In these, the waning days of 2011, I decided to take a moment and reflect on the year that was in the world of motion pictures. Here in no particular order are some of the highs and lows:
(1) Battle: Los Angeles vs. Battle: South London
This is no contest – South London hands down! Thanks to the gem of a film Attack the Block. Sure the kids are not trained thesps, the budget was low and the aliens are basically fur balls with LED fangs, but they will win out every time to having Ne-Yo in my company of soldiers.
(2) Silence is Golden (and potentially Oscar-bound)
The Artist has captured hearts and minds the world-wide. It is a magical transport to a time and place too soon forgotten.
(3) The Last Time I Saw Paris …
Was at the cinema. Sure I went to Paris this summer, but the Paris of Woody Allen‘s imagination in the absolutely gorgeous Midnight in Paris was an experience that left a huge smile on my face.
(4) A Girl Walks Into a Bar …
… and I walk out. This Straight to YouTube feature (we are told the first of its kind) really bored me with its very self-aware level of quirk and supposed sharp, quick and witty dialogue. But maybe that is the point, some people like that type of stuff. I am just not one of them.
(5) Year of The Fassbender (even GQ Magazine thinks so)
I think at the time of publishing this I would have seen just about every film that he had a principle role in: Jane Eyre, X-Men First Class, Shame and A Dangerous Method. He is getting all sorts of buzz, nominations and awards from his performance in Shame – yeah. And he does not seem to be slowing down in 2012. Worthy particular mention is the release of the hotly anticipated sci-fi horror Prometheus (directed by Ridley Scott).
(6) Superhero Schmuper-Hero
I am pretty much over superhero/comic book adaptations at this point. Things have gotten so that in 2011 when it was announced that we have two reboots of what we were told were already reboots (Superman and Spider Man) I was less than thrilled. Granted, I liked X-Men First Class and Captain America (but skipped Thor) and will probably skip a few that come along in 2012.
(7) So Long Dear Friends
I will not attempt to go through the list of all of those that were lost in world of cinema, so I will defer to the lovely and haunting tribute that TCM has put together in memory of ….
(8) Reading is Fundamental(ly) Rewarding
Readers this year were rewarded for their loyalty with some quality movies being released that are based on beloved books. This is one reason that Harry Potter, The Help, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, among others, occupy precious space on my bookshelf / Kindle Fire.
But I guess there is always an exception that breaks the rule:
(9) Who Knew? Ladies, We Can Be Funny Too!
Maybe the response to Bridesmaids was an overreaction due to the drivel that has been shoveled at us and called ‘comedy for ladies.’ And maybe it was not. I went to this film by myself and laughed quite a lot. Well done, Kristen Wiig and co! Let’s just hope that we do not have any downwind derivative comedies of a similar ilk (who am I kidding, eh)?
(10) Potter-ing is such Sweet Sorrow
What an epic end to a film and book franchise that I came to so late but wholeheartedly loved (insert sad face).
(11) And last but not least …
To all my faithful and loyal readers/commenters who have made it a pleasure this year for me to post my thoughts and reactions from the world of cinema. Your voices have made this part of my life very rewarding and for that I sincerely thank you.