These are movies I saw last year, or saw again last year, that I enjoyed enough to mention now. I don't often get to see all the movies I'd like to see from any given year, but if I saw it during the year, no matter when it was released, I will log it in my journal if I really liked it (or thought is stunk, which is for another list). Here's some of the winners I saw this year and a snippet of why I liked it so much:
The Help is reminiscent of The Blind Side and The King’s Speech as a thought-provoking film that seemed to come
out of nowhere and spoke volumes about the world in which we live. The performances are pitch-perfect.
Water For Elephants
I like period films like this, with its luscious
cinematography telling a compelling and entertaining story about a time long
ago. I was completely caught up in the story. This was, for me, a vibrant, nostalgic, and
engaging cinematic treat.
There was a lot here that impressed me. Some of the special effects were great, such
as those unique terminator-motorcycles or those creepy, snake-like terminator
machines called hydrobots. I also really
liked the addition of the character Marcus Wright played by Sam Worthington as
a convict given a new lease on life when he finds himself resurrected in this
future world, only to later discover he is one of the machines.
Despite the cast mostly being better in the
first film from 1985, this new film boasts a more realistic story, a darker
atmosphere, and a scarier vampire. Colin
Farrell oozes a cool menace here.
Midnight in Paris
I loved everything about this film: The music, the writing, the performances, the
cinematography, the sweet nostalgic quality, the magical time travel angle, the
characterizations of famous artists and writers of the past, their dialogue and
pontificating, and the way the past mixed with the future to change his character
in the end. In a word: Brilliant!
What I really like here, other than the two
centering performances of Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, was how director Clint
Eastwood managed to make a political movie so invigorating by telling the
simpler story of this particular leader’s attempt to use sports as a unifying
factor in bringing his country back together. Director Clint Eastwood is quite a skilled and nuanced director,
building a catalogue of movies in his later years that not only rivals his work
in front of the camera from years ago, but triumphantly surpasses it!
The Forbidden Kingdom
wasn’t expecting much from this movie at all, and was wholly surprised when I
found myself really liking it before the end.
It really delivers in the action sequences, as one would hope, but
beyond that, it also has a satisfying story and interesting characters, even if
we’ve seen this kind of thing many times before.
make ya famous.” This is the catchphrase
Billy the Kid tells people right before he puts a bullet between their eyes,
and I’ll have to admit Emilio Estevez is pretty darned good in this role. Historical accuracy? I guess there’s some, but who really needs
taut historical accuracy when you’ve got a cast of such photogenic brat packers
in a modern day western?
The Avengers really IS the best superhero movie they’ve ever
made, and they managed to take the characters of Ironman, The Hulk, Thor, and
Captain America, combine them into one movie, and make their characters more
likeable and entertaining than they were in their individual movies!
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
This is just about as perfect a Star Trek movie
as they can make! Not only is there a
lot of action and great character moments, but the writing shines with a myriad
This film has all the elements it needs to be one of
the classic sci fi pics of all time, and I’m not just talking about the
effects, but the characters and the story, as liberal and tree-hugging as it
It’s basically a film not about surviving, but facing
death when survival is no longer a possibility.