Welcome to our brand new monthly column, in which we each pick our top films that came out in the last few weeks. As you can see from our 2011 Releases page, there were 19 new releases out in Australian throughout June 2011, including blockbusters X-Men: First Class, Super 8, Bridesmaids and Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D.
There was a massive concentration of Australian films released, such as documentary Cane Toads: The Conquest, Beck Cole’s Here I Am, psychological thriller Blame, Jim Loach’s Oranges & Sunshine and Julia Leigh’s polarising Sleeping Beauty, with arguments of Australian being a cinematic one-trick pony getting thrown out the door in the face of that slate. Kids were kept happy, while adults grew weary, during Cars 2 and Kung Fu Panda 2 and Mr Popper’s Penguins.
Then, of course, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life dropped at the end of the month, rendering all other selections redundant. If that wasn’t a busy enough month, we visited about 45 films at the Sydney Film Festival between us, making this the perfect month to kick off our new column.
In a month when The Tree of Life was released, it is almost not worth speaking of the entries. Malick’s most challenging work to date may defy conventional description. Stunning and provoking, it is sure to divide audiences in its unabashedly pretentious examination of the meaning of existence. It stood out amongst not only the releases of June, but of our picks from the Sydney Film Festival as well. On the other end of the spectrum, a very old-fashioned form of storytelling returned to screens with J.J. Abram’s side-swipingly good Super 8, something that we are already on record as noting that it is “easily the best of the year”. Bridesmaids provided a clear response to the male-centric comedies such as the The Hangover, doesn’t pull any punches on its way to the inevitable, and unlike the recent Hangover sequel, doesn’t dilute its formula for mass appeal. One of the strongest comedies in a long time.
Top 3 for June 2011
- The Tree of Life
- Super 8
Amidst the multitude of new releases that made their way to Australian screens in June (with over a quarter of features local productions), one stands out as the pick of the month. As polarising as it is celebrated, the Palme d’Or winning The Tree Of Life entranced and engaged in equal measures, with Malick’s long-awaited effort an ambitious and audacious masterpiece. Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip entertained with poignancy and pathos, courtesy of the charming on-screen partnership of comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. And any recollection of the month would be incomplete without a mention of J.J. Abrams’ surprising Super 8, a film that brought much-needed humour and heart back to the realm of the box-office blockbuster.
Top 3 for June 2011
- The Tree Of Life
- The Trip
- Super 8
What are some of your favourite films that just came out? Let us know in the comments below, or hit us up on Twitter.