The Expendables– Sylvester Stallone and Zooey Deschanel star in this quirky little romantic comedy, directed by Rob Reiner. Lots of explosions ensue. Look out for the glorious (and totally not gay) fist bump at the end of the movie.
Nightmare on Elm Street (the remake) – How can a horror movie about a burned dude who goes into teenagers’ dreams and murders them be so boring? The director took all the fun out of the original. Slickly produced bloodbaths are not interesting.
Get Him To The Greek – Jonah Hill really needs to lose some weight. We’re getting worried about him. Seriously, don’t turn into the next Chris Farley.
Scream 1 – I know I saw this movie before, but I barely remembered any of it. Neve Campbell has awesome bangs.
Scream 2 – Surprisingly, much better than the first. Better chase scenes and a somewhat less convoluted backstory. After the first Scream was such a hit, part 2 was a parade of celebrities. It might have been distracting had the whole series not been so dedicated to being “meta.”
Scream 3 – Darker than the second installment. Somehow they manage to keep a consistent backstory through all three movies, filling in more sordid details as the series goes on. Courtney Cox has a weird haircut in this one, and she bears an uncomfortably close resemblance to Skeletor. Hollywood is not kind to aging women.
True Grit (2010) – This is how you do a remake. Might be one of my favorite Coen brothers movies. I only wish they had filmed Jeff Bridges’ beard in 3D.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead – This is my top recommended movie from 2010. It’s just your average Shakespeare-mixed-with-vampire love story. This indie was funny and surprising. If you love vampires and hate what Twilight did to them, consider this a palate cleanser. With a soundtrack by John Lennon’s kid (Sean, not Julien).
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke – A tale of two magicians doing real magic in the early 19th Century. I listened to the audiobook, and narrator Simon Prebble is one of the best readers I’ve yet heard. Funny and tense, literary and breezy, chock full of historical detail and character and mythology. I’m so glad I finally got to this one.
The Corrections and Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen – While The Corrections managed to be a comical tale of tragedy, Freedom was just depressing. I can’t recommend Freedom, even though I appreciate how well-written it was. The Corrections, on the other hand, had a dose of unreality that tip-toed towards magical realism. Franzen should go further in that direction. It was hard to read Freedom because I didn’t like any of the characters, and the realism was served up hard and cold. Instead of reading Freedom, go rewatch It’s a Wonderful Life. Same deal, but with Jimmy Stewart.