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Michael's movies make top movie lists of the year and decade pt 2

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Post by Admin on Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:06 pm

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Half-Way Report 2010
Top 2 Films
I could add Un Prophète, Shutter Island and Toy Story 3 for an even five, but, in all honesty, the only movies that have mattered this year so far were:

02. Prodigal Sons
Kimberly Reed's documentary about the relationship between herself, a post-op transgendered woman trying to reconcile her past as a boy, and her adopted brother who suffers from mental problem after an accident injures his brain is more surprising than a M. Night Shyamalan film. Just when you think you've figured out what Prodigal Sons is about, Reed offers curveball after curveball so extraordinary you can't make it up.

01. Fish Tank
Between Red Road and this, it's obvious that director Andrea Arnold has a thing for isolated, emotionally distant female protagonists. Katie Jarvis is the young woman here and, along with Arnold, she is lead down a confusing path of familial relationships and sexuality with no outlet other than her dancing. Fish Tank was the first 2010 film I saw and nothing I've seen has come close to matching it. The issues the film raises are issues no other filmmaker even considers and is done with sheer intelligence.

Top 5 Performances

01. Katie Jarvis & Michael Fassbender, Fish Tank
An on-screen pairing of epic proportions. Together, they walk a fine line between hot-blooded lust and inappropriate sexual advances.

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Post by Admin on Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:50 pm

Top Indie Horror Movies
Posted by AllTopMovies in All Time Hits, Featured Articles, Movie Reviews on June 30th, 2010 | Comments (0)

written by Danielle Callesen

With the rampant rise in independent film production, it is becoming quite clear that not much is needed in order to construct a prodigious film, at least not in terms of finances or accessible talent. One may even begin to notice that the farther a film strays from the major studio system that the better it is. (Even this year’s Academy Awards acknowledged the quality of the independently minded: Precious and The Hurt Locker).

While children and adults alike scamper off to theatres for Pixar and Disney efforts like Up or DreamWorks’ Shrek Forever After, those who crave stories that are actually compelling are finding their appetites satiated by the likes of video rentals and film festivals. Independent films, unlike Sex and the City 2, Grown Ups, The Karate Kid, or Toy Story 3, are willing to take risks and explore the unpredictable.

Though there may be nothing wrong with indulging in shoddy entertainment, we need to remember that we have a small world of gritty, intense, and fantastical truth at our fingertips. This world allows us to delve into the taboo and experience stories that are so efficacious we feel them long after viewing.

I’ve selected five independent horror films that not only encourage the mind to wander and entertain the obscene but demand attention from even the skeptics who’d rather be watching Avatar.

Eden Lake (2008)

Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and her boyfriend Steve (Michael Fassbender) leave their world of deadlines and instruction and escape to Eden Lake, a beautiful, remote, and romantic getaway spot. Of course, in true horror fashion, their romantic holiday is disrupted by a clan of tumultuous youths. The group endlessly tortures the couple, vandalizing their car and leaving them stranded, stealing their possessions, even going as far as attacking the couple and capturing Steve. Jenny is left to her own devices, endlessly trying to evade the malicious gang and escape Eden Lake with her life. This film may seem like it follows your typical horror path (The Last House on the Left, Funny Games, and Frontieres), but it is so much more than that. The performances from everyone in the film are so exceptional that the actions feel real, and because of this the viewer can connect with the characters. You believe in the struggles and the violence, the disturbing and frustrating games that seem never ending. I guarantee you that the high tension and authentic feel of the film will captivate you and pull you in. The ending is viciously shocking and won’t be one you easily forget.

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Post by Admin on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:20 pm

Rare gems
Our film reviewer picks out the few diamonds in this rough movie year

By Bob Grimm
More stories by this author...

This article was published on 07.08.10.

So far, the movie year has been a bit of a slog. Sure, a couple of films got the orgasmic popcorn carton, but that’s it. Just two. Some of the films you will see listed in this, my annual half-year report, haven’t played in Reno yet, and they probably won’t. Take out a pink highlighter (or yellow, if that’s how you roll) and mark the unfamiliar ones for future rental. Or don’t … it’s entirely up to you.
Best So Far

5. Fish Tank: Newcomer Katie Jarvis is outstanding as Mia, a 15-year-old girl who is pissed off, for many reasons. When her mother brings home a new boyfriend, her already troubled home life is further complicated. Michael Fassbender, as the mother’s boyfriend, is the worst kind of movie monster, a person who appears admirable but is nothing but human garbage. Jarvis and Fassbender deliver two of the year’s best performances so far, and director Andrea Arnold delivers her best work yet.

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Post by Admin on Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:47 pm

15 Films of the Year 2009 (English)
Posted by Faraaz Rahman at 7:43 PM

The following films are the notable and memorable films of the year 2009. They are ranked in alphabetical order and not in order of preference.

Fish Tank

This gritty, realist, coming of age drama is about growing up in modern Britain seen through the eyes of a 15 year old Mia Williams (played competently by Katie Jarvis).

She is disturbed, lonely, disillusioned and ignored by her mother and society in general. Her life changes drastically when her mother’s new boyfriend,(played by Michael Fassbender – the film critic cum spy from Inglorious Basterds) moves in with them.

The film is a brilliant character study of a 15 year old girl struggling to make her own place in this world.

Inglorious Basterds

In a specatcular piece of arrogance, Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine is given the last line in the film “I think this might just be my masterpiece”. Quentin Tarantino fans will not find this line the least bit surprising as Tarantino has been wanting to make a WW2 masterpiece since 1998. In fact as early as 1994, when giving interviews for Pulp Fiction, he had spoken of his desire to make a western and a WW2 drama. Still waiting for the full on western but this is his WW2 revenge fantasy.

Sadly, Inglorious Basterds is no masterpiece. In a career that started off with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, two films that would easily make it to any Top 100 films of all time, it is indeed difficult to make a film that would surpass those. However, that said, Basterds is still a hugely entertaining film like all Tarantino movies and one of the notable ones of the year.

The weakest link in the film is however the Basterds themselves. Other than that, typical Tarantino characters like Col Hans Landa, film critic cum spy Archie Hicox, or German war hero Frederick Zoller. Dialogues are always a highpoint in a Tarantino film and this is no different. The opening scene in the film is perhaps one of the best and most chilling openings in cinema.

Then he gives this particular line to Michael Fassbender’s character in a spectacular set-piece that culminates in a Mexican stand-off, “Well, if this is it, old boy, I hope you don't mind if I go out speaking the King's.There's a special rung in hell reserved for people who waste good scotch. Seeing as how I may be rapping on the door momentarily...I must say, damn good stuff, Sir. Now, about this pickle... we find ourselves in. It would appear there's only thing left for you to do.” Its lines like these that make a Tarantino film a Tarantino film.

Also, as brilliant as the lines maybe, a lot depends on the actor to pull it off. There is this particular line uttered by Brad PItt, “You know, fightin' in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. Number one being, you're fightin' in a basement! The way Pitt delivers it with his thick accent makes this such a hilarious moment in the film.

Out of the 5 chapters, 3 are absolutely gripping and despite the weak climax, the film is definitely one of the best ones of the year.

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Post by Admin on Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:35 pm

9th AD First Half of the Year Awards Winners
Posted by Ryan Adams On July - 25 - 2010

A Prophet

Jacques Audiard for A Prophet

Tahar Rahim in A Prophet

Katie Jarvis in Fish Tank

Michael Fassbender in Fish Tank

Olivia Williams in The Ghost Writer

A Prophet

TIE: The Ghost Writer and The Secret in Their Eyes

Shutter Island

A Prophet

Shutter Island

I Am Love

The Ghost Writer

“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3

Shutter Island

Toy Story 3

Alice in Wonderland

Shutter Island

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Post by Admin on Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:28 am

Runnin’ on empty: the best films of 2008
Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 9:25 am · December 15th, 2008

Javier Bardem and Rebecca Hall in Vicky Cristina BarcelonaJust to say it once more, because I’ve certainly brought it up enough, 2008 was not a good year for film-goers.

That’s an incredibly subjective quip, of course, but I certainly found myself struggling with the level of quality on display with each and every screening, the oasis of the Oscar season ultimately proving to be a trickster mirage on the horizon as contenders ultimately fell flat or disappointed in various ways. And suddenly, we’re two weeks away from 2009.

Who let the goods out?

But a year lacking broad quality can be a fun “Where’s Waldo” for the impassioned film lover, and so it is that I found some truly wonderful, praise-worthy work from a number of driven and creative filmmakers this year. But a peculiarity began to arise as I sifted through the year’s offerings: What a load of downer cinema.

I first noticed it in the documentary offerings, heavier on morose subject matter than any other year I can remember. Depictions of the horrors of Katrina, the passionate life and tragic death of a Neil Diamond impersonator, the work of a journalist obsessed with his own inevitable suicide, the nation’s stance on the death penalty, the life and times of a child molester, a heart-breaking family drama in St. John’s, Newfoundland, a national economy on life support, despicable soldier etiquette at our global detention facilities -– it is hardly surprising that the most well-received documentary of the year is a celebration of an “artistic crime” in James Marsh’s “Man on Wire.” But how odd that the genre’s resident cynic, Werner Herzog, was responsible for one of the few other positive doc titles that made the rounds this year?

Moving into the realm of fiction, even the usually jubilant folks at Pixar couldn’t help but crank out their most sobering film to date, a cautionary tale wrapped in the guise of a love story that conveyed a creepy sense of inevitability despite a hopeful denouement.

I bring these observations up for a reason, and that is to add some perspective to the list you’ll find below. 2008 was a bellwether for me personally as I began to let the idea of “best” as a definitive slip away and become something more akin to a solid if flexible representation of the times, and how those times affect the viewer.

That’s really all it can be. Even the greats go back on what they think is “best” this year or that. Just take a look at Roger Ebert, who once considered “Raging Bull” his #2 film of 1980, just below Carol Ballard’s “The Black Stallion,” only to later consider Martin Scorsese’s film the best of the decade, while Ballard’s film was nowhere to be found.

And really, we should both allow and account for that kind of give and take, because that is what makes all this silliness so engaging, so wonderful and so meaningful.

I found myself drawn to films this year that could make powerful statements without losing sight of the medium’s tendency to captivate, inspire awe and outright entertain. But I also couldn’t ignore a great number of those expertly crafted efforts that pop up year in and year out like well-oiled machines. And when I finally settled on the 21 films below, I found a way to ignore the year’s shortcomings and revel in the delights these efforts, and those responsible for bringing them to the screen, came to afford.


(from left) Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham in Hunger

Directed by Steve McQueen

Filmmaker Steve McQueen announced himself loud and clear as a talent to watch with “Hunger,” a visual masterpiece in many ways and a vehicle for one of the year’s most underrated performances. A cinematic account of the “no-wash” and hunger protests of I.R.A. prisoners in the 1970s and 1980s, the film’s sparse screenplay really sings, a document that must have been woefully lacking in white space with wall-to-wall action, all of which comments quite thoughtfully to the plight of the characters.

Michael Fassbender’s performance as Bobby Sands is difficult to watch yet impossible to ignore as his body withers away in the film’s second half. With little in the way of dialogue, beyond an invigorating 20-minute take between Sands and a priest friend, the film quickly becomes Fassbender’s stage. But it is also McQueen and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt’s canvas as they capture mundane and intimate moments with an epic craftsman’s touch.

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Post by Admin on Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:49 pm

Friday, 26 November 2010
The 500 Greatest Films of All Time: 150 to 101

133. Inglorious Basterds (2009)
Dir: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Daniel Bruhl.
Genre: Drama/Thriller/War
Hilarious film taking the basis of World War 2, and adding an action-oriented spoof angle to the proceedings.

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Post by Admin on Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:14 am


Universal, 2009
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger
Producer: Lawrence Bender
Screenwriter: Quentin Tarantino
Cinematography: Robert Richardson

Each and every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps. And I want my scalps. And all y'all will git me one hundred Nazi scalps, taken from the heads of one hundred dead Nazis. Or you will die tryin'.

Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France... Inglorious Basterds is a War World II film... well, let me rephrase. It's a film that takes place during World War II. It follows three different story lines that all converge into one hell of a climax. The first storyline follows Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and his band of Jewish-American soldiers (known as the titular Basterds) as they go deep behind enemy lines and kill, maim and torture Nazis. The film also follows Col. Hans Landa, or "the Jew Hunter," as he tracks down enemies of the state, whether they be Jews in hiding or the Basterds themselves. And the final storyline belongs to Shosanna Dreyfus, who escaped the massacre of her family at the hands of Landa and now lives in Paris, hiding in plain sight.

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Post by Admin on Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:49 pm

A Decade of Fear
by Kimberly Lindbergs | December 20, 2010

It’s taken me a year but I’ve finally managed to compile a list of my Favorite Films of the Decade: 2000-2009 so I thought I’d share it. My introduction echoes some earlier thoughts about fear and cinema that I shared during Halloween, which I wanted to expand upon. Besides my list of 50 Favorite Films of the Decade I also compiled a list of 10 Favorite Documentaries, 10 Favorite Animation Films and 15 Favorite Female & Male Performances. Naturally I haven’t seen every film produced between 2000 and 2009 so this list is limited to what I have seen and what made a lasting impression on me.

Letʼs just talk about fear. Fear, after all, is our real enemy. Fear is taking over our world. Fear is being used as a tool of manipulation in our society. Itʼs how politicians peddle policy and how Madison Avenue sells us things that we donʼt need. Think about it. Fear that weʼre going to be attacked, fear that there are communists lurking around every corner, fear that some little Caribbean country that doesnʼt believe in our way of life poses a threat to us. Fear that black culture may take over the world. Fear of Elvis Presleyʼs hips. Well, maybe that one is a real fear. Fear that our bad breath might ruin our friendships. Fear of growing old and being alone. Fear that weʼre useless and that no one cares what we have to say.
- Colin Firth in A Single Man; 2009

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself
—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address; 1933

The decade began with a bang heard around the world.

I’m always a little surprised when people write about how “shocked” they were by the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. 9/11 didn’t shock me at all but it did horrify and sadden me. As soon a George Bush Jr. was crowned President I was fully aware that we were in for a s$#! storm of epic proportions that was going to reign down hard on us all. What did surprise me was the way that Americans responded to the events that took place on September 11, 2001. At first there seemed to be a genuine sense of unity and compassion among friends, family and strangers. But unity soon turned to fear and compassion transformed into distrust. Fear seemed to spread like a cancer and it ate away at the very fabric of the country while hindering progress of any kind.

The “Naughts” as they’ve been labeled were years when fear seemed to replace reasonable debate and logical arguments. Fear became the weapon of choice for politicians and media outlets trying to sell ideas and products. We were told to fear our neighbors, fear our food, fear teachers, fear doctors, fear plane travel, fear France, fear new ideas and finally to fear ourselves. Whether we want to admit it or not, the terrorists did what they set out to do on 9/11. They terrorized Americans and turned many of us into skittish creatures that jump when we see our own shadow and mistrust the motivations of just about everyone we come into contact with.

During the naughts people over the age of 60 seemed to disappear from public viewing. They were rarely seen on American TV or in Hollywood films except as figures of ridicule and humor. Old age is the last stage before death and people wanted none of it. We ran away from old age and death as if our own demise was somehow avoidable. Plastic surgery became commonplace. What was once a luxury for the incredibly wealthy or a medical procedure for those with debilitating scars suddenly became a beauty option that everyone should consider. It didn’t seem to matter that plastic surgery made most people look like aliens from another planet just as long as it masked their real age. In other words, looking like something from another world was far better than looking like an elderly person here on planet earth.

While we attempted to avoid the inevitable onset of old age we naturally began to obsess over our appearance. Image became everything. The naughts was a decade obsessed with physical beauty but often completely devoid of intellectual curiosity. American’s apparent obesity epidemic got lots of news coverage while anorexia was glamorized or swept under the rug. We were encouraged to shun overweight people and embrace silicon boobs. And no news outlet wanted to cover the rising poverty and hunger occurring in America throughout the decade. Starving children are not easy to talk about or pleasant to look at and you can’t make jokes about them. Where’s the fun in calling malnutritioned kids lazy and stupid?

In this kind of environment the medical, diet and beauty industries thrived like never before while selling their snake oils in-between episodes of Extreme Makeover, Make Me a Super Model and The Biggest Loser. But it wasn’t just our bodies that needed fixing. Our minds were also in desperate need of a makeover and pharmaceutical companies fed on our fears. Having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning? Hate your job? Feeling trapped in an unhappy relationship? Got a bad case of the blues? Take a pill! Over-the-counter drug pushers made record profits in the naughts while praying on people’s depression during one of the countries most depressing decades. There seemed to be a pill made for everything and people bought what the drug companies were selling. Is it any wonder that legal drugs appear to be killing more people than illegal drugs these days?

School systems continued to crumble and the dumbing down of the nation not only became unavoidable, it was celebrated. Everyone became a critic. Everyone started to blog (yours truly included) or visited chat forums where they could express their opinions no matter how vile or ignorant. Whenever they were confronted by something that didn’t fit within their comfort zones they often lashed out with hostility. It quickly became apparent that there were a lot of angry and miserable people sitting at home behind their computers and they all seemed to want to point the finger at someone, something or anything but themselves.

Lots of documentary filmmakers also seemed to enjoy using fear as a tool to win attention and forgo good filmmaking. What they lacked in ideas and information they made up for in scare value. Did you know that gorging yourself daily on McDonalds’ food will make you ill and probably kill you? Were people really unaware of this simple fact before Super Size Me (2004) was released? I guess so because for some strange reason the movie was nominated for countless awards and endless imitators have followed Morgan Spurlock’s lead. Ignorance is killing us and fear sells.

But there was some benefit to all this fear peddling. After two decades of scant thrills and very little chills horror movies finally got scary again. Really scary. They also got really good. Thanks to the rising popularity of Asian horror movies in the late ’90s as well as a new wave of independent horror cinema the naughts began as a decade ripe with possibility and the horror genre blossomed. Hollywood may have kept its head in the clouds while it regurgitated tired scripts and remade classic films into easily forgotten entertainment, but outside of Hollywood and in other countries many filmmakers never let us forget that we were living in extremely scary times. Government sanctioned torture, suicide bombers, environmental disasters, serial killers, domestic violence, police brutality, sexual predators, date rape drugs, mental illness, increasing isolation, infectious disease. . . The list of terrors lurking around every corner grew endless and horror films gave us an unblinking look at them all.

I’ve appreciated the extremely graphic nature of horror films made during the last decade. Americans weren’t allowed to see the dead bodies of soldiers killed in an illegal war fought in our name but we could experience some catharsis through the movies we watched. I identified with the victims and sympathized with their plight because they were reflections of us all and our own fears. I also found myself occasionally stunned by the smart, scary and creative ways in which so many directors were able to infuse the tired genre with life. Violent, chaotic, bloody red and uninhibited life, but life nonetheless. Horror cinema was willing and able to tackle the very real terror that seemed to engulf the planet in the last decade and it also offered up the only constant critique of it. Directors around the world found inspiration in the horror films of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s that were often politically motivated and socially conscious. But like the horror films that came before them it will probably take another 10 or 20 years before these recent horror movies are fully understood and appreciated.

You’ll find that many of the films on my “Favorite films of the Decade” list are horror films made by talented directors like Danny Boyle and Brad Anderson as well as Gaspar Noe, Béla Tarr, Gus Van Sant and Claire Danes. Now I know what you’re thinking. Horror Films?! Most of those directors make art films, not horror film! But my response to that is bullshit poppycock. Film is an evolving art form still in it’s infancy. Thinly defined genres are always changing and assumed boundaries should constantly be re-imagined and tossed aside. If you lack the imagination to see films like Irreversible, Werckmeister Harmonies, Elephant and Trouble Every Day as horror films it’s your loss. Not mine. I embrace these films because of their darker nature and their ability to explore and unmask our fears. So to the horror films of the last decade, I salute you! I’m extremely thankful for all the directors that made my favorite film genre interesting and exciting again.

I’d like to write more in-depth about all of these films in the future and expand on the ways in which horror cinema challenged us and entertained us during the last decade, but that could easily turn into a book length article. I did link to a few articles I previously wrote for some films in 2009 during my “Modern Monday” updates.

50 Favorite Films: 2000-2009
Title/Director/Year/Country or Main Countries of Origin
1. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle; 2002) UK
2. American Psycho (Mary Harron; 2000) US
3. The Bank Job (Roger Donaldson; 2008) UK
4. Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku; 2000) Japan
5. Before the Fall (F. Javier Gutiérrez; 2008) Spain
6. Bright Future (Kiyoshi Kurosawa; 2003) Japan
7. Bright Star (Jane Campion; 2009) Australia/UK
8. Calvaire (Fabrice Du Welz; 2004) Belgium/France
9. Capote (Bennett Miller; 2005) US
10. Cecil B. DeMented (John Waters; 2000) US
11. Cloverfield (Matt Reeves; 2008) US
12. Control (Anton Corbijn; 2007) UK
13. Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier; 2000) Denmark
14. The Devil’s Backbone (Guillermo del Toro; 2001) Spain
15. The Dreamers (Bernardo Bertolucci; 2003) Italy
16. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry; 2004) US
17. Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff; 2001) US
18. Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett; 2000) Canada
19. Gus Van Sant’s Death Trilogy (Gerry, Elephant, Last Days; 2002-2005) US
20. High Tension (Alexandre Aja; 2003) France
21. Hunger (Steve McQueen; 2008) UK
22. I’m Not Scared (Gabriele Salvatores; 2003) Italy
23. Ichi the Killer (Takeshi Miike; 2001) Japan
24. Innocence (Lucile Hadzihalilovic; 2004) France
25. Irreversible (Gaspar Noé; 2002) France
26. Last Life in the Universe (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang; 2003)
27. Left Bank (Pieter Van Hees; 2008) Belgium
28. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson; 2008) Sweden
29. Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch; 2009) US
30. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola; 2003) US
31. Love Songs (Christophe Honoré; 2007) France
32. Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay; 2002) UK
33. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch; 2001) US
34. No Country For Old Men (Ethan & Joel Coen; 2007) US
35. Oldboy (Chan-wook Park; 2003) Korea
36. OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (Michel Hazanavicius; 2006) France
37. The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke; 2002) German/France
38. The Proposition (John Hillcoat; 2005) Australia
39. The Quiet American (Phillip Noyce; 2001) Australia/US
40. [Rec] (Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza; 2007) Spain
41. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky; 2000) US
42. A Single Man (Tom Ford; 2009) US
43. Session 9 (Brad Anderson; 2001) US
44. Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright; 2004) UK
45. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson; 2007) US
46. This Is England (Shane Meadows; 2007) UK
47. Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis; 2001) France
48. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr; 2000) Hungry
49. Wonder Boys (Curtis Hanson; 2000) US
50. Zodiac (David Fincher; 2007) US

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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:07 am

Focus On Film: The Top 100 Films Of 2000 – 2010. Part 2 80 – 61. And Those Netflix Queues Start To Fill Up…

66. Fish Tank (2009)

Director: Andrea Arnold

Writer: Andrea Arnold

Production Company: BBC Films et al

Stars: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender and Kierston Waering

Everything changes for 15yr old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.

Fish Tank is a British, social realist “kitchen sink” drama. It features very impressive performances all round and a suitably grim aesthetic for a film set on a failing council estate. What is surprising however, is how light hearted the film is in moments, with our struggling teenager’s younger sister, providing quite a few laughs. The film is remarkably good at building tension, especially that of a sexual nature between the two leads and it all feels really quite sinister, considering the nature of the film. There are a couple of ridiculously intense scenes, like waiting for a horrible accident to come crashing down. The film does an excellent job of asking the question: “How do we expect these children to escape the trappings of their lives and ever become anything?” The council estate is the Fish Tank and she is trapped there and is saddled with everything that goes along with that. It’s an inspiring and ultimately, an optimistic film. Only slightly though.

Strongest Element: The tension in some of the scenes towards the end is pushed to breaking point. The final scene between the two leads is remarkable and Arnold handles it perfectly, using a lot of restraint.

Weakest Element: It may not appeal to people outside of Britain.

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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:31 pm


No.10 Kick-Ass (2010)

117 min - Action - Adventure - Comedy
Imdb rating: 8.0/10

Kick-Ass is a 2010 superhero action comedy based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who co-produced the film with actor Brad Pitt, and co-wrote the screenplay with Jane Goldman. The film's general release was on April 16, 2010 in the U.S. and on March 25, 2010 in the UK.
The film tells the story of an ordinary teenager, Dave Lizewski, who sets out to become a real-life superhero, calling himself "Kick-Ass". Dave gets caught up in a bigger fight when he meets Big Daddy, a former cop who, in his quest to bring down the drug lord Frank D'Amico, has trained his eleven-year-old daughter to be the ruthless vigilante Hit-Girl.
Despite having generated some controversy for its profanity and violence performed by a child actor, Kick-Ass has received mostly positive reviews.

09. The Fighter (2010)

116 min - Biography - Drama - Sport
Imdb rating: 8.0/10
The Fighter is a 2010 biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams. The film centers on the life of professional boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his older half-brother Dicky Eklund (Bale). The film also stars Amy Adams as Micky's love interest, and Melissa Leo as Micky's and Dicky's mother. The Fighter is Russell and Wahlberg's third film collaboration, following Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees.
The film was released in select North American theaters on December 17, 2010 and was released in the United Kingdom on February 4, 2011. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, winning the awards for Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale) and Best Supporting Actress (Melissa Leo). It was the first film to win both awards sinceHannah and Her Sisters in 1986.

08. Shutter Island (2010)

138 min - Drama - Mystery - Thriller
Imdb Rating: 8.0/10
Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film is based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. Production started in March 2008.Leonardo DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels, who is investigating a psychiatric facility located on the island named in the title. The film grossed over $128 million in its initial domestic theater release.
Shutter Island was originally stated to be released on October 2, 2009, but Paramount Pictures pushed the release date to February 19, 2010.

07. How to Train Your Dragon(2010)

98 min - Animation - Adventure - Comedy
Imdb Rating: 8.2/10

How to Train Your Dragon is a 2010 3D computer-animated fantasy film by DreamWorks Animation loosely based on the 2003 book of the same name. The film stars the voices of Jay Baruchel,Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score at the 83rd Academy Awards, which it lost to Toy Story 3 and The Social Network, respectively. The movie also won ten Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature.
The story takes place in a mythical Viking world where a young Viking teenager named Hiccup aspires to follow his tribe's tradition of becoming a dragon slayer. After finally capturing his first dragon, and with his chance at finally gaining the tribe's acceptance, he finds that he no longer has the desire to kill it and instead befriends it.
The film was released March 26, 2010, to positive reviews. The film grossed nearly $500 million worldwide and became DreamWorks Animation's fifth most successful film in the United States and Canada (behind the Shrek film series).

06. The Social Network (2010)

120 min - Biography - Drama
Imdb Rating: 8.1/10

The Social Network is a 2010 drama film about the founding of the social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits. The film was directed by David Fincher and features a cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Rashida Jones, Joseph Mazzello, and Rooney Mara.
Aaron Sorkin's screenplay adapts Ben Mezrich's 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires. Sorkin makes a cameo appearance as an unimpressed advertiser. Neither founder Mark Zuckerberg nor any other member of Facebook was involved with the project, although Eduardo Saverin was a consultant for Mezrich. The film was released in the United States by Columbia Pictures on October 1, 2010.
The film received widespread acclaim, with critics praising it for its editing, acting, score and screenplay. The Social Network appeared on 78 critics' top 10 list for 2010; of those critics 22 had the film in their number one spot. Rolling Stone's Peter Travers said "The Social Network is the movie of the year. But Fincher and Sorkin triumph by taking it further. Lacing their scathing wit with an aching sadness, they define the dark irony of the past decade." It received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (David Fincher), and Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg), and won three for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing. It also won the Best Motion Picture – Drama Golden Globe at the 68th Golden Globe Awardson January 16, 2011. The film also won the awards for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score, making it the film with the most wins of the night.

05. The King's Speech (2010)

118 min - Biography - Drama - History
Imdb Rating: 8.3/10

The King's Speech is a 2010 British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays King George VI who, to overcome his stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. The two men become friends as they work together, and after his brother Edward VIII abdicates, the new king relies on Logue to help him make a radio broadcast on the day that Britain goes to war with Germany at the beginning of World War II.
Seidler, who began researching George VI's life after overcoming his own stammer during his youth, wrote about the men's relationship. Nine weeks before filming, Logue's notebooks were discovered and quotations from them were incorporated into the script. Principal photography took place in London and other locations in Britain, in December 2009 and early January 2010. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 7 January 2011.
The King's Speech was a major box office and critical success. On a budget of £8 million (roughly $15 million), it grossed over $400 million internationally. It was widely praised by critics for its visual style, art direction, and acting. Other commentators discussed the film's misrepresentation of the historical events it portrays, in particular the reversal of Winston Churchill's opposition to abdication. The film received many awards and nominations, mostly for Colin Firth. The film was nominated for seven Golden Globes, winning Best Actor – Drama for Firth. The film received 14 BAFTA nominations, the most of any film, winning seven, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Firth, and Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress for Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. The film was also nominated for 12 Academy Awards, the most of any film that year, and ended up winning four, all in major categories: Best Picture, Best Director for Tom Hooper, Best Actor for Firth and Best Original Screenplay for David Seidler.

04. Black Swan (2010)

108 min - Drama - Mystery - Thriller
Imdb Rating: 8.4/10

Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis. Its plot revolves around a production ofTchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet by a prestigious New York City company. The production requires a ballerina to play both the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan. One dancer, Nina (Portman), is a perfect fit for the White Swan, while Lily (Kunis) has a personality that matches the Black Swan. When the two compete for the parts, Nina finds a dark side to herself.
Aronofsky conceived the premise by connecting his viewings of a production of Swan Lake with an unrealized screenplay about understudies and the notion of being haunted by a double, similar to the folklore surrounding doppelgängers. Aronofsky cites Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "The Double" as another inspiration for the film. The director also considered Black Swan a companion piece to his 2008 film The Wrestler, with both films involving demanding performances for different kinds of art. He and Portman first discussed the project in 2000, and after a brief attachment to Universal Studios, Black Swan was produced in New York City in 2009 by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Portman and Kunis trained in ballet for several months prior to filming and notable figures from the ballet world helped with film production to shape the ballet presentation.
The film premiered as the opening film for the 67th Venice International Film Festival on September 1, 2010. It had a limited release in the United States starting December 3, 2010 and opened nationwide on December 17. Black Swan received critical praise upon its release, particularly for Portman's performance and Aronofsky's direction. Portman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the film, as well as many other Best Actress awards in several guilds and festivals, while Aronofsky was nominated for Best Director. In addition, the film itself received a nomination forBest Picture.

03. Toy Story 3 (2010)

103 min - Animation - Adventure - Comedy
Imdb Rating: 8.6/10

Toy Story 3 is a 2010 American 3D CGI comedy-adventure film. It is the third film in the Toy Story series. It was produced by Pixar and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was directed by Lee Unkrich. The film was released worldwide from June through October in Disney Digital 3-D, RealD and IMAX 3D. Toy Story 3 was also the first film to be released theatrically with 7.1 surround sound.
The plot focuses on the toys Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and their friends dealing with an uncertain future as their owner, Andy, prepares to leave for college. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack,Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, John Ratzenberger, Wallace Shawn, Jeff Pidgeon, Jodi Benson, R. Lee Ermey, John Morris, and Laurie Metcalf reprised their voice-over roles from the previous films.Jim Varney, who played Slinky Dog in the first two films, and Joe Ranft, who portrayed Wheezy and Lenny, both died before production began on Toy Story 3. The role of Slinky Dog was taken over by Blake Clark, while Ranft's characters and various others were written out of the story. New characters include performances by Ned Beatty, Timothy Dalton, Kristen Schaal, Bonnie Hunt,Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Garlin, and Michael Keaton.
The feature broke Shrek the Third's record as the biggest opening day North American gross for an animated film unadjusted for inflation and a big opening with an unadjusted gross of $110,307,189. It is also the highest-grossing opening weekend for a Pixar film, as well as the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film to have opened in the month of June. The film is the highest-grossing film of 2010 in the United States and Canada, and the highest-grossing film of 2010 worldwide. In July, it surpassed Finding Nemo to become Pixar's highest ever grossing film at the North American box office. In early August, the film surpassed Shrek 2 as the highest-grossing animated film of all-time worldwide; in late August, Toy Story 3 became the first ever animated film in history to make over $1 billion worldwide. It is currently the 5th highest-grossing film of all time.
Toy Story 3 was nominated for five Academy Awards - Best Picture, Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song, and Best Sound Editing.It was the third animated film (after Beauty and the Beast and Up) to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. It won the awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.
It premiered on Disney Channel (UK & Ireland) on May 29, 2011

02. X First Class (2011)

132 min - Action - Adventure - Drama
Imdb Rating: 8.2/10

X-Men: First Class is a 2011 American superhero film directed by Matthew Vaughn. Based on the characters appearing in Marvel Comics, it is a prequel to the X-Men film series. X-Men: First Class was released on June 1, 2011 in the UK and on June 3 in the US.
The film is set primarily in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis and focuses on the relationship between Professor X and Magneto and the origin of their groups, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. The film stars James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. Other cast members include Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Zoë Kravitz, Nicholas Hoult and Lucas Till. The film was mostly shot in England and parts of the United States

01. Inception (2010)

148 min - Action - Adventure - Sci-Fi
Imdb Rating: 8.9/10

Inception is a 2010 science fiction action film, written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film features an ensemble cast starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine. DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a specialized corporate spy and thief. His work consists of secretly extracting valuable commercial information from the unconscious minds of his targets while they are asleep and dreaming. Wanted for murder and unable to visit his children, Cobb is offered a chance to regain his old life as payment for a task considered to be impossible: "inception", the planting of an idea into a target's subconscious.
Development began roughly nine years before Inception was released. In 2001, Nolan wrote an 80-page treatment about dream-stealers, presenting the idea to Warner Bros. The story was originally envisioned as a horror film, inspired by concepts of lucid dreaming and dream incubation. Feeling he needed to have more experience with large-scale films, Nolan opted to work onBatman Begins, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight. He spent six months polishing up the script for Inception before Warner Bros. purchased it in February 2009.Filming spanned six countries and four continents, beginning in Tokyo on June 19, 2009, and finishing in Canada in late November of the same year.
Inception was officially budgeted at $160 million, a cost that was split between Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. Nolan's reputation and success with The Dark Knight helped secure the film's $100 million in advertising expenditure. Inception premiered in London on July 8, 2010, and was released in both conventional and IMAX theaters on July 16, 2010. A box office success, the film grossed over $21 million on its opening day, with an opening weekend gross of $62.7 million. Overall, Inception has grossed over $800 million worldwide and is currently one of the highest-grossing films of all time. In addition to strong box office results, Inception has also grossed $68 million in DVD sales.
Inception received wide critical acclaim, with numerous critics praising it for its originality, cast, score, and visual effects. The film received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Art Direction, and won four awards for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects.

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