GregHorrorShow: The Films of 2010

I was actually quite surprised by the lack of films I’ve seen this year but having a baby (and another small child) means time is limited and a lot of it goes into games and TV.

However I have seen a few great films, some of which were on DVD but obviously didn’t get mentioned last year by me.

So here you go my recommended films from the ones I got to check out:

  • Machete
  • Monsters
  • Kick Ass
  • Toy Story 3
  • West Is West
  • The Hurt Locker (DVD)
  • Inglourious Basterds (DVD)
  • Anvil (DVD)
  • Sherlock Holmes (DVD)
  • Green Zone (DVD)

Plenty of great stuff in there but my film of the year has to be Kick Ass. What a great film featuring some wonderful performances from it’s actors, with Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz impressing.

Of course Machete makes the grade and if you liked the ‘fake’ Grindhouse you’ll love this one – Danny Trejo is at his best as the machete wielding Mexican.

Monsters was a fantastic small budget film. Shot for about £250k it’s a love story set against the backdrop of an alien invasion – it’s not as stupid as it sounds.

If you’re into music you should definitely check out Anvil – it’s the touching story of an old metal band still looking for that elusive breakthrough. There were plenty of war films this year with two of the better ones I saw being Green Zone and The Hurt Locker. The Hurt Locker in particular showed a different side to the conflict and the struggles of the soldiers on the ground.

Close runner up for film of the year was Inglourious Basterds, with some brilliant performances and a return to form for Quentin Tarantino.

Sherlock Holmes was throwaway fun and for the kids (and the grown ups) Toy Story 3 rounded out the trilogy superbly.

So there we go – there were lots of films I wanted to see but never got a chance to (Scott Pilgrim, The Expendables and The Town to name but a few) so let me know what you guys would recommend in the comments.

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Kick Ass – Review (Film)

Kick Ass tells the story of Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a teenager who wonders why no-one wants to be a superhero anymore and decides to try to be one himself.

Based on Mark Millar’s comic this is a dark and violent, yet humorous, look at the superhero genre.

After a freak incident Dave is left with no sense of pain and he uses this to help craft the persona of Kick Ass. A hero who is cleaning up his neighbourhood.

Alongside the action part of the story plays Dave’s ‘romance’ of Katie Deauxma (Lyndsy Fonseca), who thinks he’s gay and treats him as a friend. This leads to some fairly obvious but pretty funny scenes as Dave uses the situation to his advantage.

In the mix are also Red Mist (the genius Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a superhero wannabe who teams up with Kick Ass, and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloë Moretz) – a father/daughter combo who are the vigilante real deal.

There was some controversy over Hit Girl as she is a violent, sweary character despite being a child. I can see where the complaints are coming from but the character is supposed to have been trained by her father to be like that and whilst I agree they may have overstepped the mark in some respects the film does not attempt to hide any of this.

If you watch the trailer you know what you’re in for and should be prepared for lots of swearing and lots of violence.

For me this was Nicolas Cage’s best role in years, as he nailed the Big Daddy character and lent him a broken quality that made you feel for him.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as ever, is brilliant as Red Mist and he delivers some of the stand out moments in the film. The Mistmobile is certainly a sight to behold 😆

The story is standard comic book fare but the characters have believable qualities and the casting is spot on.

Overall then a film that, for me, lives up to the hype for a change. If you aren’t easily offended and don’t mind violence and bad language (even from an 11-year-old) then sit back and enjoy – Kick Ass is one hell of a ride.

Rating: 9/10

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GregHorrorShow Film Awards 2009

It’s been a good year for film, with lots of great releases. I don’t get to the flicks as much as I used to so these awards might have a touch of the DVD’s about them 😆

Here we go…

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BEST TRAILER

WINNER: Zombieland

This trailer perfectly captures the feel of this film and I ended up watching it several times as it was just funny as hell. A good advert for a brilliant film.

RUNNERS UP:

Sherlock Holmes

The Hangover

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BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS

WINNER: Watchmen

You can say what you like about the film itself but I don’t think anyone could argue with the fact that the special effects in Watchmen were absolutely superb. From Dr Manhattan to the other heroes and even the city itself, this was a truly stunning experience.

RUNNERS UP:

Zombieland

The Damned Utd

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BEST SOUNDTRACK

WINNER: The Boat That Rocked

I’m sure people will question the quality of this film for a long while to come but one thing that can’t be questioned is the quality of the soundtrack: The Who, Dusty Springfield, The Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and The Kinks are just a few of the bands to feature in what was the highlight of the film… it’s soundtrack. 

RUNNERS UP:

Watchmen

Zombieland

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BEST COMEDY

WINNER: The Hangover

A close call this one as all three of these films were absolutely superb but I’m still chuckling over Zach Galifianakis’ performance. The story of the Stag Night from hell, with no-one remembering a thing, the groom missing and the time until the wedding ticking away – The Hangover is essential viewing.

RUNNERS UP:

I Love You, Man

Role Models

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MOST ANTICIPATED FILM OF 2010

WINNER: Kick Ass

I’ve already seen a rough cut of this and can confirm it was fantastic, even in it’s unfinished state. Stand out performances throughout and big props to Nic Cage for his role as well. Check it out when it hits next year.

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BEST ACTOR

WINNER: Mickey Rourke (Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson – The Wrestler)

The Wrestler was such an emotional film it had to have some strong performances and Mickey Rourke really nailed it in his role as aging wrestling star Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson. The scenes with his daughter were among the most touching I’ve seen in a long time and it looks like he invested a lot in the performance.

RUNNERS UP:

Jackie Earle Haley (Walter Kovacs / Rorschach – Watchmen)

Michael Sheen (David Frost – Frost/Nixon)

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BEST ACTRESS

WINNER: Rachel McAdam (Della Frye – State Of Play)

I almost gave this to Abigail Breslin for her stirling showing in Zombieland but in the end, looking back over the year, it was Rachel McAdams performance in political thriller State Of Play as journalist Della Frye that really impressed me. Firstly because it was a great bit of acting and secondly because I’d only ever seen McAdam in rom coms and it’s always nice to see an actor/actress leave their comfort zone and put on a good show.

RUNNERS UP:

Abigail Breslin (Little Rock – Zombieland)

Marisa Tomei (Cassidy – The Wrestler)

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FILM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Zombieland

Head and shoulders above everything else I saw this year was the superb Zombieland. The tale of four survivors of a zombie outbreak just trying to stay alive long enough to learn to trust each other. Great performances from all four leads, and a wonderful cameo I had no prior knowledge of, made this a joy to watch.

Close behind were The Wrestler, a truly touching tale of an aging ring warrior and Watchmen, which I really enjoyed even if most of the World didn’t 🙂

RUNNERS UP:

The Wrestler

Watchmen

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So that wraps up the film awards for 2009 – only games to go now!

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