Germain’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

In 2011, I saw more new movies than I ever have in the past. Previous years I’d flirted with roughly two per week but, this year, thanks to a full Sundance Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Butt-Numb-A-Thon and other events like AFI Fest and the Los Angeles Film Festival, that number jumped up to 167. Several of those won’t be released until 2012 and others won’t get released at all, but it’s still a more than sufficient cross section of 2011 releases to adequately speak on the state of film in 2011 and give my top ten movies of the year. (Note: Any film that didn’t get an Oscar qualifying 2011 theatrical run did not qualify for this list. That’s just my personal rule.)

For me, 2011 was the year of “good, but not great.” You know the type. A film that does everything right, is entertaining, emotional, but doesn’t stick with you once you’ve left the theater. We’re lucky to have films like that because, alternatively, we could get films that are total garbage. Looking back at the year as a whole, though, very few 2011 films will stick with me as all-time favorites. It was a good year, but not great.

The films after the jump were the ones that stayed with me more than most though and, because of that, earned a place as my top ten films of 2011. Read More »

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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam compare the two Arthurs, praise the works of Tom McCarthy, unravel the mysteries of Hanna, lament the passing of one of the greatest directors of all time, and give a shout out to a pioneering movie blog. Special guest Dave Gonzales joins us from Latino Review.

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David chats with actor/writer/director Tom McCarthy about playing the most hated villain in The Wire, the challenges of filming high school wrestling, and making indie fare that rises above the rest. Tom’s newest film, Win Win, is out in limited release today.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us for our next live broadcast on Sunday, March 20 at Slashfilm’s live page where we’ll be discussing Paul.

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Editor’s Note: This review of Win Win originally ran in January when we saw it at the Sundance Film Festival. Since the film opens in limited release today, we decided to republish it.

A movie like Win Win is why you come to the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Tom McCarthy, it stars Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale and Jeffrey Tambor in the hilarious, heartwarming story of a happy, but financially troubled family, who find themselves taking care of a 16-year-old boy . That boy, played by newcomer Alex Shaffer, just so happens to be a champion wrestler and Giamatti’s character just so happens to be a wrestling coach. However, the film is much more than just a simple sports movie or family drama. It integrates the two in a way that’s both organic and accessible.

McCarthy has made a winning film that’s very easy to love. And I do. Read my review and see a video blog about it featuring myself and Peter after the jump. Read More »

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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam discuss Hunger Games casting controversies, express disagreements about Brooklyn’s Finest and Julianne Moore’s accents, and wonder what the hell happened to DJ Caruso. Special guest Dan Trachtenberg joins us from The Totally Rad Show. Check out Dan’s newest short film! It’s awesome.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us for our next live broadcast on Sunday, March 20 at Slashfilm’s live page where we’ll be discussing Paul.

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Two Clips and Featurette From ‘Win Win’

We’re still in the first quarter of 2011, but the best film I’ve seen so far is Tom McCarthy‘s Win Win. The Fox Searchlight release wowed audiences at Sundance and will surely do the same at South by Southwest in advance of its March 18 release date. A dramatic sports comedy, it stars Paul Giamatti as a lawyer by day, wrestling coach by night who finds himself the defacto guardian of a troubled young man who also happens to be a superstar wrestler. Together, the boy (played by newcomer Alex Shaffer) and coach enrich and complicate the lives of all around them, including Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale and Jeffrey Tambor. The film is heartfelt and hilarious.

On the site we’ve already reviewed the film, both on video and in print, spoken to the co-writer/director Tom McCarthy and highlighted the trailer. Now, we’ve found two clips from the film as well as a featurette that’ll get you stoked for one of the best movies of 2011 so far, Win Win. Read More »

Complete with sniffles, fevers and coughs, we’re just now beginning to recover from the madness that was the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Over the course of 11 days, myself, Peter Sciretta and David Chen were all over Park City, Utah watching films, writing, talking to stars, meeting our fellow bloggers and watching more films. Personally I saw 36 films over 11 days so I feel like I have a good perspective on the festival as a whole.

The general consensus is that this was one of the best Sundance’s in a long time, with about a huge number of films acquiring distribution in comparison to previous years. And while I think the overall quality was incredibly high, there were only a handful of films that stood out above the rest. Most of the 36 films I saw were middle of the pack. Well-made, entertaining, thought-provoking, but ultimately not as exciting as one might hope. Only a select few stood out as the best, or worst.

To try and let the cream of the crop rise to the top, we’ve gone ahead and picked out or favorite, and least favorite, films of the Sundance Film Festival. Read all our lists after the jump. Read More »

‘Win Win’ Trailer

Win Win is the latest film from The Station Agent and The Visitor director Tom McCarthy, and it got some stellar reviews out of Sundance. Watching this new trailer it is easy to see why. There’s the cast (Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Melanie Lynskey, Jeffrey Tambor, Bobby Cannavale) for one, and a story about redemption and family that looks like it has been handled in a way that will work perfectly. Read More »

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