Tuesday

on mark kermode's top 5 films of the year

1: inception
2: of gods and men
3: toy story 3
4: made in dagenham (apparently makes a very good double bill with brassed off)
5: chico and rita
lingering outside the top 5:
the social network
oil city confidential
skeletons
restrepo
kick ass
the arbor
eyes wide open
another year

I have watched a lot of films this year. but i've only seen one of these. that seems very wrong somehow, but i suppose it's because if there's this many good films out this year, it soon stacks up. we're wading through decades of great films.

I had a resolution a few years ago: no more bad films. i wasn't going to waste my time on avoidable shit. and since joining sofa cinema (love film with a guardian-endorsed front end), i've seen some crackers: 5 stars got to let the right one in, the wrestler, waltz with bashir, no country for old men and there will be blood (which weren't as good as a double bill as i imagined from the virtually identical posters), as well as older stuff like psycho, larry sanders, women in love.

but some complete dreck has also somehow crept in. the wicker man remake, muppets' wizard of oz, taken, death at a funeral, primal fear (just to name films we only gave 1 star to). so what are these films doing on my list?

it seems to be a combination of recommendations from friends and the need to go through the motions. muppets' wizard of oz and death at a funeral (directed by frank oz)... i think we knew they were going to be bad, but just had to see it through (we stopped the latter after half an hour of boring uncomedy).

muppets' wizard of oz was such a mis-step. such a very bad film. but what a weird thing, to have the opportunity to have some grand, self-reflexive opportunity for frank oz to turn up and admit that it's all a show, and waste it on a 'hmm, do you have a brother called frank?' quip. and if you can't make a climax like that - which you really can't with the muppets, since they're meant to be 'real', but at least you can have a nod to the audience - don't choose that story. muppet wicker man was much more in keeping with the tradition of muppet adaptations (except the lack of a human 'outsider', but then kermit makes such a good straight man [frog]. oh, and seeing miss piggy's breasts was a bit... um... argh)

i suppose i've got to keep it chancey; you can't avoid watching films because they might be crap. So i think I've fallen into a pattern of alternating between two strategies:
1. If someone says a film is good, or it's directed, written, in someway overseen by someone i like, then i'll watch it, and then watch the review after.

2. If a film is 'meant' to be good, by critical acclaim, i'll investigate a few different reviews first (generally Kermode, then the guardian, then Ebert) to see if it's worth a crack.

this way, some films i don't like will creep in - after all, it's important to keep making mistakes. but hopefully i won't miss anything i might like.
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