Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Where Have All the Good Films Gone?

By this time last year, I had already seen seven of the eventual ten films that would make my year end best of list.  Gomorrah, Drag Me to Hell, Public Enemies, Inglourious Basterds, The Hurt Locker, Star Trek & Tetro.  Only Antichrist, Red Cliff & Broken Embraces were in my future.

Now here we are back in the present day and I only see three films (perhaps four) that will undoubtedly make that aforementioned best of list this year.  Shutter Island, I Am Love & The Killer Inside Me (and perhaps Winter's Bone).  So my question is, where have all the good movies gone?

I know every year there are critics complaining that this is the worst year in film history - but I am not doing that.  There are always better years and lesser years.  Of course we rarely get masterpieces anymore (or at least compared to the past!) but there are still good and great films coming out each year.  This year has had The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Vincere, City Island, Mid-August Lunch, North Face and the quite enjoyable but somewhat overrated Inception.  But all of these seem more like runners-up than top tenners. 

One can look into the future of the next four and a half months and pick out some interesting looking upcoming works.  Films like Julian Schnabel's Miral or Eastwood's Hereafter or Fincher's Social NetworkWall Street sequel.  Films such as the Sundance babies, Nowhere Boy and Catfish or James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in Howl.  Casey Affleck's doc on brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix as well as brother Ben's new directed drama.  We are getting the American remake of the great Swedish vampire tale, Let the Right One In (retitled Let Me In for US audiences, and possibly a good film despite its inevitable comparison to its near masterpiece original). or even the lomg-waited-for

The problem is, none of these films (though all in different stages of anticipation) seem poised to join a top ten list anytime soon.  Perhaps a runners-up list, but not a best of.  The notable exception being Social Network, since I do love Fincher (but was highly disappointed w/ his Benjamin Button - so I am a bit apprehensive). 

With no Tarantino, Almodovar, Lynch, P.T. Anderson, Von Trier or Wong Kar-wai on the near horizon, I am beginning to worry that my eventual best of list will need to be filled with some of these runners-up choices just in order to reach that magic number 10.

There are only two films that make me sit up and shiver in anticipation and those films are Sofia Coppola's Somewhere and the Coen's remake of True Grit with Jeff Bridges taking on John Wayne's Oscar winning  Rooster Cogburn role.  If these two are as good as I am hoping, I suppose that adds up to a top six list (if I include Winter's Bone - which I probably will).

Of course this is just idle rambling, and I am sure there will be some surprises on that horizon.  Perhaps Piranha 3D will make the cut(!?).


Jordan Ruimy said...

It's funny, I made a similar post about this not too long ago. So far, so bad. It's been an average year to say the least.

Jordan Ruimy said...

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You check mine out right here

KEVYN KNOX said...

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