Is 2010 Really The Worst Year For Movies Ever?

Grown Ups - starring Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, Adam Sandler, and Rob Schneider. i

Critic Joe Queenan writes in the Wall Street Journal that Hollywood should "stop making movies like Grown Ups", starring Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, Adam Sandler, and Rob Schneider (not pictured). "Humanity will thank you for it," he adds. Tracy Bennett/Sony Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Tracy Bennett/Sony Pictures
Grown Ups - starring Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, Adam Sandler, and Rob Schneider.

Critic Joe Queenan writes in the Wall Street Journal that Hollywood should "stop making movies like Grown Ups", starring Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, Adam Sandler, and Rob Schneider (not pictured). "Humanity will thank you for it," he adds.

Tracy Bennett/Sony Pictures

It's a tough question to answer, no matter what angle you examine. We all have different expectations as we sit down with popcorn and drink in hand. Do you pay attention to plot development over the visual landscape? Are you a fan of comedies over dramas? Oh, and then there's the time issue — do you wait until December to answer this question?

We're still in the midst of the summer movie season, but Joe Queenan isn't too happy with Hollywood's production values this year thus far. On the front page of the Friday Journal section in The Wall Street Journal, he's posted this question in reference to 2010: "The Worst Move Year Ever?"

Before you say, "Well, hey, Inception was MINDBLOWING. And Toy Story 3 was an amazing film among the overabundance of sequels and trilogies," (Ok, so maybe that's me speaking on behalf of ... myself) hear him out:

Go into a movie theater any day of the week and watch as the audience sits listlessly through a series of lame, mechanical trailers for upcoming films that look exactly like the D.O.A. movies audiences avoided last week. More films about misunderstood mercenaries. More films about rogue cops. More films about the pivotal role of choreography in rescuing the underclass from its own worst instincts. More movies about congenial thugs from South Boston. More films about boys who do not want to grow up, ever, ever, ever.

More movies about cats.

He goes on to declare more downfalls in this year's films, like "Hollywood is still casting about for a bona fide action star," and Dinner for Schmucks is the worst movie of the year (which me mentions many times).

But what happens when you make a rather large assumption about movies before the year is over? Fellow critics swarm and pounce like Mr. Smiths on Neo in The Matrix.

Patrick Goldstein, film critic and columnist for the LA Times throws his two cents into the mix. He notes that Queenan even "mentions Inception in the lead of his story, but never gets around to giving it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down," and that:

It's probably no coincidence that most of these unhappy proclamations surface near the end of summer, which is definitely the dog days for movie-going, when film fans often feel as if they have gone weeks and weeks, if not months, since seeing a film that they could recommend to anyone who's managed to graduate from junior high school. But that doesn't mean that we've hit rock bottom. We've seen plenty of good movies this year, starting with "Inception," which wasn't just beloved by most critics, it remains the most popular movie in America.

Sure, Will Smith, the "King of Summer Movies" is absent. And 3-D has flooded the market faster and stronger than ever before. But all is not lost. All this best/worst movie talk got me thinking — "Doesn't at least one critic wash his hands at Hollywood every year?"

Alison Willmore of IFC News agrees, and says there's no such thing as "the Worst Move Year Ever":

Looking for the next "The Godfather," "Jurassic Park," "Casablanca"? Then why the hell are you watching "Grown Ups"? Get thee to a art house, or wait for fall and the promising, weightier-sounding likes of "The Social Network" and "The Tree of Life."

The film industry in 2010 has some life left in it — five months, to be exact. There's still time, indeed.

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