Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Faff Guide to Movies of 2011 - Best

As you may know, I watch a lot of movies.  Obviously a large number of these occur through work, which has it's pros and cons (wait til you see the Worst list...).  Last year I set myself a challenge to watch 303 new movies, and I smashed that with a cool 309, yeah!  After 3 years of these challenges though, I decided not to do it again this year - when you find yourself watching a movie just for the sake of it, I think the enjoyment is taken out a bit.  Plus I've been avidly reading for weeks and am really enjoying giving books another chance, so maybe next year it'll be book reviews in this space!  

I've split the reviews into two posts - Best and Worst.  There were just too many movies to fit into one post, plus there were a lot of really good and really bad ones in the final list!  Gotta start with the good of course...

Best Movies of the Year - Cinema 
This was ridiculously hard to decide on, finally I just picked 3 favourites -

Thor - This movie had everything I love about film stuffed into one - action, romance, comedy, a buff long haired hero.... ;)  It had a fantastic cast and script, looked amazing and got me excited for The Avengers, despite not caring for Ironman, Capt America or The Hulk - roll on May!
Submarine - I saw Richard Ayoade's directorial debut at the Glasgow Film Festival last year and fell deeply in love with the hilarious coming of age story.  After receiving the book for my birthday I discovered it was rather different, so I'm glad I saw the movie with it's stunning visuals first.
Harry Potter 7.2 - This was just....wow.  I know a lot of people slated it but I thought it was an amazing end to a sometimes questionably adapted movie series.  Easily up there with Azkaban as the best Potter movie, the only faff point I have with it is that they changed the location of The Kiss - why?!

Other greats - Tangled (the lantern scene was what 3D was made for), Super 8 (the train crash was easily the best scene I've seen in years), Melancholia (totally tragic but relatable, I left the cinema in a state of shock), The Devils Double (someone I knew nothing about but was totally horrified by) and The Adjustment Bureau (slightly daft but I got very involved and excited when Matt Damon said 'Elise'!).

Best Movies of the Year - DVD
LoveFilm really helped out with the free trials and online viewing here!  I did manage to pick some total duds too, really I just look at the stars and judge by that...lesson (kinda) learned...

Lars and the Real Girl - this one surprised me - the story of a man's love for a doll wasn't something I expected much from but Ryan Gosling was fantastic and the story was really engrossing.  
Candy - one of the best love/addiction stories I've ever come across, and fuelled my need to watch more Australian movies.
Control - the story of Joy Division's lead singer Ian Curtis' troubled life, despite the lack of colour I was drawn in.

Also on my must watch list - The Disappearance of Alice Creed (a kidnap story with deliciously fresh twists), Brothers (moving and fun seeing Tobey Maguire being a 'grown up'), Heavenly Creatures (an out of control teenage obsession makes for compelling viewing), Ponyo (Studio Ghibli at its best) and Pans Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro at his best).

'Surprised I Liked These' Movies of the Year
 These were films I went to see expecting the worst - but was actually pleasantly surprised.  For example, when an 'Indie' film gets hyped as the best thing ever and I end up missing the point completely, which I thought would be the case with Blue Valentine.  Totally not.  It was wonderful in a horrifying, eye opening kind of way, and didn't help my already dubious view on marriage.  Did help confirm my dislike for Michelle Williams tho ;)  

The other three, you may have noticed, are NYC set movies, but that wasn't the only thing that redeemed them from cheesy, predictable movie territory in my eyes.  Arthur, despite starring the much slated Russell Brand (as an actor I actually quite like him tho), was sweet and fun, New Years Eve warmed my heart (despite the stupid SJP storyline) and Tower Heist was smarter than it really should have been when the main star was Ben Stiller.  All worth a watch for being slightly better than your average rom-com/heist-com.

Actor/Actress of the Year
This year I fell big time for Emily Blunt and Liam Neeson, I watched so many of each of their back catalogues. Wild Target is one of my favourite movies, I could watch it again and again (plus it also stars Bill Nighy, heart!).  And Liam Neeson just makes every one of his movies watchable, even when they really shouldn't be (The Other Man?  Bleugh).

'So Bad It Was Good' Movie of the Year
Drive Angry 3D - man that was something else.  Nicholas Cage's hair in glorious 3D as he blows things up in the opening sequence just confirmed my view on this movie - it was SO utterly ridiculous that it ended up actually being enjoyable, and had me and our team leader in hysterics most of the way through.  Mostly it involves Nicholas Cage shooting everyone except the too beautiful Amber Heard, and I think something about the devil....  Not sure if the Blu Ray has a 3D version but I reckon it would absolutely worth it!

What's everyone else's favourites of the year?  Anything I've missed?



  1. I love Emily Blunt, she's such a great actress.

  2. I loved Thor too!!! Looking forward to The Avengers because I like Iron Man too.

    K xx

  3. Great reviews, I'm with Lovefilm too and I've learnt the hard way not to take note of the star rating on there, I might just follow your reviews instead! I love Liam Neeson too xxx

  4. I love the film Lars and the real girl! Fabulous post, although ive only seen Super 8 from your best cinema section - really got to get my bum to blockbusters! Scarlett x

  5. You can always count on Nicholas Cage for a truly awful but fantastic film. I saw surprisingly few films last year. Xmen and Harry Potter were probably my favourites though. Can't believe I missed Thor, I did plan to watch it.

  6. Lars and the Real Girl is one of my favourites!

    (and I nodded at a lot of the others, too)

  7. I love your reviews - have only seen three of those but have jotted down a few of your recommendations (not the Nic Cage one!!)


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