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Far from a comprehensive list of last year, below are the Films I watched that are worth another mention.


The Best
:

Inception – Original, smart Sci-Fi Blockbuster… bliss.
Jackass 3D – The most I’ve ever laughed and gagged in the cinema
The Good, The Bad, The Weird – Fantastic modern western fun
MicMacs – Brilliant French vision
MacGruber – Slated by critics but was so, so funny
Toy Story 3 – Perfect ending to the best trilogy in cinema
Up In The Air – Clooney and Farmiga in a modern romance
Dragon Tattoo – Stunning whodunnit from Sweden
The Killer Inside Me – Shockingly realistic portrait of a serial killer
Spartacus (TV) – Fighting, sex and swearing; great trash telly
Luther (TV) – Brilliant UK detective show, a la HBO

Stinkers:

We are what we are – a boring horror film about cannibals!
Somewhere – utterly ridiculous non-film
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – But I almost did…
Warrior’s Way – Ninjas & Cowboys done so wrongly
Hornet’s Nest – Not a terrible film, but nothing on the first
Skyline – Derivative alien bore
Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus – so bad it’s bad!

Best of the rest:

Conversations with Other women – Split screen for the duration, and works well.
Hot Rod – Spot on comedy timing
Inglourious – Tarantino’s most mature work
Survive Style 5+ – Eye candy from Japan.
Drag Me To Hell – Throwback horror

The Killer Inside Me: American Noir set in the 1950s – a chilling character study of a sociopathic sheriff. Pretty much every review focuses and questions the two violent scenes so here goes: in my opinion the violence is shocking, but isn’t just a cheap shock; it’s to help us get further into Lou’s head, showing the audience that he has absolutely no boundaries or morals. Is the film misogynistic? Yes, but that’s because Lou is, and at least it doesn’t glamourise violence like so many other flicks. Beatings aside, whiny Casey Affleck fits the lead role perfectly, and considering he’s in every scene he never becomes boring, stale or overbearing. His believability and end-to-end range really shine through here. The rest of the cast are good, but all feel like bit-parts. Winterbottom’s style is pretty slick and although it’s clearly well-directed, aspects like the offbeat soundtrack and try-hard Noir vibe weary thin by the end. There are also some very, very dark bits of humour usually through Lou’s misunderstanding of normal people, but it probably wasn’t funny to most. Then there’s the ending, which for me was so ridiculous and out of tone with the rest of the story that I’m 95% sure it was a dream. The walkouts through the screening emphasised that this isn’t for everyone, mainly because it’s probably the closest you’ll get to feeling like a serial killer: we hear Lou’s every thought & justification and see both his flashbacks and events in his perspective. You will watch some bits through your fingers, but as much as it’s divided critics, it’s probably the single best example of a director harnessing the power of cinema to manipulate his audience in years. This is our generation’s, much more effective, Henry: portrait of a Serial Killer.

Score: 7.5/10