Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tim's Top 10 movies for 2011

Here's my top movies list for 2011(pfft soo last year) and honestly as soon as I post it I'll probably want to revise it again. This is over 9000 times harder than my videogames list

anyway let us jam

A lot of films in the 2011 year were just pleasant surprises. Films that were sucker punches (but not Sucker Punch that movie was terrible haha jokes.. I kid) that hit me when I wasn't expecting it and those are sometimes the best films to watch.

I'm going to follow on how I did the videogames list and start with the runnerups in no particular order because they are not winners.

Runner ups

Black Swan

Definitely a sucker punching film that started the year off here. I was impressed with the cleverness of the story, the imagery, the ballet setting and my goodness actually fantastic acting by Natalie Portman. The film reminded me of the magnificent first film of the late Satoshi Kon, "Perfect Blue". It's not that far of a stretch that it would be so similar as Darren Aronofsky did buy the rights of Perfect Blue and he even directly referenced it in his film Requiem for a dream

True Gritt

I love this style of film from the Coen brothers, it's a lot like No country for old men. A slow burn film made up of little character moments. It was also fantastic to see their take on my favourite John Wayne movie. The Dude did a great job as Rooster Cogburn, Hailee Steinfeld was amazing and everyone else were such a wonderful collection of colourful characters.

In Time

Well here's my "WTF are you serious?" film but dang I really loved this one. I wonder if it is a 'hunger is the best spice' sort of film as there has been a lack of high concept scifi films but I really loved how the world worked. I loved how you had those clocks on your arm saying how much time you had to live. I loved that line about how you can tell someone has come from the slums because they are always running everywhere. I quite liked the ending about how if the system existed, although it seems cruel how the time was given out, it was necessary to run the world that way.

I would like to see a second film that actually deals with the fallout from this film. There were a few other cool concept things going on that I really dug as well and yeah Timberlake was pretty good in it. The muscle cars with the Jettson sound effects cracked me up though


Mannn this was fun. BEAUTIFULLY designed (eff what everyone else says) with such a great cast of unique individual characters (seriously every character in this movie could have their own spin off movie) and it just being a super fun animated adventure filled with reference to old cowboy movies. Oh and IT DOESN'T pussy out on making scenes tense that you fear for the characters.

That Rattlesnake dude was so scary and awesome he had me sliding down in my cinema seat.

Kung Fu Panda 2

Total surprise! Why? I really didn't like Kung Fu Panda 1 that film just rubbed me the wrong way but this film just fixed all my complaints about the first one. Mostly with how it fleshed out all the characters and had fantastically staged action moments that felt meaty. The story was also a lot more solid even though it still had that destiny crap (not that I'm against the idea of destiny it's just a boring film trope). Like I said this one was a surprise and it left me with a big grin.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Andy Serkis and the team of animators pulled this one off. They made the ape Caesar something real. You can see his mind ticking over and that's the magic here. I mean all the rest of the characters are pretty stock standard. It was nice how they worked in the other apes movie in the background but dammm Caesar carried that whole film. Oh Malfoy turned up to be a jerk and that was pretty entertaining as well (COMEUPPANCE!!!).


Oh SH**!!! This to me is the best super hero film ever made. It's just a brutal portrayal of real dude who decides to put on an outfit and fight crime. The comedy is fantastic, his catch phrase "Shut up Crime!" and those wonderful dream sequences oh and Ellen Page and Kevin Bacon are great as well. However it's the last part of the film that destroys me though. It drops the comedy for a powerful shocking effect where it becomes really honest to the characters and the situation and leaves you with something that is quite heartfelt and I'll use this word again, honest.

I'm pretty interested in how Tim Gunn (the films director/writer) has hooked up with Grasshopper/ Suda 51 (killer 7, no more heroes, Shadow of the Dammed) to make Lollipop Chainsaw

That game looks so effin crazy it's distracting me from my list.


This film for me is a fantastic concept film. Where they've taken a standard Hollwood action movie and just removed 98% of the dialogue and like what they did with Planet of the Apes they just added in moments of thought, characters just thinking. That to me is the joke, that they gave a braindead action film a thinking brain and hilariously it works. It totally helped that they styled it like a indie comic book and added an 80s sort of aesthetic to it which I'm quite fond of (my last personal film was all about this style) oh and Ryan Gosling is dreamy


I wanted to put this as my film of the year just because this is one of those films I feel is just made for me. This is 2d animation at it's absolute greatest. When a car gets a burst of acceleration it buckles and kicks all over the screen then blasts off in leaving a giant trail of flames and smoke and with how it's drawn and animated you really feel it. It excites you and like a ninja you flip out. Takeshi Koike gives us wonderful exciting movement, beautiful stylised characters/world and most importantly he makes drawing look fun.

This was the one film I had been waiting for for 5+ years to watch and with all that build up and with my expectations at their absolute highest the film still managed to deliver to me what I wanted and more. I've watched this film a bunch of times and I think once I finish this list I'm going to pop it in and watch it again.

Best film of 2011

Ok here we go for my pick of 2011


I'm sorry I couldn't find a subtitled trailer so I'll begin with the synopsis

Upon reaching the train station to death, a dejected soul is informed that he is 'lucky' and will have another chance at life. He is placed in the body of a 14-year-old boy named Makoto Kobayashi, who has just committed suicide. Watched over by a neutral spirit named Purapura, the soul must figure out what his greatest sin and mistake in his former life was before his time limit in Makoto's body runs out. He also has a number of other lesser duties he must complete, such as understanding what led Makoto to commit suicide in the first place and learning how to enjoy his second chance at life

Now last year I got in an argument with some Pixar fanboys about how I felt the trailer for Brave felt like a step backwards from the beautiful animation that was in Tangled and they kept coming back with "nah you idiot they just want their animation to be more subtle and realistic" this just made me groan because if you have watched a film like Colorful you'd know what is subtle realistic looks like and this is what is so great about Colorful is its understated subtle realism.

These are real characters and my god you hate them and you feel sorry for them, you want to help them you and want to punch them in the face. It really involves you as a viewer and I'm sure that will split its audience into people who love this film and people that hate it with just as much passion.

It is the subtleties in their movements. Individual, unique and personalised to each character. There's not just one thing that defines them, they are complex and that makes them very human. You can see them saying one thing but you can tell that they're holding stuff back. Much like the acting they were trying to capture in LA Noire. The characters also grow and change throughout the film.

The pacing and filming is perfect, moments like the awkward dinner table conversations are drawn out breaking your heart and frustrating you. Also every word is of dialogue is well used and not wasted as well as its silence. Much like Drive and the Apes we see the characters think. The expert control by Keiichi Hara in this film is phenomenal.

For me Redline was the most fun and exciting movie of the year but this one edged it out to be my top film for 2011 by just emotionally scarring me haha. No I mean the ending is happy enough but it really knew how to push my buttons and to do that with animation mannn that humbles me as an animator.

Ok now it is time for some of the booo hisss films I saw

Worst film

Cars 2

Now I didn't mind the first Cars... well the romance between the cars weirded me out but that end race was exciting. Now this film was really boring and it's crazy because they were trying so hard (maybe too hard) to make it so fun and exciting. I hate using that word boring to describe a film but I became more interested in adjusting the settings on my phone (I watched this film at home doing this in a cinema is a stoneable offence) than what was going on. I found myself groaning and wondering how much longer the film was going to go on for. I was just watching this film by myself there was no reason I couldn't have stopped it and walked away but it's Pixar they don't make bad movies... EXCEPT THEY DID AND IT IS CALLED CARS 2.

It marks the end of their winning streak (well not in $'s they still killed it there) and adds a black dot to their name. They better come out swinging with Brave or we're going to have another Disney incident and a lot of unemployed animators.

Most disappointing

Here's 2 films that I had to mention because I had high hopes and they let me down

Cowboys and Aliens

What a blurry misdirected mess of a film! The whole way through this film I kept hoping it was going to turn a corner, that it was going to get better. I reached the credits going "It's still good... there's still time.. maybe they'll pull a Wild Things and put the best parts in the credits" to which my partner put her hand on my shoulder and just said "It's over Tim... it's over". So disappointing

X-Men: First Class

Let me start by saying it's my own fault for not liking this film. No one elses, my own dam fault. You see what I did before seeing this film...well a good few months before was that I had took it upon myself to read every single X-men (and X-factor/force/etc) comic from number 1 to the current issues. Now what worked in the film were actually moments and characterisations directly lifted from the comic what didn't work was the stupid hollywood bullshit. It was also an ugly cheap looking film, especially that end part on the beach. I think that was what I loved about Thor was it actually looked like it was made by a film maker not an episode director of Buffy (I've set my expectations low for you Whedon!).

I didn't hate X-Men First class (I felt compelled to draw that picture) I was just disappointed at the what it could have been when they had so much great material to work with.

Ok I don't like finishing on negatives so here's my just counting down the days

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

This just oozes style. I saw this trailer before Drive and by it's end I was standing up because I was so engrossed in this trailer. Next week WOOOO!


I'm drooling. I'm not kidding drool is coming out of my mouth. Look at it! It's effin gorgeous!


Effin Batman come on! I'm hoping Christopher Nolan finishes his Batman strong.


Wait what? I thought I said my expectations were low. Goddamit! Nick Fury turning up at the end of the other movies did hook me in and made me pretty excited for this. This film is the big gamble where they better have gone all in. The trailers look pretty great and the cast looks good together Whedon is no slouch when it comes to characters and story lets hope he brings in some spectacle

annnnd done EFF YESSSS!!!!


  1. Kung Fu Panda was number 16 or 17 on my worst list. Just knocked off. After loving the first movie, I couldn't have been more bored with this one.

    I also though Rango was beautiful, but it was great at the start and the very end, and had a real lull in the middle (for me). It would be in the top five most beautiful films of the year for sure.

    And I couldn't make it through Cars 2.

    I saw Arriety last night and I loved it, but Jess and Campbell both didn't - What did you think. (I don't think it's the best Ghibil film, but I do think it's the best one in ten years - since Spirited Away came out).

    1. I haven't seen Arriety yet. I do want to check it out. This is one of their trying to find someone to keep the Ghibli name going films. I think this is something of a curse that the directors may find themselves trying to make a Ghibli styled film and ending up with only a copy of a Ghibli film. I am looking forward to the film though.

  2. I agree that Kung Fu Panda 2 was better than the first one, though I'm finding Jack Black's schtick increasingly tiresome.

    Love True Grit. LOVE. The Coens just keep topping themselves. And I was surprised by how much I liked Rise of the Planet of the Apes, as I've never seen the other films and never had any desire to. I expected schlocky crap but it was quite a gripping thriller.

    I've had Super downloaded for a while, must get around to watching that.

    1. I think Blacks schtick works best when there's other characters just as interesting to bounce off of. If it is just him doing his thing yeah it doesn't really carry a movie

      Super is either one you will love or hate it leaves no room for 'meh'

  3. I've never seen anything on this list, but I REALLY want to see In Time and a few others. Drive look interesting and so does Black Swan.

    Tim, did you ever see Southland Tales?

    1. I have it and I've put it in the dvd player to check out but I've always been distracted by something. It's like my cursed film haha. I do want to watch it though despite the horrible reviews

      Oh have you seen Gattaca? I think that's a better film than In Time (same director)It has the same low key scifi feel to it. It's a lot like Goddard's Alphaville. I also remembered after posting this In times hilarious groan worth puns/lines that they constantly drop throughout the movie. I purged that from my memory when I was compiling my favourites list haha

    2. I have Gattacca but never watched it as well. I need to dig out the DVD from somewhere around here.

      If you can make it through the Southland Tales trailer, or even the first 10 minutes of the film... and like what you see, then you'll probably enjoy it. It's definitely a love / hate, with a lot of hate, but one of my favorite films of all time. It feels like Richard Kelly's much weirder Pulp Fiction style film. Tons of characters in sprawling stories, and very, very long.