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Chicago – Happy New Year’s Eve! The glorious life of the film critic – swimming pools, movies stars, etc. – unfortunately includes the necessary but cruel viewing of 2010’s worst films. Ten candidates made the low grade even after thankfully avoiding some of the more egregious sins (“Marmaduke” comes to mind). This list represents my personal worst from 2010.
To mollify the assignment, I’m adding a “mitigating factor” – a single piece of hope within each piece of dreck – to find the silver lining in losing precious time.
Photo credit: New Line Cinema
This über-popular HBO series, which started “innocently” enough as four single gals on the town in New York City, morphed into the type of relationships and situations that makes every sitcom jump the shark – marriages, babies, menopause. The first film breakout was a surprise hit in 2008, but had the aforementioned »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
year in review parts 1-7
tear-jerkers, music videos, worst films, gay characters and more...
Michael C. from Serious Film here for a few good laughs.
Any future film historians examining the tail end of 2010 will likely mark this year as dark days for screen comedy. Comedy icons Woody Allen and James L Brooks rolled twin gutter balls, while mainstream audiences lined up around the block to watch the star of Taxi Driver do 98 minutes of boner jokes. As if to rub salt in the wound, the Golden Globes saw fit to nominate an inexplicable slate of comedies that were, with few exceptions, unfunny, unexceptional, or in some cases downright awful.
Still, if you managed to look beyond the large pile of high profile duds there were plenty of laughs to be had in 2010. So here for your consideration is the year in comedy. Not the best movies overall, »
- Michael C.
For our 13th episode, I called in John Erick Dowdle to talk about his experiences as an independent filmmaker who is steadily on the rise in Hollywood. John, as you may or may not know, landed on the genre map with The Poughkeepsie Tapes (still unreleased from MGM) and took the leap over to Sony for Quarantine . Then, with brother Drew, he did Devil for producer M. Night Shyamalan. It's no coincidence the film recently hit DVD and I roped him into the show, however, I've known John for a bit now and he's a great interview. So sit back and summon up whatever demonic forces you need to glue your peepers to the screen for eight minutes. Click on the player below to hear John talk about his favorite devil-themed flicks, his time working on his latest production, toiling in the »
Yesterday we offered up a list of the most popular interview segments we posted on the site this year, ranked according to our 2010 traffic data. Today, we're looking at the year in video — specifically, the most popular trailers and clips we posted on Splash Page over the last 12 months.
This year was full of big releases on the movie and television front, with "Iron Man 2," "Kick-Ass," and "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" all vying for attention at the box office and on the Internet. However, this year's list of the 10 most-watched trailers and clips features quite a few projects that didn't appear on the big screen.
In fact, with a few exceptions, the trailers and clips that were watched the most times here on Splash Page will probably surprise you — so let's get on with the list, shall we?
10. Exclusive "Kick-Ass" DVD/Blu-Ray Featurette Feat. Hit Girl
Back in June »
- Rick Marshall
3-D took off. Reality benders bent the box office. And Stallone returned to the top. Yessiree, 2010 did offer some noticeable trends. But perhaps above all, Hollywood's continual nostalgia obsession went officially 1980s crazy. "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "The Karate Kid", "The A-Team", "Predator", and even "Tron" all made comebacks, to name a few. But none of these are the most interesting to compare and contrast. For that, I give you Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps", and MGM's one-time swan song, "Hot Tub Time Machine".
The burning question is: How the heck do these two films measure up to one another? Now, it can be revealed: "Wall Street" gets the nod for Best Re-emergence of an Eighties Icon (Gordon Gecko beating out John Cusack's return to his early career teen comedy persona), although "Hot Tub" gets the edge for Best Use of the Talking Head's "This Must »
Chicago – M. Night Shyamalan’s career is a morbidly fascinating train wreck. Here’s a man who seduced the mainstream viewing public and film lovers alike with the wonderful psychological drama, “The Sixth Sense,” and the enticing mystery, “Unbreakable.” Both films garnered the director a legion of devoted fans eager to see what material he would tackle next.
Unfortunately, Shyamalan’s subsequent work has consisted of one disaster after another. After the phony ending of “Signs” came the critically savaged “Village,” which inspired Shyamalan to demonize critics in his even worse follow-up, “Lady in the Water,” where he cast himself as a misunderstood savior (no joke). Then came “The Happening,” a series of knee-jerk gore gags that mankind allegedly “deserved,” probably because they decided to skip “Lady in the Water.”
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0
After “The Last Airbender” hammered the final nail in the coffin of Shyamalan’s credibility, he’s »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Here's a look back at Back Stage's top 10 memories:10. Undead DAYTIMEBack in 2009—when the daytime-drama format looked to be going the way of the wild polar bear—American Federation of Television and Radio Artists New York local president Holter Graham sounded a mournful note about the format's future. "The writing was on the wall about daytime and that it was a changing market a long time ago," Graham said. "The economic crisis given to us by the Bush administration sped up that process and made that writing on the wall bright yellow highlighter."That highlighter ink didn't wash away in 2010, but it faded a little. In 2009, CBS announced that its long-running soaps "Guiding Light" and "As the World Turns" would come to an end. This year no such similar announcement came, the networks instead making multiyear commitments to dramas such as "The Young and the Restless" and "Days of Our Lives. »
Every year Hollywood shows off plenty of fresh talent on the big screen, and 2010 was no exception. Young breakout stars took the movie world by storm in films such as "The Social Network," "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Karate Kid." And, even if their film wasn't the biggest box office it, the young leads of "Let Me In," "Kick-Ass" and "Winter's Bone" left fond memories in everyone's minds that seems to bode well for their careers.
With the New Year right around the corner, we decided to celebrate the 10 biggest breakout stars of 2010, reflecting on the films that tossed them into the spotlight and looking forward to what they have coming up next.
Why He'll Stick Around: Garfield is tapped »
- Terri Schwartz
Chicago – Some films never get a fair shot with audiences. They open in a handful of art house theaters scattered throughout the country before inconspicuously landing on DVD. Passionate movie lovers are left with the task of championing these unjustly obscure titles and helping them to acquire the audience they deserve. Before I reveal my picks for the top five films of 2010 that you probably didn’t see, here are the 10 runners-up.
Photo credit: Lionsgate
The feisty, ever-questioning spirit of Carl Sagan is alive and well in Alejandro Amenabar’s fascinating and haunting historical epic. “Agora” functions as somewhat of an antithesis to “Passion of the Christ,” portraying the ancient ideological battles between Pagans and Christians with complexity, intelligence and a refusal to exploit its inherent violence. Rachel Weisz is at the peak of her radiance as Hypatia, a female scholar specializing in astronomy, philosophy and common sense. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Mathias Domahidy in Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialism Olivier Assayas, Aaron Sorkin, Exit Through The Gift Shop: La Weekly/indieWIRE 2010 Critics' Poll Honorary Oscar winner (and no-show) Jean Luc-Godard's Film Socialism topped the L.A. Weekly/indieWIRE critics' poll of Best Undistributed Film to date in the United States. Andre Ujica's The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu was the runner-up. In addition to topping the Best Documentary category, Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop was the critics' poll's Best First Feature as well. David Michod's Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom was the runner-up. The Worst Film of 2010 category was topped by M. Night Shyamalan's expensive box-office disappointment The Last Airbender tied with Christopher Nolan's expensive box-office hit Inception — which can also be found on the L.A. Weekly/indieWIRE poll's Best Film list. Below is the L.A. Weekly/indieWIRE poll's top twelve choices for Best Undistributed Film, »
- Andre Soares
At this point, the tagline .From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan. is more of a threat than a promise of ending the film with any sort of satisfaction. Yet .Devil. (which Shyamalan produced and provided the story for) is not bad. It is quick and with no-frills, but reasonably executed with a few fun scares. With Shyamalan owing much of his career to both Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg, it makes sense that he.ll want to throw his hat into the .Alfred Hitchcock presents.. and .Amazing Stories. ring and this first .Night Chronicles. production sets the stage well for follow-ups with a simple hook told with efficiency. Maybe most of Devil.s credit should go to director »
- Frankie Dees
Alright now I know what you're thinking... what the hell is Bakugan? It's a fairly new animated series that is a big hit with the kiddies right now, sort of along the lines of Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Avatar: The Last Airbender. The full title is Bakugan Battle Brawlers, and the show has a tie-in strategy card game where various creatures battle against each other... I'm sure you get the picture. It originated in Japan where it apparently flopped, and it wasn't until it started broadcasting in Canada and the U.S. that it became a big hit. And now they're bringing it to the big screen with the help of Harald Zwart, director of The Pink Panther 2 and The Karate Kid! Universal Pictures is the studio putting together the movie, with Scott Stuber on board as producer. Stuber is somewhat new to family-oriented films, having produced mainly R-rated movies like Role Models, »
2010 Top Five Horror Movies: 5.) Devil M. Night Shyamalan's reputation as an Alfred Hitchcock or a Rod Serling for a new generation has been eroding for years, with films like The Village (2004) and The Happening (2008) getting derisive responses from audiences. Even though he didn't direct Devil , just the sight of Shyamalan's name as producer was enough for many audiences to boo the trailers for Devil , the first in a proposed anthology series dubbed The Night Chronicles. When Devil . directed by John Erick Dowdle ( Quarantine , 2008) . was released this past September, though, the skepticism towards it was largely dispelled. Based on a story concept by Shyamalan (with a screenplay by Brian Nelson), Devil harkened back to classic Twilight Zone , showing a »
This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s. Salt Salt barrels forward at a relentless pace, and stops only for the most perfunctory of emotional beats. You know they're emotional beats because somber music plays in the background while characters gaze longingly at each other. 30 seconds of that, and it's back to more running, car hopping and violently-inflicted bodily injury. None of the action is especially impressive or inspired, but what it lacks in polish it makes up for in sheer volume. The mystery of Evelyn Salt is meant to keep the audience on their toes as the action unfolds, but it's all so ludicrous and predictable; if there is a compelling mystery at the core of Salt, it's learning just how much casual ass-kickery »
- Adam Quigley
Ben Affleck and Danny Boyle will be honored at the upcoming 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff). Affleck will receive the Chairman's Award while Boyle will be honored with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award. ("The Town" Movie Review)
The Awards Gala will kick off the 2011 awards season on Saturday, January 8, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Previously announced honorees are Javier Bardem, Robert Duvall, Colin Firth, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan, Natalie Portman, David O. Russell, Diane Warren and the cast of The Social Network. The Festival runs January 6-17. ("127 Hours" movie review, and interviews with Danny Boyle and James Franco)
Here's the rest of the press release:
Commenting on Affleck, Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said, .If there is truly a renaissance man in today.s cinema, it.s Ben Affleck. He has distinguished himself as a premier writer and director, as well as an actor with a broad-ranging and impressive filmography. »
In Hollywood, it's never about what you've done, it's about what you've done lately. Before this summer, Harald Zwart directed One Night at McCool's, Agent Cody Banks and The Pink Panther 2. Not exactly box office or critical bonanzas. Still, he found himself in China directing the remake  of The Karate Kid for Sony. From a $40 million budget, that film made almost $400 million worldwide and now Universal is entrusting Zwart with one of their precious possible franchises. He's been tapped to direct Bakugan, based on the popular game and anime show Bakugan Battle Brawlers. Bakugan Battle Brawlers is a cartoon show that originated in Japan and airs on the Cartoon Network in America. It's about a group of kids who control "marble-like balls that transform into powerful monsters when rolled on game cards," according to The Wrap , which broke the news about Zwart. It's spawned video games, toys, and much more. »
- Germain Lussier
We now have even more proof that holiday revelers are not thinking about horror as there are only three notable titles this week. What do you think about Devil being released so close to this religious holiday?
Zombie fans among us should appreciate The Horde; however, if The Foywonder's recent tweet is any indication, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus may not be a shiny present from Santa after all.
For the gamers out there, your early Xmas present just arrived in the form of a downloadable Dead Space 2 (watch trailer) demo arriving today on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
Trapped in an elevator high above Philadelphia, five people discover that the Devil (Blu-ray DVD review) is among them – and no one can escape their fate. This chilling, supernatural thriller from M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, »
With Christmas just a few days away, there are a surprising number of big DVD releases still hitting stores this week including Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sleeper hit comedy Easy A starring Emma Stone, and Salt starring Angelina Jolie. Also out today is the M. Night Shyamalan-produced thriller Devil and Step Up 3, which sounds odd and seems rather pointless unless you have a 3-D capable TV. I mean, sure you can watch it in 2-D... but why would you want to? Also the final Family Guy Star Wars parody is out this week, along with the long-awaited new season of Futurama and the French zombie film The Horde. Will you be doing any last minute DVD shopping this week? Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps  (+ Blu-ray ) Easy A  (+ Blu-ray ) Devil  (+ Blu-ray ) Salt  (+ Blu-ray ) Step Up 3  (+ Blu-ray , Blu-ray 3D ) The Horde  The Heavy  Mega Shark vs. »
Merry Christmas everybody! And yes, I do mean everybody, whether you celebrate the holiday or not. It’s the gesture and thought that are important here people, not the details of your own beliefs or attitudes. No different from saying ‘Good morning’ or Have a great day!’ And to prove I’m not all about the specifics of Christmas… I’m not recommending any new releases for purchase this week! See? No crass commercialism intended! Of course, it helps that most of this week’s titles are average at best… This week sees Oliver Stone’s Wall Street sequel (Money Never Sleeps), the first in M. Night Shyamalan’s Night Chronicles series of low budget horror films (Devil), Angelina Jolie’s latest action romp (Salt), Emma Stone’s smart high-school comedy (Easy A), and a handful of below the radar foreign titles including Map Of the Sounds Of Tokyo, Beautiful Kate, and »
- Rob Hunter
Devil Quick Thoughts:
I was covering the Toronto International Film Festival when Devil was released in September and never ended up catching it in theaters, but I'd heard some good things so checking it out on Blu-ray was a must and as it turns out it isn't half-bad, although it isn't all that scary. Written by Brian Nelson (30 Days of Night) from a story by M. Night Shyamalan, Devil centers on a group of people that end up trapped in an elevator with the twist being one of them is actually Satan.
The source of this comes from a South American myth called The Devil's Meeting in which the Devil gathers, torments and kills a group of people, all of which have done some sort of evil in their lives. The myth is explained in the story by a security guard as our group of people grow increasingly paranoid in »
- Brad Brevet
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