The Top 10 Of Everything 2011

Thursday, January 12 2012
The Top 10 Of Everything 2011

While ploughing through a pile of newspapers and magazines compiling our regular update of press coverage for DVD and Blu-ray releases, we chanced upon a fair few year end top 10s and other Best Of lists from the last year in film.

“Why not pull them all together in a not too definitive list of the best of DVD and film in 2011?” we asked ourselves.

So, after some more trawling, here we are then, a round-up of  newspapers and magazines’ assorted top 10s and best ofs from the past year, with the odd bit of analysis and commentary on each of them along the way. And it really does run from the ridiculous to the sublime, from the bestselling to some of the more wilfully obscure, and beyond, so here it is then, the best of everything for 2011…

The BVA’s Top 10 Best Selling Titles Of 2011
The granddaddy of all the charts, and, when a push comes to a shove, the one that matters most to our industry… Film dominates, as ever, with Despicable Me and Tangled flying the flag for kids’ fare, Peter Kay for special interest, particularly stand-up comedy. At the top it’s no surprise to see Harry Potter continuing to dominate in this sector, and,  as the BVA noted, there’s a wealth of British product in there too – the top four are all British in name, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Paul are as near as dammit, while Peter Kay is obviously an entirely homegrown product. In the third and fourth, The Inbetweeners Movie and The King’s Speech, from 4DVD and Momentum respectively, it’s also shown that the independents, or rather non-Hollywood studio UK distributors can hold their own with the big guys, both in terms of the product itself and in terms of achieving blockbuster-style sales performance.

1. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Warner)
2. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1(Warner) 
3. The Inbetweeners Movie (4DVD)
4. The King’s Speech (Momentum) 
5. Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Disney) 
6. Despicable Me (Universal)
7. Paul (Universal)
8. Tangled (Disney)
9. Peter Kay Live – The Tour That Didn’t Tour (Universal) 
10. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (Paramount) 

The BVA’s Top 10 Best Selling Films Of 2011
Once you strip out the other product from the overall top 10, or rather children’s and special interest, you’re left with a chart that has four Warner titles in there, showing the studio’s impressive performance. Interesting to note too, Universal’s impressive conversion rate with Despicable Me and Paul, which both topped the 1 million mark according to Official Charts Company figures.

1. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Warner)
2. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1(Warner) 
3. The Inbetweeners Movie (4DVD)
4. The King’s Speech (Momentum) 
5. Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Disney) 
6. Paul (Universal)
7. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (Paramount) 
8. The Hangover Part II (Warner)
9. Bridesmaids (Universal)
10. Inception (Warner)

The BVA’s Top 10 Best Selling Children’s Titles Of 2011
Interesting to see that, in a similar way to the film charts, the major studios’ dominance of this sector has been broken by one relative upstart; eOne’s Gnomeo And Juliet was the third biggest seller of the year. You could also argue that Universal and Fox are relatively newer entrants into this field too, both attempting to break the stranglehold Disney and DreamWorks (via Paramount) have on the animation dominated sector.

1. Despicable Me (Universal)
2. Tangled (Disney)
3. Gnomeo & Juliet (eOne)
4. The Lion King (Disney)
5. Scared Shrekless (Paramount)
6. Cars 2 (Disney)
7. Toy Story 3 (Disney)
8. Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (Fox)
9. Beauty And The Beast (Disney)
10. Kung Fu Panda 2 (Paramount)

The BVA’s Top 10 Best Music Selling Titles Of 2011
Arguably the most diverse chart of the lot here, going from musicals, to boy bands and teenybop material, through to  classic metal, classical and new acts too.

1. Take That Progress Live (Universal Music)
2. Cast Recording Phantom Of The Opera At The Albert Hall (Universal)
3. Original Cast Recording Les Misérables In Concert 25th Anniversary (Universal)
4. Justin Bieber Never Say Never (Paramount)
5. Adele Live At The Royal Albert Hall (XL/Beggars)
6. Michael Jackson This Is It (SPHE)
7. George Harrison Living In The Material World (Lionsgate)
8. André Rieu & Johann Strauss Or The Last Rose Live In Dublin (Universal Music)
9. André Rieu The Christmas I Love (Universal Music)
10. AC/DC Live At River Plate (Sony Music)

The BVA’s Top 10 Best Selling Sports Titles Of 2011
A chart that is still dominated by the fitness sector, and sitting pretty at the top of that is the woman that Heat magazine recently called the “unofficial queen of fitness DVDs, Davina McCall. The only non-fitness title to appear in there is Lace’s selection of the best of the Ashes, showing the label’s continued support for this sector; its belief in sport as a genre is borne out by its standing among the assorted lycra-clad keep fit types. What’s also interesting to note is the rise and rise of non-celebrity fitness titles, as personified (or not, as the case may be) by Anchor Bay’s celeb-free 10 Minute Solution.

1. Davina – Body Buff (2entertain)
2. 10 Minute Solution – Blast Off Belly Fat (Anchor Bay)
3. Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred (Lionsgate)
4. Pump It Up – Body Burn (Ministry Of Sound)
5. Clare Nasir’s Boot Camp (Universal)
6. Ashes Series 2010/2011 – Complete (Lace DVD)
7. 10 Minute Solution – Belly Butt & Thigh (Anchor Bay))
8. Nadia Sawalha’s Fat To Fab Workout (Universal)
9. Step Up – The Official Dance Workout (Universal)
10. Dancing On Ice – The Live Tour 2011 (Universal)

The BVA’s Top 10 Best Selling TV Titles Of 2011
And if you were going to plump for one shock entrant in this or any of the other BVA and Official Charts Company endorsed top 10s, then it’d be Mrs Brown’s Boys. Its 646,000 sales, putting it in the top 20 overall chart, is hugely impressive. So too, it must be said, is 2 entertain’s Celebrity Juice tgitle, as well as the company’s overall standing. 

1. Mrs Brown’s Boys – Series One (Universal)
2. The Inbetweeners – Series 3 (4DVD)
3. Celebrity Juice Too Juicy For TV (2 entertain)
4. Downton Abbey – Series One (Universal)
5. An Idiot Abroad 2 (2 entertain)
6. Downton Abbey Series Two (Universal)
7. Frozen Planet (2 entertain)
8. The Pacific (HB0)
9. An Idiot Abroad (2 entertain)
10. Gavin & Stacey Series 3 (2 entertain)

The BVA’s Top 10 Best Selling Special Interest Titles Of 2011
So, Peter Kay returned to the fray and showed that he really is the comic to beat and the biggest stand-up in the UK. He passed the 10 million mark in overall sales, and has performed well. Interesting to note that 2 entertain and 4DVD are snapping at Universal’s heels, with three titles each to the traditionally strong in this sector Universal’s four.

1. Peter Kay Live – The Tour That Didn’t Tour (Universal)
2. Lee Evans Roadrunner Live At The O2 (Universal)
3. John Bishop Live – The Sunshine Tour (2 entertain)
4. Alan Carr Spexy Beast Live (Universal)
5. Micky Flanagan The Out Out Tour Live (4DVD)
6. Sarah Millican Chatterbox Live (4DVD)
7. Comedy Superstars 2011 (Universal)
8. Russell Howard – Right Here Right Now (4DVD)
9. John Bishop Live The Elvis Has Left (2 entertain)
10. Clarkson – Powered Up (2 entertain)

The Official Charts Company Top 20 DVDs And Blu-rays
Slightly different from the BVA figures because of different ways of calculating figures between the two and different coverage of the market, but this is equally as interesting as the BVA 10. In fact it goes beyond those, adding unit sales from Official Charts Company figures, as well as a further 10 titles. Taken (Fox) is a 2009 release, as is the first of The Hangover films and others, propelled by catalogue sales. One of the standout performers is Mrs Brown’s Boys, the Universal release that seemed to come from nowhere to be one of Q4’s top performers. It’s good to see, as we’ve noted elsewhere, the independents performing so well, and equally heartening to see homegrown titles and a fair few released outside of Q4 all being among the year’s bestsellers…

1. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner) 2,323,000
2. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part2 (Warner) 1,966,000
3. The Inbetweeners Movie (4DVD) 1,905,000
4. The King’s Speech (Momentum) 1,731,000
5. Despicable Me (Universal) 1,036,000
6. Paul (Universal) 1,014,600
7. Pirates Of The Caribbean – On Stranger Tides (Disney) 1,014,000
8. Tangled (Disney) 934,000
9. Peter Kay Live – The Tour That Didn’t Tour (Universal) 911,000
10. Bridesmaids (Universal) 901,000
11. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (Paramount) 848,000
12. The Hangover Part 2 (Warner) 828,000
13. Lee Evans Roadrunner Live At The O2 (Universal) 793,000
14. The Hangover (Warner) 671,800
15. Inception (Warner) 671,300
16. Due Date (Warner) 655,000
17. Gnomeo And Juliet (eOne) 650,000
18. Mrs Brown’s Boys (Universal) 646,000
19. Taken (Fox) 618,000
20. Senna (Universal) 607,000

The Amazon.co.uk 2011 Top 10 Bestsellers (January 1 to December 18 2011)
This is a fascinating 10, offering up amazon.co.uk’s 10 bestsellers for pretty much the entire year. It’s interesting because it shows how DVD and Blu-ray compare against other formats… And Harry and a group of slightly more disruptive students, those pesky Inbetweeners, stood their ground pretty well, with only Adele among other home entertainment genres bettering them, and the latest Call Of Duty blockbuster also performing well. Commenting on the 10, Christopher North, amazon.co.uk md, said: “2011 also marks the end of an era with the final two Harry Potter films and the complete collection of movies all featuring in the top ten bestsellers of the year. Harry Potter has been a constant fixture at the top of the charts for over a decade and it could be a long time before there isa phenomenon quite like it again.”

1. Kindle
2. Kindle Keyboard
3. Adele – 21
4. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Warner)
5. Call Of Duty – Modern Warfare 3
6. The Inbetweeners Movie (4DVD)
7. Wired Up HDDMI Cable
8. The King’s Speech (Momentum)
9.Harry Potter The Complete Series (Warner)
10. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner) 

Uncut’s 10 Best DVDs
Uncut’s film and DVD coverage has been chipped away a little recently, but it’s still one of the best combinations of film and music in the magazine sector. Its end of year issue had both a standard top 20 if its best films (see further below), as well as a 10 best DVDs. The latter included a more esoteric selection, concentration on reissues, TV and never before available releases. It showed a real love for and knowledge of the DVD and Blu-ray sector, so we’re printing it ahead of its best films selection.

1. The Strange World Of Gurney Slade (Network)
2. Morgan: A Suitable Case For Treatment (Studiocanal)
3. Chimes At Midnight (Cornerstone)
4 Jackie Brown Special Edition (Miramax/Lionsgate)
5. Treme Series 1 (HBO)
6. Minnie And Moskowitz (Mr Bongo Films)
7. The Killing Series 1 (Arrow)
8. Hammett (Studiocanal)
9. Alice (BFI)
10. Children Of The Stones (Network)

Uncut’s 20 Best Films
1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Studiocanal)
2. Drive (Icon)
3. True Grit (Paramount)
4. Kill List (Studiocanal)
5. The Tree Of Life (Fox)
6. Black Swan (Fox)
7. The Artist (EV)
8. Senna (Universal)
9. The Guard (Studiocanal)
10. The Skin I Live In (Fox)
11. The King’s Speech (Momentum)
12. 127 Hours (Fox)
13. Submarine (Studiocanal)
14. Le Quattro Volte (New Wave Films)
15. Animal Kingdom (Studiocanal)
16. Moneyball (Fox)
17. Bridesmaids (Universal)
18. Tyrannosaur (Studiocanal)
19. We Need To Talk About Kevin (Artificial Eye)
20. The Ides Of March (eOne) 

Empire’s Top 20 Films Of 2011
Empire’s chart drew its fair share of online flak for eschewing more esoteric titles and looking more towards the mainstream, but that’s somewhat harsh, especially given that, broadly speaking, that’s the magazine’s focus. It was put together by assorted staffers and freelancers at the magazine. And in its number one selection, it shows the potential for Icon’s January 30 release, Drive, as well as Studiocanal’s Tinker tailor Soldier Spy, out on the same day…

1. Drive (Icon)
2. Senna (Universal)
3. The King’s Speech (Momentum)
4. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Warner)
5. The Artist (EV)
6. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (January 30)
7. True Grit (Paramount)
8. Bridesmaids (Universal)
9. Rise Of The Planet Ofd The Apes (Fox)
10. Black Swan (Fox)
11. Blue Valentine (Studiocanal)
12. The Fighter (Momentum)
13. Hanna (Universal)
14. We Need To Talk About Kevin (Artificial Eye)
15. The Inbetweeners Movie (4DVD)
16. Super 8 (Paramount)
17, Incendies (Trinity)
18. The Tree Of Life (Fox)
19. The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn (Paramount)
20. Fast And Furious 5

Total Film’s Best Films Of 2011
An interesting comparison with Empire’s chart, although both ended with the same number one. Total Film put together a whole raft of 2011 best ofs, like Empire, and somewhat annoyingly, both have one film per page, which means to trawl through them – and Total Film’s featured 50 in, er, total, we had to keep clicking through, giving them loads of hits for their web stats. We’ve just run the 20 here, for the sake of being able to contrast with Empire’s choice, but we added in its top artwork chart too… With the former, it’s slightly more leftfield than Empire’s heck, there’s even some foreign language titles in there. With the latter, it’s a shame to see so many US-created artwork in there…
1. Drive (Icon)
2. Tree Of Life (Fox)
3. Black Swan (Fox)
4. Blue Valentine (Studiocanal)
5. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Studiocanal)
6. Kill List (Studiocanal)
7. Animal Kingdom (Studiocanal)
8. A Separation (Artificial Eye)
9. Bridesmaids (Universal)
10. We Need To Talk About Kevin (Artificial Eye)
11. The Guard (Studiocanal)
12. Source Code (Studiocanal)
13. True Grit (Paramount)
14. Neds (eOne)
15. The Fighter (Momentum)
16. The King’s Speech (Momentum)
17. The Skin I Live In (Fox)
18. Tyrannosaur (Studiocanal)
19. Super 8 (Paramount)
20. Take Shelter (Universal)

Total Film’s Greatest Movie Posters Of 2011
1. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
2. The Ides Of March
3. Bridesmaids
4. Drive
5. Melancholia
6. Shame
7. Insidious
8. The Iron Lady
9. The Human Centipede: Full Sequence
10. Hobo With A Shotgun

Sight And Sound’s DVDs And Blu-rays Of 2011
This was one of the best features we’ve read, and should enthuse anyone about the current state of our industry. You can read the full thing here – and we heartily recommend that you do – but we chose the video industry entrants, many of those were involved in the recent The Future Of DVD event, hosted by The Raygun at the BFI Southbank. We did exclude much of their text, you can see it all on the feature and it felt a awkward cutting and pasting so much. However, we’ll leave you with some choice words from Sam Dunn from the BFI’s video arm, as he notes: “With the experts continuing to diagnose the death of DVD (I guess that if you say it often enough, and for long enough, it will eventually come true), I’m seriously considering investing in a coffin rather than a set of new shelves to house the wealth of wonderful discs (both silver and Blu) which were released in 2011.

“Could we be any luckier than to have such fabulous companies as Second Run, Criterion, Masters of Cinema, Cult Epics, etc. working tirelessly to produce exquisitely researched, beautifully presented editions for us to enjoy and cherish? I pinch myself when I think of the days of VHS or early DVDs. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d get to see some of the treats offered up this past year, looking the way they do too. Perhaps I too have died and gone to DVD heaven…”

James Blackford, BFI Video Publishing
Touch Of Evil (Eureka Masters Of Cinema)
Mondo Candido (Camera Obscura, Germany)
Obsession (Arrow Video)
Rififi (Arrow Academy)
Quatermass And The Pit (Studiocanal)

Sam Dunn, BFI Video Publishing
In A Glass Cage (Cult Epics, USA)
Touch Of Evil (Eureka Masters Of Cinema)
Szindbad (Second Run DVD)
Some Like It Sexy (Nucleus Films)
The Strange World Of Gurney Slave (Network)

Mehelli Modi, Second Run DVD
America Lost And Found: The BSS Story (Criterion)
Hamlet (Edition Filmmuseum, Germany)
Ne Change Rien (Midas Filmes Portugal)
Nostalgia For The Light (Icarus Films, USA)
Radu Muntean: Three Films (Voodoo Films, Romania) 

Jon Robertson, Masters Of Cinema
The Great White Silence (BFI)
Senso (Criterion, USA)
Rififi (Arrow Academy)
Carmen (Second Sight)
Matinee (Carlotta, France)

 Francesco Simeoni (Arrow Films)
Blow Out (Criterion, USA)
Deep End (BFI Flipside)
Touch Of Evil (Eureka Masters Of Cinema)
Santa Sangre (Severin Films)
Taxi Driver (SPHE)

Nick Wrigley, Masters Of Cinema
Henry-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (Flicker Alley, USA)
Road To Nowhere (Monterey Video, USA)
The Tree Of Life (Fox)
The Music Room (Criterion, USA)
The Killing/Killer’s Kiss (Criterion, USA)

The Word Magazine’s 10 Best DVDs
The Word seems to follow its own agenda when it comes to DVD and Blu-ray releases, plucking titles from relative obscurity and covering them – that is when it’s not banging on about The Wire, HBO and US TV boxsets in general – but we did like this 10, even if one or two of them weren’t  officially available when this chart was first published…

Attack The Block (Studiocanal)
127 Hours (Fox)
Bridesmaids (Universal)
Drive (Icon)
Inside Job (SPHE)
The King’s Speech (Momentum)
George Harrison Living In The Material World (Lionsgate)
Senna (Universal)
True Grit (Paramount)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Studiocanal)

Mojo magazine DVD Of The Year
Only  one title in Mojo, but what a title that is. The Harrison release already had the accolade of getting a cover and mammoth feature in the magazine, so this was the icing on the cake for the perfect title for Mojo readers…

George Harrison Living In The Material World (Lionsgate)

10 Discs That Push The Boundaries of Blu-ray
We love this one, from the hallowed pages of tech bible Wired, or its upstart sibling, the UK edition. We don’t always pick this one up (frankly, we can’t understand a lot of it), but towards the end of 2011 it published a special Sound & vision supplement, so we snaffled a copy. And there, nestling between the highest of the high end kit (Blu-ray players for more than £13 grand, home cinema systems a pop at £17,500, we kid you not) was this little gem. Under a headline of Blu Sky Thinking (one on our banned list for being a little too obvious), it went for 10 titles that will, it said, “flex the format and promise to stretch your home cinema system. The lion’s share of the editorial was given over to, appropriately enough, The Lion King. There’s no order in particular, but it made for an interesting read…

The Lion King 3D (Disney)
Super 8 (Paramount)
Pulp Fiction (Miramax/Lionsgate)
Toy Story 3 3D (Disney)
Captain America (Paramount)
Transformers – Dark Of The Moon (Paramount)
Jurassic Park Trilogy (Universal)
Torchwood: Miracle Day (2 entertain)
Cowboys & Aliens (Paramount)
Senna Limited Collector’s Edition (Universal)

The Sunday Times Top TV Boxsets
Anyone who regularly reads or monitors the broadsheet press, as we regularly do, will know that the qualities are obsessed with The Wire and, following its DVD-inspired surge in popularity, have been desperately tipping “the next Wire”. So we liked this list from the Sunday Times towards the end of the year. It sat alongside a two page spread on Friday Night Lights (Universal Playback), which boldly stated that it was “quite simply some of the best television ever made”; the list itself was introduced with the words “you’ve got The Wire, The Sopranos and Mad Men. So which other box sets should you have?”

1. Heimat (Second Sight)
2. Sons Of Anarchy (Fox)
3. Justified (SPHE)
4. Brideshead Revisited (ITV Studios Home Entertainment)
5. Our Friends In The North (Simply Media)
6. House Of Cards (2 entertain)
7. Battlestar Galactica (Universal Playback)
8. Reckless (Acorn)
9. Bleak House (2 entertain)
10. Band Of Brothers (HBO)
11. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy/Smiley’s People (2 entertain)
12. Twin Peaks (Universal Playback)
13. This Life (2 entertain)
14. Elizabeth R (2 entertain)
15. Thirtysomething (Mill Creek US import)
16. My So Called Life  (Universal Playback)
17. I, Claudius (2 entertain)
18. Murder One (Fox)
19. In Treatment (HBO)
20. Das Boot (SPHE)

The Independent On Sunday
Our favourite end of year polls, especially when it comes to DVD rather than theatrically-released features, are the ones that look beyond the world of films and into some other darker corners, nooks and crannies of the business, taking in television and special interest. Which is just what The IoS’ Robert Epstein did with his 10 here, which eschewed any blockbuster releases and concentrated on documentaries, television and comedy selections…

Frozen Planet (2 entertain)
Bobby Fischer Against The World (Dogwoof)
Inside Story (SPHE)
Armadillo (Soda)
Spiral (2 entertain)
Greg Davies Firing Cheeseballs At A Dog (Universal) 
Russell Kane Smokescreens And Castles (Universal
Modern Family (Fox)

The Observer’s Hidden Gems Of 2011
We’ve long praised the DVD work and reviews of Mark Kermode, himself a former video trade journalist (not that he mentions that in his autobiography, incidentally), as he appears to truly understand the medium and seems to take the trouble to view the additional features on the copies he gets sent, as well as rewatching films and their added value materials even though he may have seen them already. Heck, the notoriously 3D-sceptic writer even takes the trouble to watch 3D Blu-rays, which is surely, for a man who’s vehemently opposed to the format, the ultimate sacrifice. 

Similarly, he doesn’t always opt for the obvious either, and we liked the way his not-quite-a-top-10-year-end chart chose to concentrate on some of the gems he’d discovered in 2011.     

You can see the full selection here
Benda Belili! (Trinity)
Patagonia (Verve)
We Were Here (Peccadillo)
His & Hers (Element)
Wake Wood (Momentum)
Taxi Zum Klo (Peccadillo)
Akira (Manga) 

Time Out’s Top DVDs Of 2011
One of the most comprehensive selections we saw; Time Out, like the aforementioned Kermode, didn’t take the most travelled route, choosing to favour independent and world cinema fare and, for the main part, avoiding films that were released theatrically in 2011, avoiding the obvious blockbusters. So there were eight titles from the BFI (10 if you split up the assorted Molly Dineen releases), eight from Eureka’s Masters Of Cinema imprint, five each from Arrow, Artificial Eye and Mr Bongo Films and a further four from Second Run, that clutch of labels making up some 70 per cent of the charts. 

We’ve run through the top 10 here, to see the rest of the 50 you can go to Time Out’s website here.

1. The Theo Angelopoulos Collection: Volumes 1, 2 and 3 (BFI)
2. Colossal Youth (Masters Of Cinema)
3. Here’s A Health To The Barley Mow (BFI)
4. Szindbad (Second Run DVD)
5. Jacques Cousteau box sets (History Channel)
6. Deep Red (Arrow Video)
7. Harakiri (Masters Of Cinema)
8. Stranger On The Third Floor (Odeon Entertainment)
9. The Best Of Classic Horror/The Best Of Cult Sci-fi (Universal)
10. The Complete Humphrey Jennings Volume 1 (BFI)

Daily Mirror’s 10 Best Films
We’re not presenting every newspaper top 10 of its chosen critics’ favourite films, but we liked this one from the Daily Mirror, particularly given that its choices weren’t quite so obvious and it seemed suitably DVD-friendly; Edwards, who put it together, is, after all, the paper’s DVD reviewer too. Oh, and seeing as Troll Hunter, the third in David Edwards’ chart, was one of our favourites, and due on DVD shortly, courtesy of Momentum, that we thought it worthy of inclusion here. Troll Hunter is, Edwards says it “recaptured the atmospheric jitters of the very best monster movies”. His first choice is Bridesmaids, “our film of the year by some distance”.

1. Bridesmaids (Universal)
2. Submarine (Studiocanal)
3. Troll Hunter (Momentum)
4. We Need To Talk About Kevin (Artificial Eye) 
5. Neds (eOne)
6. The King’s Speech (Momentum)
7. 127 Hours (Fox)
8. Black Swan (Fox)
9. The Artist (Entertainment/EV)
10. Rise OF The Planet Of The Apes (Fox)

The Metro’s Best Film DVDs
In our regular coverage of DVD and Blu-ray coverage (you can see our recent examples here) we’ve often praised the Metro’s home entertainment section, which has expanded to a two-page spread under a Home Cinema heading in a revamped paper, and its exemplary coverage really does deserve it. Its round-up of the best of the year should have helped give its army of readers a fair few suggestions. They’re not in any particular order, but it’s well worth reproducing the lot here. Below the film charts, we’ve also mentioned its best music and stand-up comedy DVDs too…

The King’s Speech (Momentum)
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Warner)
The Inbetweeners Movie (4DVD)
Submarine (Studiocanal)
Attack The Block (Studiocanal)
True Grit (Paramount)
127 Hours (Fox)
The Fighter (Momentum)
Black Swan (Fox)
The Social Network (SPHE)
The Tree Of Life (Fox)
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (Paramount)
Thor (Paramount)
Captain America (Paramount)
X-Men: First Class (Fox)
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (Fox)
Super 8 (Paramount)
TT: Closer To The Edge (eOne)
Senna (Universal)
Bridesmaids (Universal)
Incendies (Trinity)
13 Assassins (Artificial Eye)
A Separation (Artificial Eye)
Rare Exports (Icon)

The paper also plumped for its Best Stand-Up releases, choosing Richard Herring: Christ On A Bike The Second Coming (PIAS), Tim Minchin And His Orchestra (Universal) Greg Davies: Firing Cheeseballs At A Dog (Universal) and Milton Jones: Lion Whisperer (Spirit). Its Best Music DVDs were Beyonce’s Live At Roseland – Elements Of 4 (RCA), Take That Progress Live (Polydor), the excellent Upside Down: The Creation Records Story (Revolver) and the equally excellent but somewhat contrasting George Harrison: Living In The Material World (Lionsgate).

The Sun Top DVDs Of 2011
You can say what you like about the newspaper and its morals – let’s face facts, it’s a been a bit of a traumatic year at News International – but it’s still the bestselling paper in the country and thus one of the most important when it comes to coverage. We like its reviewer Andrew Ewart too, he doesn’t always go for the most obvious choices when it comes to picking titles to review. No great shocks in his top 10, but we liked that a whole page was given over to his year end choices. His number one choice received the lion’s share, with an interview with the star of The Killing interviewed to help publicise the release of the second series. 

1. The Killing: Series II (Arrow)
2. Black Swan (Fox)
3. True Grit (Paramount) 
4. Attack The Block (Studiocanal)
5. Harry Potter The Complete Collection (Warner)
6. Frozen Planet (2 entertain)
7. Submarine (Studiocanal)
8. Bridesmaids (Universal)
9. Super 8 (Paramount)
10. Downton Abbey Series 1 and 2 (Universal Playback)

The Top 10 Most Pirated Films
Much as we dislike its tone, which is stridently pro-illegal downloads and some idealised version of Internet freedom, the TorrentFreak website is an excellent resource for finding what’s happening in the download, and particularly Torrent-based, arena. Its annual chart looking at the 10 most pirated films of the year (its words, not ours) is always an interesting read. It’s put together using the number of available downloads. Interestingly, this year’s most downloaded was not the most obvious choice, Fast And Furious 5, aka Fast Five; thanks in no small part to the successful reinvention of the franchise. There’s only one Harry Potter, The Deathly Hallows Part 2, and no room for other franchises such as Transformers and Pirates Of The Caribbean. Also noteworthy is the fact that the amount of torrents available for the number one title are significantly down on the previous year’s most pirated film, Avatar (16 million to 9 million). And, as the website says: “In part this drop might be explained by the increase in legal alternatives, although upcoming alternative piracy sources (such as cyberlockers and steaming sites) may have also had an effect. However, since the total number of active BitTorrent users isn’t shrinking, the downloads may simply be spread out over more titles in 2011.”

1. The Fast And  Furious Five (Universal)
2. The Hangover Part II (Warner)
3. Thor (Paramount)
4. Source Code (Studiocanal)
5. I Am Number Four (Disney)
6. Sucker Punch (Warner)
7. 127 Hours (Fox)
8. Rango (Paramount)
9. The King’s Speech (Momentum)
10. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Warner)

Top 10 Most Pirated TV Shows
More from TorrentFreak, this time a compilation of the most pirated TV shows. Again, the numbers here suggest that the number of downloads available via BitTorrent are actually falling year on year, suggesting that the growth of sites such as Hulu in the US are stemming the need for illegal downloads. However, they further imply that while growth in the US is declining (it only rose for TV shows that Fox had denied immediate access to Hulu), the time lag between US transmission and their eventual arrival in the UK and Europe is creating a black market for TV programming. Interesting to note too, that when we’ve seen these charts in previous years, the odd British title would crop up (especially global phenomenon Top Gear), these  are no longer present. 

1. Dexter (Paramount)
2. Game Of Thrones (HBO)
3. The Big Bang Theory (Warner)
4. House (Universal Playback)
5. How I Met Your Mother (Fox)
6. Glee (Fox)
7. The Walking Dead (eOne)
8. Terra Nova (Fox)
9. True Blood (HBO)
10. Breaking Bad (SPHE)

The Best Films Of 2011… In Rhyming Form
We’ll end with this belter from some time trade press journalist, writer, renaissance man, jack of all trades David Hughes, an old mate of ours who did something a bit different for his excellent blog. While every Tom, Dick and Harry Knowles-style blogger featured their top 10 of the year, Hughes put his in rhyme, from The Skin I Live In, his number one choice, through to The King’s Speech. You can see the full poem over here, it’s highly recommended…

Tags: , , ,