Top 10 of 2011

23 08 2012

It’s late, but it took a long time to see everything on my list from last year.  After all, we’re not critics who get invited to screenings or have deadlines, so we took our sweet ass time.  2011 was an amazing year for movies, and there are quite a few that I loved but just couldn’t fit on the list.  Take a look and we encourage you to post your own top 10 in the comments.

10) Take Shelter

9) Shame

8) Midnight in Paris

7) Drive

6) HP and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2

5) Hugo

4) Melancholia

3) A Separation

2) 13 Assassins

1) The Skin I Live In

 

Almodovar’s probably one of very few who could make something so simultaneously bizarre, disturbing and thought-provoking.  I’ve loved Almodovar’s films for a long time, but with this I think he topped himself.  The Skin I Live In is a perfect mix of Almodovar with equal parts Hitchcock and Cronenberg.  It’s fantastic and my favorite film from an outstanding year.





The Raid: Redemption

22 08 2012

I’d been hearing amazing things about The Raid for a long time, so maybe my expectations were a little too high since for the most part, the whole thing fell flat with me.  The movie seemed confused: at times, it was an ultra-realistic action flick with some of the best stunt work I’ve ever seen, while at other times it turned into an over-the-top spectacle where all the characters turned into borderline superheroes. Spoilers: As awesome as it is to see a villain fighting with a fluorescent lightbulb sticking out of his throat and taking (literally) 500 punches to the face with seemingly no side-effects, it didn’t really fit with the rest of the movie’s vibe.  They also just couldn’t resist giving the hero the most generic and overused “wife and kid waiting at home” backstory.  I wish the filmmakers had picked one route, either realistic or fantastical, and stuck to it.  That being said, there’s some incredible fighting sequences (one rivals the awesome hallway scene from Oldboy)  and again, the stunts are really amazing.  Despite my complaints I still think this is worth seeing, especially if you’re a big action fan, in which case it’s unmissable.

7/10





Samsara Trailer

8 08 2012

Ever see Baraka? If not, I highly recommend checking it out.  It has some of the most beautiful time-lapses I’ve ever seen.  Samsara is the long-awaited follow-up, and it looks like more of the same awesomeness:





Full-Length Trailer for PTA’s “The Master”

20 07 2012

Hello? You may, or may not, have noticed that it’s been a long time since we’ve posted anything.  Basically, post-college life happened.  Maryann’s busy working full-time, and I’m working part-time and trying to finish up my thesis for Grad school, so this site kind of got pushed aside.  But now we’re back!  Posts might not be published quite as often as they used to, but we’re definitely going to give this site more attention, and what better way to start than with the trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie?  Everything’s looking amazing: Joaquin Phoenix,  Jonny Greenwood’s score, dat cinematography.  Needless to say I can’t wait.  “There Will Be Blood” was one of my favorite movies of recent memory, so naturally I’m expecting big things from “The Master.”  Check out the trailer below:





Most Anticipated of 2011

25 01 2011

There’s a strong chance I haven’t even heard of most of the movies that will end up being my year-end favorites, but as of now, here’s what I can’t wait to see:

20) Source Code

Duncan Jones’ follow-up to Moon, one of my recent favorites.  Honestly, I didn’t care for the trailer much, but I’m excited for this based on Jones’ name alone and the fact that it’s another original sci-fi.

19) The Grandmasters

Wong Kar-Wai’s new film about Bruce Lee’s trainer.

18) J. Edgar

A Clint Eastwood directed biopic about J. Edgar Hoover starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  Not usually a biopic fan, but I can’t wait for anything Leo does at this point.

17) Tintin

Peter Jackson produces, Spielberg directs.  I’m honestly not very familiar with the source material, but I like the idea of Spielberg making an animated film, plus he and Peter Jackson should make a great combo.

16) The Hunter

An Indie thriller starring Willem Dafoe.  I can’t say exactly why I’m anticipating this one so much, just have a good feeling about it.

15) The Skin That I Inhabit

Pedro Almodovar’s latest.  That’s all I know about this one.

14) Hobo With a Shotgun

Like Machete, this was originally a fake trailer.  Should be another good 90 minutes of Grindhouse fun.

13) The Rum Diary

The first film from Withnail and I director Bruce Robinson in 19 years.  Johnny Depp stars in his 2nd Hunter S. Thompson adaptation.

12) Meek’s Cutoff

Kelly Reichardt and Michelle Williams are collaborating again after 2008’s Wendy and Lucy, which was great.  This is about settlers traveling through the Oregon desert in the 19th century.  Could be amazing.

11) Hanna

The trailer makes this look like a blast.  Good director, good cast, should be fun.  Check out the trailer here.

10) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The Social Network was so good that I can’t wait to see this.  David Fincher’s next has some of the same cast and crew as Network, with Trent Reznor writing the score and Rooney Mara taking the lead role.  Even though I don’t like the idea of Hollywood remaking every recent successful foreign film, I’m on board with this one.

9) The Borrowers

The new Studio Ghibli film, written by Hayao Miyazaki.  Can’t wait.

8.) Wuthering Heights

Andrea Arnold’s follow-up to Fish Tank, one of my favorites from last year.  Classic source material, can’t wait to see what she’s able to do with it.

7) Shame

Director Steve McQueen and his leading man Michael Fassbender’s follow-up to their amazing 2009 film Hunger.  I can’t see this duo not going 2 for 2.

6) Drive

Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Valhalla Rising) is one of the most interesting up-and-coming directors around, and this is first big “Hollywood” film, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Ron Perlman.  The film is about a stunt driver who discovers that he has a price on his head.  Can’t wait to see what Refn does with a more straightforward story like this.  My hopes are sky high.

5) A Dangerous Method

The third film from David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen, this time also starring Michael Fassbender (!) and Keira Knightley.  The film’s about Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, and it should be amazing.

4) Hugo Cabret

Martin Scorsese directing a kid’s film?  In 3D?  I’m happy to see Scorsese trying something so new, and the source material is great.  It’s also got a good looking ensemble with Chloe Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, Emily Mortimer, Michael Pitt, Christopher Lee, Ray Winstone, and Sacha Baron Cohen.

3) Melancholia

Lars Von Trier’s follow-up to Antichrist.  I love anything Von Trier, and I love sci-fi, so my expectations are pretty much through the roof on this one.  Von Trier jokingly said that he’d have “no more happy endings!” before filming this one, and sure enough the plot deals with Earth’s imminent destruction.

2) The Tree of Life

I said the same thing last year, but I can’t remember a time when this wasn’t on my most anticipated list.  It looks like all the delays are finally over, especially since a beautiful trailer was released recently.  Terrence Malick movies are always an event, and this sounds like it could be one of his best.

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

It’s been an incredible series, and the end is looking to be 2 hours of epic non-stop climax.  I thought part 1 was amazing, so this should basically be the best thing ever for big Potter fans.  I’ll be sad when it’s over.





Exit Through the Gift Shop

27 12 2010

*Spoilers*

The film follows Thierry, a quirky amateur-filmmaker who decides to make a documentary about his passion, street art.  After years of filming street artists and amassing boxes upon boxes of footage, Thierry is finally able to track down Banksy, arguably the biggest and most popular on the scene, and can now finish his “epic” street art documentary.  The problem is that Thierry is a truly awful artist and filmmaker, and when Banksy sees the finished product, he suggests that Thierry leave him the footage (after all, it is great, one-of-a-kind footage) for him to edit and in the meantime become a street artist himself.  Banksy then completely shifts the focus of the film to Thierry, raising the question of who the film’s true director is, as Thierry’s film about Banksy and street art transforms into Banksy’s film about Thierry.  Thierry becomes “Mr. Brainwash” (a fitting name) and goes on to create a huge collection of ripped-off, shallow work, but hypes his debut show so successfully (with help from Banksy and a few other street artists) that the art crowd becomes fascinated with it, turning Thierry into an overnight sensation as they rave about his work and spend thousands of dollars on every piece.

The result is that what started out as a documentary about street art turns into a giant “F-U” to the art world.  Thierry is a terrible artist, yet people love him and spend crazy amounts of money on his work thanks to the hype and the media.  The film works on multiple levels, not only as a critique of the art world but simply as a documentary on street art and its appeal in general.

Many are asking if this is real or a hoax (much like I’m Still Here and Catfish from earlier this year), but it’s brilliant however you choose to look at it.  Whether it’s a true documentary or an elaborate prank, it works.  It raises many questions about the art world, and documentaries, and is well worth seeing if you’re at all interested in either.

9/10





Happy Holidays!

26 12 2010