parents and expectant parents out there are into too. At worst I have a ready-made list of films to share with Josh 2.0, whenever he or she finally exists.
To 3D Or Not To 3D [read it]
2010 was the year of Hollywood's 3D invasion and subsequent massively inflated ticket prices. For the average moviegoer that meant utter confusion over which ticket to buy when they showed up at the box office. The CB time got together and set out to try and help first with this article explaining why 3D might be a problem and then launching into our ongoing series “To 3D or Not to 3D”. The idea behind it is to give people a simple, unbiased way to decide whether they need to spend the extra money necessary to buy a 3D ticket and, hopefully we've helped, and will continue to help, at least a few of you make the right decision at the box office.
Merely three months after being promoted to Cinema Blend's West Coast Film Editor and moving to Los Angeles, I was given the incredible opportunity to see David Fincher's The Social Network nearly a month and a half before it would be released. Knowing that my review of the film would be embargoed, but after seeing the movie and being completely blown away, I knew that I had to take full advantage of every minute I had. Working my way through six separate drafts, watching the review morph and change and grow, I put every ounce of energy I could into my piece, trying to make sure it was worthy of what I continue to believe to this day is the greatest film of 2010. When all was said and done, I had written 976 words for a movie I truly cared about and could feel proud of.
5 Classic Action Movies Made Better With Machete [read it]
Having the opportunity to do something creative is always fun, and that's exactly what I got to do while writing "5 Classic Action Movies Made Better With Machete." Though certainly a challenge - it's never easy to replace a main character living in a world crafted around them - but I liked the concept too much to give up on it. I implemented as many great things about Machete into the article as I could while also doing my best to be funny, and I couldn't be more proud of the result. Because the movie underperformed at the box office, the idea of a sequel is on ice at the moment, but I can promise you that if a Machete Kills ever gets made, I'll be back with "5 More Classic Action Movies Made Better With Machete."
The idea for this article originated a couple of years ago. I'd gone to see Up and cried in a movie theater for the first time in like fifteen years and as more than half the audience collectively sobbed about the end of Carl and Elle's journey, some douche bag there with a chick he was trying to nail snickered and said “pathetic”. I was so mad. I wanted to go up to her and explain if she had sex with him it would be endorsing all that was soulless, evil and wrong about the world. I didn't say anything, and he probably got to at least to second base in part because of that cool guy comment, the asshole. It's one of my biggest regrets. When this scenario essentially repeated itself (minus the crying, with different douche bags) in Tangled, I'd had enough. That movie was seriously good, and if you think you're too cool to give it a chance, you're wrong.
20 Years Since Home Alone: Adolescent Violence Hasn't Gone Far Enough [read it]
Before its release, Kick-Ass was savaged by critics and media outlets for being too violent and morally bankrupt. I hadn't seen the film yet, but I started to get really irritated thinking about everything else people just blindly accepted. I'm a big fan of shows like Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Minds, and on an almost weekly basis, they address issues of violence and rape against women and sometimes even children. There's nothing inherently altruistic about those programs. They're entertainment, just like Kick-Ass. The only difference is tone. We let these things pass because there's an aura of seriousness about them, but if someone takes the same concepts and films them through a comedic lens, it's suddenly going too far. I had to talk about. Even though I believe Kick-Ass only ended up being better than decent, worse than good, I still defend its right to exist. 20 years later, adolescent violence can still go further.