Supersized Favorites List: 2011!


1. Drive - Been touting director Nicolas Winding Refn for years as one of the best filmmakers working today, and glad he finally is getting his long deserved international recognition. I loved every minute of this. Undoubtedly the coolest movie in probably the last 5 years, best soundtrack of the year easily, and second best score. As an added bonus, pretending Gosling has autism adds a whole other fun layer of rewatchability. Rating- A+


2. Headhunters - Not yet released in the U.S., but will surely make waves as soon as it does. This slick little slice of depravity is just too much god damn fun. Watch the trailer to get a feeling of whats to come, but get ready to watch a life spin out of control in the most entertaining way. Rating - A


3. Into Eternity - Almost thought this was going to take the top spot earlier in the year. Turns the documentary format on its head as it serves as a literal warning to the future. It will surely bore some to tears, but I fell head over heals for the existential ponderings this doc served up. The director comes off a bit douchey at times, but he's European so he can get away with it. If Kubrick ever made a doc, it may have looked something like this. DVD should be available in the U.S. soon. *ASC recommended. Rating - A


4. Redline - This may be the toughest sell on the list, and listen guys, I completely agree with your trepidation. In no way can I consider myself an Anime fan, beyond the occasional Akira screening, BUT this shit will blow your mind. It took 7 years to animate and they went balls out. Frankly, you could/should just watch the opening 15 and last 25 minutes and get everything you need, cause the middle section is where it drags to typical Anime conventions. But those book-ended 40 minutes combine to make one hell of a race movie. And whatever you do, don't wake up Funky Boy. The Blu-ray comes out January 17, give it a spin. *ASC recommended. Rating - A-


5. I Saw The Devil - Nobody is killing it in the revenge genre like the South Koreans. Be forewarned, this is one gnarly little movie, and certain squeamish types should probably steer clear. But for those who like their visceral bloody action served straight up with a splash of dark comedy, this should do the trick. Definitely features one of the most evil and unrepentant villian's in film history. Netflix Instant Watch available. Rating - A-


6. Moneyball - Single handily responsible for giving me the tools to win my fantasy football league this year. I don't know how they managed to make this such an enjoyable film for someone who watches MAYBE 10 minutes of baseball a year, but they pulled it off. This Sorkin character may be a pretty decent writer after all! Rating - A-


7. Miss Bala - Mexico's entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar this year, and with damn good reason! Follows what has to be the worst week ever in a young woman's life as she unwittingly gets sucked into the drug war in Tijuana. Full of masterfully composed and choreographed sequences, all in single long takes. The nightclub scene in particular will wrack your nerves. Rating - A-


8. The Art of Flight - Some may say, "Its just a snowboard film." To which, I would retort, "And the grand canyon is just a hole in the ground." And then I would cringe cause that's pretty hokey. This is the Godfather of snowboarding films. Every frame of this could hang in a gallery. Blind-buy this on Blu-Ray, it doesn't disappoint. Just be careful not to taint the experience by watching special features that feature the guys talking. Whatever it is that gives them mammoth balls to bomb down mountains is intrinsically linked to what makes them sound dumber than a gaggle of housewives who just read The Secret. *ASC recommended. Rating - A-



9. Incendies - Another hard sell on the list, but fully worth while if you take the plunge. In short, its about two twin siblings trying to track down their father and long lost brother in Lebanon after their mother dies. Riveting, I know. But the opening scene, set brilliantly to Radiohead's "You and Whose Army", will without a doubt draw you in. And what you'll get if you stick through it, is an ending that will knock you flat on your ass. You'll put the pieces together before it slams you over the head with a cinder block, and all the while you'll really hope you're wrong, because it's that devastating once you figure it out. This one will stick with you. Rating - A-


10. Hanna - Come for the pint-size killing machine, stay for the fantastic Chemical Brothers score (best of the year) and art-house action. Keep your eyes open for the fantastic tracking shot parking garage fight. It's a doozy. Ending has a shaky landing, but mostly sticks it. Rating - B+


11. Melancholia - Undoubtedly a bit over the top and pompous, but still a great examination of depression and the all consuming nature it can take. Just thinking about the final scene/shot still sends shivers down my spine. Rating - B+


12. Deliver Us From Evil - One review I read called it "Michael Haneke by way of the Coen Brothers." And I can't think of a better way to put it. That probably won't mean anything to most of you, but for those who are followers of either of those filmmakers, you should seek this out. Script builds perfectly to a crescendo of bigoted violence and revenge. The English trailer I found doesn't do it enough justice though. Rating - B+


13. Take Shelter - By this point, if you're not watching everything Michael Shannon is in, you need to take a long look at your priorities in life. A small scale pre-apocalypse movie that houses some of the most tense scenes of the year, and an ending that fully satisfied my darker desires. Rating - B+


14. Oslo, August 31 - The trailer keeps this one pretty ambiguous, but it's mainly about a man who intends to kill himself after one last day in Oslo. So, yeah, it's a bit depressing. But not nearly as much as you'd think. It's a slow burn too, so I'm sure that also won't help convince anyone. But writer/director Joachim Trier (of the CRIMINALLY underrated Reprise) still manages to infuse enough hope and light into the proceedings that the film floats by in a dreamlike state. Rating - B+


15. In a Better World - Every film Suzanne Bier makes, makes me want to pack my bags and move to Denmark. I just can't get enough of them. Even when they're filled with the atrocities of man, such as this. Melodrama at its finest, that's about all I will say. And that the first time kid actors in this are easily on the level of any Juillliard trained assholes I've seen. Rating - B+


16. Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Yeah, Franco makes the least convincing scientist this side of Denise Richards in that shitty Bond movie (or Tara fucking Reid in Alone in the Dark- HILARIOUS), BUT those damn dirty apes floored me! I'm on their side, fuck the human race! And give Andy Serkis and those wizards at WETA all the CG awards this year! Plus, Frieda Pinto. All I should have to say. Rating - B+


17. Senna - If any documentary was going to make a Formula 1 fan out of me, it would be this one. I still don't see myself watching any races anytime soon, but I think I at least get what the hype is about. And I REALLY get why people loved this racer. Guy's a badass! Pretty uplifting for having an ending you already know. Rating - B+


18. Source Code - Admittedly, I wasn't expecting too much from this, despite my fondness for Duncan Jones' previous effort (MOON). But I was fully on board once this picked up steam. Still not sure if the "science" behind the timelines checks out, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. If this would've ended just 5 minutes earlier, I would probably be rating it even higher. And if Jeffrey Wright wasn't hamming it up as much as the lead scientist. Rating - B+


19. Super 8 - A very good movie with some GREAT moments that is ultimately too schmaltzy by the ending. But a fun ride none the less, and it actually has child actors who you don't want to throttle for being so damn precocious! Rating - B+


20. The Secrets in their Eyes - A ripping good yarn! Not sure what that means, but I believe it applies to this Oscar winning mystery thriller. Contains one of the most awe-inspiring (digitally enhanced) tracking shots since Children of Men. Rating - B+


*Altered States of Consciousness


Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Phase 7


Attack the Block

Stake Land


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo



Sucker Punch - Good lord, what an abortion of a movie. Shoulda caught this 14-year-old's wet dream before the 3 month mark so it couldve been blended and flushed before unleashed upon the masses. And Jon Hamm was in it! Jon f'n Hamm! Should be ashamed of himself... nah he's still dreamyyyyyyImeancool. 



Tree of Life - Yeah, this is kind of a bitch move on my part, but I didn't feel like delving into what I really thought of this movie and where it should be placed. It has top notch cinematography, performances, EVERYTHING, and I'm sure I'll revisit it sometime, but for now it is going to sit in the unclassifiable category. I still recommend you see it though. 


FAVORITE ARTICLE: PLEASE do yourself a favor and copy/paste this link into your browser, cause it's the funniest/creepiest story I read this year. It involves a shut-in roommate, a shit-ton of Chinese food, and a level of loneliness that I can't even imagine. I would say let your imaginations run wild with that info, but there is no way you would come up with what happens. And it will only take a few minutes of your time.


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