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best of film

Favorite Movies Seen in 2021

From early Kubrick and Mizoguchi to modern satire and Venom 2

1. Parasite

Oscar winner with a reason! The Korean capitalism satire, masked as family drama is a jaw dropping movie experience. The film follows a family of 4, who one by one, try to get employed at a wealthy family. The daughter will be an art teacher to their son. The father will become the driver, the mother the cook and the son of the family will become an English tutor for wealthy teen daughter. But then twists happen, not one, but many.

2. Sansho The Bailiff

Sansho the Bailiff is second movie of my Miyoguchi marathon and the one that I liked the most. The movie is an historical fiction, set in the 11th century, when ronin roamed free and might was right. The movie is also based on a story by Ogai, an famous Japanese writer The central characters of the novel are a wealthy aristocratic family whose luck turns for the absolute worse. The father is removed from his post and from his family. He gives them a parting gift in the view of his ideals, making his children, and his son especially, promise that they will always live by those ideals. The mother, son and daughter face endless hardships that will test that promise.

3. Wind River

Wind River is the first movie I saw this year, and almost a whole year later it still resonates with me. Watching Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner in all those Marvel movie you forget just how good they are with a great dramatic script. Renner especially. This is his best role. He commands every scene, every emotion is portrayed just right. The movie is also a exciting mystery thriller, with a killer on the loose. In addition to that it is one of the most jarring explorations of the life of Native Americans in those so call reservations.

Full review here.

4. The Producers

First time seeing a Mel Brooks film, and it made me into a loyal fan, till death tears us apart. Tasteless can be hilarious. The movie centers around two men, both severly down on their luck.  One of them is Max, an former star actor of both stage and screen, now survives by hustling widows who are one foot in the grave. The other is an accountant by the name of Leo Bloom. Together they scheme to create an incredible Broadway flop and think they have found their play authored by a former Nazi and titled “Springtime for Hitler”.

Full Review Here

5. The Fly

The Fly is a horror movie classic, but it is also a well written tragedy. The young scientist Seth Brundle (played by the wonderfully charming Jeff Goldblum) has an idea that will revolutionize the world. But nobody believes him. That is until Ronnie comes along. Ronnie is Veronica, a reporter looking for a story, and exciting stories are hard to find when you are working for a science magazine. She thinks Brundle is a scam artist, but follows him back to his laboratory. She witnesses his invention, a teleportation device. She decides to help him, gaining full covering of the story. But they start to fall in love. A potential story of love and genius turns tragedy because of one night of Brundle’s hubris.

Full Review Here

6. The Killing

Some people just have it, the transcendent ability to create marvelous things. The Killing is an early film by Stanley Kubrick. But the lack of experience or the lack of any big budget doesn’t stop him from showing just what masterful filmmaker he is. The Killing is a noir film, staged around a few people, gray as the color of the film. They are all decent people, but down on their luck, and desperate for a quick fix to their existential troubles. In comes Johnny Clay, played by the brilliant Sterling Hayden, and creates plan so perfect seeming that it might just work. The film also features Marie Windsor in one of the greatest Femme Fatale performances I have ever seen.

Full Review Here

7. Fake Famous

Part documentary part social experiment, Fake Famous looks at what it takes to become social media famous. The director, Nick Bilton has come up with a plan. He will interview a bunch of people and pick a few that he thinks are most likely to become internet famous. He will gradually increase their followers by faking a luxury lifestyle and actually buying them followers. Will it work? Well, only one way to find out.

8. Jojo Rabbit

What We Do In The Shadows is one of my favorite comedies. Hearing that Taika Waititi was doing a coming of age Nazi satire got me super intrigued. What really jumped out at me was the talented eye that Waititi has. Every shot looks so good. A lot of thought was put into the composition, the angle and color of every scene. Would like to rewatch it and just screengrab shot after shot because they are that good. It also gets a lot of great performances out of his cast. The boy actor Roman Griffin Davis is marvelous, as is Scarlett Johanssen playing his mother. My main man Sam Rockwell is his usual troubled/charming self as a bitter, disappointed, nihilistic Nazi officer.

Full Review Here

9. Mortal Kombat

Growing up in the last 90s and early 00s I was exposed to a lot of awesome fighting video games, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Guilty Gear just to name a few. No matter how bad the reviews are I will always watch a movie version of said games, be it live action or animated. I was really surprised by this installment of Mortal Kombat! It added to the lore, the fanservice fitted well into the story and it looks incredible. Especially the fight scenes, but also the wide panorama shots on their travels looked better than 99% of your usual “Visit country X” ads. Just wish the protagonist knew how to portray even a single emotion.

Full Review Here

10. Venom 2: Let There be Carnage

Who doesn’t love a great antihero. I really liked the first Venom, and was super excited about the follow up. It didn’t blow me away as much as the first one did. But there are plenty of things that I really enjoyed. Tom Hardy playing nervous or half crazy is something to behold. The mannerisms, the way he positions his body in every shot, like he’s shying away from the camera, really impressive. Woody Harrelson is a great Carnage, just the right amount of insane. Doesn’t veer into comical too much. Weird seeing Carnage that bigger than Venom. My favorite part of the movie is the dynamic between Venom and Brock, as well as the Venom club speech. Hail Rave Venom!

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