#1 – FAST FIVE
The series that keeps getting better shattered my colon in 2011 with a complete departure from the street racing idiom into the coveted realm of the super-heist genre. Some films you see once and love then watch later and the luster is lost. Not this one. These F+F movies are loud, stupid, and above all else, fun as fuck. And these days, that’s what my aged, soft insides crave. And yeah, Tyrese is in it.
#2 – I SAW THE DEVIL
Just when I thought I was over this kind of madness and violence in films fucking HOD goes and recommends a pure original gem. Some films have one scene where you’re watching it going “Did I just see that shit?” This film has one of those scenes every 6.5 minutes or so. It’s stuck in my head for the last 11 months or so since I’ve seen it. These days that’s a rare thing. HOD says there are some Korean flicks with more stabbings, but I’m not really fucking interested. This had the perfect stabbing to non-stabbing ratio. And the Korean language sounds like ass so color me done with the Yellow Fever. I don’t need this film to be topped.
#3 – THE THING
Holy fuck, this movie slam dunked my balls into the basket of awesome. The three days preceding Carpenter’s film are documented here. It’s relentless. The pacing, the effects, the characters……….. I just loved everything about it. Best ending to a film this year. And yeah, Joel Edgerton is in it.
#4 – TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
Being a confirmed and unshakable hater of the first two films I find it funny that a subject matter I don’t like or connect with in any way is capable of blowing my spine through the back of a theater, but here ya go. It suffers from a few dead spots here and there but when the action is happening…..good fuck. The chase with the black Cop Suburbans is just staggeringly good. And the whole Chicago sequence just brings a tear to my eye and a driblet of precum to my cock. And yeah, Tyrese is in it.
#5 – WARRIOR
You want them both to win.
I couldn’t help but laugh at Hardy’s sheer professionalism everytime he finished a fight how he just busted the door opened and hauled ass outta there like he just remembered he left the stove on. But man, the most powerful scene for me personally was Nolte’s breakdown in the room. Damned if I didn’t tear up. This movie is all heart. And yeah, Joel Edgerton is in it.
Biggest Letdown Of 2011:
What people see in this movie I’ll never know. It’s like an amateur YouTube mashup of The Driver and Thief with absolutely none of the elements that make either of those two films masterpieces. The only thing this film has in common with a Michael Mann film is that the lead role is male. Only scant elements of the book(great novel) remain in the film. The soundtrack is weak as fuck and sounds like anything a ten year old kid with a Casio could do better. I agree with Dickblood about the beginning though, everything up until the end of the opening credits was gold, after that though, it all falls apart in about 30 seconds. You know it’s a shit film when I pine for the Neil Marshall/Hugh Jackman version that died early on in the development process. Actually I like Neil Marshall so fuck you. As for Gosling, whatever standing he’d gained with me from the excellent Blue Valentine is gone. And as for Nicolas Winding Refn, Bronson was great, this ain’t. This must be like John Woo coming to America thinking he’s going to make good films. Make your FaceOff and fuck off back to Denmark you cunt.Goddamn shame, this is the one movie of 2011 I wanted to love.
Biggest Surprise of 2011:
HUMAN CENTIPEDE II: FULL SEQUENCE
(live-chat coming soon….)
#1 – WARRIOR
Imagine a ROCKY movie where instead of fighting some egotistical showoff or stoic, steroid-fueled Superman, the Italian Stallion’s got to square off against someone just like him—another likeable underdog with his own valid, noble reasons for wanting to “go the distance.” Now imagine if the two protagonists were brothers, and you’ve got the ingredients for some delicious drama—not to mention some hard-hitting action. Two estranged brothers get the chance to make peace…by beating holy hell out of one another in a mixed martial arts tournament in Atlantic City. Directed by Gavin O’Connor (whose previous sports drama was 2004’s acclaimed hockey pic MIRACLE), this 130-minute production is heavy on pathos and well as punches, thanks to memorable performances from Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, and Nick Nolte. Down-on-his-luck high school physics teacher Brendan Conlon (Edgerton) decides to earn some quick cash by fighting in local parking-lot MMA matches—but his choice of moonlighting results in his being suspended from his day job. With foreclosure looming, Brendan calls in a favor on an old training buddy to helm ready him for Sparta, a ferocious fighting tourney with a $5 million purse. But what Brendan doesn’t know is that his long-lost Marine Corps brother, Tommy (Hardy), has returned to Pittsburgh, having deserted the military after a friendly-fire accident killed a comrade. Tommy calls on their recovering alcoholic father (Nolte) to train him for Sparta so he can give most (if not all) his winnings to his dead friend’s family. But cold, reclusive Tommy warns Paddy it’s all business; he doesn’t care that the father who once hit on him has traded the bottle for Jesus Christ and Herman Melville.
Brendan forgives Paddy when his prodigal old man extends an olive branch, but he doesn’t trust his father enough to let him meet the granddaughters. He trains vigorously while under suspension, especially after his wife grudgingly gives her approval, utilizing Beethoven to help him relax and focus.
Comparisons with ROCKY, RAGING BULL, THE WRESTLER, and THE FIGHTER are unavoidable with this sort of picture—but WARRIOR ups the narrative ante by pitting protagonists against one another rather than wrapping the story around a single athlete or team. When the inevitable cage match showdown arrives, it’s a brawl you want neither man to lose. Or win. Despite occasional glimpses of formula boxing movies past, WARRIOR triumphs with complex, yet convincing, characters who transcend stereotypes. Although older brother Brendan is portrayed as the “good” guy for most of the film, there’s more to Tommy than his broiling, primal rage—even if his preferred modes of communication are insults and uppercuts.
The MMA fight scenes feel authentic (granted, I don’t watch wrestling or martial arts on television) and feature cameos from real-life stars like Kurt Angle and Erik Apple. It also helps that the brothers utilize completely different combat styles. Brendan is tall but not especially powerful; he relies on kicks and Jujitsu holds to force his opponents’ submission. Conversely, ox-like Tommy prefers knocking foes unconscious with a single well-timed punch—after which he storms from cage without fanfare.
#2 – MELANCHOLIA
Kirsten Dunst (SPIDER-MAN) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (ANTICHRIST) steal the show as troubled sisters in Lars von Trier’s apocalyptic tale about a rogue planet hurtling toward Earth. But rather than focus on the cataclysm—a la ARMAGEDDON or DEEP IMPACT, the Danish director nudges his actresses front and center to highlight the relationship between the sisters—one (Dunst) a hopeless manic-depressive who can’t even survive her own wedding without succumbing to her demons, the other a panic-stricken worrywart who nags her astronomer husband (Kiefer Sutherland) and can’t console her son while destruction looms. Dunst looks radiant in the film’s first “act,” but her Justine tests everyone’s patience at her wedding reception with her mood-swings and unpredictable behavior. Gainsbourg’s dominates the second half, wherein her Clair frets over the pending planetary collision, sobbing frequently and stocking up on suicide pills while her typically morose sister takes it all in stride. Von Trier’s images are memorable, if not haunting, and his use of classic music (Wagner’s “Tristan Und Isolde”) dramatically underscores the proceedings—all most all of which occurs at the picturesque Tjoloholme Castle in Sweden. It’s a terrific, moving (and at times surreal) study in schizophrenia / depression, and the power of those afflicted to endure extreme situations if only because they’re already accustomed to expect the worst all the time.
#3 – THE WAY
Where Charlie “Warlock” Sheen had a less than stellar year, brother Emilio Estevez was “winning” with his touching film about the pilgrimage taken annually by thousands along the Camino de Santiago—a path stretching from southern France to Spain’s western shore. Martin Sheen is terrific as ophthalmologist Tom Avery, a friendly but stuck-in-his ways doctor who whose spirituality begins and ends with golf. But when his lust-for-life son Daniel dies just days into a trek on the Camino, Dr. Tom decides to finish the walk for him. Carrying his son’s ashes on the journey, our protagonist bonds with a gluttonous Dutchman, an inquisitive Irish author, and a pretty—but troubled—Canadian divorcee.
#4 – DRIVE
A homage to automobile-centric nihilist actioners of old like BULLITT and TWO-LANE BLACKTOP, this dark but delightful gem from the director of BRONSON (Nicholas Winding Refn) recalls the work of Walter Hill and Michael Mann with images of neon-lighted city streets and the seedy characters living and dying in them. Ryan Gosling is “The Driver,” a thirty-something L.A. stuntman and grease monkey who moonlights as an emotionally detached getaway driver for random thugs. In a plot that borrows from Jean-Pierre Melville’s LE SAMURAI, our antihero befriends a pretty young mother (Carey Mulligan) whose husband is newly sprung from prison—but in debt to mobsters for “protection money.” Driver (who rarely speaks) tries to help his neighbors, his heart opening for Irene—but he finds himself on the run from a loan shark (Albert Brooks) and gangster (Ron Perlman) when after a botched pawn shop robbery. Featuring 80’s flavored electronic pop by Cliff Martinez and tasteful use of Refn’s wide-angle lenses, DRIVE is a bloody noir masterpiece in the tradition of Scorsese, Coppola, and Tarantino.
#5 – TREE OF LIFE
I admittedly walked into Terrence Malick’s polarizing new film expecting to like it specifically because the director’s experimental, nonlinear, chop-editing style annoys so many. And indeed TREE is as heavy on psychology as it is on random imagery, with the loose narrative centering on a middle-aged man’s memories of a troubled Texas childhood at the hands of a frustrated father sandwiched between sequences depicting the creation of the universe and the end of the world. Viewers are left pondering the significance of a dinosaur that reconsiders stomping out the life of another in much the same way moviegoers scratched their heads over the monolith and “star child” in Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY over forty years ago. Brad Pitt and Sean Penn turn in memorable performances. Pitt especially delivers as the struggling, heavy-handed inventor father who squelched musical talent for a more respectable career—only to wind up a disappointed disciplinarian patriarch to three boys. Eldest son Jack is tested when middle brother Michael dies unexpectedly; the event becomes a tragic touchstone for both him and his brooding old man for the rest of their lives. My advice to those who don’t understand what the ethereal we-all-meet-in-Heaven epilogue would be to stop thinking and start feeling.
#1 – IMMORTALS
THIS FUCKING MOVIE…THIS FUCKING MOVIE! Man I think it’s obvious by now that I’m the one guy that enjoys 3D, so fuck you all. The 3D in this movie was to fucking die for. Just the pure eye fuckery on display in this movie was enough for me to use the term eye fuckery. I hate to sound like everyone else but they are right, this movie is like a movie painting, just every shot beautifully crafted and colored and other technical terms. Also the fighting in this movie is so bad ass (Fast Five MAY have it topped but this movie defiantly wears it’s homoerotism on it’s sleeve Five is still in the Hollywood closet) , even Mickey Rourk’s stand in was killer. Speaking of Rourke he’s the best villain of the year, and probably the reason I put this above Panda but both films are about being the chosen one and just kicking fucking ass. Also the 3D in this is more breath taking than fun like in Kung Fu Panda 2 (not to say that some 3D in that movie was amazing). But there is a shot in the final battle of this movie where Superman is running down a corridor and the way the 3D divides the shot with action happening behind him and in front of him with him running in the middle is probably the best 3D shot I’ve scene. If Dennis Quaid had been Zeus instead of that 20 something the movie would have been perfect, he was still good but it’s hard to imagine Zeus as being this pretty boy at least make him a pretty man. And unlike Zach Synder who insterts slo mo sort of at random to make it seem stylish, Tarseem knows how to utilize it to fully heighten a scene and your senses.
#2 – KUNG FU PANDA 2
Here again we have another franchise when I first heard about was pretty excited but saw the first movie and it was OK. But after How To Train Your Dragon where Dreamworks overtook Pixar I was pretty excited for Kung Fu Panda 2, and I was not let down. The action in this movie and the heart and emotion between Po and his father is top notch. Gary Oldman adds yet another solid villain to his resume, a special thank you for making the villain a peacock those things are so evil looking and overlooked in animalized movies. I love the sly way they make Po the chosen one, and it’s the funniest movie of the year. It has it all: great story, acting, jokes, themes, score, heart and a great villain. I realized that this is just sort of a spin on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles concept (which I love), and it made me appreciate the first movie more (the TV show is just as good as well). I mean it’s got a heartbreaking story about a baby panda how can you not love that?
#3 – TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
There are five other films that could have easily taken this spot, I chose Transformers purely on spectacle. I’ll admit that I saw it only the second biggest IMAX screen in the world and maybe at home it blows, but who gives a shit I’ll probably never watch it again why ruin the memory? When I found out that they were making a Transformers movie and that they hired the perfect director for it, I WAS FUCKING ECSTATIC! I love the whole Transformers series, then I saw the first movie and fucking hated it, saw part 2 and hated it more made me finally understand what people had been bitching about Michael Bay for years now. So I heard some good things about part 3 and decided what the fuck why not, and I was blown away. This was the Transformers movie I’ve been waiting for, finally Bay’s odd sense of humor and mine met up again and the thing looks fucking amazing, just ball busting fun the whole time.
CAMERAMAN: THE WORK & LIFE OF JACK CARDIFF
This was the best non-wide release movie I saw this year. I didn’t see many small movies this year because they didn’t seem that interesting and the few I did see where ok nothing special (Tree of Life could’ve been the movie of the year if they had axed the whole dime store ‘we are all but a drop of water in the pool of life’ philosophy and just stuck with the family story). I didn’t even know this got any sort of theatrical release. THIS is the movie Hugo should’ve been, just a dick sucking documentary of the great work of Jack Cardiff from Marty Scorsese and crew. This movie had a lot more life and fun and much more insight into old film then all 4 hours of Hugo. TCM is running this a lot, the dude shot Rambo 2, check it out.
Best Oscar Bait:
I’ll admit I’m pretty much a die hard Roland Emmerich fan, he’s only let me down once and the one time I skipped one of his films in theaters I regretted it (10,000 BC). So when I found out Roland was going to make some Oscar Bait bullshit about Shakespeare, I was fucking there. God damn the Academy for finally getting their vengeance on the man that hates critics and claims his movies are critic proof. I’d be totally cool with Anonymous taking tons of awards, it’s pretty much a darker more twisted Shakespeare In Love and plays out just like a Shakespeare play which also adds to the fun. Ryhs Ifans is a lot of fun in this role and Emmerich is having a blast, I’ve never seen ye old England look so realistically correct. You could literally smell the stench of that shit hole. Check this movie out, I’m not some Shakespeare boner but movies about Shakespeare I seem to really enjoy.
HAWAIIAN ORGAN DONOR
#1 – THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU
Yeah, I know, it’s cliched, sappy shit through and through. But unlike the rest of the fucking world which I want destroyed by a comet, I’m not a completely cynical asshole just yet. I still believe in a good, old-fashioned love story. And I found everything I wanted as a hopeless romantic here and more. Sure, a lot of hatin’ douchebag morons want Matt Damon dead, but he’s a damn fine actor and as a politician who spends years searching for his soul mate after a chance meeting with hot as fuck Emily Blunt in a men’s bathroom after his election campaign comes crashing down to earth in fiery wreckage, he’s completely believable here. From my own experience, the want and heartache he experiences is palpable as hell. And yes, there’s lots of God shit here and if an atheist can look past that stuff and declare this his favorite movie of the year, then anyone who doesn’t give it a chance is a true fucking asshole.
#2 – WARRIOR
It’s by the numbers and filled with nothing but cliched characters and relationships. Who gives a fuck. This is as exhilarating as David and Goliath gets. How the fuck Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton haven’t received more accolades for their outstanding performances here baffles the sweet shit out of me. Yes, Nick Nolte acts his ass off, but the competing brothers are a tour de force and the finest dual performances you’ll see this year or any. This shit will not only make you stand up and cheer, but piss on the carpet and punch a hole in the wall.
#3 – THOR
Not much I can say about this that hasn’t already been said. Either you’re a fucking stubborn asshole that refuses to see it, a joyless asshole that saw it and hated it or one of the cool kids who watched it and appreciated it for what it was: solid, fun as fuck entertainment. Hemsworth owns every single moment he’s onscreen and the dude who plays Loki ain’t too shabby either. And unlike all the other Marvel shit that’s been released lately, Thor does not feel like a trailer for The Avengers.
#4 – THE YELLOW SEA
Goddamn I was blown away by the ingenious shit they put together here. It starts off slow, but as soon as our anti-hero gets rolling on his mission, this turns fucking brilliant. There’s a sequence with the lead on surveillance that just rules everything else made this year. And just when you think that foreign cinema has reached it’s apex of stabby cinema, this bitch takes it too a whole nutha level. The level of knives and axes used here, and the unique fashion in which they’re used, will have even those with the strongest fortitude squirming and questioning the choice for such a heavy lunch. Also, the lead performance is top notch. How these foreign actors get overlooked by the Academy every year astounds me.
#5 – SOURCE CODE
Fuck the Jake haters. Fuck the Duncan Jones haters. In fact, fuck every asshole who avoids this movie just because they’re an asshole. This shit was clever as hell and made me appreciate the fact that they can make a low budget thriller that delivers. And fuck the spoilers, but that wonderful ending made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
BASEMENT CHEETOH EATER
#1 – MONEYBALL
My favorite film of the year. And sure, I’m biased. I’m a huge baseball fan who grew up in the Bay Area (I was even at Game 3 of the world series between the Giants and A’s that God smited with an earthquake – to this day, I’m still convinced He was pissed at me for something). But I hate the A’s (mostly). As an avid Giants (and National League) fan, I was ready to spit venom at Brad Pitt’s attempt to romanticize Billy Beane (the man who finally forced “On Base Percentage” to be viewed as a viable, even critical statistic). But Brad was great – he minimized a lot of his general “Pittness” and played it straight: showing a businessman who was emotionally connected to a sport that had fundamentally changed since he failed utterly as a player. Jonah Hill also avoided playing his usual slapsticky role by turning in his best performance ever as Billy’s chief statistician who used OBP and slugging percentage to find a ragtag team that won 20 straight games on a shoestring budget. And the relationship between Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane and his daughter is so warm and honest that the ending of the film plays with a sad sweetness that’s impossible to ignore. If the Academy completely ignores this film, I will personally set fire to their red carpet using Karl Malden’s long-dead nose hair.
#2 – SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS
Sequels are almost never as good as the original – but this year’s Sherlock Holmes adventure is as good as the first…and possibly better. The leads maintain their cheery argumentative banter – but the movie’s stakes are considerably higher, the action faster and the set pieces so much richer and more stirring making the movie a fun ride all the way through. The inclusion of a fine actor as Moriarty (Jared Harris) certainly helps…he exudes what we’d expect of such a fabled villain: suave sophistication laced with sneering treachery. But the decision to make Moriarty a leader of the military industrial complex was genius…it allows the Holmes’ adventures to be seen in a larger light (as the international strife that lead to WW1 begins brewing, Sherlock’s cases connect directly with many of the misdeeds that brought the world to the brink of annihilation). They also smartly use Stephen Fry as Sherlock Holmes’ equally brilliant but infinitely stuffier brother Mycroft; especially by not overplaying the strife between the siblings. Fry’s role as the elder brother is wisely portrayed as totally understanding his brother’s genius (perhaps even sharing it) and so never questioning his keen observations…even when they indict one of the ruling elite of Britain. Noomi Rapace also proves she’s not just a one off success….she works perfectly as a gypsy partisan with a mysterious past. And A Game of Shadows features the year’s best cinematography. Don’t miss this one on the big screen.
#3 – RED STATE
The third entry in “the movies Cheetoh didn’t think would work”. Yes, Kevin Smith is a douche-nozzel. But the quality of this film should be viewed in its own agnostic light and not colored by personal feelings (but Kevin – you really are a cunt…so, fuck you cullo). Red State is a film about zealotry – the fact that it features an apocalyptic cult leader is a completely side issue and doesn’t add nor detract from the movie’s central message. It’s a film about how fanaticism enables the weak-minded to do the most heinous things under the guise of “righteousness”. This could just as easily be a story about the Taliban or a blind Japanese guru who commits gas attacks on subway stations – unchecked zealotry virtually always leads to tragedy. And by bravely depicting a “Fundamentalist” group (very obviously based on Westboro Baptist and its fucked-up leader Fred Phelps), Smith manages to teach us much about the darker side of religious fervor. Michael Parks should win the Best Actor Oscar for this film…fuck anyone who argues otherwise. The Academy won’t have the balls to nominate him – but no other performance shook me this year like his did. He was pitch-perfect…both charming and terrifying. The chemistry he maintained with his “parishioners” (family members much like Westboro’s) was dead on – they love him dearly. He’s both grandfatherly and warm…but also possessive of a stern and devout certainty that sin cannot be tolerated, forgiveness is only for the saved, and homosexuality is the root cause of God’s general condemnation of the Earth. The movie also changes tone three times…starting out scary, then becoming a frenetic actioner and ending up as a riveting human drama (featuring a wonderful John Goodman as an FBI agent tasked with storming the cult’s religious compound). Don’t let your distaste for Kevin Smith keep you away from this movie – it’s just as good as so many have claimed. The hype is justifiable.
#4 – THOR
Another movie that totally proved me wrong. And to be honest, the lead up to this film did nothing for me…and not much for most of the AIBN crew (one of which, we’re still trying to talk into watching this). I expected Thor to be one of my least favorite superhero films – an oversaturated genre I’m not a huge fan of anyway and a weird superhero I have no emotional linkage to. But my wife really wanted to see this….probably something to do with the 6’3 uberripped long-haird blonde guy in the lead role (I’m playing a hunch here). And so I settled in with my popcorn ready to be totally underwhelmed. But there was something I never counted on – Kenneth Branagh. As the film’s director, Branagh nailed every note. He gave the Aasgard scenes a sense of Shakespearean tragedy and power…while making the earthbound moments mirthful and light-hearted. Chris Hemsworth was a convincing hero (his physical presence aside) and the little-known Tom Hiddleston was outstanding as Thor’s adopted brother (and lethally mischievous) Loki. The special effects were top notch (I loved the battle sequence with the ice giants) and the romance low-key and sweet. Even the weirder casting (Idris Elba as a viking guardian of the Rainbow Bridge) ended up working perfectly. And Ray Stevenson is in it…so that automatically makes it worth a viewing in my book. (But if there’s a sequel, feel free to leave Kat Dennings out of it…she added almost nothing to an otherwise fun film).
#5 – LIMITLESS
This movie was a bit polarizing for viewers…but I really dug it. I have to admit, I didn’t think Bradley Cooper had leading man chops. And I was wrong. Pretty much everything about this film wound up proving me wrong. The plot sounded iffy. Some people were put off by the “blood slurping” late in the film. There were questions about pacing. But it all worked for me – I enjoyed De Niro more in this than in any of his last few movies…he was wonderfully understated as a merciless energy broker with an agenda. And Bradley sold the urgency of his character – a guy who goes from Seth Rogen-level slackass to struggling addict with a 4 digit IQ and the ability to multi-sequence his mind (enabling him to learn languages in a matter of days and understand the complex mathematics of macro-economics within minutes). If any criticism can be given, it’s the film’s “time lapse” moments – which are jarring at first; but completely understandable when you consider that his brain no longer perceives time the way others do…his consciousness has become it’s own entity morbidly defensive of its sheer potential (literally changing who Bradley is as a person and creating a mercurial ending that leaves the viewer wondering just what kind of leader Bradley would become – savior or antichrist?). Not the best movie of the year…but of the few films I caught the past 12 months, it earned my hearty praise and surprised me. And I like to be pleasantly surprised.
#1 – WARRIOR
So I first heard of this shit starring Captain Picard’s rent-boy clone with the jacked up teeth….and I’m like FUCK! For some reason I inititally thought it was about two brothers that go head to head in a BOXING ring, but then I come to find out it’s an MMA movie?! FUCK! Lets just say I didn’t go in expecting to find anything special, but lemme tell you, this thing knocked me on my ass like no other this year and the choice of MMA made perfect sense. The drama needed a vessel that could contain the raw animal emotion that brews from years of alcohol and emotional abuse. Boxing just wouldn’t work. It’s too clean and far-removed and onscreen…..it’s just too fucking fake. This shit is unrestrained and brutal. There’s nothing subtle about this film. It takes every dysfunctional family/drama scenario and slaps you in the fucking face with it. There’s an epic quality to what we’re seeing. It feels like the characters are bigger than the story they inhabit. Maybe that’s a side-effect of the ultra realism. The performances are so authentic, by the end, you feel like you know this family…which makes the brutality hit that much harder. You enjoy watching some juiced up retard get his face demolished on TV, but you don’t wanna see it happen to people you know and care about.
This isn’t just the best film of the year, this is the best ‘fight film’ of all-time, one I don’t expect to be topped for quite some time. It’s deeply moving, emotionally satisfying, and most importantly, it makes you feel fucking good.
Ohhh yeah….and FUCK YOUR ROCKY COMPARISON.
#2 – MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
I’ve never been much of a Woody guy. I don’t have a problem with him, I’ve just never seen a ‘Woodly Allen film’ I’d fuck my daughter over.
The circumstances under which I saw this one were perfect. The motherfucker was down to about 30 screens in November. A bitch I cared about at the time suggested we check it out.
“I heard Zelda’s really cute. I love Save Me the Waltz!”
Huh? What the fuck? Alright….so one stormy night, we head down to the good ol’ Laemmle Music Hall on Wilshire (where it’s still fucking playing, by the way) and have a hell of a good time in a theater all to ourselves.
This is a perfect, stay-home-sick-and-soak-this-shit-up-whilst-slurping-soup movie. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re scoring the pussy (or the asshole – wink wink Col. Tigh) at the moment. This shit just makes you happy. I haven’t smiled this much in a movie in quite some time. It illuminates the dark cavities of your soul with sunshine and makes you feel like everything’s gonna be alright. It’s smart, optimistic, damn good looking, and Corey Stoll is a smooth motherfucker.
#3 – BATTLE: LOS ANGELES
Ya know, action is tough to judge in the theater….the shit is so fucking big and so fucking loud, I come out loving almost anything with explosions. I really enjoyed BATTLE in the theater. I saw it twice. It was even better the second time. Moved faster. Action hit harder. Eckhart’s epic PG-13 F-BOMB (Rivaled only by ‘Adventures In Babysitting’ in my opinion) made the audience go even crazier. But see, the theatrical experience is an elusive whore. Pretty much ALL decent action is good in a nice theater with an amped up crowd. But to me, solid films, those worthy of recognition on ‘Best of..’ lists should be the kinda pictures we’ll continue to watch year after year. That’s hard for an action picture to have those kinda legs. I’ll be the first to admit most don’t hold on repeat viewings. Transformers 3, Fast Five, two other big action pictures I loved in the theaters, they lost the magic at home…BATTLE, I’ve seen about five times now, and it continues to get better. It’s a smaller story with a more intimate focus. I believe the relationships. I believe these people are Marines. I believe everything they stand for, and I want to see them succeed.
You disagree? FUCK YOU.
#4 – THE THING
Loved this fucker. LOVED. THIS. FUCKER. Hawks’ original is campy 50s fun, John’s ’82 film is decent, but it’s nowhere near untouchable. This is better than both of them. It’s lean and mean. Zero humor. Zero relationships. Zero fat. Shit dives right in and goes right for the ball-worship. It’s grim as fuck….and Winstead owns it. She doesn’t morph into some dyke commando, she simply handles the fucking situation with authority. The comparisons to ‘82 are absurd. Fucking numbskulls pretending CG made the creature less cool? Uhhhh no….you know what made the creature less cool? In ‘82, when the fucker turned into MacGyer and built a spaceship out of helicopter parts in 5 minutes. Get the fuck outta here.
#5 – SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS
I enjoyed the first one, but for some reason I fucking forgot everything about it by the time I shit out 9 pounds of chink an hour later. The sequel, blows the first one the fuck away. The pace is just fucking unrelenting. Zimmer is banging the whole way through, much more colorful and diverse than the score for the first; I especially enjoyed the Two Mules for Sister Sarah cue during the donkey ride bit. I think Guy was pretty much born to make these fucking films. They’re perfect showcases of all his strengths and sensibilities. I doubt he’ll ever land a property that suits him this well. I appreciated the fact that he went in ready to fuck Sherlock up. Hook torture is AWESOME. Train sequence…AWESOME. The sweet, sweet ass on Watson’s wife…..FUCKING AWESOME. Sherlock’s queer brother walking around casually swingin’ dick, you guessed it….AWESOME. Even Rape-acheeee, that hideous, godless, doll-eyed beast….she was alright. She didn’t bother me. I thought I’d be bitter about the lack of McAdams, but I really enjoyed the way she was handled. I though Sherlock on the boat, releasing her scarf into the wind was a powerful moment, probably the best of either film. It showed real humanity. The fact that Guy would allow for such a somber, contemplative moment amongst all these chaotic shenanigans shows me he fucking gets it. The strength of these Sherlock films lie in the relationships and the chemistry between the players. These films are masterfully cast. I can’t really think of anyone that could better fill these roles, well….except maybe Rape-acheeee’s, I mean there’s no shortage of ugly bitches tryin’ to get paid.
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