Bill’s Bizarre Bijou Presents
Our Feature Presentation
MY BEST OF 2011
By William D. Carl
2011 was a nice year for movies, and I saw more than my usual share of terrific films. It was also good year for comic book films, giving us CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR, and X-MEN:FIRST CLASS, as well as a bounty of bizarre treats. Below, I’ve listed my top ten films for the year, those I felt achieved something wonderful, creative, and artistic . . .
- HUGO—Scorsese made the first movie that demands to be seen in 3-D and a real reason for film fans to rejoice.
- WAR HORSE—Spielberg’s best film in years with visuals you may never erase from memory.
- MIDNIGHT IN PARIS—Woody Allen’s tribute to the city of lights is a fizzy piece that demands you go to Paris and lose yourself.
- TREE OF LIFE—Brilliant, confounding, demanding, and obscure…I know I don’t get it all, but I still adore it.
- DRIVE—Ryan Gosling channels Steve McQueen and Albert Brooks is scary as hell. A brilliant cross between art film and action flick.
- MONEYBALL—who knew a baseball movie without any baseball scenes could be so fabulous? Entertaining with a tight, flavorful script.
- RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES—what science fiction should be and rarely is—intelligent, funny, shocking, and even heartfelt.
- CRAZY STUPID LOVE—a terrific cast brings a sweet, emotional romantic comedy to life. Plus, it’s actually romantic!
- ARTHUR CHRISTMAS—the only animated film all year to impress me. Way funnier for adults than for kids, with the best elf vs. lion African footage ever.
- BARNEY’S VERSION—beautifully acted film that says more about love and loss than any hundred sappy Nicholas Sparks sob-fests. Paul Giamatti is fantastic.
Honorable Mentions go to : BRIDESMAIDS, THE LINCOLN LAWYER, BEGINNERS, and THE DESCENDANTS.
This being Bill’s Bizarre Bijou, I also offer up my list of top ten bizarre flicks from the year. These won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but they’re all more fun than they should be, and I loved them all. Bizarro Awards go to:
- ATTACK THE BLOCK—this is how to make a summer movie. Big, furry bear-like aliens vs. streets hoods. Some of the funniest and raunchiest dialogue of the year.
- TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL— Hilarious take on cannibal redneck movies, where the rednecks are the good guys and the clean cut kids are monsters.
- THE LAST CIRCUS-Franco’s Spain breeds an emotional war between two circus clowns. Alternately beautiful and stomach churning, this is a great horror/political film.
- THE SKIN I LIVE IN—Almodover’s movie about rape, sex changes, mad scientists, and truly twisted sexual relationships is eye candy for the smart set. Disturbing.
- RARE EXPORTS—Finnish tale of the evil demon Santa Klaus and his minions. Darkly funny and gorgeously shot. A real hoot after some spiked eggnog.
- MELANCHOLIA— Lars Von Trier takes on sibling rivalry in a shocking movie that plays out like WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE meets the first hour of THE DEERHUNTER. It will haunt you.
- CHILLERAMA—the return of the anthology film, which features gay were-bears singing and dancing, a giant sperm cell mating with the Statue of Liberty, and a gibberish-spouting Hitler. Not for all tastes, but if you’re game…
- HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN—brightly colored, garish, violent, and fun, this revenge flick does everything right to recreate the grindhouse feel of those exploitation flicks of the late 70s and early 80s.
- AMER—the giallo gets an arthouse makeover with eye-popping colors and awesome music.
- RUBBER—a rubber tire discovers it can make people explode if it concentrates hard enough and goes on a killing spree, while a live audience observes it in the wild. Yes, you read that description right, and the movie really is that twisted.
Overall, a great year with some real standouts and plenty of bizarre bijou fare! Here’s hoping 2012 is just as good.
© Copyright 2011 by William D. Carl