As far as films go I really can’t say a lot for 2011. It was a year that will live in infamy as the year with the most sequels and films based on pre-existing properties than any other before it. And sadly, I really don’t see this as a trend that is going away any time soon.
So here is my top ten list for the year. It wasn’t easy, and not because there were so many great films, but because there were just so many damn mediocre ones. Meh.
10. Marvel Films: Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor: Marvel is on a winning streak few in film have ever seen. The films they continue to churn out are fun to watch, well made and are a credit to their genre. The only question is will their endgame in The Avengers live up to all their hard work to this point.
I would hate to be the one to break that winning streak, you know? Don’t let us down, Joss.
9. Super 8: Watching this film I felt like I was 10 years old again. J.J. Abrams somehow does Spielberg better than Spielberg has in a long time and shows us there still maybe hope for the summer blockbuster.
8. Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: Transparent and thought provoking, this documentary showed us how much thought and work goes into the product placement we see in motion pictures. After watching this you will never look at that can of Pepsi Perfect in Back to the Future 2 the same again.
7. Space Battleship Yamato: This has yet to get a legit release date in America, but this the definition of what a good live action adaptation of a anime classic should be. This film captured the first season of Space Battleship Yamato or Star Blazers as it is known over here so perfectly you wonder why Hollywood just isn’t paying these guys to do Akira.
6. Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance: This came out in Japan 2 years ago but it just hit American markets this year. This is the second installment in the retelling of the anime classic Neon Genesis Evangelion. While the first film was more of a retread of the series, this installment took the story in a different direction and is one of the most stunning animated films on Blu-ray to date.
5. Super: The best superhero film nobody saw. James Gunn for my money gave us one of the grittiest superhero films since The Dark Knight and sadly no one went to see it. Its now hitting cable and I can’t suggest you checking this out enough. Its crazy, super violent and is strangely one of the most realistic superhero depictions made in my opinion.
4. Drive: You know I almost didn’t see this one because of the trailer; which later was the reason the production was sued. This was because it was deemed misleading and made the heavy drama look more like a bad Fast and Furious rip-off. But Drive is everything but.
A great film with a great cast, and a story that is as intense and Ryan Gosling’s dreamy stare.
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: David Fincher adapted the first part of the Millennium Series and showed us once again sometimes, just sometimes remakes can be a good thing
Now here is hoping he does the other two!
2. Attack the Block: Probably one of the most refreshing and original films of the year. It’s proof that sometimes films can live up to the hype and this one was a word of mouth phenomenon with a seriously botched release. I firmly believe that if this would have opened wide it would have done some serious bank.
1. Melancholia: This film overcame quite a bit of controversy at Cannes to stand on its own. Its Lars Von Trier’s take on sci-fi and it is truly a sight to behold.
Intense, engaging, amazing and my top film of the year.
Honorable Mention: Hobo with a Shotgun: A new grindhouse classic.
Best Sequel that didn’t suck as bad as the last 4 films before it: Fast Five, a film that was a shot in the arm for a franchise that everyone thought had jumped the shark, and has guaranteed we have at least 2 more installments to look forward to. Hopefully they will be half as good.
Best use of 3D: Tie! Final Destination 5 and Hugo: Where one exploited the technology to show guts and gore in more extravagant ways, one showed us it still could be used to enhance an already great story.
Worst Comic Book Film of the Year: Green Lantern. Troubled from the beginning this film showed that no amount of money can save a run-away disaster. Runner up: Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
Worst Film of the Year PERIOD: The Ward. Bad films are always worse from directors you love.Watching The Ward was like watching John Carpenter piss on all my fond memories of films from my childhood such as Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween and Escape from New York. Needless to say I still haven’t completely recovered.
The Film that Made the Fanboys Cry in 2011: Gantz. If you were a fan of the manga or anime this was based on you probably hated this and wondered why they even bothered.
Best Blu-ray of the Year: Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Lucas haters take a chill for a minute and look at all this great content on these discs. While the Holiday Special is absent, there is still hours of great deleted scenes and documentaries for any hard core Star Wars fan to enjoy. Not too mention the films look amazing in HD. Runner up: Jurrasic Park
Deep Impact/Armageddon moment of the year: Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached. It’s a little strange both stars from Black Swan went on to star in films with the exact same concept. Just for the record only one was any good, sorry Natalie.
Best Title of a film in 2011: Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead. What can I say? The Japanese know how to make a catchy title.