Most Fun Picture: "Inception." Christopher Nolan is the anti-Aronofsky. If Aronofsky is no style, no substance, then Nolan is all-style, all-substance. Eventually, he will go down as one of the best directors ever to stand behind the camera. His material is fun, thought-provoking and visually pleasing. "Inception" is a treasure trove of mind puzzles and memorable imagery. So why is it that Nolan never gets the awards-time plaudits, while hacks like Aronofsky do?
Least Fun Pictures:
-- "Green Zone": Matt Damon goes to Iraq to show how evil America is.
-- "127 Hours": James Franco gets his arm stuck under a big rock. That's the whole movie.
-- "Buried": Ryan Reynolds gets stuck in a coffin. Hollywood could have saved us a whole a lot of trouble if they'd put Franco's rock in Reynolds' coffin, and then let the two pretty boys go make a romcom with Katherine Heigl.
-- "The Killers": Why is Ashton Kutcher ever on screen? Ever? Heigl would have been better off with the rock and the coffin.
"The Bounty Hunter": Jennifer Aniston is not a good actress. Several years ago, she got beat out as the star of "Marley and Me" by a golden retriever. Now inanimate objects do the trick.
The Pixar Picture: "Toy Story 3." Pixar deserves its own category. They never fail to mesmerize. "Toy Story 3" was no exception. Moving, masterful work from people who put story before art and art above everything else.
By the way, "How to Train Your Dragon," while not of the same level, was also excellent. "Tangled" is delightful.
There were other good movies made this year, too. "True Grit" is a polished remake of the John Wayne original (though you'll miss the Duke's iteration of the movie's climactic line). "The Social Network" is interesting if cold. "The Fighter" provides great performances and an uplifting story.
Good for Hollywood. Hollywood is beginning to mirror the wants of the American public, producing more and more pictures people actually want to see. And that means, overall, better films with better values.
Ben Shapiro, 26, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School. He is the author of the new book "Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House," as well as the national bestseller "Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth." To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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