"KEEP BUSTIN'."

2011: The Year That Was 2011

oh shit, 2012 is coming!
oh shit, 2012!

Happy New Year’s Day Observed everybody. I hope you are able to observe the New Year today.

Everybody seems to be sharing their end of the year favorites list, so I decided to join in, and threw this hodgepodge together. As a rule I don’t do end of the year lists, but I hate all rules so this year I’m doing one. Take that, The System.

#7:

still_enterthevoid

ENTER THE VOID

This movie didn’t entirely work for me. I think it’s way too long and repetitive. But it’s such an unusual and impressive technical feat (it follows a dead guy’s soul floating around after his death) that the experience really stuck with me. Yeah, I saw plenty of movies that weren’t as heavily flawed, but most of them weren’t as interesting.

DISQUALIFIED FOR BEING RELEASED IN 2010. NICE TRY, CHEATER

#6:

still_fastfiveB

FAST FIVE

My pick for the most satisfying dumb Hollywood movie this year. Somehow this series continues to get more awesome without sacrificing ridiculous. Great action scenes, gimmicks, cast, and a classic macho-off between Vin Diesel and The Rock. Too bad THE EXPENDABLES wasn’t this fun.

#5:

still_hanna

HANNA

I love a good movie that can pass for a Hollywood thriller but has kind of an arty or classy edge to it. Here the director of ATONEMENT does a great take on the ol’ “kid trained to be a super killer” tale. He gives the girl a good revenge arc and Eric Bana a couple topnotch fight scenes, but my favorite part of the movie is the goofy and sweet friendship between the l’il assassin raised in the wilderness and the little brat raised on reality TV and cell phones.

#4:

still_isawthedevil

I SAW THE DEVIL

A stylish action-revenge movie gets disemboweled by a fucked up serial killer thriller. It uses filmatism to get me excited for sadistic vengeance and then makes me feel bad about it. In a good way. “Revenge is bad” is a message we’ve seen before but it’s such an engrossing, precise, and at times shocking movie that it almost tricks me into thinking it’s a new idea.

#3:

still_13assassins

13 ASSASSINS

A big group of characters but a simple story. An absolutely great villain and a whole bunch of badass samurais with a smart strategy. Swords, explosions, bonding, honor, all the shit I love. Just pure entertainment.

#2:

still_treeoflife

THE TREE OF LIFE

This seems like the obvious pretentious critic’s choice for movie of the year, but sometimes those fellas know what they’re talking about. This Terrence Malick individual uses cinematic language in a way I’ve never seen before, creating such an authentic movie version of the feeling of remembering one’s childhood that it gave me maybe the most overwhelming emotional response I’ve ever had to a movie. Despite the presence of dinosaurs. I’m not saying I’m gonna throw this one on all the time – studying it too much could demystify it – but man if it isn’t a cinematic achievement. Way to achieve, Malick.

#1:

still_drive

DRIVE

This is another one that’s topping alot of lists, you might be sick of hearing about it. I’m glad it caught on so much (big enough for a backlash!) but I really feel like this is exactly my kind of movie. It’s a crime movie with great tension and action but with a sense of patience and a respect for quiet. And some great characters. Might even get Albert Brooks an Oscar. It’s got style, atmosphere, mood, swagger, weirdness, humor, romance, headbashing, some cars.

losers that can hang their heads high:
KILL THE IRISHMAN, ATTACK THE BLOCK, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, WARRIOR, THE DESCENDANTS, M:I:4:GP

Most surprising DTV movie:

INSIDE OUT

Really couldn’t believe WWE Films made a quirky crime dramedy starring that long-haired guy from BLADE III, Parker Posey and Bruce Dern.

runners up: HOSTEL PART III, THE MARINE 2, DEATH RACE 2, THE HIT LIST

Best DTV supporting actor:

Michael Jai White, NEVER BACK DOWN 2: THE BEATDOWN

MJW’s directorial debut has some cheesy aspects, but his character is a classic. I watched scenes of this over and over like I was wearing out favorite songs on a pretty good album.

Most interesting failure:

SUCKER PUNCH. I don’t know man, it’s a mess but I still respect the ambition and the technical mastery. Not given enough credit.

Best horror:

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK. I guess it wasn’t a huge year for the stuff, I didn’t see too many new horror movies in ’11. And of course even this one is a remake. But I think it’s really well executed with interesting character dynamics, solid suspense skills and A+ creature effects. I hope it catches on on video. (I think it comes out this week.)

Best Animated Movie:

I wish I could say RANGO, which is easily the best looking cartoon I saw, but unfortunately the movie bored the shit out of me. One thing I don’t get: if it’s supposed to be a tribute to westerns why base it on CHINATOWN? Why not, like, a western type plot? Or at least a samurai one?

And I liked THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN if that counts as animated, but I gotta tell you, the one I enjoyed most was actually KUNG FU PANDA 2. I thought a part 2 would probly fail without that “not Pixar but good for Dreamworks” surprise factor, but they managed to make a really good sequel. It builds on the first one, starting him off as a heroic warrior (not taking everything away and making him rehash what happened in part 1) and turning the joke about him obviously being adopted into the premise of the movie. The villain is a white peacock who’s visually interesting, a completely different threat than the burly tiger villain in part 1, and who has some emotional vulnerabilities you don’t expect to see. Looked great in 3D, too.

worst animated movie I saw:

CARS 2. I’m sure some of the other ones involving Gnomes and shit are worse, but this is the first time I thought a Pixar movie was bad. I dug the insane logic and detailed animation of the first CARS and it sounded like a great idea to put them into a spy movie. But the story is just like Saturday cartoon junk with vague, generic allusions to James Bond, phony attempts at emotion and gratingly frenetic action throughout. It’s not just “weak for Pixar,” it’s not good at all.

Best Nicolas Cage movie:

DRIVE ANGRY 3D I guess. Not his best year.

Best 3D I saw:

HUGO

Most unique use of 3D I saw:

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS. So cool it got re-released in a theater here after the DVD already came out.

worst 3D I saw:

HARRY POTTER AND THE etc. part 2

There’s some god damn liar in Hollywood going around giving a little seminar to convince the directors that it would be easier just to shoot the movie the way they always have and not learn new things, then have it converted to fake 3D. It always looks like shit, many of them don’t do as well anymore and most moviegoers either can tell the difference and don’t like it or can’t tell the difference and don’t like any 3D. It’s just a terrible idea artistically and business-wise but they keep doing it – for example THE AVENGERS and STAR TREK 2 are gonna be released in fake 3D next year. STAR TREK might be shot partially in Imax, but why would you want to go to a real Imax theater only to have that footage converted into fake 3D?

As the public becomes more aware of this shitty technique they gotta do interviews and talk about how it was always planned in 3D or they had a longer period to convert it than they did on CLASH OF THE TITANS, THOR, THE IMMORTALS, CAPTAIN AMERICA, CONAN THE BARBARIAN and whatever else you saw that looked like shit, or the technology’s getting better or whatever. And still they end up with something like GREEN HORNET, where you barely noticed it’s in 3D until the end credits, or this, where you barely notice it’s in 3D except when parts of it are blurry or dark and it’s hard to see.

I hope this will be the year everybody figures out to stop doing that, but obviously if any of these directors had seen any of these movies in fake 3D they would never have even considered doing it to theirs. So they must not go to many movies and they’re never gonna find out.

comedies that weren’t that great but made me laugh:

BAD TEACHER – I wonder if there’s gonna be a whole “BAD” line of movies some day. BAD LIEUTENANT, BAD SANTA, this. Cameron Diaz being an asshole the whole time is pretty funny. I only regret the undeserved happy ending for her.

30 MINUTES OR LESS – This one the story was pretty dumb but the people in it were funny, mostly in ways that probly didn’t come out of the script. I can’t really do it justice but maybe my favorite scene is Danny McBride showing off that he’s not scared to pretend to buttfuck FRIDAY THE 13TH 3D Jason Voorhees on his dad’s projection TV.

Dumb comedy that made me laugh but everyone I know thinks it’s the worst and unfunniest piece of shit they’ve ever seen:

YOUR HIGHNESS

Another Danny McBride one. Not as good as I was hoping for, but still had me laughing with its story of a CABIN BOY esque priss as the obnoxious hero of a KRULL type ’80s fantasy movie. James Franco maybe made the movie as the handsome brother McBride is jealous of. You’d think he’d be a vain asshole but instead he’s the greatest guy in the world. He’s so kind and heroic that he offers to go on a dangerous rescue mission for the pet lizard (“my animal companion Stephen”) that his dumb brother purposely left behind in the woods. Natalie Portman, having already won her Oscar, does a victory lap in this movie looking super hot and shooting arrows. I didn’t review this because director David Gordon Green wrote the introduction to Seagalogy, and people would probly think I was faking it to be nice. Don’t see it, I guess, but I liked it.

out on a limb prediction for 2012:

I think this THE HUNGER GAMES PART 1 OF A NEW SAGA won’t be the cultural phenomenon they’re trying so hard to fabricate it into. It will make some money but to mediocre reviews and most adults won’t give a shit by the time the second one comes out. (counter argument: but Steven Soderbergh is the second unit director. The insert shots are gonna be transcendent!)

That’s all I got. More reviews soon

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117 Responses to “2011: The Year That Was 2011”

  1. gee, I’ve only seen one of the movies on this list, ENTER THE VOID and I couldn’t even finish it because I found it to be miserably tedious

    I feel bad now, guess I’ll have to buy Drive when it comes out on blu ray to atone

    and Vern, buddy, why do you not review so many movies you see? nobody’s gonna get mad if you post reviews of a few kid’s movies and comedies, consider it your “badass juxtaposition”

    I mean I’m shocked that you saw 30 MINUTES OR LESS and YOUR HIGHNESS

  2. and if David Gordon Green wrote the intro to your book, does that mean he reads this site?

    if so, why don’t you post David Gordon Green? nobody will bite

  3. I also liked YOUR HIGHNESS. Natalie Portman finally earned her sex symbol card, and Zooey Deschanel tried to suck a severed minotaur dick. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not really that hard to please.

    I know you’re all dying for my list*, so here it is:

    1. DRIVE
    2. SUPER
    3. FAST FIVE
    4. SUCKER PUNCH
    5. 13 ASSASSINS
    6. HANNA
    7. HARRY POTTER & THE MAGICAL MacMUFFIN 7 PART II
    7. 5INAL DE5TINATION 5 PART V: THE 5IVENING

    *Bear in mind that I haven’t seen some of the big movies yet, like TREE OF LIFE or I SAW THE DEVIL. And that ENTER THE VOID came out in 2009, otherwise it’d be on my list too. Vern is like fuck the system though so 2011 is the new 2009 to him.

  4. I saw KUNG FU PANDA 2 yesterday and I totally agree. I liked part 1 a lot, but really LOVED part 2! The action was again great (although nothing topped the prison escape from part 1) and the story was surprisingly touching and dark without taking away the fun. I would even say that Po (which is btw German for “butt”) is my favourite action movie character of the last few years. The “sympathetic goofball, who is at one hand clumsy and not the brightest, but on the other hand has some seriously badass skills and knows how to do his job right and save the day” is a type of character, that is everything else than overused.
    And I loved the villain, from his design to Gary Oldman’s voice acting. I really recommend this movie. So far I hope that either this one or WINNIE THE POOH will take the animation Oscar.

  5. Also I gave up doing these BEST OF lists in terms of movies a while ago. I stopped going to see movies in theatres (unless of course a friend asks me to come with him or her) a while ago*, so I have to wait for the home video release, which often means that I might see lots of stuff not until the next year and it would be a shame to compile a list, without having seen a certain amount of contenders.

    And of course several movies come out here much later or in lesser releases. DRIVE starts here next week (!) and ATTACK THE BLOCK had a limited release, that made the one it got in the US look huge! (It got it still better than SCOTT PILGRIM, which played in less than 10 theatres in the whole country!)

    And most important: I still have to catch up with so much old shit, that I push the new releases usually a little bit lower on my watch list. (After all they will be available for a while anyway.)

    *I went to the movies twice in 2011. Once for TRON, once for TRANSFORMERS. Both in 3D, which made me give up on that gimmick. And those were supposed to have GREAT 3D!

  6. Possible future “BAD ______” movies: BAD PRESIDENT, BAD SCIENTIST(not the amoral kind doing illegal experiments, just a fuckup of one who maybe accidentally creates a mutated supervirus when he spills his Fanta into a beaker or something), BAD BLACKSMITH(a classy period piece), BAD UNDERTAKER(In which Jack Black etc.).

    And yeah, what’s with the attempted hype HUNGER GAMES is getting? From what I’ve read about it or seen from the trailer, it looks like a poor man’s BATTLE ROYALE.

  7. David Gordon Green never wrote any introductions for me so I can say, without conflicting my interest, that I thought YOUR HIGHNESS was hilarious. Plus, I actually liked the fantasy quest part. Often I feel like in comedies the plot can get in the way of the humor. The jokes sometimes just taper off towards the end as they try and wrap up a story I’m not that invested in. But with YOUR HIGHNESS, when they were doing the standard “gearing up for battle” montage I was actually kind of excited for the final showdown.

    And I also thought THE SITTER was hilarious as well. J.B. Smoove’s exit line from the movie was one of the best things I saw at the movies all year.

  8. I suspect THE HUNGER GAMES will do better than you think, Vern.

    Not TWILIGHT levels, mind you. But respectfully well.

  9. Jake: The end of YOUR HIGHNESS also had the best line, certainly in the movie and possibly ever spoken: “You’re too late! The Fuckening has begun!”

  10. Yeah, I can’t I agree with the frontlash against THE HUNGER GAMES. Partly because you forgot to mention the other counter argument: the first unit director. I was only somewhat interested in seeing it until I heard Gary Ross was directing/co-writing. Now I definitely plan on going since, for me, he is 2 for 2 as a director. And a very solid writer as well.

  11. Majestyk – I’m extremely glad they got Justin Theroux for that role since apparently he is the one that came up with that. Also, he has my other favorite line: “Jumping!”

  12. I’m gonna steal this from a friend of mine: “Hunger Games: Based on the trailer, it’s the worst sci-fi movie of 1975, a return to the days of Soylent Greene, Death Race 2000, and Logan’s Run. As if Star Wars, Alien, The Road Warrior and Blade Runner never happened…”

    Also, don’t all the Capitol people like Elizabeth Banks and Wes Bentley look like they stepped directly out of The Apple?

  13. Oh shit, I wanna write BAD SCIENTIST right now! (I would let the supervirus cause people to mutate in all kind of fucked up, but still funny shit. Imagine an end-of-the-world scenario, that isn’t really one [because it’s still a comedy] and in the middle of it the scientist who accidently created it, trying to get into the pants of his hot 21 year old assistant, instead of trying to find a cure.)

  14. 2010 gave us at least 2 flawless movies. 2011 gave us none that I’ve seen.
    Best Movies of 2011:

    #1. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
    -Somehow it’s both overrated & underrated. It’s not the best Woody Allen joint, but I don’t think MiP should be penalized by comparisons to his previous works. I bet if you showed MiP to a film fan who happens to be a Woody virgin, he/she’d totally love it. I could be wrong. Anyway, I do my best to not bring baggage to the theatre. Especially for Woody Allen, who often repeats the same themes & fimatistical beats, before the lights go out I achieve tabula rasa, other than, in this case, an awareness of the 1920s Paris literature & arts scene.

    The rest of the best, in approximate order, with the caveat of my hourly mood and the regret of knowing there is so much I haven’t been able to see yet, like the HONEY sequel and the Bieber movie and CORIOLANUS:

    CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS 3D
    TREE OF LIFE
    DRIVE
    FA5T
    13 ASSASSINS
    RANGO
    SUCKER PUNCH
    5AL: THE DREAM DESTINATION 3D
    KUNG FU PANDA 2 3D
    HANNA
    MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL
    THE LINCOLN LAWYER
    DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME
    YOUNG ADULT
    NEVER BACK DOWN 2: THE BEATDOWN

    Special Vern Award for Best 2009 movie of 2011: THE RED CHAPEL

    Best 2010 2011 movies:
    BLACK DEATH
    TRUE LEGEND
    OF GODS & MEN

    Vern’s lists & notes are all solid. Can’t disagree with anything, except I SAW THE DEVIL didn’t do much for me. Probably my fault, since I’m capricious on this but I am famously resistant when I see poor law enforcement procedure in movies that are otherwise realisticish and sorta awesome. I have trouble getting over my frustration with the illogical choice to let a killer go.

    “Could Have Been Great” special category for Most Disappointing But Still Pretty Good movies of 2011:
    WARRIOR
    THE TEMPEST

  15. oh shit, I forgot the Tempest. That would’ve been more chronologically accurate than ENTER THE VOID, I guess.

    I had to lay off most of my research team last week

  16. I haven’t seen YOUR HIGHNESS yet, but I hope you guys praising certain lines aren’t forgetting the ending of COP, in which James Woods ends the movie with truly the most awesome dialogue ever filmed.

  17. There’s more than a Battle Royale scenario to the Hunger Games (the books, that is). Ultimately it’s about a large, organized revolutionary force overthrowing the government of a sometimes-cartoonishly-depicted dystopian USA. To wit: every year a bunch of teenagers are forced to fight to the death in a gigantic arena, and the entire rest of the citizenry is forced to watch on TV until all but one of the participants has been killed.

    I read the books and it surprised me how ‘survival novel’-esque the first one was, almost to a Jack London degree in terms of the day-to-day details of how the protagonist survives in the various climates she’s in, how she deals with medical emergencies, what she eats, etc. The revolutionary stuff is there in the first one, but it’s more of a way to show what’s fucked up about the society it depicts and why the revolution that is the focus of the second and third books is necessary. I assume the fact that the political stuff takes a backseat to the fighting in part 1 is the reason the marketing punches the Battle Royale aspect of the plot more than the revolutionary stuff— if there was ‘fuck the system’ material in there for the marketing team to work with, especially in this day and age, I figure they’d be hyping that angle up for the controversy if nothing else.

    Because of the very overt political aspect of the novels, I’m really curious to see how this does. After seeing the trailer I’m a bit skeptical that it’s going to be the phenomenon its creators have preordained it to be.

  18. No one’s forgetting COP, Mouth. I even reviewed it once. The best thing I had to say was this part concerning the awesome ending:

    “You know how most movies will build to a climax, but then stick around for a few extra minutes while the characters walk through a parking lot full of ambulances, maybe repeating some dialogue from earlier in the movie in a different context? It’s like the post-coital cigarette, giving you a chance to relax after the big explosion/orgasm. COP doesn’t play that shit. It’s not gonna cuddle with you afterward and ask you if you had a good time. It just wipes its dick off on the curtains and bounces the fuck out. It probably won’t even call you tomorrow. COP is kind of a prick like that.”

  19. Best Dialogue exchange of 2011, non-MIDNIGHT IN PARIS edition:

    (from FOOTLOOSE remake)

    girl: “You think I’m a slut?”
    boy: “I think you’ve been *kissed* a lot.”

    This is a great piece of writing, cleverly delivered, and a perfect update of a well-liked, more innocent part of the script for the 1984 version of FOOTLOOSE.

    The girl is fishing for a particular reaction, but the possible reactions are complex & dynamic. She’s hot, which means she’s used to being pedestaled, so she wants more of that while also deigning to mix it up with the exotic city boy. She’s trying to manipulate the guy into saying something flirty, but she doesn’t want to seem too flirty herself, but she’s cool enough to say something edgy & challenging, but she wants to keep some distance from this boy she maybe likes but doesn’t necessarily want to waste time with, but she’s totally flirting & inserting sexuality into the conversation here.

    The guy doesn’t bite. Instead, he delivers the perfect retort. It’s perfect because:
    a) His statement is true.
    b) It’s a put-down.
    c) It’s a compliment.
    d) It’s what she wants to hear.
    e) It’s what she doesn’t want to hear from him.
    f) It empowers him without insulting her.
    g) It empowers him without adding distance between him & her.

    So that’s a nice little moment from 2011 that surprised me, made me forget reality and feel without thinking, then made me think & overthink. I don’t know if it can compete with “The Fuckening,” though.

  20. Vern, you the only critic alive to like Inside Out.

  21. nabroleon dynamite

    January 2nd, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    WARNING: Every day you avoid seeing “The Last (badass muthafucking) Circus your penis shrinks.

    Good to see 3 of my Fab 5 (and one honorable mention) in Vern’s Magnificent 7.

    @MrMajestik. Thanks for reminding me of “Super” as that should have made my Honorable Mentions list.

    Gonna peep “Hostel 3” tonight.

    Question: Any of you cats seen “Red, White & Blue”?

    That movie was a 1984 Mike Tyson gutpunch!!

  22. I love The Fuckening. That gotta be the best McGuffin ever, that all the Conans and Barbarian Queens and Krulls only had the balls to hint at. Love that there’s a year end discussion of The Fuckening.

    I don’t dig Gaspar Noe, and I sure gave him a fair chance. But then I never thought I’d like a Malick movie so 2011 was a bug year for me.

    My 2009 but released in 2011 or not at all pick is MR. NOBODY. That is some beautiful, profound, awesome shit. Available on region free Blu ray.

  23. We thank you for bucking the trend as usual Vern. It is kind of surreal to see a list from you but those are powerfully notable choices. I still kick myself in the teeth for always forgetting to see HANNA though.

  24. Mouth

    The ‘You’ve been kissed a lot’ line may have been a paraphrased lift from a Maria McKee song (called ‘Carried’ I think, from LIFE IS SWEET, she says ‘I’ve been kissed a lot’). It’s an amazing album.

  25. I wouldn’t call YOUR HIGHNESS a good movie, but it was passably entertaining. Some jokes work, alot don’t. I regret paying full ticket price instead of waiting for the local 2nd run theatre for $3, but hey shit happens. Franco got shit for doing this, but it made perfect sense considering it tried to be in that PINEAPPLE EXPRESS goofball vein with same director. He was given good lines and moments.

    What baffled me was why Portman did it. Did she love EXPRESS? Did she have that DVD forever from Netflix for months, re-watching it repeatedly? I don’t know. Honestly I thought personally she was wasted and really had nothing to do. She was there.

    (Of course I thought the same of THOR. Notice how unless she’s manhandled with the just right part and given total thematic/filmatic focus, she’ll just turn in just about the same damn performance she always gives. Difference only being an optional British faux-accent.)

    On second thought, I’ll give YOUR HIGHNESS another credit: She confronts that monster int he maze, and [incredibly detailed CGI background touch] it gets aroused as it sees Portman.

  26. Jake – Pleasantville was excellent (been meaning to get the blu ray of that), but Seabiscuit was very, very forgettable, not saying it was bad per se, but I saw it on dvd and I remember literally nothing about it

    I couldn’t tell you if the horse lives or die or wins the race or what

  27. Griff – I would suggest you only half look forward to THE HUNGER GAMES then. I’m gonna continue looking forward to all of it though.

  28. Actually Mouth, that line was used in the original Footloose as well. Twice actually. The first time was when Kevin Bacon asks Chris Penn about Ariel and Chris Penn says, “I think she’s been kissed alot.” Then later on, Ariel says to Kevin Bacon something like, “you think I get around alot don’t you?” and he says, “I think you’ve been kissed alot.” So the nice little moment from 2011 is really a nice little moment from 1984. Typical 2011 shit.

    Haven’t seen the Footloose remake but it seems like the only things it has over the original is that the actress who plays Ariel in the new one is ridiculously hotter than the original Ariel and better dancing. Both superficial “improvements” if you ask me. It seems the soundtrack is full of songs from the original only “updated” to include the latest in auto-tuning. I honestly don’t have a problem with remakes but this one just reeks of “lazy remake syndrome” and I can’t ever see myself checking this one out.

  29. Off-topic, but has anybody been following 50 Cent’s little public pissfit with his label?

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/50-cent-ultimatum-jimmy-iovine-interscope-277093

    Here’s an idea Fiddy: rename yourself random to fuck with your label, “Haf Dollah” is a start. Better yet, change your name into just a symbol: an American JFK half-dollar coin. Then go out in public with “bitch” written on your cheek. You’re not literally calling yourself a “bitch,” but you feel you’ve been treated like one by the label.*

    Something hilarious about a recording star threatening to leak mixtapes like he’s holding his tracks at gunpoint or something.

    *=(Was that reference inside joke just a tad too obvious?)

  30. Quoting myself:
    **”…update of a well-liked, more innocent part of the script for the 1984 version of FOOTLOOSE.”**

    Yes, it’s similar to the 1984 script, but it’s tweaked. I appreciate the slight difference. The 2011 exchange is provocative & clever, and it doesn’t pull its punches like the more softcore 1984 version.

    This web sight celebrates the practice of finding fresh badassness and enjoyment in remakes, reboots, and unnecessary sequels, no?

    (By the way, though I like some elements of each, I don’t recommend either FOOTLOOSE unless it’s date night.)

  31. Fun fact: Michael Cimino was originally supposed to direct FOOTLOOSE. Would’ve been his first gig after HEAVEN’S GATE, but Universal thought his ideas were “too ambitious” (i.e. expensive) for a Kevin Bacon dance movie.

  32. I enjoyed “Your Highness” too. And yes, it does remind me of “Cabin Boy”. They are both comedy homages to types of movies most people look down on but that I love. And both films are never as funny as they needed to be to reach a wider audience or too be really considered good. But I love them both.

  33. I agree with everything you said Mouth, especially about how badass that exchange is. It really is the perfect response to a girl like that since he’s both giving and taking at the same time and she loves him for it. That particular dialogue exchange is so close to the original that it represents, to me, more an example of 1984 badassness rather than 2011 basassness (especially since there was no Kevin Bacon delivering the line which automatically makes it less badass than the original). Using the word “slut” i guess makes it a little more provocative.

    Then again, I haven’t seen the remake and it could be the same words being said but in a completely different context/setting. This could be more mounting evidence that I shouldn’t comment on movies I haven’t seen.

  34. I’m with Vern on The Hunger Games.

    Ever since Twilight, every studio believes book success means movie success. Well, look at The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo: fucking Fincher, and it still fails.

    The Hunger Games is the next The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, not the next Twilight. I’ve looked at the story, what is all the hype about?

  35. And Vern’s dream is that MARSUPERMAN is the next HUNGER GAMES.

  36. I also liked YOUR HIGHNESS.

    whaaaaaaaaaat…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3kfVZ0hUQA

    And I guess I’ll have to check out INSIDE OUT. Last pro wrestler dtv I checked out was HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN and I thought it was a bland, predictable piece of shit! Hopefully INSIDE OUT is at least decent.

  37. I have not read The Hunger Games but hearing about it on NPR makes me think that if I was a 14 year old that I would eat it up and really love it. I mean that in a very sincere way.

    I remember NPR’s story about Twilight a few years ago and hearing them talk about it I thought it was done as a cartoon or something silly.

    I don’t know, The Hunger Games might be really good! The trailer doesn’t look bad, I kinda dig the 70s scifi vibe it throws out, so I’m hopeful that it’ll be good should I end up seeing it.

  38. Something about THE HUNGER GAMES really reminds me of THE ISLAND and not in a good way. I think I’ll pass.

  39. how about a sci-fi movie for once where the future is utopian?

  40. Were two Bill & Ted movies not enough?

  41. RRA- the only conflict I see coming from that sort of flick is characters being depressed at having nothing left to strive for, which I have no interest in seeing 2 hours devoted to.

  42. Man, that’s kind of the point of The Road and I really love the book and dug the movie, Stu.

  43. But…wasn’t The Road about a DYStopia?

  44. Man, I thought Hanna sucked.

    I was so pumped to see it, finally caught it on that Lodgenet shit at a hotel, saw it hung-over the day after a wedding and could not have been more disappointed. Yeah, Bana had some cool fights, but the weird SIREN BLARING disco editing rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I should see it again.

    Anyone here seen The Debt? I keep passing it on demand and hoping it’s not a piece of shit but being pretty sure it is.

  45. THE DEBT’s not bad. Decent fights, high suspense, top secret undercover missions — you know, all the stuff that makes chasing Nazis rewarding & cinematically fun.

    Not a classic, but probably worth a rental.

  46. Mr. M – what kind of a person believes a future built upon shitty 80s rock music and its values is utopian? I would argue the reverse.

    (Now if said future had been built upon the teachings of Mr. George Carlin, then that would be utopian. Bad though for golf fans however since golf courses would all be destroyed, but fuck’em.)

  47. Semi-Finalized top 10 list.

    1. Tree of Life
    2. Young Adult
    3. The Future
    4. Drive
    5. Bridesmaids
    6. Ides of March
    7. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol
    8. Melancholia
    9. Attack the Block
    10. Final Destination 5/Fast Five

    H&M scarves to go:
    Rango, Source Code, Adjustment Bureau, Friends with Benefits, Thor, Devil’s Double, Rise of the Planet of the Apes,

  48. Tawdry, I said nice things about YOUNG ADULT in the previous thread.

    http://outlawvern.com/2012/01/01/happy-2012/#comment-2066984

    My slasher comparison is a bit imperfect & simplistic, but I still think the idea is apt.

  49. Man, 2012 looks insane! We get new films from

    Solondz
    Goldthwait
    Nolan
    Del Toro
    Jackson
    Herzog
    Chan-Wook Park
    Cronenberg
    Spike Lee
    2 new Soderberghs
    Oren Moverman
    Egoyan
    Neveldine & Taylor
    Dulpass Brothers
    Wachowskis
    Twyker
    Andrew Stanton
    Lasse Hallström
    Tarsem
    Phil Lord & Chris Miller
    Walter Hill
    John Hillcoat
    Nicholas Stoller
    Larry Charles
    Wes Anderson
    Ridley Scott
    Jon M. Chu
    Akiva Schaffer
    Tony Gilroy
    Jay Roach
    Jonathan Levine
    Chris Butler & Sam Fell
    Affleck
    Genndy Tartakovsky (!!!)
    Oliver Stone
    Rian Johnson
    Burton animation (!!!)
    Curtis Hanson
    Mendes
    Cuarón
    David O. Russell
    Tom Hooper
    Apatow
    Luhrmann.

    It’s could be the best year in a decade.

  50. I agree that 2012 looks like a great year, but it seems to me you could generate an equally fantastic list of directors from most any year, including 2011. Though I have to agree that 2012 does seem to have the most impressive set of directors for big budget blockbuster releases I’ve seen in a while.

  51. Demolition Man had a utopian society until Simon Motherfuckin’ Phoenix arrived.

    My 7 of 2011:
    1. Kill List
    2. Drive
    3. ROTPOTA
    4. Senna
    5. A Lonely Place To Die
    6. Warrior
    7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Honourable mentions:
    I Saw The Devil,
    Horrible Bosses,
    Thor,
    Fast Five,
    Haunters,
    We Need To Talk About Kevin,
    The Deep Blue Sea,
    Contagion,
    Red State.

    Most Overrated:
    Bridesmaids

    Best Vintage Films I’d Never Seen Before 2011:
    Network,
    The Ipcress File

  52. IMMORTALS 3D deserves an honorable mention. It may not have had a script, but it had a badass Mickey Rourke, and that Tarsem guy’s pictures make my brain happy.

  53. Casey: They may have gone for the Soylent Greene / Logan’s Run style on purpose, but, why? I mean, those movies are famously what all the best sci-fi / fantasy films of the late 70s and early 80s were trying to get away from. It’s like some movie 30 years from now having really fake-looking CGI fire as a tribute to Kull The Conquerer.

    I’m sure you could take the idea of retro-“jumpsuits in a mall” sci-fi and do something interesting. But from what I’ve seen so far, this is not it.

    Honestly, I’ve never understood people’s devotion to the books anyway. They’re a lot better then Twilight, no question, but they’re still not very good.

  54. Way too much mention of Harry Potter’s Magical Double Dip Part 2 round these parts. You guys are starting to scare me. Get it together, goddamnit.

    Gotta say, I also had a good time watching Immortals. Beautiful visual design. Best eye candy of the year, really. Even in a year where we had movies like Sucker Punch and Transformbots 3, Immortals was the one that rimmed my sockets and cradled my eyeballs like no other.

    My out-on-a-limb prediction for 2012: Battleship is gonna bomb. It’s gonna sink like a stone. It’s gonna nosedive straight to the bottom of the sea. “Shipwreck!”, the critics will yell. The audience will mutiny, I say.

  55. “No land in sight!”, the box office will shout!

  56. Mr M. and Mouth,

    you guys are joking about Sucker Punch, right?

    I`ve never seen a more pretentious and offensivly bad movie. I liked everything Zach Snyder has done before, but that guy should not be allowed anywhere near serious movies. Music Video aesthetics are fine for Zombies, Comic heroes and Animated Owls but doesn’t work well for child abuse.

  57. There’s something really desperate about the advertising for Hunger Games. With Harry Potter and to a lesser extent Twilight it seemed like the books were really popular before they were optioned for films. With the Hunger Games I first heard about the books because they were being made into movies. Maybe I’m just behind the ball on Battle Royalish teen fiction, but from my perspective the studios wanted another series they could squeeze a few billion from.

  58. billydeethrilliams

    January 3rd, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Anybody see Shame? It was great in my opinion. Also, Fassbendercock.

  59. The newer trailer for Battleship makes it seem much cooler than the teaser.

  60. Knox: It took me eight movies to really give a shit about Harry Potter, but by the end, the whole series felt like one extremely protracted season of television, with the last movie as its satisfying and cathartic finale where all the loose ends are tied up and all of the characters get their moment to shine. Ideally, every adventure-type movie should endeavor to build to such a climax and it shouldn’t take eight movies to get there, but last summer was so shitty that I took what I could get.

    atzfratz: You may choose to focus on the child abuse. I choose to focus on the supermodels in flying robot suits and B-52s fighting pneumatic doughboys and dragons.

  61. I really liked the POTTER movies until including the 5th one. The 6th was one a horrible, but beautiful photographed snorefest, 7.1 had at least a good first half, that brought back lots of the charme of the earlier movies and 7.2 was…satisfying. Not bad, not great, but satisfying. I love the subtle age make up in the epilogue, though.

  62. Also WTF took it 6 movies, until the flying-on-a-broom scenes didn’t look like shit anymore?

  63. In no particular order
    Attack the Block
    Hobo With a Shotgun
    13 Assassins
    MI:GP
    X-Men:First Class
    Drive
    Hugo
    Insidious
    Fright Night
    Super
    Hanna

  64. I must be the only person who liked HP 6. In fact, it’s my favorite of the series. But I also am a sucker for strong cinematography, even if the story moves at a snail’s pace (that’s probably why I enjoy Blade Runner so much).

    On the whole, the Harry Potter movies are an impressive achievement. I can’t think of another mainstream series of films that stretches a single narrative over what must be something like twenty hours. The movies never fully got away from feeling like they were adaptations rather than standalone films, but they also weren’t the complete disaster they could have been. The first two are kind of wonky, but other than that, I say fans of the books lucked out (I’ve never read them, so I’m just guessing here).

  65. I like HP6 well enough if you look at it the series as a season of TV the way I do. That one was just one of those exposition-heavy episodes you get toward the three-quarter mark of the season, the ones that maneuver all the players into position for the season finale but don’t actually accomplish much on their own. I don’t think any of the movies (with the possible exception of the third one) really work as standalone films, but since they were never designed to I don’t really see that as a problem.

  66. 1 – The Dead
    2 – The Wild Hunt
    3 – Quarantine 2 – The Terminal
    4 – Cost of the Living: A Zom Rom Com
    5 – Panic at Rock Island
    6 – World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries
    7 – Caustic Zombies
    8 – Bridesmaids
    9 – That homophobic movie with Michael Jai White
    10 – Big Bang Theory A XXX Parody

    Biggest dissapointment of 2011: Hellraiser 9 – Revelations. New pinhead seems to have been recruited from Biggest Loser A XXX Parody, which makes it even sadder in that that was a much better movie, highly recommended.

  67. Mr M: The difference is that a boring episode of a TV show is over after 40 minutes, but that movie was 2 1/2 hours long!

  68. I´m glad more people than me could appreciate HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN. How can anyone be disappointed in a movie with a title like that? It didn´t lie.. It WAS about a hobo with a shotgun.
    I can approve of shit like that. For instance ,the movie IRON EAGLE? Fuck that! Where were the ironclad eagles roaming the skies?? Oh…só the title were a metaphor for fighter jets? That shit is way too deep for me….

  69. Yeah, like in that movie Farewell to Arms, the guy had arms all the way through!

  70. That’s the problem with HOBO, Shoot. Its director never had any desire to make it more than a title in search of a movie, despite the fact that he had a great actor delivering one of the best dramatic performances of his career. With Hauer onboard, acting his balls off, he had the raw material to make an actual movie, but he was content to make a “movie.” Every time I was starting to enjoy myself, the director reminded me that I was an asshole for expecting something called HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN to be anything but a joke.

  71. Mr Majestyk – Now that you mention it, the genesis of HOBO does spring to my mind. The director won a trailer contest arranged by Robert Rodriguez,didn´t he?

  72. Exactly. And he continues to shoehorn that whole mock-trailer vibe into the movie, even when it doesn’t fit. He gives Hauer all these knowingly corny one-liners that probably killed on YouTube but make no sense coming from the three-dimensional character Hauer created.

  73. He’s been working with the same idea and title for years. He made a short in 2007 called Hobo with a Shotgun, the the trailer for Grindhouse and now the movie. He’s definetively not the new Tarantino this guy.

  74. Since he´s worked spent several years on a project like this, I don´t think we can expect greater things from this guy.

  75. …I mean I liked HOBO, but it´s not exactly original. I think maybe it had to do more with Hauers performance and the fact that I have not seen him in a while in anything that made me appriciate this Grindhouse/Troma wannabee of a movie

  76. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 3rd, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Agree with Vern on everything I’ve seen. Especially “Sucker Punch” as an interesting failure, because that’s EXACTLY the words I’d use to describe it. (Hey, you know what… I did! Vern accidentally quoted me! His credibility is shot to pieces now…) Did not like the ending of “Hanna”, and the lead “thug” really annoyed me. But the main storyline was great, the lead actress was great, and Cate Blanchett was unexpectedly scary as hell – showing just how little she was utilised in “Indiana Jones 4”.

    Oh, one thing we disagree on – I thought “Drive” was great but it isn’t as good as “Ides of March”.

    I was going to put up a full review of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (Fincher version), but who cares, you all know exactly what I’m going to say about it. This is the guy I called the best director working in contemporary Hollywood, and this movie didn’t change my mind on that score. It didn’t blow me away like “Fight Club” or “Seven” did, but it’s very, very, very good (and even second-rate Fincher is better than 90% of movies by other directors). So yeah, it’s great. Did you expect me to say anything else?

  77. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 3rd, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    “DirkD13

    January 3rd, 2012 at 2:49 am

    My 7 of 2011:
    1. Kill List”

    Wait WHAT?

    Wooooow… didn’t think I’d see anybody else pushing this movie. It was fantastic, wasn’t it?

  78. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 3rd, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Reposting from “Happy 2012” thread:

    RRA – without having heard Bane speak more than the single sentence he gets to say in the trailer, I don’t have an opinion on his voice. Batman’s voice didn’t irritate me in “The Dark Knight”, didn’t even notice it until people started banging on about it; so I don’t expect it’ll bother me.

    Mouth – I usually enjoy our arguments, but that came across as really condescending. I thought I made an excellent case – you may agree or disagree, but don’t insinuate that my opinion isn’t worth anything because, well, I’m Paul, please! I happen to have picked a helluva lot of really good movies to see this year, and have somehow managed to avoid a single stinker like last year’s “Buried”. There hasn’t been a single movie that I’ve really, really hated, or even seriously disliked, although a few like “Source Code” caused me a lot of frustration. I mean, if I had to choose a “worst” of the year that I’d actually seen, it would have to be something like “Sleeping Beauty”, “Sucker Punch” (not getting the love, sorry guys, although the soundtrack is fantastic), “Panic Button”, or “Source Code”. And these are by no means terrible films, although each has some pretty big problems.

    I’ve not seen “Midnight in Paris” or “Tree of Life” and those are the two movies a lot of people have named as their best of the year (although in “Tree of Life”’s case, it wasn’t for want of trying. Grrrrr…) There was a good “Fast / Furious” movie (I never thought I’d say that). There was a freakishly excellent “Harry Potter” movie, although that might technically be 2010’s. Whatever, it was in the cinema in Britain in 2011, so I’m including it. Even the “Thing” prequel and third “Scream” sequel weren’t terrible. The only movie I couldn’t get through was “Bridesmaids” and that’s because that type of humour just isn’t for me – not because I think it’s a bad film.

    I named my “top three” of the year as “Kill List”, “Ides of March”, and “Third Star”. Have you any opinion on these films? Have you even seen them?

  79. Anyone seen Killer Elite? I don’t get why not more people are raving about it.

  80. My 2 Cents…

    Some favorites from last year (no particular order):
    -Drive
    -Trollhunter
    -Stakeland
    -Win Win
    -Terri
    -Girl With The Dragon Tatoo (no one else liked this)?
    -Conan O’ Brien Can’t Stop (great audio commentary)
    -Hugo
    -ROTPOTA
    -X-Men: First Class
    -Captain America

    Completely agree with Vern about 30 Minutes or Less. Watched it with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised. It was funny, energenic, and moved (it’s about 80 minutes long).

    Disagree about DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, it had good atmosphere for the first 20 minutes and after that screwed the pooch. I found the rest of the movie to not be suspenseful and too much padding, would have been better as an hour long program than a 1hr 40 min. movie. Insidious is my choice for horror movie of the year.

  81. pegsman- Yeah, KILLER ELITE was a really strong movie, I was pleasantly surprised that it had no or little resemblance to Peckinpahs original. I really liked the story and Clive Owen is a complete badass in this one.

  82. I watched YOUR HIGHNESS round a friend’s house and didn’t necessarily pay it 100% of my attention at all times, and I didn’t see the end, but I was surprised by how much I liked of what I saw and plan to check it out in full some time. The trailer was probably one of the worst I’ve ever seen and I wondered why anyone would bother making it, but the film showed that McBride and Green have a genuine love for the niche genre they were parodying, and they expressed it with a lot of imagination; it reminded me of HUDSON HAWK, which coming from me is a compliment.

    I also enjoyed KUNG-FU PANDA 2 a lot, in fact I felt the story and action worked so well that I sometimes wished they’d cut back on the jokes. I haven’t seen CARS 2, but I have to admit I found GNOMEO AND JULIET better than I expected (more distinctive than something like RIO certainly), although it does end on a terrible “lol breakdancing” scene.

    I found RANGO entertaining, but somewhat baffling. If you’re going to go for a more adult approach, why include a SHREK-beating number of toilet jokes? Would either adults or children really want to hear a joke about someone finding a spinal column in their feces? Why bother with the “Spirit of the West” character when you can’t get the real thing to sign on? (Fine impression from Mr. Olyphant though)

    Very highbrow contribution from me there.

  83. I liked the part in Harry Potter 6 where it turned into a 200 million dollar remake of Phantasm, complete with metal balls and tall man. Or was that part 5?

  84. *SPOILERS for the HP series*

    I’m glad this series finished relatively “strong” but i have absolutely no desire to see any of these damn movies again. Yes, telling a single story over 8 movies and 10 years is a rare acheivement, except the story isn’t anywhere strong enough to justify the length, and neither are the characters (from what we see on screen – I haven’t read the books). After devoting 20ish hours of time to this world, all I got was an ENDLESS series of tell-don’t-show exposition (with the exception of the truly great animated sequence in HP7.1) followed by a fairly underwhelming climax. These movies are kind of amazing in how popular they are while being blatantly impenetrable to the casual viewer. They seem to only exist as a kind of visual supplement to actually reading the book. I seriously probably only understood 80% of what the fuck was going on in any given Potter movie.

    I really got no sense of the characters after 8 movies (mainly because the bulk of the screentime had them going on wild goosechases for an INSANE number of Macguffins). I have no idea what to think of Ginny Weasley or why she should be with Harry. I had no desire to see Ron and Hermione get together, b/c they had no chemistry. I didn’t care when Dumbledore died, I didn’t get to know or care about ANY of the adults except maybe Rickman. His double-cross/triple-cross is so poorly done in Part 6 it’s mind-blowing. Also, let’s be honest – Voldemort is a terrible villain in the films. He spends half the series not doing anything, and when he eventually shows up, he doesn’t really do shit before Harry starts killing him piece by piece like a boss in a video game. I never quite understood what his plan or his goals were (i guess to kill all non-magic people, even though the movies never really make clear whether the real world is aware of the magic goings on, or if they are oblivious, Men in Black-style) The Emperor from SW and the main villain (Fire Lord?) from The Avatar: The Last Airbender series also sat out the beginnings of their stories but at least when they were revealed they were awesome.

    Oh and here’s another rant – I don’t give a shit if Neville Longbottom is some fan favorite from the books, he’s barely in the movies, (gets one line in 7.1) – so why the fuck does he get like 3 hero moments in the climax of the whole series? Why does HE give the big rousing speech to tell off Voldemort and then also gets to kill the snake/Voldemort while Hermione and Ron, the two people we’ve spent most of the last 20 hours with, cower in the corner and do nothing? It’d be like if Jar Jar Binks (or more accurately, Wedge) threw the Emperor to his death at the end of Jedi

    That’s not to say i didn’t enjoy some of it – i like part 3 like everyone else (even though when put in the pantheon of time-travel movies it’s really lazy and sloppily written). 7.2 does have a nice sense of exciting finality to it (what wouldn’t after all that build up?) and i actually thought 7.1 had a ton of great “moments” – the Harry/Hermione dance in the tent, the evil locket taunting Ron with a naked(!) Harry and Hermione, Dobby’s death on the beach. But dear Lord, I just felt from all the money it made and how popular it was, we all really deserved better.

  85. Pirate Paul – I can’t stop thinking about Kill List, it’s just a phenomenal piece of work and it scared the living shit out of me. It just has an oppressively uncomfortable atmosphere and I mean that as a high compliment. There are so many questions to be discussed about it too, but I shan’t here until Vern (hopefully) reviews it.

    As for Your Highness, I thought it started out terrible and steadily got better and better, delivering some surprisingly kick ass action and decent effects with the lowbrow humour, culminating in a terrific finale.

  86. I watched Tenderness a few nights ago, mainly because I like seeing Russell Crowe playing a cop, but really just because I thought it would pass the time.

    Turns out it’s a really decent little movie. It kinda stuck with me over the past few days. It’s the kind of movie that encourages you to talk about it. I find that rare these days.

  87. neal2zod: I actually re-watched the POTTER movies over Xmas (with seeing the last two for the first time) and while I do think that the first five hold up much better on repeated watching than even I expected (I even liked part 5 a lot better the 2nd time around!), it’s also getting more obvious with every movie what a rush job they were. A pretty impressive rush job, nonetheless, but yeah, I wish they had this all planned out more carefully. Maybe with more writers, who switch between movies and therefore have a lot more time to adapt the material. I mean, there was A LOT of backstory regarding Snape, Potter Sr and his friends left out of part three and since I had to stop reading the books after the 5th one, I got seriously no fucking idea what’s so special about being the half-blood prince!
    One of the more rewarding elements is to see all those characters return in each movie and grow up. On my original viewing, I didn’t took notice of Neville until the 4th movie, but now he became more and more “visible” over the course of the series, what even makes his hero moments in the end very rewarding.
    But yeah, while we (and I don’t mean only the fans with “we”) can be happy that we got a very entertaining and at times seriously well done series with the HP movies, I think they could have done a lot better.

  88. A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS only has two seasons in it. Total rip-off.

    My impression of HARRY POTTER and all literary fantasy series: The hero meets a wizard or talking animal who tells him about his backstory. Then he goes on a quest to find the next wizard or talking animal who tells him about his backstory. Along the way he meets a wizard or talking animal who reveals more about his backstory. Another wizard or talking animal tells him something about his backstory that totally changes what he thought the previous wizard or talking animal mean. Finally, in the end, he defeats the head wizard or talking animal to learn the truth about his backstory.

    I liked the last Potter. It was a good battle climax, even if I didn’t know who all the supporting characters who sacrifice themselves nobly were. The best movie was 3/Azkaban, which actually made a movie out of it, but all the Potter fans hated it because they changed some important things like someone read a map who wasn’t supposed to have the power to read the map. So they went back to filming staged readings of the novels. Well, the Potter fans got 7 movies to be happy with, so I’m happy for them.

  89. Fred, you’re forgetting all of the Blanks of Blank that have to be found in order for the hero to be able to even get to the place where the talking animal or wizard lives. I really liked it in the seventh HP movie when Ron called them out on this: “Am I supposed to be thrilled that we’ve discovered yet ANOTHER magical thing we have to find?”

    There has to be more MacGuffins per minute of screentime in the HP series than in 45 comparable movies.

    I don’t know, I guess I got Helsinki Syndrome or something. I never wanted to see the movies in the first place, but I was dating a dork girl for the first few, so I had little choice. After we broke up, I started seeing them out of habit because I wanted to find out what happened and I knew I’d never read the books. It was only by the end where I realized that I had actually started to give a shit.

  90. Fred: It is a little bit more than some stereotypical fanboy bitching, about some character wearing green socks although they were grey in the book. Like I said, a huge chunk of backstory wasn’t in the movie. So when we learn totally out of the blue in part 5 or 6 that Harry’s dad was a bully, who always picked on Snape, we already should have known that he (and Black and Werewolf guy) even almost killed him at one point.
    It isn’t the most important part of backstory and the movie works even very well without it, but some of the more rushed exposition of the last few movies would have felt less rushed and more natural with it.

  91. I liked that bit where Gandalf gave Harry that stick that he shoots lazers out of.

  92. I’ve just seen Cuaron’s movie all the way through. It was a genuinely great movie and I had no clue WTF the context of it all was cause it was my first HARRY POTTER anything. It was just so well directed and has one of my favorite scores from the 00’s. I tried to get into the other ones up to 4 and I just couldn’t deal. Says a lot about Alfonso Cuaron that I own a DVD to a series I otherwise own nothing from & don’t care for because he made such a good ass part 3.

  93. CJ, I get into this with Potter fans all the time and they just don’t get where I’m coming from, so you probably won’t either.

    I say, the wizard could read the magic map because he was a magical wizard.

    Yes, I know they gave a different reason in the book. The point isn’t that I don’t know the rules or that I’m changing the rules and that’s wrong. The point is a novelist can write as many rules and backstories and mythologies as she wants. It’s still a made up story. It’s not physics. It was never something I questioned when I watched the movie, yet I do know people who didn’t read the book who said, “How could so and so read the map? It made no sense!” So I guess there’s a gene that makes you totally understand how magic works and if they violate the physics of it then it just makes no sense.

    I think the die hard book fans are missing out on the potential to expand or interpret their story differently, but it’s over now, they’re happy that 7 of the 8 didn’t violate the canon, even though they didn’t have time for the subplot about Hermione’s crusade for Elf rights.

    I like in Hong Kong movies where people can fly or do Matrix moves even though they’re not in a virtual world or magical history. They just do it because it’s awesome.

  94. Mr. Majestyk, I thought my formula included any object that unlocked the path to the talking wizard/animal that told you about your backstory. Sorry if I wasn’t specific enough.

    BTW: This applies to all the LOTR, Narnia and even the old CLASH OF THE TITANS. Aragorn meets an elf who tells him he was someone, then he finds the ghosts in the cave who tells him something, and the hobbits talk to the trees for three hours to learn X, Y, Z. Theseus learned SO MUCH backstory before he even fought a monster. It’s a time honored tradition of explaining things that Aristotle must have written about, right?

  95. Another HP Spoiler:

    Am I the only one who had NO IDEA Brendan Gleeson died in HP 7.1? I honestly don’t remember seeing it or even hearing anyone mention it. I do remember them mumbling one line about Bill Nighy’s character being killed even though he was just introduced about 30 min. prior.

    There’s SO many British character actors in so many parts, I honestly forgot about Gleeson until after 7.2 was over. In fact, if you told me Mad Eye Moody was around in the final battle I would have believed you.

  96. Is there ever any good reason given the books why nobody just uses a gun? It would make things a hell of a lot easier for whoever took that option. You can’t do an incantation faster than a speeding bullet.

  97. nabroleon dynamite

    January 3rd, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I have never read Harry Potter or Twilight nor seen any of the movies.

    I did see and read Choke.

    The book was better.

  98. GrimGrinningChris

    January 3rd, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I’ve spent the last hour and a half trying, in vain, to find FRED TOPEL’s post where he originally gave his thoughts on Pete Pan 2003. Gah

  99. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 3rd, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Dirk – absolutely agree 1000% with you. I actually wrote to Vern via e-mail (instead of just posting a comment) to ask him to give his thoughts on “Kill List”. It really is that fucking good.

    Broddie, my HP hierachy would go something like this, which also happens to be my hierachy of downright terrible puns on Harry Potter’s name:

    1) Happy Rotter 7.1 (I was blown away by how good this film is).
    2) Acne Trotter 3 (the Cuaran one, and you’re right, it’s really good)

    3) Erm… Hammy… Spotter? Everything else.

    What I’m getting at is that there’s a MASSIVE jump in quality between #3 / #7.1 and all the rest. (Well, haven’t seen 7.2 yet.) Also that my innate ability of horrible punning seems to have grown rusty over the years.

  100. GrimGrinningChris – It seems you forgot we’re on the Internet where the correct solution to everything is “make Google do it for me.”

    http://outlawvern.com/2011/06/29/recommended-reading-gq-oral-history-of-michael-bay/

    The Google search I used, in case you want to look up any other comments on this site:
    “Fred Topel” +”Peter Pan” +”completely off-base opinions” site:outlawvern.com

  101. GrimGrinningChris

    January 3rd, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Jake… I tried about a half dozen different combinations in Google search and came up totally dry. Thank you, kind sir.
    And now, I will read.

  102. I’ve only seen each of the Harry Potter films once but I liked the series. I won’t pretend it’s great but for a series of kids’ movies about children who are British wizards it was good enough for this WWE loving adult. I’m just saying, they’re movies for children and as an adult they are pretty good and have some memorable moments. I think Goblet of Fire is still my favorite as it had a lot of cool scenes with the the competition, but I’d lie if I said I didn’t find something to like about each of them.

    Mr 2zod, I have a ton of respect for you but I think you might have missed the point (at least as much as I interpret it) of Neville Longbottom. He’s like the hobbits in Lord of the Rings: not really heroic but when all of the badass characters who are fated by fate to defeat the bad guy from fate are gone it is up to regular people who are not heroic to step up and do what is right. Basically, Harry Potter is the hero because he’s supposed to be the hero and everyone else steps up because of friendship or love or whatever. Neville steps up because he’s a regular guy and it’s important to show a world where people choose to do what is right.

  103. I saw the first two Harry Potters in theaters because I was still a kid back then and that was just what kids who didn’t have overbearing parents did back then

    I never saw any of the others though

    despite that, I think Harry Potter is a pretty cool franchise, I had a lot of fun visiting the Harry Potter stuff at Islands of Adventure

    I plan on reading the Harry Potter books someday

  104. Wow, it was in the Michael Bay thread. Wow. Griff, glad you’re enjoying HUDSON HAWK. The first time I ever asked a girl out and got rejected, I watched HH to cheer me up. I’d seen it before, but it became repeat viewing my freshman year of high school.

  105. GrimGrinningChris

    January 3rd, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I still want Vern to go to Universal and review it. Sadly, the JAWS ride is going tits up in February. Dated as it is, I’m glad I got to ride it one last time before it closed.

    I prefer Disney to Universal on almost all counts (though I love them both) but the Harry Potter island at IOA has really given Disney a run for their money in terms of balls out theme-ing and the Forbidden Journey ride is flat out mind-blowing!

  106. Casey – I hear ya man, and i don’t doubt that “regular joe/hobbit-like” heroism was what they were shooting for, but a) I thought Ron was already kind of filling that role just fine, and b) Neville was barely in any of the other movies. Honestly, if I hadn’t heard fans of the book talk about how much cool shit Neville does in 7.2, I honestly wouldn’t have remembered him from the other movies and would have wondered who this character was that suddenly does all the cool shit in the last 20 minutes. The fact that an incredibly minor character essentially kills Voldemort (by killing the snake and thereby weakening/distracting Voldemort to get blasted by Potter) after all that buildup, is insane.

    In the filmmaker’s defense, i’m sure when they were filming 1-5 or whatever when the final book was still being written, they had no idea Nevile would play such a big part and probably felt no need to put him in the movie anymore than they did.

  107. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 4th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Griff – ah, you stopped just when it started getting good. :(

    A thought that just occurred to me:

    Harry Potter 7 – two friends travel through a hostile land, taking it in turns to wear a piece of evil sentient jewelry that causes the person wearing it to behave dickishly, until they can get to the artefact needed to destroy it. At one point they’re captured by hostile forces who are unaware of their importance, but manage to escape with the help of a small spindly CGI creature who dies at the end. Wait… doesn’t this sound familiar?

    Yep, Harry Potter 7 is the film “Return of the King” SHOULD have been.

  108. I take RETURN OF THE KING over POTTER 7 at every time. (Although none of the LOTR movies has a highway chase on flying brooms.)

  109. I think the thing that puts me off Harry Potter (even though I’ve enjoyed some of the movies) is the fact it’s main protagonists are a bunch of kids. I’m really not interested in seeing children as the heroes, at least not when there’s a bunch of more interesting and badass adults around them. I’d rather see this story with Sirus Black as the hero. A resourcefull renegade wizard framed for a crime he didn’t commit, who’s best friends with a werewolf and is clearly battling the mental effects of being locked up in a magical prison for over a decade, and is played by Gary Oldman? I know the kids being the heroes is meant to be a wish fulfillment thing for a young audience, but I’ve always disliked the way the magical and muggle world is set up in it where you only get to be a wizard because you were born with the powers, rather than it being something you can achieve with hard work, and there’s a sort of mild racism in play where the established magic people tend to either outright look down on muggles, or are pretty patronising about them(eg calling them “muggles”). There’s no indication(from the movies at least) that these kids are being taught more basic necessary skills like maths or non-magical history, so you’d think that would mean they’re pretty ill equipped to function in the real world. Plus, I have no clear idea of what it is exactly wizards are meant to be FOR. Sure, they’re handy for fighting arcane threats like Voldemort, but otherwise they seem to exist purely to regulate themselves or to train other wizards in a self-pertuating cycle of pointlessness. Oh, and are wizard kids ever given an actual choice about going to wizard school? I seem to recall Hagrid doesn’t ask Harry if he wants to be a wizard, but just TELLS him he IS one and assumes he’ll want to go to a school with shitty safety regulations and teachers who openly act like dicks to students they have personal grudges for, and where they actually encourage students to conform to the supposed traits of their houses(eg being an asshole if you’re with Slytherin) rather than being an individual.

  110. Yeah, the thing about the Potter world is that it is a lot of fun to read in the books and maybe even see it in the movies, but it’s seriously senseless. Those wizards act like they are oh so smart and superior, but then play shit like Quidditch or that tournament from part 4, where they openly admit that it’s normal for people to die or get seriously injured. And the list goes on and on.

  111. @psychic_hits

    Hmm but from what you typed on January 2nd and what I’ve read of Hunger Games on wikipedia, that’s exactly what Battle Royale and Battle Royale 2 are about too. An evil totalitarian Japan forces junior high school students chosen through random lottery to fight to the death to punish/keep people under control. There’s lots of media interest in the contest. There is *spoiler* a last minute conceit that allows two people to win the contest. The previous years champion becomes the leader of a rebel resistance movement that aims to bring down the government. Pissed off at this and the guy ruining the last contest, the government contrive a new contest with the aim of taking him out. There are random packet drops and new twists to the game etc. There’s a questionable bombing of a government building and so on.

    Obviously the author must have plenty of her own ideas to fill up all three of these books, but I find it really hard to believe that she didn’t get some of them from either the original book of Battle Royale or watching the two films, though she claims she didn’t. The similarities are certainly there.

    As far as the film version goes, it just looks like a cheap Americanised SciFi Channel movie version of BR from the trailer.

  112. Also, why don’t they just stop having a Slytherin school? That’s where all the evil wizards come from. Just get rid of Slytherin, no more evil wizards.

  113. So super glad to hear that some of y’all were diggin so hard on Kill List. Unfortunately it was the biggest disappointment of the year for me (although I loved Down Terrace). Can’t wait for Vern to review it though and then read the proceeding (heated) discussions.

    For what it’s worth, I thought Super was fan-goddamn-tastic and The Wild Hunt was definitely the best 2009 movie not released in 2011 that Vern has yet to review although I really think that he should or at the very least he should watch it because it’s awesome and for those of you who haven’t seen it you should totally watch it too because even though it kind of annoyed me at first it completely won me over and I was totally 100% into it by the end and because it also reminds of Super in regards to (spoiler) one of the major characters organically and believably evolving from a pathetic, one-dimensional, live-action-roleplaying joke of a man into a sincerely complex, sympathetic and tragic figure who coincidentally happens to also be involved in one of the most genuinely fucking baddass endings of the evertimes. Thanks for hearing me out, fellas.

  114. Also, for what it’s worth, I despised no film this year more than Bellflower. Having said that, I think it is absolutely required viewing because it’s pretty much impossible not to have a very strong opinion on it one way or the other.

  115. Also also, Simon Rumley’s Red White and Blue was pretty impressive and a definite candidate for great 2011 movies released in 2010 but I would like to offer his short film Bitch (from the Little Deaths anthology of horror shorts – skip the other two films in my opinion ) for your consideration for great 2011 movies released in 2011. Thank you.

  116. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 5th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    CJ:

    “I take RETURN OF THE KING over POTTER 7 at every time. (Although none of the LOTR movies has a highway chase on flying brooms.)”

    And yet you still prefer RotK??!!!

    Sometimes I think people on this site lose sight of what really matters in films. A highway chase on flying brooms, guys. Every movie should have one.

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