Top Ten 2011


So readers, here it is.  After much deliberation, list-making etc, I have finally come up with my Top Ten, comprised of the best movies I have watched this year.

Note:  Some movies may be older than 2011.

1.     Black Swan

2.     127 Hours

3.     Julia’s Eyes

4.     I Saw The Devil

5.     Source Code

6.     Despicable Me

7.     Monsters

8.     Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

9.     Easy A

10.   The Loved Ones

I think this year has been very memorable and offered up some very interesting and unique movies.  Of those that did not quite make the above list, I would also recommend the following:  Tangled, The Fighter, Insidious and Hanna.

Insidious


Viewed – 03 May 2011  Cinema

I wasn’t expecting this.  Going completely blind into this one, and knowing nothing but the fact it was directed by Saw’s James Wan.  So what would you expect?  Clever twists?  Wall to wall gore?  Then I hope you are sitting comfortably.  A young couple with two boys and a baby girl, move into one of those clichéd big-ass American houses that seems creepy from the off set.  Of course it’s not long until things start going bump in the night and weird shit begins to go down.  I know what you’re going to say, this is just like Amityville or Poltergeist, which was certainly my impression, but as the story progresses it takes a much more weirder and disturbing path, and to say it scared the hell out of me, well…

Starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, along with an appearance by the increasingly freaky Barbara Hershey (just see Black Swan, you’ll know what I mean), this is well executed and incredibly effective, with jump-scares that don’t take the viewer for an idiot, and a nail-biting tension, helped by the eerie lighting and mostly hand-held camera work, that kept this viewer permanently nervous.  Ok, some moments of comedy seem out-of-place and towards the end the movie did sink into an extended Ghost Train ride, but by then you’re already glued, and in a crowded genre of torture porn gore flicks, sequels and remakes, this was a breath of fresh air, and shows that James Wan clearly didn’t fluke Saw and his follow-up, Death Sentence, making him one of the most assured horror-talents in the business.

Verdict:  4 /5

The Wrestler


Viewed – 13 April 2011  Blu-ray

Director Darren Aronofsky certainly grabbed my attention earlier in the year with the stunning Black Swan, even if I feel he was robbed at Awards time.  Never the less, I was immediately intrigued as to what he had done previously, and naturally this much acclaimed sports drama caught my eye.  An ageing professional wrestler Randy ‘the ram’ Johnson (Mickey Rourke) lives for the celebrity status and the persona granted to him in the ring, but when a near-death experience forces him into well-overdue retirement, he begins to re-evaluate what’s important in his life … starting with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood).

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Oscar predictions


With tonight being the big one, the 83rd The Academy Awards, I thought I’d offer my own predictions for what and who I think might take home the much coveted golden statue, limited to the biggest categories …

Best Picture

The Fighter

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)

Best Actor

Colin Firth  (The king’s Speech)

Best Actress

Natalie Portman  (Black Swan)

Best Animated Feature

The Illusionist

Actress In A Supporting Role

Hailee Steinfeld  (True Grit)

Actor In A Supporting Role

Christian Bale  (The Fighter)

Visual Effects

Inception

Foreign Language Film

Biutiful

Will be interesting to see how many of those listed above, I guess correctly.  I have my personal favourites I’d like to see get the nod, but what actually will is usually very different.  Stay tuned.

Black Swan


Viewed – 07 February 2011 Cinema

This has gained quite a lot of attention during the run up to the awards season, with star Natalie Portman tipped for a clean sweep.  She stars as virginal ballet dancer Nina, desperate to land the lead role in a grand staging of Swan Lake.  With aspirations to step into the recently vacated shoes of former star Beth (Winona Ryder) whilst all too aware of envious glances from young new comer Lilly (Mila Kunis).  Yet she has to impress director Thomas (Vincent Cassel), whose methods to bring out the perfect performance from Nina border on sexual harassment.

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