Guys, we were kind of spoiled last year. My top 4 list from last year included The Social Network, Scott Pilgrim, How To Train Your Dragon and Inception. All super-amazing films that if released this year, probably would have topped my list. This year however, the best animated film was Rango, which while very good, is nowhere near the classic Dragon was for me. Up front, I'll tell you that I'm swayed more by emotions and what a movie can make me feel more than anything. So, it’s time to chronicle the best of 2011, which wasn't all that great, but did come from very unlikely places at times. Let's recognize some of these:
Note: My selection is kind of biased, since I watch a good majority of my movies before September. Anything during or after is kind of spotty. But as of this writing, I've seen 42 movies in 2011, which can be found here:
The Seth Rogen gene is famously the gene that makes you appear funny, even though you are actually doing or saying nothing that is actually funny. Well, that changed this year. In addition to becoming skinnier, which is really doing wonders for the Apatow crew at this point, Rogen had his best role in 50/50, was the best part of Paul, and made a believable Green Hornet. Sure, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, George Clooney and Bradley Cooper may have all had an amazing year, but we all knew they were awesome. Seth Rogen actually has some great roles to back up the hype this year and create more hype of his awesomeness. Also, he was Dirty Randy. That’s all that needs to be said here.
I'm sorry, but after seeing this film several times now, it's hard to muster any sort of hate about it, especially compared to other films that came out in 2011 (I'm looking at you The Dilemma, Atlas Shrugged, Paul, etc.). Sure, Alex Pettyfer should never act again, but literally everything else is exceedingly decent. The action is good, the acting apart from Pettyfer is good, especially coming Dianna Agron & Teresa Palmer, who I both feel breakout as female actresses you can put in roles like these and they will elevate them. In fact, kill off Number 4 in the next film, and I'd actually like to see a sequel, that I might even pay money to see in a theater. Crazy, right? Probably, but I saw enough promise here. Also, there's this scene which I felt was one of the most bad-ass of the year.
Living with the consequences of our actions is something that we all have to deal with and come to terms with. This is something that Another Earth explores and ultimately asks if we can get a 2nd chance. At the end of the film, the main character tries to give somebody a 2nd chance by giving them her ticket to a parallel Earth in the hopes that his family will still be alive there, and he can live his life with them. So when the last scene comes and she sees her parallel self, you know that their lives are different on this parallel Earth, and you can get a 2nd chance of some sort after all.
Sure, I can see the flaws, but do I care? No. It more than makes up for its plot shortcomings with a barrage of clever jokes, beloved characters and infectious musical numbers. If you've ever liked the Muppets in your life, this movie will bring you so much happiness. Also, that Jim Parsons cameo brought me one of the biggest laughs of the year, and it didn’t even need a joke to be told in order to be hilarious.
Starts amazingly, simmers for an hour, then comes down like an ungodly violent fury of vengeance for the last 30 minutes. From its soundtrack, to its charismatic actors, to its plethora of memorable moments, you may not like Drive at first, but you’ll come around to it. You wait and watch. Also, a dude literally gets his head stomped in.
This is just an amazing piece of work. Sure, it’s weird as hell, but there’s nothing else quite like it in the animation world. With it, director Gore Verbinski out-Chinatowns Chinatown by crafting an animated western comedy that deals with social issues like economic inequality and such. Heck, the townspeople are the 99%, and the rich people with the water are the 1%. Go! Plus, any scene with Timothy Olyphant as Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name is alright with me.
A coming of age tale. A social commentary. An alien invasion movie. All these describe this surprisingly incredible action film. It is recommendable that you turn on Captions for this heavily-accented and slanged British film, but once you get into it, it's quite the sight to behold. A cult classic in the making that you should tell all your friends about, and then show them just to make sure they experience its awesomeness.
Incredibly intense, brutal and emotional, Warrior is quite simply the best sports movie I've seen in years. I don't even like MMA, but the way this film uses it as a way for its characters to take out their emotions, is simply amazing. Some have rightly pointed out that it has a been-there done-that plot, but don’t let it take away from the emotions the film offers up.
I’ve seen this film like 3 times now, and that’s still not enough to get my mind around it. But I don’t know if I want to. The feeling I had the first time I saw this movie was just so pure; it was just everything I loved about film in a 2-hour experience. I laughed, I applauded, I was heartbroken, I was amazed, I was blown away, I was shocked, I was excited, and I was happy. It’s naturally hard for a movie to make you feel, but I felt more than a Penn State coach during showers. From the cameo, to the coin scene, to just the whole finale as a whole, it was all masterfully done. I still don’t know if it’s the best superhero film like I proclaimed when I first saw it, but it’s still pretty damn good.
For me, try as I might, this film defies ratings and rankings. It’s incredibly disturbing at points, but it’s also incredibly breathtaking to the point where it will stay with you long after you see it. It basically tells the story of a guy who aspires to be a barbarian leader in the Apocalypse. He then gets into an Apocalyptic breakup, and slowly becomes that barbarian. It’s almost impossible to recommend, but if you get it, then you're in for one helluva artistic experience.