Best and worst movies of 2011
BEST MOVIES OF 2011
Really should have been called Johnny Depp Makes a Bunch of References Your Kids Won’t Understand with references to Eastwood and Apocalypse Now peppered throughout. Though this CGI tale about a lizard who assumes the role of small-town sheriff was billed as a kid’s movie, some of the subject matter and in-jokes made the film way more enjoyable for the adults in the audience.
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Director Morgan Spurlock and crew decided to find out what kind of a movie could be made relying on a budget comprised purely of advertising revenue. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is that film. Spurlock’s sizeable knowledge base and wry humour makes this film an absolute joy to watch.
After a failed suicide attempt, Walter Black (played by Mel Gibson) finds salvation in a beaver hand puppet. The beaver acts as Walter’s superego, and is able to verbalize Walter’s every thought in a way that Walter himself never could. It’s a surprisingly emotionally complex film about depression, life, love, and, ultimately, death.
Everyone’s had them: Napoleonic sociopaths with power complexes and with seemingly no semblance of human empathy, emotion, or intelligence. Horrible Bosses is a movie about three losers who actually do something about them. The boss’ performances are the true beauty of this revenge-fantasy-comedy, superseding magnificent bastardry and approaching cartoon villainy.
This film practically oozes childhood nostalgia. Jason Segel’s performance as a goofy fanboy fits right in to the Muppetverse. It has fine writing, a great soundtrack, fourth-wall moments, and the off-the-cuff cameos that the Muppets have been characterized by for 40-plus years. If Fox News is right, and the Muppets are Communists, then call me Stalin.
WORST MOVIES OF 2011
Atlas Shrugged Pt. 1
Ayn Rand’s seminal novel is often seen as a Bible for extreme objectivists. The worst bit about last year’s film adaptation, besides its acting and lack of attention to detail, is that it’s part one of a proposed three-part trilogy.
Any superhero movie
Marvel Comics has really screwed the proverbial pooch. With the Ultimate Avengers movie fast looming, Marvel is attempting to give even second-rate superheroes their own theatrical release. Thor, Captain America, and X-Men: First Class were all terribly rushed, slipshod productions. At least DC only had one embarrassing feature in 2011 with The Green Lantern.
Zookeeper and We Bought a Zoo (tie)
Talking animals are almost a box office fail-safe. It was nice karma to hear that Kevin James’ Zookeeper fell flat on its ass. Kevin James is a fat loser, and he relies on comic characters like a collar-popping douche of a gorilla to make him popular. We Bought a Zoo doesn’t have talking animals, but it has Matt Damon, so it’s in the same spirit, and thus, the same category of spite.
Shark Night 3D
The poor man’s teen idols all go to a summer house in the middle of the goddamn swamp where a bunch of toothless inbreds have unleashed over a hundred different breeds of shark to film the bastard son of snuff pornography and the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Hilarity ensues.
The original Straw Dogs, a 1971 Sam Peckinpah film starring Dustin Hoffman, was largely irrelevant and needlessly violent. Straw Dogs starring James Marsden is even more irrelevant and even more needlessly violent. This is clearly just Hollywood trying to milk the teensiest bit of milk out of the name-recognition cow, no matter how sickly and ill the cow may be.