2011 – A Year In Review: Part One

2011, we hardly knew yee.

It seems like only a few months ago when there was snow on the ground, Tron: Legacy in the cinemas and early buzz for that Colin Firth film about swearing, yet here we are, twilight days of the year upon us all of a sudden, and what have we learned, what have we really learned in a year where Gulliver’s Travels became the respected family comedy that people dismissed eagerly in December 2010. So, from The Adjustment Bureau to Zookeeper, let us take a trip down recent memory lane.

January, cold, dark days that open the year, saw in it’s first few weeks such eclectic titles as 127 Hours, The King’s Speech, Blue Valentine, Black Swan and Season Of The Witch. Many were Oscar contenders, or attempts, such as Conviction, Barney’s Version and The Dilemma, but the highlights were of course the releases of NEDs, Tangled and The Mechanic, how can you be so down on a film where Jason Statham and Ben Foster are running down a building, doing the Tom Cruise, with more violence and swearing?

Best film of the month: Blue Valentine

Worst film of the month: It’s Kind Of A Funny Story

This month we lost: Pete Postelthwaite, Peter Yates and John Barry.

February, and with awards season in full swing, we saw such fare as The Fighter, Rabbit Hole and A Little Bit Of Heaven (with the most outstandingly awful trailer of the year) take to the multiplexes. The Coens’ True Grit remake finally made it to our small shores, so all of the UK could wonder together just what in the world Jeff Bridges was gargling about half the time, and 3D treat Drive Angry gave us Amber Heard’s cut off jean shorts in our face, and a shooting sex scene to rival Shoot ‘Em Up.

February was also one of the many months of bad comedy, with Just Go With It, No Strings Attached and Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son destroying senses of humour all over, and none of them have a scene as jaw-dropping as February’s The Rite.

The Oscars came and went, The King’s Speech somehow gaining a best picture and director for a forgettable, tv movie when The Social Network remains an outstanding cinematic achievement of late, made even more outstanding when put alongside Mo… No, that’s November.

What The Oscars Got Right: Adapted Screenplay for Social Network, Original Score for Trent Reznor’s Social Network, Film Editing for The Social Network.

What The Oscars Cocked Up: Toy Story 3 is not the best animation, the Wolfman shouldn’t be an Academy Award Winner, Roger Deakins still hasn’t got that Oscar.

Best film of the month: Rabbit Hole

Worst film of the month: Paul

This month we lost: Len Lesser and Gary Winick.

March, and the sun was staying up longer (I know this because I was on night shoots on the first week, and we were waiting much longer than the week before for the sun to bloody go down), big new releases started to come out, in the shape of Rango, The Adjustment Bureau, Battle: Los Angeles and Limitless, we saw Werner Herzog’s 3D documentary Cave Of Forgotten Dreams get a release, and West Wing writer John Well’s The Company Men got completely ignored, March is a tough month, but this year it at least had some memorable films in it.

Best film of the month: Submarine

Worst film of the month: Hall Pass

This month we lost: Michael Gough and Elizabeth Taylor

Oh April, you start to get warmer, hints of summer, and then you pour rain on us to make things worse. But it’s ok, because we got Duncan Jones’ second feature, Source Code, one of the only 4-act films to get a wide release with Scre4m, the least seen of the animated Oscar contenders, Winnie The Pooh, the painfully underrated Cedar Rapids and two great blockbusters in the guise of Fast Five and Thor. Also in the mix, the year’s second and third 3D documentaries, TT3D: Closer To The Edge and Pina 3D, and Zack Snyder’s rape-fantasy Sucker Punch.

Best film of the month: Source Code

Worst film of the month: Sucker Punch

This month we lost: Sidney Lumet and Tim Hetherington.

The adventure will continue in part two, May through August, coming next week.

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