In case you didn't spot it, at 1:36 Mark Kermode reads from my comment about the top and bottom 5 films of the year so far (this was mid August). From my post he picks out Four Lions and Ponyo. Both of which I liked a lot. I guess I'll talk about my list a little while I'm here.
My full top five were as follows:
5. Four Lions (review)
4. The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (review)
3. Ponyo (review)
2. Toy Story 3 (review)
1. Inception (review)
My bottom five were:
5. Alice in Wonderland (review)
4. The Wolfman (review)
3. The A-Team (review)
2. A Nightmare on Elm St (review)
1. Zonad (review)
Oh and also:
The original Kermode thread I posted the lists on: The Year in Review
The new Kermode thread including my comment reading: The Year in Review Reviewed
Now as I said earlier that selection is a month old so it's not exactly what I'd pick now. It'd mostly be the same but I can be certain that if I picked it now, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World would be in there somewhere as I really loved that.
I guess I'll say a few things about all these movies and why I picked them.
Four Lions - I've been a big fan of Chris Morris for years. I think that everything he's done has a certain poignancy and truth to it and Four Lions may be the strongest example of this. I was really moved by the characters and how it was nothing but a few mates simply getting in way over their heads. As I imagine the majority of people in their situation are.
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans - Terrible title aside, this really surprised me. When I first heard about this remake/reimagining/removie and then saw the trailer I had no idea what to think. On the one hand it looked like some sort of Wicker Man remake type disaster, on the other it seemed like it might be deliriously fascinating. Fortunately the latter was true. This is what I get for doubting Herzog.
|You can trust me|
Ponyo - It took me a while to go see this one but when I finally did I was captivated. I haven't seen many of Miyazaki's films but from what I've seen I've gathered that there's an honest simplicity to them. Ponyo felt very much like the characters were just allowed to behave and live comfortably and we just happened to be watching. It also has the distinction of being a Japanese anime film that's cute without being irritating.
Toy Story 3 - It's hard to believe it's been 15 years since I first saw Toy Story. It's had a profound effect on my over the years. Towards the end of this one I had tears literally streaming down my face. While I've often cried at moving moments in the cinema, nothing has ever hit me like Toy Story 3 did. What was running through my mind at the time was how these characters were a family who I felt a kinship with, seeing as they'd been there at key points in my life when I was growing up. Powerful stuff!
Inception - As Kermode puts it, Inception is proof that big budget massive blockbusters don't have to be dumb as nuts to succeed. Inception was dazzling and interesting. Any who claimed to be confused or lost by it were simply not paying attention and there is no excuse for that. If nothing else, seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a shifting gravity fight scene will always be a cinematic highlight for me.
Alice in Wonderland - For all the barking that this wasn't a remake, it was in fact an original story conceived as a sequel to the Lewis Caroll novels, no one seemed to notice that it was just a weak adaptation of Jabberwocky with the Wonderland characters thrown in for good measure. Far too long, far too over-designed, far too dull. Also, did anyone else burst out laughing when the Jabberwock opened its mouth and Christopher Lee's voice boomed out? Just me? Ok then.
The Wolfman - Half moody and serious costume psychological horror, half giant monster fighting b-movie. One look at the wolfman design and the film collapsed instantly.
The A-Team - Half the film I couldn't hear what anyone was saying, the other half I wished I couldn't hear it. Excrutiatingly bad dialogue, action and characters. A lovey dovey bit of rubbish shoved in for good measure. Utter crap really. Well, Sharlto Copley was pretty funny I have to admit.
The Nightmare on Elm St - Any sort of subtlety that existed in the original is thrown straight out the window and we spend the whole film building up a long boring backstory only to have it shattered at the end. Useless. I guarantee there'll be a sequel though... and another... and another...
Zonad - Everyone involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
So yeah, that's a thing. I felt I had to make a mention of this as I can promise you this blog wouldn't exist if it hadn't been for me listening to Kermode's unique take on cinema for a few weeks. He serves as an inspiration for this blog and for that I salute him. If you don't follow his show (I usually download the podcast) or his blog I highly recommend it. Oh, and I should probably get round to reading his book.