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My Top Ten Favorite Films of 2010

I know that this is late, but I tried to get all the movies that were nominated, but to no avail. My list will not have “The Kids Are All Right”, “Winter’s Bone,””Blue Valentine” or “Biutiful”. This year was lackluster to say the least and I haven’t seen that many movies this year as I have in the past. It might change in the future. Here are my top ten favorite films of 2010.

10. Shutter Island – Even though this movie came out in the middle of February, I thought that it was a great change of pace from the Film Dump Months. It was shame that the movie was taken out of Oscar consideration for 2009. The movie was a tight adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel that boasts some great performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley. The way that the movie was edited made you want to do a double take.

9. The King’s Speech – I think that buzz surrounding this movie has made it prime for backlash. The unlikely friendship between the future king of England and a speech therapist would not be moving, but it was. I thought that it was a gorgeous movie to look at. The performances were solid, but I have to single out Geoffrey Rush as Lionel. I was happy that this unsung hero of British society has been honored in such a great way.

8. True Grit – The Coen Brothers have done the unthinkable. They made a remake that didn’t suck donkey balls. Halleloo! This gritty look at revenge in the Old West made me want to live during that time. Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn chewed the scene as a wad of tobacco. The true star of this movie is Hailee Steinfeld as the vengeful teenager searching the varmit that killed her father. It would be a nice companion piece with No Country for Old Men.

7. Greenberg – This little movie shows that Ben Stiller can do a lot more than being the straight man in Meet the Parents or a dumb, clueless model in Zoolander. Ben showed that a bipolar loner could be somewhat likable. The lead character of Greenberg made me feel like I was looking the mirror. Sometimes you don’t like what is looking back at you.

6.  Black Swan – I was glad that Darren Aronofsky is getting much needed love from the Academy for his latest effort. This movie coined a new term of the “psychosexual thriller”. A truly groundbreaking movie would trigger a response like that. The decent of a ballerina’s psyche into madness is really compelling to watch.

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Shutter Island (2010)

I wonder, is it better to live like a monster, or die a good man?

— Teddy Daniels

Martin Scorsese’s latest movie Shutter Island, which stands as the 197th movie on the Top 250 of All-Time on IMDb, has been getting a bad rap since its studio, Paramount decide to move the release date of the movie from October 2009 to February 2010, because it couldn’t afford the Oscar campaign for the picture. I call bullshit on that. This could mean certain death for a film not being remember a whole year from now. This is the fourth collaboration of Scorsese and lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Even though the movie is highly predictable, I still enjoyed the majority of the ride.

Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, former WWII soldier/U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) travel by boat to Shutter Island, which is a home of Ashcliffe, the prison for the criminally insane. They are met by Deputy Marshal McPherson (John Carroll Lynch) who them that they have to surrender their firearms. They take a tour of the complex which has separate wards for men, women prisoners and an old Civil War era, Building C that houses the most dangerous criminals.

The team meets the head psychiatrist of the institution; Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) to investigate the disappearance of a patient that mysteriously escaped from her cell, who killed her kids, Rachel Solando. She is loose somewhere on the island, because there is no way for her to escape the island without drowning.

Searching through her cell, Teddy fines a piece of paper in her room that has “The law of 4. Who is 67?” scribbled on it. In order to try to find out the circumstances surrounding the escapee, Teddy and Chuck want to interview the staff. Dr. Cawley and Dr. Naehring (Max von Sydow) doesn’t want the investigators to rummage through the staffs personal files. Teddy wants to leave immediately.

The more time that Teddy spends on the island he has flashbacks of an incident when he was a soldier in WWII liberating a Dachau concentration camp or his life with her wife, Dolores (Michelle Williams) that was killed years earlier.

A massive hurricane hits the island and the prisoners try to escape the island, Teddy comes to realization when Rachel is found that they are 66 patients on the island, but Rachel implies there is a 67th patient. Who is that patient?

I thought the performances were very good, especially DiCaprio, Jackie Earle Haley and Patricia Clarkson.

I thought that the score was unnecessary in the beginning segments of the film. I guess, Scorsese wanted to set the mood. It was ear deafening. The biggest problem of the movie is the twist. Watching the trailers lately, they talk about the twist ending. The twist you could predict thirty minutes into the movie. I wasn’t a surprise at all, but I was half right about it. There was another sharp turn that I didn’t see coming.

Judgment: This movie was mess with your mind until the very end.

Rating: ****

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