Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Vern presents:The Best Movies of 2011. Part 1

Hello all you fans of movies out there.  2011 had a slew of really good movies that only a few of you checked out.   But ahh the wonders of home entertainment can assure that you can check out these flicks at your pad again and again.

The following list is presented in no apparent order.  Don't get upset if there are movies missing from this list.  After all this is only part one.  Click on each title in red to read the full review.


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This and "Winnie The Pooh" are tied for best animated movie of the year, but I think this has more of the upper hand.  "Rango" not only features beautiful animation but it's also one of the most coolest westerns as well.  Don't disregard this because it's labeled as a kid's film.  This one has more in common with classics such as "Chinatown" and "The Good , The Bad and The Ugly"  than any other kids film released this year or any other.  A great watch.


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A perfect fairy tale about a young princess on the run from a wicked stepmother as she searches for her father.  Except this girl could easily beat the shit out of you in under 10 seconds.  I love this flick because it has what other action films lack, and that is heart.   Hanna is such a facinating character, I hope to see another sequel every five years. 

Midnight in Paris.

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One of the best Woody Allen comedies since "Small Town Crooks" and certainly his most profitable in a long time.  Even those of you who hate Woody Allen will like this, because it's so damn charming.  Owen Wilson plays the Allen persona, but without any of the heavy stuttering and over nervousness that many other actors seem to incorporate when doing that role.  Plus I love the message about how we should learn to be happy at where we are now instead of focusing on what things we liked back than.

Winnie The Pooh.

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I have only been a casual admirer of this silly old bear in the past but this new film is just amazing. I love it that Disney has updated their characters without the need to give them a urban makeover or add a hit pop song to it's mix   This is a  nice throwback to traditional hand drawn animation that I wish was used more.  Sadly most of you caught "Cars 2" or "Smurfs" when you should have been seeing this.

I Saw The Devil

                                        (U.S. Theatrical Poster)

Japan right now holds all the cards when it comes to revenge thrillers, and no other film  this year has been this intense.  The story involves a cop who searches for the killer of his pregnant girlfriend, but when he finds him he doesn't turn him in or kill him.  Instead he decides to torture him, let him go, find him and torture him again.  The cop starts to become just as twisted as the killer he is hunting and the line between what is good and evil is heavily blurred in this tale.


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I never did care for this movie when I first watched it.  This was mainly due to the fact I sort of disliked the character that was played by Kirsten Wiig.  The movie was very funny, and I did laugh a lot, but I had a hard time emphasizing with her.  I was fortunate to watch this again in the company of some of my best female friends who found it refreshing that there was a comedy for women that didn't down play to them like most movies do.  A few of them could even understand what Wiig's character is feeling as well, but wouldn't make the same choice she did.   After watching this again I could see why this is one of the best comedies of 2011.    This a right mixture of witty funny dialoug and fart jokes.

Rise of The Planet Of The Apes

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This is one of the best redo's of a popular franchise since "Star Trek".  Andy Serkis'  motion capture performance of Ceaser is  indeed award Worthy, because I understood the anger and frustration that character felt.   I'm even more excited to see the sequel when the real battle begins

The Tree Of Life.

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 I am not expecting everyone to like this movie.  In fact many of you will downright loath this.  But regardless of how you feel about this.  There is no denying this one of the most ambitious movie from a true filmmaker since Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a Space Odyssey.  The visuals in this are just so astounding and beautiful, I didn't mind the lack of narrative.  Plus the movie doesn't spoon feed you like all other movies do.  You have to make up your own mind about what this story means, and that in my opinion puts this as a work of art than just a movie.

Source Code.

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 Director Duncan Jones amazed me with his debut film "Moon".  Now I'm convinced that a great new director has arrived with his second feature "Source Code"  In it Jake Gyllenhaal plays a soldier who is sent back in time to investigate the bombing of a train.  He inhabits the body of one of the victims and can only be there during one particular time frame.  One of my friends described this as "Quantum Leap" meets "Groundhog's Day" and that is a pretty damn good review imo.   This is a move that once you start watching it's difficult to pull away from.  Don't watch this while you multitask because you'll be likely to miss something important.


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This is an action film that I have not seen since Leon(AKA The Professional).  A movie that has an interesting story and a fascinating main character.   Many have said that the movie is too slow and that there wasn't enough action.  This isn't the type of movie that has explosions or car chases every fifteen minutes.  This is more in the style of a good film noir that does have a few cool moments of action every once in a while. 

Best movies of 2011  Part 2