Actor/writer/director Brandon Slagle has shared his Best, Worst and Middle of the Road with GeekTyrant. Slagle is one guy to be on the lookout for too. He makes cool movies of his own, jumps on board other filmmaker's projects, jet sets from coast to coast and then resumes his own cool movie making again. Here's what he shared with GT;
I wish that I could come up with a longer, more in-depth, completely Earth-shattering list...I really do. Trust me, had I known when I was a lad that one day, I would be asked to contribute such a list, I would have planned on making 2010 nothing short of a filmgoing extravaganza!! As it is, however, I spent most of 2010 shooting films, and had little time to enjoy the works of others - which is actually NOT a sarcastic statement, believe it or not - as I wish I could have seen more.
No, I really do.
Best of 2010 -
INCEPTION - Hands down, the best film of the year - well amongst the few that I saw. I am sure that there is nothing I could say about this film that hasn't already been said, other than how it affected me. Upon my initial sitting, honestly the first thoughts that crept into mind were that of "NO WAY - THEY STOLE MY IDEA...erm...I MEAN...TONE...or something..."
Yes, selfishly enough, my first thoughts were how similar my own film, 15 Till Midnight, is to Inception - followed by fears that I would be called a ripoff artist of sorts for writing/producing/starring in a similarly toned and themed film. Hell, both films even have semi-prologue's that begin at the beach.
Once I got past that, I realized what a blessing it actually was. A respected filmmaker, Christopher Nolan, has tooled an absolutely genius film - in many ways one which I consider greater than The Dark Knight. He shows in a couple of hours that despite popular belief, moviegoers are NOT stupid, and can indeed ingest a plot which I'm sure many studio heads might have scratched their heads at and called "convoluted", if only to sound smart by using big words...although convoluted isn't actually a big word...just a...convoluted one.
From the amazing, practically filmed set pieces, particularly the much-lauded battle in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt defies gravity and the entire climax which takes place over multiple dreams set in entirely different planes of existences, Nolan proves that above all else, people will respond to well-crafted, original storylines - and that these traits that go far beyond the opening weekend and DVD/Blu-ray sales.
AVATAR - EXTENDED EDITION - Oh...wait...wasn't AVATAR a 2009 release? Yes...it was...at least the version that most people saw. The version I am speaking of is the extended version that was included on the 3-disc set that was released this fall, the one that has the opening scene on Earth (remember the shots of Sam Worthington with shaggy hair that weren't in the film but were in the trailer?). This extended version is ALMOST as different from the theatrical release as The Abyss special edition was to its predecessor. From the hunt with the Na'vi to the powerful additional scene with Jake Sully's adversary-turned-brother in arms Tsu'tey near the end of the film, this version of AVATAR is worth experiencing again for the first time.
THE TOWN - Okay - I guess I should admit something...I haven't seen The Town yet, a fact which I am actually sad about...however, I have heard nothing but outright raves about it, and Ben Affleck's first proper directorial outing, "Gone Baby, Gone", was an incredible piece of work that SHOULD have gotten an Oscar nod for Best Picture.
Now that it's on DVD and Blu-ray, hopefully I can see it soon...finally...
Middle Of the Road 2010 -
MACHETE - This SHOULD have been more fun...it really should have...it's faux teaser was one of the highlight's of GRINDHOUSE but perhaps the idea of a Machete film was in fact, more fun than an actual film could ever be...
ROBIN HOOD - On the surface, everything about this film should have been spectacular, and for the most part, it was...except for perhaps the script, which I heard from numerous sources, never really left development hell. Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett both do well, as do Robin's merry men - who are incredibly underused, especially Kevin Durand as Little John - and Mark Strong. Ridley Scott directs as good as ever, but - a good script should have been the starting point, as Inception's success proves.
Worst of 2010 -
Predators - This strange, weak-in-the-knees mockery of the original film is almost lost sans Derek Mears' portrayal of the classic creature. Other than that, awkward casting and what seems like a sanitized storyline bring the third proper film in the Predator series down.
The Expendables - Huge hype, pure disappointment, which is a shame given the potential we had here. Jet Li and Jason Statham are both on fire, but are criminally underused, as is Mickey Rourke, whose rather poignant monologue is perhaps the best scene in the film, even if it seems lifted from a much better movie.
Smokin' Aces 2: Assassin's Ball - Awkward cameos from characters who appeared in the first film, which this is a prequel to, uncreative use of a low budget (the original had a low budget as well but was much better used), and an uncharismatic lead character who seems like some sort of strange combination of both the Ryan Reynolds and Ben Affleck characters from the original, all go to show you that this was thrown together just to make a buck. And even though the "charm" of the Tremor Brothers isn't as prominent as it is in the original film, which was largely due to Chris Pine and Kevin Durand having a criminally insane amount of fun, I hope that if there is a THIRD film in this series, that it is a Tremor Brothers spin-off, and that Frederic Doss and myself are cast as members of the family.
I had to get that plug in there...and I make no apologies in doing so...
Piranha 3D - Honestly one of the worst-executed, worst scripted, worst-put together theatrically released films. It should have taken its place in the lower wrung of direct-to-DVD trash rather than hit the multiplexes. Such a shame given that the director, Alexander Aja, is capable of so much more. I will end this there...
In closing - all that I can say is that I sincerely hope to put Zack Snyder's SUCKERPUNCH amongst my favorite films of 2011 - and I hope to be kicking a lot of ass myself in the new year...
Be well, John Spartan...
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