I was very surprised when I went through a list of movies I tagged as excellent, which I watched first time in 2011, and found several. One problem though is that I can't rank them because I don't fully remember the experiences of all. Luckily, I know which of the movies are at the top:
The ranking of those taking second spot may very well be careless because I only watched them once, but the impact they had on me is still vivid, so they stay, at least for now.
Here's the rest (ranked alphabetically):
- Kung Fu Panda 2 (also happens to be the year's greatest spectacle)
- Rabbit Hole
- Sex, Lies, and Videotape
A ranking of the year's best cinematography:
The year's best visual effects (overall):
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
- Sucker Punch
- a tie between Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Tron: Legacy
- it would be sinful not to include Transformers: Dark of the Moon, even though it's pretty much the same offering as the 2 previous offerings in the franchise.
The year's best visual effects (specific moments):
- train crash (Super 8)
- river-god (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian)
- sea monster (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
- wall of water (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
- Paris chase by the 2 exoskeletons (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)
- the storm (Gulliver's Travels)
- trash in the recycling plant (Toy Story 3) +++ maybe a cheat since this is animation, but I needed to mention it
Although the best action is offered by 9, the best action sequence is the exoskeleton chase in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. However, there most innovative sequence is the split-screen bounty hunter scene found in The Green Hornet.
My favorite performance is that of Andie MacDowell when playing the sweet love interest in Sex, Lies, and Videotape. First runner-up is a tie between Vera Farmica as sad mother (Orphan) and Jon de Lancie as lead of pathology (Pathology). 2nd runner-up is Sandra Oh (Rabbit Hole).
The best male performance is by Geoffrey Rush when playing a therapist in The Kings's Speech. Here's the runner-ups:
The best female performance is by Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole, and the best cast is from the same movie. Maybe it's a distant second, but the runner-up on that category is Pathology. The best voice talent is that of Rango.
As regards the best character development, James Spader's free-spirited character in Sex, Lies, and Videotape ties with Nicole Kidman's grieving asshole in Rabbit Hole. Runner-up is the evil peacock in Kung Fu Panda 2, the same peacock that happens to be the year's best villain. Despite his cruelty, his oft-humorous demeanor made me care about him, which is the sort of quality I find exceptional in terms of character development of villains.
- Andie MacDowell (Sex, Lies, and Videotape)
- Teri Hatcher (Tango & Cash)
- Jill Schoelen (The Stepfather)
According to Greta boasts both the most perfect gentleman (the lead's boyfriend) and the most perfect father (the lead's grandpa).
The category of most important movie exists in order to recognize movies that deliver certain ideas/messages I find extremely important; The harmful effects of making abortion illegal are portrayed in a very powerful way in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, and that easily makes the movie the winner. There's a tie between the 2 runner-ups:
- Fair Game (harmful suppression of truth by powerful government officials)
Each repeat of a movie is a different experience, hence this category of best first-time viewing experience. It's won by Megamind (it blew my mind away due to its seeming perfection) and the runner-up is Shrek Forever After, which sadly couldn't survive a revisit.
The worst revisit was Shrek Forever After. I deemed it a masterpiece on first viewing, but it seemed a different (and worse) movie on a revisit. Not that it was trash. It was just not very good. The runner-up is The Warrior's Way.
As for the year's best script/dialog, we have Sex, Lies, and Videotape.
The year's most original story is that of The Idiots (the subject matter of conmen is fairly popular yes, but in here is the added twist of the perpetrators not having any material gain out of it). The runner-up is Dark Matter, followed by Pathology. The best story concept can be seen in Groundhog Day, where the lead character experiences the same day over and over again.
I don't really pay much attention to this one, but I'll give the best make-up honor to Pathology for making corpses look so convincing.
This section is meant to give a chance to movies I have watched before this year to appear in this review, for one reason or another.
Of those, the best experience was offered by the masterpiece, Requiem for A Dream. It was almost a surprise that the intensity of the experience was as great as was on first viewing, a very rare quality.
Here's the runner-ups:
- Mandingo -- the best movie on US slavery I've seen yet
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, whose continued excellence and humor surprised me, it being a childhood favorite, and also being made in the 80's, a bad movie decade.
For a complete list of the movies I reviewed for the year, visit the this tag.