Well, it started as one thing…

We are now in the homestretch of the year 2010.

The best way to correctly asses the achievements of the passing year and cover up the growing sadness associated with the correlation of my age to the ever-growing feeling of abject fear from the seeming execration of time,  is to rank the years best movies!

(If you fear I’m getting too serious remember earlier today I compared two solo albums from members of Girls Aloud by ranking them on a scale based on the attractiveness of Ashley Tisdale)

So, we’re getting to the end of the year, and in the next few weeks we’ll be coming up on movies that I am very excitedly anticipating.

4. Burlesque, Christina Aguilera’s coming of age in a burlesque show musical – Now, normally I’d be excited about ANY of those topics as a movie idea. PUT THEM TOGETHER?! WHOA!

3. Narnia 3 – Plusses: Liam Nesson as a Jesus lion on a boat. Music By David Arnold. I love David Arnold. Minuses: Not so much of Hotty McGiantLips Girl.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – almost ten years of building for the climax to a series that, almost accidentally, became my third favorite thing in the world. David Yates has really gotten a hold on this series and OWNS it now. I’m pleasantly excited. Minuses: No John Williams, despite him wanting to do it.

1. Tangled, or as it’s called everywhere else, Rapunzel – almost ten years of waiting for this film. All the different versions, all the different voices, everything story sketches, I cannot express in anymore words how much I cannot wait for this film. It looks gorgeous. It really looks like 2-D animation in 3-D. NOTHING looks like it. NOTHING. It needs to be what Princess and the Frog was so close to being, it needs to be the next big thing.

So anyway here’s 2010, we can compare to my last list:

1 (tie)Toy Story 3/The Social Network – these two films could not be more different. One a statement on the internet obsessed social culture of today. The other the finest most human emotion contained in a film that contains no humans.

With Toy Story 3 , Pixar did the unthinkable. A part 3 in a series that isn’t a disaster?
A part 3 in a series that surpasses the quality of a part 2 that already surpassed the original film, which is a masterpiece?

This was their tenth film. This was the film that could’ve ended up their worst film and we still would’ve accepted it, because we love these characters.

Before Disney purchased Pixar, back when it was uncertain if Pixar would even remain part of Disney, Ex-Chairman Michael Eisner green lit Toy Story 3 with a story about the toys going to Japan. An entire new animation department, Circle 7 Animation,  created specifically designed to handle sequels to Pixar properties. People were hired, animators, artists, writers, etc. They began work on TS3 and other films. The problem was, that this film was never going to happen, it was never supposed to happen. Circle 3, and more importantly this version of Toy Story 3, was a giant ruse. A gun held to the head of John Lasseter  and the Pixar guys, “If you don’t re-sign, we are going to make this film, and you can’t stop us.”

Pixar didn’t bite. Eisner went on to express, with the belief that audiences didn’t care who was telling the story, as long as it was computer animated, they’d still go see it. And you know what he was right, and Chicken Little was the film that showed the world that Disney didn’t need Pixar and audiences didn’t care.

Within the next year Eisner became outed as Chairman, new Chairman Bob Iger’s first move? Purchase Pixar out right, leaving Steve Jobs as largest share owner of Disney, and placing Pixar Heads, Ed Catmull and John Lasseter in charge of not only Pixar but also Walt Disney Animation Studios and Disney Imagineering (they make the rad stuff at the Disney Parks).  Lasseter’s first move? Shutting down the new redundant Circle 7 Studio, trying to absorb most of the creative types into the other 3 animation departments, and then announcing that Pixar would make the real version of Toy Story 3.

I don’t have quite as long of a story for The Social Network. I laughed when I first heard about the idea. It sounded stupid.

Justin Timberlake in a movie about Facebook? Dumb. David Fincher, directing? Wait, really? But he’s a REAL director! Aaron Sorkin writing the screenplay? Wait what?!

All of the sudden the film had prestige.

It’s to the credit of the creative people involved to make a movie where the main character, the hero, is not a likable guy, and yet we do like him. A movie about recent history, stuff that literally JUST HAPPENED, and make it important. Needs to be seen to be believed.

Wait! I was doing a list!

2. Inception – Christopher Nolan’s non Batman film, is another, NEEDS TO BE SEEN TO BE BELIEVED but in a different way. Visually the most impressive film in years. Nolan has a habit of making heavy toned pop films (you might have heard of The Dark Knight) and maintains a level of quality without losing a summer movie feel. Unfortunately, Inception, as well as TS3, has raised the bar to a ridiculously high expectation for Batman Rises (or whatever).

3. How To Train Your Dragon. Moved up tremendously from my last list. On the surface it seems like the best film Dreamworks ever made by hiring Disney guys to essentially re-work their masterpiece of last film, Lilo and Stitch. I don’t care what you say, that Dragon IS Stitch, and not just because of Chris Sanders distinctive art style makes him look like Stitch.  The story of an outcast child teamed up with an out of control monster who together learn to work together and find their place together? Exactly. But, Dragon is so good that it doesn’t matter. The story works, and it works so well. The only real downfall, that the voice cast seems assembled and recorded on the set of a Judd Apatow movie.  The only other thing that keeps Dragon from obtaining classic status, is that it doesn’t make me cry. Lilo makes me cry. Every time. It might just be that whenever the film hit an emotional peak it immediately becomes destroyed by the voice of McLovin.

4. Scott Pilgrim – the best, truest and literal adaptation of a comic ever made. And, nobody cared. Unfortunate.


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