2010 in Review

2010 in Review: Austin Film, in Photos

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Before we wrap up 2010 in review (you can read all the articles here), I wanted to share some of my favorite photos with you from local movie-related events. Click the photos for articles about them. Special thanks to Paul Gandersman for our Machete red-carpet photos (including the one below of Danny Trejo) and Tate English for the Dobie photo below. The other photos are mine, for better or worse.

TXFHOF 2010 #124

2010 in Review: The Year of Doubek

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Chris Doubek

While you might not recognize his name, Chris Doubek has turned into one of the most visible local actors in Austin, and this year he's owned the Austin indie scene with no less than four films featuring his diverse talent. He may be hamming it up in the picture above from SXSW 2010, but Slackerwood has declared 2010 the Year of Doubek for good reason.

If there was an Austin Film Actor of the Year award, Doubek would have annihilated the competition. At SXSW 2010, it was impossible to turn around without bumping into Doubek as he was running around between premieres of his movies including Clay Liford's Earthling, Paul Gordon's The Happy Poet, and Brian Poyser's Lovers of Hate. He's so good, he has had at least one role written just for him.  

2010 in Review: Memorable Austin Movies, Part Two

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Skateland

Check out Part One of our collection of Austin-related films that Slackerwood contributors found memorable in 2010. In addition, keep an eye out for Jenn's article later this week focusing on an Austin actor who was especially prolific last year. Here's the rest of our list:

Machete
What was the best time to be had at the movies in 2010? Machete, but of course; no other 2010 film kicked ass with more wit, style and subversive glee than Robert Rodriguez’s riotous, Austin-shot homage to '70s exploitation flicks. (Jette's review) From Danny Trejo's glowering take on the anti-hero Machete Cortez to Michelle Rodriguez's heat-packin' halter top, every detail about this exploitation extravaganza is dead on. And beyond all the murder, mayhem and gloriously gratuitous nudity, Machete also has a lot to say about politics, racism and the immigration debate. As I said to Jette after we watched Machete, "Now, that was the movie Eat Pray Love should have been." --Don Clinchy
How you can see it: Available on Blu-ray and DVD.

2010 in Review: Memorable Austin Movies, Part One

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Echotone

Fishmonger by day, blues musician by night. Entrepreneur turned astronaut. Notoriously foul-mouthed potential Winnebago salesman in retirement. Loser taking a shower at the Genie Car Wash. Another loser trying to learn to harmonize musically and socially. A third loser who may have found the woman that will help him get over his ex-wife ... but has to deal with her horrible son. Poet with a dream of selling vegetarian sandwiches. The most stubborn, determined 14-year-old girl in the history of American film. A soldier returning from Iraq to West Texas. A machete-wielding ex-Federale fighting bigotry and seeking revenge. A man, a woman, a goat, and a dream of superb cheese.

Austin films don't fall into a predictable genre or pattern, whether they're indies that were shot locally on a shoestring or Hollywood films that happened to be shooting here in town. Amid the banquet of Austin and Central Texas-connected movies that were released in theaters or on video this year, or that hit the film-fest circuit, everyone at Slackerwood has their favorite movies and moments. We'd like to share a few of them with you below -- then head over to Part Two for more.

Artois the Goat
Although Artois the Goat first screened in town during SXSW 2009, the Austin-shot romantic comedy wasn't officially released until its DVD in 2010. In my DVD review, I said that Artois the Goat "shyly sparkles with a little romance, a combination of broad and subtle humor, some delightful characters ... and some mouth-watering cheeses." Jenn Brown called it "a little cheesy, but it's supposed to be, and in the best way." --Jette Kernion
How you can see it: Available to watch online for free on Hulu, or buy the DVD.

2010 in Review: Don's Top 10 and Other Lists

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Machete

Here are my top 10 and other notable films from last year. To be eligible for my list, a movie had to release in 2010 and screen in Austin in 2010 also. (Some well reviewed 2010 releases, such as Blue Valentine, have not yet been released in Austin.)

1. The Social Network
No matter how you feel about Facebook (I love it enough to marry it), this flawlessly crafted yarn about the birth of the world's largest social network is the must-see film of 2010. With its snappy, snarky Aaron Sorkin script and zippy David Fincher direction, The Social Network is a razor-sharp blend of legal thriller, dark comedy, cautionary tale and social commentary. In a crowded field of strong contenders for best film, I give The Social Network the nod because of its relevance to our increasingly hyperconnected times. (Jette's review)
How to see it? Still playing at Regal Metropolitan this week. Will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on January 11.

2. Black Swan
A harrowing psychothriller about artistic rivalry and obsession with perfection, Black Swan is the year's most visually stunning film. Natalie Portman gives the best performance of her career as the neurotic ballerina Nina Sayers, the most memorable cinematic psychochick in many years. Mila Kunis is also captivating as Nina's frenemy and rival, Lily. (Let the record show that while Black Swan's schwangerrific ballerina-on-ballerina action definitely got the attention of my inner heterosexual guy, it in no way influenced my overall opinion of the film. Black Swan is a terrific piece of cinema in every way.) (Jenn's review)
How to see it? Still playing in Austin theaters.

2010 In Review: Mike's Top Umpteen Lists (Part Two)

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Hatchet 2

Read Part One for my top films and top flops of 2010.

I have also compiled two lists for flicks I think were overrated and underrated this year. Some of them would be in my top films or top flops except for their inclusion here. These movies either received too much love or in my estimation, too much hate from critics or audiences.

TOP UNDERRATED FILMS

#10 -- Shrek Forever After
I watched this with family on Christmas Day and was surprised at the critical vitriol that almost kept me from seeing it this year. It worked MUCH better for me than either Shrek 2 or Shrek 3. Not worthy of my top ten (or 20) but definitely not one of the worst things I've seen this year. 58% from critics and 64% from audiences. (Jenn's review)
How to see it? Available on Blu-ray and DVD.

#9 -- Legion
I really enjoyed this for scenes that were evocative of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead. Not the greatest, but I've suffered through much, MUCH worse. Only 18% from critics and 36% from audiences.
How to see it? Available on on Blu-ray and DVD.

2010 in Review: Elizabeth's Favorite Film Scores

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Inception

I've both read and heard it said recently that the best film score is one the viewer doesn't notice. I disagree fervently with this statement. The best film score complements the film perfectly and doesn't distract from the action onscreen, but is still distinct enough to stand on its own. Shoddy film music can ruin a movie (for me, at least), but a great film score serves to make a good movie even better. That being said, here is some of my favorite soundtrack work for movies I saw in 2010.

5. Federico Jusid, El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes). A simple, plaintive theme is used in Jusid's score for the 2009 Best Foreign Film Oscar winner. Since the Argentinean suspense film opened in American theaters in 2010, I’m including it in my list. [Don's review]
How to see/hear: The film is available on Blu-ray and DVD, and the soundtrack is available on CD.

2010 in Review: Mike's Top Umpteen Lists (Part One)

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Daybreakers

Looking back at this year's releases, I can say 2010 was a surprisingly prolific year. The sheer number of interesting titles released this year and the overall quality of them, even the duds, was impressive. Some have said Hollywood is dying, but if that's the case, its death throes are glorious. I'm going to list and comment on 75 of this year's releases that I've grouped into various categories. About half I've seen. The other half, I want to see. Here goes ...

TOP FILMS

#15 -- Piranha 3D
There was nothing I didn't love about Piranha 3D. This movie didn't try to be anything other than balls-out stupid fun. It's the best-looking 2D-3D conversion I've seen, and it managed to one-up itself with each new scene. 51% on Rotten Tomatoes and 74% from critics.
How to see it? Will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on January 11.

#14 -- Despicable Me
Many of my favorites this year were children/family friendly. Steve Carell and Jason Segel are just as funny animated as they are in person. Brillian animation, great story, loved it. 81% from both Rotten Tomatoes audience and critics. (Jenn's review)
How to see it? Available on Blu-ray and DVD.

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