Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Best of 2011, Part 1: Top 20, Zen Awards

I've got a problem. A compulsion. An (dare I say it) addiction. You see, I just start making lists and can't stop. Don't believe me? I've got proof. Sick, horrible, unnerving proof. And I'm going to drag you through it like a cheap hooker through motel-packaged bubble-bath. And I'm going to like it. If you really want to help me, you're going to have to stick it out until the bitter end (and hopefully leave a comment or two as well).
So, 2011 was a strange year for movies. I don't think anyone can claim that it was an incredibly strong year, at least in the arena of films that actually get distribution, and especially not in the type of Oscar-friendly prestige pics that clutter the winter release season. Prestigious-looking films came and went, the pained screams of their utter failure getting lost amid the general cacophony of year-end movie massacring. All that being said, I find myself almost inordinately fond of most the films near the top of the list, with the top six or seven leaving me in something resembling giddy euphoria. So let's get to it, shall we? Today, I'll just rattle off my top 20. If that seems too boring for you, stick around for the inevitable silly awards that will come after the list.
Note, in interest of transparency, here's a list of the movies I got to see this year. In alphabetical order: 50/50, The Adventures of Tintin, Albert Nobbs, Anonymous, The Artist, Attack the Block, Battle: Los Angeles, Beginners, A Better Life, Bombay Beach, Bridesmaids, Captain America: The First Avenger, Carnage, Cars 2, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Contagion, Cowboys and Aliens, Crazy Stupid Love, A Dangerous Method, The Descendants, Drive, The Eagle, Extremely Loud and Incredibly CLose Final Destination 5, Footloose, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Green Lantern, Griff the Invisible, The Guard, Hanna, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Hell and Back Again, The Help, Hugo, I Saw the Devil, The Ides of March, Immortals, Insidious, The Iron Lady, J. Edgar, Jane Eyre, Kung Fu Panda 2, Margin Call, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Meek's Cutoff, Melancholia, Midnight in Paris, Mission: Impossible--Ghost Protocol, Moneyball, The Muppets, My Week with Marilyn, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Project Nim, Rango, Real Steel, Rio, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Sarah's Key, Scream 4, Source Code, Super 8, Take Shelter, Thor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Tree of Life, Trollhunter, Twilight: Breaking Dawn--Part 1, Senna, Shame, The Skin I Live In, Vincent Wants to Sea, War Horse, Warrior, Weekend, What's Your Number?, Win Win, Winnie the Pooh, X-Men: First Class, Young Adult
This year was a banner year for me--80 movies in one calendar year, largely thanks to Netflix. It was however, a really poor year for foreign films and I; I'm missing tons of high-profile titles, most notably A Separation, which I have to assume would feature in a ton of these lists, had I been able to see it by press time.
Ok, enough foreplay.

Honorable mentions: though they didn't make the list, I have a soft spot in my heart for the silent-film nostalgia and gorgeous color palette of Hugo, the unabashed blue-collar triumphs of Warrior, and the dramedic balance of 50/50.

The Best Films of 2011
20. Immortals (dir. Tarsem Singh)
Bold, beautiful, utterly bonkers. When I first saw this movie, I described it as a 'serial-killing, heroin-addled animaniac.' The description sticks. Throw in Tarsem's characteristically jaw-dropping visuals and enough homoeroticism to sink the Love Boat, and you've got something special.

19. Young Adult (dir. Jason Reitman)
I love this movie's misanthropy. I weaker film might have attempted to show some kind of reform, or tack on a happy, inspiring ending, but Jason Reitman's prom-queen-gone-alcoholic romp defiantly flips off the audience while giddily wallowing in its own desperate narcissism.

18. Shame (dir. Steve McQueen)
Undoubtedly one of 2011's bleakest offerings, McQueen's fable about a psychologically damaged sex addict and his screw-up sister is anchored by incredible performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, but manages to soar due to its patient, no-holds barred direction.

17. Senna (dir. Asif Kapadia)
Compiled entirely from archival footage, this rewarding documentary combines a lucid and moving character study of famed Brazilian race-car driver Ayrton Senna with a gripping rags-to-riches tale.

16. Take Shelter (dir. Jeff Nichols)
Here's a wonderful two-hour long look at paranoia, whose slow-burn and wire-tight atmosphere produced one of the most unexpectedly unnerving and compelling indie finds for me this year. Who knew the scariest movie of 2011 would be about building a storm shelter?

15. Melancholia (dir. Lars Von Trier)
Oh, Lars, how can I not love you? Though Melancholia's middle third is ultimately dead weight, its first and final parts, showing a wedding which rivals the mad macabre grandeur of the film's whimper-not-a-bang apocalyptic finale, are just brilliant. If the whole film were pitched at that level, Melancholia would be competing for the top prize here. Unfortunately, it's not, and I just can't love a film with 45 minutes of dead space. Still, when the film works, it's devastating.

14. Attack the Block (dir. Joe Cornish)
"This is too much madness to explain in one text!" Too true. Attack the Block, a manic and gleeful action film about a group of British hoodlums defending their block from alien invasion, has to be the most fun movie released this year. Seriously, go rent this. It's perhaps too insubstantial to take a higher place on the list, but it's so endlessly inventive and hilarious, with an utterly badass soundtrack thrown in, that I had to include it in my top 20.

13. Midnight in Paris (dir. Woody Allen)
Admittedly, Woody Allen can do better. That being said, Woody Allen at his best is almost impossible to top, so I'll forgive him. Midnight in Paris is effortlessly charming, sweet, and never once panders to its audience. This film figures that if the audience won't get jokes about Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Luis Bunuel and The Exterminating Angel, and le Belle Epoque, than the audience doesn't deserve to laugh anyway. Points for Corey Stoll's dazzlingly zany interpretation of Hemingway.

12. The Muppets (dir. James Bobin)
If any movie this year can give Attack the Block a run for its money in the fun department, it's The Muppets. Though it leans heavily on nostalgia for the original Muppet gang, this 2011 iteration is chock-full of heart, sly wit, and enough creaky puns to make a legion of Statlers and Waldorffs slit their wrists. I'm going to be suggesting that we 'travel by map' for years to come, I think. On top of all that, The Muppets manages to wring genuine emotion out of its admittedly paint-by-numbers premise.

11. Bombay Beach (dir. Alma Har'el)
This is either the strangest or the most innovative documentary I've seen recently. Though ostensibly a non-fiction piece, Bombay Beach frequently segues into impressionistic performance art; the most striking example in my memory remains a sequence in which two love-struck teenagers, suddenly surrounded by candles, don blank-faced white masks and do a fluidly choreographed dance through a basketball court. While the visuals are gorgeous, what makes Bombay Beach hit home is its bittersweet narrative, which captures the lives of a community who are trying to close the gap between what they can imagine and what they can create.

10. Jane Eyre (dir. Cary Fukunaga)
I know, who'd have thought we needed another adaptation of the Bronte classic by now? The style Fukunaga brings to this version, however, sets it apart. From its effortlessly tactile atmosphere--damp moors, devastatingly quiet living spaces, stuffily oppressive parlors--to its quietly fragile heart and its carelessly carnal undertones, Jane Eyre reshapes a Victorian work for discerning contemporary audiences. Special mention must be given to the entire acting ensemble: Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska are effortlessly compelling in the lead roles, but each part, Judi Dench's fussy made through Sally Hawkin's authoritarian cameo, integrate seamlessly into the whole.

9. Bridesmaids (dir. Paul Feig)
Trust me, I'm as surprised as you are that this raunchy comedy managed to hold onto this high a spot in the rankings. Sure, it's unbelievably funny, which helps. I still crack up thinking about Kristen Wiig's drug-fueled airline shenanigans ("It's civil rights. This is the 90s.") or the way Rose Byrne denies that she's an ugly crier. Bridesmaids isn't just funny, though; it's an intelligently written, smartly acted look at depression and self-pity, at the necessary evolution of friendship, at self-consciously pooping into a sink. Hey, I said it was raunchy, didn't I? Bridesmaids' comic and dramatic beats are skillfully covered by the most accomplished cast of the year; no performance goes wrong, and every single character is a valuable addition.

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (dir. David Yates)
What drives me nuts is that they waited until the very last film in the series to prove that they were capable of making really good movies. Forget War Horse: Harry Potter is the best 2011 British war film. This movie lives and dies by its 90-minute Hogwarts siege, which distills and bottles the sort of courage-against-impossible-odds that War Horse can only dream of achieving. The action scenes are stunningly well done, but what sticks with me are the fairly radical statements the film makes at the end. Sure, everyone gets the "words are our most inexhaustible source of magic" monologue, but Neville's big moment really grabbed my attention: how many war movies, or movies in general, respond to the *SPOILER WARNING* death of their main character by saying something along the lines of "who cares? Everybody's the hero of their own story." This movie. *END SPOILER* ...Ok, and admittedly, I'm sure my reaction to this movie was helped by the fact that the end of this movie put my childhood on a train to Hogwarts and will never, ever give it back. Whatever.

7. Martha Marcy May Marlene (dir. Sean Durkin)
A fascinating companion piece to Take Shelter, Martha follows a woman who may have physically escaped from her cult, but may never leave it mentally or emotionally. The disjointed style, non-linear storytelling, and most of all, the beautiful expressive performance by Elizabeth Olsen weaves a singular narrative experience in which reality is always one step away from descending into madness. The dreamy limbo the film achieves in its first half make the sudden violence of the second half seem far more shocking and disturbing than it has any right to. Martha Marcy May Marlene's tapestry of uncertainty of fear is topped off by what might be the most perfect ending to a film this year: utter ambiguity. I don't want to give it away, but the last two minutes, a seemingly innocent set of images made sinister by the preceding events, are met with one last terrified, uncertain face. We don't know what's happening, or what has happened, or what will happen in the future, but we don't need to.

6. Hanna (dir. Joe Wright)
Joe Wright, formerly an expert in British period pieces (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) threw a curve-ball this year with Hanna, a stylish, bizarre, excitingly morbid fairy-tale of a film. If the Brothers Grimm tripped acid, their nightmares would look like Hanna; a story about a teenage girl raised in the Arctic with only an encyclopedia and a book of fairy tales to connect her to society at large. When she's let loose on the world as a trained assassin, all manner of hell breaks loose, not least in Hanna's attempts to relate to people her age who don't know how to skin a caribou, but do know the depreciation timeline of a good boob-job. Hanna's appropriately macabre stylizations are matched with breakneck pacing and dazzlingly assured cinematography. Marry that with wonderfully choreographed action, fantasy-trappings, and the year's best score, and you've got one of the most impressive technical achievements of the year.

5. Beginners (dir. Mike Mills)
Here's one I wasn't expecting. Though it sets itself up to be a fairly modest character study, Beginners reaches universal heights, mainly due to its unorthodox structure and incredibly intelligent script. On the surface, Beginners chronicles a son's attempt to relate with his elderly father, who has recently come out of the closet, as well as with his own stagnating love life. The film takes naturalistic interludes, however, betraying the director's origins as an artist; montages chronicling the history of love, anger, and the state of manhood in 1955 lend Beginners a higher vantage point from which it can regard the beautifully honest interactions of its characters. Ewan McGregor, Melanie Laurent, and especially Christopher Plummer give impeccable, delicately observed performances that elevate the film toward something resembling greatness.

4. The Artist (dir. Michel Hazanivicius)
Yeah, yeah, I know The Artist is kind of an obvious pick, but how can I deny something this incredibly joyful, energetic, and casually self-assured. The Artist resembles nothing more than its main character, silent film star George Valentin: cocky, sure, but utterly charming and confident of its place in the firmament. Its story might be well-worn, but The Artist manages to surpass its storytelling with an assortment of incredibly smart visual ideas, a fantastic lead performance, and two staggeringly well-placed sounds. Throw in a cute dog, and you've got something that's almost impossible to argue against. It might not be the smartest movie on the circuit, but the level of quality it achieves on its own terms is utterly beguiling.

3. The Tree of Life (dir. Terrence Malick)
Now we hop from (arguably) the most straightforward film on the list to the most defiantly inscrutable. The Tree of Life is Malick at his most abstract: it's a two-and-a-half hour long tone poem, contemplating the existence and character of a higher power, the place of man in the universe, the evolution of morality and desire, and the relative importance of one individual in the midst of infinity on either side, all while (theoretically) telling the story of a Texas boy's coming of age. I fully understand that some people might be turned off the twenty minute creation sequence, in which characters and dialogue are eschewed for supernovae, volcanoes, and cellular nuclei. Not only does this movie have dinosaurs (hell yes), but its dinosaurs spend all of their screen time making conscious moral decisions.That's just wacky, and I love it. Beyond the wackiness however, The Tree of Life manages to catch a slice of life that is both incredibly authentic and inexplicably surreal. Watching this film is like wandering through another person's memories. Or maybe watching this movie is like being able to see the the entirety of existence, all at once. I don't know. I can't characterize it. All I know is that it's a singular artistic achievement. Maybe the last ten minutes, involving Sean Penn wandering around a beach for too long, aren't successful, but what comes before the end is so staggering that it doesn't even matter.

2. Drive (dir. Nicholas Winding Refn)
If The Tree of Life has a companion, it's Drive. The two movies have almost nothing in common, other than the fact that they're both extremely bold artistic statements from two directors working at the top of their game. Drive is, above all, about style. It conjures up a lurid Technicolor fantasy land which looks like an 80s LA Michael Mann hallucination. Into this sleek world of white satin and neon strides The Driver, played by Ryan Gosling as the most compelling enigma to carry a film in recent memory. Drive varies between extremes: it's quiet for long stretches of time (outside of Aki Kourismaki movies, I've never seen a film with so much staring and so little dialogue), but then it rapidly veers into intensely brutal violence and pulse-pounding car chases. This movie is like a high-stakes street race. It waits at the light, engine purring, totally assured of its own coolness, before firing on all cylinders to scream to the next light, where it steps back and re-assumes its veneer of calm detachment. Drive announces the arrival of Refn as a director who can now command attention, and the establishment of Gosling as possibly the most interesting actor of his generation (not that Half Nelson, Blue Valentine, etc. hadn't done that already).

1. Weekend (dir. Andrew Haigh)
Full disclosure: it took me a while to put a film this seemingly modest above the one-two directorial punch of Tree of Life and Drive, but in the end, I had to go with my gut. Weekend joins Lost in Translation, Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, Brief Encounter, and others in the legions of heady, briefly realized romances between two people passing like ships in the night.Russell, a twentysomething lifeguard, hooks up with Glen, an art student, out of drunken habit on Friday night. The two spend the next two days talking, and the film itself has the courage to do nothing but let these two men talk. Eventually, it's revealed that Glen is moving to America at the end of the weekend, and their conversation takes on the bittersweet, elegiac quality normally reserved for people who've been told they've got a week left to live. While Weekend should be commended for its subtle demystification of gay relationships, its real strength is its blunt realism. This film strikes like a lightning bolt. There aren't any unnecessary confrontations, no tacked-on subplots, and the possibility of an implausible romantic-comedy-esque declaration of true love is immediately dismissed. What we get instead is an impossibly delicate, quietly observed snapshot of two existences which brush against each other before slipping away. Though, as a fairly short film comprised mainly of conversation pieces, it may appear modest, Weekend reaches depths of emotion and honesty that other films can only dream about.

...Geez, that took forever. I'm going to go get a cookie, and then we'll do something a little more lighthearted.

Best Scenes of the Year
(you're getting 11 this year, because I just can't bring myself to cut any more.)

11. Marcy's Song-Martha Marcy May Marlene
In one fell swoop, this film shows us just how easy it is to fall into this cult, and just how hard it would be to get out, when the cult leader (played by John Hawkes) sings to Marcy May. (It drives me nuts that I can't find this scene on youtube, but here's the song anyway:

10. Surrealists-Midnight in Paris
Maybe it's because I'm an incurable Dali fan, but for me, the hands-down funniest part of Woody Allen's nostalgia romp was our time-traveling main character's run-in with a table of surrealists.

9. Container Park-Hanna
Here's the best example of Joe Wright's manic style, coupled with the fantastic fight choreography and the Chemical Brothers' rockstar score. Simply put, it's probably the best pure action sequence of the year.
(This clip is just a small piece, so it doesn't really convey the building tension of it all, but here's a taste anyway:

8. Courtyard Apocalypse-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Here's where the movie's earlier optimism is crushed, and the go-get-em enthusiasm that accompanies the beginning of any war is replaced with the second-to-second terror of just trying to stay alive. And the fact that it does so in such a visually impressive manner doesn't hurt.

7. Every Good Movie Ends With a Big Dance Number-The Artist
Boy, does this movie go out in style. Eschewing the frenetically edited musical numbers of today, The Artist sends its characters off with an Astaire/Rogers-esque classical tap number. It's so gleeful it hurts.

6. Coming-Home Party-Drive
Irene's husband comes home, cutting short the romance she and the Driver were cultivating. At his coming-home party, we're shown two people, separated by walls, by other people, by their relationships, by their own personalities, but the music makes clear that their minds are only one place.

5. Goodbye-Weekend
Russell and Glen, knowing full well that they're never going to see each other again, try to figure out how to say goodbye. Finally, Russell gives in and just give Glen a hug, finally acting out the feelings he's been scared of showing in public.
(Yeah, this movie probably won't even make it to DVD, much less Youtube, but hey, it's streaming on Netflix instant, so go watch it. Now. I'll wait.)

4. Civil Rights. It's the 90s-Bridesmaids
Poor Annie. Just when she thinks she's got the whole 'maid-of-honor' thing down, vindictive friend Helen spikes her alcohol, and this happens:

3. Gazebo Dance-Bombay Beach
I mentioned this already, but Bombay Beach's performance-art dance deserves mentioning twice. It's beautiful, it's innovative, and it says more about who these people are than any conventional documentary technique could.
(Again, not on youtube, but it's on netflix instant. Alternately, the trailer gives a brief look at this scene around the 1:26 mark.

2. The Elevator-Drive
Yup, Drive strikes again. Just as the Driver is asking Irene to come away with him, everything flips on its head, as the violent events he's gotten wrapped up in finally find them, and he realizes the man he must become to save Irene is a man that can never, ever be with her. All this in a slow-motion ballet of romance and head-stomping. It's really impressive stuff.
(The only versions on youtube are ones with crappy alternate soundtracks, and since the music in this movie is so very, very important, I'm not posting an alternate version, because they suck. But seriously, you really ought to have seen this movie anyway.)

1. Creation-The Tree of Life
I get that most of the people who didn't like The Tree of Life cited this sequence as a reason. It's arbitrary, they say. It's pointless, it's slow, it's pretentious. At risk of sounding pretentious myself, these people don't get it. The slow, steady formation of a livable world is pretty much the entire point of this movie, and the visuals are absolutely stunning. I know they'll lose a ton of their impact when transferred to a computer screen, but when seen in a big theater, with that music thundering and the rafters almost literally shaking, this sequence inspires something resembling awe.
(If you're really committed, here's the first seven minutes of it: Alternately, here's a much briefer clip which is probably the prettiest part anyway: The fact that this wasn't nominated at the Oscars for best Visual Effects is just nauseating.)

Single Best Shot of the Year
Bahnhof Rumble-Hanna. In one incredibly ballsy and confident single shot, the camera follows agent-on-the-run Eric out of a train-station, down the street, into a subway station, and through a 5-1 street-brawl, before watching him leave the station again. The amount of planning/technical acuity required for this shot is just mind-boggling.
Here's a piece of it; it's not all of it, so you don't get to appreciate how long this shot goes, but still:

New Image Awards-for movies that show us something completely original and unique.
-Moral Dinosaurs-The Tree of Life. Yup, the dinosaurs are back. I know we've seen them in movies before, but how often do movie dinosaurs take time to consider how their actions will echo for eternity?
-Sky Fight Fresco-Immortals. While not a perfect film, Immortals' final image, a blue sky packed to bursting with brawling deities feels like a Da Vinci fresco mixed with a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare. I honestly gasped when watching this scene. Wish I could find it on youtube, but no dice.
-The Weed Room-Attack the Block. One assumes that the poorer sections of London are packed with drugs, but who knew they were grown in fortified safe houses at the top of apartment towers?

Best Inanimate Object in a Movie
-The Scorpion Jacket-Drive. For being thematically relevant, instantly inconic, and just really, really, really sexy.
-(on that note) Ryan Gosling's Abs-Crazy Stupid Love. I just...I don't. I can't even....Whatever. Not fair.
-George's Big Portrait of Himself-The Artist. For being charming, obnoxious, and a little sad, all at once.
-Carrot Cake-Bridesmaids. It's so good that cops are willing to fight raccoons for it.
-the NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO--OOOOOOOOOOOOOO--*.....*OOOOOOOOO Coin-X-Men: First Class. Sure, Magneto kills someone with it, which is appropriately badass, but I'm much more interested in how it got James Macavoy to scream for a full minute without stopping for breath.
THE WINNER: Jamie Bell's Harem Pants-The Eagle. There's not much in The Eagle worth seeing, but Jamie Bell wrestling in a pair of low-slung harem pants is definitely one of them.

The Child I'd Most Like to Punch in the Face with a Punch-Operated Shotgun
Dakota Goyo-Real Steel. Ok, being precocious is one thing, but when this little asshole starting speaking crappy Japanese, all I wanted to do was spend the rest of the day rubbing poop on everything beautiful in this world.

The "Not This Gay, but Dammit, You're Trying" Award for excellence in Homoeroticism
Immortals. Obviously. No guy in that movie wears more than a loincloth and a breastplate, and they spend all of their time rolling around on top of each other saying things like "Want to go south with me?"

Most Cringe-Inducing Element of an Otherwise Well-Written Film
I can only assume that the language barrier is the only thing that inspired Lars Von Trier to nickname Kirsten Dunst's character "Auntie Steelbreaker." Similarly, his vast misunderstanding of the the English word "cave" is the only explanation for the third-act teepee which is so very, very obviously not a cave.

Most Fashionable Headware for Birds
Immortals. Again. Man this movie is nuts, and I love it.

Best Instance of Enya-Related Torture in Which the Torture isn't Simply Listening to Enya
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Because what serial killer doesn't consider trying to rape a bound Daniel Craig before killing him while listening to Orinoco Flow?

Most Surprising Introduction of Very Large Boobies Which Honestly Kind of Looked Like Udders To Me
Albert Nobbs. Hey, I felt bad for the movie. I had to give it something, right? In other news, Janet McTeer has huge tits. Like, bowling ball huge.

Best Use of Chris Evans Clad Only in a Dishtowel
What's Your Number? One the one hand, this movie was so, so terrible. On the other hand, Chris Evans in a dishtowel. I'm so happy this movie exists.

And Finally...
The Worst Films of the Year!!
5. Cars 2
Like watching a redneck Jar Jar Binks murder his way through a crowd of unsuspecting toddlers. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Mater the Tow Truck is a member of the KKK. After the movie, he goes back to Japan and lynches EVERYONE. Plus, there was way more torture in this movie than I was expecting. Really, Pixar? Do better next time.

4. Green Lantern
Take a character with all the potential in the known universe, saddle him with being the watered-down piss poor version of Iron Man, and what do you get? Crappy motion-capture panties on a clearly bored Ryan Reynolds. I'll give someone a shiny new dime if they can explain why Peter Sarsgaard decided to do his whole role in his best Yoko Ono impression.

3. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Like any Michael Bay movie, Transformers is a three hour long treatise on how much Michael Bay doesn't respect women, masquerading as the world's most expensive army recruitment video. I hate this movie so, so much.

2. Battle: Los Angeles
An admittedly awesome concept that is quickly raped, killed, raped again, burned, raped once more for good measure, and then used to make Newt Gingrich's next terminally ill spouse. Someone should be punished for this movie.

The Peter Travers "Did I Really Just See That?" Award for Biggest Piece of Shit to Smear Its Way Across a Movie Screen
Twilight: Breaking Dawn--Part 1
I can never unsee this. A "vampire" performs a C-section with his mouth. An 18-year old werewolf gets to share a romantic montage with a baby. Kristen Stewart is visibly pregnant at 2 weeks. She never makes a facial expression, even when her boyfriend is ripping mutant spawn out of her disinterested vagina. I'm honestly not convinced that I didn't hallucinate this movie. Nothing this straight-up horrific and terrifying and anti-woman and pedophile-riffic could be such a mainstream hit, right? Right? ....Right?

What have we done?

Ok, I've been working on this for about three hours, so comment, because I desperately need someone to validate all this effort. DO IT. Please. What'd I get wrong? Right? Any Twilight fans out there?


  1. I want to see Hanna now! And Midnight in Paris, Drive (I have a crush on Ryan G.), Bridesmaids, and The Artist. The bit on Twilight was hilarious...the word smear grosses me out. Very well written! I'm surprised you didn't also mention Chris Evans as Captain America. Him plus 50's fashion...woo! I thought Midnight would be a typical rom com. I was really sad about Green Lantern sucking...I could even tell it was bad. :(

  2. As chance would have it, every movie you want to see (except The Artist) is on DVD, and are all worth seeing! Concerning Chris Evans, as nice as he is, I couldn't make the whole post about him, and he spends at least 60% of What's Your Number? in some state of undress, so I had to give that one the advantage.

  3. So, I'm surprised a Jane Eyre movie was on the list. I once said on facebook that I thought this book couldn't be done well as a movie because so much of it goes on in her head, and not a whole lot actually happens. Now I guess I'll have to see it. Also, isn't it crazy that Harry Potter is over? I mean, that last movie is like...the end of an era for a lot of people. I hope Rowling does some more writing soon. Also open Pottermore, stupid whore. Lol jk J.K. Anyway, I think I haven't seen any movies this past year except Harry Potter and Pirates. (Although I was in Japan 1/3 of it.) I will have to do some renting.

  4. Jane Eyre is definitely worth your time (I think). You definitely have to watch it when you're in the mood for something slow, but it's a really rewarding piece. Harry Potter being over is just so bizarre, especially for our age group. I mean, I was 11 when Harry Potter was eleven, and maybe I grew up faster than he did (our wizard coming of age hit about 5 years ago...), but it still feels like its a little bit of my childhood that has finally relinquished its grip. Which is weird, and kind of sad, and probably a good thing. And I thought I was the only one waiting on Pottermore. Those grotsky little bitches said it would be open in October, for Dumbledore's sake. I'm going to be old enough to legally run for Senate before that website sees the light of day. Thanks again for reading!

  5. ...Also worth mentioning that Pirates 4 is a steaming pile of crap, and it sits comfortably at #7 for worst of the year. So not the top 5, but close enough.