The Movies Of Fall 2010

October kicked things off in a big way. The sheer impact that the names Sorkin and Fincher bring was enough to pull moviegoers around the world into theatres to see The Social Network, a film that will arguably sweep the Oscars. Telling the intriguing and fascinating story about the founding of Facebook, The Social Network is quite the achievement in filmmaking. In my review, I stated that:

It’s a film that is never less than perfect. It defines a generation just like Network, Rebel Without A Cause and so many films before it did. The storytelling is unparalleled and with precision and flair, Fincher and Sorkin bring us the story of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. A story that serves as both a metaphor and a snapshot, a snapshot of our time and society.

Like The Town, The Social Network is required viewing. It’s one of the best films not only this year, but easily one of the best films of the decade. Jesse Eisenberg completely embodies Mark Zuckerberg and Fincher’s direction paired with Sorkin’s writing provides for a truly phenomenal moviegoing experience.

Another interesting film arrived in theatres that week. Let Me In, the remake of the Swedish film, Let The Right One In. Having enjoyed the original, I had high hopes for the remake. Never having gotten a chance to see it, I’m still curious about it. If for no other reason, I’d see it for Chloe Moretz, one of Hollywood’s most talented young actresses.

Matt Reeves, the man behind Cloverfield directs, and while there’s a near unanimous decision that it doesn’t hold up to the original, I haven’t heard anything terribly negative about it. Chad Posey wrote in his review that:

In closing, this is a solid film. Never mind it being a remake, it doesn’t deserve to be ignored. It’s exciting, gory, sweet, and kept me interested the entire time, especially the relationship between Owen and Abby. If you haven’t already seen it, then go check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

A few smaller films also hit theatres that week including Hatchet 2, Freakonomics and the horrible Case 39. The week after wasn’t particularly eventful either. Moviegoers had a choice between Life As We Know It, Secretariat, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, My Soul To Take, I Spit On Your Grave and Stone. Nothing really stands out here. Out of the list above, I’ve only seen Stone, which despite the promising cast, was very mediocre.

October 15th saw the release of the highly anticipated Jackass 3D. Releasing alongside Johnny Knoxville and crew were Red and Conviction. Knoxville and crew hit screens for a third effort and this time in 3D. While not for everyone, if you can stomach it, it’s no doubt entertaining. In his review, Ken Murray said:

Is it a guy movie? Yeah, not too many women are going to be running out to see this. Will your theater be packed with frat boys? Yeah, single frat boys with no girlfriends. Is it Casablanca? No, but in a YouTube World with 30 second attention spans, Jackass is King if not Citizen Kane. The boys are back and this time more 3D-ier.

Simply put, if you’re into this stuff, you’ll enjoy the film. With Conviction, which is based on a true story, Sam Rockwell does his best to earn himself an Oscar. According to Ken Murray, he may have succeeded. In his review, he writes:

Overall, Conviction is a good film that should garner some awards talk (especially for Sam Rockwell who needs to win an award soon). The film is also a hit for Hilary Swank who after Amelia and Freedom Writers, needed one and hopefully it’s a career maker for Tony Goldwyn. Go out and see Conviction, it’s worth your time.

Red, while it made over $100 million at the box office, it failed to really do anything for me. The idea of bringing Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren together for an action flick was a good idea at first but the execution was pretty poor. In my review, I said:

Red offers nothing original and despite the solid efforts by the cast and the entertaining chemistry between them, this feels like a film better suited to DVD. It would make a solid rental as the mediocrity surrounding it is too hard to ignore. Ultimately, Red is an at times fun but in the end forgettable action comedy.

Overall, a very forgettable and bland action flick, if you are interested in it though, just wait for the DVD. The following week, there were only two major releases, Hereafter and Paranormal Activity 2. Hereafter brought together two big names, Matt Damon and Clint Eastwood. You would think that this movie could do no wrong, while apparently it could. In his review, Ken Murray said:

Hereafter does have some great smaller performances especially from Jay Mohr as George’s brother, Richard Kind, and from Steve Schirripa as the cooking instructor. And overall there is some very well done acting, but after great films like Mystic River and Gran Torino, Hereafter almost seems a let down. Very well made, it is far from a bad movie just maybe not what’s expected.

Despite this, I still want to see it. Mainly because of Damon/Eastwood. I mean the way I see it is, with those two names attached, the film can’t be that bad, right? Well I’ll assure you of one thing, it was no worse than Paranormal Activity 2. If there was ever a bad movie, it is the second film in the Paranormal Activity series. I hate these films, seriously hate them. Apparently Will Chadwick agrees with me as he says in his review:

Much in the same way that Scream did something subversive and actually brilliant but became responsible for the terrible, ‘ironic’ slasher I Know What You Did Last Summer, Blair Witch Project is responsible for films like Paranormal Activity 2, which in itself is just a hop, a skip and a jump away from Book of Shadows.

Despite the stupidity of these films, they do make a lot of money so it was only a matter of time before a third one was announced. It looks as if this is going to be the next Saw. Although, at least the Saw franchise had a few good instalments. Speaking of Saw, the series finally came to an end on October 29th. Releasing in 3D for its swan song, this actually wasn’t that bad of a film.

It had a nice twist and the traps were awesome. It wasn’t the best one in the series, but it was far from the worst. In his review, Claude Saravia said:

If you are looking for great movie to watch on Halloween – try the original Halloween or the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. If you want to go to the movies to have a bloody fun time, and are not necessarily looking for plot and character development, Saw 3D is the way to go. And oh yes, there will be blood.

Releasing that week was also another horror film, Monsters. While it had a strong buzz surrounding it, I didn’t enjoy this one at all. Maybe I need to give it another chance but I really couldn’t get into it. Blake Griffin seems to disagree though as he says in his review:

But Edwards is smart, and he took his time building up to the limited payoffs Monsters actually offers. Instead, Edwards invests huge amounts into the atmosphere of his film. This yields some outstanding results, too. The feel of the film is otherworldly, exquisite, and exciting. Since Edwards created the visual effects as well, his directorial vision matches perfectly what you see on screen. And when he finally gives you a long hard look at the creatures, they’re enchanting. The decision to use non-professional actors, and avoid the over-used ‘found footage’ device so popular lately also prove to be solid choices that help the film rise above its peers.

Rounding out the month was the final film in the Millenium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest and Welcome To Rileys. I haven’t seen either but I have been meaning to finish up the Millenium trilogy as I did enjoy the two previous films.

Click here to continue reading and to see how the last month of fall played out.