The Kaje’s Top 10 Films 2011!!!!

Many people complain that the film industry relies upon remakes and rehashes of old ideas. While 2011 has seen its fair share of reworkings (some better than others), it has also seen an array of talent new and old keeping the magical cinematic experience alive. Here at ten films that really blew The Kaje away in 2011…

10. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows (Part 2)

Harry Potter is epic. With each book J.K. Rowling’s tale of a young wizard got bigger and better, with the maturing Harry Potter not only having to deal with puberty and all that entails, but his role as the chosen one. All the stops are pulled out as the film series reaches its dramatic conclusion, and it is nigh on impossible to not get carried away with its sense of wonder.

9. 50/50

Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendrick and Bryce Dallas Howard head up the cast of the quirky American comedy dealing with cancer. When Adam Learner (Gordon-Levitt) discovers he has a tumour, his life seemingly falls apart. His best friend Kyle (Rogen) is there for him in ways, while his girlfriend Rachael (Howard) cheats on him. However, with a zest for life and a determination, Learner pushes through in this unconventional comedy.

8. Horrible Bosses

“Horrible Bosses” is so far removed from the laugh a minute comedy you might expect from both the cast and the trailer. With a dark premise, “Horrible Bosses” is full of challenging twists and turns and breaks the mould with performers who are often stereotyped. Be warned Jennifer Aniston is not the nice girl in this one…

7. We Need To Talk About Kevin

It is very rare for a film to be able to leave you truly dumbfounded and breathless, but that is exactly what Lynne Ramsay’s big screen adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel “We Need To Talk About Kevin” does. With mind-blowing performances from Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” is one of 2011’s unforgettable features.

6. My Week With Marilyn

Sometimes a single performance can make or break a film. Though Colin Clark’s (Eddie Redmayne) story centres around his fleeting fling with global icon Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams), he is barely noticeable in this on-screen adaptation such is the prowess of Williams. The film itself is perfectly feel good and boasts an all-star cast (Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi Dench, Emma Watson), but it is Williams who should win the Oscar as a result.

5. Bridesmaids

Improvisation troupe The Groundlings was the meeting place for Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, the screenwriters responsible for this year’s surprise comedy winner. Centred around best friends Annie (Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) in the lead up to the latter’s wedding, the comedy stems out of the unlikely characters forming the Lillian’s bridesmaids. There is little to say other than “Bridesmaids” is simply pant wettingly funny!

4. The Help

Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel “The Help” is one The Kaje’s favourite books from recent years, so it was with fearful anticipation that we approached Tate Taylor’s film interpretation. Sure it stars The Kaje favourite Emma Stone as protagonist Skeeter Phelan, but could Taylor really do justice to Skeeter, Abileen (Viola Davis) and Minny (Octavia Jackson)? The answer is – not fully, but then discrepancies between the film and book are easily forgiven due to clever alterations and sensational performances from the films’ leads, notably the sublime Viola Davis.

3. Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

Guy Ritchie’s second installment of Sherlock Holmes picks up where the first left off, only with added comedy bite. Both Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are on fine form, with their on-screen chemistry sizzling into a feuding friendship. Though at times the film veers on the absurd, the comic element of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows” will hopefully remain Ritchie’s focus in the next instalment.

2. Les Yeux De Sa Mere

Mathieu (Nicolas Duvauchelle) is an investigative journalist whose target is his former love interest Maria (Geraldine Pailhas) and her famous anchorwoman mother Lena Weber (Catherine Deneuve). However, when his interference leads to an unfortunate accident, Mathieu finds himself hunting down Maria’s secret son, upcoming boxing champion Bruno (Jean-Baptiste Lafarge). The twisting and turning plot presents an interesting take on celebrity culture, with Lefarge proving himself a name to keep a close eye on.

1. Weekend

Andrew Haigh’s “Weekend” is the ultimate love story. Russell (Tom Cullen) and Glen (Chris New) meet in a club. Neither are looking for anything more than simple shag, but they unexpectedly fall for each other over the course of an eventful weekend. With a simple but believable script and two of the finest screen performances of the year, “Weekend” is unmissable.

FILM REVIEW: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows (Part 1)

Director: David Yates

I am very surprised at myself. This blog was not around at the release of the sixth Harry Potter film, if it was I would have given it one star. That being said it meant that this film did not need to do much to achieve more than “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. Surprisingly it does more than just surpass the sixth film.

Harry, Ron and Hermione set out to locate the remaining Horcruxes so that they can kill Lord Voldemort. The book is three hundred pages of field jumping. The film manages to turn these three hundred pages into an interesting and engaging couple of hours of film. I believe the ending even manages to make some people cry, although I would not go that far in my praise.

As with all the Harry Potter films, the set, costumes and music are phenomenal. The three leads, well apart from the fact that it looks like Rupert Grint is now on steroids, still cannot act however hard they try. But I keep telling myself it is ok. If I forever bemoan the fact that they cannot act I will never be able to enjoy the films for what they are, pure escapist fantasy.

I suppose for me the biggest compliment that I can give this film is that it justified making the last book into two films. Yes, I am sure that money was really the deciding factor but aesthetically it convinced me, two is better. Well it would be if they did not make me wait six months for the next one!

Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Rachel Jacobs

NEWS: Hammer Film’s The Woman In Black Set To Star Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe will take the lead in The Woman in Black, Hammer Films and Alliance Films hotly anticipated adaptation of Susan Hill’s best-selling novel, it was announced today by  Simon Oakes, and Nigel Sinclair of Exclusive and Hammer.

To be directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake) and written by Jane Goldman (Kick Ass, The Debt) The Woman in Black follows a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe), who is ordered to travel to a remote corner of the UK and sort out a recently deceased client’s papers. As he works alone in an old and isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover its tragic secrets, and his unease grows when he discovers that the local village is held hostage by the ghost of a scorned woman set on vengeance.  Production is expected to begin in the Fall of 2010.

Exclusive and Alliance Films will co-finance the film. Alliance Films will also distribute the film in the United Kingdom (Momentum), Spain (Aurum) and Canada (Alliance Films).  Exclusive Films International, headed by Chairman Guy East and President of International Sales and Distribution Alex Walton, is handling worldwide sales.

Daniel Radcliffe is of course, best known for his portrayal of the bespectacled wizard Harry Potter, in the hugely successful series of feature films based on J. K. Rowling’s publishing phenomenon. He has starred in all eight films and collaborated with respected directors Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and David Yates. He also starred in Brian Kirk’s My Boy Jack (written by and also co-starring David Haig), playing the role of Rudyard Kipling’s tragic 17 year old son who went off to fight in the First World War. Most recently Radcliffe has proved him self an accomplished stage actor, receiving tremendous reviews and acclaim for his portrayal of Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer’s Equus in the West End and on Broadway. Radcliffe will return to Broadway next Spring to star in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

“’When I met Dan, it was quite uncanny how closely our thoughts on the story mirrored each other: I can’t wait to get down to work with him to fashion a compelling character and a classy ghost story that tugs at the heart and chills to the bone,” says James Watkins.

Simon Oakes continues, “We’re thrilled to have Daniel on board, I can think of no better actor to play the role of Arthur Kipps.  I’m confident that under the direction of James Watkins, he’ll take Jane Goldman’s script and deliver an utterly intense and compelling performance.”

Daniel Radcliffe said, “I am incredibly excited to be part of The Woman In Black. Jane Goldman’s script is beautifully written – both tender and terrifying in equal measure. It is thrilling to be working with James Watkins. From his brilliant work on Eden Lake and also having met him and heard his vision for the film, I know he will make a fantastic film.”

The Woman in Black is produced by Simon Oakes for Exclusive’s Hammer Films label and Richard Jackson at Talisman Films. Exclusive’s Nigel Sinclair and Guy East are serving as Executive Producers, along with Roy Lee for Vertigo Entertainment (The Ring). Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) is adapting the screenplay, based on Susan Hill’s best-selling novel.

Susan Hill’s novel has become a modern classic, appearing on the national curriculum in the United Kingdom. The Woman in Black was also adapted into a stage play by Stephen Mallatratt, first performed at the Theatre-By-The-Sea in Scarborough, UK in 1987. It moved to the Fortune Theatre in London’s West End in 1989, where it still successfully runs today, over twenty years later, and has been performed the world over.

Exclusive is currently in post-production on three films: Matt Reeves’ Let Me In starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Elias Koteas and Richard Jenkins (produced through its Hammer Films label, Overture Films will release the film in October 2010); Antti Jokinen’s The Resident starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lee Pace and Christopher Lee (produced through Hammer Films); and Peter Weir’s The Way Back starring Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong and Colin Farrell.  The company recently premiered Spitfire Pictures’ The Last Play at Shea, about Billy Joel and his last performance at Shea Stadium, at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival and is currently in production on the authorised history of Formula 1.

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