Now that 2011 is officially over, I looked back to the movies that I’ve enjoyed over the year.
A lot of people are doing “Top *insert number here * Movies of the Year” lists but I’m just going to keep it simple and do a random, not in any order, list of movies I dug this year.
And those movies are…
I Saw the Devil
This hardcore vengeance film is about a special agent seeking revenge for his murdered fiancee.
The mission to track down the killer turns into a bloody cat and mouse game which reaches a point of no return.
Seeing the main character battle someone so evil then hit a point within himself to counter that evil to defeat the villain, proves that any human is capable of embracing an untapped dark side. This film is extremely violent and intensely emotional.
I Saw the Devil easily became my first favorite of 2011.
Read Review Here
Hobo with a Shotgun
What started out as a faux trailer for a Grindhouse contest turned into fun and gory feature flick.
Rutger Hauer stars as a humble and gentle hobo who is just trying to get by in this grim world. When he tries to settle into a new town, he is surrounded by appalling crimes and monstrous corruption.
He realizes that this town needs some cleaning up so his solution to the problem is getting a shotgun and shooting bad people. And how!
Hobo with a Shotgun is a self-explanatory movie with an appreciation towards old school low-budget exploitation films.
This dark comedy is about Frank, a homely, less than average guy who loses his wife to a drug dealer.
Frank is touched by the hand of God and understands that he has a special purpose to fulfill. He takes on a superhero persona and attacks average-to-hardcore criminals in his town all leading up to the drug dealer who has his wife.
For a seemingly fun-loving, action-comedy, I wasn’t expecting Super to be so morbidly delightful. Adding James Gunn’s special brand of humor into the mix made this movie, well, super.
I had the great pleasure of seeing a screening of this with Michael Rooker in attendance. That in itself made this movie a special part of my year.
This fourth follow up to the Scream franchise brings Sydney Prescott, Gale Weathers-Riley and Dewey Riley banding together to find the killer or killers behind a series of murders in the town of Woodsboro.
Things have changed since the start 10 years ago and the trio is now dealing with a new generation of rules.
I’m aware that this sequel has had it’s share of mixed reviews but guess what, I liked it so take that!
Read Review Here
X-Men: First Class
This prequel to the X-Men movies unfolds the start of the relationship between Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) and the development of the school for mutants. This movie is the beginning of the origins for the mutants that are well known in the series.
I’m not big on a lot of glitzy, blockbuster-esque super hero movies but I have followed most of the X-Men movies and I think this one is the best of the series. Not only is the back story of the characters detailed and well explained (this is just based on the movies since I have not read the comics) but the movie is well made.
Set in 1979, a group of teens get together to film a movie on a Super 8 camera. While filming a scene by a train station, the crew witness a derailment which releases a dangerous creature into their small town.
Super 8 was one of my most anticipated movies of the year and it did not disappoint my expectations.
Read Review Here
A high school graduate who is newly accepted into MIT celebrates by partying and drinking a lot. Stupidly deciding to drive herself home, she rocks out to the radio. A news report announces that another “Earth” has been discovered and is visible in the night’s sky so being a space nerd, she looks out into the stars to find it. Her carelessness causes her to crash into another car, killing a man’s wife and child and leaving him in a coma.
After serving time in jail, she returns to her home town and develops a relationship with the man who’s life she destroyed. Since the man’s brother handled all the court related things involving the accident, he doesn’t know that the girl entering his broken life is the same one who caused his pain and misery.
Meanwhile the girl enters a contest to visit “Earth 2” just so she can escape her past and find a place away from her guilt.
The “scifi/anything that has to do with space” lover in me completely fell in love with this film. The ending left my head swimming with different possibilities to how things could reach that outcome and I love it when a movie can do that to me. I’m still left wondering.
Attack the Block
A street gang of teens defend themselves and their ‘hood when an alien invasion attacks.
For the people who went to see Super 8 and expected more of an alien movie but had to settled on the heart-felt story, Attack the Block picks up the slack.
I loved how how die-hard devoted these kids were in kicking alien ass and as actors as well.
This is another movie I didn’t think would be so violent yet it was and it made me giddy.
Read Review Here
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
This prequel to the Planet of the Apes movies is about a scientist attempting to develop a drug to cure Alzheimer’s. A product of the drug gives birth to a super intelligent chimp named Caesar.
Caesar is raised like a normal human more so than a smart animal but he notices the differences between the human race’s reaction to him in relation to a pet and not something on par of a person.
Caesar is unsettled with his place in the world and the world’s view on apes. As a gifted creature he wants to change the outlook on chimps and he does just that.
I never cared for the original Apes movies mainly because the thought of talking monkeys taking over the world kinda freaked me out. I will say that the elaborate story that explains the beginning of those movies was so well done that it made me want to re-visit the series.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes not only superseded my expectations but I do believe it’s one of the best prequels I have ever seen.
High school boys in a small town, think that they are going to get laid by a woman who placed a sexy ad stating that she was D.T.F; but instead they get caught up in an insane anti-homosexual, extremely religious cult.
Kevin Smith has always been one of my favorite directors (his early years before he met his wife, put her in every movie, did rom-coms then complained about being too fat to fly when he was indeed to fat to fly) so I was excited to hear that he was doing a horror movie.
Smith’s approach on a controversial topic was damn ballsy yet it worked as a compelling film. The ending can either leave you humored or disappointed but either way it was still strongly effective.
Red State is satisfyingly gruesome for the average horror fan and John Goodman’s performance was absolutely astonishing.
The Muppets reunite to raise money in order to save their theater.
A very simple plot yet if you grew up loving The Muppets, this movie will touch the child in you (in a non-dirty “I NEED AN ADULT” kind of way)
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
Tucker and Dale are just two simple-minded hilly billies trying to relax in their vacation house in the woods. When they cross paths with a bunch of college kids camping out, a series of unfortunate accidents happen.
This is one movie I was able to go into blindly so I enjoyed the humor and over-the-top silliness more than I would have if I had seen the trailer first.
I love how this movie shows the perspective of misunderstood characters while also showing how stupidly judgement people can be.
I hope everyone had a great 2011 and here’s to newer greatness in 2012!