So we are over halfway through the year and now is as good a point as any to take stock of the cinematic highs and lows of 2010 so far.
To be honest it has not been a great year for film in terms of quality or admits.
Due to a combination of the World Cup and some scorching weather, a trip to the local cinema has not been at the top of everybody's 'to do list', and I can't really blame them as it has the quality of the releases this year has been poor, especially the so-called summer blockbusters.
In fact it was a struggle for me to think of ten great films for my list, only the top five are probably guaranteed to still be there at the end of the year.
Lowlights of the year so far:
3D - We are now experiencing the fallout of the Avatar effect and quite frankly I am completely underwhelmed. So far all we are getting are animated films (How To Train Your Dragon, Shrek) and some shocking post-production 3D conversions that have had no benefit to the action and have even compromised the quality of the film in terms of visual aesthetic (Clash Of The Titans, Last Airbender). It appears the decision for the use of 3D is being taken by the studios looking to add a few extra bucks onto the price of the tickets and prevent piracy, rather than a creative decision by the director. Stop Hollywood, please before its too late!
I saw Toy Story 3 last week in 3D and it did not need to be in 3D. Personally I will wait to see what Martin Scorsese does with the technology on Hugo Cabret and how it works filming live-action and real people, not Smurfs.
Subtitled Film Marketing - I love subtitled films and here at The Belmont there is an audience for them. However certain distributors do not have the same faith in the product that we do at site level and have started to market these films by creating trailers that hide the fact that it is in a foreign language and instead just have Voiceover Guy talking about the film. Recent examples include Coco Before Chanel, Heartbreaker and The Girl Who Played With Fire. Click on the links and see for yourself, in Heartbreaker the only words spoken in it is when the guy sings Wham!
It is fair enough that they want to get as many people to come and see the film as possible but they are not the ones who have to deal with the ignorant idiots who come out of the screen after 10 minutes to tell us the film is in French and they "paid to watch a film, not read one". They really grind my gears.
Highlights of the year:
Cannes Film Festival - My first experience of a film festival was an absolute delight. Got to see some great films (Another Year, Rubber) and some stinkers (Extreme Labyrinth 3D, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger), walked the red carpet, mingled with celebs (Andy Serkis), and helped out with Cannes In A Van. Not bad for a guy from the 'Deen.
Originality finally coming back to Hollywood? - Inception is my film of the year so far and really hope that it becomes as popular with audiences as it was with the critics. In a year of endless sequels, remakes and films based on books, TV shows, etc and the lukewarm audience response to them, it is refreshing to see Warner Bros taking a $180 million chance with Christopher Nolan's original idea for a blockbuster.
Other examples of original movies this year include Rubber (about a killer tyre that can blow things up with its mind) and Human Centipede (disgusting yes, but original all the same).
(500) Films Of Empire - I am greatly enjoying this exhausting task of watching the 500 greatest films of all time and with just under 70 films to go in 63 days, I am confident of finishing it in time and hope to have a screening of the number one film at The Belmont on the final day (which also happens to be the 10th anniversary of The Belmont)
Top Ten Of The Year
2. Toy Story 3
3. A Single Man
5. A Prophet
6. Shutter Island
7. The Secret In Their Eyes
8. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Worst Films Of The Year
1. Sex And The City 2
2. Clash Of The Titans
3. You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger
Most Anticipated Films Of The Year
1. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
2. The Social Network
3. The Rum Diary