Monday, January 01, 2007

Hog's Top 10 of 2006

[EDIT: The below list is the work of sometime film ick contributor Hog. My official film ick list of 2006's Ten Best is a few posts back. Enjoy]

Disclaimer: despite having sat through hundreds of hours of films this year, there are a few that I have managed to miss completely which I imagine would have made it into this list. So, apologies to John Lasseter, Guillermo del Toro and Peyton Reed. I’m almost certain that your films are much better than some of these choices, but I just need to be sure. I know you won’t lose sleep over it…

Okay – so, in (almost) no particular order…

1. Tideland

quite obviously any terry Gilliam film released in any given year will automatically be at the number one spot in any list. Why? How often do you read this blog? Check the archives for the reasons.

2. Little Miss Sunshine

It would have been a lovely surprise to discover this indie hit and be genuinely wowed by it, but since films get released about 3 months later in Germany, I had already been told by all my friends and all their friends that it was the film of the year. I was almost inclined to agree with them…except, of course, it was a Gilliam year.

3. Dave Chapelle’s Block Party

Michel Gondry proves to the world that a) documentaries are more than just pointing a camera at something that happens and hoping for the best and b) you don’t have to make witty cute off-beat fiction films to demonstrate your genius as a filmmaker. Probably his best work to date, and easily one of the best documentaries of recent times, along with…

4. Grizzly Man

Herzog on top form with this wonderful two-tier film that is possibly his most successful mingling of his interest in outsider figures (in this case the bear loving Timothy Treadwell) and the nature of filmmaking ‘truth’. A film that is educational AND entertaining. Grierson would be proud. (NB whilst this is a film produced in 2005, it didn’t make it to UK cinemas until 2006, thus making my list for this year. That’s fair, right? I saw Where the Truth Lies in 2005, for instance…)

[EDIT: Indeed, Grizzly Man was on my 2005 list]

5. Brick

Rian Johnson has obviously delved into my brain one night whilst I was sleeping, poked about and found a half-baked idea I’d planned on developing into something once I’d stopped wasting my life. While I slept he whipped it up into something better than I could ever have imagined – the ultimate wit-packed high-school drama-meets-the big sleep. And then put my favourite song over the closing credits. Sneaky bugger.

6. Children of Men

Alfonso Cuaron’s dystopian future shock looks identical to many post-Threads nightmares I’ve had over the years. An amazing degree of accuracy, some genuinely thrilling action set-pieces and some of the best special effects in a film…maybe ever.

7. Casino Royale

Never loved Bond. Loved this. That says a lot. As well as being a lot smarter than any of it's predecessors, it was also a lot more fun. I was like a wide eyed child whilst watching this, - though those wide eyes also noticed a great many faults. Nothing quite so bad as Roger Moore’s eyebrows though…

8. Superman Returns

…and returns in style. A disappointing year generally for comic book movies, so rather nice to see that after a dozen(?) years of development hell, Superman’s return to the big screen was deftly done. And after Bill’s big speech before being Killed, nice to see that someone else had taken the time to consider the characters in the mythology and not just the special effects.

9. Hostel

I took my mum to see this and even she loved it. I had to put my hands over her eyes during the sex scenes though – how times change. A film that, like many great works of horror before it, is greatly underrated and completely misunderstood. And still gets a sequel. For once I’m glad.


Okay – so you might well wonder what this is doing on here. I fully accept that things are wrong when an artist’s work reaches the point where someone could parody it and do a better job - and at times it looked as if Adam and Joe were working closely with Lynch on this one – but to be fair, I personally enjoyed it. It is nowhere near the best film I have seen this year, but as a personal indulgence it was probably one of the most enjoyable. And besides, if Lynch has sunk to the level of hawking a cow around Hollywood, then he needs all the press he can get.

Honourable mentions: Paprika, Lunacy, The Homecoming (does that count? I saw it in a cinema), The Fountain, The Science of Sleep, Borat.


Hog said...

what an idiot - i completely forgot to include Breakfast on Pluto. Amongst other things. Sorry Neil - you should be in there somewhere.

Brendon said...

Was that 2006? It surely was...