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2011 In Movies: The Best, The Worst, And The Meh

Posted by on December 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I can’t count how many times I wanted to go out and see Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, even as it’s readily available on Netflix now, just to see how truly awful it was. On the flip side, I’d also really like to see Brandon Routh start to take hold as an actor, but it just doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen. Dylan Dog serves as sort of a template for the year as far as movies go, in which the lowest lows were probably just as appetizing (on an ironic basis) as the best films, of which the weren’t many. At a glance, we knew we were getting another Pirates film, another Harry Potter, another Twilight, and another Transformers flick, all of which were known quantities, which lights the problem: there was a complete lack of surprise in 2011. So how did this year’s movies fare, so far as the ones that I caught? Let’s give it a look…

Winners:

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
My original review

An amazing action flick by animator-turned-director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) that has brains and quick cuts in its arsenal.

Drive
My original review

Stylishly violent thriller that doesn’t involve much driving, but does feature a lot of electro, Ryan Gosling, and blood, blood, blood!

Moneyball
My original review

Baseball doesn’t excite me, neither does Brad Pitt, but some dark gravity pulled me into this winning-by-statistics tale of the Oakland Athletics and won me over.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Rob’s original review

Rob and my own opinions on the film vary, but I thought that while it built slowly, watching intelligent ape Caesar (Andy Serkis) build his empire of primates was a wonderful ride.

Fast Five
My original review

This series was looking to go right off the rails toward the chasm of utter stupidity (2 Fast 2 Furious), but in a beautiful arc, we’ve come to Fast Five, which is a fantastically polished heist film that’s as much on its feet as it is on wheels.

Hobo with a Shotgun
Kelly’s original review

If you replaced Drive’s gangster motivations with pure 80s-style zaniness and super-saturated photography, and a hobo with a shotgun, you’d have Hobo with a Shotgun. This film was a blast. The insane violence comes in unrelenting rounds. (Okay, I’ll stop.)

Limitless
My original review

While the plot holes are big enough to drive a bus through, it hardly matters. This movie could’ve easily been a pop flop with a Kanye West track on the trailer and the peak-of-his-popularity Bradley Cooper as our mentally unchallenged protagonist, but it doesn’t. This is a quirky idea gone absolutely right.

The Adjustment Bureau
My original review

The latest film to be adapted from sci-fi mastermind Philip K. Dick (think Blade Runner and A Scanner Darkly), it’s a little cutesy for a film about a group that enforces a tangible version of fate.

The Green Hornet
My original review

Seth Rogen doesn’t really strike me (or most I know) as an action star, but despite his hamming, he and Michel Gondry pulls off a stylishly hilarious that had me blacking out from laughter in-between the comic-style action.


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