Most memorable movie moments of summer 2010
Let's not mince words: The summer of 2010 was not exactly a triumphant season for cinema.
While revenues were up (thank you, inflated 3-D ticket prices), attendance fell to its lowest point in five years. Those who did show up at the cineplex were often forced to sit through remarkably flat three-dimensional adventures ("The Last Airbender"), wretched chick flicks ("Sex and the City 2") and comedies that made us laugh only afterward, when we thought about how stupid we were for voluntarily sitting through them. (Oh, "Vampires Suck." You really were a gift that kept on giving.)
But this is the Friday before the summer-closing, three-day Labor Day weekend. Let's end things on a high note, shall we? With that in mind, I have compiled a list of my most memorable moments from the summer movie season of 2010. Mind you, this is not a rundown of the best films, just a smattering of moments that, after all those buckets of popcorn and deafeningly loud pre-feature trailers have faded away, still stick in the brain. (And yes, there are spoiler alerts ahead, so proceed with caution if you haven't seen, say, "Inception.")
Add a comment to share your favorite summer movie moments, and vote in our poll (after the jump) that asks which of the top moneymakers of the summer was the best.
"Toy Story 3": The tea party
The most lucrative movie of the summer also, happily, was its most delightful. So many moments in this Pixar sequel were hilarious, touching, imaginative or some combination of the three that it's hard to choose one. But I had to go with the tea party at young Bonnie's house, a textbook example of how to seamlessly introduce new characters into an established, beloved cast in a way that makes them immediately endearing to the audience. "We do a lot of improv here," the plush and cuddly unicorn Buttercup (voice of Jeff Garlin) contends. And it's totally working for them.
Annette Bening's heirloom tomato speech in "The Kids Are All Right"
Yet another terrific film with enough well-observed and subtly acted moments to make singling out one a challenge. But I have to go with Bening's wine-lubricated restaurant rant against organic foods, including her contention that if "If I hear one more person say how much they love heirloom tomatoes, I'm going to punch them right in the face." It's a funny diatribe (even if you happen to like heirloom tomatoes), but the monologue has even more bite because it's clear that it stems from the character's growing resentment toward sperm donor Mark Ruffalo and, possibly, her own, all-natural life partner (Julianne Moore).
Richard Jenkins's rooftop moment in "Eat Pray Love"
Jenkins steals this New Agey, spiritual rom-com (surely the kind of thing Annette Bening's "Kids" character would rant against) right out from under Julia Roberts during a scene in which his character, Richard from Texas, emotionally unleashes the demons that haunted him enough to seek meditation at an ashram in India. The rest of the movie was semi-enjoyably, dismissively pretty. But Jenkins? Unforgettable.
"The Other Guys" debate -- lion vs. tuna
I could have gone with Michael Keaton's running TLC jokes, or Eva Mendes's moving performance of "Pimps Don't Cry." But I settled on this scene, which happens early in the movie and makes it clear that, yes, Will Ferrell has returned to funny form.
"Inception": The ending
Any one of the brain-boggling, majestic set pieces in Christopher Nolan's intellectually challenging summer blockbuster is worthy of praise. But it's the film's open-to-interpretation ending that prompted audience members to gasp, compelled many of them to see it again, made "Inception" a perpetually trending topic on Twitter and prompted online video parodies like the one below. The final few seconds of "Inception" became the talking point moment of the summer, and unquestionably (at least to me) the most memorable.
Now time to vote in our poll:
| September 3, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories: Friday Lists
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