Monday, 19 December 2011

Highlights of 2011

"What a year!", to use a cliched expression to summarise a year full of stuff.

Chris Jones featured heavily, or at least events organised by the man himself and his lovely team. My first introduction was 'American Independent's Day', back in April; a day spent listening to the wisdom of film producers Ted Hope and Christine Vachon.

Then in June, I attended the Guerrilla Film Maker's Masterclass weekend, which was an intense baptism of knowledge, which definitely helped me to see where I've been going wrong a lot of the time. Utterly recommend it - the next one is coming up in March, so if you seriously want to make films, be there. No excuses.

In October came the cherry on the cake - the London Screenwriter's Festival. Four days (inc. a pitching workshop day, run by Charles Harris) which included seminars with Edgar Wright, David Reynolds, Joe Cornish, and Stuart Hazeldine, as well as speed pitching to producers and hanging out with 300+ film makers. A fantastic experience; one that I can't wait to do again.

Elsewhere, trips to the cinema increased! Woooo!

The Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (Best installment yet)
Thor (Loved it, though it lost some of its impact on DVD)
Scream 4 (Better than part 3, but still a missed opportunity. Good haircuts, though.)
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (Too many 'of the's in the title. Didn't see any 'planet of apes'. They just took over a bridge. "Bridge Of The Apes.")
Super 8 (Spielberg wannabe, great emotional core, slightly rubbish Cloverfield monster's kid brother)
Tintin (Great old school rollicking adventure)
Arthur Christmas (Lovely kids film. Took my daughter, her first trip to the cinema. Aaaah.)
The Thing (A good attempt, respectful of Carpenter's version, not as good, easy to see why... an in-depth review will follow)

On the DVD front, here's a list of recommended viewing which scored at least 3.5 and above (out of 5!).

The Way
The Messenger
X-Men: First Class
The A-Team
Animal Kingdom
Rabbit Hole
True Grit
127 Hours
Gulliver's Travels
The King's Speech
Chico And Rita
Another Year
The Social Network
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Toy Story 3

And finally, notable offenders of 2011 (or DVD's released this year): Films which scored 1 out of 5 (or less!)
Larry Crowne
Bad Teacher
Attack The Block
Sucker Punch
Norwegian Wood
Miracle At St. Anna
I Am Number 4
Age Of Heroes
Arthur & The Invisibles 2
The Green Hornet
Easy A
I'm Still Here
Bonded By Blood
Jonah Hex
Knight And Day
The Last Airbender

Here's to next year: May it be full of great films, success and financial blessings (to pay for the house extension). Chin-chin!

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