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The best and worst on big and small screens

Best movies of 2010

1. "Toy Story 3." Not only is this movie at the top of the best movies of 2010, it ranks in the top 10 of all time. This movie has it all -- heart, comedy, a great story line and so much emotion. The state-of-the-art animation proves quality is better than quantity. If you see just one movie this year, make it this one.

2. "Inception." This film is brilliant in that it requires multiple viewings to fully understand all that is happening. The plot was so intricate and could've ended up a mess, but it was under the careful direction of Christopher Nolan that it was a success. This movie set a new standard for psychological thrillers and will be hard to surpass.

3. "The Social Network." This movie did to film what its main characters did to online social interaction. Picking up major best picture awards, this movie excels in every aspect. Direction, acting and screenwriting work in perfect harmony to give us this modern cinematic success.

4. "How to Train Your Dragon." Had "Toy Story 3" not been around, "Dragon" would've been the best animated film of the year. With that being said, "Dragon" held its ground and is still an amazing movie. Showing the relationship between the Vikings and their dragons, this movie turned a group of ruthless savages into family fun. How many movies can do that?

5. "Nine." Coming off the success of "Chicago," Robert Ashford tried to make lightning strike twice by adapting another musical into a movie. Although it wasn't as much of a critical success as its predecessor, it was still a great movie and a lot of fun to watch. How can you go wrong with an Academy Award-winning all-star cast? As "Nine" proves, you can't.

6. "Shutter Island." Similar to "Inception" in that at least two viewings are required for full effect, "Island" is a great psychological experience. The suspense is there from the opening scene and just keeps building until the final credits roll. Filled with many jaw-dropping moments, Martin Scorsese reminds us why he is one of the directorial elites.

7. "Ghost Writer." This movie will go down in history as a classic political thriller. Unlike most movies of this year, "Writer" relies on no special effects, no gimmicks; it instead spotlights its artful acting of a strongly written screenplay that is meticulously directed by Roman Polanski. With an ending that is right up there with the best, "Ghost Writer" is political thriller perfection.

8. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1." The first of a two-part grand finale of J.K. Rowling's epic novels is thrilling and satisfying in every way. This movie, giving us just a taste of what is to come, left me excited for what will be the movie event of the coming year, Part 2. If this powerful and emotional first half is any indication of what is to come, we will all be in for a very magical treat.


Worst movies of 2010

1. "Alice in Wonderland." If you are going to make a movie in 3-D with amazing special effects, let's not insult the audience by giving them horrible acting (Johnny Depp) or a muddled mess of a plot. Come to think of it, let's not make the public pay for an expensive movie ticket and then give them a movie like "Alice in Wonderland." Try again next year, Mr. Burton.

2. "The Last Airbender." Do directors really think that if they have loud action sequences, the public won't realize how bad the movie they are watching is? M. Night Shyamalan used to be brilliant, but after "Airbender" he can finally be declared a one-trick pony. Its laughable dialogue would be great, if only it were a comedy. This movie is horrible in every way.

3. "Shrek Forever After." I wanted to like this movie, but unfortunately there was nothing to like. Maybe if it was funny, maybe if it ended well, maybe if it was written differently, basically I was hoping "Shrek 4" would be a completely different movie. I would really like the executives at DreamWorks to stop trying to work with this dead franchise.


Best TV of 2010

1. "Damages" (FX/DIRECT TV). For three seasons, this has been the best TV show that most people have probably never heard of. "Damages" is a courtroom thriller with twists that pack more punches than all of the "Rocky" movies combined. Everything associated with this show is brilliant; the acting, scripts and use of nonlinear narrative. Never has being a lawyer seemed so entertaining.

2. "Modern Family" (ABC). When I saw this show for the first time back in 2009 I knew that it was going to be a hit for many years to come. It has everything a great TV comedy should; and an ensemble that entertains week in and week out, reaching the same level of comedy that hasn't been reached since "Seinfeld." This is must-see TV.

3. "30 Rock" (NBC). This show is not for everybody. If you don't realize that this show satirizes pop culture and America, you won't laugh. If you watch it with this in mind though, Thursday nights will be the funniest of the week. Three Emmys for best comedy in four seasons, how can you beat those odds?

4. "Terriers" (FX). Part drama, part mystery, part comedy, "Terriers" was canceled several weeks ago, but even in its brief one-season run it had more bite than most shows do in several seasons. This show will be missed and immortalized as a TV classic in DVD box sets.

5. "The Nanny" (reruns TV Land/Nick at Night). After a terrible season on TV, this show from the '90s comes out of retirement to remind us what a TV show really is. The dialogue, although somewhat dated, has more laughs per minute than any current show on TV. Perfectly cast and perfectly acted, "The Nanny" is still the boss.

6. "Walking Dead" (AMC). Debuting late in the fall season, this show is the breakout hit of the year. It's very hard to produce a series that gets critical acclaim and viewers; this weekly horror series gets both. With quality akin to a zombie apocalyptic movie, this show is good -- scary good!

7. "Lost" (ABC). This show has largely been forgotten after its early spring finale, but here is one final homage to a show that has given viewers an at-times infuriatingly complicated, six-season journey. Everything about this show was well-executed. The twists were brilliantly plotted and made for the most thought-provoking hour of television.

8. "Family Guy" (FOX). Sure you can negatively compare it to "The Simpsons" and "South Park," but this show deserves every laugh that it goes for. Random, crude and hilariously wacky most accurately describes "Family Guy," a show that has invaded pop culture and has become a first-class animated sitcom.


Worst TV of 2010

1. "My Generation." This is the worst show that I have ever seen. It was hard to watch terribly unfunny characters try to be funny. If that wasn't bad enough, the show was shot with a single camera that barely focused any of the action (a term I use very loosely). It was canceled after two episodes. They say that greatness skips a generation and it is painfully clear that this was that generation.

2. "Rubicon." I was really excited to see this show, but not as excited as I was to see that it was canceled. It started as an intriguing mystery then turned into a slow-paced and plodding 45 minutes. It seemed the writers were writing things as the show progressed. Good news for them, they don't have to anymore.

3. "The Office." I could never have predicted that this show would be on the bottom of the list; that is until Season Seven came along; bad writing and unfunny stupidity possess this once-brilliant show. After its main character leaves in the spring, I'll give it one more season before the show gets its pink slip.

Ian Scaduto is a junior at Clarence High School.

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