Editor’s Note: Go,See,Talk presents this Top 10 post from our guest contributing writer Bill Graham. Writing for movie blogs like The Film Stage and Collider.com, Bill has seen many of this year’s high profile and most anticipated films. In the coming weeks Bill will be writing for Go,See,Talk as a contributing writer but for now have a look at what he had to say abou the best and worst of 2011.
A documentary I cannot wait to see again, this is one that no one seems to have seen with me which is truly a shame; an awe-inspiring tearjerker that makes you live for the highs and the lows.
I was going to put Drive here, but I don’t think it will gain a large audience on home video. However, I do think Fright Night will. Accessible, humorous, devious, and action-packed, this is a smart remake that oddly found little life at the theaters—so much so that it made less money than Drive. At least no one will sue them for falsely (eye-roll) representing the film in advertisements.
This film has script problems galore, yet was incredibly entertaining and funny—oh, and Brad Bird rocks.
The director of IRON MAN takes on a genre mash-up of aliens and cowboys, including Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and Olivia Wilde, yet managed to make me simply sigh when it was all over. Had a box office to prove that audiences weren’t intrigued, either.
In the hands of someone not so devoted to the oddities and styling that Joe Wright focuses on while turning a blind eye to character development, this could have been highly recommendable in every way. Instead, I enjoyed the adventure and the quirks, but it just didn’t last as a memory: I nearly forgot the film came out this year.
TIE: One film exists because the first was utterly hilarious. The other exists for no reason whatsoever. A second Hangover was bound to make money. A film about rock-alien-crab-creatures terrorizing two astronauts was no guarantee. And yet, here they both are on my list. I was a constant supporter of the idea of a second Hangover. More of this gang’s crazy antics? Sign me up. Does the premise sound similar? Don’t fix what isn’t broken! But clearly, for anyone that had to wade through the rehashed scenarios in a different locale over and over, it was broken.
I went in eager to laugh, and I did, but I also had to laugh at the fact that they suckered me into watching the same film that wasn’t nearly as funny and loads more crass. Like those pictures at the end of the first film—played out as a sequel. Yuck. Oh, and let’s not forget Apollo 18, a film so devoid of anything happening that I struggle to piece together why I thought I should see it in the first place. I complained that the film lacked a fear you could relate to. The forest is naturally scary. A house that creaks and moans will drive you batty. “Perhaps the film is scary for astronauts?” my friend James quipped as we rode the elevator after the film. An astronaut, I am not!
Joe Cornish makes a thrilling, hilarious, vicious romp with some nasty “gorilla–wolf motherfuckers” invading on the wrong turf of a gang of teens in the UK. A throwback to horror classics like Tremors, this is one film I want to watch over and over.
Motion capture has become incredibly complex, and yet there is a definite lack of appreciation for artists like Serkis that deliver incredible performances and relay emotions without a single word. The human characters in the film were as flat as cardboard, but Serkis’ Caesar was what drew in audiences in droves. Let’s also be honest: performances can be made in the editing room on live-action films as well. Isn’t part of movie magic about what you actually see on screen?
Before I saw this, I still thought the original was Dreamworks’ high-point in animation, but no more: bigger in every way, this is a hilariously stupid slapstick comedy.
While modern blockbusters are busy going to IMAX and 3D, writer/director Michel Hazanavicius’ black and white silent film scaled back the grandeur and focused on characters, story, and acting of a nature few can single out during all of the noise in modern film.