The top 5 movies and albums of 2010
To be perfectly honest, I missed out on seeing a lot of “big” movies of the past year. I missed out on Iron Man 2 and Toy Story 3 this summer, and I spent more time at the Rainbow watching cheap dreck than actual cinema. If I were to pick the best film that I had the opportunity to see this year, my pick would be Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist but unfortunately it was released in 2009 and simply didn’t make it to the RPL Film Theatre until late last winter. Likewise, despite how much I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1, I felt that I couldn’t rightfully put it on this list, since it’s only one half of the final film – the other half of which is due to be released this summer.
In a review I wrote earlier this year, I wrote that The Social Network was the best film I had seen all year. In retrospect, I’d have to say that that honor belongs to Banksy’s debut film Exit Through the Gift Shop, with Christopher Nolan’s Inception following closely behind it. Hubble 3D was the first movie to bring me to an IMAX in years, and I was glad to see gory exploitation movies like The Expendables and Machete make a small comeback this summer. Now if only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 wasn’t still months away. Damn cliffhangers.
1. Exit Through the Gift Shop
3. The Social Network
5. Hubble 3D
2010 was a solid year at the movies. There were some of the most comical, imaginative, and engaging movies that I had seen in a while this past year. The concept and writing for Inception was fascinating to see. Get Him to the Greek was one of the funniest movies I’d seen in a while. Watching a film about Mark Zuckerberg that he didn’t condone was informative. The machete-wielding Denzel Washington starred in another totally bad-ass role, and She’s Out of my League was just a solid date-night movie.
It doesn’t get much better than a year filled with movies that were about going into people’s dreams, “doin’ shots o’ absinf from the eighteen ‘undreds,” Facebook, the end of the world, and that girl who’s way too attractive for your sorry ass.
2. Get Him to the Greek
3. The Social Network
4. The Book of Eli
5. She’s Out of My League
This year left me freaking broke after all the amazing films that were released. The year got off to an amazing start after I skipped 2 days of work just to see Jake Gyllenhaal kick ass and look extremely sexy doing it in Prince of Persia. This summer, Toy Story 3 made me cry, laugh, and then cry some more. I remember watching the first one in grade 1 and now I’m in university just like Andy (insert tears and sobbing here). Although almost half the world’s population hated The Last Airbender: I loved it. Seriously, I really did. I know that’s surprising but I thought the graphics were neat and the acting was fitting for the type of movie. Not that I can really change your opinions on it but whatever: haters gonna hate. Harry Potter doesn’t even need to be explained as to why it’s on the list: it’s Harry Potter. ’Nuff said. Scott Pilgrim was definitely not something I was looking forward to, but my mind was immediately changed once I saw it for the third time on opening weekend. I hope 2011 isn’t as amazing as 2010 was: I honestly don’t think I could afford it.
1. Toy Story 3
2. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
3. Prince of Persia
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1
5. The Last Airbender
I really have not seen many movies this year, so this list mostly involves me trying to remember if I have even seen five. Let’s see: Inception had Leo drowning in his own subconscious mind instead of the Atlantic Ocean. Also: Joseph Gordon Levitt is a total bad ass. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World was based on an awesome graphic novel and was adapted fairly satisfactorily. Plus, it is set in Canada. To satisfy my craving for a spin-off to Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the need to eat an entire box of Glossette raisins while doing it, I watched Get Him to the Greek. It turned out to be pretty funny and wasn’t a waste of thirteen dollars. It was also a fresh take on the characters with memorable moments we all can certainly relate to, eg: rubbing the furry wall. Apparently I was sold on Leo this year, because Shutter Island also makes my list. I think everyone has probably seen this, but it’s a psychological thriller and it’s actually done very well. You have to give that fuzzy eye-browed Scorsese some credit because I honestly had no idea that he had it in him without DeNiro. Lastly, there’s Kick Ass: another movie based on a comic book.
2. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
3. Get Him to the Greek
4. Shutter Island
5. Kick Ass
For me, 2010 will go down in history as the year that I loved and lost one of my favorite Canadian bands, Calgary AB’s Women. Barely two weeks after the release of their sophomore LP, Public Strain, the band canceled the remaining dates of a tour after a tumultuous gig in Victoria, B.C. where the band members reportedly broke out into a fistfight before storming off stage. This band has so much potential, and hopefully us amateur Can-rock historians won’t soon have to pine for the days of dissonant-as-fuck indie noise-rock. For me, 2010 lacked a lot of memorable records, although Love King is probably the best R & B record of the new decade, and Titus Andronicus makes a great case for emo in the 21st century with the civil-war inspired record, The Monitor. And despite not living up to Demon Days, Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach was pretty much the feel-good record of the summer. Lastly, though it took me a while to warm up to it – and I’m aware that some will cry foul at my inclusion of a local act on this list – Library Voices released one of the best pop-rock records of this year when they dropped Denim on Denim last spring.
1. Women – Public Strain
2. The Dream – Love King
3. Library Voices – Denim on Denim
4. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
5. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
My favourite albums of 2010 were the ones that not only had intelligent and well-written songs with solid hooks but were works of art themselves. The albums I chose range from the synthy neo-psychedelia of MGMT to the simple acoustic pop songs of Matt Costa. As different as these albums may be, they all share the fact that they flow without effort. To really enjoy them, they should be listened to in full, from start to finish. Like each chord or guitar riff contributes to the song, each song contributes to the album as a whole. Instead of being a collection of songs, these albums seem to be works of artist merit themselves.
All of these artists took some brave steps in new directions and expanded they way their unique sounds can be described. Some fans get upset when their favourite band puts out an album that’s completely different than their older material, but I think it’s a necessary aspect of being a musician. I don’t think an artist can be that legitimate if they end up turning into a cover band of themselves.
MGMT became even weirder, yet more awesome with songs like “Flash Delerium” or the twelve-minute epic “Siberian Breaks.” The Roots were on fire and released two of their best albums in less than twelve months. Matt Costa’s youthful pop tunes took a slightly more serious turn, and Kanye West seemed to take a reflective look at his career and combine the aspects of his past albums that worked well.
1. MGMT – Congratulations
2. The Roots – How I Got Over
3. Matt Costa – Mobile Chateau
4. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
5. John Legend & The Roots – Wake up!
This year has been pretty spectacular for music. The best CD – by far – in my opinion was the reissue of the Korean band SHINee’s album Hello. By mixing contemporary hip-hop with R&B and Korean pop this group blew me away with their title track “Lucifer” and their newest K-pop single “Hello.” My next favorite CD also is from South Korea – BEAST’s Lights Go On Again. The band released 3 albums this year and they were all amazing, though my favorite has to be their latest one. Lights Go On Again shows a new side to their music and I personally love it. Kanye hit up third place with the recently released album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Lets face it: everything Kanye puts out there is freaking gold. Enrique really set the mood for summer with “Baby I Like It”, and I let his sweet voice take me away in “Heartbeat”. Angels & Airwaves’ powerful lyrics and unique sounds really set the mood for 2010 and started things off right with their album, Love.
1. SHINee – Hello
2. BEAST – Lights Go On Again
3. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
4. Enrique Iglesias – Euphoria
5. Angels & Airwaves – Love
I had trouble narrowing down this list to a Top 5. It’s been an excellent year for music all around, and slimming my picks to just 5 was a harrowing experience. It seem that this year was the pressure year for many of the bands on my list. Deerhunter’s previous albums were exceptional, and Halycon Digest was a pressurized follow-up. I had the biggest expectations for how amazing it was going to be, and after hearing the pre-released tracks on the website I knew it was going to be awesome. Although I honestly have to say it is not my favourite Deerhunter record, it is certainly my favourite album of this year. Next up is Big Boi’s Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty. Big Boi takes you through the life of a DJ a drug dealer and a pimp, but he does it all with a creativity and swagger that is intoxicating. When you start opening your gifts on Christmas, put this album on and I guarantee that even your grandma will be unable to stop her “shutterbug” groove. Caribou’s Swim made use of mathematical formulas, and if the wave of energy I receive when listening to this epic album is math-based, I may just give math a little more credit. No Age’s Everything in Between was a disappointment. Initially I didn’t plan on including this album, but lately I have been listening to it continuously. And lastly, when I heard that there was an album coming out by Wu Tang members Ghostface Killah, Method Man, and Raekwon I booked off work, cleared a week of school, and got prepared to “bring da ru ruckus.” Wu Massacre is as amazing as all the hype and big names have lead you to believe, but it is NOT Wu Tang.
1. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
2. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty
3. Caribou – Swim
4. No Age – Everything in Between
5. Wu Massacre – Wu Massacre