Continuing my look back over my viewing habits on this blog in 2011, we have now reached the second quarter that brought some definite highlights and some very welcome old favourites. Hope you enjoy reading…
April – June
April continued my rediscovery of all things Kung-fu, with Korean actioner Chocolate, that although low-budget and rough around the edges, did deliver some remarkable fights and a great physical performance from Jeeja Yanin. Nicholas Cage made a sort-of return to form with the semi-remake of Bad Lieutenant, and delivered the kind of zany, method-actor intensity Cage has been lacking for some time now. Yet it was Mickey Rourke in his Oscar winning role of The Wrestler which really turned my head, and proved that director Darren Aronofsky hadn’t just fluked it with Black Swan. I also finally got to see the final part of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy with The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, but with a sidelined Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and a court-room heavy plot, this was a disappointing conclusion. Thankfully the teen comedy fun of Easy A washed over such feelings making for a smart and enjoyable movie, with a star-making turn from the brilliant Emma Stone.
May kicked off with scary-as-hell supernatural horror Insidious, which although proceedings got a little silly towards the end, had some of the freakiest and scariest moments of 2011. Thor launched the block buster season in grand fashion with a comically likable Chris Hemsworth and some great action, effects and a decent villain … whilst Disney’s 50th movie Tangled made for a classically gorgeous fairy tale adventure with a great comedy horse, plenty of personality and enjoyable songs – what more could one wish for?
June saw the summer really get into its stride for me, with sci-fi sequel Tron Legacy impressing on a visual and aural basis, even if the movie itself lacked that special ‘something’. Thankfully comic-book actioner X-Men: First Class stepped up to show how effects-laiden event pictures should be done, and personally, I found it the best X-Men yet. Then the fun and frolicks came crashing down to earth with a bump with the stunning I Saw The Devil, possibly Korean’s boldest take on the serial-killer movie genre yet … blood soaked, brilliantly acted and with exhilarating direction from Jee-Woon Kim. Then an old favourite paid a visit in the form of the blu-ray extended cuts of The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, and rediscovering these modern classics was a sheer joy.
…Stay tuned for the next part in my 2011 reminiscing, coming imminently.