Best of 2011

Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

 

2011 was a very interesting year for media. It brought 3 superheroes to the big screen, resurrected 4 beloved franchises, brought an end to a phenomenon that began when an 11 year old boy received a letter from an owl, gave us theChinatown of our generation, gave us a god awful installment to another beloved franchise and gave us the best reviewed, praised, and awesome super hero game ever created. This is the best and even the worst of 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MOVIES

I’m going to break this down by genre and then give my pick for best movie of the year.

SUPERHEROES

GREEN LANTERN:

I had been waiting for a Green Lantern movie for quite awhile so when it was announced that it was being made I was very excited. When I saw the movie it didn’t live up to my expectations, but I liked it okay. I really liked the cast and I didn’t think the CG was that bad. Sure it wasn’t AVATAR, but it wasn’t bad. If there’s one problem that this movie has it’s that it’s trying to tell too many stories. It has to introduce the characters, the world and develop the hero and his/her powers. With the inclusion of Hector Hammond the film had to develop his story too along with everything else. The film had to constantly cut back to him when it should have focused on Hal’s training, relationships and the culture of the Green Lantern Corps. I would have stuck with Paralax as the simplistic villain that’s easy to understand so that the film can focus on the hero where the focus needs to be. It wasn’t perfect, but it was still enjoyable.

 

THOR:

I enjoyed this film. I thought Chris Hemsworth was perfect as Thor and Anthony Hopkins was great as Odin. Asgard was well realized and I did like Thor’s interactions in the mortal world. It was fairly light on action, but it focused on Thor’s newfound humility and that’s where the story needed to be.

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA:

This was my favorite superhero movie of the year. I liked virtually everything about it. The cast, the origin story, the action even the music with an Alan Menken song!!!!!!!!!!! This was a very entertaining film and is my favorite Marvel movie. However, the claims that it is the best superhero movie ever is not true. Better than Dark Knight? Dream on Marvel!

 

SUSPENSE

 

HARRY POTTER DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2:

Now I am by no means a Potter fan. I like the movies and I’ve read a few of the books (Hallows is my favorite) and I had to see this to the end. The scale is huge and the finality of everything is apparent. This is the final battle, and it all ends here. The film does an excellent job capturing the tension and the chaotic nature of organizing for the fight. (Cowboys and Aliens gets an honorable mention in this regard) There are certain things about this film that I like better than the book the main example is that there is a mono y mono fight between Harry and Voldemort. The book is very anticlimactic in this regard Harry gives a big speech to Voldemort and the dark wizard dies by having his spell rebounded. Really? After all this time you built him up as this ultimate evil and this is how he goes? Lame! Sorry Rowling.  Here there is an actual fight between our hero and villain with Harry having a great line “Let’s finish this the way it started, Tom. TOGETHER!” and he pulls him over the ledge. That’s awesome! This movie is awesome and very satisfying!

 

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL:

I was actually very surprised at how good this movie was. It’s directed by Brad Bird (director of the Incredibles) so he knows how to direct action scenes and some of them are phenomenal! I also like the fact that since IMF has been disbanded by the President due to Ethan and his team getting framed for an international incident they don’t have any luxuries. No fancy masks, no backup, no unlimited gadgets. They are on their own and things constantly go wrong thus adding an entirely new level of suspense despite the fact that this movie would never kill off Ethan Hunt. Simon peg is quite funny as the new tech guy. A great action flick for the holidays!

 

SCREAM 4:

 

I was very excited to see this movie! I love the Scream series and they were one of the few R rated movies that my parents let me watch when I was young. When I saw the poster I got really excited and I went to see it and I thought it was the best Scream movie since the original. My jaw dropped when the main killer was revealed. I did not expect it and I loved it! I agree with Welshy on everything else on this film. Watch his review it’s really good and I agree with everything he says.

 

FAMILY FILMS

THE MUPPETS 2011:

 

I’m not going to say much about this movie because I already reviewed it, but I will say that I absolutely loved this film! A celebration of all these great characters that have made us laugh and in some cases cry since the 70s (50s if you count Kermit and Rowlf’s appearances) are back where they belong in the hearts and minds of everyone! It is definitely the feel good movie of the year!

 

WINNIE THE POOH 2011:

This was the first film I ever reviewed and I love this film. This is a film that breaks all modern conventions of animated films today by not only being 2D animation, but by being a sweet story that is a slice of life of Pooh and his friends. You don’t get a film like this anymore and it returns to classic Pooh and should be loved and treasured as an instant Disney classic and I stand by my claim that this is the best Disney animated feature since Lilo and Stitch!

 

BEST MOVIE OF 2011!!!!!!!!!!!: The Best Movie was very close, but I will go with WINNIE THE POOH 2011!!! I love its return to classic 2D animation and how it says “no” to modern animation conventions and tells an absolutely timeless story!

 

VIDEO GAMES

 

There were phenomenal games this year and I truly believe that the superior stories that were told this year were in video games not films. I didn’t play Uncharted or Skyrim so maybe those games deserve to be on here, but they’re not since I didn’t play them. Unfortunately there was 1 game that was so bad it is not only the worst game of the year, but the worst anything this year and the sad thing is it came out in January or February!!! These are the games of 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

LA NOIRE:

LA Noire Story Trailer

This game was AWESOME AS HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the genre of Film Noir and I truly believe that this game is the Chinatown of our generation. I love its story and characters. The writing and acting is excellent and the gameplay is very intelligently crafted to where the player must look for clues and solve crimes by using their heads and reading people’s faces!! More will be explained in a future review! Excellent game with an awesome story and characters!

 

BATMAN ARKHAM CITY:

Do I even need to say how AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this game is? The epic story, the excellent acting and characterizations, the amazing graphics with meticulous detail and expansive world, with amazing optional content make Arkham City in my opinion the GAME OF THE YEAR!!! One thing I love is the ending! I’m not going to spoil it, but even though Batman is triumphant the game leaves you very unsure of what to feel. You don’t know whether to feel happy because you won the game or sad because of the circumstances of the ending. It leaves you kind of empty like something is missing and will never be the same and I love it!!!

Hugo Strange Trailer

Arkham City Gameplay Trailer

WORST OF ALL 2011:

With Arkham City taking the Best Game of the Year my pick for Worst Game of the Year is painful because the series it comes from is my favorite series ever! Kingdom Hearts Recoded is a HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! game. All the things that were important to the overarching plot could have been shown in a 10 minute after school special! This is the first time that a video game made me not care about what was going on!!!!!!!! I just wanted to beat the game to say I beat it!! More ranting will come in a future review!

 

BEST SOUNDTRACK OF 2011:

LA Noire Main Theme

LA Noire Piano Theme

LA Noire Driving to a crime scene

Batman: Arkham City Main Theme

 

Now this was so tough, but I’m going to have to choose both LA Noire and Arkham City. Arkham City’s score fits the dark and gritty mood that a Batman score should have and is not only epic, but captures an excellent combination of Hanz Zimmer’s score and Danny Elfman’s score! LA Noire’s score is a fine score that captures the atmosphere and style of the genre.

LA Noire score by: Simon and Andrew Hale

Arkham City score: Nick Arundel

 

BEST ACTOR/ACTRESS AND BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR/ACTRESS

 

BEST ACTOR: AARON STATON AS COLE PHELPS IN LA NOIRE:

Staton does an excellent job of playing LAPD Detective Cole Phelps. He captures the honesty and valor of the character as well as the hidden insecurities and painful memories the character holds which makes a great addition to the list of Film Noir leading men.

 

BEST ACTRESS: NEVE CAMPBELL AS SIDNEY PRESCOTT IN SCREAM 4:

I agree with Welshy that she does shine as Sidney! It’s hard enough for an actor to play a role so many times, but another challenge entirely to return to a role that he/she hasn’t played in over a decade and still play the role as if he/she never left. Campbell pulls it off and shows how the character has grown over the past decade and the new relationship she has with Ghostface. Excellent!

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: MARK HAMILL AS THE JOKER IN BATMAN ARKHAM CITY AND GIL MCKINNEY AS JACK KELSO IN LA NOIRE:

This is a tie because these performances are just so good! Hamill delivers an amazing sendoff performance as the Joker. He may not have been as funny as he was in Asylum, but he is still just awesome!! McKinney plays Jack Kelso excellently! He captures the headstrong and opinionated nature of the character and shows Kelso’s dedication to the job and loyalty to his comrades and has good chemistry with Staton that captures the rivalry and tension between the two characters.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: AMY ADAMS AS MARY IN THE MUPPETS:

I really like Amy Adams. She brings a sweet innocence to the role of Mary and does a fine job supporting the Muppets and as always she has a lovely singing voice and is a fine dancer.

 

So that’s my Best and Worst of 2011 join me next time where my Kingdom Hearts 1 review is finally going to be here! It was so huge that it needed to be pushed to the New Year!!!!!!!!!!

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