10. The Help
· This was a surprise hit this year. While the movie started off a little slow, I really got into it in the second half. You really get a sense of what it was like living in the south in the 60’s. Amazing act by all. I particularly enjoyed Jessica Chastain’s performance. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her and a few others from this movie get Oscar nominations.
· I love a good comedy. Paul had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt. This was a really fun road movie/spoof of other alien movies. Seth Rogen is the voice (he also did some performance capture for this) of the title character and he was really good. So were Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. My fellow nerds will love this.
8. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
· I always enjoy watching Robert Downey Jr. He and Jude Law were my favorite parts of this entertaining mystery. Sure it’s flawed (the slow motion action scenes might annoy some people) but you can look past it. The soundtrack was really good. Guy Ritchie did an amazing job with the look of the time period.
7. The Descendants
· I had a chance to see this back at a film festival in October. It’s a well done dramedy starring George Clooney as a man who must keep his family together when his wife is in an accident and is basically a vegetable. A shocking secret is revealed that he also must come to terms with. You wouldn’t think a movie like this would be funny but I found myself laughing out loud more than once. At the same time, I also cried. I really think George Clooney will win a Best Actor Oscar this year. He gives an unbelievable performance.
6. Breaking Dawn Part 1
· I know people are going to think I’m crazy for putting this on my list but so what. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a Twilight fan. I know they’re not the best movies out there (far from it) but I enjoy them for what they are. Breaking Dawn part 1 is probably the best one so far. The acting has actually gotten better. It’s nice to see Robert Pattinson show some actual emotion. This movie has Edward & Bella getting married, going on their honeymoon, Bella getting pregnant and giving birth in one of the most disturbing birthing scenes I’ve ever seen in my life. I wasn’t sure if this book would be possible to make into a movie, but I think Bill Condon did a really good job. He certainly did the best he could with the shitty script that was given to him. I still don’t think it needed to be split up into two movies though. I think they could’ve done just fine with one long 3+ hour movie. Still, I liked it.
· Another great movie I saw at the local film festival this year. It goes with the idea that Edward DeVere was the real author of all those plays and not William Shakespeare. Is it true? Who knows. But the director argues his points well and I found the whole thing fascinating. The cinematography was beautiful. Amazing acting as well, especially by Rhys Ifans.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
· David Fincher has done it again. This time he’s taken on an American adaptation of Steig Larson’s best-selling novel. It’s very a very faithful adaptation, with the exception of a slight change to the ending that I’m not crazy about, but I understand why he did it. Rooney Mara completely transforms herself and does it very convincingly as troubled young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. Daniel Craig was just perfect for the role of Mikael Blomkvist. As people who’ve read the book or are familiar with the story know, things get EXTREMELY graphic, including two rape scenes. This movie is not for those with a weak stomach. Despite cringing in my seat a few times, I still enjoyed this well done mystery/thriller. I enjoyed the music as well. Although, I’ll never be able to listen to Enya’s “Sail Away” the same way again.
3. Fast Five
· Easily the best in the franchise since the first movie. It includes the usual cool cars and chase scenes, but they added a heist theme to this one which I found really enjoyable. Vin Diesel & Duane “The Rock” Johnson’s bad ass fight scene alone was worth the price of admission.
2. The Hangover Part 2
· While not as good as the first movie, I still loved this one. It’s always great to see the Wolf Pack (played brilliantly by Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms) in action. Yes, it’s pretty much the same movie as last time, only now it’s set in Bangkok and this time Stu is the one getting married. Still, the chemistry between the three main actors and the crazy things they get into makes for a good time.
This was a really difficult decision, deciding which movie would be my number one. I was very close to having just Harry Potter be it and making Warrior a very close second. But in the end, I just couldn’t bring myself to make Warrior anything less than number one. I love both movies so much, for different reasons. So it’s a tie this year J
1. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows part 2
· As I think back on this movie, I can’t help but feel a little sad. This is it. The final chapter in the epic Harry Potter franchise. My childhood is officially over. I’m so glad my friends and I decided to go to the midnight premiere. We dressed up as various characters and had an amazing night hanging out together and enjoying the movie. David Yates did an amazing job capturing the action, emotion, and just everything we all loved about the last book. It was a pretty faithful adaptation for the most part. Unlike Breaking Dawn, this definitely needed to be split up into two movies. There was just so much material to cover. As with most book to movie adaptations, some things were changed or left out altogether. Nothing major though that I can remember. Everything that I and many other fans wanted to see was included. My favorite scenes were Snape’s memories. Alan Rickman was so amazing in this. I had hoped he might have a chance at a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, but that doesn’t look likely now. Such a shame. Anyway, I can’t think of a better way to end this franchise. Well done by everyone involved making the movie. It’s weird not having any Harry Potter movies to look forward to anymore. But it’ll be okay. These books and movies will definitely be enjoyed by many generations to come.
· Being such a huge Tom Hardy fan, I knew I had to go see this. Words can’t even begin to describe how much I enjoyed Warrior. You don’t have to like MMA (I actually do though) in order to like this movie. It’s an amazing, emotional family drama that just happens to include MMA. It tells the story of two brothers- Tommy (Tom Hardy), the youngest who’s a former Marine and an Iraq war hero with a lot of issues, and Brendan (Joel Edgerton), a married school teacher struggling to make ends meet and is about to l have his house taken away. They’ve been estranged for 14 years because of their alcoholic father Paddy (Nick Nolte, giving an Oscar worthy performance). Paddy wants desperately to reconnected with both his sons but (for good reasons) they want nothing to do with him. Both Tommy and Brendan enter the biggest tournament in MMA history. They each have their own reasons for needing to win the big 5 million dollar prize. Of course, it ends up coming down to a fight between the two of them. What I love most about what Gavin O’Connor (the director) did was he made you like both characters so much that you have no idea who to root for. That’s usually not the case with sports movies. So how does it end? I’m not going to tell you. But they made it work and you realize it was the only way it could of ended. Although there were a few rough spots with the dialogue, it was such a great movie that you can look past that minor flaw. The fight scenes were brutal and have you on the edge of your seat during the last half of the movie. You lose all track of time. It sure didn’t feel like an almost two and a half hour movie. Tom Hardy & Joel Edgerton are very convincing as MMA fighters, especially Tom. He’s huge and scares the shit out of you. Anyone who doubts he’ll make a great Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, should see him in this. I know he’s going to be amazing in it.
So there you have it! I want to thank all of you for taking the time to check out my blog and read my reviews. It really means a lot to me. I hope everyone has a great New Years and I look forward to discussing with you all the movies coming out in 2012.