Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 in Film: One-Sentence Reviews

As if you couldn't tell from past entries, I'm a compulsive list-maker. I am constantly keeping tabs on things in my head -- Top 10 this, Top 25 that, etc. I even made a list of my favorite sandwiches once. One thing I usually do throughout the year is keep a running tab of all the movies I've seen in that particular year. I try to rank them as I go in relation to each other. As I was busy updating my 2011 list, I figured I might as well review them. But then I thought, "That's a lot of work." I haven't really seen that many movies this year, but writing even a few hundred words on each them seemed daunting. Then I though, "Hey, I'm lazy, it's the Twitter Age, why not just fire out a quick sentence on each?" So that's what I did. Enjoy -- it's simple and easily digestible, just like a sandwich! BEWARE: Persistent and egregious violence committed against punctuation below.

Movies ranked on a very subjective Excellent-to-Total Crap scale:

Excellent (*****)
None so far

Great (****1/2)
None so far

Very Good (****)
Paul - Made for fanboys, by fanboys; funniest of the year so far.
Fast Five - Perhaps most homoerotic movie since Top Gun -- in a good way.
Everything Must Go - Will Ferrell tries his hand at drama, is still funny, which makes the movie work.
Bridesmaids - NEWSFLASH: Women can be funny and crass too (something Kristen Wiig fans already knew).
Take Me Home Tonight - Funny, touching, nostalgic -- would-be That '80s Show adaptation decent.

Solid (***1/2)
Unknown - I'd watch Liam Neeson kick ass and take names in anything -- and I mean N-E-thing.
X-Men: First Class - Even with its flaws (useless side characters, MacAvoy's preening, etc.), still way better than anything Singer or Ratner put out.
The Hangover Part II - Yes, it was a complete rip-off of the first and, no, it didn't need to be made, but you're delusional if you didn't laugh your ass off.
The Adjustment Bureau - This had the chance to be Blade Runner-good... maybe in the hands of a more experienced director.
Source Code - Thoroughly solid genre fare, but that's it.
Kung-Fu Panda 2 - How did this not have some sort of ridiculous subtitle like Attack of the Cranes or Electric Bamboogaloo?

Mediocre (***)
The Mechanic - See entry for Unknown, replace Neeson, Liam with Statham, Jason -- watch for plot holes though.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Completely unnecessary yet entertaining enough.
Thor - Scenes in Asgard = good, scenes on Earth = zzzzz's -- do the math and the result is "meh."
Your Highness - This had soooo much potential as a brilliant fantasy genre parody, but it just wound up being a mediocre stoner comedy.

Kinda Sucked (**1/2)
Scream 4 - Actually started off fairly decent, but the wheels came off in the third act.
Sucker Punch - Zack Snyder should never, ever, ever, ever be allowed to work with actors again -- dug the style and atmosphere though.

Sucked (**), Awful (*1/2), Terrible (*), Crap (1/2), Total Crap (0)
None so far

WTF (???)
The Tree of Life - Cop-out: This is what happens when hubris goes unchecked (as it so often does).


That's it so far. I'll keep it updated throughout the year. Feel free to agree or disagree or agree to disagree.

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