Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Top 11 Films of 2011

(Because sometimes 10 just isn't enough)


It's that time of year again...where we take stock of all the films we saw for the year and weigh in on which ones were a waste of time and which ones were time well spent. And not like this needs repeating but I will do it anyway, this is a list comprised of films "I" felt were the best of what this past year had to offer us.

This was a big year for the independent film market and smaller studios in general. Looking back I think it is kind of remarkable that most of the films I saw this year that surprised me with their quality had no real major studio backing them. It wasn't that the major studios put out bad films per say, a good number of my top films are from those studios, its that they didn't give us anything we weren't already expecting (Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the lone exception here). Almost every single movie I saw from an independent studio surprised me. Surprised me by their quality, uniqueness, originality and most of all their ability to constantly surpass my expectations for them. By far the one studio that stood tall amongst all the rest was Magnet, they delivered some of the best film experiences I had all year and proved that when done right digital distribution is a viable alternative to a mass theatrical release. Overall I thought this year ended up being much better than I imagined it would but once again I believe that is mostly in thanks to the smaller film studios and their willingness to produce, distribute or otherwise market most of what this year had to offer. Without further ado, here are my picks for the best films of 2011, as well as some honorable mentions, my biggest disappoints and my pick for worst film of the year...


And here are my previous years top picks :


For individual picks of our top films of the year don't forget to listen to our year end episode of The LRA Show:


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11.

Hanna




What I loved most about Hanna was how it wasn't what I expected at all. Going in I was prepared for a hard hitting action/revenge fantasy and what I got was so much more than that. That's not to say there isn't any action in this unconventional tale of revenge because there is and plenty of it. Those well executed and impressive action sequences are punctuations for a movie that takes a well tread genre and infuses a healthy dose of characterization into it that is usually lacking in such films. We grow to care for Hanna not because of how bad ass she is (although that is certainly a factor) but because we get to see her grow. The bond we form with Hanna is in no small part to Saoirse Ronan who plays the part with just the right amount of naivety and self awareness to make you believe this girl who can snap a person's neck at moments notice has no idea how to react when a boy moves in for a kiss.

After the revenge plot is in full swing we are given a lot of time to get to know Hanna who as it so happens also gets to know herself in the process. Her skills as an assassin are quickly contradicted by how she is unable to act like the normal teenage girl that she is. Her father taught her everything while they lived and hid in the forest, how to speak other languages, how to blend in, how to kill and how to survive in general but he never actually taught her how to live. Watching Hanna learn how to live whilst also fighting to survive was one of the most memorable cinematic journeys I had this year and something that I won't soon forget.




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10.

The Adventures of Tintin





The best Indiana Jones movie since The Last Crusade and probably one of the best Spielberg films in almost a decade. Spielberg has made good movies over the past ten years but he hasn't really made a movie that FELT like a true Spielberg experience in a very long time. The funny thing is that I thought I was going to get that with War Horse and instead I got it with Tintin. You would think adventure films would be a simple enough subject to get right but as time and many sub par imitators have proven it is not quite as easy as it looks. Its one of those things where you can't exactly describe it or even determine what it is until you see it done right. Films such as the Mummy series and even the latest Indiana Jones movie were fun but they were just missing that very elusive something, that special thing that gets you excited by what you are seeing on the screen.

It is a combination of many factors but the ones that stand out the most to me are believable and likable characters, a sense of fun that pervades as those characters explore uncharted destinations that almost always lead to exciting chases and showdowns and Tintin provided that for me. Between the cutting edge 3D animation and an extremely entertaining adventure, The Adventures of Tintin exceeded just about all my expectations for it. If Spielberg and Lucas can't deliver a proper Indiana Jones movie any more then I am glad we at least have Tintin and with a confirmed two more films in the series coming down the pipeline it looks as though this is only the beginning for the intrepid reporter and I couldn't be happier.




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9.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol





I have thoroughly enjoyed just about all the films in the series (minus the very lackluster second entry) but even with mostly positive feelings going in I was kind of floored by Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, director Brad Bird's first live action film. After a months worth of reflection I don't think it was so much the amazing action sequences littered throughout the film (although they helped immensely) but more so that we finally got a Mission Impossible that featured a real team dynamic and that those team members were actually pretty darn cool and each contributed something unique to the group. Plus you can't discount the Brad Bird touch, from all the little mishaps that occur for the team and the recurring little gags and bits of humor layered amongst all the action set pieces, his official stamp of awesomeness is all over the screen at any given moment.

This so happened to also be what I would consider to have the best use of the IMAX film experience to date. You don't need fancy 3D and a bunch of visual effects to take full advantage of what the format offers. All you need is a filmmaker who knows what they are going for and the right material for the job. The Dubai action sequence that takes place at the mid point of the film would have been amazing even on a normal screen but seeing it on that ten story tall IMAX screen made it simply breathtaking to behold. No other film on this list or even on my past lists has had me so invigorated and tensed up as I was while watching Tom Cruise scale the largest building in the world (for real!) and eventually embark on a car chase during a crazy ass sand storm. Those thirty minutes are pure cinematic gold and worth the price of admission alone. The best part though is that the rest of the movie that goes with it is pretty darn entertaining as well.




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8.

Source Code





Director Duncan Jones is quickly proving to be one of the best Science-Fiction storytellers out there today. His previous film Moon was smart, thought provoking and insightful and also had one of Sam Rockwell's best performances to date. With Source Code though he has traded the bleak and somber atmosphere of Moon for a much more mainstream feeling thriller scenario and somehow found a way of retaining all the humanity from his previous film. I was worried that the gimmick of reliving the same pocket of time over and over again would become stale very quickly but between Jake Gyllenhaal's superb performance and some very good editing choices it never felt like I was seeing the same thing multiple times which isn't as easy as one might think.

The clever and well executed premise aside, what really sold me on the whole affair was Duncan Jones dedication to telling what becomes a very personal story of a lone soldier discovering what happened to him and how he can possibly rectify the situation he finds himself in. The bomb threat storyline, while pertinent to holding everything together, is a distant and mostly unimportant aspect when compared to all the human elements at play. Captain Colter Stevens is the heart and soul of the film but even the secondary characters that occupy the train he must revisit every eight minutes get their moments to shine during the course of events as well as those running the actual source code operation. For a film dealing with all manner of complexities in its fiction it never once faltered as a true human drama which is a rare thing these days. Plus it was really nice to see Jake Gyllenhaal in an honest to goodness great film again.




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7.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes





Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a film that for all intents and purposes should not have worked at all. Not only was it trying to erase the memory of the Tim Burton catastrophe but it was also begging for direct comparison to the 1968 Charlton Heston classic by acting as a prequel to that pivotal film. What ultimately saved it from being just another failed attempt at reviving the franchise was its main character, Caesar. All the human characters were fine but it was Caesar who stole the show. How we see him progress from a helpless young ape into the eventual leader of the ape rebellion was handled beautifully. By the end of the film I found myself rooting for the apes and hoping that all the humans (save for James Franco's character) would just turn over and die (which if you stayed during the credits looked like might actually happen).

With the film relying so heavily upon Caesar's shoulders though it comes as little surprise that the man behind the ape was none other than the master of mo-cap himself, Andy Serkis. His contributions to film over the past decade are immeasurable to me at this point and his performance as Caesar is nothing more than a stark reminder that he is one of the most talented actors working today. His talents go far beyond simple acting though, the man is a true artist with how he is able to convey so much by saying so little. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing Caesar's journey and I have Andy Serkis to thank for giving me a character so real that after a while I stopped thinking of him as a computer generated creature, instead I saw him as a real flesh and blood person that I really cared for by the time the film was over and that is a rare achievement in this day and age of middle of the road effects and characterizations.




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6.

The Muppets





The Muppets is the feel good movie of the year. As cliche as that saying has become over the years it still doesn't change the fact that The Muppets is the one singular film going experience I had this year that had me grinning stupidly for days after seeing it. There is just so much joy and happiness permeating every single moment that it becomes impossible to not get bit by the fun bug while watching it. Then you have the infectious musical numbers full of wit and in jokes and the extremely self aware nature of the film overall that just begs to be re-watched and enjoyed over and over again. There were no loose ends in the casting either, Jason Segel proved to be quite the talented showman by performing triple duty as actor, singer and writer while Amy Adams once again stole my heart and had me under her spell the second she appeared on screen.

Then you have the muppets themselves of whom I neglected really talking much about in my initial review of the film. I had heard that some people were turned off by the new voice of Kermit (he sounded fine to me) and that many people avoided the film due to what they believe (or had been told to believe) is a movie only for kids which is a damn shame. The muppets have been and always shall be entertainment for the entire family. I loved seeing Kermit and the gang back on the big screen, I love that the muppets are relevant again and I love this movie. The Muppets is the perfect family film and it is a crime that so few people saw it. Do yourself (and the muppets) a favor and see it as soon as possible, I guarantee it will brighten your day.




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5.

50/50





This is not an easy movie to sit through and because of that I find it somewhat difficult to fully recommend to the masses. But on that same token it would be a crime if everyone did not experience what it has to say at least once. Nobody likes to watch movies or any form of entertainment dealing with a life threatening disease such as cancer and I can't blame them but you know what? Director Jonathan Levine not only made the touchy subject matter palatable but he also found a way to inject some much needed humor into it THAT WASN'T OFFENSIVE. First thing I thought when I saw Seth Rogen on that poster was that this was going to be some lame attempt at trying to take a serious illness and poke fun at it. That couldn't have been further from the truth and I have never been so happy about being so wrong about my assumptions.

The funny thing is that all I had to do was take note of the film's star Joseph Gordon Levitt. He has proven to be one the best young actors out there right now and if I had only just had more faith in his choice of projects then perhaps I wouldn't have been so negative on the film before its release. The film is filled with fantastic performances by everyone (including a surprisingly somber Seth Rogen) but it was Levitt's turn as the cancer stricken Adam that pulled me into its heartbreaking story of a man who lived his life by the rules and was rewarded with one of the worse bits of news a person can ever receive, that he is going to die and it will happen very soon. I won't lie, I can't lie...the final moments where after seeing Adam act so indifferent to his ailment for the entire film then how we see him eventually crack under the pressure was one of the most difficult string of events I witnessed in a film all year. I cried for Adam and his family and I think you will to after seeing one of the most heart wrenching, surprisingly funny and endearing films of 2011. 50/50 will hurt you as you watch it but in the end it will ultimately heal your body, mind and soul.




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4.

Rango




The best animated film of 2011 is Rango. Even when I write it out like that I have a hard time believing it myself but I'll be damned if that isn't the truth of it. When I first saw the trailer for Rango it inspired no interest in me whatsoever. I was kind of tired of Johnny Depp (who knew that would ever be possible?) and it looked like your everyday garden variety zany kids flick featuring a bunch of oddball characters that gets shot out Hollywood every couple of months. Then after all the rave reviews started pouring in (and due to a significant lack of anything else of interest being released at the time) I decided to go see what all the buzz was about. To say I was blown away would be the understatement of the year.

I found myself completely enraptured by the world of Rango. It is certainly a bizarre little movie but one with enough personality and imagination to spare. I had no idea how much director Gore Verbiniski was inspired by those classic Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, which I love as well by the way. There was just a certain magic to how Rango looked and sounded that swept me up and never let go, those oddball characters, that zany sense of humor and a perfect Johnny Depp all combined to make one of the most lovingly crafted homages to the old west I had ever seen. The amazing score by Hans Zimmer has my vote for best soundtrack of the year as well. The fact that not only are there two, count them...TWO, Nickelodeon animated features on this list with no Pixar or Dreamworks to be found is just crazy. If Rango does not win best animated feature of the year then I have lost all faith in the powers that be. Tintin may have been the best 3D animated movie of the year, but Rango takes the prize as being the most imaginative, entertaining and mesmerizing animated feature film I saw this year.




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3.

Drive





When Drive first came out it unfortunately drew a lot of comparisons to another movie dealing with cars and caused a serious backlash of misled expectations as well as a severe amount of outright hatred towards it which was just a damn shame. All those people that skipped it because of that missed out on probably one of the best surprises of the year. There is just so much to fall in love with in this piece of cinematic art but it was how reserved it was that made it stand out to me. Instead of having characters spout out endless amounts of dialog to explain things to us, it and the outstanding cast found ways of SHOWING us what we needed to know. The same can be said for the action present in the film as well, to all those action junkies that spit on the film when it wasn't Fast Five, Drive has some of the most graphic violent acts I had seen in a movie all year and once again it finds a way of giving us that in unique and interesting ways.

Drive's brevity in how it handles the many overdone and cliche tropes of its many genres is not only its greatest strength but also what sets it far apart from the rest of the crowd. Although most films have a hard time nailing just one genre somehow director Nicolas Winding Refn was able to tackle multiple genres while giving us the best representations of each without ever breaking a sweat.  It is seriously quite astonishing how Drive bounces back and forth between being a tense thriller one minute, then to one of the sweetest romances of the year the next and finally into a tale of revenge that will have you rooting for the good guy to come out of the tangled web of deceit and treachery he eventually finds himself in. Drive is a jack of all trades in this respect and beats the odds by being the master of them all with no equal in any of the categories it steers itself into. It may have landed at number three on my list but I don't think there was a better all around film I saw this year.




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2.

Super 8






This was and still is my favorite overall movie experience of the year. J.J. Abrams captured that pure cinematic essence of what I look for every time I go sit down in that theater. I want to be sucked into its world, I want to be caught off guard, I want characters and a story that resonate with me and most importantly I want something that unlocks that inner child we all have within us. Super 8 did that for me and much much more. I know that not every film that comes out will be good or even meant for me specifically (let's face it, everyone has different tastes for better or worse), but when that gamble pays off it usually pays off in a big way. I grew up on those Steven Spielberg classics such as E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goonies, Gremlins, Raiders of the Lost Ark and have yearned to feel once again what those films provided me all those years ago. Despite Spielberg sitting in the producing chair on the film, I never would have thought that I would get that experience ever again let alone from a completely different source.

It is clear from minute one that Abrams has a deep love for those films I mentioned as well. I know Super 8 has been attacked by many naysayers for being too derivative of Spielberg's films and while I can't say they are wrong, I can't necessarily say they are right either. What Abrams has done is make the perfect homage, the perfect love letter to a generation of filmmaking that has long since been lost to a world filled with digital effects and very little character or personality. Super 8 is one of the best examples of putting characters and story before everything else. There is a monster running around causing havoc as well as many tense moments to be had but at the heart of it all is the story of a young boy coming to grips with the loss of his mother. I love this movie for everything it is and overjoyed that it not only lived up to my very high expectations for it but surpassed them. While it is too early to tell if J.J. Abrams is the spiritual successor to Steven Spielberg, I can still say right now this second that without a doubt, Super 8 is the best Steven Spielberg style film not directed by Steven Spielberg of all time.




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1.

13 Assassins





Disclaimer: I understand this film technically came out in 2010 but it had not been officially released here in the United States until mid 2011 and that is why it qualifies for this list.

It may not hold the title as the best samurai movie ever made but it certainly earns a place high up in the rankings with those Kurosawa classics and is without a doubt the most perfect movie going experience I had all year. It's funny when I think about how this movie earned this top spot on my list full of other movies that are just as deserving, if not more. When I first saw it I had middling expectations, I hadn't been a very big fan of movies featuring samurai due to the necessary one dimensionality of the main characters. Always honor bound and never thinking for themselves was something I never found very appealing. Then when word got to me about how Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins was not only one of the best samurai films to come our way in decades but also one of the best films some people had ever seen, well...let's just say I felt almost obligated to see it at that point.

My first reaction was one of awe. I was completely caught off guard by that final showdown. It's perfect staging coupled with expert direction and editing was something I found missing in almost every western action film I had seen in years. I got a genuine visceral thrill from watching these thirteen men whom I had grown to like and care for fight off an impossible number of foes where I actually felt like I had a stake in the battle as well. When Shinza stands tall atop that wall and opens up that piece of paper with the writing "TOTAL MASSACRE", I seriously get chills. Just like Shinza expressed upon accepting the mission, I found myself having those same battle shakes he did and even though it would had been better had his services not been needed at all, I couldn't wait to see him in action. What followed was a massacre on a scale and done with a skill unheard of that rocked my world to the core.

For as bad ass as that final battle was I think what eventually let it win the top spot was everything leading up to that moment. It's very easy to look past and disregard the opening moments of the film after that final battle begins but after watching it numerous times now I have come to the conclusion that all that build up where we get to meet each and every one of Shinza's samurai squad and how we learn about them through simple little nuances in their personalities was what made that last hour long battle resonate with me so much. I appreciated how Miike had the foresight to not linger on what I consider western filmmaking conventions. There were no romances or even any real female characters at all. If this film were made here in America I guarantee that we would see the personal lives of each and every character in full detail. The genius behind how Miike handled this isn't that he didn't give us that, it's that he did it in the most streamlined and matter of fact way possible so that we could cut to the action as quickly as possible while retaining those bits of character background we needed to identify with them.

We get to know each character through their actions. The master who is proud of his eager pupil who has dreamed of giving his life for the good of society, the older samurai who has lost everything and just wants to make peace with his life before he signs on, the nephew who regrets becoming a samurai but still finds honor in the mission they must accomplish and most of all there is the relationship between Shinza and his old schoolmate Hanbei whom he must face off against in order to fulfill his mission which concludes in a way I feared would happen but still shocked the hell out of me. Nothing tops the man they are after though, Lord Naritsugu is the epitome of evil and a person you wish every curse known to man upon. You will despise him and his actions but you will love it. 13 Assassins is a samurai epic for the ages, it took a very long time for us to get a film like it and I fear that it will be an even longer time until we see its like again. For me there was no more perfect a movie this year than 13 Assassins.




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 Honorable Mentions


Only hurt by its excessive running time and slow start, David Fincher's return to pulp is something to be applauded as is Rooney Mara's transcending performance as the title character.


My main list is pretty short on pure comedies and this one just nearly missed a spot on there. With great chemistry between its two lead actors and some inspired twists on the creepy hillbilly genre, Tucker & Dale will have you laughing from beginning to end.


What a strange movie this is, it's about a killer tire but at the same time it is some form of commentary on how we the audience view movies as well as an introspective look at our expectations leveled against what we actually get. What a very strangely bizarre and beautiful movie this is.


I can't believe it...a PG-13 horror film that is not only good but also fairly original. It sidestepped a lot of pitfalls that most films in the horror genre fall into and provided some of the best scares I got out of any movie all year.


2D animation will never die thanks to the world of anime and Summer Wars is the perfect example of the art forms beautiful visuals married to a wonderfully told story about a family coming together to face off against a world threatening force...the internet. The film works on so many levels but ultimately it is the visual treats that await you that will leave a lasting impression.


The best super hero movie of 2011. Being the last film in the series that will link the upcoming Avengers film to all the others that came before it was a tall order that the Captain was more than capable of handling. Plus who knew that Chris Evans would make such a good Captain America?


Hands down the best alien invasion film we have had in years. It's unique approach to the genre mixed with a surprising mix of comedy and horror made it one of the years biggest surprises. If you are tired of all the middle of the road alien invasion movies then give Attack the Block a try, it might just end up being that one thing you didn't even know you were looking for.


This was the year that proved to me that not only can reboots work but prequels can too with X-Men: First Class being both (as well as Rise of the Planet of the Apes). I never thought I wanted to see any of the X-Men again after seeing the travesty that is Wolverine but I now find myself eagerly anticipating the next entry into the series (they better not screw it up this time).


I know a lot of people didn't like this prequel to the John Carpenter original 1982 film let alone actually saw it but personally I was floored by how NOT crappy it ended up being. Better yet is that it was one of, if not THE best pure horror films I had seen in many years and seeing how it tied into the original film was just icing on the cake.


The end of to one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time. Say what you will about the individual qualities of each film in the series but no one can say that it didn't achieve what it set out to do. It could have been all too easy for this final chapter into the series to cancel out everything that came before it and thankfully that didn't happen. But that ending though...sigh.


This was a great year for both Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Simon Pegg was in the best Mission Impossible film to date, Nick Frost was in one of the best alien invasion movies in years and both did voice work in Spielberg's Adventures of Tintin. Then you have Paul, a fairly innocent little film (aside from its foul mouthed nature) and a complete and utter joy to watch. Pegg & Frost are the best comedy duo we have had in decades and Paul is another film of theirs that I won't tire of watching any time soon.


Did we really need a fourth Scream? Not really. But if they were going to make one then I am glad this is what they gave us. With some smart jabs at the current Hollywood trend of rebooting old franchises and a likable cast of newcomers as well as a welcome return from the entire original cast (and the best opening scene in any movie this year), I was pleasantly surprised by it and glad that it turned out so well.


Director Martin Scorsese's first family film was a huge success that blended his love of film with a childlike innocence unlike anything he has ever done before. Now if only I could figure out who exactly the film was intended for then I might be able to freely recommend it to more people.


Filled with outstanding performances by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, this film dealing with 60's racism in the south concerning a group of housekeepers may not break any new ground thematically but it sure as hell hits all the right notes when it needs to.


What a crazy psycho movie this is. Rainn Wilson perfectly fits the part of an obsessed but largely misguided man who thinks the best way to get his wife back is to become a super hero and rid the city of crime. If you ever wanted to see what a lovesick female sidekick will do for some attention from her super hero counterpart then this is the movie for you. Gushy!


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Biggest Disappointments of 2011


I really wanna say that I eventually liked Bridesmaids for what it was but I just can't bring myself to do it. The more I watch it the less funny it is to me. This was the one and only case this year of a film not delivering what its trailer promised and failing because of it. Despite fantastic performances from the all female cast this one under delivered for me on almost every level.


Wow...I mean like wow! What the hell is this doing down here? This should be up there in my top films of the year. Director Zack Snyder had all the best intentions, a more than capable cast and all the special effects any action junkie could ever want. But when none of it makes sense and fails to make anything in it actually matter one way or the other it becomes one of the biggest failures of the past few years for me. Words cannot properly express how much of a true disappointment and missed opportunity this was.


John Carpenter's triumphant return to the directors chair couldn't have been more disappointing if it tried. Being a huge fan of the legendary director I had high expectations for his first film in nearly a decade and despite being fairly adequate across the board, it just didn't live up to any of them and ended up being one of my biggest disappointments this year.


What happens when you have a clever premise for a movie and do absolutely nothing interesting with it? You get In Time, probably one of the least offensive films listed here but that doesn't discount just how plain stupid its logic for the world it created was. Worst of all and probably the most disappointing aspect to it is that this is from the same guy that gave us Gattaca, one of the greatest science-fiction films of all time. What happened?


This was the one film on this list of disappointments that let me down only due to how much it mucked up its otherwise promising premise. I had zero expectations for it and yet it still found a way to come in well under those expectations. Most of all though I feel bad for its star, Emily Browning. Between this and Sucker Punch she had what probably looked like a fantastic year at the outset which ending up being a total letdown by the end.


Presented by Guillermo Del Toro, one of the best filmmakers working today. What did he present us with exactly? Probably one of the saddest excuses for a horror/thriller I have ever seen. Borrowing heavily from other films and being as non-scary as humanly possible, there wasn't another movie on this list that instilled as much rage and indifference in me all year. Del Toro should be ashamed to have his name attached to this lump of shit.


This film is proof positive that sometimes having a singular crazy idea such as mashing cowboys and aliens into the same movie just isn't enough. My only expectations for the film were that it would be as stupidly awesome as its title implies and somehow it managed to be one of the most boring film going experiences I had all year. Yes, watching cowboys fight aliens was boring...how did that happen?


Calling this the worst Pixar film ever is a little too harsh I think. But it most certainly was the most banal, contrived and calculated money grab by the legendary studio to date. Shame on them for taking our love for their creations and giving us something made purely for merchandising purposes. Shame on them!


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Worst Film of 2011




What a giant steaming pile of dog shit this movie is. Does that sound a little too harsh to you? Perhaps you are a fan of Bayformers and don't understand all the hatred. Let me spell it out for you in case you are confused. Michael Bay has single handedly destroyed the art of film with his trifecta of feces. I am not complaining about how he took a beloved childhood memory of many people and turned it into his own personal car show. I could really give two craps about the "mythology" of the Transformers universe (go back and watch those original cartoons...they aren't looking too good). Sure he f@%ked up the robot designs and made a movie about a boy growing up instead of a movie about robots destroying each other. No, what I am talking about here is how deeply tired I am of people eating up what he serves.

The simple fact that so many people found enjoyment out of any piece of this loud and obnoxious insult to my intelligence is quite honestly astounding to me. I can't get over the fact that at my SOLD OUT screening everyone clapped at the end like they just watched some life changing event. These are the same people that made Fast Five a success and refused to go see Drive. These are the same people who look at something like Super 8 and get turned off by the fact that it DOESN'T feature an explosion every couple minutes. I understand that there is such a thing called popcorn entertainment, I partake in that luxury all the time. But there is such a thing as good popcorn entertainment (i.e. something that treats you with a bit of respect while also providing a slew of cheap thrills) and bad popcorn entertainment (i.e. something that treats you like a dumbass while also providing nothing that stimulates the brain), guess which category Transformers: Dark of the Moon falls into?

I am not trying to upset people by calling them brain dead but I don't know how else to explain the phenomenon of why people try to convince themselves that movies like this are good. Transformers DotM was one of the most painful exercises in patience I had all year (and I saw f@%king Dylan Dog!). I take no pleasure in seeing a film fail and even less in berating it as much as I am now but it must be done. My only hope is that Michael Bay moves on from this series and goes back to making things explode in films that I have no affiliation with. Now if he were to give us a third Bad Boys movie...my god, the mind swins at the possibilities. Bad Boys 2...now that is some good f@%king popcorn entertainment!


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