Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 Best & Worst Movies of 2011

If I could sum up last year, 2011 was definitely the year of obscure/artsy films. In case you need a little refresher course, check out Genrocks video recap here.

Every year I have a difficult time narrowing down my "best of the best" list - there's always an abundance.
This time proved more daunting than usual due to the lack of great movies to choose from. There were a few I'm sad I missed though - My Week with Marilyn, Ides of March, Beginners and We Bought a Zoo. However, compiling my "Worst of the Worst" list wasn't difficult at all. There's always tons of those (can't believe how many awful movies I saw). Without further ado, I present my Top Ten Best & Worst Movies of 2011.

Worst of the Worst

Dishonorable Mentions:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Horrible Bosses
The Change-Up

10. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
Even though I enjoyed this movie (hey, I'm a fan of the books), I still thought it was hokey storytelling, cheesy and (as always) it had the signature brand of stiff and awful acting.

9. Red Riding Hood
“Oh, Grandma, what a big, bad movie this one is.” If you thought the Twilight movies were bad, this gothic, teenaged-melodrama love triangle is worse.

8. Captain America: The First Avenger
Blah. Blah. Blah. Here’s a movie that could have been First-Class, instead it was BORE-Class. Feels like it was made in a rush ONLY so they can make The Avengers.

The Mechanic
If you are about to go over a ledge of a roaring waterfall and someone tosses you a line and shouts, "I'll tow you to shore, but then we have to watch The Mechanic," take the plunge. And I don't want to hear about how you can't swim either.

One of the most idiotic and cliche-ridden movies ever. It’s The Bourne Identity for underage simpletons. Cheesy mixed in with a lot of bad acting.

5. Just Go with It
Yeah, Just Don’t. The movie seemed to exist solely so Sandler and his friends could go on a free trip to Hawaii at our expense. Not only will you feel frustrated by watching this mistake of a movie, but it just lacks funny.

The Green Hornet
It bored many people to tears with its attempt at a tongue-in-cheek blockbuster. HUGE epic fail. If you’re longing for a super hero movie, save your time and your money and watch The Dark Knight instead.

Shark Night 3D
It tried to capture the magic of last year’s Piranha. Only this one was horrible with NO redeeming qualities. Don't eat the American teens! Actually, who cares. Watch Jaws instead.

If you are ever sucked up into an alien spacecraft, and the extraterrestrials offer you a choice between getting probed with their instruments or watching Prom then fine, OK, option B, but still...

And the #1 WORST movie of 2011 goes to...

This is an awful and completely ridiculous modern take on Beauty and the Beast. This movie had some of the worst clumsy dialogue ever, the whole concept was even clumsier. It tries to cram magic and social media into the same half-baked world, and it never even approaches convincing. (rolls eyes)

Best of the Best

Honorable Mentions:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Super 8

10. Soul Surfer
This little one arm surfer girl made me cry. I know this pick may be a little cheesy and out of left field, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It’s inspirational, touching and makes you feel good about life in general and reminds you that anything's possible.

9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
What looked to be the most unnecessary film of last summer turned out to be a surprising hit, thanks in part to the remarkable performance of Andy Serkis as Caesar and cool old-school storytelling.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Who knew the fourth installment of the series would be the best one yet. This is one terrific thriller that holds some of the best action sequences around. It’s kind of like action poetry.

7. Moneyball
The film makes a great deal of sense. It's a great film about American business. This is a pretty sympathetic view of what it takes to run a large business organization. Intriguing storytelling mixed with great acting!

Midnight in Paris

This Romantic comedy is a fabulous day-dream. Not only is it funny and charming, but it’s surprising touching, and profound. Even if you’re not a fan of Woody Allen you’ll fall in love with this film for sure.

5. The Help
It's funny, touching and incredibly humane – so don't be ashamed to turn on the waterworks if you feel like it. And don't be surprised if Viola Davis walks away with a golden statuette for her performance.


Director Paul Feig + hilarious Kristen Wigg headlining an amazing cast of ladies = last year’s BEST comedy and one of the best comedies in a long time.

3. Hugo
The most charming 3D adventure of last year belongs to a young boy named Hugo. This is the first real children's film by Martin Scorsese, and one of his finest films yet. If you love movies and the history of film, I guarantee you’ll fall in love.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
It's a film that did the seemingly impossible. The eighth film of the series ends up being the best of the series and a truly great film in every respect. It definitely ended with a bang. I’m just sad it’s finally over.

And the #1 BEST movie of the year goes to...

1. Drive
From its gripping getaway opening scene to its ambiguous dramatic ending, Drive packs a powerful punch. Yes, it’s definitely gory and violent (in parts), but it has some of the best acting, directing, and editing that you’ll be completely mesmerized from beginning to end. This film is definitely a work of art and Ryan Gosling is truly magnificent!

There you have it, folks. The floor is now yours... What movies made your best and worst list of 2011?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Trailer

Source: Youtube

It's time to return to Middle Earth once again. The first full trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first part of The Hobbit adaptation, has arrived. Apparently it will be playing in front of Tintin. For Lord of the Rings fans, like myself, this is everything you could imagine. Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo, along with Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Andy Serkis as Gollum, and many more. Take a look and Enjoy!

The Hobbit is once again directed by Peter Jackson in two separate segments. It's set in Middle-earth 60 years before Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in a trilogy ten years ago. The Hobbit films, with screenplays by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson, will be shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest camera technology. The Hobbit follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. This epic film arrives in theaters in 3D on December 14, 2012.

You in??

Monday, December 19, 2011

Young Adult Review

What can be said about Young Adult other than it's this year's feel bad dark comedy. Directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, whose two previous films (Juno and Jennifer’s Body) both centered around teenagers. In a way, this one is also about adolescence. This movie stars Charlize Theron, one of the best actors working today, as Mavis, a character we thoroughly dislike. She's a 37 year old who still views the world as if she were still 17, when she always got her way, when her beauty made everyone fawn over her, and when she was queen of her small town.

Mavis is not a likable person. You’ll find yourself both laughing at her and with her, as you observe her incredible desperation to win back her old flame, Buddy (
Patrick Wilson). She is a woman who doesn’t have the best plan, nor does she even get it, but it’s intriguing to watch her carry out her ridiculous plan to the bitter end, with all the peaks and the valleys of her often embarrassing journey, which contains some serious and shocking, (some) funny and tragic moments.

There's definitely an underlining theme of attitude in the film, which was thought provoking - how we perceive the world and deal with the hand dealt is ultimately up to us.
Young Adult had some great performances. I'm a big fan of both Theron and Wilson. Over all it was a well put together film. I will say, though, it was a little more depressing than I had anticipated, but I'm glad I saw it.

What did you think of it?

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

Source: Apple

Warner Brothers has debuted the second official trailer for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, starring Christian Bale as Batman and Tom Hardy as the man who breaks the Bat, villain Bane, the one with the mask and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman (I'm not too thrilled about her in that role, but we'll see). Apparently this debuted in theaters over the weekend, and it's finally out in full-on HD thanks to Apple. This looks truly phenomenal! Take a look.

Eight years after The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to the limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent.

The Dark Knight Rises is once again directed by Oscar nominated British filmmaker Christopher Nolan, of Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight and Inception.. The script was co-written by Christopher & Jonathan Nolan (The Prestige, The Dark Knight), from a story by Chris Nolan & David S. Goyer (of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight). This movie hits regular theater and IMAX everywhere July 20th, 2012.

You down?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Year in Review: Filmography 2011

Source: YouTube

I'm a huge fan of these movie montages, especially ones edited by
Genrocks. I featured his work last year (to view click here). And even though I was a little more impressed with his work in 2010, this montage is still a stunning and well crafted piece of work with great highlights from films like Limitless, Moneyball, The Rum Diary, Bridesmaids, and many more. Have a look see!

Genrocks put together a collection of films that were either produced or distributed in 2011 for what he calls, "A 230-film retrospective that celebrates this year's movies and their amazing capacity to transport us through the boundaries of space, time, and identity." It's really quite an all-encompassing look at the past year on the big screen. See the entire list of films and music used in the video right here.

What were some of your favorite films of 2011... so far?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Top 10 Most Iconic Film Scores


Behind most classic films there is an unforgettable score, and in most cases many of these films contain music that's even more iconic than the films themselves. A score is written specifically to accompany a film, by the original film’s composer(s). And ever since the beginning of contemporary film making music has been used to accentuate the most famous movie scenes. I have compiled a list of the most famous films scores of all time. These are melodies that everyone will recognize. Without further ado I give you my Top 10 Most Iconic Film Scores. Enjoy!

10.Gone with the Wind (1939)
Gone With the Wind is one of the most famous scores in film history. It is the highest and most immediate representation of music of Hollywood's pre-World War II Golden Age. Composer Max Steiner's beautiful melody will definitely sweep you away.

9.Indiana Jones (1981)
Take a college professor, give him a whip and a hat and you've got a movie icon. Set the entire thing to a sweeping, rolling, upbeat theme and you've got a legend. This theme, composed by John Williams, was so iconic throughout the Indiana Jones series and holds up just as well today if not better. A brilliant theme for a brilliant film.

8. Psycho (1960)
Bernard Herrmann collaborated with Hitchcock on a number of his movies, but few have matched the quality of his work here. He created a score that Hitchcock admitted provided thirty-three percent of the film's effect, and happens to be one of the greatest horror scores of all time.

James Bond (1962)
Monty Norman composed his signature work with the main theme to James Bond. This widely known iconic film score introduces us to one of the most iconic spies of all time. The theme uses a surf rock style guitar riff. At the time of the first film's release, surf rock was all the craze.

6. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
The first time I heard this music, as a little girl, it was to the Tyson chicken commercial. Little did I know it was actually the theme music to a classic western. Elmer Bernstein's Academy Award nominated score includes one of the most recognizable pieces in film music history, the up-beat, rousing Magnificent Seven theme is a stellar example of a classic Hollywood score.

5. Superman (1978)
Composed by John Williams, Superman's theme is arguably one of the most instantly recognizable and iconic pieces of music of all time. The music is extremely patriotic in sound and energy. It had to fly just like the main character and Williams delivered on every level.

4. Chariots of Fire (1981)
On the film's soundtrack this piece is called "Titles" because of its use in the movie's opening titles sequence, but it widely became known as "Chariots of Fire". Written and recorded by Veangelis, his amazingly iconic film score has since been recorded and covered by numerous performers, and to this day is used in various television programs and sporting events.

Director Stanley Kubrick does something incredible with the first two and a half minutes of his masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. He gives us a black screen – no text, no images – accompanied by the dynamically growing sound composed by Richard Strauss. This music is definitely iconic for sure.

2. Jaws(1975)
Simplicity was the key to John Williams two note theme that increases in intensity to mirror the approaching shark's heartbeat as it prepares for attack. The theme is a stroke of genius. It's just as haunting as it is unforgettable.

1. Star Wars (1977)
Duh, I know it's an obvious choice, but when it comes to the most iconic film scores this masterpiece takes the cake. Though the entire series has a great soundtrack (“Imperial March” and “Duel of the Fates”), Episode IV: A New Hope is where it all started. Aside from the aforementioned main theme, the film carries within it a musical motif that John Williams manages to spin to fit just about any mood. Brilliant!

Now that you’ve read and heard my picks for most iconic film scores, what film scores to you find iconic and why?

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Cabin in the Woods Trailer

Source: Firstshowing

"This isn't right, we should split up."
Lionsgate has finally debuted their first trailer for The Cabin in the Woods, the long-lost horror film created by Drew Goddard & Joss Whedon that was originally shot in early 2009. The cast of the doomed kids in this movie includes Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison and stoner Fran Kranz. I've been hearing about this horror flick for a while now. For some reason it was shelved until recently. I'm a huge fan of horror movies! The good, the bad and the ugly, it doesn't matter. I love 'em all. Although, when it comes to this genre, it seems there are more bad than good. I have to say, though, this looks pretty awesome. Let's hope the film lives up to its trailer. Enter now!

A group of five friends going on a quiet cabin retreat scratch the surface of something so massive and horrific that they can only begin to fathom what might possibly be going on just as time quickly runs out.

The Cabin in the Woods is the feature directorial debut of Drew Goddard, screenwriter of Cloverfield and Robopocalypse, as well as work on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Alias" and "Lost" for J.J. Abrams. This movie hits theaters on April 13, 2012.

I'm so in! Are you?

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