Rohan’s favorite films of 2011

With a blink of an eye the year 2011 passed. It was too fast and quick, I still feel the vibe of its beginning when people were greeting each other Happy 2011. Along with it we witnessed historical events that took place around the world like the death of Osama Bin Laden; the fall of Muammar Gaddafi; the passing of Kim Jong il; the Arab Spring; Occupy Wall Street. Setting aside these political events, the year 2011 also brought us some great films with good stories and introduction of new characters that brought smiles to our faces and tears to our eyes. And, some of the stories inspired us as artists and taught us something valuable about life. The list of the mentioned titles below are some of my favorite films of 2011. Some I thought were not going to make the list, but looking back at those specific titles I thought I should mention them anyway. And, there are some other great films that I missed like, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Hugo, War Horse. Looking forward to see these films on blu-ray that I missed on the big screen.

My favorite films of 2011:

FAST FIVE – Release Date: April 29, 2011

I always adore a good action film. Car chases, jokes, beautiful women and explosions. The Fast & Furious films are not really my all time favorites, yet they are entertaining. I did enjoy the first installment and the enjoyed its second installment as well. Then its fun  for my eyes kind of died with the Tokyo Drift and the fourth installment. But, Justin Lin came and picked it up. He brought a new taste and put some more spice in the franchise. Earning over $600 million in the box office this action packet film is one thrill ride that will make your palms sweat and each explosion and metal crashings will make you jump and high fiving your buddies and pop-corn flying over your lap. I recommend this film to anyone. If you have missed it, go ahead and watch it.

SOURCE CODE – Release Date: April 1, 2011

Written by Ben Ripley and directed by Duncan Jones, this action thriller is one of the most surprising favorites of the year. I missed it on the big screen and then forgot about it, for its trailers didn’t intrigued me at all. Then reading the reviews and reaction of some of the friends, I thought I should give this film a shot. Purchased its blu-ray one day and hit the play button. This fresh, mind blowing film provides a mind twisting concept with a taste of Hitchcock style. It surprised me and made me write Mr. Duncan Jones’ name next to my other favorite film-makers. I am looking forward to see more of his work. Currently working on a new sci-fi script, Mr. Jones via twitter replied to me few months back that he was almost done with the first draft of this new untitled film.

THOR – Releaste Date: May 6, 2011

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, who is one of my favorite actors that was the main reason I decided to stand at the box office window when the film hit the big screens on May 6th. Without knowing the concept of the story or the background of the films characters I sat with my father and experienced a good fun film with some great costumes, performances, sets and some good action sequences. Kenneth Branagh was not actually the only reason I went to see this film, my mind wanted to see my favorite Natalie Portman on the big screen as well. This is a fun family film with an interesting story. Chris Hemsworth is promising.

THE TREE OF LIFE – Release Date: May 17, 2011

I cannot sit and write about the work of Mr. Malick in just four or five phrases. With each film, Mr. Malick challenges me as a writer, and  aficionado of cinema. His vision and his work of art is poetic and unique that represents us the true meaning of life. With The Tree of Life, Mr. Malick’s mission is to convey the message of love and innocence. This film’s beautiful images and stunning cinematography provides us the beauty of nature and the importance of our existence. This one film is daring and powerful. Truly one of the best films of 2011. Mr. Malick’s The Tree of Life is a gift in the form of moving images. You will feel that that is one odd film and different from other films just like the mystery of nature itself.

XMEN: FIRST CLASS – Release Date: June 3, 2011

I have never been the fan of X-MEN films. In fact, I skipped all the previous films. I was just never into the story until X-Men: First Class hit the big screen. Knowing that this is how it all starts, I gave the film a shot and experienced it on the big screen. A fun film with good acting and some good action sequences. Some called it the INCEPTION of 2011, I don’t believe that. The film does have it flaws, but it’s enjoyable. Interesting point is that the story’s focus is on the characters.

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON – Releaste Date: June 28, 2011

To be honest when I walked out from the theater I said that this film is not going to make it to my favorite list. But, looking back at Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and then watching Dark of the Moon, this film is fun, and better. The first film will remain my favorite, but the third installment is not bad either. Like I said, I enjoy action and explosions at times. This film delivers just that. The other main reason I thought I should mention it here, for Michael Bay’s  efforts. If the guy likes to blow up things then so be it… at least he makes me say WOW sometimes. Transformers: Dark of the moon is a fun action film and it’s better than the second film. Michael Bay has apologized in a way for his mistakes that he made in Revenge of the Fallen.

SUPER 8 – Release Date: June 10, 2011

This was on the most anticipated films of mine. Watching it twice on the big screen because it is about the love of film-making, J.J Abrams take on a monster from space and the kids running around reminds one the magic of Mr. Spielberg’s work. Abrams has envisioned an event which is serene, sanguine and prodigious. In the film’s awe-inspiring, joyous story he’s kept the message of friendship alive and that friendship is universal. You can read my complete review of the film here.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: The First Avenger  – Release Date: Jule 22, 2011

I thought about this film and decided to mention it here because of the character’s introduction. Captain America is enjoyable after all. Not the best of the 2011, I think THOR is better. But, Captain America is an enjoyable film if you ingore the performances of some of the actors. I think Chris Evans makes a good Captain America, but what’s important is that the character should become a bit more emotional than just saying, “I am the kid from Brooklyn.” I enjoyed this film because the way the makers introduced us the character and his life taking him to the world where Tony Stark lives.

COWBOYS & ALIENS – Release Date: July 29, 2011

Jon Favreau brings Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig on the same screen. We are looking at a legend and the James Bond on horses. Cowboys & Aliens is my favorite movie. I love the Westerns and I love Sci-fi. This film provides a fresh concept with some great action sequences. Director Jon Favreau and his team of writers and producers took this awesome idea from the graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. A story written skilfully and adapted by a team of sagacious men who merged an alien incursion story into a western genre. The reason I am bringing the spotlight on the western genre more and not on the sci-fi genre is because the story is mainly focused on the western genre. About 80% of the film is western and the remaining 20% concentrates on the aliens showing off their technology to the men on their horses. Read my complete review of the film here.

RISE OF THE PLANET OF APES –  Release Date: August 5, 2011

Easily one of the best films of the summer, Rise of the Planet of Apes is pitch perfect film in terms of story, performances, special effects, and directing. It’s emotional, fun and action packed. It blew my mind. Watching the film twice on the big screen is phenomenal and brilliant. Andy Serkis’ hard work and passion is remarkable. Does he deserve a Oscar nomination? – Yes, he does. It’s about time giving the man some awards. If you have not seen this film yet, you better buy it on blu-ray today.

CONTAGION – Release Date: September 9, 2011

I love disaster films, I know this sounds odd, but this film like John Hillcoat’s, The Road is a serious one. The well angled shots, performances, and the painting of fear in our imaginations is used beautifully. It’s dark, scary and meaningful. There is no pointing fingers here. The film is unfllinching and honest look at a scenario that we can only will never happen again. I enjoyed Contagion because of its concept, direction, story, and powerful performances of its stellar cast.

DRIVE – Releated Date: September 16, 2011

One the coolest films of the year is Drive. It’s Stylish, dark, beautiful, mean, and perfectly directed. In my book, Drive is a classic. There is a hero in all of us. The story makes us all a good person. This is not an Action film, this is not a “Car” movie. It’s a character-driven, slow-burn thriller of the first order that features elements of some of the finer works from Directorial royalty like Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann, William Friedkin, Quentin Tarantino, Walter Hill and the late Sam Peckinpah.

MONEYBALL – Release Date: September 23, 2011

It’s well directed, well performed film. Moneyball is a high quality film, Zaillian and Sorkin’s script is flawless.  I am not a baseball fan, but the reason this film is in this list because it’s emotional. It’s perfectly directed and performed. If you think you have to be a baseball fan to watch this film. No, you are wrong.  Go see it!

THE IDES OF MARCH – Release Date: October 7, 2011

I don’t take George Clooney that serious as an actor. His performance in Syriana is my favorite though. But, his directing is something I think I should look for. The Ides Of March made me take Mr. Clooney serious as a director. This film is behind the scenes of politics. It’s fun, emotional, and serious. This film provides a great team of actors who has dilivered their best performances. Specially Mr. Ryan Gosling here. Two films in a row with great acting this year, this guy is here to stay. This guy is just awesome.

J.EDGAR – Release Date: November 11, 2011

J.Edgar is one of the best films of this year, and a bold feast by Clint Eastwood. The script that I acquired about few months prior to the release of the film impressed me thoroughly, it brought the spotlight on what’s necessary to comprehend and what was necessary back then when Hoover was still the director of the FBI. It’s beautifully, carefully and passionately written by Mr. Dustin Lance Black. The essentials beats of Hoover’s life is penned here for Mr. Eastwood to direct. You can read my complete review of the film here.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLEGHOST PROTOCOL – Release Date: December 16, 2011

Mission Impossible 4 starts with a bang and ends with a bang. Meaning that it is incredibly fun film to watch with great cinematography, action sequences, chases, explosions, gun shots, fist fights, breathtaking Burj Khalifa scene, beautiful women, and performances. Brad Bird has not only consecrated here on action, but on his characters as well. Adding Jereme Renner is a very clever move. That just changed the game and added more spice to the franchise. He is an incredible actor, and I cannot wait to see him in the next installment. You can read my review of the film here.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO – Release Date: December 21, 2011

Fincher has delivered a dark and stylish thriller that releases a sense of paranoia and an eerie and lurid atmosphere. It’s mysterious, horrific, and sexy and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It absorbed my mind and heart and left me thinking about injustice though Lisbeth’s fight against it was captured cautiously. You can read my complete review of the film here.

Happy New Year! And,  let’s look for some great films of 2012.