The Best films of 2011 and the rest...
In 2011, we said good bye to Harry Potter and hello to Bridesmaids. We saw films about superheroes fail at the box office and we saw maids show us the way to equality. We saw a silent film at the movies and we cringed when Mars needs Moms.
As in the past I have 5 categories in this list. Best and Worst films of the year. The Surprises and the Disappointments of the year of film in 2011. The last category is what I call WTF, I use this as a way of asking why was this film made and What The _______ were you thinking when you made this film? I will go in Reverse order for the Best Worst, Surprise and Disappointment and in chronological order for WTF.
THE BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR FOR THE YEAR 2011 ARE AS FOLLOWS…
10. Margin Call- It was a small film that took a look at what went wrong with one huge company when the Wall Street Crash happened a few years back. I had heard some great reviews about it and after the film was over I couldn’t believe that a lot more people had not seen this film yet. The film has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
9. The Skin I Live In- Now I had no idea what to think about this film by Director Pedro Almodóvar. I knew that in the past I had liked his film and this one preview just looked interesting about a doctor and his patient. I liked that fact that the story kept me guessing what was next and by the end of the film I knew that I had watched a great film. Now please remember that this film is in Spanish so you might need English Subtitles to watch this film.
8. The Crucible (Korean)-As I had stated in an earlier review of this film, “This film forced Korea to actually see that the devil themselves about the sexual abuse to children.” I have no idea if the laws of Korea will change because of this film. The actual case of this film sure did expose a lot of the reasons the guilty were not properly charged because of the insanity of Korea law.
7. A Separation (Iran)- This was a film that took a look at the middle class of Iran and how the ladies are treated under there law. The film has many twist and many different looks at a crime. The ending was truly what made this film into a classic. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and Original Screenplay.
6. Moneyball. A film that took a look at one person’s new idea of how to scout baseball players and how the game of baseball should be played. The film really made me wonder what would happen to Billy Beane if he had the money that the New York Yankees have instead of what the Oakland A’s have. The film has Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay.
5. Kung Fu Panda 2,- This film was kind of a disappointment at the US Box office but did great business in the major Asian Markets and in Korea the film sold over 4 million tickets. I liked it because it told a great story and it just reminded me of many of the classic Shaw Brothers films that I loved from my childhood. The film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category.
4. The Artist. Now this film is a silent film and will turn off a lot of people who have never seen one in the past. What I liked about it was a great plot and great love story and one heck of a super dog sidekick in this film. The film has Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Art Direction, Original Screenplay, Costume Design, Film Editing and Original Score.
3. War Horse- It was a simple film about a boy and his horse and the path that they traveled to be reunited after World War 1. The film took a look at the war through many different eyes and made you feel for each one along the way. The film has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Original Score.
2. The Descendants- I really did not think before I saw this film that I would like it that much, I had liked some of the directors Alexander Payne’s films in the past so I went into this one with an open mind. I really could not believe that George Clooney acting in this film, it wasn’t good it was great and he deserves the Oscar for Best Actor of the year for this film. The film has Oscar nominations for, Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing.
Now My number one film of the year had no Oscar nominations and never got a wide release in the USA and will be out on DVD in the USA in February and maybe only play at the independents cinemas in Korea but please do not let that stop you from seeing my #1 film of the year..
1.The Way- As I had stated in my earlier review of this film, I had heard that this film had some serious buzz about it being a small film but a great one and after the film was over, I thought that I had just seen the best film of the year and when it came time to make this list I could not think of a better film that I watched this year. The film deals with a father’s loss of his son and how he decides to take the journey that his son was on. It looks at many different ideas at look at like along the way by the travelers and the people that he meets along the way.
Now as we finished the best films of the year we must now deal with 10 films that I never, never, never want to see again nor should anyone else.
The 10 Worst films of the year for the year 2011.
10. Glee: The 3D Concert Movie: Now I have no idea who said that we should make this film based on the somewhat popular TV show but this sure wasn’t a great way to make a film, when I saw this film it want in3D and I sure couldn’t recommend that anyone spend the extra $$ to see it in the 3D format. It was a huge waste of an idea that never needs to be seen again.
9. Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs, Evil- now I have no idea why they made a part 2 to this story when part one wasn’t really that great or original. I had heard that this film was bad before I watched it but I did not think that I would never want to watch anymore films in this series. Please do not make any more parts to this sad tale.
8. The Rum Dairy- Now I have no idea what Johnny Depp was thinking about when he wanted to make this film but after this was over, I sure hope that this was just a onetime mistake and not an idea of future films from this actor. The story, the plot idea of the film just never seemed to flow. It failed on so many different levels and was a huge box office miss for all involved in this film.
7. The Last Godfather (Korean)- From some of the same people who made D-War also made this clunker of a film that forced Director Hyung-rae Shim into bankruptcy after this film failed at the Korea Box Office. All you need to know is that the film had the K-Pop girl band “The Wonder Girls” place in a 1950’s NYC environment, and this was only one of many huge errors and lack of direction that this film had.
6. Immortals- Now this film was also shot in 3D and sad to say, I saw it in 3d. After the film was over I could not believe that I had wasted my time and $4 on this film and was made ever sadder by the fact that they plan to make part 2 to this crap. The film had no direction, no real plot and tried to get by on one badly written script. It should not be released on DVD and all copies burned of this film. And just think I saw 5 worsen films than this one.
5. Gnomeo and Juliet-I just had a bad feeling when I saw this film in 3D and saw that it was going to be a kids story about Romeo and Juliet based on Gnomes. I knew that this film was for kids only but when the kids in the audience hated the film, I knew that this was a truly bad one. This take on the classic love story fails on every level and when I saw children upset hat their parents had taken them to see this film, I knew that this one was going on my worst films of the year list.
4. Puss in Boots- I knew this film wasn’t going be a good as the first Shrek but when it was worse than the last Shrek, I really could not believe it. The story was just horrible and when the children told their parents that they never wanted to see another film about this stupid cat, as I overheard one child tell his, I knew that this was a huge fail on many different levels. And this film was nominate for an Oscar for best Animated Feature, really had me wondering if maybe they saw a director’s cut of this film.
3. Jack and Jill-Now I know that the majority of Adam Sandler’s films in the past have been juvenile humor and I have liked most of them, until this one. I have no idea who told him that this idea was funny but the more the film played the worst it got and by the end of the film, I never wanted to see this film again and made me doubt if I ever want to see another one of his films again. A huge misfire for all those involved.
2. Conan (2011) Once again a 3D film attempt and once again, I could see no reason for the 3D in this film, I knew that trying to remake a film could backfire but this one was just bad. No real plot, no real flow and an actor who never could deliver a straight line and never had me believing that he was Conan. A huge mistake and a huge $$ loser for all involved.
Now the last 9 were bad film but my #1 lost a lot of money, caused a studio/production company to quit making films and Disney knew that this film was going to be bad and they still released it and the film cost a rumored 200 million to make surely made this the Worst Film of the year.
1. Mars Needs Moms- When I first saw the preview of this film, I just had a bed feeling that this was going be a bad film. After I read the first wave of reviews I really thought it was going to be bad. After I watched the film I knew it was a bad film and really asked why Disney released this 3D mess to the general public. They won’t release “Song of the South” on DVD but they released this crap to us and they knew it was crap. At least I had a free ticket for this film or I would have really wanted my money back for this one. Please do not watch the film, rent it, download it nor let your children watch it. It just was that bad of a film.
Now the 3rd part of the list is what I like to call the surprises of the year. These are usually films that no one thought would so well or were expected to be failures.
10. Sunny (Sseo-ni) (2011)(Korea) Not much was expected about this film about a lady and her female friends but the Korean audiences loved it with ticket sales close to 7 million. It took a look at a girl and how she kept the same group of friends from her school years into her adult life. A real surprise film.
9. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close- When the previews showed that this film was not about 9/11 but about the days after it, this film could have been a huge disaster. The film showed how a boy dealt with the loss of his father and him trying to figure out why. The film has 2 Oscar nominations for Best Film and Best Supporting Actor.
8. Attack The Block (UK) Now who are you going to call when aliens have invaded your block of England and no one believes you. I had heard this was a good film but I was not expecting this great of a film with such a simple idea. It has a great story and believable kids who are trying to save their block from the aliens.
7. The Muppets-Now I knew that this film was either going to be a small hit or a huge failure but after the film was over I was glad that I watched it. What I really liked about it was that the music for the film was written by Bret McKenzie, Flight of the Conchords fame. It just gave the film that little extra and especially with Chris Coopers rap evil song, it was over the top but I loved it.
6. Fast 5-Now this film could have been the final in the series but with the addition of “The Rock” and some great action scenes (and sad to say one very bad plot of the film) the audiences just wanted more from these actors.
5. Courageous-In the Christian film market what you usually get is a small budget with a limited audience but this film found a decent size audience and made a huge profit for all involved, The idea of police officers having to deal with their faith after an incident was a very simple idea but it worked.
4. Super 8- Basically it was J.J. Abrams ode to his childhood when he shot his early films on super 8 film. That is what I though when I went to see it but while I was watching it the film just got better and better. What you see is an alien that has been captured by the US Government and it has been unleashed on a small town. It shows the horror of an alien attack, a boy’s first love and him dealing with the loss of his mother. It was a lot of different ideas together that ended up making on great film.
3.The Lion King (3D)It was a very simple ides, re-release the film for 2 weeks and show it in the 3D format for the blu-ray that was going to be released in a few weeks. Well after a 30+ million first week of release, it stayed strong for a few weeks at the Box office and ended up making 90+ million in the USA for a film that was first released almost 20 years ago, it was a huge surprise.
2. The Help- I thought that it was going to be a small film about the 1960’s south and as more people watched it the better the reviews got for it. The film grossed about 170 million US box offices dollars and has received 4 Oscar nominations.
Now the surprise of the year I did not see coming and when I saw the preview I thought that it wasn’t going to be a good film at all. It ended up getting an Oscar nomination for one of its actors.
1. Bridesmaids- Now I had no idea that this film was going to be a funny as it was and the scene at the Wedding Dress shop was just way too funny. For an “R” rated comedy it gathered an Oscar nomination for Melissa McCarthy and has done well on the DVD market. Please see the film if you haven’t yet, I think both male and female audiences will love this film.
Now the 4th part of this list will be the Disappointments of the year. These films had good buzz or they were given a lot of hype or were highly thought of.
10. Children (Korean: 아이들; translit. Aideul)- This film took a look at a story about missing children from the Taegu area back in 1991 and how the case was mangled by the Korean Police and investigators. If they had stuck with that part of the story I might have included it in the best of the year list but when they added a fictions character that might have been the real killer, it soon became an insult to the kids’ parent and the actual kids themselves.
9. Shame- Now I heard a lot of buzz about this film and how it might get some Oscar nominations, so I went and saw it on one Saturday afternoon. I really could not believe what a bad film this was. If this is edgy and needed to be seen by the indy film crowd, then please excuse me from anymore of English Directors Steve McQueen’s films. After the film I did a quick poll of about 10 people and all 10 of us didn’t like the film that we has just seen and thought it was a huge mistake in film making.
8. In the Land of Blood and Honey- From director Angelina Jolie we got a film about the 1990’s film about the Bosnian War and the horrors of it. The film wasn’t well directed and it really could have used a tighter edit. It was a noble attempt of a film but a mess of a film when you attempt to watch it.
7. J Edgar- A film that was directed by Clint Eastwood that wasn’t that great of a film that really kept going all over the place and really lacked focus. I never for once believed that Leo was J.Edgar and that really hurt the film.
6. Sector 7 (Korean)- This was South Korea’s first IMAX 3D film and if this film is it IMAX future, then hopefully it’s the last one that we will see from this country. Overacting and bad special effects created a monster that no one feared and a few people even laughed at. A huge mistake for Korean film making.
5. Cars 2. This was the first Pixar film that wasn’t nominated in the Best Animated Category since it was first established and whatever heart the first film had was totally lost in this one. I liked the film but not as much as I did the first and thought that it really had too many stories trying to get into the film. It needed more Lighting and a lot less Matter.
4. Hangover 2- If you have seen the first Hangover then you’ve already seen the 2nd one is a common idea about this film and that is sad. It was like the director put himself in cruise control and just redid the majority of the same jokes from the first one into this one and it just doesn’t work. It was like the party moved from Vegas to Bangkok and we are just supposed to like it.
3. Larry Crowe- In what should have been a great film with Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks together in a film ended up being a huge error of a film. The 2 stars never really showed any chemistry together and the film really had too many stories trying to work together and really needed about 20 minutes removed from it
2. The Big Year-Now when I heard that Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black were going to make a film together, I so wanted to see it. But I heard that the film wasn’t working after the first day of the showing and the word quickly spread that this film was horrible and died a quick death at the box office. It should have been funny but in the end I didn’t laugh and really left disappointed after watching this sad failure of a film.
Now I was told by many people whose opinion I value that these 2 films were going to be epic and Legendary but after I watched them both, I really couldn’t believe that it was all hype and not much of a film. Even sadder news is that are going ahead with a part 2 to one of these films and killed any idea of a part 2 for the other one.
1. Green Lantern-All I kept hearing about this film was that this was going to be better than “The Dark Knight” and that this was finally going to be the superhero film that we have all waited for. Well after watching it, I asked a few of the people who recommended this film to me what had gone wrong with this film. They really couldn’t describe it to me and they were really disappointed by this film. A huge 200 million $ gamble that fell by its own weight and a lack of any real good ideas for this story.
2. Cowboys and Aliens- Now this was one of the films that I wanted to see in the summer of 2011 and when I finally got around to watching this film, I really couldn’t believe that this film was actually that bad and that with the 2 stars of the film, Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, that it could actually be that bad, It just never seemed to work and that by the end of the film it was very obvious that this film never should have been made.
Now for the last part of the list I call it WTF! I take a look at bad films or films that should have never been made or just a crap film that no one besides me ever needs to be seen again.
1. Tie. Straw Dogs (2011), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), X Men: First Class, Arthur(2011),Footloose (2011), Dream House (2011), Fright Night,(2011),The 3 Musketeers (2011), The Thing (2011), Scream 4, Big Mama 3
Now this was the year of the horrible remakes that bombed at the box office. I still have no idea who thought that remaking these films was going to be a good idea. I had seen all of the originals and after watching all of these remakes, I really just wanted to do a “Wayne Brady” and choke a Bytch. The 3 Musketeers has a flying ship? Footloose was a country song? The apes were going to lose? These films clearly showed that when film makers try and go back they often fail the majority of the time.
2. Happy Feet 2- so you do a sequel and do not include the love story of the parents that made the first one so great and you wonder why kids ran away from this film instead of towards it when it played at the movies? It was just a bad film with too many stories with no one really making it shine.
3. Thor and Captain America- Were these 2 films made just to entice the movie viewers to see this year’s “The Avengers” film. It was like I was given a 300+ million youtube preview film. Both films were ok but they both needed really tighter edit and a better script.
4. New Years Eve-In what was supposed to be a sequel to the movie Valentine’s Day, that soon didn’t become a sequel but was compared to the Valentine’s Day film. Sound confused? Welcome to this movie, too many stories and not enough time and it’s a mess when it doesn’t work and this one sure was a failure.
5. Sucker Punch- I had heard a lot of great reviews about this film before it came out but after I saw it I sure wondered if we were watching the same film because this was a mess that just never really became clear. A bad script bad actors and a lousy job of directing doomed this film.
6. The Darkest Hour- Now I had some hope for this film when I heard that Russian Director was going to direct this film but after watching it, I really could not believe that he had attached his name to this piece of junk. Bad acting, lousy script and just horrible and pathetic looking special effects killed this film at the Box office.
7. Apollo 18- Now this is part of a new wave of film that supposedly have lost footage that make up a film and this one did look interesting and I liked its preview but after I watched it, I was reminded of an old southern saying, If you put lipstick on a pig and say it’s a beauty queen by the end of the contest it’s still a pig in lipstick! Bad acting, bad script and if this is the truth then please tell me lies, sweet little lies.
This is the end of the year look at movies and here is hoping that 2012 will be better than 2011. Please recall dear readers, I see the crap so you don’t have to.