Do you think any of that radiation from the Fukushima reactors in Japan is responsible for the mild temperatures these days? Or worse yet, are we all gonna mutate and develop extra limbs and/or superpowers when the rain stops? Will the next Godzilla movie be a documentary?
The tsunami that hit Japan last March, and the nuclear catastrophe that followed, are just another example of how much 2011 sucked outside the movie theatres as it did inside but since the email with next week's listings never came in today let's continue with the "2011 Best-Of" list:
Best Stoner Comedy
I can't believe I forgot this one last week (yes I can) but 30 Minutes or Less takes the prize. Zombieland director Rueben Fleischer re-teams with Jesse Eisenberg, who stars as a too-cool pizza delivery boy who gets kidnapped by two dipshits (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) who strap a bomb to him and force him to rob a bank. I know, it sounds genius right? 30 Minutes or Less is well paced (it builds throughout) and smartly written — well, as smart as you need for a stoner comedy. Will it inspire you to build a school in a third world country? No. Will it make you laugh till you almost choke on your spicy ketchup chips? Sure. (And if you haven't tried those spicy ketchup chips yet, get on it.)
Best Sports Movie
Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill as the guys who proved elite level sports are essentially a numbers and data game, was the best "based-on-true" sports flick, but for a straight documentary try and find Senna about Brazillian car racer Ayrton Senna, and his rivalry with Frenchman Alain Prost. It's like something out of Ricky Bobby but way better, and real. Shout-out also to The Sherpa's All.I.Can, the best ski movie in a decade.
Speaking of real, here are the facts. The industrial age is pretty much over, the music industry is gone, publishing people look mighty nervous and the film industry is really only surviving on foreign markets these days — but it is definitely still a golden era for documentaries. Docs are the cheapest movies to produce now and as the world slides down the crap-hole the decline provides an endless supply of new documentary subject matter. Unfortunately, almost none of them ever reach local theatre screens but keep an eye out for things like Black Power Mixtape, The Interupters, Tabloid or Werner Herzog's capital punishment movie, Into the Abyss. I missed that one so I'm giving top nod to Gary Hustwit's Urbanized, the third film in his "design" trilogy. The second film, Objectified, was better but I'm treating this like The Lord of the Rings and giving all the praise to the final film.
Worst Film of 2011
It's hard to choose but I'm giving it to Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill for putting the final nail in a long and somewhat entertaining career. Sandler needs to take some time off to remember how to make funny movies.
What is kind of funny is I just spent two full columns talking about great movies that came out last year so perhaps 2011 wasn't really all that bad. The problem is Squamish and Whistler are not major markets and very few (if any) of the best independent films ever play up here — there just aren't enough people. Who cares about 2011 anyhow, it's history. And the future is a mystery. But right now is a gift, and that's why it's called the "present."
(Okay, I ripped that off from Kung-Fu Panda) but them's wise words so take a deep breath and have a good day/week/year/life.