Forget the Oscars (many of the films in the running for the awards are not even shown in Singapore yet, anyway)—City News picks the flicks that stood out, in one way or another.
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The one that left us hanging: Inception
Sure, this Christopher Nolan/Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster about mind invasion through dreams received some of the most breathlessly positive reviews from both the critics and the critical—but seriously, how many of you out there really understood what it was all about? I, for one, left the cinema, my jaw hanging with the thought, “So what the heck happened?” Inception was mind-blowing, literally, with all the intense gun-fire, floating people and spinning tops.
The critically acclaimed one with mass appeal: The Social Network
Let’s admit it, besides movies like the Lord Of The Rings franchise, other productions of “critical acclaim” are total snooze fests—think Cold Mountain or Syriana. The Social Network, on the other hand, is both hugely entertaining and critically acclaimed. Coupled with director David Fincher’s ability to dramatize a story, this unofficial biopic of the hugely popular social networking site, Facebook is a definite shoo-in.
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The one that was too cute: Despicable Me
Revolving around a baddie who gets a lesson in love from his hostages—three orphan girls roped in as pawns for his evil scheme—this film was heart-warming like all Pixar movies. But what gave it an edge over other animated productions is its characterization of the cutest little girl, Agnes, since Boo from Monsters Inc. For sure, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” and “Is this annoying?” is going to follow us for a pretty long time.
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The one that sunk lower than the Titanic: The Last Airbender
Needless to say, this movie officially removed any remaining traces of respect I had for M. Night Shyamalan. This was a complete massacre of the beloved animation, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Based on a very conventional coming-of-age and seemingly fail-proof story line about Aang, a child successor to a long line of Avatars who has to stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the Water, Earth and Air nations, it nevertheless turned out to be a disaster. With every mispronunciation and bad acting, I felt a stab. Right. Through. The. Heart.
The most underrated: Easy A
With its witty word-play, plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and endearing performances, Easy A is clearly one of the best movies of the year. The plot, revolving around a low-profile high school student who finds herself catapulted to the top of the social hierarchy when a white lie gets out of control, is not entirely original, but its treatment of issues such as bigotry and self-value elevates it a cut above the typical high school flick. With her flair for dead-pan humor and a demeanor of self-deprecating intelligence, Emma Stone is one actress to look out for in the coming year.
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The best wrap-up of all good things: Toy Story 3
Having trailblazed its way into the annals of film animation with its delightful first and second installments, Toy Story 3 concludes the Toy Story franchise on a high note. Who could ever forget Andy’s love for his beloved Woody and Buzz Lightyear? Or forget the firm camaraderie between the toys? This is one nostalgic film that left the older members of the audience tearing and newbies to the franchise wanting more.