Best Movies Of 2011
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
The best black film of the year. That’s not a racist joke comparing black people to apes, but a compliment to the smart racial analogy that has always been in the APES films but was taken to a new level with this one. The “exceptional” Negro…I mean ape…is cute to the nice white folks while he’s young, but once he becomes an adult with the intelligence to realize the limits of his situation and the strength to do something about it, he’s dumped with the less fortunate of his kind. The “hood” thinks he’s a punk and he has to get street cred (in one of the great scenes of the film where he triangulates against the alpha ape) in order to lead a revolution.
Midnight In Paris
In the golden age of studio film making, you could make a lot of movies. Great directors like Howard Hawks and Akira Kurasawa have 50 plus films in their body of work. Sometimes their first notable film doesn’t happen until ten movies in. Now if you make ten movies in your career you’re doing well.
Woody Allen has managed to beat those odds. He’s got a huge body of work, and he’s made important films in all the different phases of his career. The very fact that you can break his career into “periods” like a painter is already a triumph.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is a simple but wonderful film about the illusion of nostalgia. Too many people, young and old, yearn for the “good old days” when the art was better. This movie skewers that notion.
For Woody to make his most successful film at the box office this late in his career is a great encouragement to me.
This movie is a great example of disciplined storytelling. The threat is plausible, the storytelling is economical and the pace is relentless. Great writing, producing, directing and acting.
Attack The Block
Attack the block is a simple idea – instead of aliens landing in the desert, they land in the projects – but the execution is what really makes it impressive. Uniquely British but universally accessible, the movie stars a young man who looks like a teenage Denzel Washington. Everyone in this film, from director to cast, should be seen a lot more often.
How you attract all these great actors to a low budget project with a new filmmaker? A great script. I loved it.
It’s so easy for a movie like this to turn out pretentious and cornball. But the filmmaking is great and Ryan Gosling really has the goods.
Not much more to say about this one. Really funny but stays human and relatable.
Bringing together all the F&F casts into one movie – great. Setting the story in Brazil – great. Great action, cool dudes, hot girls, smoking cars – what else do you want in a movie?
Since most superhero movies are PG-13, the damage a super powered fight could really cause is glossed over. But the final battle between the Gods shows how nasty the carnage could be.
The sad part is that you’ll probably never get to see it. Danish model Rie Rasmussen directed and starred in this brutal and amazing gangster film set in Serbia. A fantastic film debut.