Opinion: Josh’s best films of 2011

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We’re all about individuality at rawDLC, and with three very different people behind its awesomeness, we often have differing opinions; such as our respective choices of the top films of 2011. Nachos was first out the gate (see it here) and has produced some stellar picks of last year’s films. However, seeing as this is a personal list, our choices are vastly different. Check my list after the jump.

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#10 – Thor
Most people are choosing Captain America as the superhero film of the year, but I’ve opted for Thor. For me, Thor stands out as the film I didn’t think Marvel could make. The idea of Thor and a large section of his backstory walks a fine line of being intensely camp, and history has taught us that bringing this to film usually ends with hilarious results. However, the film is packed with action, has a decent story and is riddled with fan service without it affecting the flow of the film.

#9 – Final Destination 5
I can already hear cries of disbelief. On my list, though, horror gets its rightful place. The Final Destination series gave fans a good deal of bloodletting without the excessive gore that modern horror seems to believe it must have. As a horror fan, the series has never been great but it did give us a decent amount of popcorn fun along with interesting and crazy deaths that left you guessing, but over time the franchise bent and broke. By the time the fourth film came out, the franchise was well and truly dead in the water. To my surprise, the fifth film not only revived the series, it outclassed any of the films that came before. Good deaths, enough story to fill the gaps and a return to its best component: suspense.

#8 – The Lincoln Lawyer
This is a very personal pick. Was is well acted? Not really. Was it a breathtaking watch? No way. However, it does tick the box that I believe we all go to the cinema for: entertainment. The Lincoln Lawyer breathes life into the thriller genre like I haven’t seen since the 90s. It is slick and full of style, has a great soundtrack, the cast is perfect for what it’s trying to accomplish, and the story was well crafted. Plus, it gets an extra point for having Matthew McConaughey in it.

#7 – Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Nachos covered most of the points on this one. For me, this film is more that just great action and story; the big sell is its CG. Weta Digital (one half of the team behind Avatar’s special effects) uses motion capture like we have never seen it before. It leaves you amazed at the fact that the apes are not actually real. Andy Serkis and the team bring this film to life, plus it gives the viewer a glimpse of what CG will be like when we start blurring the lines of real and fake in years to come.

#6 – I Saw the Devil
WARNING: This is not for the faint of heart. Seriously, I mean that. The film goes to some places that some may find difficult to deal with, and it has missed a mainstream release with good reason. This film looks at the idea of a rapist/serial killer/psychopath from a very difficult perspective and dares to ask the question, ‘can you change someone this far gone?’

I Saw The Devil took me two tries to actually take in its whole message, but the performances alone will haunt you for days afterwards. This is truly Min-sik Choi’s best role. Period.

#5 – Super 8
Nowadays, the word ‘blockbuster’ gets thrown around without thought or weight. Everything from Transformers to Twilight uses the term based on a budgeting perspective. However, I come from an era where it was all about universal appeal. It was a film that works for adults, kids, seniors and everyone in between. Super 8 is touching, funny, intense and leaves you wanting to cheer at the end. This film is a true blockbuster.

#4 – Attack The Block
Buhleeve it Bruv! Attack the Block is what would happen if Shaun of the Dead, Friday and Independence Day had a baby and it grew up in the South London Projects. It combines humour with sci-fi and horror, and what comes out is definitely the most original film of the year. Check it!

#3 – Fright Night
Again, the horror fan in me rises up. Horror is a very different film genre, which makes it a difficult one to sell to everyone. There are people who don’t view suspense or terror the way they see drama or comedy. I do, and that means a good horror–one that has everything you can have in a film of its type–can be pitted against everything else this year has to offer. Fight Night is funny, scary and brilliant. It is also the best horror this year had to offer.

#2 – Drive
If you know me then you have heard me talk about this film. It is well shot, well acted, well directed and has a soundtrack that everyone I know seems to own. Go watch this film. Now.

#1 -Rango
Rango is not just a kid’s film, nor is it a western. Rango is a film that looks at storytelling itself and uses the film to break down the heroes journey while entertaining the audience and tipping its hat to other thought-provoking films and western classics. It truly is a work of art.

Honourable mentions:

Bridsmaids, The Fighter, Source Code, The Adventures of TinTin.

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Joshua Philpott

Tech MacGyver
Games writer, podcaster and tech wizard. Obsessed with obscure horror films, crazy gadgets and caffeine. Passionate, argumentative and open minded. Freelance writer and co-founder rawDLC.

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