Joaquin Avellan/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Machete, an action-comedy starring Danny Trejo (pictured above), debuted in theaters in September 2010.
Machete, an action-comedy starring Danny Trejo (pictured above), debuted in theaters in September 2010. Joaquin Avellan/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Jimi Izrael is the author of The Denzel Principle: Why Black Women Can't Find Good Black Men and a regular contributor to Tell Me More.
In cinema, there's the critics' darling, the people's choice and the rest of the offerings — movies you may feel as if you are too good to see — movies that entertain and do little else.
My taste in film is diverse. I dig a good foreign film, or whatever. But generally, I like what I like, and am not given to making choices based on what's popular with critics. I don't need to see film for art and politics all the time. Occasionally, you can just give me a strong story, well acted and I'll sneak some food into the theater and call it a date.
A lot of folks who write about film want to make a statement with their year-enders, and I guess I'm no different. I saw a lot of good films this year that not enough people are talking about or are likely to talk about. So without any further ado, I give you ...
Movies You Were Too Good To See In 2010
Machete — This s(l)ick ode to thrill kill cinema stars the GREAT Danny Trejo as kind of a Mexican version of Melvin Van Peebles' Sweet Sweetback. It tells the tale of a gentle man living on the fringe of the American Dream who feels as if it's his duty to right a terrible wrong. And if it involves desecrating the Catholic church and disemboweling his enemies, then so much the better. Impossible cameos abound in director/screenwriter Robert Rodriguez's study on sex, drugs and immigration law.
Tooth Fairy — Dwayne Johnson is the egocentric hockey player who's forgotten how important it is to believe in the magic ... until the fairy world decides to set him straight. A lot of folks missed this unlikely tale of honor, innocence and the love of a child. In terms of comedies about life lessons for fathers, this hits closer to the heart than Eddie Murphy's Imagine That.
Get Him To The Greek — This film relies too heavily on Jonah Hill's schlubster antics, but the script is strong enough to hold this shtick afloat, and the underlying message to follow your dreams no matter where they lead is played out well enough in the storyline for you to reconsider this film on Netflix or somesuch.
Predators — Robert Rodriguez knows how to make a scary-good film on the cheap and Predators is another example of that. His films seem to always include counter-intuitive casting choices, wrestling great dialogue and plot-twists into submission. This should have been the third sequel in the Predator series. The trailers threw a lot of people off, but see this film for Danny Trejo, who evidently had a great year, for the win.
Why Did I Get Married Too? — Just like you, I have issues with the stories he chooses, but few could argue that Tyler Perry is a great storyteller who knows his audience. Married, moreso than For Colored Girls, is a lot of what we have come to expect from him and maybe you skipped it precisely for that reason. Truth to tell, there are no remarkable performances in Married and no surprises. You know the story. You may have lived the story. You can call it consistent or you can call it predictable — many great directors have built great careers feeding a niche. Time will tell if Perry is one of them.
So even if you're not ready to admit that you want to see these movies, you can always enjoy them in the privacy of your home, where no one will judge you.