Movie Moments: 2010s
This week we have the final instalment of my latest meander across the decades. In Movie Moments, we’re looking at what was topping the charts at the box office, some of the biggest names around, and which films mean the most to me when I look back in time. And there’s even a spot of music each time to bring back memories. We began in the 1950s; and moved on to the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s. Last month, we crossed into the new century with the 2000s. Now let’s continue…
On this final day of strolling down movie memory lane, we come right up to date and enter the current decade. And perusing the list of the high-grossing films of the 2010s, there are some interesting phenomena to observe.
Nine out of the top fifty come from Marvel Studios: we have superheroes like The Avengers; Iron Man; and Captain America. We also have Guardians of the Galaxy and its follow-up, Volume 2. Witty, dramatic, thrilling and full of pathos by turn, these are two films I would certainly nominate for my all-time top ten.
But we also have a trio of Star Wars spin-offs; numerous Disney films, either animated or featuring live actors; we have Batman in two different incarnations, plus Superman and Wonder Woman; all three of the Hobbit films, although many believe that maybe we could have done with just two; the last couple of films from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise; Twilight and The Hunger Games. And all these films have a couple of things in common: they are fantasy in one form or another; and they probably started life as children’s stories.
Where are the thrillers, or the political suspense films? The only ones I could find were the two latest James Bond movies, Skyfall and Spectre; plus Inception; and even that is a fantasy on many levels.
There were some great, serious films in the past eight years: The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything to name but two. But it certainly looks like superheroes and science fiction are the order of the day.
And to be honest, I’m no different to the rest of the film-going public. I’m going to finish this piece and this series by paying my respects to a literary and cinematic phenomenon. J K Rowling’s proto-wizard and his friends first appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997 and the final book was published ten years later. A whole generation of children grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione and so popular did the books become with adults that a complete new set of covers was designed, better suited to a grown-up readership.
The first film came out in 2001, and again, it took ten years before we saw the final scenes on screen. So it wasn’t until the current decade that we watched Harry defeat He Who Must Not Be Named for the last time. And so, my final movie memory of the week could actually be any one of the funny, moving or dramatic moments from possibly the best set of children’s books and the best film adaptations of all time; and of course, the once-heard, never-forgotten, music of John Williams.
And that’s it for the movies, folks. I do hope you’ve enjoyed this meander through our cinematic memories. New month, we’re going to start the whole process again, but looking this time at the small screen rather than the large.