A few days ago I was looking at the list of new-release movies I’ve watched this year. It was alarming. There was a grand total of 16, 5 of which played at TIFF and — apart from Let Me In — haven’t even hit North American theatres yet:

  1. Date Night
  2. The Book Of Eli
  3. Green Zone
  4. Inception
  5. The Runaways
  6. Kick-Ass
  7. Trust (tiff)
  8. Blame (tiff)
  9. Let Me In (tiff)
  10. Confessions (tiff)
  11. 13 Assassins (tiff)
  12. Robin Hood
  13. The Social Network
  14. The Crazies
  15. Iron Man 2
  16. Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage

That’s not good.  Apart from Inception, Let Me In, 13 Assassins and The Social Network (which were excellent) and Kick-Ass, Trust, Confessions and the Rush documentary (which were good) I’d done a shit job of seeing movies in 2010. I should also point out that I saw only three of those in a theatre.

But I read an article in Eye today called “2010: The Year That Wasn’t There” in which they suggested the movies on offer this year have been rather shit to begin with:

But here’s the thing: other than Inception—which was less of a pop-cultural event than The Dark Knight and frankly less of a mind-fuck than Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters—who can remember any of this year’s other big-ticket items? In a piece published this past July in The Wall Street Journal, critic Joe Queenan exercised his inner Comic Book Guy by asking if this was, cinematically speaking, the Worst. Year. Ever.

So maybe it wasn’t just me then. I’m gonna say…50% Hollywood, 50% Dickinson. Still, surely there’ve been films released this year worth seeing that I was just too busy to get to, and which will challenge for Academy Awards. Off I went to Rotten Tomatoes, who helpfully compiles lists of top-rated movies by year. And, from that, I created the list of nineteen movies which we’ll try to see before the Oscars, if not by the end of the year.

  • 127 Hours
  • A Single Man
  • Black Swan
  • Blue Valentine
  • Buried
  • Easy A
  • Exit Through The Gift Shop
  • Get Low
  • Inside Job
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech
  • Restrepo
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
  • Somewhere
  • The Fighter
  • The Tillman Story
  • The Town
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

Yesterday we got started with The Kids Are All Right (imdb | rotten tomatoes), mainly because it’s available on demand and we’re lazy. It was okay, though a little too long, and I did think it was going to be funnier than it turned out. And then today we watched Winter’s Bone (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which was dirty and cold and gritty and realistic and excellent.

"I left my thimbles and socialist reading material at home."


Wow, three days without blogging. That’s probably a record. I can explain: busy Friday, busy Saturday and today I feel like ass.

Friday I was at work until about 7:30, and by the time I got home all I really had the energy to do was eat and watch Friday Night Lights and The Wire.

Yesterday we intended to see There Will Be Blood but when we got to the theatre we found that the new Eye Weekly film listings had lied to us. No wonder Torontoist hates them. No other showtimes worked so we had one last meal at the Biryani House in Roy’s Square. It’s closing in two weeks (moving just around the corner onto Hayden Street) to make room for 1Bloor. Mmmmm…samosas and pakoras and shrimp masala…tasty. After lunch we walked back down Church street, cleaned up a little and waited for CBGB to arrive. They joined us for dinner and a couple of tasty drinks at Smokeless Joe (hence the picture above), then back at ours for a bit.

All was going well until I woke up this morning stuffed up, with a sore throat and a pounding sinus headache. Last night I had nothing; by this morning I was deep in the throes of a cold. Shitty. I feel very unpleasant right now. As such we did next to nothing all day; I have no energy. My day has been limited to lots of basketball, football and movies.


The first movie we watched today was Stranger Than Fiction (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which, based on the ads, I’d all but dismissed as typical Will Ferrell clowning. It was, in fact, very funny, clever and sweet. Ferrell is so good at the subtle humour he showed here and in Winter Passing that it kills me to see the ads for crap like Semi-Pro. A few times in this movie I laughed out loud, and I rarely laugh at Will Ferrell movies.

We also watched Marie Antoinette (imdb | rotten tomatoes) this evening. The first half was interesting, but it completely lost steam in the second half. It was like watching a dessert cart being paraded around…it looks lovely and inspired at first, but after you stare at the same sweets for two hours it loses something. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it that much to begin with; Sofia Coppola had me in the first half, but lost me again in the second.

I forgot to blog last week about Italianetz (imdb | rotten tomatoes), yet another foreign entry at a past film festival that I wanted to see. The story was about a Russian boy set to be adopted from an orphanage by an Italian couple (hence the title) but who worries that he has a mother somewhere that, should he go to live with another couple, he’ll never see again. The plot takes him on his search for her, but the real star was Russia itself: a dirty, drunken, stormy, barren, corrupt plain of despair…that one little boy refuses to give up on. Worth watching, if you can tolerate the dodgy subtitle translations.

[tags]friday night lights, the wire, there will be blood, eye weekly, torontoist, biryani house, 1bloor, smokeless joe, stranger than fiction, marie antoinette, italianetz[/tags]