Gregg’s Top 10 Films of 2010

There were some highs and some lows this year (at times, some real lows) at the cinema.  Fanboys rejoiced with the revival of the Predator franchise in addition to a certain comic book sequel brought to us by Jon Favreau.  It was a year of cowboys and dragons and dancers, oh my!  January brought us Jackie Chan in The Spy Next Door, and 2010 closed out with December’s star-studded cast in True Grit.  While my top ten Blu-ray list remained somewhat consistent throughout the year, this best of cinema list jumped around like five-year old at a birthday party.


#10 Piranha 3D – Call it total cheese, call it bad, call it fun.  I thoroughly enjoyed this movie from start to finish.  It kicked off on the right foot by paying homage to Jaws with a cameo of Richard Dreyfuss as he singingly mumbled the lyrics, “Show me the way to go home.”  The 3D visuals were enticing and Jerry O’Connell gave an Oscar-worthy dirtbag-of-the-year performance.  Okay, maybe it’s not worth a gold statue, but he was convincing to say the least.  Elizabeth Shue is still hot, Ving Rhames is still a badass, Christopher Lloyd is still funny and hellooooo Kelly Brook.  I must’ve fallen in love half a dozen times in this film.  It was pure fun from start to finish with a great twist at the end.


#9  Hot Tub Time Machine – When this film came out, I was at my local comic book store where a customer was arguing the validity of it.  It’s about a hot tub…that’s a time machine.  Unless this guy knew about some invention I didn’t know existed, then I don’t think there was any validity to this film.  I love the 80’s and I love a good comedy.  Mash ’em up and throw a little Chevy Chase cameo in there and you’ve got yourself one funny film.  Better than last year’s The Hangover?  I think not, but still, John Cusack and company did a good job in bringing the laughs.


#8 True Grit – Remaking a film that starred John Wayne is no easy task.  Yet the Coen brothers achieved this in admirable fashion in their rendition that was dotted with humor, drama, and some incredible acting.  I never thought I’d see the day where two of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, would share the screen.  Scratch that off the wish list.  It’s reality now.  The movie had a slow part here and there, but overall, it was a grand piece of work.  And how can I talk about this without mentioning that outstanding performance by Hailee Steinfeld?  Whoever found her should get a medal…right after Hailee gets one for her acting.  Maybe not a medal, but an award that rhymes with “shmoss-ker.”  What a way to close out the 2010 movie-watching year. 


#7 Let Me In – I was in on the discussion panel for this film at this year’s Comic-Con and felt rather indifferent afterward.  There was nothing really there to light my fire.  I knew it was a remake of the foreign film, Let the Right One In, where a young boy finds friendship from an unlikely girl who is a vampire.  Many people get turned off when they hear that supernatural term.  For vampire haters, fear not.  This is not a vampire movie, but a movie about true friendship that has a vampire in it.  I can’t speak for the Swedish counterpart, but Matt Reeves’ version was fantastic.


#6 Predators – Thank you, Mr. Rodriguez, for bringing quality back to my favorite movie monster.  After that AVP: Requiem debacle, the Yautjas needed some serious rescuing at the box office.  Predators may not have had the financial income muscle that the original Predator did, but that’s all right.  Robert Rodriguez showed us Predators fighting Predators for the first time and even gave us a rogue sect of the race.  Between some great action and Topher Grace’s timely humor, I had a hunting-good time with Adrien Brody and crew in Predators.


#5 Iron Man 2 – Oh God, I can almost see the Avengers on the horizon.  Yes, I will proudly claim the title of “Geek.”  Jon Favreau once again brought us a fun romp through the pages of Marvel as Tony Stark returned in the scarlet and gold armor.  Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow continue to exercise their playful chemistry while the addition of Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, and Scarlett Johansson only added more pop and bang to the action and the story.  The final battle was a little weak, but hey, watching the Black Widow utilize her Lucha libre style of fighting to take down baddies in rapid succession was worth the ticket price alone.  Oh yeah, War Machine was cool too ;-).  Nothing says “wicked” like a shoulder-mounted minigun. 


#4 How to Train Your Dragon – This movie held the top spot on my for quite a while.  As time has gone on, I have, for whatever unknown reason, enjoyed computer-animated films less and less.  Toy Story 3 had a beautiful story, but I just wasn’t digging it.  Up, though it wasn’t a 2010 release, bored me to tears.  Then there’s How to Train Your Dragon.  Maybe it’s the fact that film’s star reptile bares behavioral traits uncannily similar to my cat Rocky and my late dog Maggie.  Perhaps that was the aspect that clicked for me.  I absolutely loved this film and even got a little choked up along the way.  Call me a softy.  The story won me over and the beautiful environments and animation didn’t hurt either.


#3 Get Him to the Greek – My first exposure to Russell Brand.  Some say he didn’t have to really act in this film as that was really just his own zany personality coming through.  Whatever the case, I laughed so damn hard in this movie that I had tears running down my face.  Jonah Hill played a record company go-for who was tasked with reving the career of rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) by escorting him from London to the famous Greek Theater in Los Angeles for a career-lifting performance.  Drugs, booze and women interfere with the journey as record exec P.Diddy jumps in to make sure the job gets done. 


#2 Step Up 3D – The story was okay, although nothing new.  A talented guy chases his love while trying to save the family property.  You can pretty much guess what happens in the end.  Nevertheless, I was entertained by it and it effectively made you root for the good guys.  What truly won me over was the amazing use of 3D, and I don’t even care for this technology, but more importantly, the dancing.  Pure adrenaline.  I sat there trying to pull what moves I could from the film hoping to use them at a later date, simply awe-inspired by the action in front of me.  I wanted to be up there on that screen doing at least a fraction of that choreography.  So-so acting, simple story, grand visuals, incredible dancing.  Mix all that together and the entertainment value was through the roof for me.


#1 The A-Team – I’ve found the more I get my hopes up for a movie, the more I’m let down when I first see it.  That was NOT the case with The A-Team.  It was one of my favorite shows as a kid and the casting could not have been much better for the film; especially in the case of District 9’s Sharlto Copley as the mildly derranged Captain Murdock.  The movie easily combined aspects of wit, action, personality, and even a dose of drama in this wildly addictive ride.  Liam Neeson did well playing Hannibal, the team’s leader.  Bradley Cooper was arguably the second best cast as pretty boy ‘Face’, while UFC star Rampage Jackson filled the big shoes of Mr. T in the role of B.A. Baracus.  And of course it never hurts to throw Jessica Biel into a film.  I sure as heck wasn’t complaining.      


Honorable Mention

RED – Why this film bombed at the box office, I have no idea.  It certainly wasn’t due to the lack of star power as the film showed off Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Mary-Louise Parker, and Brian Cox.  It was an over-the-top action/comedy where the dialogue succeeded, the shootouts were fun, and the chemistry blended like pizza and beer.  I went back and forth up to the last minute trying to decide if this was good enough to make the 10-spot or not.  It was there, then I took it off and put Piranha 3D back and repeated the process again.  In the end, Red was a great time and just missed the cut of the top 10.  It’s still worth a Blu-ray buy though.


Biggest Disappointment

The Wolfman – This doesn’t necessarily mean the film in this category was bad.  It just means it wasn’t all that I had hoped for…by a longshot.  Take Tron: Legacy for instance.  I was disappointed with it, but it’s not a bad movie.  Black Swan could be filed in the same manner though I didn’t like that movie at all.  The one that takes the cake here is one Benicio Del Toro fronted a lot of his own money for; The Wolfman, and despite my intro for this category, this movie was indeed bad.  It had some incredibly impressive makeup artists on the set and their work showed quite visibly on screen.  Unfortunately, that was one of the only saving graces for this boring trek through full moon landscapes.  Not even the acting greatness of Sir Anthony Hopkins could save this.  The story trodded along at a sloth’s pace and some awful CGI didn’t help either.  I had hoped for so much more.  I enjoyed the imagery collage that was used both here and in the better known version starring Lon Chaney Jr. from 1941.  Still, that didn’t amount to any significant positive as this movie didn’t come close to making the grade.  Watch the trailer.  It’s better than the full film. 


Worst Film of the Year

Jonah Hex – No brainer.  As I sit here writing this final piece to my last “Best of 2010” article, I’m trying to gather my wits and every bit of impressive grammar I ever gained in English classes over the years.  Shall my description be a poetic delivery of eloquence, slightly shadowed by the negativity this film hath wrought?  No.  This movie sucked.  It was so bad that I can’t believe somebody thought the end product was good enough to release to the citizens of planet earth.  If you don’t know who Jonah Hex is, he’s a Confederate soldier whose family was killed and he was left for dead.  Through some ancient Indian spirits, he now gains the ability to get shot twice as much as the average person before dying a second time or whatever.  John Malkovich and Megan Fox starred behind headliner Josh Brolin and I can’t believe anybody accepted this script unless it grossly changed from the original version.  I was hoping a nuclear blast would have settled the outcome of this movie, but since it takes place during the 1860’s, that wasn’t an option.  Stick with the comic books of Jonah Hex.  They are actually good.



7 Responses to “Gregg’s Top 10 Films of 2010”

  1. Brian White

    Wow! I have to say Gregg…what a list!

    You shocked me and a few other people with this list today, but to me…that’s why this is called Gregg’s list and not Habib’s list and we all have to be respectful.

    Well first thing is first. Your #1 and 2 choices surprised me VERY MUCH! I had a friend come up to me and say really, Step Up 3. Although I encouraged him to post, he did not. But again. To each his own right? Who am I to cast judgment.

    I will say I was also surrprised to see IM2 on this list. I did not know you liked it so much.

    I’m happy to see you put Piranha on here.

    Yes, I do think you should give THE TOWN a watch. It’s a terrific flick that I think you will enjoy.

    I know you highly recommended Hot Tub and Get Him to the Greek to me, but for whatever reason I could not get into either of them and the laughs were sparse…from me. If I could make a recommendation, I highly encourage a viewing of Forgetting Sarah Marshall (the movie which Brand’s character is spun off from). He was hilarious in that film! IMO.

    I’m glad to see how open you were to Let The Right One In. You should check out the Swedish one some day. They are both great films IMO. True Grit…well i need to see that one, BUT not before BLACK SWAN. That’s a must-see for me!

    I could agree with you more on Jonah Hex, but I have ZERO interest in ever seeing Red. Just can’t do it, sorry.

    Thanks Gregg!

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    Step Up 3 at number 2? Alright…

    @Brian, not sure why you’re that much against Red, it’s a straight forward action/comedy – seems pretty much in your league of films. I didn’t love it, but it can certainly be a rental. Also, Red didn’t really bomb, it did quite well actually, for an October action flick, appealing to an older crowd (nearly $200 worldwide).

    Everyone here seems to have a lot of love for Predators. I like it too, just surprised to see if figuring in on so many lists

  3. Gregg Senko

    I know guys, nobody will get why I put Step Up 3D that high, but I don’t expect anyone to. Dance is…well…I don’t know how to put it. When it’s done well and makes good use of the adrenal glands, it’s other-worldly for me. I cannot sit still. I have to be doing it. Step Up 3D, while its acting and story were ho-hum, that dancing absolutely blew me away. I can’t put it in words to accurately portray that emotion.

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    I can see how it can figure into a top 10 list for you, but if the words “Ho-hum” come up when describing a top movie of the year for me, then something doesn’t belong.

  5. Gez

    I was surprised about how good the A-Team film turned out. All the characters worked well without trouncing on the history of the TV series. Get Him To The Greek was a bit of a disappointment though. There were a few funny bits, but it seemed like a cheap knock-off of Russell Brand’s first autobiography, My Booky Wook.

  6. Gregg

    @Aaron, if the whole movie fell into that category, then I’d agree with. But while some aspects were mediocre, others were exceptional! Thus propelling it into the top 10.

  7. Sean Ferguson

    You all seem to love Predators a lot more than I did. I’ve got it on Blu-ray but I wouldn’t call it top ten material for me. You have some interesting choices on here and other than Step Up 3D and How to Train a Dragon, the rest were surprises. I need to catch up on these movies starting with the A Team!