Movie Feature

Movies we never got to see

By Movie LoverMovies - 10 December 2010 2:00 PM | Updated 29 December 2010

Movies we never got to see

Film is just like any other art form: enjoyment is subjective, output is never universally stellar and one always has to weigh artistic merits against commercial ones. As much as us movie buffs hate to admit it, filmmaking is a business above all else. Once in a blue moon though, a movie like Inception comes along and transcends all that - a work of brilliance that straddles the tightrope of creative vision and bottom line profitably effortlessly.

Unfortunately those instances are as rare as hen’s teeth. Bland, derivative blockbusters continue to dominate the mass market while bold, daring works are left unwatched and under promoted – destined to tour the festival circuit picking up critical acclaim but bereft of financial rewards. As such, plenty of fantastic films have failed to make it to our shores this year, perhaps for a variety of reasons, but not least of which was its projected box office success.

When one looks around at the sea of mediocrity that floods our cinemas, it seems almost a travesty that these outstanding movies weren’t even given a chance to find their niche. These are just four of the best films that didn’t get releases in Singapore in 2010. I’d suggest picking up the DVDs stat.

 

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

This jittery, hyper-kinetic adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's bite-sized comic books was likely the most dazzling and inventive piece of cinema this year. It’s difficult to see how anybody between the ages of 15-35 wouldn’t have adored this magical mash-up of video games, indie rock, comic books and slacker cluelessness. Edgar Wright’s (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) spirited tone and eye-popping visuals (that include jaunty split screens and animated onomatopoeias) deftly brings to life this surreal tale of a 22-year-old geek bassist (from a band amusingly named Sex Bob-Omb) who has to do Mortal Kombat styled battles with the seven evil super-powered exes of his dream girl.

 

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

 

Where the Wild Things Are

 

Where the Wild Things Are

Spike Jonze’s astonishing live action Where the Wild Things Are (based off one of the greatest children’s books about childhood) was equal parts eerie and tender. Though its mood was otherworldly sombre, the storytelling wasn’t merely heart wrenching as much as it was wistfully heartfelt. Admittedly Where the Wild Things Are was difficult to market to kids due to its jarringly dark and adult themes. Even so, this little film brimming with great performances, music (composed by Karen O) and creature costumes drew tremendous grassroots support and outrage online (as evidenced by this Facebook fan campaign) after news of its exclusion was made public.

 

The Road

"Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more grey each one that what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world." The post apocalyptic landscape described in the opening stanza of Cormac McCarthy's 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is aptly bleak and depressing. It speaks of the exhaustion of humanity, not only in terms of numbers, but in terms of its toll on the soul. Skilfully brought to the big screen by John Hillcoat, this adaptation ably translates the despondence of the novel’s prose into an intimate, powerful visual portrait of a man and child’s struggle to survive on scorched soil. Much like the Coens’ take on McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men,The Road is already buzzed about as early Oscar contender.

 

The Road

 

Get Him to the Greek

 

Get Him to the Greek

Spun off from 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Nicholas Stoller’s sequel reunites him with Jonah Hill and Russell Brand for this lunatic laugh-fest. Brand reprises his role as preening, egomaniacal rock star Aldous Snow while Hill stars as junior music executive Aaron Green, tasked with chaperoning Snow from London to Los Angeles. While Get Him to the Greek is a ludicrous look at the outlandish rituals of the music industry, it’s also a rip-roarious comedy with emotional depth to its protagonists. The Apatow (Judd, serving as producer here) school of comedy dictates that characterization must never be undermined for a cheap laugh -and this joy ride stays sweetly true that mould.