I’m a huge movie buff. This is one of the few things you need to know about me as a person. I could watch movies all day long and I can quote the shit out of a bunch of them. I don’t enjoy a specific genre over the other, just as long as the movie itself is good. As 2011 has drawn to a close, I’d like to share with you my personal top ten favorite movies this past year and hope you’ll weigh in with your opinions! These are in no particular order (but if I HAD to choose one, it’d be Captain America), fyi.
At first glance, this movie seemed destined to fail. Named after a beloved story arc and completely unrelated to that subject material, I assured myself I wouldn’t see it, if only for the simple reason that James McAvoy, of all people, would play Charles Xavier. Toss in rumors of a hinted romantic attachment to Erik Lensherr and that was it, I refused to see it. Alas, my job organized a screening for interested customers and I had to be there. I sat with my arms crossed for roughly 15 minutes before being blown away and in love with Michael Fassbender. Hotness factor aside, the movie was generally great so if you haven’t seen it based on everyone’s opinions, give it a chance.
Thor is hands down one of the hardest stories to bring to the big screen. So much is going on and so much needs to be explained that this was another movie I was hesitant about watching. Again, my job organized a screening for customers and again, I sat there, brow furrowed in concentration, preparing to be disappointed. While the movie had its moments of stupidity (i.e. oddly each time Natalie Portman was on-screen), it was amazing. I’m unsure if a better job could have done, especially in casting Tom Hiddleston as the wonderfully devious Loki. I saw zero issues with Idris Elba playing Heimdall so I think anyone else bitching about the black guy playing a Norse god should shut the fuck up and watch the movie.
I have nothing to say other than to me, it was perfect.
I don’t know about you, but I was in agony waiting for the orgasmic conclusion the Harry Potter tale. Yes, I’d read the books many, many, many times over but to see it finally come to life was more than I could hope for. This was where it all ended, this is where many of my favorite characters died, and this is where the movies finally met my expectations. If only for its significance in the history of movies, it should be on all movie lists of 2011. Snape’s very brutal death scene was only made that much more touching by Alan Rickman’s superb portrayal. Bravo, sir. Bravo.
When I was a little girl, my uncle made me watch all of the Godzilla movies and all of the Planet of the Apes movies. While Godzilla never etched itself in my heart, the POTA universe did. The sheer idea that apes could be as smart as us never ceased to amaze me and luckily this revamped tale brought that feeling back to me. Andy Serkis (snubbed yet AGAIN by the upcoming Oscars) brought Caesar to life and it was a moment that touched me. Of course the story line differed from the original but it didn’t debauch everything I loved like a certain Tim Burton rehash did. If something like this ever happens, I fear it’ll be like the movie portrayed: our own damn fault.
Kristen Wiig never seemed overly funny to me. Sure, she made me giggle here and there on Knocked Up and during her skits on SNL but I never got what everyone loved about her. That changed within 2 minutes of watching Bridesmaids. A raunchy comedy for the girls it was, and it blew my mind hole because some of those jokes her character tells are jokes that come out of my mouth. For once it was nice to see a movie that wasn’t a romance first and a comedy second, and it was nice to see such a crassly humored movie focus on the friendship between friends first. Aside from being completely relatable, I was in stitches the entire movie.
I only watch three tv shows: Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and How I Met Your Mother. Jason Segel is a goddamn beast when it comes to making me laugh and to top it all off, he sings and plays the crap out of a piano. Luckily he combines all three with good old fashioned nostalgia with his Muppets movie. All of you skeptics out there: take a moment, re-examine your lives and check out the movie. I promise it holds the old school feel and the wonderful story telling that is adapted very well to the modern era and all of the original music is done by Segel, who is a hardcore Muppets fan. Worth the watch, even if all you wanna see is Gonzo and murder Fozzy (or is that just me?).
While the year was wrought with remakes, this is one of the best. I could even say it took the concept further. I screamed like a little bitch. Watch it. I won’t say anything else, even if you watched the original.
Hobo with a Shotgun
If you like indie movies and skipped Hobo, I implore you to rethink that choice and Netflix it. It was a coin toss between this and Troll Hunter making my list and by Jove (who is Jove anyway?) it was AWESOME. This low-budget tale of a homeless vigilante is based on one of the fake trailers from Grind House and honestly, I’ve never been more proud of a hobo in my entire life. It’s nothing like I’ve seen before and is a wonderful homage to old school, gory b-movies set to a damn good soundtrack.
I Saw the Devil
I’m sad to only include one foreign flick in this list but this is one I watched several times, some to just watch Old Boy actor Choi Min-Sik in action, and some to make sure I didn’t miss anything in this thriller about revenge. Min-Sik is a joy to watch as the rapist/murder Kyung-Chul and each time he was on-screen, I got chills. He was that murderously creepy. It has to be the most beautiful tale of violent chaos I have ever seen and I’ve seen some messed up shit. I’ll end this by saying Koreans do thrillers right.
This concludes my list so feel free to rip it to pieces, critique it intelligently, or even use it the next time you’re at the video store or browsing Netflix to choose a movie.
Happy New Year!