I will remember 2010 as the first year I saw a movie trailer where the only release date was for iTunes (no attempt at a theatrical run or DVD pressing to boot), that the video game Guitar Hero got a functioning six-string guitar and people called it progress, and Wendy's burger chain changed their fries recipe to be more "natural."
My Favorite Non-New Release Movie I Saw for the First Time - My Geisha (1962); second place goes to Mr. Saturday Night (1992) and third place goes to Biloxi Blues (1988)
My Movie-Watching Resolution - to give up on new releases; as much as I love going to the theater, I gotta get used to the fact that they might not be around forever; I hate this trend toward 3D (especially as a last ditch effort to "save multiplexes") and as much as I enjoyed the remake of True Grit, it mostly just made me realize that all movies used to be that good; it's been bothering me for years when people say that the quality of Hollywood movies has been steadily decreasing because I don't think box office numbers are a true measure of anything, but then a movie like Avatar makes as much as it does and it makes me question the entire direction that Hollywood is heading
For the "Best and Worst Movies" I saw the first half of the year, see my 7/8/10 post (combine the lists there with the ones here for my top ten of 2010).
Best New Movies I've Seen Since July (in order of personal significance; although I enjoyed Black Swan, Inception and True Grit, I wouldn't call any of them favorites; I still look forward to watching 127 Hours, The Fighter and The King's Speech)
1. Burlesque (November 26) I keep telling everyone that if they liked Coyote Ugly they'll love Burlesque (and that's coming from someone who never liked Cher or Christina Aguilera). Then people keep telling me that they've never seen Coyote Ugly. But that doesn't exactly refute my point, does it?
2. The Social Network (October 1) read my 12/28/10 review
3. The Town (September 17) really got me thinking about the lack of choices left to ex-cons; this isn't nice guy Ben Affleck, and the scene where he throws the child (his own?) out of the room was almost more than I could bear, but so were a lot of scenes in Gone Baby Gone, which he directed years before this; forget about all the other characters besides the community itself, because that's the one the movie's named after
4. Going the Distance (September 3) not funnier than Burlesque or The Social Network, but certainly on par with Despicable Me (which is missing here because of all the lame disco dance numbers) and Easy A (which is absent from this list because of an unlikely Mark Twain claim)
5. Monsters (October 29) if you don't mind slowpaced indie movies that randomly scare you and simulaneously break your heart, here's a dreamy picture with minimal characters, minimal dialogue and best of all, minimal but believable cheap special effects (using the director's laptop); I may not have liked it better than The Eclipse, which is comparable, but I can't remember if I saw that movie before July or after (it's been available for instant viewing on Netflix for months now)
Worst New Movies I've Actually Seen Since July (in order of offensiveness; keep in mind that I kinda liked All About Evil, Predators and Shrek Forever After; call me a masochist, but I still look forward to watching Cop Out, The Last Airbender and The Switch)
1. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? (April 2) I keep telling everyone that if they ever make a Michael Jackson biopic, they should get his sister Janet to play him. Then people keep telling me that's an ignorant thing to say. But is it any worse than having Janet play a divorcée who drives her ex-husband to kill himself in front of his friends and coworkers?
2. Sex and the City 2 (May 28) Ignorant, ignorant, ignorant. The only reason this is here and not Date Night is because I couldn't make it all the way through Date Night.
3. Tiny Furniture (November 12) I liked the handpicked music, the smart dialogue, and the trendy sets on this movie and on Greenberg also, but why do the main characters on most indie movies have to be such horrible people? And not even antiheroes - just boring, spiteful, ugly people.
4. Grown Ups (June 25) There is no way that these guys would ever be friends in the first place, much less bring their families together decades later. When Adam Sandler slapped Rob Schneider with his own banana the first time, it was mean, but funny. After the fourth or fifth or sixtieth time...
5. The Kids Are All Right (July 9) Based on the hype, I thought I'd be exposed to a less shallow, less voyeuristic gay movie, but instead I got an is-she-gay-or-isn't-she soap opera love triangle, same as you'd see on Showtime's The L Word and a ripoff of that scene in Love Actually where Emma Thompson discovers her husband is definitely cheating
Songs I've Discovered (and Rediscovered) Since July (in alphabetical order):
1. "Acapella (Benny Benassi Remix)" - Kelis; at first I thought this was the same girl that performed "Let's Go Crazy" at the BET awards, but that was Janelle Monáe; I must have heard of Kelis from her work with Björk, Robyn or David Guetta, who did last year's "When Love Takes Over;" I like it when R&B artists go electro, as further evidenced at the bottom of this playlist
2. "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" - T. Rex; when I heard "Children of the Revolution" on Lords of Dogtown, I sat through the end credits to find out who wrote the original song; T. Rex turns out to be that rare '70s rock I always avoided for no good reason
3. "Ça Pourrait Changer" - Brigitte Bardot; from the Youth in Revolt soundtrack; name me one current singer who sounds like she's having this much fun
4. "The Clap" - Bostich + Fussible; minimal techno meets Tejano accordion; where has this been all my life?
5. "Derezzed" - Daft Punk; from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack, which I thought was an Inception ripoff until I read that Hans Zimmer (of Inception) helped out, but I guess that really doesn't stop it from being a ripoff, does it?
6. "Dog Days Are Over" - Florence + The Machine; I avoided this group for the longest time but eventually surrendered to the harp
7. "Everywhere" - Fleetwood Mac; I heard this in a restaurant with my parents and when I said this song was a forgotten gem, my dad said, "I have this one;" anyway, it may be from a bygone era, but we can be sure it hasn't been forgotten
8. "Fader" - The Temper Trap; it's like Jimmy Eat World but better; it's all about that "semi-charmed kinda" chorus
9. "In Motion" - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross; who could've guessed that Nine Inch Nails and Sigur Rós would become the stuffy soundtrack music of Oscar-type movies?
10. "Keep Looking" - Sade; I didn't see any difference between the sound on her new album this year and her old stuff from the '80s, like this song
11. "Little Green Bag" - George Baker Selection; I recently caught up with the British TV series, Coupling, which did a Reservoir Dogs reference on one episode and it reminded me of this song
12. "Me and the Moon" - The Drums; for fans of New Order
13. "Only Solutions" - Journey; from the movie, Tron, which led to The Matrix, which in turn led to Tron: Legacy, so it takes one to know one
14. "Raise Your Weapon" - Deadmau5; hauntingly beautiful, especially after it goes dubstep in the second half
15. "The Reeling (Groove Police Remix)" - Passion Pit; from the movie, Going the Distance
16. "Scott Pilgrim" - Plumtree; from the movie of the same name (actually, it's the song that inspired the books which were then adapted into a movie)
17. "Sequins" - Abe Vigoda; for fans of The Cure
18. "Too Much" - Sufjan Stevens; for fans of indie rock falsettos and electronic music that's unpredictable
19. "What's My Name?" - Rihanna & Drake; I would include this on my top ten list below if not for Drake
20. "Your Love" - Nicki Minaj; one of many pop songs this year to use an '80s sample (it uses "No More I Love You's" by Annie Lennox), the most obvious being "I Like It" by Enrique Iglesias (which uses "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie)
Ten Best New Songs I Heard from 2010
1. "Running from the Cops" - Phantogram (February 9)
2. "Blessa" - Toro y Moi (February 16)
3. "Ghost in the Graveyard (Ulrich Schnauss Remix)" - A Sunny Day in Glasgow (March 16)
4. "White Flag" - Gorillaz (March 2)
5. "Rill Rill" - Sleigh Bells (May 11)
6. "Revival" - Deerhunter (August 2)
7. "Glass Printer" - The Besnard Lakes (March 9)
8. "Stick to My Side" - Pantha du Prince (February 9)
9. "Bang Bang Bang (feat. Q-Tip & MDNR)" - Mark Ronson & the Business Intl (August 17)
10. "As We Enter" - Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley (February 23)