Far from a comprehensive list of last year, below are the Films I watched that are worth another mention.
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
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
Toy Story 3: (3D) Follows the usual suspects on another adventure as their beloved owner Andy grows up and heads for college. Because main cast were developed so well in the first two films TS3 is more about the storyline, which isn’t anything new as we’ve seen the whole “adventures in the big wide world” (done better) twice before. It’s also unexpectedly far, far darker than the first two, with 100% more doom & death scenes – and characters, like the unsettling Big Baby. Although dark themes are brought up the universal ones like rejection, growing up, friendship, loss, old vs new etc are all still present and keep the film’s appeal very broad. Where TS3 stands out is that it really tugs on the ol’ heartstrings; I cried happy tears at Buzz’s change and Mr Tortilla head, yet was close to sad tears several times. Newman’s score is terribly safe, but the way it manipulates your feelings is nothing short of amazing. Although it’s easy to take for granted in Pixar films you can’t overlook the broad array of such well-drawn characters (in both sense) backed with superb voice-acting performances – Mr Pricklepants, voiced by Timothy Dalton, was the standout for me – but everyone is great. The 3D element was outstanding – unlike most films that have a flat background and several objects ‘popping out’ TS3-3D shows full-natural depth to give the impression that you are really watching the action. When Toy Story debuted (in 1995!) as the first full-length CGI movie nobody could have predicted that it would have such an enormous influence on cinema & animation, and kick off one of the best trilogies ever – say what you want, but the Toy Story series stands up to everything else out there. It’s a great way to cap off the tale of a bunch of random plastic toys that have captured the imaginations of children and adults alike.
Note: The token Pixar short ‘Day & Night’ was rubbish!