This is not a "year's best" list as such. Rather, this is a "year's favourites". Unless you see close to every film released in a given year, it's almost impossible to gather a list of best films. This list is instead the films I liked the most out of the 2011 films I saw. You may note that several films in this list were produced in 2010, and were released internationally in that year as well. In Australia a lot of these films were released in January and February 2011, hence their appearance here - for Australian viewers they were 2011 films.
December 20, 2011
It is likely that Greyfriar's Bobby was a hoax, established by 19th century Edinburgh shop owners trying to drum up some extra tourism. The truth has never been one to stand in the way of a good story, however, and so Bobby remains widely loved, and his statue remains a popular Edinburgh tourist attraction.
December 13, 2011
I don't have too much to say about "Infection", the fourth episode of Babylon 5's first season, other than that it's a pretty awful episode. It feels rather like filler, or one of those off-the-cuff scripts written to demonstrate to a network how your proposed TV series is going to progress.
December 11, 2011
Another instalment of Homemade Rage, another three songs I like that you may not have heard of before. First up: Clare and the Reasons combine a lead singer with a beautiful voice and some lovely orchestral-style strings. This is "Alphabet City", which is a song I absolutely adore.
December 7, 2011
Only three episodes into the series and we already have a second episode based around Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari. I'm not certain whether this episode was shifted in the running order, the production team were infatuated with the chatacter, or if it was simply a coincidence. The problem is that while "Midnight on the Firing Line" had a relative amount of depth and character, "Born to the Purple" deals in stereotype and caricature.
Another old review that I've posted elsewhere some time ago, but it's worth posting again here because it's such a criminally underseen and underrated film.
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
1999. Directed by Oliver Stone. Starring Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, LL Cool J and Charlton Heston.
I’ve said this to people many, many times, but it is worth constantly celebrating: 1999 was the greatest year for American cinema in our lifetime. There were simply too many brilliant films released that year. It was actually impossible to keep up. It was the year of American Beauty, Fight Club, The Matrix, Being John Malkovich, The Sixth Sense, Boys Don’t Cry and Man on the Moon. It included great animated films such as Toy Story 2, Tarzan, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut and The Iron Giant. It also included this: Any Given Sunday, an epic two-and-a-half hour love letter to American football from writer/director Oliver Stone.
It seemed such a lightweight film. This was the creative force behind Salvador, Platoon (both 1986), Wall Street (1987), JFK (1991) and Nixon (1995). A movie about professional football seemed ridiculous, almost comedic. The first time I saw it I was amazed to find it one of the best films he’s ever directed.
December 5, 2011
|The Soul Hunter (W. Morgan Shepard)|
Any hopes that I had completely misjudged Babylon 5 are shattered by "Soul Hunter". This was apparently the first episode of the series produced, and it shows. The episode is weakly written and clumsy, and several of the actors (particularly Claudia Christian) feel like they haven't quite worked out how they're going to portray their characters.
December 4, 2011
|Londo (Peter Jurasik) vs. G'Kar (Andreas Katsulas).|
Produced and broadcast about a year after the 90-minute pilot, "Midnight on the Firing Line" is Babylon 5's first proper episode, and it represents an astonishing jump in quality.
The show feels tighter, better written and performed, and nuanced where the pilot had been fairly heavy-handed and stereotypical. It also smartly chooses to focus on its two strongest characters, alien ambassadors Londo Mollari and G'Kar.
December 1, 2011
|Michael O'Hare as Babylon 5 commander Jeffrey Sinclair.|