Now that I'm married and have a kid I rarely go to the cinema, which is a shame. I love films (you knew that), but I wait until they come to a format I can watch at my leisure. Still it's time for my annual best and worst list of the films I made time to sit through.
1. X-Men: First Class: After watching the abomination that was X-Men Orgins: Wolverine I was less than estatic about this, but I was pleasantly surprised with the story and the above average acting from most of the cast. I think the writers made a good choice in it's historical setting, and really brought a sense of wonder back to superhero films.
2. The Tree of Life: Another film I was expecting to not like, but enjoyed immensely. Some may call it pretentious Malik being all pretenciousy, but I found it to be a beautifuly shot film about the nature of life. It worked for me, which is surprising since I'm not one to worship at the feet of all thinks Malik.
3. Thor: Another film I expected to hate, but again it struck me how much attention to detail the filmmakers gave it. With a script littered with Shakesperean themes and a great performance by Anthony Hopkins I found this to be a refreshing change from comic book films that have little if nothing to say (I'm looking at you Iron Man).
4. Bridesmaids: Unlike the often compared to film that is The Hangover, this has an actual story and characters you can either relate to or actually know in real life. Plus it's amusing and the script let's the talent of the actors really shine. I haven't laughed harder with a film this year.
5. Captain America: The First Avenger: I know you're probably thinking enough with superhero movies, but this has to be included for the atmosphere alone. Not exactly a gripping story, but a decent orgin story was created for this iconic superhero that is just plain fun.
6. Limitless: Not exactly high-brow cinema, but it has style and an intriguing enough plot that kept me hooked.
Ok so the list is less than arty, but I haven't had time to see things I really wanted yet.
And now for the worst:
1. Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon: Big, loud, stupid. The plot is so silly even twelve year olds would have to roll their eyes at it, plus there's not a single moment in the film where you're asked to connect with any character what so ever.
2. The Hangover Part II: Same as the first with a different setting, except it wasn't funny at all. It was like hearing the same joke over and over again.
3. Green Lantern: Even the worst comic book films often times give you a sense of wonder at the majesty of a hero's power (Superman Returns), but this had nothing. The main character was horribly uninteresting as well the ridiculous and confusing plot was just draining. It possibly could've worked if it had a sense of humor about itself, which the screenwriters tried to go for, and failed.
"We all love a good creation myth. That's partly why X-Men: First Class is such fanboy fun." - Rick Groen