Year in Review: 2011 Filmgoing Experience

2011. What a number. Also, a good year, in film industry (While still couldn’t beat 1999 or 2007 in terms of number of great films released).

But this is also a year in which, i, for the very first time, refused to create some sort of top 10, 20, or even top 345 favorite films. Many reason comes to mind: First of all, i’m not seeing that many film this year (Strictly personal, i blame my last year of campus life). To track it down, probably i’ve only seen about 60-70 films this years. Sure, my mission is not to watch as many film as possible, but to think that there’s still a possibility that THE ARTIST, ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA, THE TURIN HORSE, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, WARRIOR, HUGO, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, 50/50, THE MUPPETS, SHAME or TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY would satisfy my cinephile’s libido (To name a few. And that’s only films that appears on the first page of IMDB top 2011), to make a top 10 right now would be a rush work. The second reason is (though many of you would think that i’m exaggerating), my most favorite film this year is so powerful, that to put it on the same list with any other film out there is only kind of degrading it.

So let’s stay out of a so-called Top (insert any number here) for a while now.

Instead, i want to write something more like a “sum up” of what i got from watching film this past year. So many things can be told. This is a year purely still resemblance of the year and year before: A year of sequel. A year of adaptation. A year where creativity has succumbed. But thankfully, there’s outliers. There’s a few good sequels out there. There’s a few good adaptation out there, and there’s a few good originality out there. So let’s begin the round-up

If Films Were A Religion, Then Terrence Malick Is The Prophet

Commandment 11: "Thou Salt watch Days of Heaven once every crop celebration's day"

Terrence Malick is a talented, visionary auteur. No doubt about that. With only four films leading to his most “personal” work, he’s showed that he only made film when it necessary things to do. And my feeling toward his work is kinda “hit and miss”. I love DAYS OF HEAVEN to the very bone. But on the other side of the spectrum, i’ve also fallen asleep watching THE THIN RED LINE and THE NEW WORLD. So I’ve attended the TREE OF LIFE midnight screening with the very least bit of expectation, in case this is more resembling his modern work, not his 70’s (so low that i even ordered a tall black coffee, just in case, you know).

But. Whoa.

That film rocked my world. In 138 minutes, Malick has trapped me in his views of existence, grace, beautiful universe. And i don’t want to get out. Confused and thrilled the first time. and the second time. And the third. But the experience is richer in every viewing ( FYI, th is also the first time that i paid three times to see a single film in theatre in my entire life. That is also a point to be taken of its own. I feel lucky. Poor my future children for not being able to see it in the big audi theatre screen. Ha. Ha).   I could understand if somehow i could fast forward to 20 years later, and see this film falls into “films that changed me” kind of thing.

Summer’s A Bitch, Autumn Gives Hope

Just an excuse to put Zooey's image into this post

I’m not talking about 500 Days of Summer ( i can, but that will make this post even longer than the full unabridged version of War and Peace). I’m talking about the tentpole films released in 2011. Usually, summer is a time for big-budget-fun-time-at-the-cinema film. This year, it’s, emm, almost the same thing. But with the word “fun” suddenly hiding somewhere. Here’s the recap, from ‘meh’ to ‘exceptional’:

  • Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon : Meh
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On A Strangers Tide : Meh
  • Cowboys and Aliens: Meh
  • Bridesmaids : (If you had some grudges against me, but couldn’t find the right motive to slap me, this is the perfect time) Meh.
  • Super 8 : Meh (don’t slap me for this one. I’m still Abrams number 1 fans)
  • Green Lantern : Meh
  • Cars 2 : Pixar and ‘meh’ usually don’t fit together, but…
  • The Smurfs : Okay, bordering to meh
  • Kung-Fu Panda 2: Okay
  • Captain America: First Avenger : Okay
  • X-Men: First Class : Okay
  • Deathly Hallows Part II: Good
  • Fast Five: Exceptional
  • Thor: Exceptional

With simple mathematics formula, we can find that the ‘meh’ is greater than the ‘exceptional’. Poor us.

The difference can be said about autumn (or fall. It’s the same). While i’m yet to got the chance to see all this year fall’s film, but, few film i’m lucky to had seen:

  • Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn : Edge of my seat
  • Puss in Boots : Cute. Soo cute
  • Ghost Protocol : Edge of my seat
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: Edge of my seat

So yeah, just like autumn save Tom Hansen, it’s untimely also saves the year.

I’d Pick That One Ant Over Those Two elephants

The two elephants is a metaphor for Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender. Those two actors are really on the spotlight this year. Don’t ask why. But ask “Why the frakk Tom Hiddleston is missing from the match?” It could be a superb three-way-cage-match. Tom Hiddleston a.k.a. Loki. A.k.a The man who brought the Shakespearean tone to the superhero genre. Just look at the way the man screamed “TELL ME!!”.

My wild theory is, he didn’t get the same treatment with Gosling and Fassbender just because he didn’t showed-off his abs (Gosling did that in CRAZY STUPID LOVE), neither his dong (like Fassbender famously did in SHAME).

There goes my thought on 2011. Now that 2012 is near, here’s an advice:  prepare your bunker with one home theatre set!


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