Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Best and Worst Movies of 2011 (and everything in between) List

O.K. so let's start out by saying this does not mean I think these are only THE BEST movies of the year. Just 10 films I loved that ranged from fun to well done to outstanding to very satisfying!....and after that maybe a few I'm scratching my head about why they're on everyone else's top ten list.

Also want to make a point of saying there are still a few movies from the past year (listed below) that I have not seen yet and they could very well unseat one or two films in the best of the best of the best...with honors.

So here we Top 10 of 2011:

1. Drive

2012 truly was Ryan Gosling's year with three outstanding performances in three high profile movies. "Drive" is a wonderfully edgy modern day noir story with stylish cinematography, a very cool synth pop soundtrack and the re-invention of Albert Brooks as a laid back yet very dangerous crime boss. Gosling brings the cool of Steve McQueen to a role that might have been his 40 years ago.

2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Not only is this a really well done movie, but also a fitting addition to the "Apes" franchise. The genesis of how apes rise is so perfectly retooled from the original films' concept. Andy Serkis seriously should have received an Oscar nod for his incredible performance as Caesar.

3. Super 8

JJ Abrams wonderful love letter to the Spielberg era of the late 70's / early 80's has all the ingredients a fan of those movies who grew up with them would want. Like with "The Artist", attention to detail of character, pacing, cinematography and even late 70's Panavision camera lens flare (no, not Abrams'...Spielberg's) all beautifully come together with tension, humor and the right amount of otherworldliness.

4. Bridesmaids

This is truly a crazy / funny / LOL movie that's also a chick flick at heart. The Oscar love is well deserved for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay. Personally, I don't think they should do a sequel, they should just leave it as a one-off. And BTW, Kristen Wiig agrees!

5. The Artist

The minute I laid my eyes on the first trailer for this movie I was completely taken by how it perfectly captures the look and feel of silent movie era. It's almost a period film within a period film as the entire story takes place within that format's style. Wonderful performances all wrapped up in a timeless story that's beautifully photographed.

6. Hugo

Martin Scorsese's love letter to the early days of cinema is a wonderfully constructed mystery that a little orphan boy who lives in the clock tower of a Paris train station must decipher. Beautifully photographed in 3D, this movie takes you on a journey that is even more amazing because it's (in part) a true story. Ben Kingsley

7. X-Men: First Class

This Matthew Vaughn directed / Bryan Singer produced prequel (with a sequel on the way!) is the perfect combination of 60's cool and mutant action with the right amount of true drama and emotion. It's a fitting throwback to the days before Professor X and Magneto that connects seamlessly to Bryan Singer's masterful "X-Men" and "X2: X-Men United".

8. The Adjustment Bureau

Loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story, "Adjustment Team", Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are superb along with Terrance Stamp in this tale of a man who discovers that the world is being 'managed' by a shadowy organization whose job it is to keep humanity on track. It's a love story at the heart of the fantastical fantasy that drives the story and draws you right in.

9. Crazy. Stupid. Love.

What a surprisingly good movie! The marketing never even touched the potential of how wonderful this film turned out. The kind of story you'd expect Cameron Crowe to direct, Steve Carell leads an outstanding cast who all converge in one of the most unsuspecting climaxes in a comedy.

10. Fast Five

Yes, Fast Five!!! Just when you thought the "Fast and the Furious" franchise might have gotten way too stale (I was never a fan from the beginning), along comes this incredible action machine that is super cool, funny in all the right places and perfectly paced...all culminating with a jaw-dropping climactic chase scene involving two cars towing a gi-normous vault! We're talking W - O - W!!

Great, but didn't quite make Top 10:
The Beaver
Battle: Los Angeles
Captain America: The First Avenger
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Muppets
My Week with Marilyn
Arthur Christmas
The Adventures of Tintin

Missed, but wanted to see (definitely on or going on my Netflix queue):
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Attack the Block
The Ides of March

Sorry to see didn't do well:
Cars 2
30 Minutes or Less
In Time
Tower Heist

Movies that came and went so fast you barely knew they were in theatres:
The Debt

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Sucker Punch
The Smurfs
Spy Kids 4D: All the Time in the World
The Three Musketeers
Jack and Jill

Still seriously need to see:
War Horse
Midnight in Paris
The Help
The Descendants

Have no interest in:
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

And hey, what was the deal with:
Green Lantern

On a final, scary note...

Here are the top grossing films of 2011:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
4. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
5. Kung Fu Panda 2
6. Fast Five
7. The Hangover Part II
8. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
9. The Smurfs
10. Cars 2

Look at how much TRASH is on this list?! "Transformers"...GAAWWDD!!! "The Hangover Part II"? "Pirates of the Caribbean"? And the ultimate insult to all moviegoers intelligence..."THE SMURFS"!!! That means we'll be seeing a lot more of this a-fucking-bundance!! It's all ready bad enough that we have to deal with an Alvin and the Chipmunk movie every...single...Christmas!

Of course it's not all trash. The upside: "Harry Potter" and "Fast Five" are really the only movies I agree should even be in this 10 spot. I'm sorry, I gotta say it again; "Transformers" was the #2 highest grossing movie of 2011....BBBAAARRRFFF!!!!!!


At February 9, 2012 at 6:01 PM, Anonymous Allen said...

"in a-fucking-bundance" (LOL, I gotta use that!)

Sadly I have only seen five of the movies mentioned in this entire post.

I suck.

At February 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

Putting the 'F' word in the middle just gives the expression just that much more gusto! LOL!

You don't suck, you just have a daughter. ;)


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