Ten Things In 2010: Movies

This past year I’ve spent a lot more time on the film-rankings site FLICKCHART, which is pretty much the best ranking site ever. The premise behind it is simple: Instead of giving a starred rating to a film, you rank it versus another film. In this way you’re able to build a more accurate top film list based off of your sensibilities, and if interested, see how all the films rank with all the users in a global ranking. It’s a little daunting when you first go to the site and sign up, but they guide you through and the next thing you know a few days have passed.

But the point of today isn’t to sell you a site, it’s to show off my Top Ten Films of 2010. This year has been rather great for film, and everything in my top ten list really impressed me. I also managed to see roughly 30 films that were released this year, up from the 10-15 from 2009. Didn’t hurt that I went to AFI Fest this year and got to see a most of those films.


My AFI Capsule Review!

THE GIST: I have an affinity for fish out of water tales and this one came with an extra helping of heart, as cheesy as that sounds. We got a glimpse into these people’s lives in this rather strange town and were able to identify with the main characters. I kind of want to see this again as soon as I can.

My AFI Capsule Review!

THE GIST: The first thing that stood out to me was the structure of the film. Everything is told in flashback, with the present depicted in still photography. Each character gets a turn to tell their point of view and we’re never on one person’s story for too long. Just this alone makes it an interesting watch, but there’s so much more to see here. This perhaps ranks among my top Korean films for sure!

THE GIST: A sci-fi period piece, and not necessarily what you might think. I’ll admit I teared up a bit at the end.

My AFI Capsule Review!

THE GIST: This film is about the resolution of an era. The old Yakuza get wiped out and replaced with a much younger set with “new” values. It’s quite a fascinating watch and I couldn’t tear my eyes away. Well, except for the various parts involving finger-chopping.

My Review!

THE GIST: Bloody hell! Perhaps I DO like sword and sandal epics after all. There’s never a dull moment here and some of the more cliched moments aren’t offensive. I hope future films in this genre stray in the direction of this film and go for small, focused stories with an extra helping of grit. I’m so done with the sprawling epics *ahem*TROY*ahem*.

My AFI Capsule Review!

THE GIST: Two people compete for the love and affection of a rather striking youngster. It’s all style and all substance, and I kind of wanted to see it again after leaving the theater.

THE GIST: A film that accurately captures the zeitgeist of the 8-bit, 20-something gamer. Edgar Wright does well with the source material and Michael Cera impresses as the title character. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a polarizing film for the nerds out there, which lead to poor box office. Personally, I think those who didn’t connect with the film really weren’t the type of gamers the source material was reaching out to.

THE GIST: Nolan’s best film, in my opinion. This one is hard to top.

THE GIST: I was stressed out for the entire film, and that’s a good thing! I liked the play of restraint versus letting go set amongst Swan Lake. Natalie Portman is great in this. SEE IT!

My AFI Capsule Review!

THE GIST: Props to the cinematography, which is a homage to the aforementioned Argento films. Pretty much every cinematic trick that I loved from those films is in play here and there’s a particular scene in the end that’s tough to forget. There’s no question. You need to see this film!



Diagnosis: Film–Weekend of Dec. 17

TRON: Legacy comes out this week, as does Rabbit Hole and a couple other films I don’t really give a shit about. Kind of a small weekend for films, but that’s good considering it gives me a chance to catch up with the other films I’ve missed. How about you? What are you seeing this weekend? Are you actually going to go see the crap-fest that’s Yogi Bear? God, I hope not.

How Do You Know

Directed By: James L. Brooks
Written By: James L. Brooks
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson
Release Date: December 17, 2010 (2,483 screens)
Synopsis: Feeling a bit past her prime at 27, former athlete Lisa Jorgenson finds herself in the middle of a love triangle, as a corporate guy in crisis competes with Lisa’s current, baseball-playing beau.

Thoughts: A love triangle between Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and Reese Witherspoon.

Diagnosis: Yawn.

Tron: Legacy

Director: Joseph Kosinski
Written By: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde
Release Date: December 17, 2010 (3,451 screens)
Synopsis: Sam Flynn, the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn, looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 20 years.

Thoughts: Jeff Bridges and Daft Punk. Sure, there’s 3D but…JEFF BRIDGES!

Diagnosis: Seeing it!!!

Yogi Bear

Director: Eric Brevig
Written By: Jeffrey Ventimilia, Joshua Sternin
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake and Anna Faris
Release Date: December 17, 2010 (3,515 screens)
Synopsis: A documentary filmmaker travels to Jellystone Park to shoot a project and soon crosses paths with Yogi Bear, his sidekick Boo-Boo, and Ranger Smith.

Thoughts: Hey kids, do yourselves and your parents a favor and watch the original cartoons instead of this crap heap. More fun to be had there too, I’d wager.

Diagnosis: 500% pass.

Casino Jack

Director: George Hickenlooper
Written By: Norman Snider
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper and Jon Lovitz
Release Date: December 17, 2010
Synopsis: A hot shot Washington DC lobbyist and his protégé go down hard as their schemes to peddle influence lead to corruption and murder.

Thoughts: Not my cup of tea, but it might be worth checking out if you like Kevin Spacey

Diagnosis: Pass.

Rabbit Hole

Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Written By: David Lindsay-Abaire
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest
Release Date: December 17, 2010 (5 screens)
Synopsis: Life for a happy couple is turned upside down after their young son dies in an accident. Based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire.

Thoughts: The trailer is a little oscar-baity, but it’s not offensively so and you can hear James Mercer croon in the background as people are really gloomy. I’m actually kind of curious to see this one.

Diagnosis: Curious to see.

Diagnosis: Film–Weekend of Dec. 10

How did I miss that The Tempest was going to be a thing? Seriously. MovieguyFAIL. Anyway, what are you planning on seeing this weekend? We’ve got a nice little variety of movies this week, ranging from fantasy to oscar bait…I mean…sports dramas.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Directed By: Michael Apted
Written By: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Starring: Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley
Release Date: December 10, 2010 (3,500 screens)
Synopsis: Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world.

Thoughts: I’ve been meaning to catch up with this series as they seem to be getting better with each film that comes out. I was less than impressed with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe but the trailers for Dawn Treader have rekindled my interest.

Diagnosis: Curious to see.

The Tourist

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Written By: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Paul Bettany
Release Date: December 10, 2010 (2,600 screens)
Synopsis: Revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path.

Thoughts: Oh look, it’s Johnny Depp and he’s not a pirate. I’m mildly intrigued, but will probably wait for this bad boy to hit netflix.

Diagnosis: Netflixing it!

And Everything is Going Fine

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Spalding Gray
Release Date: December 10, 2010 (1 screen)
Synopsis: From the first time he performed Swimming to Cambodia – the one-man account of his experience of making the 1984 film The Killing Fields – Spalding Gray made the art of the monologue his own. Drawing unstintingly on the most intimate aspects of his own life, his shows were vibrant, hilarious and moving. His death came tragically early, in 2004; this compilation of interview and performance footage nails his idiosyncratic and irreplaceable brilliance.

Thoughts: This could be an interesting documentary, actually.

Diagnosis: Curious.

The Company Men

Director: John Wells
Written By: John Wells
Starring: Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones
Release Date: December 10, 2010
Synopsis: The story centers on a year in the life of three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing at a major company – and how that affects them, their families, and their communities.

Thoughts: *cough* OSCAR BAIT *cough*

Diagnosis: Pass.

The Fighter

Director: David O. Russell
Written By: Scott Silver & Paul Tamasy
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams
Release Date: December 10, 2010 (4 screens)
Synopsis: A look at the early years of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s.

Thoughts: Not my kind of film, but an interesting trailer.

Diagnosis: Pass.

Hemingway’s Garden of Eden

Director: John Irvin
Written By: James Scott Linville
Starring: Jack Huston, Mena Suvari and Richard E. Grant
Release Date: December 10, 2010 (14 screens)
Synopsis: A young American writer completes his service in WWI and travels across Europe with his wife and her attractive Italian girlfriend. Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway.

Thoughts: The trailer you’re about to see is full of Mena Suvari and that one guy from Boardwalk Empire. They dye their hair white and try to have a threesome. Can you tell I haven’t read the source material?

Diagnosis: Curious.

The Tempest

Director: Julie Taymor
Written By: Julie Taymor
Starring: Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones and Djimon Hounsou
Release Date: December 10, 2010 (5 screens)
Synopsis: In Julie Taymor’s version of ‘The Tempest,’ the main character is now a woman named Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymor’s version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it’s a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda. This leads to the power struggle and balance between Caliban and Prospera; a struggle not about brawn, but about intellect.

Thoughts: What? This is a thing? How did I miss that this was a thing? I want to see this.

Diagnosis: Want to see.

Diagnosis: Film–Weekend of Dec. 3

It looks like Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis will be in my near future with Black Swan. Probably could have seen it during the AFI Fest if I had REALLY concentrated hard enough, but I decided against it and saw a whole lot more throughout the festival. There are a few other films out this weekend that might be worth checking into, but I’m not sure if they’re “must-see” or even “must-see this week.”

*mimics Geoffrey Rush* Films. Damn.

Warrior’s Way

Directed By: Sngmoo Lee
Written By: Sngmoo Lee
Starring: Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston, Geoffrey Rush
Release Date: December 3, 2010 (1,500 screens)
Synopsis: A warrior-assassin is forced to hide in a small town in the American Badlands after refusing a mission.

Thoughts: This is the type of film that will be so bad it’s good, be Netflix Party fodder and yadda-yadda

Diagnosis: Definitely a rental!

All Good Things

Director: Andrew Jarecki
Written By: Marcus Hinchey and Marc Smerling
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella
Release Date: December 3, 2010
Synopsis: All Good Things is a love story and murder mystery based on the most notorious unsolved murder case in New York history. The original screenplay uses newly discovered facts, court records and speculation as the foundation for an imaginative spellbinding story of family, obsession, love and loss.

Thoughts: Looks like an interesting enough film. Just not my cup of tea. I’d rather see Blue Valentine, instead.

Diagnosis: Right actor, wrong film!


Director: Duane Baughman, Johnny O’Hara
Release Date: December 3, 2010 (2 screens)
Synopsis: A riveting documentary of the recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto, a polarizing figure in the Muslim world. Following in her father’s footsteps as a pillar for democracy, Bhutto was expected to dominate Pakistan’s 2008 elections but the assassination sent Pakistan politics into turmoil. This major event sent shock waves throughout the world and transformed her from political messiah into a martyr for the common man.

Thoughts: This could be an interesting documentary, actually.

Diagnosis: Curious.

Black Swan

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Written By: Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Release Date: December 3, 2010 (19 screens)
Synopsis: A thriller that zeros in on the relationship between a veteran ballet dancer and a rival.

Thoughts: Yeah. This. Definitely going to see this.

Diagnosis: Yeah. This.

Dead Awake

Director: Omar Naim
Written By: Johnny Harrington and Justin Urich
Starring: Rose McGowan, Amy Smart, Nick Stahl
Release Date: December 3, 2010 (50-75 screen)
Synopsis: Dylan, a young man working at a funeral parlor, is trying to unravel a mystery that shattered his life ten years earlier. After faking his own funeral to see who will show up, he befriends a mysterious street junkie and is reunited with an old love from his past. The lives of these three characters are transformed by supernatural forces as Dylan discovers that no one is who they seem to be.

Thoughts: The synopsis alone……

Diagnosis: I got nothing.

I Love You, Phillip Morris

Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Written By: John Requa and Glenn Ficarra
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann
Release Date: December 3, 2010 (6 screens)
Synopsis: Incarcerated at the state penitentiary, con artist Steven Russell (Carrey) meets the love of his life: Phillip Morris (McGregor). As a free man, his passion results in a series of improbable cons to bust Phillip from jail and build the perfect life together.

Thoughts: Normally I’d pass up a Jim Carrey film for…a better one. This one seems like it might be a better one, actually.

Diagnosis: Curious.


Director: Josh Sternfeld
Written By: Josh Sternfeld
Starring: Nick Stahl, Rachel Nichols, Kellan Lutz
Release Date: December 3, 2010
Synopsis: Small-town detective Noah Cordin is called to solve a juvenile homicide that occurred during a home burglary in his affluent town of Hilliard. The dead boy’s mother, Allison Connor, is a member of the Meskada County Board of Commissioners, and a powerful woman in Hilliard; and the entire township rallies together in solidarity – to support her and Detective Cordin’s efforts to find the killers.

Thoughts: Another film with Nick Stahl in it. Kind of a big weekend if you are a fan.

Diagnosis: Pass.

Night Catches Us

Director: Tanya Hamilton
Written By: Tanya Hamilton
Starring: Kerry Washington, Anthony Mackie, Wendell Pierce
Release Date: December 3, 2010
Synopsis: In 1976, complex political and emotional forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race-torn Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age during the Black Power movement.

Thoughts: This seems like a pretty straight-forward film about the time. I’d like to see this if I can.

Diagnosis: Want to see.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Director: Jalmari Helander
Written By: Jalmari Helander
Starring: Per Christian Ellefsen, Peeter Jakobi, Tommi Korpela
Release Date: December 3, 2010
Synopsis: In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 metres deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up! This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.

Thoughts: Hot damn! I want to see this. Had a chance earlier, but another awesome show conflicted. Guess I’ll have to see this ASAP.

Diagnosis: Must see!

Diagnosis: Film–Weekend of Nov. 5

Moved the post to Friday so you could go straight from reading this to the theater. Isn’t that convenient? You can thank me later. Personally, I’m interested in seeing 127 Hours, Guy and Madeline and Making the Boys. I’ll probably try to see these after I finish up with AFI Fest. How about you? What are you planning to see this weekend?

Due Date

Directed By: Todd Phillips
Written By: Alan R. Cohen
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2010 (3,200+ screens)
Synopsis: High-strung father-to-be Peter Highman is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay on a road trip in order to make it to his child’s birth on time.


Diagnosis: Netflix Instant

For Colored Girls

Director: Tyler Perry
Written By: Tyler Perry
Starring: Janet Jackson, Anika Noni Rose and Whoopie Goldberg
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2010 (2,127 screens)
Synopsis: Each of the women portray one of the characters represented in the collection of twenty poems, revealing different issues that impact women in general and women of color in particular.

Thoughts: Sounds like a serious outing from Tyler Perry. Don’t really follow him, but it looks like this will be a solid film.

Diagnosis: Curious.


Director: Tom McGrath
Written By: Alan J. Schoolcraft & Brent Simons
Starring: Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2010 (3,500 screens)
Synopsis: The supervillain Megamind finally conquers his nemesis, the hero Metro Man… but finds his life pointless without a hero to fight.

Thoughts: It’s like every other Dreamworks CG animated property in existence. I’d rather go back and watch The Incredibles.

Diagnosis: Pass.

127 Hours

Director: Danny Boyle
Written By: Danny Boyle
Starring: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2010 (4 screens)
Synopsis: A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Thoughts: Whoa. Danny Boyle is doing this? Yikes. Sounds like a must see to me. Also, James Franco.

Diagnosis: Must see.

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

Director: Alex Gibney
Written By: Alex Gibney
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2010 (2 screen)
Synopsis: An in-depth look at the rise and fall of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, including interviews with the scandalized, former politician.

Thoughts: I’m always on the quest to find documentaries about subjects I am not interested in. That way I can not watch them.

Diagnosis: No, really. Will not see.

Fair Game

Director: Doug Liman
Written By: Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth
Starring: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn and Ty Burell
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2010 (35 screens)
Synopsis: Plame’s status as a CIA agent was revealed by White House officials allegedly out to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece saying that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Thoughts: Seems like a by-the-numbers sort of film.

Diagnosis: Meh.

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

Director: Damien Chazelle
Written By: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Jason Palmer, Desiree Garcia and Sandha Khin
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2010 (1 Screen)
Synopsis: For his feature debut, writer-director Damien Chazelle has fashioned a contemporary musical, shot in 16 mm black-and-white on the streets of Boston and New York. During the film’s opening credits, we learn that Guy (professional musician Jason Palmer), a trumpet player, and Madeline (Desiree Garcia), a grad student looking for work, have broken up. (MORE)

Thoughts: A musical shot on 16mm. I don’t hear of that sort of thing often. Looks interesting.

Diagnosis: Curious.

Making the Boys

Director: Crayton Robey
Starring: Edward Albee, Mart Crowley and Michael Cunningham
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2010
Synopsis: On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement, the film explores the drama, struggle and enduring legacy of the first-ever gay play and subsequent Hollywood movie to successfully reach a mainstream audience.

Thoughts: Seems like an interesting and educational documentary.

Diagnosis: Curious.

Diagnosis: Film–Weekend of Oct. 29

Fairly decent week for films, although the only one with significant release is one I’m least interested in seeing. Seriously, I hope the trailers for Saw 3D are correct when they say that this is the final chapter. Time for some new torture horror, people! I REALLY need to try and find a way to see the documentary on The Magnetic Fields.

Am I the only one who could use a week of no film releases to catch up on the plethora of films I need to catch up on? Anyone? Yeah? No?

Saw 3D

Directed By: Kevin Greutert
Written By: Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan
Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell
Release Date: Oct 29, 2010 (2,700 screens)
Synopsis: As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.

Thoughts: Lost interest in the series after Saw 2.

Diagnosis: Ugh. What I just said. PASS.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Director: Daniel Alfredson
Written By: Jonas Frykberg
Starring: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre
Release Date: Oct 27, 2010 (130 screens)
Synopsis: Lisbeth is recovering in a hospital and awaiting trial for three murders when she is released. Mikael must prove her innocence. Meanwhile, Lisbeth is plotting her own revenge against the people who put her in this situation.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed the first film in the series and want to see the remaining two parts, even though I’ve been hearing they aren’t nearly as good as the first.

Diagnosis: Must See.

Inspector Bellamy

Director: Claude Chabrol
Written By: Odile Barski, Claude Chabrol
Starring: Gérard Depardieu, Clovis Cornillac, Jacques Gamblin
Release Date: October 29, 2010 (1 screen)
Synopsis: A well known Parisian inspector becomes involved in an investigation while on holiday.

Thoughts: I like mysteries. I am on a foreign film kick. The trailer grabbed me.

Diagnosis: Curious.


Director: Gareth Edwards
Written By: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Whitney Able, Scoot McNairy
Release Date: October 29, 2010 (2 screens)
Synopsis: Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.

Thoughts: I REALLY want to see this movie.

Diagnosis: Yep. This.

Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields

Director: Kerthy Fix, Gail O’Hara
Release Date: October 27, 2010 (1 screen)
Synopsis: Songwriter Stephin Merritt is known as “the Cole Porter of his generation” for his memorable melodies, lovelorn lyrics and wry musical stylings. Shot over a period of 10 years, “Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields” explores his friendship with his longtime bandmate and manager Claudia Gonson. Through his recording and songwriting process, the film traces a 20-year career that has yielded one of the most engaging bodies of work in the contemporary American songbook.

Thoughts: My favorite musician a documentary.

Diagnosis: Must see. You have no idea.

Waste Land

Director: Lucy Walker, Karen Harley
Release Date: October 29, 2010 (1 screen)
Synopsis: What happens in the world’s largest trash city will transform you.

Thoughts: Kind of interested in seeing this. The trailer grabbed me, for the most part.

Diagnosis: Curious to see.

Welcome to the Rileys

Director: Jake Scott
Written By: Ken Hixon
Starring: James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo
Release Date: October 29, 2010
Synopsis: On a business trip to New Orleans, a damaged man seeks salvation by caring for a wayward young woman.

Thoughts: The trailer gives me the impression this movie is trying too hard. That said, I would probably see it if it were on Netflix Instant.

Diagnosis: Will Netflix it.

Wild Target

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Written By: Lucinda Coxon
Starring: Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, Rupert Everett
Release Date: October 29, 2010 (4 screens)
Synopsis: A hitman tries to retire but a beautiful thief may change his plans.

Thoughts: Sometimes a cast list is all that’s required to grab my interest and make me want to see a film. They had me at Bill Nighy.

Diagnosis: Want to see.

Diagnosis: Film–Weekend of Oct. 22

There’s not a whole lot to see this week, which is good because that means I can catch up on the plethora of films I have been meaning to see. The standout trailer this week was for The Taqwacores, and the least interesting trailer was that of Paranormal Activity 2. The rest didn’t grab me a whole lot. Think you might see any of these films this week? If so, I’m curious to hear what you think.

Boxing Gym

Directed By: Frederick Wiseman
Written By: Frederick Wiseman
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: Oct 22, 2010 (NY)
Synopsis: Explores the world of a boxing gym in Austin, Texas, dwelling on the discipline of training as people from all walks of life aspire to reach their personal best.

Diagnosis: Not much of a gym person so this aspect of how people live is interesting to me. Curious to see.


Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Written By: Walter Doty, John Claflin
Starring: Dermot Mulroney, Diane Kruger, Sam Shepard, Vincent Perez, Rosanna Arquette, Jordi Molla
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: Oct 22, 2010 (NY, LA)
Synopsis: A couple goes to dangerous lengths to find a lung donor for their daughter.

Diagnosis: Great. Another family willing to go to dark places to save their child. Pass.


Director: James M. Hausler
Written By: James M. Hausler
Starring: Nick Stahl, Jonathan Jackson, Christopher M. Clark, Beau Garrett, Robert Forster, Alona Tal
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: October 22, 2010 (NY)
Synopsis: After a recent breakup, Billy returns to his hometown to find something is not quite right with his best friend.

Diagnosis: I’m not entirely grabbed by the trailer. Pass.


Director: Michael W. Watkins
Written By: Bear Aderhold, Tom Sullivan
Starring: Mark Feuerstein, Wendie Malick, Will Patton, Saul Rubinek
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: October 22, 2010 (limited)
Synopsis: After con artist Eddie Sullivan (Feuerstein) incurs a large debt with a local criminal ringleader, he creates a get-rich-quick scheme and enlists a sweet gentle giant named Walter as his unwitting accomplice.

Diagnosis: I was into the idea until the poo joke at the end of the trailer. Pass.

Paranormal Activity 2

Director: Tod Williams
Written By: Michael R. Perry
Starring: Katie Featherston, Gabriel Johnson
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Release Date: October 22, 2010
Synopsis: After experiencing what they think are a series of “break-ins”, a family sets up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding before them are more sinister than they seem.

Diagnosis: The first one was nothing special. This trailer is the same. Pass.

Punching the Clown

Director: Kip Williams
Written By: Henry Phillips, Gregori Viens
Starring: Henry Phillips, Ellen Ratner, Matthew Walker, Wade Kelley, Audrey Siegel, Evan Arnold, Mik Scriba, Mark Cohen, Guilford Adams
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: October 22, 2010 (NY)
Synopsis: Winner of the Audience Award at the 2009 Slamdance Film Festival, this uproarious and smart new comedy tells the story of Henry Phillips, a hapless modern day troubadour who grinds his way through the heartland, living out of his car and singing his twisted satirical songs to anyone who will listen.

Diagnosis: I WAS into the shit joke in this trailer. Curious to see.

Rising Stars

Director: Daniel Millican
Written By: Daniel Millican
Starring: Fisher Stevens, Barry Corbin, Catherine Mary Stewart, Graham Patrick Martin, Kyle Riabk, Leon Thomas III, Jessie Payo
Genre: Drama
Release Date: October 22, 2010 (limited)
Synopsis: Challenged with creating songs and music videos, three musical acts find more than their futures on the line when the competition gets fierce and their lives are caught on tape broadcast to the nation. Egos clash and worlds collide as these teens find how far they will go to win the coveted prize and achieve stardom.

Diagnosis: I switched tabs after about 30 seconds into the trailer. Just doesn’t grab me. Pass.

The Taqwacores

Director: Eyad Zahar
Written By: Eyad Zahar, Michael Muhammad Knight
Starring: Bobby Naderi, Noureen DeWulf
Genre: Drama
Release Date: October 22, 2010 (limited)
Synopsis: Yusef is a first-generation Pakistani-American engineering student who moves off-campus with a group of Muslim punks in Buffalo, New York. His new “un-orthodox” housemates soon introduce him to Taqwacore – a hardcore, Muslim punk rock scene. As the seasons change, Taqwacore influences the house more and more. The living room becomes a mosque during the day, while it continues to host punk shows at night. Ultimately, Yusef begins to challenge his own faith and ideologies. A powerful and original story of punk Islam in the USA and the discovery of oneself within the confines of religion.

Diagnosis: The premise seems interesting and I am always curious to watch portrayals of punk culture in film. Curious to see.

Diagnosis: Film – Weekend of Oct. 15

I think the highlight of my trailer searches this week was the trailer for N-Secure. Otherwise, a fairly non-standout week for film. I’ve got a few films I’d go see, and some you probably couldn’t pay me to see *cough cough*politcal documentary*cough cough*. Give the trailers a look-see by clicking on the film name. Are there any films this week you plan on seeing?


Directed By: Robert Schwentke
Written By: Erich Hoeber
Starring: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010

It took me a little bit to warm up to this idea, admittedly. But that’s thanks to a somewhat lackluster first trailer. I’ve changed my mind since then.
Diagnosis: Can haz now plz?!

Jackass 3-D

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Written By:
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Jason Acuna
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010

Jackass is my guilty pleasure. I’ve been a fan of it since early high school and was quite into it as I started college. I guess you could say I’ve grown up with these dickheads.
Diagnosis: Want to see.


Director: Clint Eastwood
Written By: Peter Morgan
Starring: Matt Damon, Bryce Dallas Howard, Daniel McLaren, Cécile De France
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

I have yet to see a Clint Eastwood film. This one looks interesting.
Diagnosis: Okay, I’ll bite.


Director: Tony Goldwyn
Written By: Pamela Gray
Starring: Hilary Swank, Minnie Driver, Sam Rockwell, Peter Gallagher
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

The trailer is a bit over-the-top and seemingly Oscar-bait. But that aside it looks like an interesting story. Ever since Moon, I’m kind of drawn to Sam Rockwell’s choice in roles.
Diagnosis: Curious to see.

Samson and Delilah

Director: Warwick Thornton
Written By: Warwick Thornton
Starring: Rowan McNamara, Marissa Gibson, Mitjili Napanangka Gibson, Scott Thornton
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

I hate when trailers heap unrealistic praise on films. Despite this trailer being full of said praise, I’m still interested in seeing this.

The Trouble with Terkel (Terkel i knibe)

Director: Kresten Vestbjerg Andersen, Thorbjorn Christoffersen, Stefan Fieldmark, Randolph Kret
Written By: Mette Heeno
Starring: Kim Matthesen, Anders Matthesen, Bill Bailey, Tom Everett
Release Date: Oct 12, 2010 (Limited)

This looks absolutely ridiculous…in a good way.
Diagnosis: Want to see.

I Want Your Money

Director: Ray Griggs
Written By:
Starring: Ray Griggs, Mike Huckabee, Stephen Moore, William Voegeli
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

Guess how interested I am in this “documentary.”
Diagnosis: Not very.

Down Terrace

Director: Ben Wheatley
Written By: Robin Hill, Ben Wheatley
Starring: Bob Hill, Robin Hill, Julia Deakin, David Schaal
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

Heard about this one awhile ago. Still kind of interested in seeing it.
Diagnosis: Still kind of interested in seeing it.

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen

Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Written By: Margarethe von Trotta
Starring: Barbara Sukowa, Heino Ferch, Hannah Herzsprung, Gerald Alexander Held
Release Date: Oct 13, 2010 (Limited)

Couldn’t find an english trailer so I put up this one instead. Looks like an interesting enough film. Might not seek it out, though.
Diagnosis: If I have time.

Carmo, Hit the Road

Director: Murilo Pasta
Written By: Murilo Pasta
Starring: Fele Martínez, Mariana Loureiro, Seu Jorge, Mauricio García
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

Again, couldn’t find an english trailer, but I don’t think one was needed. I’m interested.
Diagnosis: Curious to see.

Poema de salvacion

Director: Brian Dublin
Written By: Eduardo Marando, Omar Quiroga, Alejandro Robino
Starring: Gonzalo Senestrari, Irina Alonso, Fernando Rosarolli, Fernando Rossaroli
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

The trailer didn’t do much to grab me, but the synopsis did. Still, not sure I would see this unless I had some extra time on my hands.
Diagnosis: If I have time.


Director: David M. Matthews
Written By: Julius Lewis, Christine Taylor
Starring: Cordell Moore, Essence Atkins, Denise Boutte, Tempestt Bledsoe
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

Diagnosis: …no seriously. What?!

The Four-Faced Liar

Director: Jacob Chase
Written By: Marja-Lewis Ryan
Starring: Lisa Bierman, Daniel Carlisle, Natasha David, Todd Kubrak
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

I would be lying if I said this trailer and the film’s synopsis didn’t interest me some. Romantic comedies that aren’t mainstream? Sure, sign me up.
Diagnosis: Interested.


Director: Angela Christlieb
Written By:
Starring: Starring: Denis Cremel, Francois Grossi, Patricia Raveneau-Laurent
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

When the synopsis reads “Equal parts bemused reportage and whimsical fantasy,” there’s a decent chance I’ll be interested. Couldn’t find a trailer, but I’d see this just based on what I’ve read about it.
Diagnosis: Want to see.


Director: Jeff Reichert
Written By:
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Howard Dean, Gray Davis, Pete Wilson
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010 (Limited)

Diagnosis: ZZzzzz.

White Lion

Director: Michael Swan
Written By: Michael Swan, Janet van Eeden
Starring: Jamie Bartlett, John Kani, Thabo Malema
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010

Seems like a fun family outing, with interesting visuals and a heartwarming story.
Diagnosis: Not interested.

Diagnosis: Film – Weekend of Oct. 8

Got a horse movie we’ve never seen before and some horror that I’m always down for seeing. There’s also a Carey Elwes beat-em-up worth noting and a lot of documentaries you might be into but that fail to grab me in the slightest. And MILLA! There’s a frickin’ Milla movie this week that’s coming out. DEFINITELY want to see that one. Anyway, check out the trailers and enjoy.

Director: Randall Wallace
Written By: Mike Rich
Starring: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh, Scott Glenn
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010
Another story about horse races and outrageous odds. *yawn*
Diagnosis: Pass.
Life as We Know It
Director: Greg Berlanti
Written By: Ian Deitchman, Kristin Rusk Robinson
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Jean Smart, Josh Lucas
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010
Is it just me being weird or does this remind anyone else of Three Men And A Baby? Two unlikely adults raise a child left to them. Not entirely sure I’m sold on the movie from the trailer, but I would be lying if I said the premise didn’t interest me some.
Diagnosis: If I have time.
My Soul to Take
Director: Wes Craven
Written By: Wes Craven
Starring: Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Emily Meade, Nick Lashaway
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010
Wes Craven. October. Horror. Of course I’m going to see this.
Diagnosis: Want to see.
Nowhere Boy
Director: Sam Taylor Wood
Written By: Matt Greenhalgh
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Thomas Sangster, David Morrissey
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010
Not a Beatles fan, but I am kind of interested in this movie based off the trailer. And it stars Kick-Ass, so I’m curious to see how he moves on from that film.
Diagnosis: If I have the time.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Director: Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden
Written By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Viola Davis
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010 (Limited)
Zach Galifianakis has gotten quite a bit of film saturation lately, so I’m not entirely sure I’m interested in seeing him play another variation on his usual shtick. This could just be the fault of an uninteresting trailer.
Diagnosis: Not interested.
Director: John Curran
Written By: Angus MacLachlan
Starring: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich, Frances Conroy
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010
Milla Jovovich.
Diagnosis: Must see.
It’s a Wonderful Afterlife
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Written By: Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha
Starring: Sanjeev Bhaskar, Steve Morphew, Jamie Sives, Sendhil Ramamurthy
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010 (Limited)
It’s Mohinder Suresh from Heroes…and a plot I don’t much care about…like Heroes.
Diagnosis: Pass.
Tamara Drewe
Director: Stephen Frears
Written By: Moira Buffini, Posy Simmonds
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010 (Limited)
At first I thought it was a film about writers, and then I thought it was a film about Tamara Drewe, but then I realized it was a film about a potty-mouthed little girl causing trouble for everyone. Turns out, it wasn’t about that either.
Diagnosis: Saw it so you don’t have to.
I Spit On Your Grave
Director: Steven R. Monroe
Written By: Jeffrey Reddick, Meir Zarchi
Starring: Rodney Eastman, Chad Lindberg, Andrew Howard, Daniel Franzese
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010 (Limited)
Never saw the original. Might look into seeing that first.
Diagnosis: If I have time.
Inside Job
Director: Charles Ferguson
Written By:
Starring: Matt Damon (narrator), William Ackman, Daniel Alpert, Jonathan Alpert
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010 (Limited)
Not the kind of documentary that grabs me.
Diagnosis: Pass.
Letters to Father Jacob (Postia pappi Jaakobille)
Director: Klaus Härö
Written By: Klaus Härö
Starring: Kaarina Hazard, Heikki Nousiainen, Jukka Keinonen, Esko Roine
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010 (Limited)
Didn’t quite understand the trailer, but the premise sounds interesting.
Diagnosis: Curious.
As Good as Dead
Director: Jonathan Mossek
Written By: Erez Mossek, Eve Pomerance
Starring: Cary Elwes, Andie MacDowell, Frank Whaley, Matt Dallas
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010 (Limited)
Welcome to the beat the shit out of Cary Elwes movie. Although, the trailer does kind of pique my interest.
Diagnosis: Piqued interest.
Red White & Blue
Director: Simon Rumley
Written By: Simon Rumley
Starring: Noah Taylor, Amanda Fuller, Marc Senter, Lauren Schneider
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010 (Limited)
Not sure what to make of the trailer, but it did its job and now I’m interested in seeing this film.
Diagnosis: Interested.
Director: Julia Bacha
Written By: Julia Bacha
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010 (Limited)
Diagnosis: Pass.
GhettoPhysics: Will the Real Pimps and Hos Please Stand Up!
Director: William Arntz, E. Raymond Brown
Written By: William Arntz, E. Raymond Brown
Starring: Ice-T, Norman Lear, Cornel West, KRS-One
Release Date: Oct 8, 2010 (Limited)
Just not a week of interesting documentaries for me.
Diagnosis: Pass.

Diagnosis: Film – Weekend of Oct. 1

This is a good week to see films, for the most part. Got a few in this bunch I would go see, and a few others I am kind of interested in seeing. Nothing really struck me as a pan except for a few that you’ll read about below. Let’s get to this without further delay.

The Social Network

Director: David Fincher
Written By: Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010

Despite the suspiciously glowing reviews on RottenTomatoes, I’m still interested in seeing this. And it’s not because I’m all that interested in Facebook. I am interested in the story the filmmakers have devised. It’s not like this is actually how it all went down.
Diagnosis: Want to see.

Case 39

Director: Christian Alvart
Written By: Ray Wright
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland, Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010

Horror film month is approaching soon and with it a slew of films where randy youths get chopped to bits and people deal with tangible demons. It’s pretty much my favorite month for mainstream B horror and attempts at something better. This doesn’t look like the later.
Diagnosis: If I have time.

Let Me In

Director: Matt Reeves
Written By: Matt Reeves
Starring: Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010

It’s a remake. I liked the original, but some positive reviews have turned on the curiosity. So much for my stance on remakes.
Diagnosis: Interested in seeing.

Ip Man (Yip Man) (2008)

Director: Wilson Yip
Written By: Edmond Wong
Starring: Donnie Yen, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Fan Siu-Wong, Xiong Dailin
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010

If I see the phrase “one man defies an empire” one more time, I’m gonna scream. Didn’t we get that same description for Hero as well? Seriously. Time to get new copy.
Diagnosis: I eat this punchy-kicky-shit up like cocoa puffs.

Leaving (Partir)

Director: Catherine Corsini
Written By: Catherine Corsini
Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas, Sergi López, Yvan Attal, Bernard Blancan
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

As much as I love tales of infidelity and woe (I don’t), the trailer just doesn’t grab me. I think after the third shot of the lady running away and the mean ol’ coot of a husband staring off into the distance, I decided not to seek this one out. But I’m a guy…and I like punchy-kicky-shit and cocoa puffs.
Diagnosis: Not interested.


Director: Alex Gibney, Heidi Ewing
Written By: Peter Bull, Alex Gibney, Jeremy Chilnick, Morgan Spurlock, Eugene Jarecki, Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, Seth Gordon
Starring: Zoe Sloane, Adesuwa Addy Iyare, Jade Viggiano
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

Admittedly, I’ve grown into a bit of a documentary person. Not sure when that happened, but the few on my Netflix Instant Queue remain there for a definite reason. Now there’s this one and the trailer has piqued my interest.
Diagnosis: Want to see.

Barry Munday

Director: Chris D’Arienzo
Written By: Chris D’Arienzo
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Judy Greer, Chloë Sevigny, Cybill Shepherd
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

Not entirely sure on the premise, but the trailer makes me think that this could either be really fun or really suck.
Diagnosis: Tentative…

Casino Jack

Director: George Hickenlooper
Written By: Norman Snider
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, Jon Lovitz, Kelly Preston
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

Did they just say “show me the money” in the trailer? *shoots self*
Diagnosis: Pass.

Hatchet II

Director: Adam Green
Written By: Adam Green
Starring: Kane Hodder, Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Parry Shen
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

There’s a Hatchet 1?! Wow. The trailer promises a lot, but I think the B horror nature of it has won me over already.
Diagnosis: Need to see the first one first. But yeah..


Director: Drake Doremus
Written By: Drake Doremus, Andrew Dickler
Starring: Andrew Dickler, Ben York Jones, Marguerite Moreau, Nicole Vicius
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

Saw the trailer to this before Enter The Void. I’m kind of curious.
Diagnosis: I’m kind of curious.

Atlantis Down

Director: Max Bartoli
Written By: Max Bartoli, Doug Burch, Sam Ingraffia
Starring: Michael Rooker, Dean Haglund, Greg Travis, Kera O’Bryon
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

The trailer wasn’t working for me, but the premise seems interesting enough. Really, anything that starts with “on a routine mission” promises some degree of calamity.
Diagnosis: If there’s time. Otherwise, DVD..

Sex Tax: Based On A True Story

Director: John Borges
Written By: David Landsberg
Starring: John Livingston, Erin Cardillo, Dana Green, Fiona Gubelmann
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

I question the “based on a true story” subtitle. I also see the National Lampoon logo on the poster and…there goes any interest in seeing this gem.
Diagnosis: Pass.


Director: Darren Flaxstone, Christian Martin
Written By: Darren Flaxstone, Christian Martin
Starring: Daniel Brocklebank, Garry Summers, Bernie Hodges, Wayne Virgo
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

There’s a lot of plot to sift through on the synopsis on RottenTomatoes. Um..this might be a wait for Netflix for me.
Diagnosis: Netflix Instant


Director: Pare Lorentz, Sean Stone
Written By:
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

It’s a documentary.
Diagnosis: Interested.

Is It Just Me?

Director: J.C. Calciano
Written By: J.C. Calciano
Starring: Nicholas Downs, David Loren, Adam Huss
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

I feel like I’ve seen this plot play out in other films, but it sounds like it could be a fun film nonetheless. But honestly, who these days is silly enough to use a shared computer for online dating sites?
Diagnosis: Netflix Instant

Brutal Beauty: Tales of the Rose City Rollers

Director: Chip Mabry
Written By:
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

I’ve got this constant fascination with Roller Derby. Meant to see Whip It with Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore, but forgot. I think I would probably be more interested in this, however, as it’s real Roller Derby folk.
Diagnosis: Want to see.

The Hungry Ghosts

Director: Michael Imperioli
Written By: Michael Imperioli
Starring: Aunjanue Ellis, E.J. Carroll, Emory Cohen, Joe Caniano
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010 (Limited)

The synopsis didn’t grab me initially, but watching through the trailer kind of grabbed me.
Diagnosis: It kind of grabbed me. Maybe I’ll see it.