Saturday, January 28, 2012

My 2011 Movie Odyssey - Part XV

Drive (2011)
This is a surprisingly smart action movie with some really slick driving and shockingly brutal violence.

The Help (2011)
This film examines what life was like for African American women in the South working as maids in the 1960s. This is the type of movie that seems to be made to get lots of end-of-year awards, dealing with an Important subject and featuring a cast of notable performances. Fortunately it is still quite entertaining and very rarely does it scream, “Look how Important I am! Give me lots of golden statues!”

Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978)
This is a fun little western comedy with Jim Dale playing three different roles. More Disney fun.

Ip Man 2 (2010)
This is a pretty good follow-up to Ip Man that follows a very similar story structure. The first half is devoted to lots of mostly light-hearted kung fu hijinks while the second half has Ip Man defending the honor of the Chinese people. But this time his opponent is not the Japanese but the British Empire.

The Sleeping Beauty (2010)
It starts out as a kind of interesting re-imagining of the Sleeping Beauty story. I liked some of the fairy tale aspects as Sleeping Beauty dreams a series of adventures for herself while she sleeps for a hundred years. But then things got really weird and it felt like an entire act of the story was missing and the whole thing stopped being interesting in any way.

David Copperfield (1935)
I don’t know if I’ve seen a bad movie based on a Charles Dickens novel. He fills his stories with so many wonderfully quirky characters that they are just begging to be performed by an all-star cast. This movie is no exception. There are wonderful characters galore, with my absolute favorite being Edna May Oliver as the somewhat cranky, set-in-her-ways yet lovable Aunt Betsey.

Best Worst Movie (2009)
I am fascinated by bad movies. In fact, I am almost more excited to compile my bottom ten of the year than my top ten. So this documentary was right up my alley as it looked into the cinematic atrocity that is Troll 2. It was fun to watch interviews featuring the actors in the movie as they told stories of what it was like on set. Most of these actors were fully aware both of how bad the movie is and how bad their performances were. But the ribbing was all in good fun. We also get to see a bunch of fans of the movie who love it because it is so bad. Unfortunately it does get a little painful when they interview the director of Troll 2. He is under the delusion that it is a good movie and doesn’t seem to understand that the only reason people love the movie is because it is so bad. I felt a little sorry for him since he was the only person in the room not laughing at the joke.

And so ends my 2011 Movie Odyssey. Coming up soon is my top and bottom ten of the year. Any predictions?

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