Here we are again! Another 5 years of film-going! We are officially at the half-way point of the teens! How did everything shake out? Here are the preceding sections for those brave enough to read 1987-2009:
This will recap the years 2010-14. Some of this will be copied from previous Blog posts. Please forgive the lack of continuity in style of the list. 2011-14 were fully covered here on WordPress. but these lists are for films seen in CINEMAS only! Not a comprehensive best/worst list! 2010 was be copied from a previous blog I ran on livejournal.
Tally: From 1987-2009 I saw 308 films in the theater! We will add the totals and see where we stand by the end of 2014!
And away we go!
309 Inception. Without a doubt, of everything I saw this year- this is the one that impressed me the most. DiCaprio is on fire right now, Ellen Page nearly stole the movie, and Christopher Nolan is my favorite director at the moment. His films are all must-sees.
3: 310 Metropolis: Restored. Hehe, I know that this is a silent film from the 20’s. But this is the first time the WHOLE film has been seen since release. I saw it in a small Indy theater with a good friend, and the place was PACKED! She was shocked at the crowd and asked “What the hell are we seeing?! What are you taking me to?” By modern standards, the film is crude. But when you realize what an impact this had on all sci fi films froms tar wars to blade runner, it deserves the props.
4: 311 Tron: Legacy- this is one that many did not like. I found the story to be good, and the effects incredible. Jeff Bridges makes a strong case for being a must see actor. Every film he has made for the last decade has been on the money. I cannot wait to see his Rooster Cogburn. Tron was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I think disney did a fine job with this movie.
5: 312 Harry Potter 7 1/2: The best entry in this series since Goblet of fire. Emma Watson stole this movie. I don’t know when exactly she learned to act, but she brought it in this film. Far superior to her previous outings.
6: 313 JackAss 3-D: I am amazed to see this film on the list too. Besides being stupidly hilarious, it was surprisingly emotional for me. I have been watching these guys since I was 19! Most of them were about 19 then too. As I watch them wince with pain, and show the result of a decade of battering their bodies, it reminds me of my own slowly decaying body. hehe. Its funny what makes you nostaligic for your youth. Jackass is apparently it for me.
7: 314 MACHETE! Danny Trejo is awesome. This movie was awesome. If you skipped it, you missed out.
The OK films:
315 Clash of the titans: I saw this only to hear Neeson say “Release the Kraken!” I have no particualr affinity for the original AT ALL. In fact I just about despise it. I found this watchable, and I look forward to “WRATH of the Titans”
316 Kick-Ass: This nearly made the Best list. It was an excellent film that featured an excellent performance by Nicholas Cage. When is the last time you could honestly say that?!
317 Iron Man 2: Good film, not as good as the first. Downey steals the film, as usual, but the threat was not grooving for me. Good set up for Avengers though. I especially liked Roger Sterling as Tony’s “Walt Disney-like ” father.
318 Macgruber: WHAT?! Yeah, I liked this movie. go to hell. The Celery scene redeemed it.
319 The A- team: WHAT!!? Yeah, I liked this movie too. go to hell. They FLEW A TANK!
320 Salt: Ok film, Jolie turned in a great performance. Liev Schreiber is always welcome too.
321 Narnia 3: This is supposedly NOTHING like the book. It figures because I actually enjoyed this one. That little pain in the ass kid, Eustace, was awesome.
THE BAD: This is sometimes interesting, but this year was just depressing.
3: 322 The Expendables: Some parts were ok, but the rest was embarassingly bad. I feel sorry for Mickey Rourke.
2: 323 Alice in Wonderland: What a steaming pile of dog shit this was. Tim Burton should be ashamed. When Johnny Depp can’t save a movie, you are in trouble. He certainly tried to save it, but even he went too far.
1: 324 Grown Ups. Biggest let down of the year. What in the holy hell was this movie? What happened to David Spade, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, and Rob Schneider. Well, Schneider was always terrible, but at least he could be awesomely crude. This was awful.
16 films for 2010 brings the tally to 324!
The initial 2011 list contained several DVD only films! Here it is, in descending order- my favorite films of 2011 seen in CINEMAS! (some sad deletions had to happen- including #1 Midnight in Paris and the wonderful Beginners)
325 I delved into it more fully in my blog, but this film was a wonderful continuation of the Sherlock Holmes that Guy Ritchie gave us 2 years ago. Jared Harris is terrific as Professor Moriarty– the great nemesis of Holmes. RDJ continues his great performance as the master detective of 221B Baker Street, but Jude Law continues to rise to the challenge as gives us a terrific Watson. The chemistry between these 2 is flawless. They need to make more movies together.
2: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
326 I had little hope for this film. Of the original Planet of the Apes films (I refuse to acknowledge the Tim Burton remake- with the exception of a great Paul Giamatti performance) one of the best was part 4: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. This film is a reimagining of it. What could have been a bad, bad thing became one of the best science fiction films made in years. Andy Serkis delivers an Oscar worthy motion capture performance as Caesar, the intelligent ape. John Lithgow is great as a man suffering from Alzheimers. What this film does that is so awesome is that it gives us a believable premise for how the Apes could realistically take over the earth. This is the best Apes film since the original, and is worth your time.
3: X-Men 1st Class
327 Talk about another come from behind victory. While the Planet of the Apes films slowly descended into garbage over 40 years, X-Men nosedived in short order from one of the best superhero films ever made (X-Men 2) to the abyss that was X-Men 3 and continued to slide in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This movie flat out ignores the fact that #3 or Wolverine ever happened (something wolverine 2 is also said to be doing). It jumps back to the early 1960’s, as a young Professor Xavier puts together his team of Mutant heroes. The character of Magneto, as in the previous films, steals the show. While Ian McKellan is a fantastic actor, it is clear that he cannot be believably de-aged to appear as if he was in his late 20’s. Luckily, we had one of the best friggin actors on the planet ready to jump in: Michael Fassbender.
You may remember how he stole the show in Inglorious Basterds…not an easy thing to do with Christoph Waltz also stealing the show.
Essentially, Inglorious Basterds was a huge act of grand larceny against Brad Pitt…
but I digress. Fassbender is on a hell of a roll in the last few years. I have a funny feeling that his recent film “Shame” would have made it on this list, but I did not get a chance to see it. Based on reviews from critics I trust Shame is awesome. I have no doubt that this man will be getting an Oscar really soon. I don’t know which film it will be for, but it is coming.
This film, like any, is not without its flaws. I am looking at you Betty Draper…
Seriously now. How on earth could the inclusion of the above image be a BAD thing in a movie? She is just that damn untalented.
4: Captain America
328 The epitome of a Marvel Comics film. In fact, the best entry into the Marvel Avengers film series. Chris Evans nails it. Hugo Weaving nails it. Everyone is on the money. Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci were perfectly cast. Dominic Cooper (who appears below) was great as Tony Stark’s Father. If you have not seen this yet, why are you reading my Blog? Get your ass out there a rent it.
5: The Artist
329 Absolutely deserving of the Oscar this past year. A Black and White “Almost-Silent” film about a film star who loses his way in life. It was a pleasure to see this one on the big screen.
330 Come on! You know you love them! Pure Nostalgic heaven. Muppets are back.
7: Harry Potter 7 Part 2
331 The grand finale to the Harry Potter extravaganza! The three kids in these films: Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson were surrounded by the greatest actors that their country has to offer…No…actually ALL of them. Something had to rub off, and much rubbing off was going on in the making of this series (they were teenagers after all). Ralph Fiennes FINALLY gets to act in one of these films (he performances thus far were essentially cameos) and Alan Rickman, who has been setting up the character of Severus Snape for 10 years, finally gets his payoff as the hero of this series. Snape is awesome, and Alan Rickman is the reason.
332 See that orgasmic look on Simon Pegg’s face? That was me every summer..in the exact same spot he is walking.
A movie that was made specifically for me. That is the only possible explanation. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost go to Comic-Con. That was the set up of this film. I love Comic-Con. As an 8 time veteran, I am about as in love with that show as you can get. Like me, their characters are completely gaga over Comic-Con. After the show, they decide to go see the famous UFO sites of America…and pick up an Alien. Luckily this alien has the voice and mannerisms of Seth Rogen, which serves to elevate this film into the stratosphere. Their great adventure takes them on a geek ride for the ages, all while Sigourney Weaver is trying to catch them. Ripley….Epic. Literally everyone I know emailed me immediately after seeing this film and wanted to tell me about it. That’s a sign of great film.
333 The God of Thunder! My pal Bob is the biggest Thor fan on Earth, and he gives this a thumbs up. Good enough for me! Chris Hemsworth stood firm as a believable Thor- not an easy thing to do. Natalie Portman gave us her most flattering performance in years. I actually believed she was happy and in love with Thor. The rest of the Cast, including Loki, were phenomenal.
10: Pirates 4:
334 Despite the rage placed on this by critics, I found this to be a very enjoyable entry in this classic series. Better than #3 by a mile! Geoffrey Rush gives his best Barbossa performance, and Ian McShane shines as Blackbeard!
335 A movie I enjoyed considerably. A movie with schoolgirl mental patients/hookers fighting clockwork WWI German Armies and Robots, as well as Samurai monsters and Dragons!! Sign me up!
336 Amazingly good! The stink of #2 was washed away the Leonard Nimoy saves the day with “The needs of the Many, outweigh the needs of the few”. Genius.
337 Essentially the first movie repeated. Same set up, same structure in every way. Somehow JUST AS FUNNY.
Cowboys & Aliens:
338 I have no beef with this movie. Ford was great, Craig was great, and the story was great. It was essentially an Old west tale, but instead of cowboys or criminals, they went against Aliens. A good movie.
There were only 2 offensive movies seen in cinemas. Both were films I initially was “ok” with, but as time passes, they vex me considerably.
339 This should have been a home run. Ben Still, Matthew Broderick, and company break into a tower to steal from the rich a hole that stole their money, with the help of Eddie Murphy. This was supposed to be Murphy’s return to form. Sad.
340 What can I say. A part of me LOVES this, because GL is my favorite hero. A part of me LOATHES this because GL is my favorite hero. I have a GL tattoo for OA’s-sake! Badly cast. Reynolds is the ideal Flash, not Hal Jordan. The big bad should not be a giant shit cloud. How many times will movies make this mistake?!!
16 movies were seen in 2011, bringing us all the way up to 340!
The end of the earth, according to those who don’t understand the Mayan calendar!! Some amazing movies came out this year, probably due to end of the world predictions! This year suffered heavily from the “cinema only” rule. See the original best/worst list for the real story.
341 John Carter
The venom and hate spewed at this film astounds me. I have read the books by Burrows, and I thought the film was ok. The action was good, actors did a fair job, and it was a decent, if flawed, adaptation of the original work. I walked out happy to have spent a couple hours in Barsoom!
342 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D
What a money grab this was. With all the time and effort supposedly devoted to the transfer of this film into 3D, I was hoping for a bit more. Unfortunately, it suffers the same fate as all the post-conversion 3D films- blurred action, tough to see darker scenes. Luckily I like the film, which is why it did not score lower.
343 The Three Stooges
I enjoyed this return to the world of the stooges. The cast was excellent, the humor in tune with the originals. The Farrelly brothers did a great job with this. Plus it had Kate Upton in it. Lets refocus here. Kate Upton….
344 The Dictator
Sacha Baron Cohen strikes again! This time as an Anti-Semitic dictator of a fictitious African nation. Great humor, but without the edge of Borat or Bruno. I appreciate Cohen moving away from “mockumentary” style filmmaking, but he needs a little more polish.
345 The Amazing Spider-Man
I really like this movie, but did not love it. In many ways it was a truer representation of the comic book version of Peter Parker and Spider-Man. In other ways it was a huge diversion from the comic, particularly in the origin aspect of it all. One thing that must be acknowledged is that Andrew Garfield is a far superior Peter. Emma Stone brought a lot more to the plate than Kirsten Dunst. This film just needed to bring a little more into the story than was present. I understand what they were trying to do, and they largely succeeded, I suspect the sequel will bring it all together.
346 Expendables 2
A joy ride of a film. Packed with muscles, guns, and more inside jokes than you would believe is possible. We saw Stallone, Willis, Schwarzenegger, and Chuck Norris tear the screen up with their awesomeness. A good time at the movies. Far superior to the first.
347 Wreck it Ralph
This was a fun movie about the “secret world” inside arcade games. The voice acting was good, and the animation up to the Disney standard. The humor was there, and morals were plentiful for the kiddies. A decent Disney film that could have used a few more “Arcade game worlds” to suit my tastes.
There were a lot of movies that would have beaten the three selections here. I fortunately did not see most of those films. What makes these the worst is that these were films that I was really anticipating. Potentially great films that went awry, and that pisses me off.
2: 348 Red Tails
George Lucas has been making this movie for over 20 years. On paper, it is everything he has been wanting to bring to the screen since the 70’s. The Star Wars space battles were based on WW2 dog fights. This film is about WORLD WAR 2 DOG FIGHTS. What the hell happened?! The dialogue was not particularly good. The editing bizarre at times. The special effects were quite good- great even, but they don’t guarantee a good film. This film had some great actors who were utterly wasted. When the TV version of the Tuskegee Airmen is superior to the multi million dollar extravaganza, its time to hang it up. I suspect this had a lot to do with Lucas’ decision to sell Lucasfilm.
Worst of the year
1: 349 Wrath of the Titans
Holy Hell. I was one of the 7 people that enjoyed the first movie in this series. I eagerly anticipated a return to the world of Greek Mythology, especially for an original tale! What followed was horror. Hades became a good guy, ALL the gods died. Poseidon, played by the great Danny Huston, dies right off the bat like a chump- giving this actor nothing to do…again. It was all a jumbled terrific mess of a movie. I have rarely been so let down.
Lets interject here with an examination of one actor- Liam Neeson. What happened man?! Titans, the Grey, Taken 2 and Battleship. Why hast thou forsaken us!? Aslan needs to reassess.
Now, the good stuff::
350 Now THIS is more like it. THIS is Judge Dredd. True to the comic, through and through. We never, NOT ONCE, see Judge Dredd without his helmet. Judge Anderson is present, without a Rob Schneider in sight. The abomination that is the Stallone Dredd is forever wiped away. This film, besides being watchable and well written, was also one of the best shot films of the year. It definitely featured the best use of 3D I have seen since the realD explosion.
9: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
351 I loved my return to Middle Earth. ‘nuff said.
8: Hunger Games
352 I covered this pretty thoroughly In a previous post. In short- It is the anti-Twilight. A film about a STRONG young woman, who finds the strength within herself to survive…despite any odds. This was a really great movie.
7: Zero Dark Thirty
353 terrific film making exercise. Well written, well acted.
6: The Dark Knight Rises
354 Equal to The Dark Knight in every way save the performance of Heath Ledger. It was a good “Final Story” for Batman. I watched this at its premiere in one of the theaters that was screening the trilogy. Seeing them all, in a row, really drives home the link these films share. They work together thematically. It is a complete story by one of the better Director working today.
355 Daniel Day-Lewis is phenomenal. Deserved the Oscar.
4: Les Miserables
356 Fantastic adaptation of the musical. Memorable as all hell.
3: The Avengers
357 There are no words that can express the joy of seeing an unapologetic COMIC BOOK MOVIE on the big screen. This IS the Avengers. It hit all the right notes. It was what comic book fans have been dreaming for decades. One review stated that it was as if Joss Whedon travelled back in time and filmed my imagination when I was 9. A real achievement.
2: Django Unchained
358 I just wrote up a glowing review of this one, just scroll down the page! Seriously, it is one of Tarantino’s best. He is a master at the height of his powers.
359 This is it baby. This is possibly the best Bond Film ever made.
It featured a unique story for the series, which i thought really gave the actors a chance to shine, as well as create some gripping adventure. I feel this completes a trilogy of sorts with the previous 2. It finishes the origin story of James Bond which began in Casino Royale. At the start of the film, Bond is finally over the death of Vesper and is finding himself. This is the final construction of “Casino-Bond” into 007, as we knew him.
Craig has hit his stride. Like Connery and Moore before him, his 3rd entry was his best Bond yet. I am so happy they signed him for 2 more. Craig is knocking on Sean Connery’s door as the best actor to play 007.
Javier Bardem, one of my favorite actors, plays a memorable villain. My wife Tatum was creeped out by him, which was a sign that he nailed a perfect performance. Ralph Fiennes, one of her favorite actors has a great part as a government oversight guy. She and I are split on the new Q, I liked him, she thought he was a dick (which is probably why I liked him). Bond Girl Eve was underutilized until the finale of the film, and Judi Dench gives her best performance as M.
The Opening credits were fantastic, and take on greater significance once we know the story. This was, in many ways, a return to classic bond. The Bond theme song is front and center in several scenes, as opposed to being an after-credits thing.
Roger Deakins proves why he is one of the best Cinematographers alive with his stunning visuals.
If you love Bond, see this movie. It is easily the best acted of any of them, top 3 for the series, and my favorite film of 2012.
Now we are clearly in the realm of WordPress. Below is the official tally, with links to reviews, followed by the top/worst. This will be the format going forward.
376: Jackass Presents- Bad Grandpa
378: Hunger Games: Catching Fire
380: The Hobbit- The Desolation of Smaug
Here is my original 2013 recap for those wanting more detail than this brief recap.
This was relatively easy as it was the FIRST movie I saw in 2013. Everything went up from here.
Sweet Jesus, this movie is terrible. Sitting in the theater, I had an unmistakable moment of awareness this may be worse than Battlefield: Earth. I do not write those words lightly. Battlefield was the worst film of the “aughts“, and possibly of all time. At the very least, I could identify BF:E as a movie. This is a series of unfunny clips trying to be the next Kentucky Fried Movie. It fails miserably. For a detailed recounting of the horror that was Movie 43, check out my review.
This absolutely would have been the worst if not for the black hole that was movie 43. I am still not sure if it was a comedy. (review)
This year was also fairly easy to assemble. There were SO MANY “meh” movies that it practically made itself. I was actually a little scared that I could assemble ten films in this list, but we made it. In reverse order.
I was amazed to see Tom Cruise make it back on a top 10 list, but he did. This surprisingly good scifi movie hit all the right notes for me. Pretty much Wall-E with clones instead of robots. (review)
I was not expecting something this good on that cold April day, but Olympus delivered. Great action, good cast, and no cheese. A straight up action flick in the vein of Die Hard. (review)
I was a bit surprised how low this one placed, but while good, I don’t think it measures up to the competition. It builds on the work in the first and advances the story forward. Wonderful casting and cutting edge effects and technology come together to give us a great adaptation of the novel. (review)
The best version of the novel. It was a stylish take on my favorite book that was miles ahead of previous efforts. (review)
The most fun in a movie theater this year, hands down. Seeing this in IMAX was the only way to see it. The biggest tragedy is that I will never see it on that scale again, meaning my one viewing was likely my only viewing. (review)
Katniss does it again, while I loved the first film, this was incredibly improved. It amps up the danger and went in a direction I was not expecting. Not reading the novels was actually a tremendous advantage. (review)
The best of the Cornetto trilogy. This was a terrific look at aging and the desire of some 40 somethings to recapture those lost years. Pegg gives one of his best performances in the midst of an Alien Invasion. (review)
This was the epitome of the Superman I grew up with. It was the first serious take on a “Super” character. No cheese, no comedy, a serious movie. This turned off a lot of people who complained that it was “joyless”. They expect every comic movie to be Avengers where the jokes keep pace with the action, but that’s not what comics are. When you read a comic, the stories are serious. Superman isn’t funny, neither are those around him (save occasional Jimmy Olsen Turtle Boy). This was one of the best comic movies ever made because it did not screw around. Those Phantom Zone Penis Prison ships were an unfortunate choice though. Might have made #2 if not for that. (review 1 and review 2)
Oh this was a tough one. I had this pegged for Numero Uno since I left the theater. Woody Allen back in top form. Cate Blanchett making a very strong play for Best Actress, and a great assortment of costars. This is the reason I see films, especially in the theater. It’s a whole different experience seeing Woody’s world on the big screen. (review)
Pulling out the late win is American Hustle. I had a tough time deciding between this and Blue Jasmine, but it was the strength of the actors that propelled this to the top. It looks at the late 70’s as it was often portrayed, seedy, run down, corrupt, but with style. I am not sure what Oscar love will find it’s way into the hands of David O. Russell, but there should be some. It’s still in theaters- go see it.
We added 23 movies in 2013, bringing the tally to 382!
An okay year for film.
390: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
394: X-Men: Days of Future Past
395: Transformers Age of Extinction
397: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
401: The Hunger Games- Mockingjay Part I
403: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Noah: I cannot believe the stupidity and audacity of this movie. On paper, I should love a movie about rock monster fallen angels helping Noah build an ark. The bad guy sneaks on the ark and EATS BABY DINOSAURS- explaining why they are extinct. Sad. (review)
Yes, only seven were good enough to make the cut this year. Here is a list of those that were “okay”.
The Lego Movie, The Interview, Horrible Bosses 2, RoboCop, Anchorman 2-redux, Godzilla, Sabotage, Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies, 300: Rise of an Empire, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Expendables 3, Dumb and Dumber to, I, Frankenstein, Lucy, The Interview, November Man, Amazing Spider-Man 2
As I said, this was an “okay” year, and most movies were in that range. Now, lets see what stood out!
7: Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1: Katniss returns in this POWERFUL installment in the juggernaut saga of Panem. (review)
6: X-Men- Days of future past: Bryan Singer returns to X-Men and gives us the gold. Wolverine travels back to the 70’s and meets up with the First Class cast. Sentinels. Incredible. In most other years, this would be the best comic film of the year. Not this year though. (review)
5: Edge of Tomorrow: Based on the comic “All you need is Kill”, Tom Cruise follows up his great work in Oblivion with even better work. A Scifi Groundhog day, this is one of the best scifi films of the decade. (review)
4: Interstellar: Christopher Nolan gives us one of the better “hard scifi” films in decades. It is definitely one of the strongest since 2001 in terms of hard science. (review)
3: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: We see the epic war between Apes and Humans begin in this follow up to “Rise”. Andy Serkis deserves a goddamn oscar. (review)
2: Captain America: The Winter Soldier- almost the best comic movie of the year. This IS Captain America. Rarely has a comic movie completely captured the source material it is based on. Tough to top. (review)
1: Guardians of the Galaxy: I could watch this all day, every day. It is pitch perfect, the best movie of 2014, and audiences agreed. It is a rollicking old school sci fi adventure film that takes the Marvel Universe and blows it up to Cosmic levels. No grounding needed in this one. Chris Pratt’s affable Star-Lord brings us humans into a world of talking trees and smart ass Racoons, all while showing us some of Marvel’s best cosmic baddies. It also had kick-ass tunes and Michael Rooker playing Yondu as a space hillbilly. Also, Howard the F’n Duck.
It does not get much better than this.
So, that is 2010-14, and we are now complete from 1987 to 2014 in cinema! 27 years of movies and a half decade is complete! Lets see where we stand.
We added 95 films over 5 years, bringing the TALLY up to 404! Not too shabby.
So where do we stand for the decade? Worst? Best? In the 2000’s Battlefield Earth was pegged as the worst early on and it managed to hold the title. Can an early winner hold onto the title for the next 5 years?
Here is where I place things now:
2010: Grown Ups; 2011: Green Lantern; 2012: Wrath of the Titans; 2013: Movie 43; 2014: Noah
Movie 43: Quite possibly the worst major release ever. I could barely consider this a movie. 19 writers, 13 directors, and A-list talent. Worst movie of 2013, winner of many Razzies, and on track for worst of decade. Incredible. (review)
Midnight in Paris should be the best so far…but I saw it on DVD, not in a theater. This trifling distinction boots the film from the list. So, what are we choosing from?
2010:Inception; 2011:Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; 2012: Skyfall; 2013: American Hustle; 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy
Yes, I give the title to Guardians of the Galaxy. This was the most enjoyable movie of the 2010’s for me (so far). I have a sneaking suspicion that this could change over the next few years…
Thanks for following me on this mad jaunt through 27 years of cinema! Please follow this blog for film by film reviews of everything I see from 2015 and beyond! Once we hit the end of the decade, 12/31/2019, we will crown a winner for the teens! Se you then!