Every year I write about the movies of the previous year and whether or not they were any good. As I probably didn't see most of these movies, some of these opinions might be kind of uninformed. But so what else is new?
Season of the Witch - Nicholas Cage keeps making terrible movies involving hairpieces, and people keep seeing them under the assumption that they have some kind of camp value or that they are engaging in some kind of transgressive act. Wrong on both counts.
The Green Hornet - critically reviled, this super hero comedy was disliked by the critics and didn't quite live up to expectations at the box office. As I said years ago, they should have taken the money used to make this film and just given it to the poor, or built a school with it, or something positive, because nobody wants to see a movie about the Green Hornet. An eternal truth.
Drive Angry 3D - Nicholas Cage keeps making terrible movies involving hairpieces, and people keep seeing them under the assumption that they have some kind of camp value or that they are engaging in some kind of transgressive act. Wrong on both counts.
Rango - I saw this one on the plane, wasn't expecting much, and was pleasantly surprised. What at first could be dismissed as an extended trip sequence from Depp's character in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS turned out to be a charming Western pastiche with terrific visuals and firm direction from Verbinski. Great Clint Eastwood cameo, too.
Battle: Los Angeles - Not a documentary about the Rodney King riots, but yet another movie that thinks since all the kids are playing HALO we should give them HALO THE MOVIE.
Mars Needs Moms - I saw the trailer for this and thought it was a parody of insipid CG children's films. Nope, the real thing. I hope you're enjoying the paycheck, Berke.
Red Riding Hood - You like TWILIGHT, right? Huh? Sure you do.
Paul - This would have been a great movie to make in, say, 1985. As it is the idea of two wacky guys driving around the US trying to keep their friendly alien away from the authorities is maybe a very special episode of "Bosom Buddies". As a feature film, not so much.
Sucker Punch - Another one in the "I can't believe this is a real movie" department. The masses proved their native intelligence once again by ignoring the hell out of this clearly labeled bomb, which failed miserably at the box office in spite of shoving everything you might think is 'cool' in to the picture. Except 'subtlety'.
Hobo with a Shotgun - as much as I like sleazy 70s grindhouse movies, and as much as I like Rutger Hauer, who imbues even the slightest roles with gravitas, I don't know if I'm going to pay twelve dollars to see a grindhouse homage. Might catch this one on a plane.
Arthur - Remember how Dudley Moore had been in a bunch of hit films before he made "Arthur" and everybody pretty much knew who he was and that they wanted to see him starring in a film? This was completely ignored by the producers of this remake, who failed to consider that nobody knows who Russell Brand is, and therefore probably won't pay to see him starring in a film.
Atlas Shrugged: Part I - Heh heh heh ha hahahahahahhaaa HAW HAH HAW COUGH COUGH HAW HAW COUGH COUGH Oh Jesus. Heh.
Fast Five - they have made FIVE of these movies? Wow.
Thor - Pompous and overlong, Thor fails to deliver any of the "lusty drinking song" charm of the Norse pantheon or the raw, cosmos-shattering power of the original Kirby run on the character. Instead we're given an Odin who spends most of the film in "the Odinsleep", way too much explanation of where Asgard is and what Asgard does and how you get from Asgard to wherever it is you want to go, and some not very shocking or surprising treachery by Loki. To be fair Hiddleston eventually settles into a a snaky Loki groove and Helmsworth makes a passable Thor. The robot they have playing Natalie Portman is almost believable in parts. By the time Thor's defeated The Destroyer and the movie is FINALLY getting going, wham, THE END.
The Beaver - hey look! Mel Gibson's back! Quick, hide!
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - they made FOUR of these movies? Wow.
X-Men: First Class - didn't see it. I'm not legally obligated to see any X-Men movie that doesn't resemble the comics I read when I was 12.
Super 8 - didn't see this one either. One too many gushing reviews of how Abrams was really channeling Spielberg in the 80s - when Spielberg was at his MOST ANNOYING.
Green Lantern - I called this one too - that nobody wants to see a movie starring a second-string superhero who can be defeated by the color yellow. And I was right again, as it failed critically, commercially, spiritually, and metaphorically. Don't you feel good knowing everybody involved in this turkey got paid? I feel like I am owed a paycheck just being exposed to nerds discussing it for half a year. Shut up about movies already, nerds.
Cars 2 - didn't see the first one, won't be seeing the second one. Maybe this was Pixar's first big misstep, maybe it is a parable of when the machines finally eliminate mankind, whatever. Don't care.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - here we have a whole franchise of terrible movies that people agree up and down are lousy, inept pieces of junk, yet people spend half the year discussing them online, linking to trailers, speculating about plot points, arguing over who should play what, and then seeing the things three and four times, buying them two or three times, and then two weeks later it's time to start talking about the next one. These movies are starting to resemble the sports season, the minute you think basketball or football is over some talking head on the news is excited about the players draft or somebody's exhibition game. You know what you should talk about instead of shitty movies starring robots that turn into cars? JUST ABOUT ANYTHING.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - finally wrapped this one up. To be honest I felt the big climax needed a bit more punch, Harry turning into a fifty foot Devilman and ripping whatsisname in half, something a bit more, I dunno, metal. Still, we're done here, good luck in your future careers kids.
Captain America: The First Avenger - Could have used a bit less of the Steve Rogers and a bit more of the Captain America fighting giant robots. I wanted more of Cap crashing in through windows, dodging machine guns, all that stuff. But a movie whose main fault is that it leaves you wanting more of what it does right, that's a good movie. Hugo nailed the Red Skull, Chris nailed Captain America, they weaseled some of the Howling Commandos in there, the fake WWII was pleasantly fake, and in general a fun afternoon at the movies.
Cowboys & Aliens - Neither? Is that OK? Thanks.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - I heard this one was good, but I don't know how much of that positive reaction is a result of the movie actually being good, and how much of it is a result of the last Apes movie being really really bad. Perhaps expectations are low.
Conan the Barbarian - hey, let's remake an 80s hit and leave out all things people liked from the 80s hit! That'll work, right? Right?
Contagion - Good solid disaster picture that delivers emotionally and intellectually as the nation deals with the kind of worst-case-scenario epidemic that public-health professionals have nightmares about. Not a wasted shot in this movie, thank you Soderbergh.
Burke and Hare - Did this even come out in theaters? I would have totally seen this! Simon Pegg as one of the famous grave-robbing cockneys? I'm there!
Real Steel - I saw that episode of Futurama already. Wait, I meant Twilight Zone.
The Thing - hey, let's remake an 80s hit and leave out all things people liked from the 80s hit! That'll work, right? Right?
Footloose - hey, let's remake an 80s hit and leave out all things people liked from the 80s hit! That'll work, right? Right?
The Muppets - I saw the first Muppets movie in the theater about fifty times when it came out, it was the de facto babysitter that summer. Haven't seen that movie since, and in fact haven't really had any desire to see anything with the Muppets in it since. Though I will cheerfully watch that original movie again if it was to come on TV or something.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - my goal is to see this one today. OR IS IT?
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked - I love seeing adults complain about these movies. They are all outraged that somebody would make movies starring cartoon chipmunks! News flash people - these are children's movies, for children. Are you a children? No you are not. So relax. Save your outrage, let today's children have something to annoy parents with, let the Bagdasarian grandkids go to college.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - apart from some unconvincing CG I liked the first one fine and can easily see myself seeing this one too. OH NOES IT ISN'T ACCURATE TO THE ORIGINAL STORIES. Well, if I want to read the original stories I will sit my ass at home on the couch with a book, won't I?
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol - I hear good things about this Brad Bird-directed action picture, and it's as yet to be determined if my dislike of Tom Cruise and his thetan-controlled ego will override my interest in the movie.
The Adventures of Tintin - I may have to see this one just to get the full effect of the zombie puppets and their soulless eyes parading around like a taxidermists nightmare. Remember when buying your tickets to pronounce it 'Tantan' for super annoyance!
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Tattoo removal is getting cheaper and cheaper these days. I could care less about these movies or the books or what they're about, which apparently is some kind of turgid European suspense dealing with computer hackers and rape, two things I really don't want to pay money to see movies about.
coming in 2012- Red Tails, Arreity The Borrowers in theaters, another Ghost Rider movie, another James Bond picture, John Carter Warlord Of Mars, a sequel to that terrible "Clash Of the Titans" remake, Dark Shadows, Battleship, The Avengers, Men In Black III, Prometheus, another GI Joe movie (??), another Spider-Man movie, another Madagascar movie, another Ice Age movie, another Batman movie, another Bourne movie, a Total Recall remake, another Expendables movie, another Resident Evil movie, another Judge Dredd movie, another Halloween movie, another Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, that Red Dawn remake is finally coming out, another Twilight movie, a version of The 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves, and The Hobbit. Whee!