Tuesday, 1 May 2012

April Round-Up: Part 2

Welcome back!  Just to be unconventional, here's my top 11 films of April!  If you missed the bottom 11, please click here.

11. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (Lasse Hallstrom, 2012)
Fortunately this is not the world’s dullest documentary.  It’s actually an ok film about faith with a bit of romance.  Review here.

10. The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1990)
Pretty ridiculous tale of a man obsessed with finding out what happened to his vanishing girlfriend.  The lengths this guy finally goes to are absurd but do lead to a brilliantly bleak ending.

9. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
The kids aren’t alright.  They’re being chased by a lunatic.  A classic that stands the test of time... mostly.  In many ways this is way ahead of it's time.  I could see them remaking this quite effectively but they would be hard pushed to find someone to beat Robert Mitchum's eerie performance.  I never realised just how huge a homage Spike Lee was giving this film with the Radio Raheem Love Hate speech in Do the Right Thing.

8. Lars and the Real Girl (Craig Gillespie, 2008)
Or Ryan Gosling and the surprisingly understanding community.  When an odd but pleasant chap brings home a blow up doll, the community goes along with his declaration that she is a real person.  It's a sweet and sympathetic film that relishes in the goodness of people.  Therefore it's hard not to like.

7. Vanishing Point (Richard C. Sarafian, 1971)
Like Easy Rider but with just one guy and a car.  The death of the sixties never looked so cool or so exciting.  Great car action, a naked girl on a motorbike and an outstanding soundtrack.  Existentialist cinema at its best.

6. A Night to Remember (Roy Ward Baker, 1958)
And a film to remember too.  James Cameron bought the rights to this before making his ‘version’ and clearly took notes from this impressive production.

5. The Day After (Nicholas Meyer, 1983)
One hour into this drama you have a spectacular series of explosive shots that send this film spiralling down into chaos and calamity.  It then turns harrowing and unforgettable.  An important film.

4. Tomboy (Celine Sciamma, 2011)
A beautifully observed slice of life about a little French girl who just wants to be one of the boys. Really well observed and engaging.  Features absolutely perfect performances from it's young leads, particularly the titular tomboy.  A little bit heartbreaking but also incredibly inspiring.

3. 21 Jump Street (Phil Lord, Chris Miller, 2012)
Laughed my ass off.  Haven’t seen so many dick jokes in a film for awhile but when they’re this funny, who am I to complain?  The sequence when the two protagonists take the new recreational drug of choice had me laughing harder than I have in a film for a long time.  Side-splitting, and totally irresponsible stuff.

2. Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2012)
Plays with horror conventions while playfully mocking the horror movie audience.  Smart, funny and probably even cool for non-horror fans.  See review here.

1. Titanic 3D (James Cameron, 2012)
Ok so it's not a new film but it has been upgraded and I did see it in the cinema.  Still unbelievably epic.  I have lost absolutely no love for this film and it was a great experience to see it while being very aware that the Titanic was on its voyage 100 years ago to that very night.  The 3D works brilliantly in places and not so great in a few others.  Nevertheless my heart will go on for this and you can read why here and here.  I’ll never let go Jim Cameron.  I’ll never let go.

To top it all off, I am in the process of arranging a meeting with legendary production designer Peter Lamont of Titanic and Bond film fame.  You can be sure I will be blogging about this if I make it happen.

So what do you think of my list and rankings?  Should the infamous Human Centipede 2 have been top of the list?  Is it unfair to put Titanic 3D as number one?  Am I clinically insane?  How come I don't rate old films as high as new films?  What have you seen from this list and what's your favourite?