Somehow in 2010, Pixar actually outdid themselves with yet another film that, on paper, didn't seem like it could be all that incredible, but in practice, it was an absolute masterpiece! We're talking aboutToy Story 3, a sequel that not only beat the prequels (which were also absolutely amazing) but possibly everything else Pixar has done. And this is no small feat.
When push came to proverbial shove this little flick about some kid's discarded toys coming to life managed to be among the most touching and human films of the year. True, the Pixar animation is second to none and in Disney Digital 3-D it's unquestionably the best looking movie of the year.
Still, what makes Pixar so great isn't the animation, it's the writing... and the writing alone madeToy Story 3 the best movie of any kind of the year. Bravo!
This year putSouth Park even more in the news than usual as their 200th and 201st episodes debuted... or attempted to at least. Bringing together a treasure trove of previous characters and celebrities that smilin' Matt Stone and Trey Parker had lambasted in the past, South Park dared to push the one issue that nobody has any right to even talk about in today's society. They dared suggest that they might try again to show a cartoon image of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Let me say that again... they suggested that they might show him.
They didn't. Death Threats followed anyway.
Aside from this, the show continued to produce some of the best and funniest social satire on television, pushing buttons and making wise cracks that, yes, even got offensive to me once in a while. You know who else did that? Jonathan Swift! This isn't new!
No, it's not new, but it's definitely one of the best things of its kind. This season
hilariously dealt with banned books, celebrity sexual snafus, medicinal weed,
facebook, reality television, cooking shows and the shake weight. That's not to
mention great spoofs of both
It's not like I do this very often or anything, folks! In fact, I'm not much of a gamer, but when a game rules I'm into it, man. Somehow most of these games happen to have something to do with Star Wars, and, yeah, I realize that doesn't help! But I'm THINKING about naked women, okay???
After the amazing and deep saga of 2008's The Force Unleashed, featuring the striking and somehow believable evolution of "The Starkiller, of course, LucasArts did what any talented, yet money-making company would do after being handed fists full of green paper... they made a sequel.
Undaunted by the death of their main character at the end of the first game, the dudes from Marin went back to the tried, contrite and true Star Wars staple of "Clones"! Or... did they?
The thing is that I agree with the complaints about this second one. While the first was an epic concerning the amazing growth of "Darth Vader" secret apprentice into something much different and much greater, not to mention the true creation of the Rebel Alliance all told in a story that spanned years, the second game can essentially be summed up like this: "No, I don't want to be Evil! Where's my Girlfriend? I... I mean, my old-self's girlfriend! Oh, where is she? Let me give a constipated look to fully convey my overwhelming angst! I'll tear the galaxy apart until I find her, using all the powers of both sides of the Force until every being bends to my... Oh, there she is! Oh goody!!!"
Yeah, I've been there, done that, I totally agree. But the thing is that the story is still engrossing, the game-play is still incredible and the hints at what might be coming in a potential third installment (or maybe even the fabled Live Action show) are worth the whole game to see.
Yeah, it could be better, but holy Corn Chips on Rye, is it ever cool as chilled Vodka!!!
This being the year 2010, I finally get to say "Secretariat is one of the year's TEN BEST!" Or, you know... anything is the year's ten best, you know...
But this time I'm talking about Secretariat. Yeah, Secretariat, the horse movie... and luckily this particular Horse Movie was far from Horseshit. In fact, it had four horseshoes.
That makes it "lucky", man.
Not only is Secretariat a very cool sports movie, it's also one of the best acted dramas of the year, all without actually screaming "Oscar Bait"!
Sound like a race worth running? Well it is... or would be... if I were a quote whore... which I'm not.
Oh, heck, look, just go see Secretariat!
The difference is that, yeah, screw you haters, Red is actually really good! Action, comedy and more cameos than a dusty rock-and-antique shop in Old Town San Diego, man! If this whole bad-dude team-up thing is road rash on the flesh of cinematic society, Red is Mercuricrome... Mercurykreaum... um... Mercurochrome? You know, Angel gave it to Collins, like in the song! It's Merbromin, you know?
It's like the cure, I guess!
If you don't know the story, trust me, it's going to be chronicled in The Late Shift II as sure as cows are made of beef!
To make a wrong story short, the former host of The Jay Leno Show is now the host of The Tonight Show again! Whew! So glad that guy landed on his feet. Too bad for Conan that he and his buddies are as out of work as toilet specialist janitors who just won the Mega-Million!!!
What earns Coco and the Gang a spot on the Top Ten List (Sorry, Dave) isn't that he got screwed on the deal... it's how he and his handled things during and after their ritual screwing at the hands of Captain Chin and the Suits.
Conan was dignified as things went on, making jokes, but firmly stating his positions, such as the bizarre concept that it's not really The Tonight Show if it's pushed back to the next morning in the schedule (thus screwing the even later night hosts in the process). After the idiotic notion of The Jay Leno Show was cancelled and its host was claw-lifted back to his old-ass desk, Conan took a decent settlement from NBC, but paid his staff a severance out of his own pocket. He was legally prevented from being on Late Night television, for a series of months, so he grew a beard and took his show on the road.
Eventually he accepted the offer of the once SUPER station TBS (a surprise in itself) and after tons of market research and millions of dollars they all decided to call the new show "Conaw"... oh, um... I mean, "Conan"! Still, he refused the offer at first so as not to do to George Lopez was done to him... until Lopez himself called Conan and begged him to be Lopez Tonight's lead in!
Outside of the flaming inner circle fans rallied around Conan and started the whole "I'm with CoCo" movement while the once popular Jay Leno was mocked by other hosts and used the whole "It's Just Business" defense. Yeah, well this is just business too... Conan's new show has been acclaimed and truly is (to borrow TBS' lame slogan) "Very Funny" while Jay's return to The Tonight Show has garnered lower ratings than Conan's at its worst.
Who came out on top in all this? Truly, that remains to be seen. But who handled this with humor, dignity and grace and ended up looking like a good guy amid the chaos? Well, that'd be Conaw himself... Oh, I mean... Conan!
Watch what you want Late Night, folks, but as for me... Please pass the CoCo!!!
In the year 2010, two political milestones were whacked at on both sides by the twin Skeksis of the California Courts and the United States Congress. Unfortunately, they haven't shattered quite yet.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a compromise stepping-stone on the way to allowing homosexual men and women to serve openly in the military. This means that it was no longer a question to prevent gays and lesbians from serving, but it was used to relieve them of their uniforms (and not in a hot way) as soon as the truth was revealed.
Meanwhile, after same sex marriage was deemed unconstitutional by the California Courts, the California voters narrowly changed the constitution, thus codifying discrimination as law. Regardless of how the campaigns were run, subsequent appeals in court have sided with the Bear State Constitution as it was, secure in the belief that a ban on same-sex marriage is indeed against the constitution.
The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is going to take some time and, because the state refuses to argue in favor of the ban, the courts are still deciding who is and who is not allowed to argue the damned thing, so the case is decidedly married to limbo right now... but these movements forward are far from mere stepping-stones, but giant leaps for equality.
Political interlude complete. Good night... and good luck!
Let's give a big, fat, steaming 2010 Honorable Mention to Obamacare, The Eleventh Doctor and the 2010 season of Doctor Who (which really should've made the list, man), Kick-Ass, Survival of the Dead, The Kids are All Right, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 and, of course, WorldsGreatestCritic.com's Operation: Sci-Fall Version 2010! Yep, it was me, but I still think it was pretty gosh darned good!
Continues in the Dark Side of the Year...
and in the Unbelievable side...