I meant to write a review of all the books I read in 2011, but I could only remember about three of them. So I’ll try to dig around my bookshelf and jog my memory. But movies are much easier to remember. Mostly because there aren’t as many to choose from. As I’ve mentioned before, I see a lot of movies. Nothing scary because I hate scary movies. And nothing too dirty unless the guy in it is on My List. Then it is OK. (You weren’t familiar with that loophole, were you?) Before you turn your snooty nose up at me for watching Rated R movies, I have made a New Year’s Resolution not to see any in 2012. And so far I haven’t seen any (except for The Descendents because I had already seen that in 2011. And naturally that means it doesn’t count. Which is another loophole you might not have known about but I do, being an expert on commandments and loopholes. Just governing myself here, people, like the Prophet Joseph said). Without further lame excuses, here is my list, in order.
My Most Favorite:
Midnight in Paris. I have always loved Woody Allen (except for that stinker The Jade Scorpion). This movie was enchanting because it was funny (natch), clever (allusion to “Miniver Cheevy”, one of the poems I really love? Check.), took place in Paris, and had to do with time travel back to the good ol’ days. I saw it three times in the theatre, I loved it so much.
Buck. This was a documentary about the real Horse Whisperer. His name is Buck (short for Buckshot, so he had no choice but to be a cowboy) and he grew up in a very troubled home. He got his act together and became absolutely amazing with horses. It’s both fascinating and feel-good. It’s a very quiet, thoughtful movie but I showed it to my kids and they all were mesmerized. Side note: I want his daughter’s hat incredibly badly.
Crazy. Stupid. Love. Yes, the worst movie title all year. I had really low expectations for this but I was very pleasantly wrong. It was so funny, so poignant, so true. The cast is terrific and has the most hilarious scene of any movie all year (yes, even funnier than Maya Rudolph having diarrhea in the street.) I just adored this movie.
Contagion. Matt Damon and pandemics: my two favorite subjects. If you don’t want to stock up your food storage after seeing this, you have problems.
I Am. This was a documentary that the critics hated because the idea is about trying to prove the importance of compassion and love. The guy who made this movie was a Hollywood big shot who got deathly ill and finally realized that his life was pretty pointless. He set out to discover what is really in the world. While it was not the best-made movie I’ve seen, it was super interesting and incredibly joyful. (By the way, the movie’s title refers to the question “who is responsible for making the world a better place?”.)
My Most Hated:
Just Go With It. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this was my most hated movie of all time. Not surprising since it’s Adam Sandler, who has made only one good movie in his entire life (The Wedding Singer). The premise is idiotic on so many levels (“my assistant is Jennifer Aniston and because she wears glasses I never noticed that she’s hot”). This is one of those movies based entirely on telling one lie after another which makes things incredibly complicated (hilarious hijinx ensue! Theoretically). As a very frank and honest person, I find this so incredibly frustrating; almost frustrating enough to scream in the middle of the movie. Also, there are very sassy kids in this movie. Sassy kids are not funny; they are horrid. I think they are encouraging people to accept underage sassiness in real life. Seriously.
Sherlock Holmes: I’m sorry. I couldn’t stand it. Filmmakers: If you don’t want to make a movie that takes place in the Victorian Era, then don’t. But don’t pretend that you do and have it be completely modern in every way except the costumes. Also, there are lots of explosions. Explosions are to adult movies as farts are to kids’ movies: they’re a cop-out and a sign of poor storytelling.
J. Edgar. It was choppy, confusing, the makeup was terrible and J. Edgar seemed like nothing more than a power-hungry wacko (not in a good way. Just in a I-wish-he’d-hurry-up-and-die-so-this-movie-would-end way).
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Did you know it’s possible to make an incredibly boring and slow spy movie? If you didn’t, check this out. Because who doesn’t want to see not just one but two (!) scenes of Gary Oldman swimming slowly across a lake. Even Colin Firth can’t make this interesting.
Hop: Yes, it’s a kids movie. But it was painfully stupid. Even James Marsden, whom I love (and who loves me too, I just know it) couldn’t make this movie palatable. It was like Alvin and the Chipmunks but with only one chipmunk. Who makes candy.
Movies I Refused To See For Idealogical Reasons:
The Smurfs. I totally worshipped the Smurfs growing up. I bought my kids Smurf stuff a decade ago when I could only get it on ebay. But when I saw this preview my blood ran cold. Cartoon characters in Manhattan??? Uh, I already saw that movie and it was called Enchanted. The Smurfs need to stay in a European forest where their shenanigans are accompanied by classical music, just like the cartoons. The Smurfs are gentle (except for that dumb Jokey who’s always giving gifts that explode) and slightly goofy. They need to stay that way, Hollywood.
New Year’s Eve. I saw Valentine’s Day and it was atrocious. Why would I see it again?
Footloose. I hate musicals. I hate remakes. I especially hate movies whose theme is “dancing makes everyone get along”.
11 thoughts on “My Best and Worst Movies of 2011”
I HATED The Descendants. Too soap-operaish, really; and if I want to see a teen girl acting obnoxious, I can just stay home. Although I thought George Clooney looked good in it…
I do not understand why I haven’t seen Midnight in Paris yet. Thanks for reminding me!
Re: Crazy.stupid.Love. I was enjoying the movie when suddenly the captioning went off and I couldn’t get it back on (I had downloaded the movie) and of course now I’m anxious to see the rest of the movie! grr.
I haven’t seen the rest of the movies yet.
I saw your reference to Bridesmaids but it didn’t say if you liked that movie or not. I hated, hated, hated that movie. I heard that it was a great movie and hilarious but it was stupid! What a waste of 2 hours. I kept watching it hoping it would get better, but it didn’t.
I have been wanting to see midnight in Paris and now I’m going to. And I saw the smurfs and liked it. Gargamel was played by Hank Azaria–who I think is hilarious. It goes on my “rewatcher” list.
It was certainly the year of the mediocre movie. Nothing is a stellar stand out for me. It’s funny, so many of the movies I think about I remember the experience of the night along with the movie. I was worried my friends were bored in Midnight in Paris but I enjoyed it. I loved Crazy Stupid Love. Gosling and the shirt off! Just Go With It–totally stupid movie but I couldn’t help laughing my head off because I was with laugh out loud women. And since I enjoy hype and pop culture I had a lot of fun seeing HP#7 and of course my vampire crush on his honeymoon. And you know, dancing really does make everyone get along! but footloose was just ho hum. “I’M NOT A VIRGIN!” in the middle of your Dad’s church. @@
“Explosions are to adult movies as farts are to kids’ movies: they’re a cop-out and a sign of poor storytelling.”
Watched Buck tonight after seeing the recommendation and I really liked it.
I refuse to watch the new Footloose too. Sorry to hear about J. Edgar. I want to see that one too. Now I’ll think twice.
Have you seen the Masterpiece Mystery Sherlock series? Puts the movie (which I could only watched the 1st 30 minutes 0f) to shame. If you like Sherlock, it’s great. And it doesn’t pretend to be in the Victorian era, it’s a modern version.
“I especially hate movies whose theme is “dancing makes everyone get along”.” I couldn’t agree more!
Once again Jenny, spot on!
Fun list! I haven’t seen most of these. As for books, I think you should check out Goodreads. I love it; it is a good way of keeping track of what you read.
Oh, and what did you think of Bridesmaids? I didn’t like it although all of my friends did. I just kept cringing rather than laughing.
I’ll have to check out a couple of these. Did you see The King’s Speech? That movie was marvelous! (stealing your word :)) One of my favorites of the year.
“Two scenes of Gary Oldman swimming slowly across a lake”—ha ha ha ha ha! And oh dear, I HAD been counting on Colin Firth!