Saturday, 31 December 2011

My Top Ten - The Best and Worst Films of 2011

Which films tickled my funny bone or made me squee like a little fangirl and which films made me nerd rage or simply go, meh...

I actually did a list for 2010 before I started this blog, at some point I may even get around to posting it, but for now, this is my 2011 list.  There are some things to note, I could only include films which I've actually seen, so if your favourite film of the year, or most hated film of the year isn't included, it's possible that I haven't got around to seeing it yet. 

The Best

In reverse order, of course.

10.  Final Destination 5

I have a tradition with a friend, we've seen every single Final Destination movie together in the cinema, and every time we see a new one, we check the floor for murderous blue water trying to kill us.  It's a franchise we both really enjoy and I thought that Final Five was a great sequel, especially after the travesty that was Final Four or The Final Destination *rolls eyes*.  On rewatching, it doesn't actually have a great amount of rewatch value in it, but it's still quite enjoyable.  My preference order goes, 3, 2, 1, 5, 4 - my friend's goes, 5, 2, 3, 1, 4.  Really we only include 4 on the list very begrudgingly.

9.  X-men: First Class

Really, it's inclusion on this list is still a huge surprise for me, as was my enjoyment of the film at the time.  The fact that I can be small minded, petty and ready to hate things for very small reasons is no surprise to anyone who knows me, but aside from a few complaints, I really enjoyed this movie.  On subsequent rewatching of the entire X-men franchise, (minus X-men 3, no need to put myself through that again), I think it's probably the best put together X-men movie of them all - a fact that no one more than I was quite shocked about.

8.  The Thing (2011 - obviously)

Aside from the fact that lazy film-makers should have really put a subtitle on this film, I had zero complaints about this movie.  Before I am strung from the rafters by original Thing fans, I hasten to point out that I had only seen the original movie once, as a kid and though I really enjoyed it, I'm not really a superfan of the movie.  I was really impressed by the prequel and instantly downloaded the original to watch after seeing it and was very impressed with how they got everything to match up with the original.  There was a lot of love put into the movie and I think it shows on screen.

7.  Priest

I think this movie is very polarising, you either love it for it's over the top insanity, or you hate it for the same reasons.  A priest fighting vampires with crucifix ninja stars and Brad Dourif puts it in my loved category, but it's one of those movies for which you really have to make your mind up yourself.

6.  The King's Speech

An Oscar-bait movie and easy choice, really.  This was just a marvellous film from beginning to end, really enjoyable performances from the three leads and a terribly British feel to the entire movie just won me over.  You would be able to tell from my general taste in movies that I'm a horror/sci-fi/comic book nerd really and historical biopics don't often turn up on my film lists, but this was jolly good fun and just thinking about it makes me want to go put the kettle on and pop some pikelets in the toaster.

5.  Thor 

This was one of the movies on the list I was genuinely worried about seeing.  I'm a huge comic book nerd, as a teenager I was very much a marvel, but in the past couple of years I've completely turned around and I'm now a DC.  That being said, I'm really enjoying the new marvel movies and their tie-ins, especially since I hated the Sam Raimi Spiderman movies with a burning passion that bordered on psychotic.  I didn't have a big knowledge of Thor outside of a few comics and a few appearances in Spiderman as the stack of Spiderman comics I have is quite shameful really.  So this was the movie where they could completely fuck it all up.  All of the other movies they'd done so far had been quite enjoyable and one false step could have completely fucked up the entire series, but I found it very enjoyable and a good introduction for novices to Thor.

4.  Green Lantern

If you hated this movie, I genuinely think there's something wrong with you.  It had everything a comic book should have, a compelling main character, some great fight scenes, an uber big bad with a sneaky big bad in the side lines and tons of humour.  I did think that the big bad looked a little too much like poop for my taste, but overall I totally loved this movie.

3.  The Adventures of Tintin

Ok, so this was one of those movies I went in preparing to hate.  The only reason I went to see it was because my friend was paying.  When I was a kid I didn't watch the Tintin cartoons, but I loved the books, so it really wasn't that I expected them to fuck up the cartoons or anything, I just assumed it was the past the point of Tintin having any kind of relevance.  Now, I really can't wait for the next movie, I thought the whole was just fantastic.  Some of the transitions were probably the best transitions I've ever seen in film, it was a great adventure movie and I laughed really hard throughout.

2.  Captain America: The First Avenger

Like with Thor, I was a bit worried about marvel fucking up what they had done so far with the franchise, especially since  had absolutely no knowledge of Captain America outside of Marvel Zombies, and to the best of my understanding, he is not normally a zombie.  In my opinion, Captain America was awesome, I was really only familiar with Chris Evans through Not another teen movie and as his other generation as the ginger host of TFI-Friday and radio one, but he was pretty much perfect for the part.  The supporting cast was also completely awesome, but what topped it all was the surprise musical number by Alan Menkin, wasn't expecting it, but damn was it entertaining.

1.  Attack the Block

I was in two minds whether to see this film at all, on the one hand British, Sci fi/Horror/Comedy, on the other hand, southern chavs.  Southern chavs are quite bizarre to us Northerners, the accents alone are a little bit odd, it's the constant use of the word "blood"that can be quite grating, but I relented and gave it a watch.  (For an idea of what Northern chavs sound like, just look up Devvo on youtube.)  I really, really enjoyed this movie, immediately after seeing it, we got back in the queue and went and saw it again.  Best film of the year and probably best British sci-fi film in years. 

The Worst

Unlike 2010, where I was battling to keep it to a neat 10, there actually wasn't that many movies I really hated this year, so I've done my best to explain why these movies are on the list.

10. Conan the Barbarian

This is a weird one, when I first saw it with my friend we thought it was awesome, then we started talking about it and realised not only was it very weird, but we really had no idea what was going on, at all.  I didn't really think it was a terrible film, but it was quite all over the place and I think I was seduced upon the first watching by the shiny swords and cool costumes.

9.  Apollo 18

This is another weird one, I really loved the premise of this movie, the idea of an Apollo mission which no one knew about because something had gone disastrously wrong.  I am also quite a big fan of found footage films, when they are done right, they are completely and utterly awesome.  It was about the half way point when this movie started just getting boring and continued getting boring.  There were about five or six different ways I thought the movie could have gone which would have made it epic and awesome and a million times better and none of them involved moon rock spider brain parasites.

8.  Paranormal Activity 3

I kinda liked the first one, I didn't think it was brilliant and the guy in it annoyed the fuck out of me, but I thought it was ok.  The second one kind of retconned some stuff, but I let it pass and it had a few good moments, but over all I didn't think it was a great film.  This one just irked me, the amount of retconned stuff they just outright made up for this movie was pretty stupid.  I thought the main character was a great character, but there wasn't much really to this film to write home about.  If you're a fan of the series, I can get why you'd like it, but it's not for me.

7.  Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

I don't really think I need to explain why this is a bad movie.  It's Twilight, it's Breaking Dawn, even Twilight fans took issue with the Breaking Dawn book.  This movie was a two hour series of montages and Kirsten Stewart biting her lip and making odd breathing noises.  The one thing I will give the movie, because I am nothing, if not a fair man, is that the effects that made her look like Skeletor were pretty damn good.

6.  New Year's Eve

I've seen quite a few movies in which they tell a lot of stories through a large cast, the best of these movies are probably Love Actually and He's just not that into you.  New Year's Eve is just boring as hell, really unfunny and completely all over the place.  The really interesting story in the movie, involving Michelle Pfeffier and Zac Efron really should have been expanded because of all the stories in the movie, this was the only interesting one.  The most ridiculous one, was the one in which they tried to pass off Sarah Jessica Parker as an attractive woman - I hate to judge by appearances, I really do, but she's not a very attractive woman, but movies always try and pass her off as the most beautiful person alive and absolutely no one buys it.  I'm not exaggerating this, when I saw this movie in the cinema, at the climax when the camera pans up and reaches her face, the audience I was in recoiled because they just weren't expecting a harsh close up.  I blame the removal of her chin wart, when it was there, there was something to focus on, now it's gone I think you notice the entire face more.

5.  Straw Dogs

 There were several issues I took with this movie, pointless remake, pointless Americanised remake, stupid, stupid, fucking characters, but the thing which ticked me off the most was just how bloody boring it was.  Not even Alexander Skarsgard, who is the man, could not make this movie even slightly bearable.  If you've going to remake one of the most controversial films of it's time, then do something with it.  Make it shocking, make the audience question their own morality, make the main character fucking likeable, I just don't want to sit there for an hour wondering when the hell something is going to happen.

4.  Red Riding Hood

What a piece of shit this movie was.  It so desperately wanted to be Twilight and failed badly.  One of the main problems with the movie was the lack of development between the main character and her love interest, which was so sparse they just chucked a montage of them snogging in towards the end.  Lazy and idiotically predictable plot, crap antagonists, terrible casting.  It sucked. 

3.  Sucker Punch

This movie is pretty and that's about it.  I have seen many stylised movies and just because something is stylised, doesn't mean that it will be bad, but all this movie had was it's style.  The plot wasn't very interesting, all of the fight scenes were boring because you knew that they were dream sequences and therefore there were no stakes.  The trailer made this look like it would be a kick ass film about tough fighting chicks in cool costumes, but it was really just a lot of scenery porn.

2.  Bridesmaids

 When this movie came out people were saying that it was a chick-flick that guys could enjoy, it was supposed to be hilarious, the best comedy movie in years, blah, blah, blah.  I fucking hated this movie.  I'm not a fan of this type of humour, the Hangover/40 year old virgin, type of humour, not at all.  This is not a chick flick, this is a man movie, with girls in it, with the humour all being based around, "look these are women, but they are doing gross things that guys normally do, LAUGH DAMN YOU, LAUGH!"  I did not laugh.  Not once. 

1.  Shark Night 3D

 At some point I will do a list of my most hated movies of all time, at the top of that list you will see the movie "Deep Blue Sea" which I hate for many reasons, but mostly due to how very, very, wrong all the shark information is in it.  Since seeing this movie I have dubbed it Deep Blue Sea 2: Electric Boogaloo, because it's almost as bad as that fucking movie.  The trailers severely misled me into thinking that it would have accurate looking sharks in it.  It does not, it has a couple of models of sharks that look how they're actually supposed to look, but the rest of the are just awful.  They spout off some knowledge that they clearly only learned from Shark Week, which they fucking reference enough, but the sharks themselves look terrible.  I was really, really hoping this would be like Piranha 3D and be awesome and a bit over the top and have a few cool death scenes in it, but it's just shit.


  1. I couldn't get more than 10 minutes into Shark Night. Possibly the worst film I've seen this year. I must say that Sucker Punch is in my top 5!

  2. Once I'd seen Shark Night, it kind of became a banned subject around my friends, they were a bit like "whatever you do, DON'T mention this movie around Ben, it's just like Deep Blue Sea" - though I think they were amused by how much I nerd raged about it.

    To be honest though, I really struggled to put together the worst list, after seeing so many bad movies in 2010, I just avoided seeing a lot of movies I thought I would probably hate and some of the ones I thought I would hate ended up in the top ten. I didn't really hate Sucker Punch, per say, I just didn't really enjoy it. There's a great video on which is a debate between two reviewers, one fighting for Sucker Punch, one fighting against, it's pretty entertaining if you haven't seen it already.

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