The Top 20 Films That Weren’t Released In 2011, But Which I Had Never Seen Before

Oli Davis presents an alternative to the usual year end Top 10 with ‘The Top 20 – YEAH THAT’S RIGHT, A WHOLE TWENTY – of Films That Weren’t Released In 2011, But Which I Had Never Seen Before’…

I’m in a bit of a difficult position. I wrote my last review, of Raging Bull, at 4pm, Saturday 31st December. I’d seen it back in November, but backlogs have a habit of creeping up on you. It was my final review of 2011, having set myself the challenge to watch 100 films I’d never seen before, and write an article on each one.

However, there was a different backlog creeping up on that backlog. A sizable chunk of reviews still fester in the editor of Flickering Myth’s inbox – not because he’s negligent, far from it, but because my planning was poor. I’d been writing reviews at a leisurely pace from January to October, forgetting there were only two months left. I thought there were three. Sometimes I confuse calendar months with lunar ones. I could’ve sworn there was a Smarch last year.

So I ended up doing what anybody would do when tackling grand goals over lengthy periods of time – I did it all in the last five weeks. That’s what the backlog is, and why ‘365 Days, 100 Films’ reviews are still appearing on the site every now and again. As though they’ll. Never. End.

It means I’ve sort of missed the chance for a parade in my honour. Imagine if I had planned it so review 100 was put up on Flickering Myth on December 31st, 2011. Passers-by would insist on shaking my hand. People would have been partying in the streets. Women-folk would be offering me their bodies. I could have been the guy that won 2011.

But I didn’t, so here’s a half-hearted attempt at closure – my Alternative Top 20 of Films That Weren’t Released In 2011, But Which I Had Never Seen Before…

20. Miracle on 34th Street
-best served originally and on Christmas day.

19. Bride of Frankenstein
-an exploration of the monster’s more human aspects, with an incredibly enchanting score.

18. Harry Brown
-foreshadowed last year’s Summer riots, as sponsored by JD Sports, by two years. Also a very accomplished and mature revenge film.

17. The Unforgiven
-a dark Western, where the heroes are forever tainted by their long-dead father’s actions.

16. Bad Lieutenant
-batshit crazy Nicolas Cage having iguanas sing Release Me by Engelbert Humperdinck to him with Werner Herzog, and other, more ludicrous happenings.

15. Lethal Weapon
-the ultimate buddy-cop movie.

14. The Warriors
-a remarkably self-contained mythology, where rival teenage gangs roam across an urban sprawl.

13. Red River
-John Wayne’s second best film. A lot like uncle Ethan from The Searchers, but mean rather than racist.

12. My Neighbor Totoro

11. Event Horizon
-a film with the power to induce paralysing terror. The same sci-fi/horror blend as Alien, but far more cerebral.

10. Top Gun
-Baby, baby, I’d get down on my knees for you (the best homoerotic film for men ever made).

09. The Tin Star
-Henry Fonda starring as such a classic, blue-eyed good guy that you forget he was ever in Once Upon A Time In The West.

08. Frankenstein
-a heartbreaking tragedy.

07. Rio Bravo
-Dean Martin’s best film. He plays a drunkard, ex-deputy to John Wayne’s sheriff. Manly stuff, yet also endearingly fragile.

06. The Proposition
-a poetically nightmarish Western set in the Australian outback.

05. A Night at the Opera
-the Marx brothers’ best, most anarchic and structured film. Contains some of the funniest set pieces ever committed to screen.

04. Raging Bull
-an incredibly expressive character study of the boxer Jake LaMotta, with a perfect fusion of substance and style.

03. Night of the Hunter
-a very dark fairytale in the tone of the Brothers Grimm. Robert Mitchum plays one of the most complex and frightening bad guys in cinema history.

02. Rocky
-a completely overwhelming experience of pure awesomeness.

01. Stand By Me
-because nobody has friends like they do when they’re 12.

I watched Return to Oz on New Year’s Day. It’s the first film I’ve seen since December 2010 that wasn’t accompanied by a notebook. It felt good. Hopefully now I should have considerably more free time to pursue my other interests. Predominantly, the career of the late professional wrestler, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, from the late 80s to early 90s, and obscure branches of Japanese Hentai pornography.

Oli Davis

Around the Web

  • Contak9

    &quot;-a completely overwhelming experience of pure awesomeness.&quot;<br /><br />That pretty much sums up the level of most film analysis on the internet in this day and age.

  • Oli

    I suggest you read the actual review, then:<br /><br />

  • Contak9

    I did. It&#39;s more plot synopsis than an actual review. Not much meat there. Sorry. Very lightweight. I suggest you read some James Agee or Pauline Kael; then you might begin to understand what constitutes good film analysis and criticism. And the statement &quot;&quot;-a completely overwhelming experience of pure awesomeness&quot; sounds like some fanboy sitting around in his shorts.

  • Marioferrara1

    Stand by me is a classic

  • Teen-age hacks who went on to make the likes of Jaws, Star Wars, The Godfather, Mean Streets… I guess Pauline Kael was wrong with that one.

  • Contak9

    Kael wrote at length about Coppola—who was not a movie brat like the rest; he preceded them and was just on the cusp. That&#39;s why his work in films like The Godfather was so much more substantial. Most of the film geeks like Spielberg–and particularly George Lucas—have produced nothing as rich and textured as The Godfather or Apocalypse Now. The fact that you would include films like

  • Wow, you do have a superiority complex. Firstly, I should probably explain that I&#39;m not Oli, nor am I am adolescent (frankly, if you think adolescents would pick Jaws and Star Wars as examples of great films, you must be about a hundred and fifty years old). <br /><br />You say Some Came Running is Dean Martin&#39;s best film, but who are you to say that with any authority? In your opinion it

  • Contak9

    I never said adolescents today would pick Jaws or Star Wars as great films. I was speaking of an &quot;adolescent mentality&quot;, not about current adolescent people. An &quot;adolescent mentality&quot; is applicable across the board, at any time in history, no matter what one&#39;s age is. Try to keep up. Your reading comprehension is lacking. <br /><br />For instance, I never said that

  • You obviously haven&#39;t read the title of the post from up there on your high horse, but if you had you&#39;d see that Oli could only include films he&#39;d seen this year which he hadn&#39;t previously, so maybe you should pay attention to what you&#39;re reading. There&#39;s a great deficiency in scope because there was only 100 films to choose from.<br /><br />Now, just because you&#39;ve

  • WhoWarrior

    The fact that I&#39;ve seen every Dean Martin film does make me more educated about Dean Martin films than someone who has only seen a fraction of his films. That is reality – and, considering my background in film and film criticism, it also makes my opinion more informed. (It&#39;s quite humorous that we&#39;re weighing the dramatic hierarchy of Dean Martin films—c&#39;mon, admit it.)<br />

  • Well I&#39;m sorry you stumbled upon us, but trolling sites doesn&#39;t qualify as a background in film and film criticism. If you don&#39;t like it, that&#39;s fine. Fuck off somewhere else. Just sayin&#39;…

  • Well I&#39;m sorry you stumbled upon us, but trolling sites doesn&#39;t qualify as a background in film and film criticism. I can see from your previous comments on other sites that you&#39;ve a background in being an arsehole – in fact, I&#39;d say you were an expert. If you don&#39;t like it, that&#39;s fine. Go somewhere else. I&#39;m sure we&#39;ll do fine without you.<br /><br />And just for

  • WizardinaBlizzard

    You&#39;re crazy.<br /><br />Sly Stallone &gt; Dean Martin

  • Headmister

    Well, I don&#39;t know about you guys – but I&#39;ve actually worked in film for years and been published in print at length. I guess in the U.K. Rocky passes for a classic. So be it.<br /><br />For the record, I&#39;m not a great fan of John Wayne or Dean Martin movies for the most part. But I have done my homework, going back into the Silent Era. I&#39;m not trolling. I really do think

  • You&#39;re in print? What have you done? Please, enlighten me because all I see is an anonymous fool who&#39;s already onto his third alias. And just for the record, you&#39;re not the only one in print, I have a publisher and a book deal but that still doesn&#39;t make my opinion worth any more than the next guy and I&#39;m not so far up my own arse that I&#39;d try to claim it did. <br />- Gary

  • Headmister

    I notice you won&#39;t answer the question I asked you first. What is the purpose of your reply and comment section if readers are not supposed to post anything negative or disparaging about an article or its author without the webmaster wading in to take them to task for it? What kind of forum did you expect?

  • So in other words, you&#39;ve done nothing.<br /><br />- Gary

  • Headmister

    In other words, I don&#39;t intend to put my stats out on the worldwide web for professional reasons. I haven&#39;t asked for yours and I ain&#39;t gonna give you mine. None of this matters when it comes to the basic question you refuse to answer: What kind of forum did you have in mind? A little tea party where people chime in and say, &quot;Gee, that was a swell observation, Oli. Do give

  • It isn&#39;t the criticism that has annoyed me, you&#39;re entitled to your opinion, but that&#39;s all it is – opinion. The fact that you&#39;re trying to pass your opinion off as gospel is the reason why I&#39;ve responded. You say you&#39;ve wrote this and that, so come on, what have you written, print or online? Nothing… so going by your reasoning, my opinion must be more worthwhile than

  • Headmister

    By the way, I love how the term &quot;trolling&quot; has morphed in recent years. Originally, on the internet a troll was someone who posted things they didn&#39;t necessarily mean or believe just to inflame and start flame wars. <br /><br />Now, apparently it applies to anybody you disagree with.<br /><br />All I did was post one short comment in response to a passage from the article. Then,

  • As I&#39;ve already said, you&#39;re entitled to your opinion, but you need to realise that&#39;s all it is, an opinion. You posted a number of comments claiming that your opinion was more worthwhile than ours, then you claim you&#39;ve written this and that, but you hide behind three user names and refuse to say what you&#39;ve written. Are you too afraid for me to critique your work, or is it

  • Zed Lorry

    Think what you will, Gary. I&#39;ll go toe-to-toe with either of you on film history. No cheating, no internet searches, only what&#39;s in our brains. I suspect I will win hands down. Seriously. I&#39;m not boasting here, it&#39;s just a fact: I&#39;ve been told that I&#39;ve forgotten more about film history than most people will ever know. My knowledge of cinema is vast. To quote

  • Forget film knowledge, I want to know what you&#39;ve written and what films you&#39;ve been involved in. You were happy to boast about your years of experience earlier, until I called you out. The fact is you&#39;ve done nothing and you&#39;ve made a fool out of yourself. You want to keep it private, drop me an email… I won&#39;t &#39;out&#39; you professionally, because there&#39;s nothing to

  • Greeson_todd

    I thought you handled yourself quite well against the diatribe of the dueling screen names Mr. Flickering Myth. I neither studied film nor know half as much as either of you, but I can still find the comments by screen name ad infinitum hilarious and pretentious. Btw, to Mr. Film God: Spielberg was making/writing/producing/acting in films before Scorsese even thought about directing. And to

  • Thanks for the kind words! And yeah, some of the comments were bizarre, especially about the likes of Spielberg and Scorsese. Recent films mightn&#39;t have lived up to their earlier successes, but as you say there&#39;s still some top quality stuff, including the music documentaries. I&#39;m yet to see Living in the Material World, but heard great things about that one too.

  • Greeson_todd

    Thank you for responding. And as far as recent movie sucesses, I believe it has more to do with the world we live in today, having so many choices, and different vehicles for media, that just makes success far less attainable than it used to be. Like I heard in the documentary &quot;Special When Lit&quot; (a documentary about pinball machines, that, if you havent seen, you MUST) the gentleman

  • That&#39;s a great point and I agree, so much media to consume these days. I haven&#39;t seen Special When Lit but I&#39;ll definitely give it a look, thanks for pointing it out!