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My Best of 2011: The Adjustment Bureau & True Romance

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.

The Adjustment Bureau is number nine. Check out my original review here.

I think this is probably the first truly surprising choice of my own personal countdown. After all, the film debuted to generally positive reviews, but hardly the most exceptional critical feedback. It wasn’t loved and it wasn’t hated, but it was fairly quickly forgotten. I suspect that I will be one of very few people to include the title in my end-of-year best-of list. Still, I loved The Adjustment Bureau. And I think that’s strangely appropriate, because I’d argue that The Adjustment Bureau is perhaps the purest cinematic love story that we’ve seen in quite some time.

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My Best of 2011: Super 8 & Understanding as a Child…

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.

Super 8 is number ten. Check out my original review here.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

– Corinthians 13:11

It seems easy to lambast modern mainstream cinema as devoid of originality or of new ideas. It seems that every other film is a sequel or a prequel or a remake of another film, with Hollywood seemingly eager to cannibalise itself. I’ll concede that there are more franchises than before, but I also think that indie and original cinema is thriving in its own environment. I’d make the case that there’s room for all sorts of film, and that originality and quality don’t necessarily equate. Still, I doubt that will appease too many of the people who are sick of “the same old nonsense”, and I imagine that those people will cynically pick apart Super 8 as exactly the sort of copycat movie that demonstrates everything that’s wrong with modern cinema.

Naturally, I take a different approach, even if I can concede it’s hardly the most original of films. Then again, I’d make the case that this is precisely the appeal.

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My Best of 2011: The Guard & Loving Irish Film…

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.

The Guard is number eleven. Check out my original review here.

I imagine anybody who lives a country about the same size of Ireland has that same essential insecurity about their national cinema. Unless you live in a major market, it seems that home-produced films are generally relegated to the less mainstream cinemas and subject to less promotion or publicity, unless they happen to star one (or more) of your home-grown talents who happens to have been successful overseas. And, as you discuss or review your own cinema, you start to question yourself: are you harder or softer on a particular film because it came from your country? or should you be harder or softer on those films? Do you hold the films produced by your own country to a higher or a lower standard than those produced in major markets? When I recommend a film produced in Ireland, I catch myself, asking “if this weren’t produced here, would it be notable?”

I think there are far more films that are notable than most might imagine, and I also think The Guard is almost definitely one of them. It’s a distinctly Irish film, but one that doesn’t exclude the outsiders looking in.

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My Best of 2011: Rango & Justifying Personal Choices…

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.

Rango is number twelve. Check out my original review here.

It’s December, so that means it’s list time. Critics and pundits will be ranking their “top ten” of everything, and I suppose that I should defer to tradition and offer my own opinion on the “top ten” films of the year. I don’t want to make just another list, though, lost in a sea of opinions of individuals far my experienced and qualified than myself to advise you on the current state of cinema. So I decided that I’d list my own personal choices, by talk about why I chose them and bit and why they appealed to me. I have, after all, already reviewed them all, so I’m not going to try to convince you of their quality (or even my opinion of their quality). Instead, I’m going to talk a bit about why they appealed to me. My list will undoubtedly look very different to yours and – I suspect – to the vast majority of opinions, but the fun in making lists like this lies in defending, debating and justifying your choices.

So, let’s talk about the bottom entry on the list, and the one I feel will be toughest to justify: Rango.

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