[2011 Film Roundup]

2011 by the numbers:

Total: 227 [full list here]
Festival: Noir [13], SJFF [2], SIFF [50], MIFFF [6], SLGFF [10].
Shorts packages: 9
Free: 56, plus festival volunteering
Revival: 68

By my arbitrary categories:

Best beloved: Trigger (about which I cannot be rational)

Other favorites: Win Win, Bridesmaids, Hanna, Midnight in Paris

Also worth seeing: The Artist, Melancholia, Drive, Amigo, Martha Marcy May Marlene, 50/50, Le Havre, The Descendants, J Edgar, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Margin Call

Best genre (scifi/fantasy): Attack the Block, Perfect Sense, Super 8, Absentia

Film that put a smile on my face for a solid week, and left me with a nearly-unmanageable crush on Jason Segel: The Muppets

Best Michael Fassbender film: Jane Eyre

Best Jessica Chastain film: The Tree of Life

Best superhero movie: Captain America

Best queer film: 3, Mary Lou, Vito, A(Sexual)

Best documentaries: Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Project Nim, The Black Power Mix Tape, Being Elmo, A(Sexual), Into the Abyss, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

Best of SIFF: Submarine, Tyrannosaur, Beginners, Small Town Murder Songs, Saigon Electric, Boy, Detention, The King of Devil’s Island

Best movies you probably didn’t hear about, but are worth a look: Nora’s Will, Henry’s Crime, Cedar Rapids

Best revival: Too many to name

Movies I’m really glad I saw alone: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Almost Famous (director’s cut), Biutiful, You Are Here, Playtime, Resurrect Dead

Most surprising movie I saw twice: Galaxy Quest

Least surprising movie I saw twice: In the Mood for Love

Are these the best films of 2011? Who knows. They are the films I am most likely to hunt you down and make you watch.

Terrible movies with no redeeming qualities: Sherlock Holmes 2 (longest movie *ever*), No Strings Attached, The Rite, Jamie & Jessie Are Not Together, The Scandalous Four, Anonymous, The Darkest Hour

Terrible movies with redeeming qualities: Priest (Maggie Q!), Breaking Dawn Part One(though objectively it is definitely the worst movie I saw all year, even worse than those bad gay movies), Real Steel (Robot dancing!), In Time (with amazing time related puns and Justin Timberlake trying SO HARD to act).

Movies that aren’t out here yet: Maggie: Destroyer of Social Services, Albert Nobbs, Pariah, In the Land of Blood and Honey, A Separation, Carnage, Coriolanus, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Pina, Tomboy

Movies that I missed because I suck: Mainly just The Ides of March & Moneyball.

So… what else did I miss? What did you think was awesome? What did you think sucked, so we can all avoid it?

[2010 Film Round-up]

2010 by the numbers
Total: 150
Festival (Noir, SIFF, SLGFF): 67
Free: 45
Remaining revival: 18
Remaining regular sort of movies which I paid for like a normal person: 20 (though only 4 of them were full price. Booyah.)

Revival is a total separate thing that I’d like to talk about, because I had so many awesome experiences, so this post is just 2010 films by my totally arbitrary and yet amazing categories. To hell with top tens!:

Best films: Black Swan, Exit Through the Gift Shop (is it a documentary? is it performance art? yes.), 127 Hours

Best genre films: Inception, The Eclipse (a criminally overlooked ghost story), Buried

Most beloved films: Monga, Castaway on the Moon, Howl, Never Let Me Go

Best director: Danny Boyle, 127 Hours, for bringing us from wide desert vistas down to a few drops of water, for making a single guy alone on screen for basically the whole movie visually compelling, for two harrowing minutes of film that even without watching affected my whole being.

Best queer film: Undertow, Eyes Wide Open, Monga (wait, that was just subtext? Oh.)

Best musical: Hipsters, sex & drugs & rock & roll

Best trifecta about America at war: Green Zone, Fair Game, & The Tillman Story

Favorite but overlooked performances that I can remember at the moment: Ryan O’Nan as the returning veteran in The Dry Land, Frances O’Connor as one of several troubled mothers in Blessed, Paul Chiang as the unflappable Gao in Au Revoir Taipei, Greta Gerwig as the PA & then some in Greenberg, Sam Rockwell in Iron Man 2,Togo Igawa as the lovely new neighbor in The Hedgehog & as the restaurateur/sumo coach in A Matter of Size

Most fun I had at the theater: Legion, RED, RoboGeisha, K-20: The Fiend with 20 Faces

List of awesome features: Greenberg (my favorite solo Baumbach since Kicking & Screaming), The Hedgehog (charming French adaptation of the novel), Cell 211 (not your average prison movie), Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, Never Let Me Go (unjustly ignored all over the place), Carlos (the whole damn thing), Rabbit Hole, The King’s Speech, The Fighter

List of awesome documentaries: Marwencol, The Secrets of the Tribe, The Tillman Story. Thunder Soul, Prodigal Sons

List of movies that aren’t out in Seattle yet, but that I am obsessed with: Biutiful, Blue Valentine, Another Year, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Annoyed I missed: Mesrine, Animal Kingdom, Get Low, Fish Tank, The American, I Am Love

Stuff I saw on DVD worth mentioning: Cairo Time, Easy A, A Prophet (which I think is technically 2009, but is showing up on a bunch of lists this year, deservedly so), Please Give

Movies everyone else went batshit over, and I thought were solid, but not omg amazing: The Kids Are All Right (a conservative little movie about how marriage is hard that just happened to be about a lesbian couple) & True Grit (beautifully shot & perfectly cast, but no *there* there)

Also, the ones I spent the year pissed off about:

Most stylish & snappy representation of rich white man pain: The Social Network

Second movie in which I desperately wanted to punch the lead in the nose: Solitary Man

Most frustrating waste of talent: Shutter Island

Most disturbing: Splice (“It’s not what it looks like!”)

First movie I ever walked out of: Hot Tub Time Machine (I am honestly not sure if I can deal with anyone who enjoyed this movie. *That* is how upsetting it was. So if you thought all the gay panic and rape jokes were great, you should maybe not tell me. And you should rethink some things. I’m just saying.)

Second movie I ever walked out of: Perfect 10, which was really a perfect storm of things that make my head pop off.

[Year in film: 2009 roundup]

Total: 108 (it would have been 110, but I was v sick during SIFF and missed two films I had tickets for. Boo.)
69 series: 21
Other revival: 13
Other festivals: 29
Free: 15
What remains: 30 (though even those 30 are a largely esoteric lot, including things like the Oscar shorts & the 4+ hour roadshow edition of Che. And some of them were free via volunteer vouchers.)

So, what we see from this is that the weird thing about this year is clearly that, even though I saw a lot of film, not much of it was actually released in 2009. But, onward! Totally random categories after the jump!

Continue reading “[Year in film: 2009 roundup]”

[Film: best of 2008]

First, the numbers:
Total: 67 (fewer than 07, one more than 06)
Festival: 22
Revival: at least 12
Foreign or documentary or shorts not at the festival: 9
Free: 12
What’s left, being the total regular releases that I paid for like a normal person: 12. See, that’s not many at all.


Best film: Man on Wire & My Winnipeg, both of which were genre busting in the best of ways. For one thing, they’re both technically documentaries. For another, they’re both awesome.

Best film not coming to a theater near you: Sita Sings the Blues. This, folks, is a perfect example of why current copyright law BLOWS. Seriously. Also, Che, unless you’re in a city that got the roadshow edition. Screw the two part release.

More categories than you can shake a stick at after the jump. Continue reading “[Film: best of 2008]”

[2007 film round-up]

By title in chronological order

In my Letterboxed profile for now. It’ll get moved to a page here when I have time to fix all the links.

By the numbers:

Total: 90, if you like round numbers & include sing-along Buffy.
Free: 22
Revival: 18
Festivals: 26 (4 of which were free)
Collections of shorts: 3
Actual first-run features I went to and paid for like a normal person: 26. THAT IS NOT THAT MANY, PEOPLE. It’s one every two weeks.

By the totally made-up and random categories:

Best features: No Country For Old Men, Zodiac, Once.

Runners-up: Atonement, Lust, Caution, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Also touching: Juno, Hula Girls.

Feature I respect, but could never see again: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Best documentaries: Red Without Blue, Blood on the Flat Track: The Rise of the Rat City Rollergirls, Manufactured Landscapes

Best feature by a new director: Away From Her, Dir. Sarah Polley

Best gay films: No Regret, The Bubble (Which isn’t saying a lot. Really, I’d like to just say Happy Together. It’s definitely the best one I saw. Bless revival!)

Most surprisingly gay films: Spider-Man 3, Superbad

Movie worth seeing solely for Chris Cooper: Breach

Proof that commercial films can still be awesome: The Bourne Ultimatum, Michael Clayton

Biggest inducer of directorial expectation whip-lash: The Boss of It All, Dir. Lars von Trier

Best supporting cast: Into the Wild

Best use of genre: Grindhouse, Hot Fuzz, The Host, Sunshine

Film that left genre behind: I’m Not There

Best song: “Falling Slowly”, Once

Best cinematography: Roger Deakins, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Dariusz Wolski (and, let’s be honest, Tim Burton), Sweeney Todd

Best special effects: Zodiac, for seamless background work *seriously*, The Golden Compass, for Pantalaimon.

Still unseen, for which I am sorry: For the Bible Tells Me So (because it only played for a week), The Savages, Persepolis, & There Will Be Blood (because they are only just coming out), Grace is Gone (because fuck if I know *when* it’s coming out), Control & This is England (because I suck).