As a blogger, one of the best things I love about the year’s end is that I can write a definitive “Best of [insert year here]” list. So, in the next couple of days, I’ll be writing and posting my 2011 definitive list in different categories. I’ve already done my list for comics and games. Today, my list is for the best films of the year.
I was only able to watch a couple of new films in theaters this year. But, with the help of Netflix, I was able to catch up on some of the best movies of 2011. Still, compared to other movie buffs, I only have a short list to choose from.
But, anyways, here are five of my favorite films of 2011.
I don’t like Ryan Gosling. Mostly out of envy. But his performance in Drive is so captivating that I can’t deny the film a spot on this list. Gosling plays as a quiet and mysterious driver in this artistic 80’s style action flick. He has no name, he just drives: whether as a stunt driver or a getaway driver. He falls in love and, in an effort to protect those he loves, becomes the target of crime bosses. This movie has it all: great characters, romance, action, and skull bashing violence and gore.
Its trailer generated a lot of hype. But I didn’t bite. Thinking that the movie will fail, I skipped Super 8 in theaters. A few months later, I saw the movie on Blu-Ray and fell in love with it. The movie is just so nostalgic. It reminded me of all the summers when I was still a kid, hanging out with friends and doing all kinds of activities –role-playing, adventuring in the woods, watching movies like E.T. and The Goonies. For what I thought, at first, as an alien encounter movie is actually a flick that made me yearn for my childhood years.
You probably said it once, or heard it before, that love is not the end of the world. Bellflower tells you otherwise. This movie suggests that being broken-hearted is the end of the world as its main character Woodrow, a Mad Max fanboy who is preparing for the apocalypse, drives around in “The Medusa”, a muscle car that is souped up to withstand the post-apocalyptic world, and burns his cheating girlfriend’s things with a flamethrower. It’s unlikely to get nominated in the academies. But this is the best and most original indie film I’ve seen this year.
I’m a samurai aficionado. Some of my favorite things in the world (books, movies and comics) are samurai related. But, lately, there has been a dry spell in samurai period pieces. So, when I saw this movie on Netflix, I jumped at it right away. 13 Assassins didn’t disappoint. This flick is epic. Divided into two parts, the first half of the film was a political drama that fleshed out the characters. The second half is a 40-minute bloodbath where 13 samurai turns a whole town into a death trap and kills 200 bad guys. Yes, the violence is over the top. But that’s what made this movie so fun.
Hugo took me by surprise. I went out to see this movie because I mistook it for a steampunk. Although while its setting has a lot of steampunk elements (trains and clockworks), its story is actually about the invention of movies and of the film-pioneer Georges Meilies, who produced and directed Trip to the Moon (one of the first sci-fi films that is now considered by many as steampunk). Scorsese could’ve made this film as a historical 1930’s period piece. But, instead, he saddled it with clockwork automatas and made this film about the history of film even more magical than it already is.
So, these are my best films for 2011. I hope you guys like my list. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the best books I’ve read this year.