Year of Movies

As I sit here on Christmas Eve, smelling the cooking going on the kitchen, listening to a podcast concert of the Raconteurs from this summer, the mood has struck me to recount some of the best (and worst) movies I’ve seen this year. And just an fyi, I had to look up alot of the movies from the early Spring/Summer because as I get older, my mind goes. Also, these are just movies that I’ve seen this year…there’s still a huge chunk waiting on my queue at Netflix.

The Best….
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (March)-Performances by Amy Adams and Lee Pace that will surprise you. Frances McDormand never shocks me because she picks great roles. Rent it, own it, and truly enjoy this film.

Iron Man (May)-I just saw this film last week. Yes, quite a long time to wait but I am not a fan of Robert Downey, Jr. nor of Gwyneth Paltrow, nor Terrence Howard for that matter. However, this movie is spectacular. It’s a superhero movie, don’t try to think it’s an Oscar winning masterpiece. They did an excellent job of making you hate Downey’s character and then loving him for his empathy. Great adaptation of a DC Comic (something I am very weary of since I’m a comic nerd).

The Dark Knight (July)-Like this wouldn’t be in the best category?! Some complained about it’s length, some complained that it was too hyped because of Ledger’s untimely death, some even criticized how they went about Batman’s dark side in this second installment with Bale at the helm. My response is, “do you want to see this pencil disappear?”

Pineapple Express (August)-There are simply no words for this film. The best comedic film I’ve seen in many years. It’s about drugs, more specifically pot. I find comedic enjoyment from taking a movie at what it’s supposed to be about and nothing more. Don’t take it serious and you won’t be disappointed.
The Good….
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (April)-I nearly peed my pants laughing in this movie. Just a warning, there are several full frontal shots of the leading male character-I really didn’t think they’d show them but oh they did. Hilarious, fun, and overall a good movie.

Baby Mama (April)-A nice change of pace having two female comedic leads. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey pull it off brilliantly. Nothing grotesque nor hokey in this one. All out funny.

Wanted (June)-Great action movie. I’m not a fan of Angelina Jolie, but wow, can that woman act! James McAvoy does a stellar job as well. Overall, enjoyable good fun for an action movie.

Eagle Eye (September)-I caught this at the dollar movies last week. Good enjoyable fun, and a much better performance from Shia LeBouf than from his Indy appearance. Reminiscient of his Transformers performance and what made them choose him for the Indy film.

The Bad….
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (May)-This might have found itself in the Good column had the last thirty minutes not ruined the entire film. I was sad to see Indy take a turn like this….I blame it on the director.

The Duchess (September)-Keira Knightley needs to branch out from period pieces of a British nature. I’d like to see her play an American and pull off not having her British accent. I did not enjoy this movie and I’m a fan of alot of British period pieces….including The Other Boleyn Girl (until I read the book, the movie is vastly different from it).

The Just Plain Ugly….
Cloverfield (released in January)-quite possibly the biggest letdown of a built up movie in my opinion. One of my students raved about how good it was, however, I think our tastes differ drastically. Save yourself even the rental fee on this one.

The Happening (June)-Zoe Deschanel ruined this film. I’m not sure who told her that she could act, but she can’t….end of story. I think you could get better emotion out of shoe than you could out of her. Good story line, bad execution. Innovative idea from M. Night Shamalyan.

Twilight (November)-Now I’m all about taking a movie at what it’s worth and what it’s truly labeled. But this adaptation of the book was laughable. I am not kidding, I laughed at what were supposed to be serious parts in this film. Kristen Stewart’s casting was the wrong choice obviously. Robert Pattinson does an excellent job of playing a tortured vampire…very David Boreanaz from his early Buffy days. Bad wigs, bad dye jobs, and very bad acting from a highly-touted actress. Shame on you Catherine Hedwicke. No wonder you were not asked to make the sequel!

These are just a brief run down of the movies that fit into one of those four categories. I saw many other movies that were enjoyable but that just did not stand out enough for me to put them up there. Also, there’s still three movies to be released this week I want to check out so there might be some revisions. Whether you agree or disagree, movies are coming around to being more enjoyable with large lulls from the summer push until Christmas, and then again following the holidays until early Spring. My only pet peeve is the price. How about we not pay them millions so I don’t have to pay $9 for a movie ticket. I could rent movies for two months on Netflix at that cost….just a thought.

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