Making a "Best Of" movie list is very difficult because many studios release potentially Oscar worthy films very late in the year in hopes that the Academy and its short attention span might remember only the most recent movie releases. I have dealt with this problem the same way as I did last year. First there's my Best Of 2011 list. It is a top ten list of movies that were released in 2011 that I actually got a chance to see in the calendar year. The second list is called Honorable Mention. This is a list of movies that were either not released in 2011, movies that were leftovers from the previous year or movies that I got to see for the first time despite the movie's release year. This is followed by the Best Players category. This is a list of actors, directors, animators or anyone else who I felt had a big impact on the world of movies in the past year. Finally there's the ever popular Worst Piece Of Junk Award. I think you can probably figure out what that's all about.
Well 2011 has come and gone. Many people think that the best movie of the year has to be the Golden Globe winner or the Oscar winner. I disagree. I tend to choose the movie that I had the best time watching during the year. You know, it's that movie when the credits end and you find yourself still sitting in the theater saying to yourself, "Wow, wasn't that something?" or "I wonder what happened next?" or "Can you believe that?" I had that happen a number of times in 2011.
The movie I enjoyed the most was "War Horse". My wife had read the book and loved it and really thought I should read it too. We very rarely read the same books but I decided what the heck, She was smart enough to marry me and she may be on to something! But it was only two days before the movie opened and she was really wanted to see it opening weekend. I was in trouble. I make it a point to read every day but I'm not a fast reader. I couldn't make her wait. It wouldn't be fair. I've dragged her to midnight showings of Star Wars and opening weekends of Batman and Lord Of The Rings. I couldn't let her down!
Fortunately once I started to read the book I couldn't put it down! Now let's not go crazy here. The book is only 160 or so pages long but I just couldn't stop reading it. I finished it in just a couple of days and was ready to see the movie. Now instead of just going to see a movie I was going as someone who was emotionally attached to the book. This could be good or bad depending on the film maker. Spielberg could either knock it out of the park or pull a George Lucas and screw it up beyond all recognition. Which would it be?
It was everything I had hoped it would be. It had drama, action and more than a few tear jerking moments. The scene where the two soldiers go out into the battlefield is awesome! I love the characters of Joey and Albert. I wish there were more adventures for these two great friends. Will it win Best Picture? Not a chance. But it was my favorite film of 2011 and should become an instant family classic.
Speaking of awards shows, I tend to wonder what the voters of these awards think of when they place their votes. Take "Tree Of Life" for example. WTF? Seriously? Best Picture nomination? Whatever you guys are smoking please STOP! It's killing your brain cells faster than the country's debt is rising. The only reason why this isn't my Worst Piece Of Crap winner is because I actually liked some of it. Yeah it was a bit artsy but I almost wished Malick would have made two films. They could have been called "Tree Of Life A" and "Tree Of Life B". "A" would be the movie without all of the artsy crap. Just tell the story! How difficult is that? Do you really have to prove to us that you can make a movie? Obviously not since I'm watching the damn thing! The second part or "B" would include all the world creation scenes and that film would be used to sell the latest HDTV models. Come on admit it! If you were one of the lucky or unlucky ones to see this movie depending on your point of view, the universe creation crap looked frickin AMAZING!
Enjoy the awards season. Enjoy the new year of movies. Enjoy the new Dark Knight movie and especially the wonderful world of Middle Earth in the Hobbit! Happy 2012!
1. War Horse - The best!
2. Super 8 - This reminded me so much of a movie Spielberg would have made 30 years ago. Lots of fun in this one. Classic film making.
3. The Help - Great story, great acting, great all the way through.
4. Drive - Just a weird movie starring Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks. Brooks always cracks me up. From Mother to Finding Nemo his dry sense of humor has always been a favorite of mine.
5. Money Ball - Even if you're not a baseball fan you'll like it. Good story. Now if Billy could just work for the Red Sox...
6. The Decendants - Another Clooney Oscar? Hmmm. Two horse race for Best Picture this year. The Artist and The Descendants. Which one will win? Go War Horse!!!
7. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Okay, if you're don't like violent rape scenes, lots of sex, nudity and violence than this one isn't for you. Check out the original version. It's just as good.
8. Ides Of March - Ryan Gosling is all over the place lately. He's this year's Colin Farrell. Clooney again!
9. Kung Fu Panda 2 - Great movie! Some of the scenes looked amazing! Very rare a sequel can surpass the original.
10. My Week With Marilyn - Great performance by Michelle Williams. Oh, she's hot too so that helps!
1. The Adjustment Bureau - I love me a good Sci-Fi movie!
2. The Muppets - Am I a man or a Muppet? I'm a Muppet of a man! It's time we get things started!
3. Bridesmaids - Seriously, didn't you just about pee yourself during the dress fitting scenes? LOL
4. Winnie The Pooh - Classic Disney but did anyone but me see this movie? The Hundred Acre Wood never looked better.
5. Carnage - What a great movie! Anyone else find it ironic that Roman Polanski made a movie about the fallout over a young kid's actions? Hmmm...
6. Contagion - I love me a good end of the world movie!
7. The Swell Season - Excellent followup to Once. Great music. Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová are awesome.
8. Midnight In Paris - I'm generally not a fan of Woody Allen films but this one was fun! I loved the ending too!
9. Anonymous - Great take on the Shakespere legend.
10. The Way Back - Seemed like a long walk...
1. Ryan Gosling - Drive, Ides Of March, Crazy Stupid Love, did I miss any this year?
2. George Clooney - The Decendants, Ides Of March - Great year for Clooney. Oscar in 2012?
3. Michelle Williams - Oscar time for My Week With Marilyn?
4. Steven Spielberg - Producer on Super 8, Director on War Horse. Could have done without Tin Tin.
5. The Muppets - It's great to see these guys back!
6. Disney - The return of two classics - Winnie The Pooh AND The Muppets!
7. Rooney Mara - Excellent in the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
8. Viola Davis - She's awesome in The Help.
9. Melissa McCarthy - Brilliant in Bridesmaids.
10. Winter The Dolphin - Have to show some love for our local celebrity of Dolphin Tale.
Cars 2 - I'm sorry Pixar but your run is done. Has the influence of Disney finally taken away your swagger? Are you all out of original ideas? Are you just stuck in Sequel Hell? Whatever the case may be I thought Cars was one of the weakest Pixar movies ever made. Cars 2 takes it to an all new level. It just wasn't funny, clever, original or entertaining in any way. Every year it seems like Pixar has an entry on my top ten list. They're on the list this year. Just not the right one. Boo!
5 - Excellent 4 - Good 3 - Fair 2 - Poor 1 - Terrible 0 - What In God's Name Were They Thinking? - (No longer used. Created and used in 2001 only for A.I.) The Way Back - 2010 - 4 A Walk On The Moon - 1999 - 3 Rabbit Hole - 2010 - 3 Blue Valentine - 2010 - 3 Winter's Bone - 2010 - 4 Biutiful - 2010 - 3 The Descent 2 - 2009 - 2 The Kids Are All Right - 2010 - 3 How To Train Your Dragon - 2010 - 4 Another Year - 2010 - 4 Animal Kingdom - 2010 - 3 The Tempest - 2010 - 2 The Illusionist - 2010 - 3 Day & Night - 2010 - 3 The Gruffalo - 2009 - 3 Let's Pollute - 2009 - 3 The Lost Thing - 2010 - 4 Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) - 2010 - 2 Urs - 2009 - 3 The Cow That Wanted To Be A Hamburger - 2010 - 4 The Confession - 2010 - 4 The Crush - 2010 - 4 God of Love - 2010 - 3 Na Wewe - 2010 - 3 Wish 143 - 2009 - 4 Barney's Version - 2010 - 3 The Adjustment Bureau - 2011 - 4 PS I Love You - 2007 - 3 Battle Los Angeles - 2011 - 4 The Lazarus Project - 2008 - 3 Scream 4 - 2011 - 3 Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden? - 2008 - 3 Pirates Of The Carribbean On Stranger Tides - 2011 - 3 The Hangover Part 2 - 2011 - 3 Kung Fu Panda 2 - 2011 - 4 Death Race - 2008 - 3 Bridesmaids - 2011 - 4 Super 8 - 2011 - 4 X-Men First Class - 2011 - 3 Cars 2 - 2011 - 2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - 2011 - 3 Captain America: The First Avenger - 2011 - 3 Skyline - 2010 - 3 Day Of The Dead - 2008 - 2 Horrible Bosses - 2011 -3 Winnie The Pooh - 2011 - 4 Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 2011 - 3 Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes - 2011 - 4 Fright Night - 2011 - 4 Cowboys And Aliens - 2011 - 3 Contagion - 2011 - 4 Money Ball - 2011 - 4 Drive - 2011 - 4 Killer Elite - 2011 - 3 Dolphin Tale - 2011 - 3 Ides Of March - 2011 - 4 Paranormal Activity 3 - 2011 - 3 Finding Amanda - 2008 - 2 The Last Excorcism - 2010 - 3 Saw 3D - 2010 - 3 Anonymous - 2011 - 4 The Swell Season - 2011 - 4 Tower Heist - 2011 - 2 The Descendents - 2011 - 4 J Edgar - 2011 - 3 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - 2011 - 4 Rammbock Berlin Is Undead - 2010 - 4 Midnight In Paris - 2011 - 4 Tree Of Life - 2011 - 3 The Namesake - 2006 - 3 The Muppets - 2011 - 4 The Adventures Of Tin Tin - 2011 - 3 Sherlock Holmes Game Of Shadows - 2011 - 3 My Week With Marilyn - 2011 - 4 Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol - 2011 - 3 Hugo - 2011 - 4 War Horse - 2011 - 5 The Help - 2011 - 4 The Guard - 2011 - 3 Cray Stupid Love - 2011 - 3 The Iron Lady - 2011 - 3 Carnage - 2011 - 4