37.  Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Turns the stereotypical college kids get terrorized by hillbillies premise on its head.  Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) just bought a dilapidated cabin in the woods with the idea of fixing it up and so head there for a vacation.  Through a series of misunderstandings, a group of college kids think the two have taken one of their crew (Katrina Bowden) hostage and then try to attack Tucker and Dale.  Hilariously, these attempts keep ending in the college kids accidentally killing themselves.  Maybe not quite as good as I wanted it to be, but it is a fun watch that I’ve recommended to people.  Also, Katrina Bowden is ridiculously attractive.  And was quite good.

36.  Cell 211

This film dominated the 2010 Goya Awards, winning Best Picture, Actor, Director, Editing, New Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Sound, and Supporting Actress, along with nominations for Cinematography, Makeup and Hair, Score, Production Design, Production Supervision, Special Effects, and two in Supporting Actor.  The Goyas, of course, are Spain’s Oscars.  I bring all this up because there was another film up for a ton for a ton of Goyas: the winner of the 2010 Oscar for Best Foreign Film, The Secret in Their Eyes.  I’m actually with the Goya voters here, I liked Cell 211 a little better.  The movie tell the story of a new prison guard who ends up having to pretend he is a prisoner when a riot breaks out.  It is an interesting story of power struggle.

35.  Sucker Punch

I’ve heard most of the criticisms of this movie, and I don’t necessarily disagree with them, but at some point, attractive and scantily clad girls in ridiculously over the top action scenes is going to play, you know?  The action scenes were wildly imaginative, in fact, I dug the whole aesthetic of  the film.  But the sequences started to get kinda repetitive by the end.  Looking at the names of the main actresses, it feels like the casting director was aiming for a prestige cast but only got their sixth or seventh choices.  They did a decent job, but I can’t help but wonder what the film would have been like with a cast perhaps more action-appropriate.  Though let’s not forget both Carla Gugino and Jon Hamm are in the movie.

34.  Rise of the Planet of the Apes

A pretty good movie, but I think people got a little carried away hyping it.  The one thing I really liked is that while obviously the film is potentially the first in a franchise, it primarily focused on telling its own story and didn’t spend too much time laying the groundwork for future movies.

33.  Bunraku

Watched this with Adam during our mini action film festival.  I think the obvious comparison are to movies like Sucker Punch and Immortals, films that boast incredibly stylish (and stylized) looks, with engaging action scenes.  And where there was probably was a story at some point, but likely got pushed to the side to fit in more visuals.  I think this one was an A-Team/Road House kind of deal where a bad guy takes over a town and an unlikely newcomer has to take him down.  The cast features Josh Hartnett, Ron Perlman, Kevin McKidd, Woody Harrelson, and Demi Moore, all of whom seem to be having a lot of fun.

32.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Saw this one pretty much right across the street because they were playing it at the Lincoln Theatre, and I had to see what a movie there was like.  I think the theater still had some kinks to work out, the sound wasn’t great and they didn’t show any trailers, so the movie started exactly at the listed showtime, leading some of us to try to find a seat in a pitch black theater as the opening credits rolled.  I’ve read the book and seen the Swedish movie (which can make it a little awkward trying to remember exactly what happened in each version), and I’m not huge fans of either.  I definitely thought David Fincher and Steve Zaillian’s version was the best of the three.  The casting was great, Christopher Plummer is exactly what I had in mind for Martin Vanger, Stellan Skarsgard is appropriate creepy, and Daniel Craig is always a solid choice.  And Rooney Mara was absolutely worthy of all the awards and nominations tossed her way.

31.  The Trip

Even if you haven’t heard of The Trip, you’ve probably seen the clip of the two leads talking like Michael Caine.  And really, that’s pretty much all the movie is, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon essentially playing themselves and shooting the sh*t.    To add some dramatic heft, they both are wrestling with their attempts to be more famous and there’s a side plot with Coogan’s uncertainties surrounding his girlfriend.  I thought the pair, along with director Michael Winterbottom, did a great job evoking what a road trip feels like, while still generally keeping things interesting enough that you don’t mind watching someone else’s road trip.

30.  Elektra Luxx

A sequel, of sorts to another movie you haven’t heard of, Women in Trouble (which I ranked #44 on my 2009 list).  Sebastian Gutierrez continues his formula of getting a bunch of really attractive actors and actresses who also have screen presence and just sorta seeing what happens.  Carla Gugino is the lead, a porn star looking to get out of that world.  As I’ve probably say a thousand times at this point, she’s fantastic and I have absolutely no idea why she isn’t a huge star.  Her eventual love interest is Timothy Olyphant as a manly PI with impeccable manners, because Timothy Olyphant has the coolest typecast ever.  Adrianne Palicki returns as a bubbleheaded porn starlet desperately in love with her best friend, the more sensible Emmanuelle Chriqui.  Which were the most interesting parts of Women in Trouble, so good choices, Mr. Gutierrez.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt had a great end credit cameo in the first one as a…uh…porn blogger, I guess, and he gets an expanded role.  Marley Shelton, Malin Akerman, Lucy Punch, and Vicent Kartheiser all show up as well.  Oh, and Julianne Moore cameos as the Virgin Mary.  Naturally.

29.  Bridesmaids

Not really sure what I can add to the discussion here.  I think I’m maybe a little lower on the film than most people, though I definitely found it funny.  It felt a little like a rough draft to me, as most of the characters were barely sketched in.  I sort of wonder if the film would have been rated so highly with a lesser actress than Melissa McCarthy in that role.  Still, way funnier than most comedies I saw this year, and if it gets people to realize female-centric comedies are an inefficiency in Hollywood, I’ll be happy.

28.  Blitz

Also watched this during my action film festival with Adam.  It stars Jason Statham and Tyrannosaur‘s Paddy Considine as cops trying to track down a serial killer who is targeting the police.  You will not be surprised to learn that Statham plays a tough as nails cop who refuses to play by the rules.  If you are fan of the Statham oeuvre, it is worth a watch, but it likely won’t change your mind about the guy.

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