2011 a look back – part one


Thought I would take a look back at the last twelve months on this blog and offer up a definitive review of the year.  It is going to be split into the four quarters of the year, and will conclude with my final Top Ten.  Hope you enjoy reading the following highlights and disappointments…

January – March

January kicked off somewhat underwhelming with Sci-fi horror Splice, which although entertaining, didn’t make for a particularly memorable movie overall.   That couldn’t be said of the gore & tits fest that was Piranha 3D, certainly one of the most immediately entertaining movies this year, even if it’s b-movie styling means some may pass it off as rubbish.  Scott Pilgrim Vs The World was another highlight, with its clever camera-work and comic book meets video game style, and as ever Michael Cera was a joy.   Disappointing was the Sylvester Stallone, Jason Stathan, Dolph Lundrgren testosterone orgy The Expendables, case of a great idea badly realized … Perhaps Stallone should have left directing honours to someone else?

Once we hit February however, one of the best movies was Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours; a stunning achievement in taking a true-life tale of survival and making it both powerful, gut-wrenching and funny, with a startling central performance from James Franco.  Then as if something was in the water as far as movie releases were concerned, we also got Black Swan, a heart breaking, chilling exploration of madness with a brilliant turn from Natalie Portman and top-class directing honours from Darren Aronofsky.   It was no surprise that Portman would then scoop Best Actress at the Oscars the same month.  Of course such a run of top-class movies couldn’t last long, and the enjoyable Paul starring the usually excellent Simon Pegg and Nick Frost crumbled slightly under its reliance on one gag … a funny smart-mouthed alien.  Thankfully February concluded nicely with the surprising The House Of The Devil, a great throw-back to 70’s occult horrors like Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen, and despite a low-budget, really delivered.

March seemed to be the month I (albeit briefly) got my kung-fu movie loving mojo back, and offered up two impressive examples namely Donny Yen starrers Ip Man & Ip Man 2, expertly and stylishly directed by Yen himself and both offering fascinating tales of a true-life martial arts master.   Animated comedy Despicable Me was a gem, and in my opinion outclassed Toy Story 3 for pure entertainment, and with a heart-warming story, really impressed.  Takers, a heist movie starring Hayden Christensen, Idris Elba and Paul Walker was a satisfying if unimaginative take on movies like Heat.  The Disappearance Of Alice Creed offered up a gritty brit-thriller with a brave, revealing turn from Gemma Arterton, and concluding March was Ozzy toungue-in-cheek horror The Loved Ones, offering up stalkers, unrequited love and cannibalistic ex-boyfriends!

…Stay tuned for my run down of the following three months soon.

The year in review – Part Two


Continuing my look back on the movies that have most impressed me during 2010, we now proceed with the last two quarters of the year.  With the summer blockbuster season in full swing, I still found time to discover smaller, but no less satisfying movies…

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The year in review – Part One


I thought I’d do something a little different this year as we near the end of December.  There will still be my final Top Ten of 2010, but for now I thought I’d offer a critical look back on the movies I have watched since January.  Note:  This is not a review of movies released in 2010, as there’s many I haven’t been able to see, rather this is a look at what movies I’ve seen that have impressed me, regardless of original release date.

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