Source Code (4/1/2011) – I was a little surprised that this one had such a high score on Rotten Tomatoes, but that doesn’t mean that I think it was a bad movie; just not as great as some other movies that came out this year. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a guy reliving the same eight minutes of some other guy’s life, and Michelle Monaghan was hot as ever as the female lead. Also a strong performance from another favorite (watch “Up in the Air”) Vera Farmiga as Captain Goodwin, the link that Gyllenhaal’s character has to the “real world.” The movie provokes thoughts as to what would be the most important thing that you would change if you had the opportunity to go back and change one thing… and the decisions that need to be made in the blink of an eye. Good, but not great, movie.
Super (4/1/2011) – Seriously demented movie about a guy who decides to become a super hero to fight crime in his neighborhood. Rainn Wilson is the guy, and he is playing a character that is 180 degrees different from anything else that I’ve ever seen him in, especially his well-known character of Dwight Schrute from “The Office.” Ellen Page shows up to be his sidekick and Kevin Bacon is the bad guy in another movie this year, adding another movie that allows for linkage in the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. If you missed this movie, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you did, you should really check it out.
Rio (4/15/2011) – I don’t usually go to animated movies without normal provocation, such as watching “Rango” because I was with people that had kids. I saw this movie with my mother, getting her out of the house because she was unable to drive after breaking her shoulder, and it was probably the only movie that my mother hadn’t seen that I didn’t feel weird watching with her. Combine that with the voice of Anne Hathaway, whom I will see in nearly every movie she is in (even if she’s playing an animated bird), and you have a decent animated movie.
The Conspirator (4/15/2011) – For anyone that doesn’t know me, I am a big fan of Abraham Lincoln, so a movie based on the conspiracy around his assassination would fascinate me. Plus, Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) was the lead actor. Typical historical/legal drama, and even knnowing the eventual outcome doesn’t ruin the movie even though you always hope that (SPOILER ALERT) she will be spared the hanging. It is movies like this that make me look forward to “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” next year.
Water for Elephants (4/22/2011) – Oh look… Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) is going to expand his acting horizons… or not. He plays pretty much the same character expect he’s not a brooding, sparkling vampire. This time, he is a brooding carny who should have been a veterinarian if not for his parents dying or something. Based on a book, which is probably not a whole lot better, it is very formulaic and features a not-so-great performance from Reese Witherspoon to boot.
Thor (5/6/2011) – The first Marvel/comic book movie of the year, and it ultimately be pushed down the list by later arrivals. That said, it’s always nice to see Natalie Portman in movies not written/directed by George Lucas. Plus, the lovely Kat Dennings shows up, playing the spunky assistant. As for the actual movie, Thor had always been a minor comic book character for me, and I didn’t really know a whole lot about him, but it is probably in my top 10 comic book movies, though towards the bottom.
Bridesmaids (5/13/2011) – I waited a while to see this movie, and I probably shouldn’t have. It will probably end up being a top five movie for the year when all is said and done, but we’ll have to wait and see. Kristen Wiig takes on her first starring role and nails it, playing the maid of honor for lovely Maya Rudolph, only to be replaced by someone else. The first “romantic comedy” that focuses on the women and totally goes against traditional gender roles, giving the women most of the gross out stuff. One of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time.
The Hangover Part II (5/26/2011) – I recently watched this, simply because I felt like I had to see it. The original “Hangover” was probably the best comedy released in 2009, and I think this movie suffered a bit because of that. This sequel almost felt like a shot for shot remake of the original, with only a change from Las Vegas to Bangkok as the location. That said, there were still some funny parts, though it lacked the impact of the original movie. And though I typically like him, I though Zach Galifianakis was trying to hard to play Alan as an idiot.
X-Men: First Class (6/3/2011) – My first favorite movie of the year, later surpassed by a movie from August. I have always liked the X-Men, primarily from watching the cartoon as a kid. I never read the comics, but that didn’t stop me from liking the movie. Kevin Bacon shows up again as the villain, and January Jones is HAWT as Emma Frost. I’m glad that they decided to reboot as opposed to another Wolverine movie, though I still think it would be cool to see Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool.
Super 8 (6/10/2011) – Another movie that I just saw recently, it may have been better to see this one in theaters. That said, the movie is still very good, with strong performances from all the kids. You have a feeling that aliens are involved, but they remain hidden for most of the movie, adding to the overall suspense of the plot. Whether or not aliens exist and, if they did, what they would like like is not the point. However, I feel that if aliens did ever come to Earth, we would do something stupid like lock them up away from their spaceship and just piss them off.
Green Lantern (6/17/2011) – Not the Ryan Reynolds comic book movie that I wanted to see, but it wasn’t terrible. I knew nothing of Green Lantern prior to the movie, and the movie did little to convince me that he is a character worthy of his own movie. But I am a sucker for a pretty face, and while I find it hard to believe that Blake Lively would make a good test pilot/drone developer, she is pretty hot. Put her in a green spandex suit and maybe I’ll rush out and watch the looming sequel.
Bad Teacher (6/24/2011) – We get it Justin Timberlake. You want to be an actor. How about more movies like “Alpha Dog” and “The Social Network” and less movies like this or “In Time.” As for you Cameron Diaz… we get it. You don’t have large breasts. But starring in a movie whose main premise is trying to get money for a boob job is a bit lame. Nice to see Jason Segel though.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (6/29/2011) – If there is one thing that has made me mad about movies over the past few years, it has been the Transformers movie. It was a great idea, and the first time that Optimus Prime spoke in the first movie was still pretty cool. But in the hands of Michael Bay, the movies failed. This one was no exception. And now that there is speculation about a fourth movie coming, one of my favorite things from my youth is in danger of being completely ruined. I’m just glad that the rumored Magic: The Gathering movie has not yet reared its ugly head, keeping at least part of my childhood safe from Hollywood.
Until next time…