Folks, as I'm sure anyone reading this blog knows, I am a near perfect individual. However, even I make mistakes now and then, and even I say things I regret. Not all the times I've called someone an idiot, certainly not, I was right all those times, and I remain right.
However, some of you will remember on the last day of 2010 I did a post called "The First Annual Wherein I Rant Awards" where I counted down the best and worst of film and video games of 2010. Some of you will perhaps even recall my awards for Best Animated Feature, and Best Picture. For those who don't, I said that Inception was the best film last year, and Toy Story 3 was the runner up, and that Toy Story 3 was the best animated film, and Tangled was the runner up.
Oh boy, I'm not going to make any friends with this post.
Back when I saw Tangled, I did a review of the film where I praised the film endlessly. Well folks, since then I've seen Inception, Toy Story 3, and Tangled again, and I have to say... Tangled was the best movie released last year.
Now, please understand, I'm not saying Inception or Toy Story 3 were bad films, that would be moronic, both were fantastic movies that had very little wrong with them. The thing is though, after seeing all 3 again... I really do regret saying Inception or Toy Story 3 were better films, when in all honesty, they weren't.
Inception, though one of my favorite films of last year, suffered from having too many characters and not enough exposition on any of them. All the actors did phenomenal jobs, and the writing for each character was excellent, but when you have dozens of characters in your films, you don't have a chance to truly explore most of them. The only characters we really know anything about by the end of the film are Leo DiCaprio, Cillian Murphy, who's dreams they are entering.
It's still a great film, with some of the best cinematography I've ever seen, and every single actor does a good job. The directing is excellent, the action sequences are intense, and the characters they do explore are really interesting (although, in my opinion the most interesting character isn't Leo DiCaprio, but Cillian Murphy, but that's another blog post entirely) but after another viewing, I do wish they had been able to explore the characters of Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or Ken Watanabe a bit more. One of the things I loved about The Dark Knight was that every major character was fully developed. The Joker, Batman, Alfred, Rachel, Harvey, these characters were all explored, and unfortunately I just can't say the same about Inception. Again, fantastic film, just slightly LESS fantastic on a second viewing.
Toy Story 3... Yeah people are going to hate me for this. Now, I have to say, this movie holds up better than Inception does on a second viewing, to the point where I'd say Inception and Toy Story 3 are pretty much a tie for second best film released last year. Now, I did love seeing Andy grown up, and the fact that they gave us the movie we wanted to see. At the end of Toy Story 2 they went back knowing it wouldn't last forever, and that's what I wanted to see. What happens when it is over? They told us, and that alone was enough reason to love Toy Story 3. The fact that they introduced new characters, and that each and every one was a great addition to the series? Just icing on the cake.
That said, there were a few very minor complaints I did have the second time around. First of all, I found it extraordinarily strange the way Andy's mother just rushes him out the door when he's leaving for college, making him pack everything... I don't know, it didn't seem the way a real mother would act. At the same time, the very ending of the film *spoilers* where Andy is playing with his toys one last time... Yes, it was touching. Yes it was sad, and a good scene... But it just didn't seem like the way a real person would act. I know, I know, I'm complaining about realism in a movie with talking toys, but still. Fantastic movie with just a couple quirks.
Tangled, on the other hand, only got better the second time I watched it. As I sat there and watched, picking up on more and more subtleties, such as the incredibly detailed backgrounds I just fell in love with it more, and I still have not a single complaint about it. And this is me we're talking about, I love to complain.
This is one of the only films I own the soundtrack to, just because it's the best soundtrack I've heard in AGES! This is the only DVD/Blu-Ray/Whatever I've bought on the day it was released since The Dark Knight!
I think the real tell was at the academy awards. You see, every year, there's some movie I get angry at for being snubbed. In 2008, for example, it was The Dark Knight, for not even getting a nomination for Best Picture, an award it should have won.
This year though, Inception got nominated for a lot of stuff, won some stuff, lost some stuff, and while it got a nomination for Best Picture... I was honestly fine with it not winning, over films like The Social Network or The King's Speech.
However, Tangled not even being NOMINATED for Best Animated Picture? Criminal. Absolutely criminal. I loved How To Train Your Dragon, sure, but Tangled was a much better film. And Randy Newman's "We Belong Together" beating "I See the Light"?! What kind of sick joke is that?! "I See the Light" deserved that award more than "You Got A Friend In Me Mk. 26"
So folks, in short, I take it back. Inception and Toy Story are tied as the second best films of 2010. And Tangled? Tangled is in fact both the best animated picture, and the best overall film.
It had everything. Perfectly developed characters who you actually cared about, hysterical humor that rarely went for cheap jokes, absolutely spot on storytelling, some of the best animation I've ever seen, traditional or CGI, and a brilliant soundtrack.
For example, the King and Queen. They're only in that film for around 5 minutes. One scene at the beginning, one scene at the end, and one scene in the middle. They never utter a word throughout the entire film. And yet, in the middle of the film, as they light the lanterns in memory of their lost daughter, the Queen fixes a necklace on the King's neck, and the two have a moment. Just a brief look. And in that moment, they convey so much that by the end of the film, it's easy to forget that there wasn't a line of dialogue uttered by either of them in the entire film. It was a look that conveyed pain. That got across what the King was thinking, and a moment where you realize just how painful it is for the two of them. That they're missing yet another of their daughter's birthdays. Her 18th, to be exact.
And then the moment ends. And the two characters are more interesting, and more well developed than Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, or any of the other actors that weren't Leo DiCaprio or Cillian Murphy in Inception.
That's using film as a visual medium. Which it is. It's a brilliant scene, I'd put on par- No, above, anything in Inception or Toy Story 3.
And that's why Tangled was the best movie of last year. Sorry Inception, I love ya', but Tangled was the superior film.