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July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10" 
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Post July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
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Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:45 pm
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Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
I always like reading your Halftime Top 10 because it offers a glimpse at which 3 Star films almost made it to 3.5. Glad it was Shutter Island (my number 2 film of the first half of this year). Gotta see Girl with the Dragon Tattoo now that it's on DVD.

I was hoping for a hint at Inception's rating. Something like "this list is irrelevant because the best film of the year comes out Friday"...anything you can offer us? Or have you not seen it yet?


Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:10 pm
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
About Kick Ass.

Personally, I didn't mind one bit about Chloe Moretz snuffing out bad guys or being beaten to a pulp. I was as amused as you and indeed, the whole situation arguably gave the film its edge.

But OTOH, I thought there were instances where the copious gore and the sadistic violence seemed completely out of place, especially considering the fact that the movie was clearly intended to be a comedy/satire. It was a jarring change of tone which I found confusing and unnecessary.
I assume the director thought he was being hip and cool but someone must inform him that mimicking Tarantino isn't a panacea.


Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:01 pm
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
panos75 wrote:
About Kick Ass.

Personally, I didn't mind one bit about Chloe Moretz snuffing out bad guys or being beaten to a pulp. I was as amused as you and indeed, the whole situation arguably gave the film its edge.

But OTOH, I thought there were instances where the copious gore and the sadistic violence seemed completely out of place, especially considering the fact that the movie was clearly intended to be a comedy/satire. It was a jarring change of tone which I found confusing and unnecessary.
I assume the director thought he was being hip and cool but someone must inform him that mimicking Tarantino isn't a panacea.

I don't get it, Kick Ass didn't resemble Tarantino from any angle that I can see, for one thing the characters weren't constantly spouting inane and unfunny pop-culture references.


Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:53 pm
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
Great list as always; one question tho: where is The Girl Who Played With Fire?


Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:09 pm
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
oafolay wrote:
Great list as always; one question tho: where is The Girl Who Played With Fire?


Try reading the entry to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and your question will be answered.


Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:14 pm
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Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
A pretty good list. I felt that Shutter Island is ultimately minor Scorsese, but I appreciate that he's trying new stuff at this stage in the game.

Green Zone is by far my favorite film of the first half of the year; there wasn't a whole lot of good stuff that made it up my way, and a crowded schedule prohibited me from seeing The Ghost Writer (Dammit).

Just curious, James, did you see Please Give? I don't think it was as good as Holocefner's earlier film Lovely & Amazing, but I love those slice of life character dramas.

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Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:02 am
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Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
a crowded schedule prohibited me from seeing The Ghost Writer (Dammit).


I was hoping The Ghost Writer would have made the bottom of his list. It's a better film than Shutter Island; personally, it's the best movie I've seen so far this year. I also probably would have substituted Winter's Bone in place of Kick-Ass (that one had some tone problems. Also, I don't really get the Tarantino comparisons mentioned farther above either.) Otherwise, hard to argue much with that list.


Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:22 am
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
Patrick wrote:
oafolay wrote:
Great list as always; one question tho: where is The Girl Who Played With Fire?


Try reading the entry to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and your question will be answered.


Ah, gotcha.


Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:36 am
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
James, on Haneke's The White Ribbon you wrote, "The ambiguity surrounding the resolution is one of its strengths, proving that "closure" isn't always the best way to go." Has your view on his latest film at all caused you to reevaluate your opinion on 2005's Caché?

Sexual Chocolate wrote:
A pretty good list. I felt that Shutter Island is ultimately minor Scorsese, but I appreciate that he's trying new stuff at this stage in the game.


It's a wonder how good even "minor" Scorsese is though, elevating the films ending higher then it deserved.

panos75 wrote:
About Kick Ass.

I assume the director thought he was being hip and cool but someone must inform him that mimicking Tarantino isn't a panacea.


I honestly don't get why people equate graphic violence to Quentin Tarantino's films. You never saw the cops ear get cut off in Reservoir Dogs, only Roth's blood on the floor and some blood splattering against a cop car window. The only very violent scene in Pulp Fiction was Marvin's head shot which you didn't specifically see, you never even saw his body. You never saw the mans finger cut off in Four Rooms. You never saw Chris Tucker or Bridget Fonda get shot in Jackie Brown. Kill Bill Vol. 2 had Daryl Hannah's eye being plucked out and Death Proof had the car crash. The only film Tarantino got extremely violent in was Kill Bill Vol. 1 and even that films most violent scene was dulled to black and white. Why people constantly refer to him when talking about on-screen violence in beyond me.


Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:32 am
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
I used the Tarantino comparison not so much because he uses too much graphic violence in his films (indeed, he doesn't) but because he made sadistic and gratuitous violence look cool and hip.
Obviously that was Vaughn's goal too but unfortunately he went much too far for my liking. Even the gallows humor he tried to use was pretty sophomoric and actually made things worse.


Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:57 am
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Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
Wholeheartedly agree on Kick-Ass and The Green Zone. Fantsatic films and the only ones I've seen on the list. I really can't wait to see "The Girl" films after I get back. I haven't seen them at the bazaar here yet.


Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:03 am
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Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
JJoshay wrote:
It's a wonder how good even "minor" Scorsese is though, elevating the films ending higher then it deserved.


I'd have to agree. There are definitely weak parts in Shutter Island, where the writing is just sub-par, and the film is able to fly by just on Scorsese's technique and the quality of the actors involved.

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Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:50 am
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Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
Looking at that list, I can't help but think of how weak a year thus far it's been. I really only enjoyed Toy Story 3, Cyrus, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from this list, and literally I think those are the only movies that even remotely stuck with me of all the films I've seen. Unless there's a real rush of quality at the end of the year, I think the Academy is really going to be stretching to fill out 10 nominees for best picture...expect a few "The Blind Side"s.

And people wonder why so many film fans are clinging to Inception for dear life.


Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:51 am
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
panos75 wrote:
I used the Tarantino comparison not so much because he uses too much graphic violence in his films (indeed, he doesn't) but because he made sadistic and gratuitous violence look cool and hip.
Obviously that was Vaughn's goal too but unfortunately he went much too far for my liking. Even the gallows humor he tried to use was pretty sophomoric and actually made things worse.

Eh, I still don't use ANY rsemblance ot Tarantino whatsoever, that whole "making-violence-look-cool-and-hip" thing was done by plenty of other directors before Tarantino EVER made a film, so I personally think you were just tihnking WAAAYYYYYYY TOO hard about that film.


Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:56 pm
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Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
jlg310 wrote:
I was hoping for a hint at Inception's rating. Something like "this list is irrelevant because the best film of the year comes out Friday"...anything you can offer us? Or have you not seen it yet?


I haven't seen it yet. Plan to see it Tuesday night. I could see it tomorrow, but my wife wants to go with me and our babysitter is scheduled for Tuesday. I'll get the review up as soon as I can, but I have to get THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE up as well and I haven't seen that yet either.


Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:19 pm
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Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
Vexer wrote:
Eh, I still don't use ANY rsemblance ot Tarantino whatsoever, that whole "making-violence-look-cool-and-hip" thing was done by plenty of other directors before Tarantino EVER made a film, so I personally think you were just tihnking WAAAYYYYYYY TOO hard about that film.


Really? By whom?
Sam Peckinpah? David Cronnenberg? Michael Winner?

The truth is that Tarantino's approach to the subject of violence was unprecedented and that's why it was such a sensation back in the '90's.


Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:24 am
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
panos75 wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Eh, I still don't use ANY rsemblance ot Tarantino whatsoever, that whole "making-violence-look-cool-and-hip" thing was done by plenty of other directors before Tarantino EVER made a film, so I personally think you were just tihnking WAAAYYYYYYY TOO hard about that film.


Really? By whom?
Sam Peckinpah? David Cronnenberg? Michael Winner?

The truth is that Tarantino's approach to the subject of violence was unprecedented and that's why it was such a sensation back in the '90's.[/quote} Whatever, the point I was trying to make is that Kick Ass has ZERO resemblance to Taratino.


Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:13 am
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
Vexer wrote:
panos75 wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Whatever, the point I was trying to make is that Kick Ass has ZERO resemblance to Taratino.


In that case we must agree to disagree.
You can argue that Vaughn's attempt to present violence in a Tarantinesque way was failed, but to say that it has zero resemblance is incorrect IMHO.


Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:24 am
Post Re: July 10, 2010: "The 2010 Halftime Top 10"
James, a very good movie (if not the best) of 2010 is missing from the list - I guess it is because you have not reviewed it? "El Secreto de sus Ojos" (The Secret in their Eyes).


Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:45 pm
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