Archive for April, 2011


Spartan Phoenix’s 10 Best And Worst Movies of 2010

Spartan Phoenix’s 10 Best And Worst Movies of 2010

This comes a little late. But better late than never right? As many of you know I did my Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man experiment last year. I saw 200 movies in one calendar year. This means I saw my fair share of good movies and crappy movies. I wanted to share my 2010 best and worst movie picks. Now, since I have already given my review on each of these chosen flicks in my past blogs I’m not going to give them again. I’m just going to list the movies with maybe a short note about them. The movies listed below are not in any particular order, but I will single out my best and worst film of 2010.

Spartan Phoenix’s Top 10 Best Movies of 2010

To single out my best film of the year it would have to be:

 True Grit


True Grit is by far the best movie I saw all of last year. I grew up watching westerns and war movies with my dad. This is why westerns are one of my favorite movie genres. Since the 90’s, westerns have made a comeback and True Grit stands on top with some of the best westerns I have seen in the past 20 years.

Here are my other 9 best films of the year:

 She’s Out of My League

She’s Out of My League was one of the funniest films with a great collection of back to back funny scenes. The movie had heart too.

The Joneses

The Joneses is a very interesting film about a fake family used to push products within their community.

City Island

City Island was well acted. It a very funny story about a disfunctional family living on a small New York Island. 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Trilogy)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the first of the trilogy. I have to count all three into one for my best of 2010 picks. This was a great dramatic and thriller packed trilogy.


Red is a funny action comedy with a great cast.


Secretariat is a great family film about the true story of this famous horse.


Unstoppable is a great thrill ride. Its one of those edge of your seat action thrillers. There was good drama too.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has a great script with a bunch of very funny characters. This movie was a pleasent surprise and well acted too.



Kick-Ass is one of my favorite graphic novel movies. The movie does a great job showing the viloent, grity and funny storyline that the graphic novel conveyed.

Spartan Phoenix’s 10 Worst Movies of 2010

My worst film of the year was no contest. It was:

Black Swan

 Before I saw this movie with my wife (then girlfriend) we heard about all of the critical acclaim it got. I just don’t get this movie. I thought it was a pile of confusing mess with your mind crap. I’m glad Natalie Portman got her Oscar for this picture cause she is a good actress, but her portrayal as a ballerina was the only redeeming thing about this movie. The only people that seem to like this film are professional kiss your ass critics.

 Here is a list of my other 9 craptastic films of 2010.

The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer was a boring Roman Polanski story that had a shitty ending.


After.Life was a poor attempt of at a 6th Sense rip off with a twist.


Splice is about an animal / alien type of hybrid. A sucktastic film with one of the most uncomfotable sex scenes Ive ever watched.


Cyrus was suppose to be a dark comedy. It wasnt funny at all. It was depressing as shit.

The American

The American was probably Clooney’s worst film I had ever seen. The first five minutes of the film was great, then it went into the crapper fast.


Buried takes place inside a pine coffin box where the lead and only star of the film is trapped, the whole movie. Buried = fail.


Hereafter is Clint Eastwoods worst and maybe only bad film that I can think of.

 The Warrior’s Way

The Warrior’s Way was a misirable attempt of a Kung Fu Western.

 The Tourist

 The Tourist was two good actors stuck in a bad film. Half the movie was watching Jolie walk around in snappy clothes. Depp’s character was hard to watch. A waste of big name talent. 

So there you have it. Those are my best and worst movies of 2010. I had a tougher time picking my top 10 best films than I did my worst. The next thing I want to do is compile a new updated top 100 movies of all time. I havent done this in over five years so I think its time. Stay tuned. Oh, below is a reminder of how many movies I saw last year month by month. Its funny to note that in my first month I saw only 12 movies compared to 24 on the last month. Twice as much, geeze.

Stay tuned, – Spartan Phoenix

  • February            2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • June                 2010: Movies Seen: 19
  • July                  2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • August             2010: Movies Seen: 21
  • September            2010: Movies Seen: 17
  • October            2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • November            2010: Movies Seen: 13
  • December            2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • January            2011: Movies Seen: 24

Spartan Phoenix is Back! Sanctum, The Eagle, Just Go with It, Drive Angry 3D, I Am Number Four, Hall Pass, The Adjustment Bureau, Red Riding Hood, Take Me Home Tonight, Battle: Los Angeles, Sucker Punch, Paul, Limitless

Spartan Phoenix is Back! Sanctum, The Eagle, Just Go with It, Drive Angry 3D, I Am Number Four, Hall Pass, The Adjustment Bureau, Red Riding Hood, Take Me Home Tonight, Battle: Los Angeles, Sucker Punch, Paul, Limitless

February & March 2011

So what has your favorite movie marathon man Spartan Phoenix been up too? Haven’t heard from me a while huh? Well… I got married March 4th to my wonderful fiancé (now wife) Jane. And I have become a father to her daughter “Little C”.  So husband and father duties have kept me busy and I haven’t had time to write up movie blogs. I have had time to see some movies through the past month and a half, just not as much as I did last year during my movie marathon man blog experiment. I still have some 2010 year end wrap up stuff to share with you guys, but lets get to some recent Spartan Phoenix movie takes. I’ve got a lot to cover so I’m gonna keep my reviews short and sweet. So let’s get you caught up!

*Spoiler Alert” Sanctum (2011) starring Richard Roxburgh, Ioan Gruffudd, Rhys Wakefield and Alice Parkinson. An underwater cave diving team experiences a life-threatening crisis during an expedition to the unexplored and least accessible cave system in the world. I saw this movie in 3D. I liked the concept and the fact that it was based on a true story. Its not worth a 3D viewing, but maybe a video rental. My one main problem with the movie was that everyone except one person died in the movie. This annoyed me.

The Eagle (2011) starring Channing Tatum, Denis O’Hare and Jamie Bell. In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. I kind of liked this movie. It wasn’t great but and interesting take on history at that time. The best part was the location shoots and the costumes. This movie should have been rated R instead of PG-13. It would have been better if it were grittier.

Just Go with It (2011) starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, Nick Swardson, Bailee Madison, Griffin Gluck and Nicole Kidman. On a weekend trip to Hawaii, a plastic surgeon convinces his loyal assistant to pose as his soon-to-be-divorced wife in order to cover up a careless lie he told to his much-younger girlfriend. This movie was funnier that I expected, but keep in mine I had very low expectations for this film. Jennifer Aniston, , Nick Swardson and the kids played by Bailee Madison, Griffin Gluck were the funniest roles in this film. Recent Adam Sandler flicks have been disappointing for me. This movie was a step in the right direction.

Drive Angry 3D (2011) starring Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner and Billy Burke. A vengeful father escapes from hell and chases after the men who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter. This movie was the perfect guilty pleasure movie! Great action, funny one-liners, awesome cars, cool bad guys and nudity! I saw this movie in 3D and it was way worth it. Don’t take this movie seriously and you will have fun with it. It was a fun roller coaster ride for me.

I Am Number Four (2011) starring Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer and Dianna Agron. John is an extraordinary teen, masking his true identity and passing as a typical high school student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him. Three like him have already been killed … he is Number Four. This was and interesting movie. I really liked the story concept and the cast. This is one of those movies I excited about what was going to happen next. Timothy Olyphant had a cool supporting role as a “keeper or protector”. He can currently be seen in one of my favorite TV shows Justified. I hope they make a trilogy out of this movie; I would like to see an expanded storyline of these characters.

Hall Pass (2011) starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate and Nicky Whelan. A married man is granted the opportunity to have an affair by his wife. Joined in the fun by his best pal, things get a little out of control when both wives start engaging in extramarital activities as well. This movie was rated R and for good reason. This movie was very funny and I recommend it. The break hilarious out role in this movie was co-star Jason Sudeikis from Saturday Night Live. I can see him take funny man leading comedy roles in the near future.

The Adjustment Bureau (2011) starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt. Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Matt Damon stars in this thriller as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realizes he wants something else. My wife and I had a date night and went to see this movie together. It was one of those movies we were excited about seeing. The concept of the movie was great, and visually it was cool too. It was based on a short story by Philip K. Dick more famously known for his other stories made into movies like Blade Runner and Total Recall. But the movie was slow and dragged out. The movie picked up speed at the end with an exciting finale. I would wait for video on this one.

Red Riding Hood (2011) starring Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman and Billy Burke. This story is set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family’s displeasure. I didn’t expect a lot from this film and I’m glad I didn’t. The costumes and sets were very cool, but the story didn’t hook me. Amanda Seyfried was good in her role but I had a tough time with the rest of the cast. I thought Gary Oldman phoned in this role, which was disappointing. Some of the supporting cast was interesting as well as the soundtrack.

Take Me Home Tonight (2011) starring Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler and Teresa Palmer. This movie follows an aimless college grad who pursues his dream girl at a wild Labor Day weekend party. He, his twin sister and their best friend struggle with their burgeoning adulthood over the course of the night. This is one of my favorite movies of the year so far. A very funny film set in the latter part of the 80’s, which I remember very well. Anyone who was a fan of the 80’s and the memorable pop culture it gave us must see this film. Its sad this movie didn’t get the promotion some big studio flicks do. If you missed this film in the theater, please, please see this movie on video. It already has a place waiting on my video shelf.

Battle: Los Angeles (2011) starring Aaron Eckhart, Bridget Moynahan, Michelle Rodriguez and Michael Peña A Marine Staff Sergeant who has just had his retirement approved goes back into the line of duty in order to assist a 2nd Lieutenant and his platoon as they fight to reclaim the city of Los Angeles from alien invaders. I really liked this film especially since I grew up in Southern California and was familiar with the locations the humans vs. alien battles took place. This was a good popcorn movie with action and drama. I like the battle sets. Some parts were predictable but I didn’t care cause this move was a fun ride. Check it out!

Sucker Punch (2011) starring Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone and more hot chicks in skimpy outfits. “A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility”. This movie has been called “Kill Bill meets Inception”. I would say that is a good description except that it would have been cooler if the movie were rated R instead of PG-13. I did enjoy this film. I saw it in IMAX, which meant the sound, was great. The action scenes and the good-looking young cast of girls kicking ass was a lot of fun to watch. I enjoyed the whole cast too not just the main cast. My only problem was the ending; it left me a little unsatisfied. I still recommend the film, but unless you see it in IMAX, wait for video.

Paul (2011) starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman and Sigourney Weaver. “Two British comic-book geeks traveling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51.” This movie is a must see for sci-fi nerds like me. I mean come-on, the movie starts in the biggest event for nerds: ComicCon in San Diego. This movie was extremely funny and the whole cast was great.  I call this movie a hilarious nerd road trip, with heart. I’m glad this movie was rated R for the language. I know for a fact that my nerd peeps have salty language.

Limitless (2011) starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Abbie Cornish. “A writer discovers a top-secret drug which bestows him with super human mind abilities” I liked this movie more than I thought I would. I really liked the story and the drama behind it. Bradley Cooper was great in this role. You find yourself routing for him all the way through the film. I liked the big company conspirator’s subplot the movie had to offer. I also liked the exciting ending too, it didn’t disappoint. Lately Bradley Cooper has been good in all of his movie roles. He’s a good leading man. Geesh, sounds like Spartan Phoenix has a new man crush. Check this movie out, it’s a cool flick.

Do you know how you’ve seen a shit load of movies? When you seen all of the movies shown on posters hanging outside of your multi-plex movie theater.

I’ll be back movie peeps. Gonna see more movies tomorrow.

– Spartan Phoenix