2010 top ten movies on dvd

My Annual Top Ten movies list of movies most people missed on DVD in 2010

(I noticed on IMDB that most of these flicks are not as highly rated as they should be on IMDB... feh my taste is never in dispute in my mind which really is all that matters :p )

(oh and yes I've reviewed, linked most of these before, but not in a top ten


As always my top ten includes a few movies that maybe were in theatres last year, but on DVD this year. I work in a video store so that’s how I catalogue things, by the dvd release.

The Headless Woman Directed by Lucretia Martel whose previous two films “Holy Girl” & “La Cienaga” (aka The Swamp) are also genius. She has the most unflinching camera in use today, in many ways. She captures that decadent banality of the class system better than anyone since Bunuel, in my opinion. Headless Woman continues along similar themes, but is less concerned with narrative than the earlier two. She’s stretching with this one, and I’m salivating to see what she does next.

The Maid is one of those pictures that actually pilled the wool over my seasoned viewer eyes, I thought it was treading nicely down the path of one kind of “Maid movie” ( if indeed there is such a genre, and I can’t see why there wouldn’t be)  but in the end it became a wholly different kind of story. Genius performance from the lead actress.  Great flick.

Tony Manero is another great Chilean movie. Tony Manero of course refers to the John Travolta Iconic white suited Saturday Night Fever character. Which by the way is a kick ass film remembered for all the wrong things. Disco is just the setting. But I digress. The main character in this film is also kind of obsessed with SNF, he wants to make it on to a local dancing TV game show where they are looking to crown Chile’s “Tony Manero”. The tension comes from the fact that the guy is despite being well liked by some, a complete sociopath. It must be seen to be believed, the casualness of his brutality. Yet somehow we’re pulling for this psycho? Yes, yes we are.

Fishtank is a great little indy drama from sophomore director Andrea Arnold, whose first film “Red Road” I had no choice but to re-watch directly after watching Fishtank, so much did I still want to be part of Arnold’s universe. The main character is a young high school girl who just wants to dance and get out of her party time very young herself still mom’s house and the life there… Mom starts dating a nice guy for a change, and things seem to take a familiar turn, or do they? Very grown up look at that stuff we don’t talk about.

The Eclipse has absolutely nothing to do with Twilight or stupid angsty teen vampires. It has to do with big time real Irish actors doing their thing in an old fashioned ghost story/romance triangle. It’s a fracture surreal triangle at best, which is what gives this film it’s edge, that, and the good old fashioned eeek it’s a ghost kind of scares it contains once in a while. Cieran Hinds is genius in this, Aidan Quinn is himself, and then some.  Nice little movie with no pretensions to be more or less than it is.

The Cry Of The Owl is not for everyone with it’s murky cinematography and old fashioned melodrama acting, but for those who enjoy that kind of thing, like me, this is a joy, this film. Like a Val Lewton Produced Douglas Sirk movie maybe? The darkness I guess comes from the fact it’s a Patricia Highsmith story. She was a master of mood, and spare about it at the same time… much like this movie. Julia Stiles deserves some kind of award for her creepy girl turn here. Owls crying, indeed.

Mother The latest from Joon Ho Bong the Korean director behind Memories of Murder, as well as The Host. This film covers much of the same territory of memories of murder, and even has some actors recurring roles (or at least very similar types, it wasn’t addressed at all.) as it’s set in a small town with small town cops covering everyone’s dirty secrets. The Mother in question is the mother of the most recent patsy to be arrested for killing a young girl. Rivetting performance, and despite it’s familiar setting is really nothing like Memories Of Murder, and maybe even as good, I need to see both films again before making that judgement.

The Killer Inside Me is again not for everyone. It only has a small number of violent scenes, but those are graphic in a nigh harrowing fashion. I know many who couldn’t watch those scenes at all, hiding their eyes, or just fast forwarding ahead. So be warned. That said It’s yet another masterpiece from Michael Winterbottom. Bravura film making, coaxes a nomination worthy performance out of Casey Affleck. Very decent adaptation of the classic Jim Thompson novella.

Sleep Dealer is a classy little bit of Sci-Fi which is hard to come by these days. Set in the pretty near future, water is scarce, and people often work using virtual reality to control robots doing jobs often in other parts of the world. All the military is by proxy as well of course, and all private. The army works for whoever hires them. A young Mexican hacker ends up in Tijuana learning about this much more realistic Matrix than The Matrix ever was, setup, while sending money home to his folks. There are acts of rebellion, the world changes ever so slightly. I felt like all the future tech they used could easily come to pass in 10-20 years.

Valhalla Rising is a film that many loathe, and misunderstand. It’s bound to be compared to Cobra Verde, or other Herzogian visions. but that’s not a bad thing to my mind.. Mads Mikkelsen excels as the one eyed enslaved ruthless killer who lives to entertain others with bloodsport. Eventually he follows some crusaders towards the Holy Land for a crusade, but they take a wrong turn at Vinland….I found this little slice of mood and mise en scene to be hypnotic and it stayed in my dreams & thoughts for days afterwards.

This Is England 86’ (special mention:  on TV in Merry Olde during 2010, hopefully on DVD here soon as fricking possible!)  Is the even better than sequel to The Great Shane Meadows’ “This Is England” from a few years back. All the same actors return a few years older, and well, not really that much wiser, and of course a great many bad things happen. There is especially one scene that would be hard to take for many, but otherwise there is lots of humour and dignity in this 80’s saga. I’d love to see more actually.

Comments

  1. Hi Buddha Rhubarb,

    I'm feral geographer and I blog at http://www.feralgeographer.ca. Along with Mae Callen of Driving Fast on Loose Gravel (http://maecallen.blogspot.com), I'm creating an active blogroll of queer blogs from Canada and/or by Canadians. The project is called Queer Canada Blogs (http://www.queercanadablogs.ca), and we've added your blog!
    Please check it out and let us know if you have any suggestions for other blogs we can add.

    Thanks!
    feral geographer

    (Feel free to delete this comment... I just wanted to contact you, and couldn't find an email address!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, sorry for the lateness of my reply, I thought I had the comments set to msg me if there were comments, guess not. thanks for adding me to your blog... I check out that blogroll regularly myself.

    ReplyDelete

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