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 The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse

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Loomis
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PostSubject: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:24 pm

This year, I think I've seen fewer new films than at any other time since my teens (and my teens ended in 1994) and have been to the cinema only once. I'm leaning increasingly towards older films, and have certainly seen some excellent ones this year, but of the fare that opened in British cinemas in 2011, I've seen only the following examples, which I hereby rank in rough order from best to worst:

BLACK SWAN (Darren Aronofsky)

BIUTIFUL (Alejandro González Iñárritu)

THE KING'S SPEECH (Tom Hooper)

NORWEGIAN WOOD (Tran Anh Hung - certainly the best-shot film I've seen all year)

LIMITLESS (Neil Burger - the only flick I saw on the big screen this year)

I COME WITH THE RAIN (Tran Anh Hung - probably the worst film I've ever sat down to)

Now, I'm aware that these six films probably don't constitute the sum total of all that was worth a gander this year, indeed there are several films that I'm looking forward to checking out (e.g. DRIVE, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 4 and TINTIN), but they happen to be the only 2011 releases I've caught so far.

How would you rate this year's crop?
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Harmsway
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:34 pm

MYSTERIES OF LISBON is probably my favorite film of the last ten, fifteen years. So, if just for that, I'm pretty appreciative of 2011.

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, CERTIFIED COPY, and THE SKIN I LIVE IN definitely caught my attention, though I don't think any of them will be firm and fast favorites. And THE TREE OF LIFE has moments of brilliance, even if it is, on the whole, an overwrought mess that fails to achieve its ambitions.

I still have a lot to see, though. I'm particularly eager to see CARNAGE, THE MILL AND THE CROSS, and TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY.
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FieldsMan
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:09 pm

From what I saw this year I'd rank 'em something like this:

The Tree Of Life
The King's Speech

Rabbit Hole
Drive
Black Swan

Jane Eyre
Hanna
Rio

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Thor



Last edited by FieldsMan on Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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tiffanywint
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:20 pm

FieldsMan wrote:
From what I saw this year I'd rank 'em something like this:

The Tree Of Life
The King's Speech

Rabbit Hole
Drive
Black Swan

Hanna
Rio

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Thor

What was this film supposed to be about? I did like all the shots of the various dogs running about, and the spectacular origins of the universe footage, and the Jurassic Park dinosaur interlude, otherwise I was bored almost comatose. :pale:
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FieldsMan
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:28 pm

For me, it looked at life from two points of view: warmth (the mother) and toughness (the father), and symbolically, through the creation of the universe, both of these two views are presented. Through depths of the ocean and the dinosaurs' interaction, you see some of the horrors of life, which inevitably happens in every life. But then through the stunning images of the creation of earth, you see the beauty of life as well. Then the psychological impact of both of these worlds are noticeable in the children, who are conflicted between love and hate in every circumstance they find themselves in.

EDIT: I too, would love to see Carnage, as well as Melancholia, Hugo and A Dangerous Method, but they're all getting released next year in Australia...:(
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tiffanywint
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:58 pm

FieldsMan wrote:
For me, it looked at life from two points of view: warmth (the mother) and toughness (the father), and symbolically, through the creation of the universe, both of these two views are presented. Through depths of the ocean and the dinosaurs' interaction, you see some of the horrors of life, which inevitably happens in every life. But then through the stunning images of the creation of earth, you see the beauty of life as well. Then the psychological impact of both of these worlds are noticeable in the children, who are conflicted between love and hate in every circumstance they find themselves in.

EDIT: I too, would love to see Carnage, as well as Melancholia, Hugo and A Dangerous Method, but they're all getting released next year in Australia...:(

Thank you for the insights Fields. Very deep! Personally I think it was a very good film about dogs and how much fun they can be as pets.
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:46 pm

GOOD:

Moneyball: Combining everything I love into one movie.

SURPRISING:

Transformers: Dark of the Moon: That I liked it. At all.

SHITTY:

Green Lantern: Oh Martin, how the mighty have fallen.


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FourDot
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:17 pm

Sticking to films that saw their first theatrical release in 2011 (not just in Australia, but anywhere, I've seen 35 of them and... yeah, not terrible. There have been worse years in recent memory.

Best 2011 film I've seen is Tyrannosaur. The worst is Sucker Punch, and by some margin. Since I'm in Australia though, I don't really get to talk about the best of 2011 until February or March. Something like Certified Copy would be right up there, but I'd call that a 2010 film.
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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:01 am

Of new releases I guess, King's Speech, Inbetweeners and Tinker

King's Speech and Tinker both Top Grade, A1, etc

Inbetweeners is hardly Citizen Kane but entertaining in its own muddling way.

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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:04 am

Here's my ranking of strictly 2011 films.

9/10:

Midnight in Paris

8/10:

Tree of Life
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
X-Men: First Class
The Adventures of Tintin
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
The Lady
Generation P

7/10:

Cowboys & Aliens
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Kung Fu Panda 2
Thor
Bridesmaids
The Hangover Part II
Contagion
Unknown
Dream House
The Adjustment Bureau
Fast Five
Dolphin Tale
The Guard

6/10:

Burnt By the Sun 2 - Citadel
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Limitless
Colombiana
Horrible Bosses
Hanna
Innocent Saturday


Last edited by GeneralGogol on Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:03 am; edited 2 times in total
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Harmsway
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:13 am

tiffanywint wrote:
What was this film supposed to be about? I did like all the shots of the various dogs running about, and the spectacular origins of the universe footage, and the Jurassic Park dinosaur interlude, otherwise I was bored almost comatose. :pale:
It was about discovering the presence of divinity in the history of the universe.
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Loomis
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:53 am

How much of a must-see is TREE OF LIFE, then, Harms? And where would you rank it in ol' Terry M's canon?
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:01 pm

Loomis wrote:
How much of a must-see is TREE OF LIFE, then, Harms?
I think THE TREE OF LIFE is quite uneven, but moments in the film are pretty wonderful (the way it treats childhood and adolescence is pretty remarkable). It also makes for a pretty damn amazing Blu-Ray showstopper thanks to the stunning cinematography. Definitely worth at least one viewing, regardless of any misgivings I might have about it.

Loomis wrote:
And where would you rank it in ol' Terry M's canon?
It's probably the least cogent film of Malick's career. It's all over the place, unbalanced and awkward. It's symptomatic of more recent Malick films, since he has, according to his editors, given up on seeing any cut of the film in its entirety and merely edits films according to individual sections. So you get individual moments that feel right but a big picture that feels off-kilter. At the same time, THE TREE OF LIFE doesn't feel quite as indulgent as THE THIN RED LINE or THE NEW WORLD, even if it's more scatterbrained and vague than they are, because the pacing is a bit better in TREE OF LIFE. So I dunno. Call it a wash as far as those three movies go.

When it comes to Malick, BADLANDS and DAYS OF HEAVEN are tops.
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Loomis
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:31 am

Cheers, Harms. Unfortunately, the Blu-ray of THE TREE OF LIFE seems to be unavailable for rent with the service I use, but I'll rent it anyway on standard DVD.

The one 2011 release that I'm absolutely champing at the bit to see is KILL LIST, which is just out on DVD today and about which I'm hearing and reading nothing but out-and-out raves.
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:44 pm

Loomis wrote:
Cheers, Harms. Unfortunately, the Blu-ray of THE TREE OF LIFE seems to be unavailable for rent with the service I use, but I'll rent it anyway on standard DVD.
It should still look stunning, I'd imagine.

Loomis wrote:
The one 2011 release that I'm absolutely champing at the bit to see is KILL LIST, which is just out on DVD today and about which I'm hearing and reading nothing but out-and-out raves.
It's more or less off of my radar. What are folks saying?
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Loomis
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:08 pm

Quote :
It's more or less off of my radar. What are folks saying?

Well, to be honest, I'm only skimming stuff because I want to stay spoiler-free, but, in a nutshell, what folks are saying is that it's brilliant.... and almost unbearably scary (I saw a video in which Mark Kermode said something along the lines of finding it so intense that he almost left the cinema, but I stopped listening for fear of hearing too much detail about the plot).

As I understand it, KILL LIST is a low-budget British horror thriller centred around an assignment in which a hitman gets hopelessly out of his depth. The IMDb informs me that it'll be released Stateside on 4 January via something called video-on-demand, so I imagine you'd be able to see it fairly shortly. I hadn't even heard of the film until just the other day, when I chanced upon a rave review somewhere (AICN, it may have been) and Googled for further info, coming across remarks like "KILL LIST is the kind of film whose full impact doesn't hit you until after you had a chance to reel your mind in from the incredibly intense ending."

And then I checked out the trailer, which doesn't seem to give too much away and sealed the deal. This looks like good, solid, spooky entertainment:

http://www.slashfilm.com/kill-list-trailer/

Anyway, hopefully I'll see it over the next few days.
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:51 am

Mine looks something like this so far:

1. Drive
2. The Muppets
3. Midnight in Paris
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
5. Bridesmaids
6. 50/50
7. The Tree of Life
8. Attack the Block
9. Melancholia
10. The Help

Still a handful of films I need to see.
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:51 am

I haven't gone through my notes yet. I saw a lot of 2011 releases,but right about now, Woody's Midnight in Paris tour de force, is probably very good bet for favourite film of 2011.
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:48 am

tiffanywint wrote:
I haven't gone through my notes yet. I saw a lot of 2011 releases,but right about now, Woody's Midnight in Paris tour de force, is probably very good bet for favourite film of 2011.

Wonderful film, indeed. One of the few really positive films to come out this year, not making one feel like shit about the world and life in general.
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:20 am

Couldn't stand it. Everything that's wrong with Woody Allen's cinema today. Self-absorbed, cynical, elitist garbage. I long for the days of MANHATTAN.
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:56 am

Eh, I don't think MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is terribly cynical, certainly not as far as the bulk of Allen's cinematic contributions are concerned. It's one of his least pessimistic films. And it's not terribly elitist, really, unless you think that featuring Hemingway and Stein as characters automatically makes the film elitist. Self-absorbed? Maybe. But that's kinda the mark of Allen's cinema in general.
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:19 am

Well, maybe elitist is the wrong word. I dunno, really. Perhaps supercilious and pseudo-intellectual? The whole film is one long pointless exercise in social boredom and namedropping. Either way, Allen's act is wearing very thin.
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:35 am

I wish it had more Dali and Bunuel.
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:26 am

Finally saw both MI-4 and Sherlock Holmes, Game of Shadows.

I was underwhelmed by both. Both films are top heavy on style, not so much at the expense of substance, but at the expense of credibility in the case of MI-4 and in the case comprehensibility in the case of Holmes.

Mi-5 overdoes contrived suspense. It was not necessary that Hunt lose one of his wall-climbing sticky-gloves. The scene was OTT and suspenseful enough as it was. Too much of the team's success is down to sheer luck. The luck factor saves every one of their escapades.

Compare with Bond, which is far superior action-adventure (even the last two films, maybe even especially that last two films). Bond is far more believable. Bond in both CR and QoS, to use the contemporary comparison, gets his work done through sheer tenacity and ingenuity. Yes there's a bit of luck, but its the kind of luck that one can force through determination and general competence.

Compare with the IMF team, whose escapades always involve very complicated tech, that inevitably breaks during the operation, yet they still manage to compensate by the skin of their teeth.

If Bond were climbing that office tower in Dubai, his glove would hold out, and we would be thrilled by his determination and resourcefulness in getting to the window and finding a way through. Hunt on the other hand barely pulls it off.

Holmes though fun to watch, is utterly incomprehensible. It's action Holmes moreso than detective Holmes. It's way overdone. Guy Ritchie's got to dial this thing down, otherwise its going to be crushed under its own weight.
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tiffanywint
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PostSubject: Re: The films of 2011 - the good, the bad and the even worse   Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:36 am

GeneralGogol wrote:
tiffanywint wrote:
I haven't gone through my notes yet. I saw a lot of 2011 releases,but right about now, Woody's Midnight in Paris tour de force, is probably very good bet for favourite film of 2011.

Wonderful film, indeed. One of the few really positive films to come out this year, not making one feel like shit about the world and life in general.

The scene where he meets Hemingway is one of the funniest in his oeuvre. That scene still makes me laugh.

"Have you met my friend? He's a writer too."
Hemingway, pleased to meet you!" laugh

"he's a writer too". Heh heh heh.

And the line he throws at the lead femme when he realizes she has dated both Picasso and some other famous artist.

"you take art-groupie to a whole new level" laugh

Its' brilliant Woody. He's hasn't writen dialogue like this in a long time, and casting Wilson to basically play a young Woody Allen was a stroke of genius. We get the young Woody back, just as neurotic but more believable as a ladies man, in the persona of Wilson; not that I really minded the actual nerdy-Woody romancing hot girls and women half his age. They were his movies, so what the hey. I'll suspend disbelief.

Midnight in Paris is damn funny, not to mention that it's also a very-well-conceived-and-realized film.
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