I know he's technically not from a movie, but... Ross from "Friends"
Favorite Line From A Movie
"Welcome to primetime, bitch!" (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3)
Favorite Scene From A Movie
The scene in "12 Angry Men" where Number 11 yells at Number 7 and challenges him about why he changes his vote. I love this scene because Number 11 is absolutely right, and I think the scene really sums up the movie. I could hear that firm "Why?!" a million times!
12 Angry Men
Sci-fi, horror, thrillers
Doug Walker (and ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com in general), James Rolfe, Mark Kermode, and the immortal double-act of Siskel and Ebert (RIP)
Posted on 12/31/11 03:27 AM | Last edited on 12/31/11 03:27 AM
Well, the end of the year is approaching, and I know many people will be taking this time to look back at the year and pick out their favourite and least favourite movies. So, why not? I shall too.
And keep in mind that I didn't see everything that came out this year, so there might be some glaring omissions on these lists, particularly for the worst-of one. There are quite a few films that I'm sure would have been in the running if I'd seen them, though. So, before I get into my actual top ten worst movies of the year, I'm gonna list a few movies that I haven't seen, but that I'm guessing would be bad enough to be contenders.
The first movie I'll mention is The Fast and the Furious 5, which I avoided for the simple reason that I haven't seen any of the first four. But from what I've heard, there is absolutely no reason for this movie to exist! The original film was about street racing, but they've long since abandoned that idea to make the series about whatever the hell they want. To quote Film Brain, the original was about people with cars, but by now the series is just about people who happen to have cars, which is a huge difference.
In fact, there are several shameful-sounding sequels that I was able to get out of just because I haven't seen their predecessors, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2, Spy Kids 4 and Big Momma's House 3 -- which, honestly, just hurts me to even know that it exists!
Neither did I see the remake of Footloose, again because I haven't seen the original yet. But I've heard that the remake is a complete carbon copy, which of course is never a good thing.
Johnny English Reborn looks excruciatingly painful! I like the original enough, but I still don't think it warranted a sequel. Besides, there was only one part in any of the trailers that made me laugh; all the rest just had me facepalming.
Abduction -- you know, that one with Taylor Lautner -- got some of the worst reviews of the entire year, so it might well have been in the running too.
And finally, a movie that probably would have been in the top three had I gone to see it (but I didn't because I still have some shred of dignity left) is, as you can probably guess, Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1. Now, the trailer for this popped up a few times in the cinema, and I felt dirty just having to sit there and watch that! I guess it still gives its target audience exactly what they want, but I'm sure I'd find it just as dull, overlong and vapid as any of its predecessors.
And now on to the actual list, starting with #10, Sucker Punch. It was a toss-up between this and Red Riding Hood for the number ten spot, but I decided to go with this just because it annoyed me more. It's a movie that could easily have been a mindless romp, an indulgent fantasy. But it fails miserably because the action is so lacklustre, and so much of it is CG that there's just no charm or grandeur to it; everything seems uncomfortably artificial. It's an unpleasant movie on top of that, with one of the cruellest openings and endings I've ever seen. Definitely left a bad impression on me, this one.
#9 = Season of the Witch. Now, even though it didn't leave as much of an impression on me as Sucker Punch, I'd probably still have to say this is technically a worse movie. Its two biggest constant letdowns are a certain character's useless attempts to elicit sympathy, and so many of the action scenes taking place in near total darkness. The performances are uninspired and uninteresting, the effects are crap, and worse than all of that, it's just not entertaining. For a movie to be boring and underwhelming could be viewed as a bigger offence than if it were straight-up annoying.
#8 = Rango. I'm probably gonna get a lot of shit for this pick, but this is another one that just annoyed the hell out of me. It's commendable for trying to make a western for kids, but the whole thing is just so needlessly dark and cruel that it really makes you feel uncomfortable while watching it. Not to mention, the main character is the most unfunny kind of screw-up, and a good chunk of the jokes are just unbearable. It's just an all-around unpleasant film. Gore Verbinski should not be allowed to make kids' movies!
#7 = New Year's Eve. This is a movie like Valentine's Day that's so obviously trying to be Love Actually. Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I really do like Love Actually. But this movie, even though it makes it clear towards the end that it's trying to tug on your heartstrings, is simply not in the same league. Maybe it's because I don't feel the same way these characters do about New Year's, or maybe because I simply don't like any of the characters themselves or their situations. In any case, this is an ill-conceived, unfunny and joyless movie.
#6 = Battle: Los Angeles. Much like Season of the Witch, the key word here is "boring". Oh, God is this movie boring! It's pretty much just wall-to-wall military combat, which gets old really fucking fast! The fact that so much of the action is shot in shaky cam certainly doesn't help, because it means you can't even see what's happening. And even though it takes the time to introduce all its characters, it's pointless because they're thrown into the action so fast that you're not given any time to take them in, which just strips you of your final reason to care.
#5 = Bridesmaids. Probably the most unpopular pick on my list. I honestly don't understand why this movie's garnered so much acclaim among critics and audiences alike. My issues with it all stem from one simple problem: every single character is a complete asshole. What's the point of telling a story of rivalry if you can't root for either side? And on top of that, it's just not funny. The rivalry in the story just comes off as immature bickering, which makes the characters even less likable than they already are. I really just don't get the appeal of this flick.
#4 = Horrible Bosses. This movie can kiss my ass! I really thought I was gonna like this flick, but it turned out to be one of the most unfunny so-called "comedies" I've seen in a long time! As far as making me laugh, it has all the no-nos. Clowning and screaming just for the sake of clowning and screaming, completely moronic characters who don't know when to shut up, thinking it's being cute by arbitrarily referencing other, better movies... It was just an all-around obnoxious experience, and the first time I've ever emerged from a cinema legitimately angry!
#3 = Auschwitz. I guess I really should have expected no better from Uwe Boll, but there really is no excuse for fucking up a subject matter as serious as Auschwitz. The middle section of the film is not believable as a drama because the actors never convince you of the torture they're supposed to be going through, and the documentary side of it is laughable because of the absurd stupidity of the teenagers being interviewed. You can get a bit of fun out of spotting typos in the subtitles, but for the most part it's just a mind-numbing, festering ball of nothingness.
#2 = Priest. I haven't read the original comic books, but they surely can't be this bad! This movie really is a nightmare of taking scissors to a film heavily. The whole narrative is kind of like a runaway train. It all rushes along at breakneck speed without ever bothering to set up its characters, and the action scenes seem so rushed that they never have a chance to excite. Even though it didn't leave that much of a lasting impression on me, the sheer level of frustration I felt while watching this movie is really what puts it at the number two spot.
But, there was really never any doubt what #1 was going to be. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is seriously one of the most boring, worthless movies I've ever seen in my life. It's certainly not as bad as the second one, but that would be one hell of an accomplishment! It still has many of the same problems, though, like the practically nonexistent story, the unrelenting, tiresome action scenes, and the special effects that look like they belong in a PS2 game. It's just such a nothing movie that it was, hands down, the most miserable movie-watching experience I've had all year.
Well, there you have it: the top ten movies this year that really made me regret my compulsion to stick with any movie to the very end. Now I'm gonna wash those awful tastes down and confront those people under the impression that I don't like anything, by giving you my top ten favourite movies of 2011.
(If you're curious, my runners-up for the worst-of list include The Dilemma, Mars Needs Moms, Red Riding Hood (which I mentioned already) and Retreat.)
Now, anyone who follows my Listal reviews regularly knows that I hand out praise about as often as I just randomly hand out $100 bills! So some of you might be wondering, "What the hell did you like this year?" Well, now I'm finally going to answer.
Now, again, I admit this list may be as yet incomplete, because there were several reputedly good movies this year that I didn't see, like Warrior, The Muppets, The Descendants and many others. But, as of the end of the year itself, here are my top ten favourites of the ones I did see. Here goes.
First I'm gonna throw in Rio as an honourable mention, because this, honestly, was the surprise of the year for me. I was all ready to hate this one in advance, and it turned out to be one of the finest family films I've seen in quite a while. The characters are interesting, the colourful nature of the rainforest is used to good effect, and there aren't even as many songs as you might expect, which proves that kids can handle straightforward drama. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and am most disappointed that it ultimately got bumped off the list.
...Which begins now. #10 = Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Just like the worst-of list, choosing my number ten spot was very difficult; it was a toss-up between this and Submarine. I decided to go with this because, as a summer blockbuster, I was really surprised how well it succeeded in pulling me into the story. The build-up and character development in the first two acts are nothing short of perfect. Not to mention, the effects are just incredible. The final climax does kind of let it down a bit because it feels so rushed, but on the whole it's a wonderfully exciting ride.
#9 = Drive. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the end of this one, because there was a gas leak in the cinema. But what I saw up to that point definitely got me interested in a repeat viewing. Now, anyone expecting a Fast and the Furious-style action fest might be pretty disappointed. This is not a straight-up action movie. It's a drama first and foremost, which really takes its time to set up its characters and let them develop relationships in plenty of quiet moments, so that every act of violence later on feels like a genuine punch in the gut.
#8 = The Ides of March. I couldn't have been more surprised at how much I enjoyed this one! I usually can't get into political stories at all, because I'm not the least bit politically inclined. But I think the reason this one does well is because of how human and identifiable it makes its characters. The story is about Ryan Gosling's part in George Clooney's run for presidency, but the focus is more on the characters and their relationships. It's not a story of political stunts, but rather of trust and betrayal -- assisted by a steady directing hand from Clooney himself and top-notch acting all around.
#7 = Puss in Boots. A surprise addition to the list, this one. Maybe it's because I had no real expectations going in, but I was completely taken aback by this movie. I'm not sure how well this statement will be received, but I actually think it's better than any of the Shrek movies! Maybe because Puss is a more likable character, or maybe his escapades are more interesting, but in any case, this is a thoroughly enjoyable comedy adventure. When it's not being funny, it does a great job at taking fairytale traditions and weaving them into a witty swashbuckling ride. Definitely recommend it.
#6 = Captain America: The First Avenger. I feel kind of guilty that many of the films on my list are blockbusters, but at least they're not brainless blockbusters. And nowhere is that more prominent than this one. Thanks to the careful build-up in the first two acts, you really get behind the character, and his progression to superhero status actually seems very logical. Plus, the action scenes are just fantastic. It all perfectly balances the line between legit drama and tongue-in-cheek fun. I think it's by far the best of the recent Marvel movies, and I'm definitely looking forward to The Avengers.
#5 = X-Men: First Class. This is actually my first X-Men experience -- I've seen neither the classic animated show nor the first three movies -- and what a place to begin on! It does a terrific job at juggling its many characters so that they all get their moment in the spotlight, and everyone's motivations are crystal clear (even if I do think James McAvoy is slightly miscast). The action scenes are some of the best I've ever seen in a comic book movie, particularly the flying scenes. I was looking forward to seeing other X-Men material anyway, and I'm most definitely hyped now!
#4 = Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I said before that I usually can't get into political/spy stories if they're just being told casually straightforward, which may be why I couldn't quite follow this one. Even though I got nearly all the events, I just didn't know why they were happening or what their significance was to the characters. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and tone of the movie, and I'm definitely interested in seeing it again to get a better understanding of it. It's a pitch-perfect piece of cinema, but my guess is it'll only confuse people not familiar with the original novel.
#3 = Attack the Block. I know it's strange putting a relatively unsubstantive film over a cinematic masterpiece like Tinker Tailor, but damn, it's just so much fun! Most people might opt for a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, but this is my idea of simple entertainment: a relatively low-budget indie flick that's a tonne of fun to watch because you get the feeling that everyone was having a blast while making it. The fact that it's a relatively simple premise certainly helps: not too many distractions. So, watching these lovable hoodlums fend off those really creative aliens, I'm along for the ride one hundred percent.
#2 = Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. I'm a Harry Potter fan through-and-through, and this movie was everything I wanted it to be -- and the perfect way to end the franchise. This is the first Harry Potter movie that I'd call genuinely great! It's easy to call it simply an action-filled offset to all the build-up in part one, but what really sets it apart from all the rest is how it manages to perfectly balance really intense battle scenes with genuine heartfelt drama. It all amounts to a relentlessly captivating thrill ride. I honestly think it's the second-best movie of the year.
And my #1 favourite movie of 2011 -- straight in there from the moment I saw it -- Source Code. Why? Because not since Groundhog Day have I seen such genius in the concept of reliving the same circumstances repeatedly! Director Duncan Jones really is establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. I love thrillers, and this is one of the smartest, most exciting and most intriguing I've seen in a long time. Last year Inception became one of my new favourite movies, and part of me thinks that Source Code may, for me, become this year's Inception.
Runners-up include The Adventures of Tintin, Arthur Christmas, Hugo, Paul, and a couple that I mentioned already: Rio and Submarine.
(UPDATE: Since I compiled this list, I've seen Drive again and The Artist. Drive is now much higher on the list, and The Artist shot straight to number one; it completely blew me away.)
And those are my lists. Whether or not you agree with my picks, I hope you enjoyed reading them. Like I said, there were a lot of movies this year that I didn't see, so if any of them end up ushering their way onto this list, I'll let you know in some sort of update.
So here's to the upcoming year, which I hope brings a great variety of films both good and bad, so I can do another list like this. I'm gonna keep watching other movies in the meantime, and I hope you do too.