At long last, it has come to this. The movies that inspired me, excited me, reaffirmed my faith in the power of cinema, got me pissed, made me gag and made me want to kick my laptop screen in disgust at what I’ve just seen. In other words, this is MY top 10 best and worst movies of 2011.
WORST MOVIES OF 2011
10. THE SMURFS –
Admittedly, I didn’t even watch the entire film. I stopped after 15 minutes to do some housework. And that was just when Sofia Vergara (HOT!!) began talking to Neil Patrick Harris, the ‘star’ of this bullshit. What I did see was a pathetic attempt to capture the essence of the classic cartoon TV series which this bullshit is based on. But I don’t even have to watch the rest of this film to say these following words:- “SMURF Raja Gosnell for SMURFING up another classic SMURFING cartoon show (like if butt-SMURFING “Scooby Doo” wasn’t bad enough), SMURF the SMURFERS who wrote this SMURF, SMURF the SMURFERS who helped make this piece of SMURF, and SMURF the SMURFING Smurfs! I bury those cock-a-roaches!”
9. DRIVE ANGRY
Nicolas Cage had not one, but THREE bad movies under his belt for 2011 – “Season of the Witch”, Trespass” and…..this shit. The story makes no logical sense, as Nicolas Cage escapes from the bowels of hell to save a baby from being sacrificed by a cult of devil-worshipping rednecks. Riiiiight. What made this film so bad is that it isn’t sure whether to be serious or not. It’s almost as if the director really intended to make a bad film. Which he did. He should be proud of himself….whoever the fuck he is. The only saving grace in this film is the action scenes which, while exciting to look at, still doesn’t change the fact that you could be watching “The Rock” or “Face/Off” (which starred Nicolas Cage when he actually MATTERED) instead of this crap.
8. SHARK NIGHT
At first, “Shark Night” feels like a SyFy Original Movie about teens being killed by ridiculously fake-looking sharks that jump high into the air and somehow manage to catch their prey before they return to the water. But then it’s revealed nearing the end that the fake-looking sharks were actually released into the water by some guys who ENJOY recording people being eaten alive by fake-looking sharks. So now the film turns from a SyFy Original Movie into a SyFy Exploitation Movie. And you know what’s more insulting than the bad acting, cheesy effects and the fake-looking sharks? The PG-13 rating. In short, this is a dumbed-down film that seeks to dumb its viewer down even further. Do yourself a favour and watch “Jaws”. Even the shitty sequels are better than “Shark Night”!
7. SUCKER PUNCH
Speaking of “exploitation”, here’s a film that exploits its female stars – and the people watching it. Zack Synder made three of the best films of the past decade: “Dawn of the Dead”, “300” and “Watchmen”. In “Sucker Punch”, Zack finally got the chance to WRITE and direct a film. In a nutshell, it’s about a group of girls in a mental institution who dress in skimpy Cosplay outfits, and dance in front of old MALE perverts….while IMAGINING themselves in a weird fantasy world where they must find the key (literally and non-literally) to get out of the institution. While the visuals are AWESOME, the story is HORRIBLE…..and CONFUSING….and downright SEXIST. The result is a film that insults the viewer’s intelligence while masquerading itself as a story of female empowerment. Great job, Zack! 😦
6. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1
Vampire marries girl IN DAYLIGHT, vampire fucks girl and destroys the bed, girl gets pregnant, shirtless douchebag who turns to a werewolf makes a big deal about it, other werewolves make a bigger deal about it, and some other confusing shit takes place until the girl finally gives birth to the baby. The story in this so-called “epic” could have been told in ONE HOUR! Instead, I had to suffer through more than one hour of blank stares, lifeless dialogue and a slow, prodding plot that goes nowhere. The only saving grace about this film is that there’s one more film before the “saga” finally ends. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, even a film franchise about a vampire and a werewolf fighting for ONE girl (when there’s so much OTHER girls to choose from – Anna Kendrick, anyone?) was not meant to last forever.
5. TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
Everything that I hated in the second film (mind-numbing action, convoluted plot, annoying characters etc.) multiplied by 3. That’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”! At least Megan Fox wasn’t in it, so that was a good thing at least.
4. CONAN THE BARBARIAN
I actually had high hopes for this film. I loved the 1982 Arnold Schwarzenegger film and stupidly felt that this version would be a superb tribute to the original film. What I got was an ‘epic’ about a muscle-bound asshole who grunts, roars, decapitates, chops, stabs and fucks his way through the shitty, undeveloped plot of the film. This was an epic alright…..an EPIC FAIL!
3. SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
From the director of “El Mariachi”, “Sin City” and “Machete” comes this TERRIBLE excuse for a family film. If you’re looking for scat, vomit, flatulence and, of course, the wasted talents of Jessica Alba, Joel McHale and Jeremy Piven, look no further than “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World”. Speaking of time, you’ll definitely be looking at your watch while you look at this shit. This was a major disappointment for the successful Spy Kids franchise, and a low point in the career of director Robert Rodriguez.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you the WORST ACTION FILM OF 2011. Made intentionally for girls who love to drool over Taylor Lautner’s chest, this painful exercise in action film-making involves our favourite werewolf from “Twilight” being chased by the CIA and a group of “European” secret agents. Taylor proves that he has skills when it comes to the fight scenes, but his acting is just so painful to watch. Even the other actors in the film appear to be in pain, from Alfred Molina (Doc Ock of “Spiderman 2”) to Sigourney Weaver (who says the WORST line of the film – “I hate balloons!”). And to think this is from John Singleton, the man who directed “Boyz N The Hood” and “Higher Learning”. Shame on you, John! Shame on you.
And now, my pick for THE NO. 1 WORST FILM of 2011.
1. BATTLE: LOS ANGELES
I remember going into the cinema to watch “Battle: Los Angeles”, thinking that this would be such a great movie. I also remember groaning at the cliched dialogue, shaking my head in disgust at the Marines who acted like pussies every time something or someone ran past them, commending the aliens for hiding on the rooftops of buildings while the Marines shot wildly at NOTHING, laughing my ass off when the leader of the Marines ordered his men to shoot anything that wasn’t human (when in the next scene, a dog wandered onto the street), was near-blinded by the choppy editing and shaky-cam action sequences, and thinking “WHAT THE FUCK?!” when I saw R&B superstar Ne-Yo playing a Marine in the film. I walked out of the cinema saying to myself: “This is the worst film of the year”. At the end of 2011, I’m still correct.
BEST MOVIES OF 2011
10. CRAZY, STUPID LOVE
With a relatable story about love and heartbreak, and great performances throughout – even from Ryan Gosling (the man who women lust for and guys envy the shit out of), this was a surprisingly charming film that I admittedly enjoyed a lot more than I expected.
No, it’s not a double album from rapper 50 Cent. It’s a touching comic drama about a man struggling to beat spinal cancer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt delivers an Oscar-worthy performance, Seth Rogen supplies the humour to the film, and Anna Kendrick and Angelica Houston deliver great performances as the two women concerned over the health and well-being of Joseph’s character. I predict that this film will win some Academy Award, probably for Best Actor. You never know!
Ryan Gosling proves once again that he can really act in this uber-cool, ultra-violent neo-noir film. With superb cinematography, great acting, and a very engaging story, “Drive” is a film that is already considered to be an art-house classic. And there’s a scene involving Ryan, a girl and a killer in an elevator which is arguably one of the BEST SCENES I’ve ever seen in a movie all year!
7. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL
The best entry in the “Mission Impossible” series – PERIOD! With cool gadgets, intense action and a really decent story throughout, “M.I.4” is one of the year’s best action flicks. And it’s yet another film which tries its hardest to make Tom Cruise appear taller than he REALLY is.
6. 13 ASSASSINS
From the land of the rising sun comes one of the best samurai films in years! The heroes are bad-asses, the villain is a twisted son of a bitch, and the stakes are high when it comes to killing this son of a bitch, as well as his 300-man army. Let’s hope that Hollywood doesn’t rape …. I mean, remake this film for American audiences!
5. FAST FIVE
This was the tune-up that the 10-year old “Fast and Furious” franchise needed. It’s loud, it’s fast-paced, it’s mindless …. and it’s downright FUN! Hate on it as much as you want after you see it, but you can’t help but agree – “Fast Five” is PRETTY FUCKING ENTERTAINING! Come on, ADMIT IT!
4. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
The apes took over, and human audiences responded with thunderous applause. This is yet another successful franchise reboot in a monotonous cycle of franchise reboots. Andy Serkis (the human actor who plays Gollum in “LOTR”) delivers an amazing performance as the highly intelligent ape Caesar, who rallies a group of apes to rebel against their human tormentors. This was a surprisingly decent film, and a huge leap forward from the previous, and TERRIBLE, “Planet of the Apes” film.
3. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
This was the kick in the ass (get it? Kick-Ass? As in the director of Kick-Ass, who made this film? Not funny, huh? Umm, I thought so) that the X-Men franchise needed. This was a mature, well-written story that delved deep into the origin of the mutant superhero team without a sappy love story (“Spider-Man 3”, anyone?) or a cameo by comic-book mogul Stan Lee. And it had superb performances by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the friends-turned-rivals Professor Xavier and Magneto. This is clearly the best superhero movie of 2011. Sorry, Thor. And Captain America. And you too, Green Lantern.
2. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2
Talk about ending a franchise on a high note! The build-up that I’ve been anticipating since David Yates directed “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” finally reaches its maximum point in this film. Questions are answered, spells are cast, and ordinary wizards become heroes. It took 10 years to reach to this conclusion, and I have to say that I was very much satisfied.
And now, my pick for THE NO. 1 BEST FILM of 2011.
Yeah, I said it! “WARRIOR” is the No. 1 best movie that I’ve seen for 2011. Why did I pick a film about mixed martial arts that uses the tried-and-true “Rocky” formula of determination and victory under impossible odds? Because it does it SO WELL! And also because it’s a REALLY GREAT MOVIE! The fight scenes were well-choreographed, the story was emotional and powerful, and the performances were amazing. Speaking of performances, Nick Nolte definitely deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His performance in the film is nothing short of spectacular. In a year of robots, wizards, fast cars, smurfs, sparkling vampires, human centipedes and sissified Marines, “Warrior” stood out to me the most. It inspired me, it moved me, and it reminded me what great films are capable of doing. Do yourself a favour and see this film already. You won’t regret it.