Top Five Movies:
1. The Social Network
The Social Network didn’t break any box-office records, but it was one of the most controversial movies of 2010. Regardless as to how accurate the story is to the founding of Facebook, there’s hardly any doubt that Jesse Eisenberg performs his best-ever role as Zuckerberg, bringing Aaron Sorkin’s gripping dialogue to life.
2. Toy Story 3
There have been many great trilogies: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, to name a few. But Toy Story 3 trumps all of them because no other trilogy brought such heavyhearted emotion, witty humor, and stirring storylines. But most importantly, Toy Story 3 proved to all of us that even an animated film could make us feel human.
3. The Fighter
Don’t let the title fool you, The Fighter isn’t really about fighting as much as it is about overcoming adversity. Mark Wahlberg plays Micky Ward, a struggling welterweight boxer looking for his time to shine. But he encounters many obstacles outside of the ring: his crack addicted brother Dicky (played by a never-better Christian Bale) and his possessive family. The Fighter has a lot of heart, depth, and strength, inside the ring and out.
If one had to pick an MVP for Best Director of the last decade, they wouldn’t be wrong for choosing Christopher Nolan. His work directing Batman and Memento was remarkable, but none of his previous accomplishments could have hinted at the mindboggling genius that Inception was. It was a movie so thoroughly layered that one pretty much had to see it twice.
5. The Town
Ben Affleck’s acting over the years has been spotty to say the least, but his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, left many people optimistic about his future talents. Lo and behold, The Town was not only Affleck’s defining achievement, but also perhaps the most exciting thriller of the year.
Top Five Albums of 2010
1. Kanye West—My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
With all of his infamy that he’s garnered over the years, it’s pretty clear that Kanye is seen as one of the most erratic music icons to ever hit the airwaves. After Taylorgate, few people believed that he’d be able to emerge from the woodworks with an album as well crafted as this one. But haters be damned, because on Fantasy, Kanye spit the baddest rhymes (check out the masterful wordplay on “Gorgeous”), produced the hardest beats (“Monster” will rattle anyone’s trunk), and seamlessly channeled his pathos into his craft, therefore redeeming himself as the most unique MC in the game.
2. Big Boi- Sir Lucious Left Foot: Son of Chico Dusty
Just for the record, Big Boi is an MC that has nothing left to prove, as his work with Andre 3000 in Outkast speaks for itself. That being said, with Sir Lucious Left Foot Big Boi adds even more to his impressive resume. All the tracks are great, but to just sum up a few: “Shine Blockas” is pure euphoria, “Turns Me On” is gleeful debauchery, and “Shutterbugg” just might be the party jam of the decade. Big Boi showed us what we knew all along, that he is talented enough to create a classic– even without his partner in crime.
3. Titus Andronicus- The Monitor
The first thing that people read about The Monitor that it is a concept album with a Civil War theme. But don’t be fooled: this album is far from a history lesson, but a 65-minute rock-n-roll blitz of emotive, gutted vocals, pub-rock riffs, and lightening-quick drums. The band is led by talented but tormented frontman Patrick Stickles, who transforms this Civil War theme into a metaphor for battling his own personal demons.
4. Deerhunter- Halcyon Digest
Deerhunter, despite being one of the most revered indie rock bands today, has never quite had mainstream appeal. This is probably due to the fact that their sound is difficult to define. The songs on Halcyon Digest range from shoegaze (“Helicopter”) to psychedelic (“Revival). But Halcyon Digest is a must-hear album because of its cohesiveness, as every track builds upon the last leading to a exciting, worthy payoff.
5. Vampire Weekend- Contra
Vampire Weekend’s self-titled debut was a lovely slice of sunshine pop with tight percussion and memorable hooks, but they really upped the ante in Contra. With the manic pacing of “California English” to the to the punchy “Giving Up The Gun”, Vampire Weekend expanded their boundaries without compromising their true sound.