Best Hollywood films in India, 2010
If Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie engaged in action-packed mayhem, franchise flicks like Twilight, Narnia, Shrek and Harry Potter continued to rake in the big bucks.
2010, undoubtedly, witnessed a gamut of Hollywood films hit the Indian shores.
While some of it was strictly forgettable fare, the presence of some awe-inspiring celluloid gems made it all seem like a minor glitch.
Ready to look at the ones that wowed us the most? Here goes:
The punch: What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has takenhold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed -- fully understood -- that sticks; right in there somewhere.
The response: Wow,wow, wow! This pretty much sums up the reaction to anyone and everyone who saw Christopher Nolan's most-viewed dream bolstered by a collection of sharp actors and Hans Zimmer's magnificent soundtrack.
Apart from sparking off debates and analysis over the science of sleep and passionate discussions on the significance of the slyly spinning totem in the final shot, this brilliantly layered, visually marvelous and intelligent riddle of a film engaged, teased and trusted its viewer like never-before. Dubbing it an instant classic is hardly anexaggerated conclusion.
Image: A poster of Inception
The Social Network
The punch: The Internet's not written in pencil, Mark. It's written in ink.
The response: Just when you thought no movie can precede the buzz surrounding Inception, David Fincher's The Social Network came out and took the world, online and off it by storm.
Aaron Sorkin's flawless adaptation of Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Millionaires chronicles the making of Facebook and its devilishly dedicated founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Fincher's terse back and forth narrative coupled with excellent performances by its leading men Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield shape this ingeniously scripted unauthorised biopic into a relevant revelation and exemplary film-making. Super like.
Image: Poster of The Social Network
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 1
The punch: I won't pretend to be your friend, Mr Potter. But I'm not your enemy.
The response: It's a massive accomplishment for the first half of Harry Potter's grand final chapter to keep an absorbing momentum despite the fact that there's neither decisive action nor an end.
Instead it employs this breather as an opportunity to showcase the delicate thoughts and anxieties of its beautifully blossomed troika Harry, Hermione and Ron.
Ultimately, hal for complete, HP 7 is a full-blown fantasy and there's abundant darkness, delight and spectacle in part one to whet our appetite until part 2 makes its grand appearance.
Image: Poster of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 1
Iron Man 2
The punch: I am Iron Man. The suit and I are one. To turn over the Iron Man suit would be to turn over myself, which is tantamount to indentured servitude or prostitution, depending on what state you're in. You can't have it.
The response: While most people reserved optimum praise for the original, Robert Downey Jr's incessant charm as the titular superhero packed in enough punch, even when he's complete cad, to replicate a fair share of plaudits for the sequel as well.
A lot of the above in addition to its sleekly packaged action and a fine selection of actors ranging from Scarlett Johansson to Sam Rockwell ensure Tony Stark's exploits will continue to bring in the crowds. And they do.
Image: Poster of Iron Man 2
Toy Story 3
The punch: The thing that makes Woody special is he'll never give up on you, ever. He'll be there for you, no matter what.
The response: After one and a half decade of enthralling us with the adventures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and a supporting cast of spunky sidekicks, the third and final Toy Story comes to an emotional but befitting end with this spectacular 3D offering.
You'd think it's only animation. Duh, it's Pixar. And so anyone who's had a special bond with their toys or isn't completely heartless is bound to come out moved by this unquestionably warm story of love and letting go. So long, partner.
Image: Poster of Toy Story 3
The Hurt Locker
The punch: Everyone's a coward about something.
The response: Beating some strong competition in James Cameron's visually-enticing Avatar, ex-wife and filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow's hard-hitting war drama, The Hurt Locker took home half a dozen Oscars before it hit the marquee in India this year.
And with good reason too. Filmed in Jordan, this visceral and exhilarating action-drama set against the backdrop of war-struck Iraq rides high on the strength of Jeremy Renner's gritty, astute performance under Bigelow's unrelenting direction.
Image: Poster of The Hurt Locker
The punch: It's like my heart is a tooth, and it's got a cavity that can only be filled with children.
The response: If the cuteness of those innumerable yellow minions won't win you, nothing can.
For all its glossy computer graphics and purported menace, Despicable Me is essentially a sweet film about a former super villain trying to reclaim his title.
Lending the film its heart and the bad guy a chance to turn new leaf are three unbelievably adorable orphan girls. With all the 'awww' elements in place and tons of cheeky animated action to roll, Despicable Me is an endearing mix of sentimentality and show. Not to forget Steve Carrell's astonishing vocal talents.
Image: Poster of Despicable Me
The punch: If we get jammed up, we're holding court on the street.
The response: Looks like Ben Affleck has found his true calling behind the camera.
Following the acclaim of Gone Baby Gone, Affleck draws attention with his slick and confident screen adaptation of Chuck Hogan's Prince of Thieves.
What makes this based-in-Boston heist caper a cut above rest is how employs generic elements like revenge and romance to device empathy for its morally-ambiguous protagonists without ever compromising on the hard-boiled intentions of its cleverly-manufactured screenplay.
Also, Affleck, often criticised for his own indistinctive performance, scoops out the best from hiscast of Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Chris Cooper, Blake Lively and Rebecca Hall.
Image: Poster of The Town
The punch: My mind rebels at stagnation! Give me problems! Give me work!
The response: A Christmas release in the US, Sherlock Holmes made it to our screens only in the first week of January.
This belated gift from Santa, er Guy Ritchie, however, turned out to be one hell of a knockout. In his devious, graphic take of the eccentric detective inhabiting 221B Baker Street, Ritchie vicariously dismantles the aesthetics and mannerisms associated with the Holmes brand to construct a zany, action-packed submission that's more Hong Kong than Hampshire.
No doubt the new Holmes found enough fans to spawn a sequel in 2011.
Image: Poster of Sherlock Holmes
The Expendables and Alice in Wonderland
The punch: We are the shadow, the smoke in your eyes, the ghosts that hidein the night. & You used to be much more...muchier. You've lost your muchness.
The response: It's a tie. Both movies are prime examples of possibilities that didn't entirely live up to their exclusive stature.
Nonetheless both the films, on extreme ends of the genre, fascinated us with their eagerness to please. If Sly Stallone went all out to pay tribute to the irreverent albeit glorious bam-whamin the B-films of the 80s with a muscular, multi-starrer cast, Tim Burton committed his phantasmagoric styles to a 3D-fuelled retelling of Lewis Carroll's curious Alice-led adventures.
While one offered the gratification of mindless, old-school action (plus a tiny scene featuring all-time action legends Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis sharing the frame), the other just reiterated Burton's reputation as a master of edgy visuals bundled with wonderfully whimsical acts from companion Helena Bonham Carter and kind-of muse Johnny Depp.
Image: Movie poster of The Expendables and Alice in Wonderland