I suffer through an annual end of the year meltdown. As we get closer and closer to the close of the year, I get more and more concerned that I won’t have enough films to fill out my top ten. Now how sad would that be? Fortunately, this is merely a bad habit I’ve gotten myself into and not only did I come up with a nice selection after running through everything I’ve seen in 2011, but I had a pretty tough time narrowing the list down to just ten.
Per usual, my goal as a critic is to find the happy medium between my growing film studies background and simply being able to sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Over the past year, being enrolled in Columbia University’s Film MFA program has undoubtedly affected my reviews, but focusing on a film’s entertainment value is still a top priority with filmmaking quality a close second and that’s as evident as ever in my list of the top ten films of 2011.
Click here to check out the list.
I’m all for bizarre and outlandish comedy. When Napoleon Dynamite hit back in 2004, I fell in love. The difference between that film and James Gunn’s Super? Whereas Napoleon Dynamite was innocent silliness, Super is insulting madness. Perhaps the films would be comparable had Napoleon’s Liger jumped off the page and mauled Pedro to death.
Super stars Rainn Wilson as Frank, a lame loser who happened to get lucky in the romance department and marry Liv Tyler’s character, Sarah. Sure enough, Frank’s luck runs dry and Sarah’s drug addiction creeps back into the picture along with a sleazy dealer name Jacques (Kevin Bacon). When Sarah leaves him for Jacques, Frank breaks down. He wants to get her back, but has no chance with Jacques and his goons in his way. Frank comes to the conclusion that the only way he can fight back is as someone else, as a super hero and so the Crimson Bolt is born.
When the Crimson Bolt isn’t plotting against Jacques, he’s fighting a variety of crimes ranging from child molestation to “line butting.” His weapon of choice is a massive wrench and rarely thinks twice before using it regardless of the severity of the offense. Eventually a local comic book store employee, Libby (Ellen Page), connects the dots and pegs Frank as the Crimson Bolt. Rather than reveal his secret identity, she begs to join him in his fight against crime as his sidekick, Boltie. Frank reluctantly accepts the offer and together, they forge ahead with Frank’s primary mission, to get his wife back.
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