Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 in Review

This is a quick recap of my 2011 most anticipated movie list. There are three days left in 2011, I have seen a total of 146 movies, 47 of them from 2011. Here is my list and a quick summary of impressions.

1. Tree of Life – So Terrence Malick makes one film a decade and this one just so happened to be in production since 2008, easily making it my most anticipated of 2011. Unfortunately it just wasn’t worth the way; Tree of Life was painfully slow. The story is not all that interesting and the narrative is edited in a way where the structure can be recognized after the conclusion. The result is mixed of MTV styled jump cut scenes that feel overly pretentious even if Malick is sincere as sincerity exists. I just don’t see what all the hype is about… Grade: 66

2. Super - This was funny. Exactly what I was hoping for out of Gunn and you can see some Slither parallels. A lot more gruesome than I was expecting and I'm still in love with Ellen Page. Super is what Kick-Ass should have been. Grade: 85

3. Super 8 - This movie was timeless Spielberg...from director Abrams. The first 3/4 was near perfect for me on an emotional, immerse-able and entertainment level. The kid actors were great, loved their individual personalities, the tone of the movie was made apparent from the start... But Super 8 is good, not great. The script needs to be a bit stronger with too many side stories and back stories that make the story feel convoluted. Abrams wanted something to come together in the end, but instead he creates more questions that deserve to be answered. Still a fun movie. Grade: 89

4. X-Men: First Class – Another X-men film that feels crammed with too many mutants with so little purpose. In the end, First Class contains two great cameos, some forced jokes and Vaughn tries too hard to piece scenes together with the preceding movies while intentionally leaving plenty of continuity errors to annoy X-men nerds. Who is really interested in an X-men movie without Wolverine anyway? Grade: 75

5. Extraterrestre (Still have not seen yet)

6. Stake Land - I liked this. Stake Land does not work as a horror too well but it's more of a journey on the same page as Monsters was- with more character interaction, more action and more at stake (pun intended). The archetype drama is done poorly, but it's not really about the obvious climax in the end, and more about Martin which ties the opening monologue with a relativity satisfying conclusion. Grade: 61

7. Hobo With a Shotgun – I’m fine with humor and movies and games that are “Over the Top” but HWAS is way too over the top to be entertaining, even with a Grindhouse type feel. There's also a character that acts like a Stiffler knockoff. For a second I almost thought it was Sean W Scott. Grade: 46 Full Review Here

8. Anonymous (Still have not seen yet)

9. Apollo 18 (Still have not seen yet)

10. Carnage (Still have not seen yet)

11. Rubber Full Review here. Grade: 84

12. Knights of Badassdom (Still have not seen yet)

13. Piranha 3DD (Still have not seen yet)

14. Conan the Barbarian (Still have not seen yet)

15. Cowboys & Aliens, The worst movie of 2011. I'd rather watch Priest and Legion back to back then to watch this again. Grade: 18

16. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Still have not seen yet)

17. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. MI4 is by far the best of the series action wise. I was impressed not only with the creative set pieces, but how tense most scenes were. Something the series lacked since the famous hang from the ceiling scene. The weakest aspect of the film: We barely know the "villain". Up until the final scene, we don't really get a feeling for just how evil he really is. Wanting to blow up a city, start nuclear war, etc etc it's been done so many times before. The threat and urgency is not felt- We know they're fighting for a cause but it headed in a direction we are most familiar with in Disney films (which is not surprising since Brad Bird directs Pixar movies). Sure the action was intense during the journey, but was there any doubt that Hunt wasn't going to win? Grade: 89

18. Immortals (Still have not seen yet)

19. Captain America: The First Avenger, The most bland “super hero” movie ever made? Quite possibly. Lacks emotion and suspense and merely functions as the last major puzzle piece needed before The Avengers is released next year. The best aspect? Hugo Weaving as Red Skull. Grade: 53

20. Thor – The opposite of Captain America. Impeccably crafted, casted, directed, funny and more action from a super hero that actually HAS powers. Grade: 79