Wierdly I didn't watch a single documentary or found footage horror this month which is very unlike me. On the other hand I did watch two very different films about the end of the world. Neither made my top 9.
18. Final Destination 5 (Steven Quale, 2011)
This franchise is losing the will to live. Good ending for franchise fans but the deaths, the big accident at the start and the characters are getting more and more fake, less inventive and failing to hide the obvious CGI and poor scripting. It’s time death came for the series.
17. Red State (Kevin Smith, 2011)
Disappointing Christian cult horror from Kevin Smith. When three horny teens seek out a hooker to do the dirty with, they get more than they came for when they are captured by the Westboro Baptist Church-alike Christian fundamentalist cult living on the outskirts of town. Could have been funnier, scarier, and far more involving if it wasn’t so disjointed and apathetic towards the fate of the young characters.
16. Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)
Slow, beautiful but mind-numbingly boring. Watching a depressed Kirsten Dunst go through her wedding and then await the end of the world is just painful. I wish I could relate more to Dunst’s character but I couldn’t help wishing she’d just give up and lock herself away so I could see how the rest of the characters coped with their impending doom. Worth watching for some incredible visuals and great performances but the story is utterly forgettable.
15. 13 Assassins (Takashi Miike, 2011)
This is the samurai film that packs the mother of all battles. Starts slow but once the samurais get swords swinging, the blood flows endlessly in brilliantly but emotionally empty choreographed mayhem.
14. 2012 (Roland Emmerich, 2009)
Take this, mix it with Melancholia and somewhere in the middle there’s a good film. 2012 sees John Cusack and family running, driving and flying out of never-ending enormous and ridiculous CGI. Woody Harrelson overdoes it as the OTT conspiracy theorist that is righteous with his doom-laden ranting and the crazy narrative takes us from exploding national park volcanoes to the tip of Mount Everest. You can’t ask for much more from a big, dumb blockbuster.
Read my review here.
12. The Guard (John Michael McDonagh, 2011)
Featuring another great performance from Gleeson after In Bruges, The Guard also has a witty script that doesn’t shy away from revealing the dark side of the anti-hero central character. Gleeson's drug-taking, whoring cop is a hoot from the moment he drops acid in the opening scene and declares it to be a 'good day'. Throw in Don Cheadle as a straight laced fish-out-of-water American agent and this crime comedy soars.
Twisted, twisty and disturbing. After the death of their mother, siblings search their past and discover dark family secrets. Forgiveness, incest and torture all feature in a gripping and powerful tale that is adapted from a stage play but feels incredibly cinematic. Incedible ending too.
10. Moneyball (Bennett Miller, 2011)
Talking baseball and statistics with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. The Oakland Athletics need more than money to win the game and Hill has the smarts and the mathematical formulas to deliver Pitt’s manager the players he needs to take the Athletics to the top. Talky but entertaining even if you don’t like maths or baseball. However if you don’t like Pitt or Hill, it’s probably best to give this one a wide berth.
I don't think I watched a single 'bad' film this month. Many of these films were in a lot of critics and bloggers 'top films of the year' lists and I too would consider many of them outstanding films. But this month I watched a lot of good ones and sadly these are the nine that had to be relegated to the 'not-as-good' end of the list. If you think I'm mad, then please come back tomorrow to see what I'm rating higher than these films. Surely they must be bloody brilliant?
What did you think of these films? Is Melancholia a work of art? Red State a pile of crap?