Movie Review of 2011
Well as a few of you know I am a big movie fan and as its the end of the year I thought it was the perfect time to come up with my cinematic movie review of the year.
This year I have seen a total of 87 movies ranging from the very best to the very worst that has been on offer to the cinema going public this year. From the big blockbusters to the small Indie films I have tried to see a wider range of movies as I could.
I start of with the very worst movies that i have seen this year, lets just say it had its fair share of movie stinkers.
1) Little Fockers
This was the movie that was the final nail in the coffin for my liking of Ben Stiller. When I first saw him way back in “There’s Something About Mary” I could see he was comedy gold. Now sadly that flare of comedy seems to be withering on the vine as is the equally as unfunny “Meet The Fockers”. In fact the title of the movie should sum up just what the movies is like it try’s to be funny but comes of as being forced unfunny humor. Its not just Ben Stiller that is guilty of acting crimes as Robert De Niro yet again did another one dimensional performance playing Jack Byrnes.
I had to pay extra to see Hop in 3D, and just like with a majority of 3D movies it turned out that it was not worth paying out extra money to watch it in 3D. In fact it was not worth paying out money to see this charmless movie fall stop. This movie also had the disadvantage of having Russell Brand in it. Now I know a lot of people are fans of him but the basic fact is he spoils every performance that he does. Its no wonder his recent movies like “Arthur” and “Get Him To the Greek” have bombed so badly. Each of his performances are charmless and shallow, as in ever role he acts like a toddler demanding attention and adoration from the audience, this movie is no exception.
From the trailer of Contagion I was expecting Lots of great actors and the world brought to the brink of doom. Instead due to the huge amount of actors most of them only appeared for the briefest of minutes. The worst offender being Gwyneth Paltrow who died within in the first few minutes of the movie in a blink and you will miss it performance. As for the global viral apocalypse it may have meant to have been serious however it was badly underrepresented, I really did not get the feel that the contagion was that serious. In fact it had all the drama of a break out of a rather nasty cold that goes round workplaces this time of year.
4) Apollo 18
This was a film that I was really looking forward to, however within the first 30 minutes I began to get the feeling this was not the movie that I was expecting to see. It did not take me long to work out the plot or what the aliens where disguised as. This had the effect of taking the mystery out of the movie quicker than the vacuum of space sucking out the oxygen of a space capsule.
5) Your Highness
Of all the movies I have seen this year this has to be the movie that made me shudder the most. Just hearing these two words “Your Highness ” sends shivers down my spinal column.
This movie humor relied solely on crude humor with the same joke repeated time and time again. Now whilst I am no crude prude ( My mates Vanessa and Lee can testify that I can have a very dirty sense of humor) for example I liked “The Inbetweeners” which was full of crude humor at least it was funny and well written crude humor. In “Your Highness” it was like the equivalent of reading the scrawls of teenage boys inside the cubical of the gents toilets.
By far the worst aspect of the movie was the cast, not because the cast was bad but because the cast was full of great actors. It was really disappointing to see actors who had preformed the best roles of their lives this movie year in such a terrible film. The actors being Natalie Portman (Black Swan), James Franco (127 Hours), Toby Jones(Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy and My Week With Marilyn). All of them had been in great career defining movies this year. So why on Earth did these great actors appear in such Bum Fluff as this movie. It was like seeing Keanu Reeves go from his role as Neo in “The Matrix” to appearing in one of his earliest films “Babes in Toyland” (Yes it is true), which if he done that would have totally destroyed his creditability.
This movie certainly made me feel that Natalie , James and Toby had destroyed their acting creditability appearing in such dross.
By far the biggest comedy offender in this movie was Danny McBride (who fills the same role to Will Ferrell as Rob Schneider fills for Adam Sandler. In other words Danny is like the comedy sidekick to Will and is always destined to make movies that are not as fanny or popular as Wills). Danny McBride performances is to say the least woeful and every “Comedy” moment he performs feels forced, almost like he is holding a sword to the audiences throats, trying to force us to laugh.
To Sum up avoid this movie this is my worst movie of 2011
Most of the movies I saw this year I would say on average where good. However thankfully their was a batch of them that really did cinematic-ally excel.
A charming movie written and directed by The IT Crowed Richard Ayoade, watching this movie I really felt like I was back in the era of my childhood. The acting was superb by such a young and talented leading cast of Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige. The movie really did capture the awkwardness and mistakes of being a teenager in love. A great first movie by Richard Ayoade I just hope his next movie is just as entertaining and he does not end up being corrupted by Hollywood.
The best way to describe Hanna was its like Jason Bourne being portrayed by a kick arse 14 year old girl. Whilst the plot did kind of fall down at the end of the movie leaving a few unanswered questions, it was still a great movie with some fine performances. The most noticeably performance was Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones) who played Hanna, who again pulls in another stunning performance. It was a joy to behold her character transformation as she went from someone who was a lone highly trained killing machine to a young girl adapting to being a teenager.
Special mention must go to Tom Hollander who normally I see playing bumbling good guy rolls, but in this plays the polar opposite by being a genuinely sinister and sadistic villain with a passion for whistling and lady boys.
I don’t know what I was expecting before I saw this movie, although I was thinking I would be seeing Matt Dillon in it as I was so sure he was the weird white faced bald man with the moustache that appears in the trailer (This guess later turned out to be wrong). However what I got was a super slick and stylized noir movie. oddly I cannot remember much of the dialogue. Although that was not really important in this movie, as visually each frame was perfect. In fact you could play the movie without the dialogue just having the soundtrack (The best soundtrack of the year in my opinion)and it will still be a great movie and people would still be able to follow the plot.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The last movie that I saw this year, now when people often pick movies in their lists they do tend to be ones that have recently been seen as they are closest to recent memory. However I did not pick this movie because of that. I was already a fan of the original version of the movie. And when I saw their was a remake I was thinking it would be a total mess.
How wrong I was, this remake (One of the quickest remakes in movie history) was one of those few remakes which was actually really good. Although not as brutal and savage as the Swedish original, this movie was well incredibly well done. Special mention must go to Rooney Mara who had mighty boots to fill after Noomi Rapace career defining role as the original Lisbeth Salander. Whilst I don’t think she was 100% as good as Noomi in the role she was pretty darn close to being perfect.
Most of my top movies of 2011 are gritty family unfriendly movies, however “Hugo” is the exception. This movie is the type of movie you can sit down with the family to watch. It follows the adventures of Hugo Cabret an orphan boy who lives behind the walls of a railway station in Paris following his adventures to discover the secret of Automaton. This movie is really a joy to watch its so full of emotional warmth that the cinema screen almost bathes the viewer like their being snuggled under a warm duvet cover. Both Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz pull of great performances
along with a great supporting cast including Christopher Lee, Ray Winston and even Sacha Baron Cohen who finally delivers a decent performance that does not involve people cringing in their seats(However he still pulls of an annoying comedy accent). However it is Ben Kingsley who steals the movie playing the French film making pioneer Georges Méliès his characters transformation in the movie, is like the transition between Scrooges pre and post encounter with the Christmas ghosts.
The movie is also great because it has some true cinematic gems being Georges Méliès original short silent movies. I wonder if he could see the film how he would marvel seeing his movies given the 3D treatment.
As always when a movie is going to be put on release theirs normally a ton of advertising and hype that goes into encouraging people to watch the movie. However what is promised or expected can be very different from the end result. Often the trouble with today’s trailers is all the most exciting parts of the movie are often seen in the trailer, often rendering the movie null invoid when it is finally seen. This list is a collection the movies that have promised a lot but in fact have delivered very little.
1) Super 8
When I went to see this movie I thought it was going to be like a cross between Cloverfeild and ET with a hint of Lost thrown in. However what I got more a coming of age movie like “Stand By Me”. In fact I think they could have dispensed with the whole Sci Fi aspect of the movie (This coming from a fan of Sci Fi is a hard thing to say) and ended up with a better movie. This was because the Sci Fi part of the movie was rather a big disappointment and was certainly not as exciting as the trailer had made it out to be.
2) The Green Lantern
Lots of advertising made this movie out to be very exciting and action packed. It was not Ryan Reynolds gave another acting by numbers performance. Whilst the villains had about as much impact as a soggy sponge hitting a brick wall.
3) Fright Night
A classic 80s film remade for the modern era. Colin Farrell played basically a version of Colin Farrell that drinks blood instead of his normal alcoholic beverages. The movie was meant to be scary and funny yet came away as neither. The only salvageable thing about this movie was David Tennant performance as Peter Vincent, although not even he could save this movie from being a disappointment. However he did save it from being in the worst of 2011 list.
4) Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark
I must have seen the trailer for this movie about 100 times, you no idea how much I was looking forward to this movie, how could a movie with such a great audience shocking trailer by bad. Especially as this movie had the cinematic stamp of quality with Guillermo del Toro being involved as one of the Writers.
So how comes this movie ended up in my Disappointing List. The simple fact of the matter is the biggest scare in the movie I had already seen in the trailer time and time again. All the characters within the movie got on my nerves, the movie was just way to predictable. Had the movie been not so over hyped I would not have expected that much. But I was expecting majorly great movie and this movie fell way short if expectation
In fact I might as well had just watched the trailer and saved myself the hour and half I wasted on the movie.
Limitless was the story of a man who acquires a drug that gives him almost limitless mental ability’s. However for a movie that was very much about the expansion of the human brain. My own brain seemed to be contracting watching this movie. This movie had the potential to be great with a really interesting basic idea, however it wasted that idea badly. Bradley Cooper pulls of another instantly forgettable performance as Eddie Morra (I am getting the feeling Bradley does not get acting work based on his acting ability more by his looks and his smile) whilst Robert De Niro pulls in a rather ho hum performance.
Their are movies that appear under the radar of most of the average cinema going audience. As they have extremely limited releases, or they are not really that well advertised. Here are just a few of those little seen cinematic movie gems.
1) Hobo With A Shotgun
A movie spin of from the Deathproof/ Planet Terror Grindhouse trailers. Featuring a rather haggard Rutger Hauer as a Hobo with a Shotgun (Basically its just like that old saying “you get what it says on the tin”). Its a mad violent and demented movie that has a ton of what the hell just happened moments. Its never going to win an Oscar, but it is rather entertaining for its sheer oddness. Special mention must go to Brian Downey ( A man who played the biggest coward in two universes in the TV Series Lexx) who plays such a contrast to his normally cowardly roles as in this he plays a villain with so much relish he could fill 10000 sandwiches
2) Troll Hunter
Possible one of the strangest and most bizarre movies of the year. Is the story of a team of student filmmakers who join forces with a Troll hunter who is on the hunt for Trolls. Its a thoroughly entertaining movie, and possibly the best use of “Found Footage” since Cloverfeild. Don’t let the fact it has subtitles put you of its well worth a watch.
3) Red State
Normally I can predict what will happen in most of the movies that I watch. However with this movie it threw so many curve balls at me that for once I had no idea what was going to happen next. This made me feel really happy as what occurred in the movie was a genuine surprise. It was a movie that certainly broke with convention. By far the best acting goes to Michael Parks whose character of Abin Cooper is defiantly one of this years most disturbing villains as he switches with ease between being a friendly warm hearted Grandfather (To his family anyway) to a psychotic god fearing nutter sometimes all at the same time.
4) Another Earth
This movie was a real bugger to see as it was hardly showing anywhere at all. In fact i could only find it in 2 cinemas, and when I did see it I was the only person at the screening watching it. However it was well worth the wait and posed some interesting moral and philosophical questions. It was a film that really got me thinking and the ending really got me interested to see hat happened next.
5) The Room
It may be one of the worst movies of all time but at least it was entertaining and fun watching Tommy Wiseau a man who is to acting what Katie Price is to great work of Literature. He somehow manages to totally misjudge each emotion and each line of dialogue. Alas he only has himself to blame as he both wrote and directed “The Room”. However its because the movie is so bad that it is genuinely so much fun to watch.
Their are a few movies this year that deserve some extra special mentions. Due to the people involved with the films
A great well written story with a stunning cast, combined with some truly amazing animation. And to my surprise for once the 3D in the movie actually looked great.
2) Chalet Girl
A little seen movie however its a little gem. Mainly due to Felicity Jones who is so captivating in the role of Kim. I am sure she will be a name to look out for in the future. ( It also helps that I had a rather nice one to one chat with her on a train a few months back)
3) Attack The Block
The first movie directed and written by Adam and Joe funnyman Joe Cornish. Proving once again that the UK has not only got the best acting talent in the world. But also has some really talented writer and directors. Expect Joe Cornish
In Fact Joe Cornish even did some of the writing on Steven Spielbergs “Tintin”. I certainly am expecting more great movies from Joe in the future.
4) The Artist
Sadly I was aiming to see this movie before the new year but I missed seeing it however the movie still deserves to be on the list. This is due to it being a true silent movie black and white movie. The Movie looks stunning and I cannot wait to see it.
5) Never Let Me Go
Great acting performances all round with the cream of young British acting talent Carey Mulligan , Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley as well as their younger cinematic versions, portray the doomed youngsters whose romantic entanglements are as tragic as their reason for the creation of their existence. Truly a heartbreaking and thought provoking movie.
Best Actor : Goes to up and coming young actor Craig Roberts with his stunning performance as Oliver Tate in “Submarine” after just a few minutes of his performance I was hooked into his teenage world.
Best Actress: Goes to Sally Hawkins for Submarine and Never Let Me Go. She is such a great actress who really does not get the acting recognition that she deserves. If you never seen her before check her out you will be surprised.
Worst Actor: The worst actor this year is split between 3 actors. My first choice is a controversial choice it is Johnny Depp. Now I am a big Depp fan he is one of the best American actors. However his performances this year have been conservative at best and tedious at worst “The Tourist” being one of them. His performance as Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of The Caribbean 4″ just came of as over familiar and annoying.
The second actor for the title was Jude Law for his duff performance in “Contagion” I had no idea what accent he was trying to do it seemed to veer between Australian south African and British . And lastly Jack Black for his painfully unfunny performance in Gulliver’s Travels. Where he basically plays who else but Jack Black except this time he is a lot bigger which somehow makes him even more unfunny in the role.
Worst Actress: The worst actress goes to Kristen Stewart For Twilight Breaking Dawn. Despite living in a world of vampires and werewolves she makes the whole experience seem rather dull and boring. Her performance is so pedestrian if Edward was like a traditional vampire he would seriously be in danger of being staked by her wooden performance.
Best Surprise Performance: Now I have never liked Justine Timberlake in fact he bugs the hell out of me but I have to admit in the movie “In Time” he surprised me as he was really rather good.
Best Comedy: This goes to the The Inbetweeners it may have been a bit of a gross out comedy but was witty and had a great emotional story at heart.
Best Sci Fi/Cult: This is split between X Men First Class which despite it continuity errors which are almost as numerous as their are stars in the sky was a brilliant movie showing how the Xmen started and more importantly the back story of Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr.
The other movie which I think also deserves the title was “Rise of the Apes”. Which unlike the dreadful Tim Burton remake was remarkably good, not only did it start the set up how the apes got to rule in an inelegant way. But The story was full of emotion as well. Andy Serkis played Caesar with a great sense of pathos and played him rather like a modern day prometheus.
Best Horror: Goes to the little seen “The Awakening” a very intelligent horror movie about loss that has so many creepy moments. Its a movie that proves we Brits can still make great horror movies.
Best Serious Movie: goes to “My Week With Marilyn”. This movie made me feel genuine sadness for the Cinematic icon Marilyn Monroe, who despite her great performances was such a tragically emotionally flawed and unhappy women. A real heart breaker of a movie, but at the same time a great incite into who she was and why she died so tragically young.
Best entertaining movie: This goes to “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2″. At last after more than a decade Potter movies we finally got to the very last one. It was well worth the wait despite the few flaws in the movie that the movie felt rushed and a lot of Characters only appeared in cameo. Whilst it was not the best of the Potter Movies it certainly was the most unmissable and entertaining movie of the year. In fact I would go so far as to say it was the cinematic event of the year, its premiere was the most insane premiere that I have ever seen people where camped out in Trafalgar Square for days just to be part of this moment of cinematic history.
Well we are now at the end of my review of this year. With lots of great movies coming next year which I am calling “The Year Of The Sequels and Prequel” With sequels to Batman, Twilight, And Of Course “The Avengers” which is a sequel of sorts. And not forgetting the prequels to The Lord Of The Rings and Alien.