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2010 movies (non-sci-fi)


This can be our thread to discuss all non-sci films of the past year, now that awards season is upon us. It might clash with other threads but we're talking about non-sci-fi, mainstream and indy stuff.

I'll be jotting down my thoughts on some of the buzzed-about flicks of the year.

SPOILER WARNING: I'm not guaranteeing no spoilers. Fortunately none of these movies have much plot so don't worry about it anyway.

Ok first one at bat:

The Fighter

Plot summary: Biography on "Irish" Micky Ward, boxer from a boxing family from Lowell, MA. Famous for his 3 bouts against Arturo Gotti a few years ago but this is before that, how he struggles with family and especially his crack-addicted ex-brother, Dicky.

Cast: Mark Wahlberg (Micky), Christian Bale (Dicky), Amy Adams (Charlene, the girlfriend)

The good: I love boxing and I love boxing movies, so I was biased towards it going in. Of course I expected Bale to be great but I never liked Wahlberg.

The two most pleasantly surprising things about the movie were Wahlberg's performance and how great the fight scenes looked. Boxing is cinematic because it's beautiful and brutal and intimate and frightening, and they do all that real well, even though there is very little fighting and it's a straight-up family drama.

I read that Wahlberg was working on this for years, both physically (working out, learning to fight) and just getting the film made. So now I changed my mind about Wahlberg, because that love for the project made it work.

The bad: Not for those who don't care about Ward, the sport, or sports movie cliches.
Black Swan

Plot Summary
Theme of the ballet of the same name is translated cinematically into a psychological thriller about a ballerina whose obsession with her craft and emotional isolationism transforms into paranoia and self-destruction.

Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis; dir. Aranofksy

The good
Aranofsky also made Pi and Requiem For a Dream and The Wrestler, so his movies have weirdness and artsiness but are generally really cool to watch. In that sense there is that here- wacky editing, intense close-ups, particularly the whole descent into madness thing which involves some pretty cool fx in this case.

The bad
This flick felt to me like a film school art project that happened to be made by pros. It's ARTY and about ART. All of the expected beats story-wise were hit, which made it feel clunky and silly to me. You should know the story of the ballet going in (even though they state it) and you would enjoy more if you care, which I don't.
Lust and passion are supposed to be key elements of what drives Portman's character to the brink, but the way it's portrayed is so cheesy and safe and not sexy at all (and no I'm not talking about how much skin isn't shown) that it was unintentionally comical.

Didn't care for it very much.
In the Wrestler, Aranofsky used his advanced film-making skills to support the depiction of characters, which is why I loved it. Here, he's using characters as props to support a visual art project, which bores me.

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