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My Best of 2011: True Grit & The Art of Modesty…

It’s that time of the year. To celebrate 2011, and the countdown to 2012, I’m going to count down my own twelve favourite films of the year, one a day until New Year’s Eve. I’m also going to talk a bit about how or why I chose them, and perhaps what makes this list “my” best of 2011, rather than any list claiming to be objective.

True Grit is number eight. Check out my original review here.

Collective consensus is a funny thing. It pops up quite quickly and quietly, in the strangest sorts of places and the strangest sort of way. The Coen Brothers are respected filmmakers, to say the least. Even when a project of their doesn’t quite come off as smoothly as one might expect, it’s still compelling viewing. However, as with any other directors, there are greater films and there are lesser films. And there are those that sit in the middle. True Grit, for most critics, seems to sit firmly in the middle.

But not for me.

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Non-Review Review: Due Date

I have to admit that I quite enjoyed Due Date. It’s a straight-forward comedy road movie – nothing more, nothing less. It’s the standard template: two unlikely comrades find themselves embarking on a cross-country journey where they learn a lot about each other and themselves. As such, Due Date is the younger sibling of films like Trains, Planes and Automobiles or Midnight Run – it’s also a genre which hasn’t, to be honest, been played entirely straight in quite some time. Sure, there have been variations on theme – Little Miss Sunshine, for example, played the road movie with far more subversive comedy; Get Him to the Greek was this concept with rock stars. As such, perhaps the simplicity of Due Date is part of the appeal – it’s a tried and tested formula, so why tinker with it?

What does Robert Downey Jr. bring to the table?

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Remember Me: The Box Office & Pop Culture Longevity…

I was reading an interesting article on Rope of Silicon which pondered whether Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was our generation’s iteration of The Big Lebowski. Much like the comparisons between The Social Network and Citizen Kane, it doesn’t matter whether the question is downright ridiuclous or even improper, it simple serves to illustrate the type of movie that people think of when they see these modern films. That people would even utter “Scott Pilgrim” and “The Dude” in the same sentence is a huge compliment to the latter, no matter what the literal result of the comparison. Of course, this is small comfort to the studio which is no doubt disappointed by the less than stellar box office returns. However, ignoring the obvious immediate and practical impact of box office receipts, do they speak at all to a film’s longevity?

Does the box office disappointment mean "game over" for Scott Pilgrim?

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