Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:32 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 31 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
2011 in Hindsight. 
Author Message
Post 2011 in Hindsight.
So how was everyone's years for movies? I'm not exactly interested in what were the "best" or "worst" movies that people saw, but how would you guys describe or sum up your movie viewing experiences of the past 12 months?

Here's mine:

Netflix
With the years releases being so lackluster, (there were some a lot of good, but not great movies out there) this became pretty much the year catching up on older/classic/smaller movies on Netflix for me. Getting a blu-ray player (along with the Netflix streaming feature) meant that the home viewing experience become infinitely preferable to whatever lameness was playing on the big screen.

3D
3D went from being a mere nuisance to outright evil for me when the producers of the last Harry Potter movie decided to do a post-3D conversion. Ew. After spending several hours trying to make out what was going on the dark and blurry screen, I emerged from the theatre with a pounding headache, completely nauseas, and my life ruined... well maybe not the last one. But months later, watching the blu-ray with its crystal clear images I wondered what madness caused the producers to do what they had done. Oh wait, the surcharge... In short, I'm now actively rooting for the 3D format to just die already.

So what movies did I think were any good? X-Men: First Class was decent and had a lot of queer subtext that I got a kick out of. Super 8, as homage movies go, was also decent but not brilliant.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was the 2011 movie that came the closest to greatness. The central mystery was derivative, yes, (not to mention highly predictable) but the characters, particularly Lisbeth, were extremely well developed. Combined with some great acting and directing, the weakness of the central mystery was pretty much irrelevant for me.

Other than that, I don't think I saw anything else in theatres (at least nothing that comes to mind besides the awfulness of Harry Potter in 3D)

As far as Netflix/Blu-Ray purchases went, my 2011 discoveries (if you will) were as follows:
Dark City
Farewell My Concubine
Citizen Kane (not exactly a discovery given the way nearlyevery critic out there talks about it, but when I finally got around to seeing it, I liked it a lot more then I expected)
The Crying Game
Kiss of the Spider Woman
2001: A Space Odyssey*
Metropolis*

*I've seen both of these before but under less then ideal circumstances, being able to see them under better viewing conditions (namely blu-ray and in the case of Metropolis, HD streaming) I was able to develop a better appreciation for both of them.

So, how would other people describe their movie experiences this year?
-Jeremy


Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:54 pm
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
2011 was a pretty good year movie-wise for me, not quite as good as 2010 though. I didn't bother seeing anything in 3-D this year(though it looks like my theaters only have 3-D showings for Darkest Hour, so i'll have to hold out hope that it was actually filmed in 3-D and isn't one of those post-conversion prints) I'm getting sick of the format myself, when I saw the trailer for Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance(which looks AWESOME BTW) and rolling my eyes at the end when the words "in 3-D" popped up I was like "come on!" I'm just thankful the 3-D conversion to "Cabin In The Woods" didn't happen due to MGM's financial problems(speaking of which, the Red Dawn remake FINALLY has a release date, granted it's in November, but still i'm glad it's coming out period, i've been waiting to see that film since 2009)


Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:08 pm
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
Vexer wrote:
2011 was a pretty good year movie-wise for me, not quite as good as 2010 though. I didn't bother seeing anything in 3-D this year(though it looks like my theaters only have 3-D showings for Darkest Hour, so i'll have to hold out hope that it was actually filmed in 3-D and isn't one of those post-conversion prints) I'm getting sick of the format myself, when I saw the trailer for Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance(which looks AWESOME BTW) and rolling my eyes at the end when the words "in 3-D" popped up I was like "come on!" I'm just thankful the 3-D conversion to "Cabin In The Woods" didn't happen due to MGM's financial problems(speaking of which, the Red Dawn remake FINALLY has a release date, granted it's in November, but still i'm glad it's coming out period, i've been waiting to see that film since 2009)

It was filmed in 3D.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:16 pm
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
Well in that case I won't mind paying the surcharge.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:25 pm
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
Sometimes an overabundance of visual darkness is just depressing, which is I think the case with Harry Potter whether seen in 2D or 3D. It's a very tough movie to sit through, because it's honestly twice as depressing as it really needs to be. Dragon Tattoo, however, avoids this problem, because the cinematography is much better. But without that, I think Tattoo would be fairly unwatchable. I found Armond White's top films of the year to be very good and intriguing:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: the interesting thing about this one is the fact that it really is a B-movie on many levels...maybe not in the same sense as Death Race, but certainly a B-blockbuster. Thus it does have many qualities associated with classic B-movies, including a few references to Cat People. The director also achieved an impressively humanistic feeling regarding the apocalyptic takeover. I think this one had a great story that was fun to go along with.

Attack the Block: There's a fine line between indie and B-movie, and I would call this the latter. As such, it's a lot of fun. I admired its willingness to not be pinned down by constraints of its desired target audience. It's a great microcosm disaster flick, with a feel for class integrity, which is largely played up for humor. I find it strange that The Artist has gotten more attention than this obviously more mainstream flick. Makes you wonder what's mainstream anymore.

Paul: not as good as Hot Fuzz or anything, but a very fun movie with a Mad Mad World feel to it. I was also reminded of Dumb and Dumber, in a good way.

As for other stuff:

Thor: in hindsight, not as good as I thought...decent entertainment.

X-Men: the most forgettable movie of the year...Vaughn has an honestly bizarre style that I still can quite pin down. It feels less dressed up than the average blockbuster, but that doesn't make it better.

Super 8: Trash, but I guess I find some consistency now. A beautiful girl climbing through my bedroom window at age 12 and an alien creating a war zone out of my neighborhood...I'd say the likelihood of those two things was about equal. Both a little more plausible than my mom being grinded to death at some mine.

Green Lantern: a decently directed B-movie that is by no means awful for what it is. If anything, it just shows that the superhero genre has run its course.

Harry Potter: honest to God, I have not been able to sit through this since the midnight. Yates' direction is seriously not very good, visually it's dreary to the point of being unbearable, the actors were tired and worn out to the nth degree. The whole thing is just empty and hollow.

Captain America: shit on a plate.

Drive: where does praise for this movie come from? This movie employs the style used by many a student production, for those who haven't seen them. Straight shooting with an emphasis on "atmosphere" to avoid doing anything too crazy. It's the lowest level of filmmaking, and the sooner people realize that the better.

Hugo: people need to get over this one. It was like going to Narnia only to be amazed by George Melies. I didn't buy it, and neither did the box office.

Mission Impossible: best action since Casino Royale; awesome.

Tintin: sheer awesomeness. Visionary on a level that was basically never reached by Pixar.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:13 pm
Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:07 pm
Posts: 1521
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
I plan to go see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo tomorrow. Opinion on that, Ghost Protocol and The Descendants forthcoming. But for now:

Drive and Hugo stand as the two movies I saw this year that I liked enough to want to own them on DVD or Blu-Ray. Ides Of March is a maybe in that regard. I might buy it. But not until I've Netflixed it and watched it again.

As for the rest:

The Adjustment Bureau. Keeps you involved while it's on yet has totally evaporated from my mind 10 months later.

Company Men. Depressingly accurate, yet soapy in spots. Not bad yet not on the level of Up In The Air.

Super 8. Easily the best popcorn movie of the year. Not one I'll go back to again and again. Has more heart than most summer blockbusters.

Bad Teacher. Has some amusing scenes. But on the whole is too smug for its own good.

Larry Crowne. Cheerful to the point of being obnoxious, this is the cinematic equivalent of a work supervisor who constantly tells you to "Come on! Put a little pep in your step!".

Horrible Bosses. The hard R nihilistic version of Larry Crowne. Better than it or Bad Teacher simply by being funnier than either, this one offers proof that the gross out comedy genre is on its last legs.

Cowboys And Aliens. Offers decent entertainment. Not a classic. But in some ways, it's a better done popcorn movie than Super 8.

The Help. Fantastic performances by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. Those elevate what would otherwise be a mediocre movie. As it is, The Help is a good movie, not a great one. For a while (before Ides Of March) it was the best dramatic movie I'd seen this year more or less by default. The main problem with it is that the script is (as a friend put it) "too soapy in spots". This would have benefited from being somewhat grittier.

The Rum Diary. Lightweight to a fault. Not one I'll remember a year from now. But easily the best of the lightweight movies (Adjustment, Crowne) I saw this year.

J Edgar. Good lead performance and good direction. But not one of Eastwood's great movies.

_________________
This ain't a city council meeting you know-Joe Cabot

Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out-Martin Scorsese.

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1347771599


Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:08 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1664
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
In review, 2011 wasn't great mainstream-wise. A lot of the best films of the year never made it to my area, so that leaves me with just a few favorites for the year:

The Tree Of Life
50/50
Drive

My favorite film of the year by far was Drive. It had a cool, easy style to it, and Gosling was terrific. Films this good don't often go into wide release, and I cherish them when they do.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:33 pm
Profile
Producer

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:04 am
Posts: 2097
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
I think it's been a great year and there are still lots of movies I haven't even seen yet. Some of my favorites of the year right now include Source Code, The Tree of Life, A Better Life, The Help, The Debt, Larry Crowne, Bridesmaids, Super 8, Cowboys & Aliens, Another Earth, X-Men: First Class, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, The Descendants, Soul Surfer, Paul, Fireflies in the Garden.


And I still need to see such potentially great movies like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, War Horse, The Adventures of Tin tin, Hugo, The Artist, Melancholia, Meek's Cutoff, Certified Copy, A Separation, Young Adult, My Week with Marilyn, Shame, Albert Nobbs, The Iron Lady, We Need to Talk About Kevin, In the Land of Blood and Honey, Beautiful Boy, Beginners, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Beaver, Everything Must Go, Daydream Nation, Last Night, We Bought a Zoo, Rampart, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Take Shelter, A Dangerous Method, Like Crazy, The Skin I Live In, Margin Call, Sarah's Key, The Way, Margaret among others.

So yeah. Like I said it's been a super year IMO.


Worst movie of the year is probably Priest although Jack and Jill is a VERY close second. They were pretty awful admittedly.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:44 pm
Profile
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
How can you say that Super 8 is better than stuff made by the director that that film is trying to imitate? You're literally implying that a cheap imitation is better than the real thing.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:52 pm
Producer

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:04 am
Posts: 2097
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
MGamesCook wrote:
How can you say that Super 8 is better than stuff made by the director that that film is trying to imitate? You're literally implying that a cheap imitation is better than the real thing.


Who are talking too?


Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:00 pm
Profile
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
I didn't see very many new movies this year. Most of the screenings I attended were of older movies that I was much more interested in seeing.

And that's my cinematic 2011 in a nutshell.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:15 pm
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7271
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
MGamesCook wrote:
How can you say that Super 8 is better than stuff made by the director that that film is trying to imitate? You're literally implying that a cheap imitation is better than the real thing.


No, he's not "literally" implying because if it was literal it would be stating, rather than implying.

A remake can be better than the original. (e.g. The Thing (1982) vs. The Thing From An Another World)

And so can an homage. (e.g. L.A. Confidential vs. many noirs)

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:28 pm
Profile
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
Similar to thered47, my 2011 in movies was largely dominated by a huge step up in the home viewing experience. My wife and I got our first two HD TVs (32" 720p then 42" 1080p) and got our first blu-ray player (mostly to stream Netflix). A lot of our Netflix viewing is catching up on TV shows we've missed or fallen behind on. Our two biggest 2011 discoveries were Parks and Recreation and Terriers, both amazing TV shows. As for movies, I mostly use Netflix to rewatch old favorites--right now Rocky, Big Lebowski, Die Hard, Dirty Dozen, Apollo 13, Miracle on 34th Street, Chinatown, Amadeus, Memento, Toy Story 3, Serenity, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are all available streaming. In addition to old favorites, my wife and I are beginning to explore Netflix's decent collection of film noir. I started her off with Chinatown and Double Indemnity, and we're making our way slowly along. Netflix streaming has really changed the way I think of movie collections--I have basically stopped buying new blu-rays/dvds, except for the very few movies I feel I have to revisit often.

As for 2011 movies, I find upon reflection that it was a very good year, in that I enjoyed (at least on some level) pretty much every movie I saw that came out this year. I've only seen 19 movies from 2011 so far, but 17 of them were in the theater. Of those, even my least favorite (Rango, Captain America, Soul Surfer, Water for Elephants) all had qualities I liked or admired. Rango in particular I admired a great deal, even if the movie as a whole didn't quite gel for me in a way that was fully satisfying. And Soul Surfer, for what it was trying to do, was really very well done.

However, no 2011 movie had the kind of impact my favorite movies from the last few years had. My favorite movies of 2011 so far (Harry Potter 7b, Sherlock Holmes, Hugo), while greatly enjoyable, haven't stuck with me (or made me crave repeated viewings) the way that Inception, Dark Knight, Toy Story 3, Inglourious Basterds, Avatar, Star Trek, and others have in recent years. Even Harry Potter, my favorite 2011 movie, would have been my 5th favorite of 2010 behind Toy Story 3, Inception, True Grit, and The Fighter (all movies that pass the "I must own this" test).

So overall, while "forgettable" isn't quite fair, 2011 has felt more... slight than 2010, 2009, or 2008. Perhaps the movie that has stuck most in my memory (Drive) isn't even one of my 5 favorites from the year. So overall I've had a great time with movies this year--but less of that time came at the theater.


Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:35 am
Assistant Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:38 am
Posts: 135
Location: Tornado Alley
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
I saw a whole assload of movies this year that I hadn't seen before, but only five that were made in 2011. Best to worst:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
X-Men: First Class
The Thing
Captain America: The First Avenger
The Adjustment Bureau

I would say that I enjoyed all five of them, but for that to be true, I would have needed to walk out of The Adjustment Bureau at around the halfway point.

_________________
Come watch me watch A Movie a Day IV: The Quest for Peace
"You'll howl with laughter!" —Earl Dittman


Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:55 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2014
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
I saw a fair number of films, but there were an awful lot of weeks that I just stayed home. I liked Hugo the best, and I was happy with Hanna, Harry Potter 7.5, Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2, Source Code, The Adjustment Bureau and The Help. Cave of Forgotten Dreams was fascinating for the most part. Overall, though, it was a disappointing year. I'm going to be seeing a bunch of films this week which may help.

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:48 am
Profile
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
JamesKunz wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
How can you say that Super 8 is better than stuff made by the director that that film is trying to imitate? You're literally implying that a cheap imitation is better than the real thing.


No, he's not "literally" implying because if it was literal it would be stating, rather than implying.

A remake can be better than the original. (e.g. The Thing (1982) vs. The Thing From An Another World)

And so can an homage. (e.g. L.A. Confidential vs. many noirs)


I disagree with both of those, but that last one really scratches open a sore spot. Including Mann's stuff I've seen about 45 noirs, and I liked almost all of them better than Confidential. But if your example was Chinatown, I'd be willing to consider it. Long Goodbye is also great. Has anyone seen Night Moves? How is it?


Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:42 am
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
2011 has been my single 'worst' year for movies, absolutely no doubt. The health scare I had in this year's first quarter took me out of the movie-watching game for some time and, by the time I felt relatively steady, I was too busy playing catch-up with so much else. We also welcomed our second daughter into the land of breathable oxygen and microwave pizza pockets so a lot of little personal projects/interests were put completely out of mind. Which, rather than leading to resentments and the feeling that I'm "not whole", gave me the opportunity to get to know my family better and realize I could still be surprised/happy if I paid some attention to things other than my psyche and egotistical desires.

So that's all cool, really. 'Cept I saw just a few 2011 movies. Here's the list, if memory will serve:

Thor
Midnight In Paris
Super 8
Cedar Rapids
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Tree of Life

Given the year started strong with a mighty volume of rentals, I'd put my number of viewings at about 50. Could be a few more. That seems like a lot of movies, actually. 50? Maybe even 60!

I watched 39 movies from January 1st until the middle of March! I keep a spreadsheet, you see. I realize I was depressed during that time but... man, I must have been shirking all kinds of responsibilities.

Anyhow. I can't really make a list of the Best of 2011 without having seen the many pictures I'd like to see. I'll be ready with that list by 2013, probably.


Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:07 am
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
2011 in film was a bit dismal for me. The Oscar season had excited me, but at the end of it all, only a few movies really stood out. I can still muster up a ten best movies, but except for the top 2 the rest would most likely not place on another year, say 2010.

Animation was as its crappies, if you ask me. Even anticipated films like The Adeventures of Tin Tin was disappointing. Then there was the travesty of Cars 2 and underwhelming films like Puss In Boots and Rio. My favorite animated film turned out to be one released back in March: Rango.

Humor also seemed not to be the on the menu this year. Every year, there's usually one Comedy (usually a summer comedy) that blows me away ( The Hangover, Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder etc.). There wasn't one this year. I was treated to utter shit like Arthur, Hall Pass. While I enjoyed Bridesmaids it is a bit overrated. My favorite comedic film also was released back in March (I think): Paul.

And then there was Summer. What the hell happened? Please, for the LOVE OF GOD, stop with the Transformers movies. Some of the worst movies I saw for the year, were sequels/prequels to films that I loved before: Pirates of the Caribbean 4, X-Men: First Class, Cars 2. The best summer movie belonged to Harry Potter 7.5.

Fall films were when the Oscar bait films washed over the theaters, and they weren't all bad. Although thoroughly enjoyable, I am not seeing why there is so much love for The Artist. And of course, there was Drive, which was an excellent film. My list of favorite films for 2011 had two completely different movies in my top 5, from the fall, specifically: The Descendants and We Need To Talk About Kevin. Overall I do think fall movies were pretty good.

Finally I must mention the best use of 3D: Hugo which was a majestic movie. This is how you do it, folks.

So 2011 was in a way not as good as previous years, but in no way shit. I had hoped Summer films would've been better than '10, but was sorely disappointed. I do think Fall films were on par with '10. So it wasn't all bad. Overall, the worst movie of 2011 went to the worthless garbage known as Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, and my favorite (or best) movie of 2011 is The Descendants.


Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:47 am
Cinematographer

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 599
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
Last year, like most recent years has been about movies oriented toward my youngsters. Among those, I really enjoyed Rango. The highlight of my movie year was when the family was away for a few days and I was able to catch The Tree of Life. Otherwise, I didn't catch any of the buzz worthy films.


Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:04 am
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7271
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: 2011 in Hindsight.
CasualDad wrote:
Last year, like most recent years has been about movies oriented toward my youngsters. Among those, I really enjoyed Rango. The highlight of my movie year was when the family was away for a few days and I was able to catch The Tree of Life. Otherwise, I didn't catch any of the buzz worthy films.


Ahhhh thank you for confirming why I don't want children

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:31 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 31 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr