Best of

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By Craig Phillips

An interesting year for film, to be sure -- even if there were few out and out indisputable classics, there were a great number of remarkably interesting films, both American independent and documentary, and from abroad. And even Hollywood gave us a few groundbreaking, if flawed, blockbusters. All in all a hard year to pin down, but cinema was full of life. As always, I'm attracted to the films that were consistent in presenting their vision from start to finish, and whether or not the general concept was unique, gave us a work that stayed with you long after the lights went back up. These films all did that for me.

 

Blog entry 01/04/2011 - 11:12am

by Steve Dollar

carlosmovie.jpg

If you added up all the allegedly great movies I didn't happen to see this year, there would be enough for three or four Top 10 lists. More if you include the yet-to-be distributed gems and oddities that flourish on the film festival circuit. But don't worry, I'm not going to open up a can of Uncle Boonmee on your ass. There's no need to come off as some savvy super-insider. I'm still coasting on my breakthrough cameo as a backgrounder in Greenberg. With a couple of exceptions in the postscript, these are all movies that had at least a one-week theatrical run in New York.

Blog entry 01/03/2011 - 10:49am

Best Movies Seen on Screen or Via GreenCine in 2009

by Dylan de Thomas

As I wrote the last time I did one of these, I don't get to see all the hotly anticipated year-end flicks up here in rainy Portland, Oregon. That said, there were less glaring absences this year, with a bunch of excellent movies coming out earlier in 2009. And so here are my own favorites, unnumbered and split into arbitrary categories for nugget-sized consuming pleasure.

Blog entry 01/07/2010 - 5:01pm

by James Van Maanen

 

Chris and Don: A Love Story

2009 was a decent year for finding good gay-themed films on DVD. While Milk might seem a shoo-in for the list, I would suggest instead renting the original documentary about Harvey Milk, which is superior to the Van Sant film in almost every way (except budget). My choices this year include one very fine lesbian movie; I wish there were more in this vein to recommend. Some of these are more subtle than others in the manner in which they address their gay themes, but each is worth seeing and thinking about. I’ve chosen my top 12, not on the basis of whether the main characters are gay, or whether the film in question is a "gay movie." Instead, I’ve tried to choose films in which gay characters and themes are used more richly and inventively.

Blog entry 01/05/2010 - 11:29am

 

By Craig Phillips 

Any year in which it is truly a challenge to whittle down one's list of favorite films rather than a stretch to fill in the list is a good one and I'd deem 2009 such a year. As always, my personal choices tend to be films that I find both wholly unique, emotionally resonant, and with a well structured script (or in the case of docs, a well structured story) -- those who know me know I have a particular bias for or against films based on how strong or weak are the scripts. These are the films that inspire, and stick with me long after the lights come back on.

 

 
Blog entry 12/31/2009 - 12:04pm

By Jeffrey Anderson

Believe it or not, there were still some classics appearing for the first time on DVD in 2009, even though Blu-Ray continues to loom ever larger. Also, movies continue to be re-mastered and re-released on new DVDs, making up for the early flaws of the technology. Unfortunately, 3D hasn't quite been mastered in the home format just yet, but that's undoubtedly coming. The following is my list of the ten best DVDs of the year, plus 15 more runners-up for a total of 25. And most of them make great gifts too! Happy Holidays!


More inside!

1. The Samuel Fuller Collection (Sony Pictures Classics)
Sony follows up their great Budd Boetticher box set with this tribute to Samuel Fuller. The set is of course limited to films that Fuller made at Columbia, and it contains only two films he actually directed, but they're both masterworks: The Crimson Kimono and Underworld U.S.A. Additionally it contains four other films written or co-written by Fuller, and two of those (Shockproof and Scandal Sheet) are very much worth seeing. The various bonuses and interviews make it the DVD of the year.

Blog entry 12/31/2009 - 9:40am

By Craig Phillips
GreenCine Editor

While, in retrospect, this was a better year overall than some complainy critics are positing, I have to admit that the sheer number of bad American films also out in 2008 certainly gives one pause, and it wasn't a particularly easy year to pull out ten clear cut favorites. But this kind of moaning and handwringing happens every year. There are bad films. There are great films. Every year. And 2008 was good for International film, and especially French cinema, as well as comic book adaptations, documentaries, and there were even a few good comedies (amidst the morass of drek).

(Click to reveal Craig's, er, list:)

Blog entry 01/02/2009 - 11:04pm

 By Erin Donovan

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day - This frothy romantic comedy celebrates the unlikely friendship between a young actress (Amy Adams) with an (ahem!) active social life and a failed governess (Frances McDormand) turned personal secretary so broke she wrestles hobos for soup. Also features a jaw-dropping singing performance from Adams.

Girls Rock! - Following the story of a rock'n'roll summer camp for girls, co-directors Arne Johnson and Shane King gain insight to a disparate group of outsider girls as they return home with renewed self confidence.

Blog entry 01/02/2009 - 3:13pm

Best Documentaries of '08

by Erin Donovan

FLOW: For Love of Water - Irena Salina's directorial debut examines the privatization and potential crisis of a worldwide water crisis with a brilliant amount of breadth and depth. Most surprisingly of all, this is one of the most inspiring and hopeful documentaries of the year.

Up the Yangtze - Equal parts heart-wrenching coming of age tale and geopolitical expose, Yung Chang's directorial debut follows two teenagers working on the Farewell Cruiseship lines giving westerners tours of the rural villages that would soon be (and now have been) engulfed by the Three Gorges Dam project. [Jeffrey Anderson's review >>]

Blog entry 12/30/2008 - 2:26pm

by Erin Donovan

A term originally coined for less publicized films that played at the bottom of a double bill, today I am defining B-movies as films dedicated to entertaining its audience, occasionally at the expense of practicality or good taste. These are in no particular order:

Mamma Mia - Mark Kermode described this film as like being invited to an A-list karaoke party where everyone is way drunker than you. $570M at the box office later the likes of Meryl Streep, Stellan Skaarsgard and Pierce Brosnan staring into the camera singing ABBA songs doesn't seem so preposterous. Next stop, Jersey Boys!

Stuck - Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) gives the exploitation treatment to a story straight from the headlines. A nurse hits a homeless man with her car and leaves him, stuck in her windshield, in her garage for several days. Features an especially great performance from Stephen Rea who spends most of the 90 minute runtime moaning and bleeding.

Blog entry 12/29/2008 - 4:25pm

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