Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More "Best of 2010" shit

Before I get started on what is probably going to be a long post, I want to share what I've spent the majority of today doing....

After getting Lauren Conrad's book Style for Christmas, and falling madly in love with it, I decided to clean out my room, move some shit around, and, of course, clear out my overflowing wardrobe. As most people know, I'm not a girly girl. I'm not into shopping or anything, I only just started learning shit about make-up this year, and most of the time I wouldn't be considered glamorous. But I love fashion, and I love clothes, and I've spent years experimenting and taking ridiculous chances, to ultimately create my very own style.

What is that style? I'm not quite sure. I've decided that I get a lot of style influences from Kat von D, Kristen Stewart, Chibi and, of course, Hayley Williams. But other than that, the only way I'd really describe my style is tomboyish, kinda grungy and never too fussy or over put together (in work, it's totally different!).

But since Lauren suggested cleaning out the wardrobe, in order to have a better understanding of what one has, doesn't have and needs, I did exactly that. I was very impressed to discover that I had everything on her "wardrobe staples" lists, although her variations were a lot more conservative than mine. Here are the awe-inspiring before and after shots. This took me three hours to sort out, bearing in mind that a lot of my clothes were not in my wardrobe.

Prepare to be amazed!



I am so proud! I have everything divided up according to colour and style, all of my reconstructed tees together, basics, trousers, shorts, skirts, dresses, jackets, shirts...this makes me very excited, which I guess is kinda girly, but no matter. I am proud. I don't know how long this is going to last, but for the moment it's awesome to have everything in order. My head feels much clearer as a result. The rest of my room looks good too, in case you're wondering.

Anyway! Christmas was just a couple of days ago, but I don't really want to blab on about it for this post, although it was pretty good this year. The mental weather kind of fucked everything up, but besides that it was pretty awesome. Got some cool shit (new Docs!!!), spent some quality time with the family, ate lots, drank lots, watched Edward Scissorhands and cried like a baby... The emo got me the most incredible present I've ever got - three pencil drawings by Aaron Alexovich (one of my favourite artists) of Kat, Hayley and Chibi, my three idols, in frames decorated with stars in a colour that related to each chick, and Nightmare Before Christmas stickers. They're amazing! He totally showed me up!!!

Okay enough bullshit, it's time to get on to the best and worst of 2010 (the worst list, just like last year, will be small). I hope I don't forget anything...but if I do, it doesn't mean that it wasn't awesome, it just means I've a fucking terrible memory!

Let me just say, though, before I begin, that 2010 was a fucking deadly year, and thank you very much to everybody who made it so!

Finishing college
I'll be honest, by the end
of my four year course, despite how much I still loved what I was doing, I was fucking sick of it... I was sick of the work, the stupid fucking egomaniacs I was forced into working with and, at times, taking orders from, and I was just fucking bored overall. The recession was in full swing, and I was terrified that, after choosing to be part of an industry that was creative and didn't guarantee a paid job directly after college (or ever), I would end up broke, on the dole, and suicidal. I was dying to get out into the world and start living by my rules, actually having a life in Dublin (if that is actually possible) and making some fucking money. Graduation itself was pretty boring, and the ball was fairly meh too, but whatever. I graduated without my hat on, which meant I was treated like a bad ass once again without actually doing anything of note (seriously, I'm rarely trying to make a statement, I just do things without thinking). Oh, and I had a pretty awesome dress for the ball too! And a giant spider ring!! All's well that ends well, I guess.

The gigs
I didn't go to that many gigs this year, surprisingly. But I did see the Rocky Horror Show live, which was fucking amazing. I also saw WWE Raw live...that was pretty fucking cool. But, asides from those, I did get to see two of my favourite bands, Lostprophets, and Paramore too. And I saw one of my favourite comedians, Bill Bailey, which was incredible. I feel as if I'm forgetting a few, because I couldn't honestly have just seen two fucking bands this year...but I guess maybe I did. The Lostprophets gig was a special one, because it was my sister's first ever rock gig. And because they were awesome. Ian Watkins is still one of my favourite frontmen, and after seeing the Prophets perform with exactly as much enthusiasm in front of a festival crowd and the paltry amount assembled in the Academy, I know that I'm going to love them forever. Paramore was special for obvious reasons!! I mean, we queued for 8 hours, stayed in a luxurious hotel, got so close to Hayley we could almost smell her...and the gig itself kicked major ass! I still get the same rush going to gigs as I did when I was a little fifteen-year-old grunge kid, which is kick ass. And 2011 is already looking great for gigs, with Rob Zombie and Rock im Park in June, and possibly Slipknot later in the summer.

The people
I'm incredibly lucky with the people that I have in my life, and that was especially apparent this year. At 22, I'm lucky to have several best friends, whom I know and love and trust with my life. They are there for me when I need them (and vice versa), call me out when I'm behaving like a twat, make me laugh, make me cry, keep things exciting, and impress me every day with how creative, artistic, intelligent, talented, beautiful and wonderful they all are. They are all different and strange in their own ways, which means we rarely all become obsessed with the same band or want to see the same film or do the same thing. Thank fuck, otherwise it'd get totally boring! I've learned, especially over the last few years, that it's better to be surrounded by people with their own voices, than sheep who would rather say nothing and keep the peace. Scooby is a MASSIVE Green Day fan, and by the logic of most crazed fans, she and I shouldn't really be buds because I love Paramore, sworn enemies of GD (according to fans, they're not actually enemies). But I believe Scoob and I have more fun comparing and contrasting our opposing bands, as opposed to if we both queued for GD shows together and then discussed it afterwards! Of course, I'm a bit too old to be making new friends at this stage of my life (har de har) so it only makes sense that I adore the ones I've got! However, I did sort of make a few new friends this year, or more correctly, I got closer to a couple of people who were already in my life, i.e. Rich and Ally, who are possibly the coolest couple I know. We'd never really got that much time to chat and get to know each other, not to mention the fact that one of their closest friends fucking hates me, but between the end of last year, and this year, we really got on the same page and that was fucking awesome.

The other new friend I made was a totally new friend, made through the rather shit means of Facebook and mutual friends (I can't remember the exact reason we got talking, but it wasn't a very good one!). We bonded over shared love of stupid emo shit like Lenore and Tim Burton, piercings, tatts and people generally thinking the two of us are dirty whores. It's been fun! I always feel like the weirdest one out of my group of friends, because let's face it, I do look and act the weirdest. But new mate made me feel positively normal! In the short space of time we've known each other (less than a year, I believe) I've vomited in front of this dude twice, been unashamedly drunk (while he was almost ridiculously sober, patient and pleasant), passed out on his sofa and been unable to get up for the following twelve hours, relentlessly made fun of him (and vice versa), been literally picked up off my feet by him, been given shitloads of drink and food and bizarrely perfect insights into life and love and what the fuck we're all really doing here... I think that I would be him if I were male, especially since he is far more feminine than I. Whether we are actual friends or just acquaintances remains to be seen, because sadly we're still kind of in that limbo area where it's unclear whether we can just call each other up or get angry or whatever. I still have some serious trust issues, too, so I'm reluctant to get close to anyone and get hurt...but I will forever be grateful to him for pretending he hadn't heard me puke when he obviously had, feeding me and taking care of me when he really didn't have to, and, of course, giving me his hoodie to hide the fact that I was in work in the same dress as the day before. Whatever fucking happens, he made 2010 memorable, to say the least! Oh, and Noodles is totally in love with him, which makes it even better! I'd stick in a photo of them snuggling up to each other the first time they ever met...but I won't, because the mental image is probably better.

The tatts
This year, I got tattooed on my birthda
y, as has become customary over the past couple of years (the word "Liebe" on my right wrist), which was awesome, but the really awesome tattooing experience of this year was, of course the four-hour marathon session that resulted in the most beautiful, full-colour tattoo on my lower right leg of the dreamiest dream girl of all time, Ramona Flowers. The emo has since been back to my tattoo artist to get his arm inked, and took great pleasure in being told all about how me and Scooby wouldn't shut up during the time he'd tattooed me. I love my tattoo artist. He is very sexy and incredibly talented, not to mention totally mental. I'm already planning when I can head into him for my first tattoo of 2011 (once he returns, because of course, he isn't Irish). Being under his needle is a mind-blowing experience (and yes, I know how bad that sounds). I got pierced this year too, of course, but being tattooed, I must admit, is a far more exciting and fulfilling experience...probably cos it lasts longer and hurts an almost unbelievable amount! I can't wait for more in 2011... Here is me, slightly drunk and dressed like a lolita sailor chick, showing off my tatt without showing off my undies (somehow). Although this is kind of a shit photo, I still think my tatt looks awesome in it. I don't even really remember the pain! Ooh now I'm itching for a new one...should continue on with this list and distract myself!!

The job
I've written at length about how happy I am to be working, how lucky to have found a job, blah blah blah, so I won't bore anyone any further with it here. But I am loving what I'm doing, not to mention that it's pretty fucking awesome to finally have a life in stupid Dublin. Now I'm finally working towards getting the hell out of here, and that in itself is amazing. So if there is one thing that I am thankful for this year, it is definitely my job. I really cannot stress that enough!

Awesome nights out
One of the best things about having a job, thus making money, means that I can do more stuff than I could do dream of doing before, from weekends in London, to nights out in bars that makes this city seem less shit. That has resulted in some of the maddest, filthiest,
roughest and coolest nights out than ever before. I finally found a clubbing buddy in Noodles, and we've had some of the best times out dancing to silly pop music and drinking cocktails. I do quite like clubbing every now and again, although clubbing folk usually think I'm quite kinky because of how I look and/or how I'm dressed... Of course, we still frequent our favourite rock bar, and get fucked up there on a regular basis because, let's face it, nobody cares. And we found some cool new places to go as well, which has been fucking awesome. We haven't been going out every night or anything, but when we do go out, it kicks major ass, whether there are two of us, or twenty. And, surprisingly enough, we've managed to find a balance between having fun sober and drunk! The Zombie Walk was another awesome experience, even though it cost nothing!! It was so much fun, and so silly. I got a lot of shit from my mother for turning up covered in blood to a family dinner afterwards, but it was totally worth it!!!

My totally awesome relationship
At the risk of sounding totally mushy, it's been a great year for the emo and I. We celebrated a year together on Halloween,
managed to still see each other as often as possible despite how crazy busy we both are, and we've become even closer than we were before (if that's actually possible). He is my best friend and the one person I trust most in the world. He was there for me when other people let me down, even queueing for four hours in the freezing cold with me to meet Kat von D, and watching silly horror movies with me despite the fact he doesn't particularly appreciate the genre. We give each other shit all the time, we are totally ourselves around each other, and we love each other more and more every day. He showed me with his Christmas present that he knows me better than I probably know myself, and I cannot imagine my life without him. He can be a total shit at times, of course, but even when we argue it doesn't last long, because we know each other so well that after a bit we just give up and get over ourselves!!! It's amazing to be in a healthy relationship with no pretenses and no bullshit. It's very new for me, I must admit!!

My new hair colour
After three years of wrecking my hair with bleach, which resulted in me having to cut it all off towards the end of last year, I decided to take action and, in January, dyed it a deep, permanent black-black. I say "black-black" because everybody else I know with black hair uses "blue-black" and I feel as if perhaps I'm the only person in the whole city dying it black-black (which makes it even more infuriating that Boots always seems to be out of the stuff!). Anyway, it's not a hugely significant life-changing thing...except that it kind of is, because it has totally changed my face and makes me look and feel soooo much better! I love being dark, it suits my personality so much more than the blonde did, even though it isn't as extreme. Ever since I was 14, I've been changing my hair on a regular basis, and the only colour I ever stuck with was white blonde. Now, I think I may stick with black-black for a while which, madly enough, is a serious deal to me!! Oh, and my hair actually looks and feels like hair now, which is pretty fucking cool, because I didn't ever think I'd get there!

Honourable mentions
Meeting Kat von D was fucking amazing, but since I've already devoted a whole post to that, I'll just stick it in here at the end! It was awesome! I still get goosebumps thinking about it!
- There were some awesome movies out this year, and it was a decent year for horror too, which was cool. Again, already dedicated a post to that.
- My trip to London, with Saz, in September was really, really good fun. It's become sort of an annual thing now, to go to London (or, more specifically, Camden) and shop till I drop. I've already made plans to go again in the new year. It gets better every time. And this year, we got to see Charley too!
- System Of A Down were announced as the headliners for next year's RIP. This made my whole fucking year, because I didn't think I'd ever get to see them live!!

Best Of 2010
- Album:
Either Pins and Needles - The Birthday Massacre or Diamond Eyes - Deftones. Both of these albums, in my opinion, were ground-breaking. TBM and Deftones have been two of my favourite bands for a long time now, and both never cease to surprise me. These are my two favourite albums of 2010 because I love every single track on both, loved both instantly, was intrigued and delighted by the quality, direction and feel of both. These are albums that will definitely stand the test of time, for sure.
- Book: I read lots and lots of Dennis Lehane this year, but I can't recall if any of the books I read were published this year, likewise those by Daniel Waters. I loved both of Kevin Smith and Kat von D's books, but if I had to choose the best novel I've read this year (I don't think it came out this year, but oh well) it'd be Generation Dead by Daniel Waters, because not only was the protagonist a goth, but the story refrained from being Twilight-esque syrupy bullshit, and actually asked some real questions about the dynamics of society and how teenage friendships and relationships function.
- Movie: Already did this! Either Inception or Toy Story 3. For horror, definitely Frozen.
Gig: Paramore in the O2. Nuff said!
- Comic book: I love love love Scott Pilgrim, but this year I re-discoverd Aaron Alexovich's Serenity Rose and Roman Dirge's classic Lenore. What can I say? I'm a sucker for goth comics!
- Song: Possibly Shallow Grave by TBM or Rocket Skates by Deftones... My clubbing song was definitely Club Can't Handle Me by Flo Rida, while my song to rock out to was Oildale by Korn.
- Guilty Pleasure: 30 Seconds To Mars! Jared Leto's vanity project are totally over the top and silly, but I must admit, I do love a few of their songs! And he's so pretty to look at!!
- New obsession: Gossip Girl recaps on New York magazine's website. Too fucking funny. Mega64 are my new old obsession, because they are that good!
- Hottest chick: Kristen Stewart. She didn't wear a bra for the duration of The Runaways, I still have yet to recover from it! And she is gay, no matter what anyone says. She is.
- Hottest dude:
The gorgeous Jared Leto, any of the Mega64 guys, CM Punk (om nom nom), Robert Sheehan...there were a lot of hot dudes this year, it's difficult to decide!
- Fashion icon: Hayley, Kat, Kristen. They inspire me with their rock 'n' roll attitude, grungy sensibilities and refusal to dress pretty or girly unless they absolutely have to!
- Accessory of the year: Probably my big, silver cross that I got for my grad. Or my trusty Cons.
- Biggest achievements: Finding a job, doing it, fitting in in an office environment, finishing college, keeping my relationship going, liking who I am...etc!

The Lows
Thankfully, there were very few low points this year. I didn't have many low points personally at all, asides from a few run-ins with stupid girls, threats from jealous, insecure girlfriends and the fear of my new job and new people to fit in with. Overall, this year has been a damn good one. The state of the country is not something that I particularly feel like writing about here, not because it doesn't concern me, but due to the fact that I gave up on this place a long time ago and am simply working now to get the hell out of here. Ireland sucks. End of.

The two biggest low points of this year were probably the deaths in the metal world, and the weird non-break-up of Paramore. First, the passing of Pete Steele, Ronnie James Dio and, of course, Paul Gray, were incredibly upsetting and left the metal world shocked and reeling for months afterwards. I've loved Type O Negative since I was a little goth kid, so Pete dying was dreadful. Dio's songs with Sabbath and solo are the soundtrack to my favourite rock bar, so every time I hear them my heart hurts. And, of course, Paul Gray dying means the end of one of my all-time favourite bands. I still can't watch the Slipknot press conference, because it makes me cry to this day. And seeing Corey Taylor struggling through Bother at DL last summer was truly heart-breaking. We lost some amazing men this year, and they will never be forgotten.

The other downer this year happened just last week. I've written at length about it, so I won't repeat myself here. I am very upset that Josh and Zac Farro have left Paramore, thus changing the band forever, and I am even more disheartened by Josh's attack on Hayley in the media. However, this simply ushers in a new era for the band, one which I am really looking forward to, and I have no doubt in my mind that the band will go from strength to strength.

So...that's it for 2010!! It's been a fucking awesome year...can't wait for the next one! Bring on 2011!!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ignorance is your new best friend

I couldn't let this week go by without weighing in on the current debate raging about the demise/reboot of Paramore. In case anybody reading this (all two of you) isn't aware, Josh and Zac Farro, the lead guitarist and drummer of Paramore respectively, decided to leave the band this week. The remaining members, Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor, issued a statement via the band's website, citing issues such as the brothers missing their families, changing relationships and a demanding tour schedule for their departure, and promised to move forward as a band. Hayley's old catchphrase "Paramore is a band" morphed easily into "Paramore is still a band". It seemed fair enough. Things change, they were growing apart, whatever.

And then, the plot thickened. A blog, purporting to have been written by the Farro brothers, appeared, and detailed, in all its' horrible glory, the slow demise of the band over their seven year career, from feuds to Hayley being the main focus, to her solo career, to her crazy, domineering parents, to a record company conspiracy. It made for incredibly difficult reading, and I, along with legions of die-hard fans, secretly prayed that it was fake. And then Josh released a video on his youtube account, assuring us all that the blog was real, and furthermore, although he knew it upset some of us "there's nothing I can do about that".

Now, a lot of fans (mainly crazy, religious, teenage chicks) freaked out, swearing they'd never listen to Paramore again, how they hated Hayley and that we'd all been tricked into believing a lie and a clear marketing ploy.

This is one of those moments when I am so very glad that I am in my twenties, and thus able to take a step back from such unfortunate events and gather my thoughts before making emotionally-charged, rash decisions. I've loved this band for years, I queued up for seven hours in the rain and freezing cold to see them, I'm not giving up on them any time soon - at least, not until they give up.

Firstly, let me just say that Hayley Williams is one of my role models. I don't know her personally, obviously, but I doubt that she could fake her public appearance so much so that I'd be fooled into believing she's just like me. I admire strong, independent, confident women, who are who they are without feeling the need to constantly defend and explain themselves. Watching candids of her with the guys, remembering how she used to refuse to wear make-up for photoshoots, reading her blog - it's abundantly clear that not only is she truly herself at all times, but she loves those boys, the band and her career. Claiming that she is some selfish, evil dictator, or the puppet of a strictly-monitored marketing ploy on the part of the record company is just plain stupid. And the fact that Josh, not only her best friend but boyfriend of three years, would imply such things in a blog and publish it for the whole world to see says much more about him than it does her.

I'm interested to hear what she has to say in response, but I wouldn't be surprised if she said nothing. Hayley has stated herself in recent interviews that she is who she is with no apologies, and she has nothing to prove anymore. I feel the same way, and it's after years of people putting me down and saying the worst possible things about me.

Furthermore, if Hayley wanted to be a solo artist, she could be. She is extremely talented, driven, well-accomplished, and has a massive following. The fact of the matter is, she doesn't need Paramore. She chooses to be part of the band because she loves it, because it is her passion, and because that is who she is. This is evident from her lyrics, live performances, and in interviews and candid footage. Look at Gwen Stefani, it hasn't taken her long to morph into a popstar clone. Nobody can hide their true self forever, so if Hayley really does only have her own best interests at heart (which I sincerely doubt) then it will become clear before long.

Josh and Zac mention in the blog that they were offended by some of Hayley's lyrics for Brand New Eyes. If this is true, then why did Josh, who writes the majority of the music, agree to do so around her words? It's common knowledge that the album is about the difficulties within the band, and the fact that they almost broke up during the writing process. This is evident from the lyrics to most of the tracks, especially Playing God and Ignorance. I find it very difficult to believe that two people, who were so offended and so hurt by what Hayley had written, would still agree to play along, and force themselves to act like they were having a good time playing songs live when they felt belittled them. Why the hell would they bother!?

A lot of the shit that's come out doesn't make sense to me. Furthermore, as somebody who is the same age as those in Paramore, it comes as a huge shock to me that the Farro brothers would act out in this way, regardless of how hurt or betrayed they may be feeling. It's tacky and immature, not to mention that they come across like spoilt, bratty children who are ungrateful for their extremely good fortune. Let's not forget that these men are extremely wealthy, and have enjoyed massive popularity, especially over the past few years. Whether they left on bad terms or not, what happened should've stayed within the confines of the group.

I'm not one to bury my head in the sand. I realise that I don't know any of these people personally. I also know that people change as they grow up, and since Paramore have been together since they were 16/17, it was inevitable that they were going to run into problems as they got more famous and entered their twenties. Being in a band, touring, being away from one's family, being stuck with the same people all the time - it can't be easy. Being young and wealthy and famous doesn't make it any less complicated. But the Farro brothers leaving Paramore should not be blamed entirely on one member of the group, especially not because they simply couldn't handle that Hayley was the main focus.

After all, in most bands, the lead singer is the focus. It's just how things go. But that doesn't mean the other members are less important, nor does it mean that they should lash out at the person in the forefront, or simply pack up and leave. Hayley has always maintained that Paramore is a band, even refusing to do magazine covers solo up until this year. It keeps coming back to me - why would she bother with any of that if she wanted to be a solo artist? Why not just steal the spotlight and keep it until she could launch herself on her own? It wouldn't have been difficult, especially since she was offered a solo contract early on (which she flatly refused).

Anyway, whatever happens, Paramore will always be one of my favourite bands. They make great music, put on a fantastic live show, and come across as fantastically down to earth and fun in interviews. I love that they're my age, and that they behave the way me and my mates would if we were lucky enough to be in their position. It's terrible that it has come to this, but shit happens.

Whatever the Farro brothers are playing at, I hope it goes well for them. I can't wait to see what Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor come up with next, because I know it's going to be fucking awesome!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

And so, the "Best of 2010" lists begin!

So, my boy Rich, film buff and all-round awesome dude, just did his best of 2010 movie list, and so I've been inspired to do mine. Please bear in mind that I'm not a film buff whatsoever. I'm a total film nut, especially when it comes to horror movies, and I've written quite a few reviews in my time, but I'm not exactly Mark Kermode. Although I do love him very, very much.

So, I am by no means an expert. I like what I like and sometimes I like what everybody else hates, so...well, take it as you will.

So! My top ten movies of 2010 are as follows (if spoilers slip in, I'm sorry):

10. A Nightmare On Elm Street
First, let it be known that I am a HUGE Freddy Krueger fan, and the Nightmare On Elm Street movies are some of my favourites of all time, as far as horror goes, and just movies in general. I was pissed Robert Englund wasn't reprising his role as Freddy, who is probably my favourite villain of all time, but of course, he's a very old man at this stage and I guess they wanted to revamp the series somewhat, which is fine. I love Jackie Earle Haley, and he was the perfect choice for the new Freddy. Some of his one-liners in this new version are hilarious, and he genuinely scared me a few times. Of course, the fact that the whole "did he really do it" storyline is thrown in is a bit stupid if one has already seen the originals. However, the tone of this revamp is spooky and eerie and there are genuinely a few frights. The whole supernatural edge is dealt with very well, without the usual cringey effects. I'm not usually scared by such things, but I genuinely was in A Nightmare On Elm Street. Plus, seeing the big, dumb vampire from the woeful Twilight movies kill himself within the first few moments was fucking AWESOME. This was no way near as good as the original, but it was pretty damn good. And it was also both fun and funny, two elements that I consider to be very important in any horror movie.

9. Piranha 3D
I only saw this yesterday, but it makes it into the top ten because it was so much fun, so silly, so gory, and had all of the key elements of a classic, B-movie, monster-horror movie. I love anything to do with scary things in the water - Jaws, Lake Placid and Deep Blue Sea being three of my favourite horror films of all time. And I love watching stupid people get mercilessly killed. And I love boobies. And I love Christopher Llyod. So, really, Piranha 3D was my perfect movie! I'd read up about it in Total Film prior to seeing it, so I was already a bit geeky about how much fake blood was used, and how certain things were shot. Visually, it's a dream. The location is sun-drenched, the water is crystal clear, and there are some seriously hot bodies on show. In fact, the only real problem with this movie visually, is the terrible CGI job done on the piranhas. Luckily, the acting is fairly good, hammy in places and serious in others, and it's easy to suspend one's disbelief and really believe in the danger posed by the vicious fishies, even if they do look totally shit. Christopher Lloyd is awesomely hammy, and has a lot of fun with his role. The only real downer was when Jessica Szohr, the chick who annoys the hell out of me every week on Gossip Girl, didn't get chomped to bits in the end.

8. Splice
I'll admit, I'm not a big sci-fi fan. And, although I have quite a strong stomach, shit that has to do with biological experimentation or anything of the sort makes me feel slightly ill. Even so, I was excited to see Splice. I love a bit of Adrien Brody and I was intrigued by the much talked about, semi-sexual tone. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed. Splice isn't horror, nor is it sci-fi. It's a thriller and a drama, a study of human nature and a study of a crumbling relationship, and it asks difficult questions about how far one would go for one's career, and how intelligent people can act really, really stupid. Moving, shocking and very, very strange, Splice was a nice surprise that gave me hope that I may, one day, like the sci-fi genre.

7. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallowes part 1
I'm a massive Harry Potter nerd, and I'm delighted that the movie adaptations have got better as the years have gone by. I feel as if I've grown up with the kids, and their acting has got so much better that it's almost hard to believe that they're the same people. The seventh instalment was equal parts terrifying, heart-wrenching, hilarious and thrilling. I laughed, cried, gasped, hid behind my hands - even though I already knew the story well. It is by no means a perfect film, but it was a near-perfect adaptation and it did not disappoint me. A lot of people felt it lagged in the middle, but I didn't notice the long-ass running time, nor did I think any of it was unnecessary. The setpieces were beautiful too. I'll no doubt be seeing it again on Christmas eve, as is tradition, and I can't wait!

6. Shutter Island
Another fantastic adaptation! Denis Lehane is one of my favourite authors, and the other, Ben Affleck-directed adaptation of his novel Gone Baby Gone was fantastic, so I had high hopes for this one, even though the story itself is complicated, and didn't seem like it would translate well to the big screen. Luckily, it did. Leonardo di Caprio and Mark Ruffalo shone as the two leads, and the setting was suitably eerie, complemented perfectly by a booming, foreboding soundtrack. It was another near-perfect adaptation. The only real problem I have with it, and it's a tiny one at that, is the added-in bit at the end, which seemed to only be stuck in there so as not to confuse otherwise stupid viewers. I didn't really feel like it was necessary. But otherwise, the layered, creepy, strange story was perfectly told on screen and the acting was spot on.

5. The Runaways
I get a lot of shit for being a total Kristen Stewart fanatic, and I'm often told that I'd watch pretty much anything that she's in. I don't know if that's necessarily true. I've seen pretty much everything she's been in, but then again I've been madly in love with her since I saw her in Panic Room at 14....and I am not ashamed! One day she will be mine! And yes, I have seen all of the Twilight movies in the cinema, just for her. (Notice how Eclipse did NOT make it into this list, thus proving that I will not recommend crap just because of Kristen Stewart). So, on to The Runaways, which did make it in. I love Kristen Stewart. I love when she dresses like a dude and doesn't wear a bra. I love Joan Jett. The Runaways is, thus, one of my fantasies come to life on screen - Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett, in leather pants, with a fem-mullet, not wearing a bra. Now, I was totally expecting this film to be total shit. I mean, there aren't a lot of rock biopics out there that I'd recommend. Last Days was one of the worst films I've ever seen, and I am a massive Kurt Cobain nut. Luckily, The Runaways was on a totally different level. The Runaways aren't a very well-known band, and theirs isn't a story that a lot of people could relate to (myself included), or even know about. It's a shame, because the story is an interesting and exciting one, which plays out very well on screen. This film was shot exceptionally well, and looked beautiful. Seeing Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart recreate the infamous Cherry Bomb performance, from Japan in 1977, was pretty incredible. The Runaways kind of bombed, which sucks, because I loved it. But then again, maybe I'm the only one who did!

4. Frozen
Frozen is by far my favourite horror release of 2010. It went straight to DVD over here, which meant practically no one got a chance to see it. It's a real shame, because this is a serious horror gem. It was made for practically no money, and the set itself is claustrophobically small. There are just three actors on screen for the majority of the running time, which nearly always spells disaster. In this case, it was genius. The story revolves around three twentysomethings who get stranded on a skilift. Pretty simple premise, but terrifying nonetheless. Of course, there are only three people involved, so there's no picking everybody off one by one, nor are these characters dumb or irritating. They are layered, believable and it's really easy to sympathise with their plight. Although it does, at times, make for difficult viewing, Frozen is one of the most original movies I've seen this year, and definitely one of the most original horrors in recent years. More people should see this fucking movie!

3. Scott Pilgrim Versus The World
Ah, Scott Pilgrim...one of my more recent obsessions... I've already written a big, long, boring blog about what I loved and hated about this movie adaptation, and I don't want to repeat myself here. But let me just say that, upon closer inspection, my one and only problem with this film is Mary Elizabeth's Winstead shockingly amateur performance, in which she turns Ramona Flowers, the ultimate bad ass dream girl, into the eye-rolling, snarky, evil bitch that fat, 30-year-old nerds living in their mothers' basements always wanted her to be. MEW, I will hate you forever for wrecking an otherwise perfect film, and for making far too many nerds believe that they were right all along.

2. Toy Story 3
This was an easy choice for second place, because it was one of two perfect films for me this year. This is also on everybody's Top 10 list because, not only was it the perfect ending to a perfect trilogy, but it is beautifully shot, perfectly acted, with a well-structured plot that is equal parts funny, sad, moving and thrilling. Of course, I'm part of the generation that has grown up with these films, so I was bawling like a baby by the end, for more reasons than what I was watching on screen. The Toy Story trilogy is that rarest of gems - a trio of animated films that can be watched over and over without losing any of their original magic. And Toy Story 3 rounded off the series perfectly.

1. Inception
I hate to be a cliche, and pick the film for number one spot that practically everybody else on the face of the planet is going to pick, but there really was no other film that came close to comparing to this one. Toy Story 3 was absolute perfection, but Inception went one step further, because it was live action, and somehow Christopher Nolan managed to achieve on screen what had previously only really been achieved in animated films. I saw Inception twice in the cinema, which of course is much less than a lot of other people. But I would've happily sat through it again another few hundred times. It was a joy to behold, and the acting was absolute perfection. Even Ellen Page, who usually irriates the shit out of me, was great. And, of course, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Leonardo Di Caprio were fantastic, as they always are. I have a feeling that Inception, much like The Dark Knight, will only get better with time.

So...that's it, my best movies of 2010. Perhaps now it's obvious that I have no taste in movies, perhaps not. But those are my choices and that's that!