Monday, January 24, 2011

My Top 10 Movies of 2010

I know I'm late again, but finding the balance of time in College is easier said than done. I'll try to blog when I can. To follow up with books that I'm looking forward to this year, I thought I'd blog about what movies I liked that aired last year, and why I enjoyed them.

10. The Last Airbender. Based off the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, this movie follows Katara and her brother Sokka as they find a person frozen in an iceberg, who turns out to be Aang the Airbender. Aang's the Avatar who's been missing for 100 years, and the Fire Nation wants to capture him to stop him from preventing their conquest of the world. The three friends flee to the North Pole so Aang can master Water Bending and stop the Fire Nation from conquering the Water Tribes. This movie didn't seem as great on the big screen, and after I watched the animated series, decided I like the TV show better. They had some of the stuff in the film right, but not all.

9. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. The first book in the series comes to life as Percy Jackson finds out his father is the Greek god Poseidon and goes on a quest across America to rescue his mother and recover Zeus's Master Bolt before the Summer Solstice. I enjoyed the book, and was severely disappointed with how different the film was.

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The first part of the final Harry Potter story, Voldemort is getting stronger and starting to force the Wizarding World to accept his views and ideas (using tactics that in the books reminded me of Europe in World War II). Harry, Ron, and Hermoine all leave school to search for the Horcruxes, which allow Voldemort to live, and destroy them. Very true to the book, but some places were pretty sad.

7. Alice in Wonderland. The newest adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic story, but this time with an actual story. This movie features Alice as a grown-up who's about to get married, but falls back into Wonderland (but called Underland in the film, as it was in the original story) and rejoins her old friends in an attempt to free Underland from the evil Red Queen. I enjoyed this movie's story, visual effects, and the cast who portrayed each of the characters, but I still like the animated version since I grew up with that.

6. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This movie is based off the video game series The Prince of Persia, and follows the adventures of Dastan, who seeks to clear his name of his father's murder and save Persia from his wicked uncle. I was disappointed with the adaptation of Super Mario Bros., but even though I haven't played the games this film was adapted from, I thought they made a good story about the strength of brothers.

5. Shrek Forever After. The final story of Shrek's adventures, the ogre this time finds himself in a mid-life crisis because nobody fears him anymore. The sly Rumpelstiltskin offers Shrek a day off in exchange for a day he can't remember. Shrek agrees, and ends up in a story similar to It's a Wonderful Life when he finds himself in a timeline where he never existed, and he has to undo the spell before a full day has gone by. I thought this was a good ending for Shrek's adventures.

4. The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Based off the short from Fantasia, this film features a sorcerer named Balthazar Blake who finds an apprentice in New York City and works to train him to stop the sorcerer Horvath from unleashing Morgana le Fay who wants to take over the world. This film had a good story to it and was very humorous. Still, I think I'll always like the original version.

3. TRON: Legacy. The long awaited sequel to the 1980's movie, this film features a teenager named Sam whose father Kevin was missing for several years. Finding a secret room in his Dad's arcade, he gets beamed into a virtual world with programs who act like people and has to get his Dad out before a rogue program called Clu uses him to escape into the real world. I thought the original film had a good story to it, and I enjoyed seeing how the sequel improved on it.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Based off the book by C.S. Lewis, this story brings Lucy, Edmund, and their cousin Eustace to Narnia where they join Caspian's voyage to find the Seven Lost Lords. Along the way, they learn of a green mist from Dark Island that threatens to destroy the light in this world, and the only way to stop it is to gather seven swords that Aslan gave to protect Narnia and lay them at Aslan's Table. Different from the book in many ways, I still enjoyed the film and thought it was better than the book. They had several funny moments and brought the characters to life in great ways. I especially liked Eustace's reactions to being in a magical world. I hope they will continue to adapt the Narnia stories as films.

1. Tangled. I've grown up on Disney animated films (I don't know anybody who hasn't), and the story Rapunzel was one I wished they would adapt so they could have all the major fairy tales as films. When I learned that it was going to be released as Tangled, I was very disappointed. I thought they changed the title to try and market the film to boys as well, but that wasn't the case. Disney said they retitled it because it features Rapunzel and Flynn Rider as the main characters. I decided to give the film a chance, and I'm glad I did. This is one fairy tale that was worth the 80 year wait of Disney animated films. There isn't a Disney collection that would be complete without it.

There were several other films I saw that I enjoyed, but they're not on this list because I didn't see them in theaters. I hope that the new year will bring more wonderful stories to the big screen.

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