Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 Over

And 192 films later another year has passed. A year in which I've grown increasingly jaded with the decisions being made in cinemas, been forced to travel longer distances in order to see something decent and sat glassy eyed through a lot of awful kids movies.
Nonetheless the gems are out there and so as usual here's 10 favourites, in order, along with 5 notables from the torrent of film that constantly surges through my TV.
Obviously the end of the year wouldn't be right if I didn't do an awful lot of swearing about some bad films, so there's 10 of those too, also in order. Like order matters when stuff is that bad.

10 Favourite New Films At The Cinema:

1: Drive
Hard boiled, intelligent and cool as fuck.

2: Kill List
Begins as keenly observed British melodrama and ends like somebody screaming point blank in your face.

3: The Skin I Live In [La piel que habito]
A study of perception with a stunning revelation at its core which is never concealed but slowly unravelled to its fullest extent, often with exruciating levels of tension.

4: Tyrannosaur
I was surprised to discover that Paddy Considine has gone on to make Shane Meadows' best film. I wonder if Shane Meadows is aware of this?

5: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Normally political power play is the kind of thing I struggle with but every minute of this was a joy, it's a rarity these days to walk into the local pit and bear witness to such elegant film making.

6: Black Swan
A perfect Polanski homage and a phenomenal display of Aronofsky's talent.

7: 13 Assassins [Jûsan-nin no shikaku]
Miike harnesses his incredible powers of invention to portray epic honour and glory without ever losing his multitude of idiosyncratic touches.

8: Attack The Block
The best aliens I've seen in a while. The most I've laughed at teenagers swearing in a while too.

9: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Everything rides on Serkis' skilful portrayl of Caesar's development. Which is fucking brilliant, so that worked out well.

10: Sucker Punch
A portmanteau compendium of short action cinema masterpieces. The wrap around story is a bit shit, but who cares when give it a few minutes and giant stone samurai are getting shot in the face. In slow motion.

5 Favourite Films I Watched Through A TV:

1: Martyrs
The last two years have seen 'extreme' titles in this spot and this year is no exception. As gruelling as it is excellent, which on both counts is 'very'.

2: House Of The Devil
Both this and "The Innkeepers" demonstrate West's extreme prowess with glacial pacing.

3: A Prophet [Un prophète]
Survival portrayed as magnificence.

4: Machete
In which an enjoyment of genre nonsense flows so freely it's impossible not to succumb.

5: Freaks
If only for the sight of a man with no arms or legs lighting a cigarette with a match.

10 Shittest Films:

1: Rubber
Who makes a film that sets out to actually insult its audience, then get all smug about it? Prick.

2: Loaded
Written by one of the lead actors transparently under the notion that he'll make himself look extremely cool. Unfortunately he ends up looking like a twat in a crap film.

3: Horrid Henry: The Movie
Nothing to do with me being all grown up. I've read the books, they're good. I've watched the cartoon, it's good. I've sat through this hideous fuck up, it's bollocks.

4: Your Highness
Not Funny. Very shit.

5: A Night In The Woods
An apalling lift of Blair Witch. When the director was talking about it afterward he appeared to actually be proud of the fact that they had no script. What a nob.

6: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
A garish, technicolour abortion useful only for giving Michael Bay an erection.

7: Cowboys & Aliens
Badly plotted, risible nonsense.

8: Bad Day
If the high point of your film is a member of Girls Aloud being punched in the face you probably shouldn't be making it. Awfulness further compounded by the fact that everyone in this film with actor or actress on their job description is a fucking liar.

9: Air Buddies/ Snow Buddies/ Santa Buddies
Bored animals with crudely CG'd mouths telling everybody to work as a team and love each other. Not my thing admittedly.

10: Season Of The Witch
Ah, but is she a witch? Is she really? Oh, hang on, yes she is and a shit one at that. Fuck

Whilst I was writing this, Charlotte wanted to know what I was doing. I discovered it's not easy to explain the point of picking films you've seen and putting them in a strict heirarchical order, but she got enough of the gist to want to have a go herself. So I went through what we had watched (endured) across 2011 and she picked her 5 favourites:

1: Puss In Boots
2: Kung Fu Panda 2
3: Tron: Legacy
4: Horrid Henry: The Movie
5: Yogi Bear

To put this in perspective when I was nine I was enthusing over Transformers: The Movie, Labyrinth, Basil: The Great Mouse Detective, An American Tale and Flight Of The Navigator.
Charlotte's worst movie she saw in 2011? Megamind. A bit harsh I thought.

Roll on 2012. As long as Roland 'Fucking' Emmerich isn't in charge of it, that is.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs

Had some funny bits to make you laugh, had some graceless action sequences to manufacture a feeling of peril and I think there was some attempt at a story in there too, but I had to squint to catch a glimpse of it.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Excellent director adapts hokey pot boiler, building it around Daniel Craig's bewildered stare.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Silent Night Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out

The psychotic Santa killed in part 2 (brother of the psychotic Santa killed in part 1) has his brain reconstructed, placing him in a coma, whereupon he becomes part of an experiment where a blind, psychic girl tries to communicate with him and unwittingly revives him so he can lumber about and stab people on Christmas eve.
My favourite one yet, mainly because of the amount of time I spent laughing at this guy's hair.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Santa Buddies: The Legend Of Santa Paws

I spent a good portion of the film thinking "OH MY GOD! MAKE IT STOP! MY EYES ARE BURNING, MY BRAIN IS ATROPHYING! FUCK!", or something along those lines.
Charlotte spent a good portion of the film thinking "I like puppies. I like Christmas. I like puppies. I like Christmas. I like puppies. I like Christmas. Why is dad twitching violently? I like puppies. I like Christmas", or something along those lines.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2

A film of two halves. The first half being a 40 min edit of the first film, the second a showcase for a phenomenal level of unintentionally hilarious, shit acting.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

A good, solid wedge of purest, unadulterated enjoyment.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Another Earth

A quiet sci-fi take on guilt and atonement.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Silent Night, Deadly Night

A nutjob dressed as Father Christmas goes on a kill crazy rampage, punctuating every death he metes out by shouting "Punish!".
Cracked me up.

Puss In Boots [3D]

Superb animation and excellent characters squandered on flat, uninspired bollocks.
It did, however, contain cats doing cat things and so it came as no surprise that Charlotte loved it.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Hugo [3D]

Of all the directors to try their hand at 3D it's a (very welcome) surprise that Scorcese is the one to show its full potential. Even more breathtaking is the way he then goes on to marry 3D to the intense fascination held by early cinema. I smiled a lot.

Exit Through The Gift Shop

Banksy seeking to both validate the importance of 'street art' and demonstrate the idiocy of its intrusion on the art world.
With an added bonus of being quite brilliant.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

The Beast Must Die

Beyond absurd melding of Blaxploitation and Gothic Horror with a 30 second 'Werewolf Break' just before the end for you to guess the identity of the wayward lycanthrope.
Could well be one of the most amazing films I've ever seen.