Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year in Review: Movies

Today I reaped the consequences for yesterday's procrastination. It was sunny but cold yesterday. Today isn't as cold, but it's rainy, and I had to go grocery shopping. Carrying groceries out to the car and then from the car to the house in the rain isn't fun. Note to self: next house will have an attached garage. There are downsides to having a house that faces a courtyard rather than a street.

I thought I'd figured out what I needed to do with the new scene idea I came up with, but then had an inspiration during my evening reading binge. It wasn't so much a thing I wanted to copy/steal as it was an awareness of how a certain element really intensified things in the book I was reading and then the realization that this element really should have been in what I was writing, but was missing. Now I need to tinker again with the last scene, and it should end up with a good emotional sucker punch effect. Today should be a good reading/writing day. The trick will be to focus on the writing when I'm tempted by the reading (curse you, Connie Willis!).

It's the time of year for all the "year in review" lists. I may have to save the book list for next week because I'm still reading one of the big books of the year. I don't think I'll get to any more movies this year, so I'll go ahead and do that. The problem is that I don't really remember all the movies I saw this year. I think I'll take one of those journals I've received as a thank-you gift for speaking at a library or writing group and start listing the movies I've watched the way I do books.

I think my favorite movie of the year would have to be Tangled, with Toy Story 3 a close second. The fact that my top two were Disney cartoons may say something about either my maturity level or the state of the film industry. I'm leaning toward the latter because to me it's all about story. There's a real dearth of good romantic comedies, and Tangled actually works as a romantic comedy because the hero and heroine both have arcs, they clash, then mesh and change each other, and I actually wanted them to end up together (which is rare in most of these movies, where either the guy is an idiot or the woman is a bitch). Add the fairy tale elements and the music, and it's like a movie that was custom-made for me. Then Toy Story 3 was an animated movie about toys that probably had more impact on adults who remember when they reached the age of leaving their toys behind than it did on kids who are still playing with toys. Pixar did their usual trick of making a movie that looks like it's for kids but which is really for adults.

I didn't see anything at the theater that I really hated, since I see very few movies at the theater and only go when it's something I truly want to see. Sherlock Holmes and Tron: Legacy could have been truly brilliant with better writing and better casting. Both of them fell down in choosing their female leads. I've loved Rachel McAdams in so many things, but she was totally out of her league as Irene Adler in Sherlock Holmes. The woman who manages to outwit Holmes should be more of a peer, and that role shouldn't remind me of the 22-year-old supermodels playing nuclear physicists in a Bond movie. Meanwhile, it may be because I hate her on House, but Olivia Wilde just has this weird blank, dead-eyed look to her in everything. I don't get why she's currently such an "it" girl. It's hard for me as a straight woman to judge, but I don't even think she's that hot.

I liked what they did with the first half of the last Harry Potter movie, but it's hard to judge without seeing part 2. I enjoyed Inception and found it mindblowing, but I'm almost afraid to watch it again because I suspect it will lose something now that I know what's going on.

I do plan to see The King's Speech, but that will probably have to wait until next week, so it may fall onto my list for next year. When I will be keeping a list so I can do a better job than this and even deal with the "wait for HBO" movies.

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