January 18, 2012

At The Movies

It seems I fell behind on my movie reviews the last half of 2011. Of course, I fell behind on my movie watching as well. A tragedy, I know. As I prepare to write my first movie review for 2012, I thought I would go ahead and close out my reviews for last year.

Between packing and waiting to move, I had a lot of free time and I saw ALOT of movies that I never got around to sharing. Some of them were good (Easy A, Super 8), some were just alright (Conan, No Strings Attached), and some were exercises in celluloid torture (Hop, Buried).The majority of them fall into the middle category--as most movies do. They are the equivalent of a salad--fresh and satisfying at the time but they don't stick around long and they leave me hungry for something more substantial. I don't have the space or attention span to review all those salads at once. Instead, I am going to stick with the steak and potatoes movies--the ones that were fulfilling, the ones I wanted to savor and linger over.

2011 was a great year for animated movies. While Despicable Me actually hit theaters in 2010, it was released on DVD in 2011 and quickly became a staple in our house. Words and phrases from the movie are sprinkled liberally throughout my family's vernacular and we are eagerly awaiting the 2013 sequel. It joins Tangled, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Gulliver's Travels, How to Train Your Dragon, and Soul Surfer as my favorite family movies of the year.

For the adult set, I would recommend The Town, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, or The Other Guys. The True Grit remake with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld was phenomenal. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.

My pick for Best Movie of 2011 is, by far, Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig, you are my hero. She created a movie that is funny, touching and sweet. It's also the raunchiest female comedy in the history of ever. It catapulted Melissa McCarthy to instant fame and for good reason. While every woman in that movie is a genuine comedian in her own right, McCarthy stole every scene she was in. I've never laughed so hard and so long during any movie. And afterward, MC and I picked up the kids from their movie and we all went to Wendy's where we rehashed the whole movie in shorthand ("It's happening!", "She does NOT get a party favor!") and laughed until tears were pouring out of our eyes (again)--much to the embarrassment and bewilderment of our children. The great thing is, the movie is just as funny during the 2nd viewing.

Every year naysayers bemoan the state of cinema and the lack of quality films. While I can't attest to the quality, I am already looking forward to several upcoming releases for 2012. This is the year that will bring us One For The Money--the movie version of Janet Evanovich's hilarious Stephanie Plum book series. Hunger Games is another book-to-movie I'm looking forward to. And let's not forget the final installment of the Twilight series. What else am I looking forward to?
Underworld: Awakening
Mirror Mirror
and Snow White and the Huntsman--both updated takes on Snow White
Wrath of the Titans
(love, love, love Pixar)
The Dark Knight Rises
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
The Hobbit
World War Z
This Is Forty

See you at the movies!

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