My films of 2011

Attack the Block

I saw a around 35 movies in 2011 so trying to think which was my favourite hasn’t been an entirely simple affair. It was the year of the sequel with the greatest number of sequels ever released in a calender year (28 if you were wondering). Out of my 35 I’ve worked out that at least 11 were a sequel, prequel or remake/reboot, which is a fair chunk. There were a number of good fresh films in there though as well as ones that are sure to spark sequels of their own; so what was my favourite? While I’d like to give honourable mentions to Hugo, Crazy Stupid LoveX-Men: First Class and Super 8, I’ve picked out two for the year that stood out the most for me. I should say they are not necessarily the best two films of 2011, but certainly the two I enjoyed the most :)

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What to watch in 2012?


With 2012 having been rung in what films will there be to look forward to in the next twelve months? We didn’t have a great film year in 2011 but the new year is shaping up to be a little more interesting with a number of eye opening prospects on the horizon. So without further ado here is the20’s run down on some of the films to look forward to in 2012 (in no particular order).

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Toy Story 3/ Day and Night

Bring out the Kleenex! Everybody’s favourite toys have now ended their 15 year journey with the final instalment in the Toy Story series… in 3D!! It was obvious after Up that Pixar were on a winning streak and twinned with the already successful Toy Story formula they could do no wrong; and they haven’t. Despite it being the dreaded second sequel, which is usually a bad game of Russian roulette for some franchises, Pixar has maintained the same quality in this instalment that gifted instant success to the previous two films. Toy Story 3 is an emotional and exciting final journey for Woody, Buzz and the gang which sees Andy, their very long time owner, finally grows up and has to make a decision about the fate of his beloved friends.

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Inception (12A)

Christopher Nolan’s inspired sci-fi epic Inception has finally hit our screens like a speeding, flaming juggernaut of metaphysical and mind-bending wonder. The amount of hype has been a little overbearing and people had made their minds up about the film months before its release. It was in major danger of being something of a let-down after apocalyptic levels of hype. Now, I don’t usually judge upcoming films by trailers or adverts but even from reading the previews, watching the dim-witted advert/trailers on the TV it was obvious that Inception was going to be something quite special; and it is. Inception is written, directed and produced by Christopher Nolan whose previous notable efforts include The Prestige, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight; none of which exactly set the world on fire but are competent action thrillers nonetheless. Nolan pulls out all the stops on this one though and has achieved an ambitious aim with this new feature that by far surpasses his previous work. Deriving influence from an eclectic range which includes the Wachowski Bros, Film Noir and Philip K Dick, Inception covers a lot of ground in existentialist theory, features some mind-blowing effects and really tests the characters, and the viewer’s, perception of reality. Also, it’s a bloody good excuse to watch people beat the crap out of each other…in mid air…while upside down.

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Dark Crystal, Crystal Clear?

Dark Crystal

After years of going nowhere we are beginning to get more news about the forth coming Dark Crystal sequel. Finally it would appear things are on the move with this being the second announcement in as many months about development on the movie. The Jim Henson Company have not only confirmed they will be going down the 3D route but also that they have snatch up directors Peter and Michael Spierig, best known for their work on 2009’s Daybreakers.

In anticipation the brothers have said, “We feel a tremendous amount of responsibility in telling this story with the same meticulous care that Jim Henson and Frank Oz gave the 1982 original. This is a chance to take the world of puppetry into the modern age by using modern techniques (like motion capture CGI) and the tried and true methods (like puppetry and animatronics) to create a one hundred percent real world that is unique to The Dark Crystal.”

Set 100 years after the events of the first film which saw Gelfling Jen reunite the Dark Crystal and bring peace to the land, The Power.. will see another Gelfling outcast aid a young girl made of fire steal a shard of the crystal (therefore likely shatter the world once more) in order to save her home at the center of the planet.

So, do we have faith in The Jim Henson Company to do this right and what do people think of their choice in directors? Daybreakers was a very different film, so will they bring the right level of childlike menace or do you worry it’ll all go wrong? Let us know in the comments!

Hugo’s Nazi Nasty

Hugo Weaving is Red Skull

Marvel Studios have announced that actor Hugo Weaving will be suiting up to play villainous Nazi The Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger due 2011.

Weaving will star along side Chris Evans (no not that one) as the title character as they look to revamp and launch the newest string of superhero tales. The press release states the character born Johann Schmidt, “will be updated for the feature adaptation” which basically means he will likely have a few differences from the Red Skull comic book fans know so well.

Excitement has begun to built for the film that “Will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America.”

The character certainly has the potential to be a classic villain. Depicted as a close pal of animal loving painter Adolf Hilter, his mother died during childbirth to which his father held him responsible and tried to kill him, leaving him to grow up orphaned begging on the streets. Needless to say he began a healthy disdain for humanity and eventually became head of Nazi terrorist activities. Move over Osama.

With Weaving behind the mask/makeup/CGI we are sure to get a meaty villain that will no doubt be full of the vanity of Mr Smith (The Matrix), the weight and presence of Elrond (Lord of the Rings) and general hatred of life he brought to Megatron (Transformers).

I wasn’t overly excited by this film before, but must admit the addition of Weaving has most definitely perked my interest. What about you? Let us know below!

Matrix Revelations!

Fresh off the bat after forging ahead with Predator reboot Predators, Fox have announced they plan to remake 1985’s all out action feast Commando. Starring action king Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role of retired special-forces man John Matrix, Arnie was doing his muscle bound best to banish, behead, beat up and blow up a cavalcade of bad guys in pursuit of an old enemy who had kidnapped his daughter. Featuring everything that made 80’s action what it this, some fail to see how the apparent “real-world spin” Fox plan to take the new film in will work.

Script writing and directing duties have been handed to Harsh Times overseer David Ayer , with production by Erwin Stoff (The Matrix) and John Davis (Alien vs Predator: Requiem). Whilst there are no real details at present Ayer has said they will be looking to modernise the action, toning down the OTT muscle antics in favour of something more suited to the modern post 9/11 era. I don’t know about anyone else, but that sounds akin to saying you’re going to make Macaroni & Cheese whilst trying to rein in the cheese?

So can the original testosterone filled action explosion be tamed into a modern smart action thriller or are Fox on a one way street to one liner free remake mess a la Planet of the Apes? As far as I’m concerned Commando was one of the many reasons (besides my birth of course ;) to look back fondly on 1985 as a good year… so tread carefully Fox, ’cause I like it that way!

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!