Erin (theoryoferin) wrote,

2011 New Movies Watched



Musical || 135 Minutes || 01 January
I had always avoided actually watching this movie, especially after seeing the opera La Boheme that it's based off of and absolutely adoring it.  But I'd heard the music, of course, and everyone could do nothing but praise this rendition. However, in my music snob heart, I assumed that it was always just because they didn't know what they were missing by not seeing the opera.  I was wrong.  This musical is everything that you could ever want in a retelling. It's fresh and new, but stays true [enough] to the original that you know it way an adaptation. And RENT definitely pays its dues to La Boheme. The music is catchy, the acting is phenomenal and I'm glad that I called out of work on New Year's Day to be able to sit around and watch this with the remaining guests from our party the night before.  Great way to kick off 2011 on the movie front and a sure sign that this year would be filled with far more movie watching than the years prior.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 2. KickAss
Action / Adventure || 117 Minutes || 03 January
This was another movie that I admittedly didn't have very high expectations for... And was pleasantly surprised by. I mean, come on. It's a superhero spoof and I [a] don't like superhero movies most of the time -- Batman being the exception -- and [b] don't really go for comedies, and especially not spoof comedies.  Plus, one of the semi main characters is played by Nicolas Cage.  Do I really have to go into why this movie had a ton of strikes against it from the start?  But, the jokes weren't all bad and the acting was surprisingly one of the best aspects of the movie. Hit Girl is awesome, Red Mist is gorgeous, and Nicolas Cage was finally cast into a role in which he can play an emotionless, unfeeling, unemoting, monotone freak and not look completely out of place!  It was definitely a good change for him. Not something with a lot of rewatch value for me, but I can at least understand why everyone was so hyped about it when it was in theatres.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

3. Inception
Thriller || 148 Minutes || 7 January
I think to accurately write a review of this movie, I need to purchase it and watch it at least one more time.  Maybe even two or three.  Fucking.  I don't even know.  But it was amazing. And I adore the hell out of Leonardo DiCaprio. I mean, I always loved him, ever since Titanic, but as he gets older, he just keeps getting better and better.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

4. Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Fantasy / Book Adaptation || 115 Minutes || 09 January
Normally, before I go see another one of the Narnia movies, I'll reread the book. Going to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was such an impulsive decision that I didn't have the chance to do it, so I didn't really have anything to go off of when I saw the movie. I mean, I didn't remember anything at all about this one, other than the fact that Susan and Peter weren't in it. That's it.  That said, Disney has done such an amazing job with these movies, that I'm honestly just accepting that it all happened the way it should have and I am happy from a canonical standpoint. This movie certainly lived up to my standards, as far as the Narnia movies go and it was epic and beautiful.  It was also the first movie I had ever seen in 3D, so aside from it making me a little ill, I also found it pretty amazing how real it felt. I loved the actor that played Eustace and I adored him when he was a dragon. The line about him making a better dragon than he did a boy made me tear up a little. I loved the ending when they're debating going into Aslan's country and Caspian.  ♥ Oh, my love. Ben Barnes is such a gorgeous creature. I am a little sad that they seemed to have set it up to be the final Narnia film, what with Lucy saying outright "This will be our last visit to Narnia, won't it?" which I vaguely remember in the books, so maybe they were just sticking to the dialog there, but I'm not sure. This movie got so little promotion and didn't do nearly as well as the other two films have, so I'm sort of seeing it as the end, despite there still being four quality books to make into movies. But, at the same time, I liked that they did leave it open still by saying that some may still have time, as Eustace walked away.  So, maybe they'll continue and do the last four.  Fingers crossed, at least.  But, loved the movie. Would definitely see it again and will be adding the DVD to my collection as soon as it's available.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ &ahalf

5. (500) Days of Summer
Romance || 95 Minutes || 16 January
It took me far too long to see this movie. FAR too long. I knew I would love it; there was no doubt in my mind. However, I had no idea that I would love it this much. It was funny and angsty and romancey and guhhh.  Absolute adoration for the cast and I want to marry both Tom Hansen and Summer Finn. And glargh.  There's nothing else for me to even say about this movie other than to tell you to go buy it. Right now. And then watch it fifteen times. In a row.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ &ahalf
6. Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog
Musical ||  43 Minutes || 20 January
Oh my word.  Greatest musical ever written?  Nah.  That would be Moulin Rouge, but close? Oh gods yes.  Probably one of the funniest things I have seen in my entire life.  Plus, the vocals are fantastic and the acting is wonderful... But then again, how can you really go wrong when you're casting someone like freaking Neil Patrick Harris as the lead?  I just... Guh.  I've watched this three times since the 20th because I love it that much.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ &ahalf

7. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Action / Comedy  ||  113 Minutes  ||  23 January
I had really high expectations for this movie because so many of the people whose opinions I actually value and trust had told me that it was among the best movies they had ever seen, and definitely the best movie of 2010.  Well.  As it usually is with things of such a nature, my high expectations weren't met.  That's not to say this was a bad movie, because it was anything but bad, however, it wasn't nearly as brilliant, funny, or compelling as I had hoped it to be.  Michael Cera was outstanding in it, as he always is when he's been typecast into the same role for the umpteenth time, but the girl who played Ramona?  Eh.  Of course, that might not have been her fault, in all honesty.  I think a lot of what the movie was lacking for me was chemistry between Ramona and Scott.  It seemed like he just wanted to date her because she was hot and aloof.  He had way more in common with Knives and definitely had more of a relationship going there, rather than just lust.  So, I was a little underwhelmed with the movie as a whole.  The premise was good and the action was fantastic... But the plot / characters?  Just not there for me.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ &ahalf

8. Saved!
Comedy  ||  92 Minutes  ||  23 January
This is just one of those random movies in Tina's collection that we popped in and watched one night for lack of anything better to do.  It, in all honesty, wasn't that bad.  In fact, it was even fairly enjoyable. Mandy Moore is amazing in it, though it's another movie in which a pop star is acting and all of a sudden has to have some sort of singing role, which drives me crazy.  The plot is contrived and predictable, about a school that prides itself on bringing hooligans to Christ, but it was cute.  And I like that even though there was the "omg, cure him of teh GAY" subplot, they didn't cure him.  He shows up in the end with his boy, all proud as can be.  
Rating: ♥ ♥
9. Nightwatch
Thriller  ||  101 Minutes  || 29 January
IDK what to think of this movie, to be honest.  It was on my list of movies to watch that I got off Netflix because Ewan McGregor is in it and I'm still slowly working my way through his entire list of eight million strange, strange movies... But this one? I think this one is even stranger than The Pillow Book and that's saying something. In this one, he's a law student who takes a job overnight as a Night Watchman in a Hospital with a morgue inside the building.  One of the previous night watchmen had been fired for fucking the dead bodies and things had gotten weird since then.  Well, turns out, gross-one became the head detective and was bitter about not being able to have his way with corpses anymore, so he frames Ewan's character for doing the same thing.  And there's a lot more that's weird and twisted... And IDEK.  Honestly, I spent this entire movie talking to Keri and most of it was "WTF IS THIS?!" Definitely not a Ewan movie that I'll be purchasing for rewatch value, that's for sure.
Rating: &ahalf

10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Children / Family  || 92 Minutes  || 01 February
This movie is WAY cuter than I thought it was going to be.  I mean, sure, it's a kid's movie based off a pretty acclaimed book, so obviously there's got to be something there.  But it was awesome.  It appealed to me and made me laugh more than once, which is sometimes hard to do with a movie, especially one that's not targeted to my demograph. But, this movie? Cute, funny, and tells a great story while delivering a message / moral for children, which a lot of kid's movies fail to even attempt to do anymore.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

11. Velvet Goldmine
Musical / Drama  || 128 Minutes  ||  05 February
Call me a bad Ewan fan if you'd like... I had never seen Velvet Goldmine until just this year.  I know that's practically a sin in the world of Ewan fans, but I had heard that I was really risque and didn't want to risk watching it at home where my parents would have to watch with me or on my laptop where I would be accused of watching porn immediately.  Sooo, yeah.  That said, I think it was a very wise choice to leave this one 'til I moved out because, yeah.  Risque.  Definitely.  But so, so good.  The story is absolutely compelling, the characters are three dimensional and well-rounded, and I really do think this is one of Ewan's best films he's ever done. Having seen over half of them now, I feel like I have a little bit of justification in judging that, too.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

12. Despicable Me
Children / Family  ||  95 Minutes  ||  06 February
This movie was one that I'd been putting off seeing for a long time and I'm not even sure why.  Maybe because people had spoken so highly of it being Universal's long overdue response to Disney's success with Pixar that I didn't want to see it fall flat and just be terrible? Maybe because I like to pretend that I'm not a fan of animated movies? Whatever the reason, I was putting it off.  Finally, David left the film and told me that I had to watch it.  So, between Netflix deliveries, I decided to go ahead and watch.  And holy crap am I glad I did.  If this is Universal's response to Pixar... Watch out Disney; you're going down.  This movie is funny in all the right places and emotionally touching in all of the others. The bad guy is both bad and good and the little girls are adorable and spot on imitations of real kids. And then... The Minions.  Fucking love the Minions.  Best animated movie since Monsters, Inc.? Definitely and without question.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ &ahalf

13. Toy Story 3
Children / Family  ||  103 Minutes  ||  10 February
Another movie that I waited way too long to see.  But, this one, I had heard was wonderful and had a hard time believing that there was a movie in which all three parts were equally as amazing as the original had been.  It's a really hard thing to do and I can only think of two other series that has managed to pull it off: Saw and Back to the Future.  So, yeah.  Hesitant for a reason.  But T Story 3 has all of the elements that made the first two films great, plus the added bonus of feeling that sense of completion that you never really get from serial movies these days.  All the other flicks out just set you up for another sequel, but TS3 is it. The story is finished and all the loose ends are tied up.  And it felt great knowing that Andy's life ended up just as good as we were all hoping for.  And yes.  I cried.  A lot.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

14. Easy A
Comedy  ||  92 Minutes  ||  13 February
This was one of those movies that I'd always sort of wanted to see, but never bothered to until Hayley started waxing poetic about it in a blogTV show one night about how it was easily the greatest modern movie in the entire world.  So, I moved it to the top of my Netflix queue and watched it the night it came in.  It wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be and there were a few plot twists that actually surprised me, which doesn't happen very often.  The whole plot felt a little rushed for my liking though, and the characters seemed a bit flat.  I mean, they had these in depth motivations behind their actions, but no really interesting reactions to things, so that bugged me.  Shallow characters never make me very happy.  All in all, not a bad movie, but not something I'm rushing out to buy and watch again.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

15. Nowhere Boy
Music / Documentary  ||  98 Minutes  ||  22 February
I saw a preview for this one while I was watching Easy A and thought it sounded like the sort of movie I would like.  And it was.  I love documentary type movies that are fictionalized, especially about people who I find interesting.  This one is about John Lennon's formative years... Just before The Beatles.  Parts of it were really interesting and good, but then there were some parts where it looked like the director was trying to insinuate a romantic [incestuous] relationship between John and his biological mother and that was just weird to me.  And the ending?  Very abrupt and not at all what I was looking for.  The acting was amazing in this, though, which I think was the entire movie's saving grace.
Rating: ♥ ♥ &ahalf

16. The Ghost Writer
Political Thriller  ||  128 Minutes  ||  28 February
This movie.  I only watched it 'cos of the actors.  I mean, it's a good cast.  And it's a Ewan movie, so I have to watch it to complete my goal of seeing all of his movies ever.  But holy crap.  Terrible, terrible movie.  Like, the pacing is shit; the plot is terrible; the characters are completely unrelateable... Just, ugh.  I stopped the movie about halfway through because I just couldn't take it any more.  Absolutely terrible movie.  I have no idea why anyone in it even bothered to accept this script.
Rating: -♥ ♥
17. But I'm a Cheerleader
Comedy  ||  85 Minutes  ||  10 March
Someone on my flist was talking about this movie and posted a trailer.  I thought it looked funny, so I added it to my Netflix queue and watched it.  The trailer made it out to be slightly different than it ended up being, but the differences weren't bad.  I actually really liked this movie, despite some fairly mediocre acting.  The characters were people I became instantly invested in; the dialog was snappy and witty... And behind everything the comedic approach to acceptance was golden.  In short, this movie is definitely one that everyone should take the time to see.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ &ahalf
18. Catfish
Documentary  || 80 Minutes  || 16 March
I watched this one with Keri, Katie, and Ryan... And had heard amazing things about it from everyone I follow online 'cos I mean, it's a film about meeting people on the internet... It should be awesome, right? That's pretty much my life and hell, I was hanging out with my internet friends while watching it.  And it was... Well, strange and relatively boring.  Definitely nothing ground-breakingly exciting or "jawdropping" as the reviews suggested.  It was just kind of boring.
Rating: ♥ ♥

19.  Repo! The Genetic Opera
Musical  ||  98 Minutes  || 28 March
Jess had been on me to watch this for literally a year before I finally got around to doing so [only because she happened to be hanging out at the apartment and saw it on my instant queue while we were looking for something to watch]. There was no reason to avoid this, other than time.  My instant queue has over 20 things in it right now and the only thing I ever watch is That 70's Show because episodes are about 22 minutes each. I have 22 minutes for things; I don't often have 2 hours.  But this musical is amazing.  It's grunge and heavy and full of accurate science references that made my little physio / anatomy loving heart go pitter-patter.  Some of the vocals aren't great, but the plot and the orchestration / arrangements more than make up for the slightly lackluster singing.  It's along the same lines of Rocky Horror in that regard, really.  I've watched this at least 3 times since the first time and have purchased the soundtrack.  Absolutely amazing. Slightly gory, but not in a distasteful or extravagant way.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ &ahalf

20. Saw VI
Horror  ||  90 Minutes  ||  23 April
This movie made me both want to vomit and applaud the director for keeping up with the amazing series so far.  I have very high standards for my horror movies, especially this series, since it's my absolute favorite.  The opening scene in this one worried me: it alone was gorier than almost all of the previous five movies combined. I was so scared that they had decided to go from psychological scares to the easier and flashier gore answer.  But they didn't.  It was still the perfect little mind fuck that I've come to love with these movies. And the ending? Easily the best in the entire series, including the last one... Which I hadn't even seen at the time that I watched this one, but have now.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

21. The Kids Are All Right
Indie  ||  107 Minutes  ||  29 April
I'm not entirely sure why I wanted to see this movie.  Maybe a preview on another movie... Maybe someone on LJ recommended it... Maybe it was nominated for some award?  Who knows.  Whatever the reason, I'm glad I did.  It wasn't a terribly exciting or compelling story, but it was a pretty feel-good movie regardless.  Though, admittedly, while the [SPOILLLLERS] one mom was sleeping with the sperm-donor-dad, I was hoping they'd end up together in the end because other mom was totally a brat and the dad guy was super hot.  But alas.  That would have ruined the entire point of the movie, methinks.  But, other than that and a pretty abrupt / unfulfilling ending, it was pretty good. Dragged a bit in the middle, though
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

22. I Love You, Phillip Morris
Romantic Comedy  ||  98 Minutes  ||  13 May
I had such high hopes for this movie... Everyone was saying it was amazing that had seen it, the previews played it up to be this amazing rom-com with super hot sex thrown in... AND it had Ewan McGregor in a relationship with Jim Carrey.  How much better could it get?  Well, a lot, was the answer. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great movie about a con artist and the acting is phenomenal... But it wasn't at all what I had been expecting. The romance elements were half-baked at best and the relationship between the two main characters wasn't believable at all [which I can only attribute to Carrey 'cos Ewan's been gay in half his movies and it's always so good] and IDK, I was just disappointed, really. Still not a bad movie, considering.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

23. Saw: The Final Chapter
Horror  || 90 Minutes ||  24 May
I was almost sad to watch this movie, knowing it's supposed to be the last in what has been the greatest horror series since the Freddy movies, but I needed to see how it ended. I had to know what happened and how the Jigsaw murders all stopped finally.  And holy crap.  Best. Movie. Ever. Made.  It's terrifying and the lesson of living life to the fullest and appreciating what you have was so loud and clear in this one. And the fact that [SPOILLLLERSSSS] the guy makes it all the way through... Just to be killed in the end?  Amazzzing.  It comes completely full circle with the plot and all the loose ends are tied up and it all just makes so much sense.  I swear, the writers had to have completely scripted the entire series before even starting to film because the way absolutely everything comes together? Too perfect to have been done any other way.  As a series writer, I respect them so much more for the way they managed to tie everything together.  It was brilliant.  Brilliant.  
Rating:♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ &ahalf
24. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Action / Adventure   ||  137 Minutes  ||  29 May
I'm a fairly big fan of the PotC franchise. I've seen all four films in theatres, some of them multiple times, and have been relatively pleased with the entire series so far.  The third not so much, but that's neither here nor there.  I had a bit of worry about this one since they were changing the cast so drastically and really straying away from the central story that we'd become so accustomed to [Jack/Will/Elizabeth] and were throwing in an actress that I generally hate [Penelope Cruz], but somehow... It all worked.  In fact, next to the original Pirates movie, this one is honestly my favorite.  I thought it was incredibly well done and Blackbeard was cast PERFECTLY. Barbosa could have had less screen time in my opinion, but that's just 'cos I'm not a fan of Geoffrey Rush, so whatever.  Loved the entire plot and the background of the Fountain of Youth, even if it's supposed to be in Florida and we definitely have never had a mountain range or underground caves, butttt, minor detail.  Good movie.  I'd see it again.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥



all movie images link to the page, provided they are out on dvd already, if you're interested in purchasing the movie yourself.
layout / organization of post shamelessly stolen from odette_river

Tags: !2011, !directory, toys: movies
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