I am introducing a new segment here on DC’s Take called Throwback Session- Remember These Movies? (Sorry, I couldn’t think of a better title), where I talk about what movies came out in 2010. Why’s that? Because that was when I truly become a film buff in the best way imaginable. Sure, if there was a very popular movie that came out ten years ago, I might do a full review of it. But every month, I will do a post about the movies that came out that in 2010 through the said month, and to give my personal opinions on them if I’ve seen them or not based on word of mouth.
This was an idea I thought about doing a month ago since my taste drastically changed over the years, and I don’t understand how I liked some movies I talked about positive to. Of course, we’re starting off with January, and when it comes to the first month of the year, not a ton are hitters. How did it turn out for 2010? Let’s look, shall we?
January 8: ‘Daybreakers’
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Claudia Karvan
Director: The Spierig Brothers
Synopsis: In the year 2019, a plague has transformed almost every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind.
Did I See It? No. But this is one of those rare January horror movies that got decent reviews when it first came out. Daybreakers was released during a time where vampire movies weren’t taken seriously in the media, especially because of Twilight‘s success at the box office. Yet, it has this stylish look to this “futuristic” world and has an interesting premise along with it. Years later, the directors also helmed Predestination and the underwhelming Winchester, respectively.
Cast: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott, John Lithgow
Director: Anand Tucker
Synopsis: Anna Brady plans to travel to Dublin, Ireland to propose marriage to her boyfriend Jeremy on Leap Day, because, according to Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage
Did I See It? Why would I? Leap Year was one of those rom-coms that looked bad from the trailer, which looked very predictable just like the Patrick Dempsey dump Made of Honor (the same writers of this). Does it sound weird for Amy Adams to be in a bad movie? To me, it does. From what I heard, it’s unfunny, cliché, and the two leads lacked chemistry. Even Matthew Goode despised the movie afterward and said the only reason he did this was to be close to home with his now-wife and daughter.
‘Youth in Revolt’
Cast: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Ray Liotta, Adhir Kalyan, Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Zach Galifianakis
Director: Miguel Arteta
Synopsis: Nick desperate to lose his virginity. While on a trailer park holiday with his mother and her boyfriend, he meets an attractive girl (Doubleday) and is immediately smitten. Unfortunately, when the two are separated Nick must learn how to rebel in order to be with the girl he loves.
Did I See It? I caught Youth in Revolt months later after its release. It didn’t too bad, but nothing too hilarious about. All I remember about this adaptation of C. D. Payne’s novel is that Michael Cera plays two characters (Nick and his alter-ego François) and that it’s a tamer version of Me, Myself and Irene. Not the most memorable teen movie to come out of the decade, yet it could’ve been better if the story had more finesse.
January 15: ‘The Book of Eli’
Cast: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Beals, Ray Stevenson
Director: Albert and Allen Hughes
Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic America where the once-picturesque countryside has become a desolate and violent wasteland, one man (Denzel Washington) fights to protect a sacred tome that could hold the key to the survival of the human race.
Did I See It? The Book of Eli was the very first movie I saw in 2010, and I actually saw it in the theater, even though it was R-rated. Looking back at it now, it wasn’t that bad. I always thought it was a mix of I Am Legend and Max Mad. For starters, Washington crushes this role as this character trying to survive this bleak world protecting this book. It also had some cool action scenes, Gary Oldman is back playing the villain, and Mila Kunis was surprisingly good. The ending was an aspect I didn’t fully buy into when thinking back to the rest of the movie, but it’s safe to say I consider The Book of Eli a little underrated.
‘The Spy Next Door’
Cast: Jackie Chan, Amber Valletta, Madeline Carroll, George Lopez, Billy Ray Cyrus
Director: Brian Levant
Synopsis: Former CIA spy Bob Ho takes on his toughest assignment to date: looking after his girlfriend’s three kids (who haven’t exactly warmed to their mom’s beau). When one of the youngsters accidentally downloads a top-secret formula, Bob’s longtime nemesis, a Russian terrorist, pays a visit to the family.
Did I See It? With a premise suited for a stupid family movie, not a chance. I love Jackie Chan, but there’s no way of I’m seeing the director of Snow Dogs and Are We There Yet? ruin his career. It just comes to show that they’ll always get action stars to lead in a kids’ movie, even when one’s looks similar to The Pacifier. And yes, Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez are in this and both earned nominations for Worst Supporting Actor at the Razzies.
‘The Lovely Bones’ (Expanded Release)
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Stanley Tucci, Rose McIver, Susan Sarandon, Michael Imperioli
Director: Peter Jackson
Synopsis: A 14-year-old girl in suburban 1970’s Pennsylvania is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from the place between Heaven and Earth, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body.
Did I See It? Later on in the year. My sister saw it before me with her friends and believed enjoyed it. As a fan of Peter Jackson, The Lovely Bones disappointed me. Something was missing from his adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel where the story wasn’t emotionally investing, and while most of Jackson’s direction was beautiful to look at, I think he lost sight in the storytelling with tone. The performances were great from Ronan as Susie Salmon and Tucci’s creepy performance got him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Oscars. It was just boring, and the ending left me cold and frustrated.
Fun fact: Did you know it originally set Ryan Gosling to play Wahlberg’s role of Jack Salmon but got fired because he was overweight and grew a beard?
January 22: ‘Legion’
Cast: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Kate Walsh, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black, Adrianne Palicki, Kevin Durand, Charles S. Dutton
Director: Scott Stewart
Synopsis: When a group of strangers at a dusty roadside diner come under attack by demonic forces, their only chance for survival lies with an archangel named Michael, who informs a pregnant waitress that her unborn child is humanity’s last hope
Did I See It? Absolutely not. I’ve heard nothing but horrible things about Legion. Hearing people rip it to shreds about how this apocalyptic thriller it’s not scary, contains boring characters, and it has the recycled plot that’s been told before, it’s no surprise I skipped it entirely. A movie with angels and zombies that’s trash? Not surprised. One of the things I heard most was a scene where this old lady bites a guy’s next and crawls on the walls. Although I saw Priest, the follow-up that Stewart and Bettany did after, and that was really bad.
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, Stephen Merchant, Ryan Sheckler
Director: Michael Lembeck
Synopsis: A bad deed on the part of a tough minor-league hockey player results in an unusual sentence: He must serve one week as a real-life tooth fairy.
Did I See It? I’ve seen almost every movie featuring formally known as The Rock, but not this. Tooth Fairy came out around a time where he was starring in these ridiculous family movies that were embarrassing. All I knew about this was that it’s full of tooth and fairy-related puns and slight glimpses of redemption. Nobody wants to see this man in a pink tutu in a movie that’s produced by Jason Blum (yes). Some might say going to the dentist is a more enjoyable experience than sitting through this again. If you know what he was cooking when this was released, that smell would be a failure. And there’s a direct-to-DVD sequel with Larry the Cable Guy.
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, Keri Russell, Jared Harris, Alan Ruck
Director: Tom Vaughan
Synopsis: A drama centered on the efforts of John and Aileen Crowley to find a researcher who might have a cure for their two children’s rare genetic disorder.
Did I See It? Extraordinary Measures is the kind of medical drama that didn’t look interesting despite the cast involved. I remember back in seventh grade one team (they split our school into two teams in each grade) saw it, and I didn’t feel jealous because I knew it would bore them out of their minds. This was the first film produced by CBS Films and not the most memorable way to start.
January 29: ‘When in Rome’
Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Danny DeVito, Anjelica Huston
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Synopsis: Beth is a young, ambitious New Yorker who is completely unlucky in love. However, on a whirlwind trip to Rome, she impulsively steals some coins from a reputed fountain of love, and is then aggressively pursued by a band of suitors.
Did I See It? I did, and even after ten years, I don’t know why. I saw it with a full audience because I’m the kind of black teenager that will go out and see chick flicks. The chemistry between Bell and Duhamel wasn’t too bad, but thinking about it years later, this is a phenetic and predictable rom-com that had little to no charm. Out of the guys that Bell’s character picked from that fountain, who did you think she would end up with? Spoiler Alert: It ain’t Dax Shepard. One of the few things I remember most about When in Rome is the soundtrack since it had a song by 3OH!3 and Katy Perry entitled “Starstruck.”
‘Edge of Darkness’
Cast: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic
Director: Martin Campbell
Synopsis: As homicide detective Thomas Craven investigates the death of his activist daughter, he uncovers not only her secret life, but a corporate cover-up and government collusion that attracts an agent tasked with cleaning up the evidence.
Did I See It? At first, but I lost interest after a year. Edge of Darkness, an American adaptation of the BBC miniseries, was noticeably for being Gibson’s return to film since 2002’s Signs and after his controversial antisemitism remarks. I have heard some mixed reactions to it. When you look at the trailer, it can be mis-marketed as another Taken when I heard it’s more of a dramatic thriller than action. But from what’s been going around, it’s an enjoyably slow movie for those wanting to see Gibson back.
Question: Have you seen any of the movies I talked about? If so, do you think they still hold up today?