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My Nine Favorite (Non-Asylum) Films of 2011

I do actually watch other movies, usually at least one a day, and some of them even spent time in a theater. So, in an effort to give you a broader sampling of my taste, I present My Nine Favorite (Non-Asylum) Films of 2011, in alphabetical order. Why only nine, you ask, why not ten? Truthfully, I don't watch a lot of current films, most of my viewing selections go back a few decades, so nine was all I could come up with. Here we go...

Attack the Block
written and directed by Joe Cornish

I don't typically go in for alien invasion stories, but this one gripped me from frame one; also has the most interesting internal vocabulary since A Clockwork Orange

written and directed by Evan Glodell

Like Before Sunrise for the amateur-flamethrowing/binge-drinking set. Glodell, who also stars, might be the most likable guy of the year; I wanna get totally wasted with this dude and blow shit up.

Drive Angry
written by Todd Farmer & Patrick Lussier
directed by Patrick Lussier

They don't make as many redneck/religio-thrillers like they did back in the 70's - Race the Devil etc - but thank god Todd Farmer fixed that; plus, the best sex scene since...well, since ever.

written by Hossein Amini based on the book by James Sallis
directed by Nicholas Winding Refn

There's no one cooler than Ryan Gosling this year, except maybe Nicholas Refn. This one's like a Jim Thompson story on meth, and it's got Albert Brooks. Albert Brooks!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
written by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver
directed by Rupert Wyatt

I'm a big-time, life-long P.O.T.A. fan, and this revamp pumped fresh blood in the franchise and all but eliminated the nasty taste still lingering in my mouth from the whole Tim Burton-Marky Mark debacle. Intense, cerebral, touching, and this from a guy who hates James Franco.

written and directed by Quentin Dupieux

This one makes no apologies for what it is: a totally absurd, illogical and hella fun monster movie. But the monster's, you know, an old tire. If I was this inventive, I'd never leave the house.

Super 8
written and directed by J.J. Abrams

This is the sort of movie that if it had come out when I was 10 or 11, it would have changed my life. As it is, this might be the most fun my brain had with a movie this year. Pure spectacle on every level, and it works.

written and directed by James Gunn

Not only is this a brilliant, real-life take on the superhero movie craze, it's also, oddly enough, one of the most touching and endearing films I saw in 2011. Rainn Wilson is more than just a funnyman, he is a titan, and James Gunn is a fucking rock star in my book.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
written by Eli Craig & Morgan Jurgenson
directed by Eli Craig

Funny as hell, inventive as all get out, strangely sweet and acted with aplomb by the super-hilarious Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine. I for one am hoping this is part one of a franchise.

So there you have it, and don't worry, my Asylum favorites of 2011 are coming before the year ends...

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