Unlike books, I do actually see what comes out during the year (when I have money) instead of what came out last year – unless we’re talking Oscar nominated flicks, then I’m usually a year behind, so this list is restricted to movies that came out in 2010. Looking at the below list, it seems I’ve been a big cry baby at the movies over the past year and have also seen mostly kids movies or comedies with no dramas. Well, thats a lie. I saw a few dramas but they were either terrible or I had serious issues (i.e. Princess Kaiulani) with so they didn’t make the top 5. Maybe what this list designates is my need to escape from the harsh realities and adult decisions of 2010 and the need to return to a simpler, more carefree time.
1. Toy Story 3
I laughed, I cried, I cried, and I cried some more. As an individual who not so long ago gave up her toys for the adult life, Andy’s desire to hold onto wisps of his childhood while moving forward made me recognize my own struggles with adulthood over the years. Like Up last year, Toy Story 3 speaks to those in their twenties to early thirties, when you are sacrificing some dreams for the sake of things you never thought you wanted and are realizing that maybe you won’t be the person the child you thought you were going to be. Maybe there are some trips you won’t get to take or houses you won’t get to buy or cars you won’t be able to own. Maybe there are careers and degrees that became out of reach for some reason, and although you will still lead a full life, you had to stop chasing that dream and resign yourself to following other, more attainable dreams. We are told from the beginning that we can be whatever and whoever we want, but then we learn that our families, their history, and their influence play a large role in shaping what we end up becoming and societal demands and restrictions prohibit us from attaining certain things. Unless, we are lucky enough to catch a break in life. Which, sadly, many people aren’t. All that from a damn kids movie.
2. Hot Tub Time Machine
One cool thing about this movie is that I got to see it before it was even finished. I got to go to one of those previews where they ask you questions about your demographics and what you did/didn’t like about the movie. And guess what? They actually listened. The ending I saw on the DVD was not the same one I saw in the theatre. It was almost the same, but they added a thing here and there. I guess it was for the better, but the ending still kind of sucked and relied on capitalistic gains to display life success and happiness. Anyways though, onto the movie. Freaking HI-Larious. Even though I was only alive for half of the 80s I felt that the references they used were pop culture enough to transcend to at least late teens and early twenties viewers and plus the antics were just amusing. My husband dragged me into the theatre to see it originally, but I was glad he did.
3. Despicable Me
“It’s So Fluffy I Could Die!” has become a pretty common quote in my house. This quote describes everything from cats to rabbits to stuffed animals. All so freaking adorable and fluffy that I could die. This was the cutest movie I saw all year. The three girls touched my heart and made me want to adopt a million children. My husband makes fun of me because whenever we go to the animal shelter, I cry because I feel so bad for all the children and I want to take them home. I don’t want the animals to die just because they couldn’t find love. My husband reminds me that we have 4 shelter animals in our tiny 700 square foot house, so we do all we can to give them homes. but I know its not enough. There are so many that die. When this first happened (just before we adopted our first cat who used to be named Shasha – if anything, we were saving her from that name), my husband commented that I didn’t seem to get this worked up about orphaned children. And I said, well, they don’t get put to sleep if they don’t get adopted. I, of course, through my tears, didn’t take into consideration the fact that these children instead get bounced between group homes, foster homes, and relatives, and ensue all the issues that go along with that type of thing. Anyways, growing up, movies and books and television make it seem kind of cool to be an orphan. Look at Annie. She got Daddy Warbucks in the end. Harry Potter was a freaking wizard with an amazing village that came to rescue him from the hell of living with the Dursleys. Peter Pan got to live forever. The thing with orphans, is that it seems like they have a few really shitty years and then amazing things happen to them. Amazing things that never happen to normal kids in two-parent households. As an adult though, I know this is not correct. As someone contemplating trying for her first child in the near future, it breaks my heart that any child should have to suffer. So, getting back to Despicable Me, these three girls who touched my heart with their love and laughter made me cry. They made me cry for all the other little girls at the orphanage who had no chance of being adopted and who would bounce around and feel unwanted or unloved for the next 10+ years or however many years they had left. They made me want to adopt instead of give birth, and I’m still contemplating that decision as my husband and I embark upon expanding our family with people instead of more animals. I think that if my husband and I have anyone to blame for all this baby-craziness, its Despicable Me. And probably Up and Toy Story 3 too. 🙂
4. Alice In Wonderland
I feel like people just don’t get Tim Burton like I get Tim Burton. Everyone hated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). It was too scary – It was nothing like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) – blah blah blah. Did any of these people actually READ the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl? Have they read ANYTHING by Roald Dahl? He wrote some scary shit in a magnificently endearing and imaginative way. And if you read about how Roald Dahl felt about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, you might reconsider your opinions on Tim Burton’s take. But I digress. This post is not about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it’s about Alice in Wonderland. Alice in Wonderland which had no connection to the Disney Cartoon (1951) other than the production company which shelled out money for it. If you take the story not as the original Alice in Wonderland, but as part of a later sequel, the movie makes so much more sense. If you look at it individually, its pretty good. Just like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it shouldn’t be compared to anything that came before it and it shouldn’t be compared to anything that comes after. Because each is its own telling in its own right and Tim Burton does a masterful job. I have a feeling that the darkness may be closer to reality than people think. Carroll wrote in an opium induced stupor and while I’m sure he saw brilliant and magnificent things, I’m sure he also saw scary and horrific things equally as captivating. And come on, how can you not love the pigs the Red Queen uses to warm her feet?
5. Iron Man 2
So, I didn’t necessarily want to put this in my top 5, but I didn’t see a TON of great movies this year (although I did see a number of bad ones) and it was a tie between this or Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and I figured I needed to put a more “adult” non-comedy, non-cartoon movie on my list. I have to admit that I liked Iron Man way better, but maybe that’s just because Scarlett Johannson wasn’t in the first one and she was all over the second one. Either way, it was an entertaining way to spend a few hours and Robert Downey Jr. is quite the attractive man. Probably if I had a choice between him and Michael Cera, I would choose Robert Downey Jr for the day/night, but Michael Cera for the lifetime.