These are my 13 favorite Moving Pictures of 2011. I actually broke it down in numerical, (as opposed to alphabetical order as I always seem to do), this time. So with out further adieu here are my Fav Choices starting with Number 13…
13. Hobo With a Shotgun
I mean come on… It is a Hobo With a Shotgun for Fucks Sake! Need I really say more?!? It is a crass cartoonish revenge flick with buckets of blood that fills the screen from scene to scene. An homage to 80’s trash cinema, so if you do not enjoy cheesy, bloody, campy, over-the-top violence and all around bad taste, then I believe you should just stay away from it. Stay the fuck away from it!
12. Take Shelter
Michael Shannon turns in another riveting performance. This time he is playing an man who is having nightmares and hallucinations about a catastrophic coming storm and in order to protect his family he begins to add on and expand an existing strom shelter which beginning to tear his family apart emotionally and financially.
11. 13 Assassins
In traditional samurai directed by the Japanese auteur Takeshi Miike, is one hell of a fun and bloody movie. It is funny, action-packed, and filled with swords and fighting that does not let up after the first hour until it ends. This Samurai Flick kicks ass! When Miike, an extremely prolific Director, is on… He Really Is Not Too Be Missed!
Lars von Trier is at it again. This time meditating on personal depression in the guise of an end of the world flick. A planet which is named Melancholia is hurtling towards Earth, which it is supposed to pass by and not collide into, but if it does stray off course, it will be the end of the world as we know it (musical pun ntended). Kirsten Dunst gives a brave performance of a person with clinical depression, while her sister played wonderfully by Charlotte Gainsbourg, takes her into her home to try and help her get through the ongoing bouts that inflicts he life..
9. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John LeCarre’s seminal Cold War cold spy novel receives a theatrical remake from Swedish filmmaker Thomas Alfreddesen as a follow-up to his brilliant “Let the Right One In”. Gary Oldman gives a subtle and refined performance as the main protagonist George Smiley, who must spy on his former friends and colleagues, in order to capture a turncoat mole. Some say it’s hard to follow but I say you just have pay attention and you will enjoy this intelligent and quite fun spy thriller.
8. Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen’s best film in years, as he heads back to his more whimsical film territory, in the same vein as “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and “Zelig”. Owen Wilson is a writer vacationing in Paris, who yearns to be part of Paris in the 20s when artists and writers and filmmakers went to parties, coffee houses, and created art. So ala “Somewhere in Time”, he does so by willing himself into that time period and is able to become inspired again to finish his first novel.
7. Meeks Cutoff
Kelly Reichardt’s tale of the old West and migration of three families trying to make her way and start a new life. Told from the perspective of the females in the group for a feminist take on the trials and tribulations of the very harsh undertaking that it was to travel in the Oregan Trail by covered wagon.
6. Martha Marcy May Marlene
First-time feature writer-director, Sean Durkin, gives us an eerily and quite scary portrait of a young girl Martha who finds her way, along with her boyfriend, into a commune/cult, with a leader who was creepy scary and quite dangerous. Elizabeth Olson, the younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley, turns in an Oscar worthy performance as Martha, a girl who’s lost and is trying to find a similar type love that she once had with her estranged sister and deceased parents.
5. Attack the Block
This independent sci-fi/horror/action flick, which was criminally under distributed, was a much better and hell of a lot more fun than any of the big summer, blockbuster, overinflated action flicks, that Hollywood churned and spit out in 2011. Aliens invading and attacking a high-rise project building in a suburb of London in which the young common hoods who live in the building must save the day. What could be better? Not to be missed by any genre fan.
Take a little bit of “The Driver”, throw in some of Michael Mann’s “Thief” and add a dash of Friedken’s “To Live and Die in LA” and out pops one hell of an homage to the gritty and glossy cinema crime flicks of the 70’s and 80’s. It is a moody and beautifully slow set-up, that packs a forceful wallop of violence for the big pay off in the end.
3. The Tree of Life
Big fan of Terrence Malick and his slow moving beautiful painterly-like films, and the Tree of Life just so happens to be one of his best. The circle of life is portrayed as a portrait of a family in an era long gone by and growing pains of a boy coming to terms with an overbearing Father who does not know how to show love and affection very easily. Not to be missed if you love the art of Cinema.
2. We Need To Talk About Kevin
This film stayed with me long after I left the theater. It has a uneasy and unnerving feel to it, that got under my skin in a disturbing and uncomfortable way. This is how I felt as I watched Lynn Ramsey’s artsy take on the Creepy Kid Genre, with a slow burn of intensity and forboding unease.
And now the Best Fucking Flick of 2011!
1. I Saw the Devil
What a crazy mutha fuckin’ great flick. Take one part Serial Killer and add some good old fasioned Korean Revenge into the mix and you get one seriously over-the-top, extremely violent, sick, twisted, cat and mouse, one-of-a-kind movie experience. Will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this genre mash-up is not to be missed by any and all cinephiles.
Of course there are many films that I was unable to see, (I am not getting paid for this shit), which might take over a some spots since I am hearing really good things about them.
ie: Margaret, Shame and A Separation come to mind.
Close but no Cigar were:
50/50, Bridesmaids,Hanna, Margin Call, Moneyball, Source Code, Stake Land, Super, Terri, Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, Win Win, X-Men: First Class