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Top Five Films of 2010 (so far)

July 5, 2010



It’s been six months since Keeping It Reel hit the ground running and the staff would like to thank you for supporting us. A special thanks to those who’ve commented on our reviews and for telling others about our site. We are continuously thinking of ideas for the site while still bringing you our views on what we see on-screen.
We decided to take some time to list off what we consider to be the best five films of the year (so far) and we asked someone to join us. Local film critic, Josh Larsen has been so kind as to share what he considers to be the five films that stood out to him (so far) this year. “It’s been a lackluster first half of 2010 at theaters”, admitted Larsen, “but a few films have stood out”.


So, without further ado, here are our Top Five Films of 2010 (so far)….

A swirling, whirling adventure (and not because of the 3-D), this animated feature ends on a shocking, touching grace note. The biggest, sweetest surprise of the year so far.
This film features the best use of 3D of any film this year, in my opinion.  The flying sequences alone are enough for me to want to buy another overpriced ticket.
David – Kick Ass
A fun (and funny), violent comic, faithfully adapted into a fun (and funny), violent movie. It knows what it is and has fun with it. You can’t say that about many comic book movies. 
Craig Ferguson & Gerard Butler in “How to Train Your Dragon”
Josh – Please Give
More cinematic honesty from independent writer-director Nicole Holofcener. This time she follows a New York City furniture dealer (Catherine Keener) with guilt issues. As usual, Holofcener puts a slight plot into motion and then allows the drama to come from the authentic human gestures that bubble up.
Paul – Bass Ackwards
Linas Phillips weaves together a perfect blend of “mumblecore”, faux-documentary, and guerilla filmmaking in this extremely low-budget Sundance film.  What results is an honest and effective look at a twenty-something’s journey from one stage in life to another.

David – Winter’s Bone
Both the complete immersion into the close-nit community of the Ozark Mountains and Jennifer Lawrence as the resilient 12 yr. old protagonist who is trying to save her family, make for rare and welcome cinematic treats. Writer/director, Debra Granik has now been added to my film radar.
Rebecca Hall & Amanda Peet in “Please Give”
Josh – Splice
This is gonzo, sci-fi horror in the tradition of David Cronenberg. Like his work, this tale of a pair of hipster scientists who combine human and animal DNA uses icky, visceral imagery — gooey stuff you can touch — to explore the ugliness of human psychology.
Accomplished French filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s gangster epic is one film that has stuck with me since I saw it back in January.  Don’t let the subtitles deter you.  Watch this impeccably done Godfather-esque film as soon as you can.

Captivating and absorbing characters portrayed by talented actors inhabit this enthralling mystery that sacrificies nothing. Argentinian writer/director Juan José Campanella trusts in your intellect as he inveils a story that touches upon many relatable themes in this Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film.
Tahar Rahim in “Un Prophète (The Prophet)”
Josh – Toy Story 3
What an ending, both for the film itself and the series. Pixar somehow maintained the precious combination of wit, animated action and nostalgia of the previous films. Please don’t make Toy Story 4.

Paul – Mother     

Korean filmmaker Joon-ho Bong, coming off of the highly recommended film “The Host”,  delivers the slightly creepy mother-son mystery “Mother”.  Though this film debuted at film festivals (including the Chicago International Film Festival) in 2009, the film didn’t have its theatrical release until early 2010 in the states… so it makes the list! 

David – Mother

A mesmerizing film that still resonates months after viewing it. Korean writer/director, Joon-ho Bong (“The Host”) delivers a unique film that combines terror and humor with just the right amount of characterization in one of the most satisfying films of the year about a mother who will go to any lengths to protect her son.
Kim Hye-ja in “Mother”
Martin Scorsese’s wacked-out noir, a harrowing rumination on post-traumatic stress for American soldiers, left me dazed and confused on first viewing. And since then, I can’t shake it. I definitely plan on another viewing – as soon as I can summon the courage.
Just when the release date delays and the horror film marketing had me doubting Martin Scorsese’s filmmaking majesty, this film blew me away.  Whats even better is that this is a better watch the second time around!
David – Toy Story 3
A fun, adventurous and touching farewell to some dear friends (that happen to be toys) with barely recognizable 3D (and that’s a compliment!), make this an easy Oscar winner next year. Pixar Animation Studios once again proves that they can do no wrong. They’ve said before that they’re goal is to make quality films, not just animation films. They just happen to master the animation medium.  
Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo & Ben Kingsley in “Shutter Island”
Well, there ya have it. Feel free to share with us your thoughts on the topic. It will be interesting to see how many of these films make our respective Top Ten year-end lists. Special thanks to Josh Larsen for joining us. We encourage you to follow Josh’s activities on his site (listed above) and stay with us as we continue to share with you what we see.


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