Today is movies 30-16 which with movies numbered 32 & 31 are movies I would consider meets expectations. We’ll start with a trio of animated films that were enjoyable, fun but ultimately unmemorable films.
Weird thing happens when you see a lot of animated films; you kind of feel like you need to see them all. I remember seeing the first Ice Age with my younger siblings years ago and not minding it too much and then my wife and I saw this trailer earlier in the year and found the need to go see this movie despite the fact that we hadn’t seen either of the other movies in the interim. So now I have all three of the other Ice Age movies in Blue Ray of all things. If you liked the rest of the series then you will like this movie. It’s pretty simple. I would say that the voice actors of the series are starting to mail it in (and they are) but for most of these actors voice work is mailing it in so the quality isn’t exactly lacking. I enjoyed the film for the most part even if I don’t remember most of what happens. There were pirates and that was kind of cool.
This movie was slightly better than Ice Age because they added a tiger to the movie! And how cool are Tigers? Here’s a random question should the animals from the zoo have accents from their native land or should they have accents from where they are brought up? I don’t have a good answer to this question. I really enjoyed the closing sequence to this movie which was really spectacular. Although oddly the movie’s point about circuses and Cirque du Soleil are kind of negated when they have animals doing unrealistic things. Meh I don’t think people went to see this movie to restart the popularity of circuses.
This movie was better than the previous two animated films because Chris Pine was a voice actor in the movie. I really did enjoy scenes of this movie though but the scenes didn’t flow well enough for me. I guess it’s kind of the problem when you have to have a plot take an entire year so that you can hit a couple of holidays. Passage of time was kind of weird. I need this settle though; is Santa Claus Canadian or Russian? Follow up question for those who decided he was Russian; how? This movie looked pretty good in 3D as well.
I moved this movie up and down when making this list because I just couldn’t pin down how I felt about it. Ultimately, I realized that I had fun watching the movie and the performances by the supporting characters was more than enough to make me forget about how miserable the two main leads were. Musicals should push their characters emotions to extremes. You need to feel more from characters in musicals because their lives are so dramatic and I felt that from the supporting characters but not the leads. Side note Tom Cruise was pretty good in this movie and I especially loved Alec Baldwin. Still confused about the appeal of Russell Brand. Can someone explain what he brings to the table?
Poor Taylor Kitsch. If this movie was released prior to some notable blockbuster failures it’s possible that this movie would have done better at the box office and possible that the blockbusters were better attended. Sadly that was not the case and Savages was also poorly attended even though it was really enjoyable. I have really mixed feelings about Blake Lively. There are some things that I like her in and then there was Green Lantern which she was terrible in and she just isn’t Carol Ferris (casting super hero girlfriends is admittedly quite difficult but DC has really failed at this with her and having X name play Lois Lane in Super-man Returns). She was actually quite good in this. Also the supporting roles played by both John Travolta and Selma Hayek were both fun and the kind of the roles they should be playing these days.
I’ve been on a bit of How I Met Your Mother binge and after watching several seasons without a doubt Jason Segal has been carrying that show comedically (I may have decided that this is a word) for seasons. I want to see Jason Segal in more movies. Sadly, he’s tying himself down to HIMYM for another season preventing more movies with him in it. I’m also a big fan of Emily Blunt which helped this movie for sure. The only negative thing about this movie is that message that is kind of sent along with it which is that if you want to have a happy life than the wife needs to sacrifice her career for the sake of the husbands and San Francisco is better than Michigan (OK the second message isn’t all that bad but the first one is sexist). I also loved Community’s Alison Brie in the movie. Hey Watch Community! Overall, this was a funny heartwarming movie.
So Tommy Lee Jones cashed a paycheck for this movie without a doubt. He was barely in the film. Will Smith was back as Agent J and as much as I like Men in Black, (I used to watch the animated series) this movie just didn’t feel like Men in Black. I thought Josh Brolin did a good job in his role and if I was Mets fan I may have connected more to that part of the movie. I just wished for more after Will Smith had been gone for so long. Last word on this movie is the time travel concept is tricky and sometimes (most of the time) you need a leap in logic to get there and this one needed a bit too large a leap ie. more than Looper.
I liked this movie mostly for nostalgic reasons. I liked the first American Pie movie and American Wedding may have been the funniest movie I ever saw in theaters (lets just say I was the target audience when it was released). As a movie to bring you back and remember Jim, Michelle, Stiffler, Finch, etc. it was a pretty good movie. As a comedy it wasn’t that great. What probably pleased me the most about this movie was how little Tara Reid got paid relative to her co-workers. It shows just how terrible her agents are or how very little she is worth these days. This movie is probably the third or fourth best in the series but was still an enjoyable movie overall even if it lacked memorable scenes that are more present in the first 3 movies (those stupid band camp videos don’t count).
Sometimes when you look back at Pixar’s track record and you see so so many hits you forget that its easy to miss on a movie. Luckily when Pixar misses it doesn’t miss by much. Part of that is because Pixar’s animation is far and above competitors such as Dreamworks . Brave might have been Pixar’s most ambitious animated projected. In particular Merida’s hair was pretty amazing. One thing I don’t know if animators will ever get right is how things look when they get wet or how to deal with water in general. I realize that its very difficult but we should be making progress and I haven’t seen it yet. The thing that dragged down this movie was the plot. It was far too simple for Pixar and not very exciting. The movie also kind of dragged because of it. I recall being very impatient while the movie reached its climax. This was certainly not Pixar’s best effort.
21. This is 40
I’ve seen the negative reviews for this movie and I understand where people are coming from where they are coming. This movie was long. It was kind of aimless and a lot of the funny scenes were in the trailer but there was also a lot of soul in this movie. Apatow had his entire family in the movie it seems like and honestly I bet Paul Rudd felt very much like an outsider when they were filming the movie scenes. I liked the way the movie brought in a ton of very strong comedic actors to support scenes. I enjoyed Megan Fox’s role in the movie but most of all I enjoyed how honest the movie was. There was no sugar-coating the fact the majority of people hit ruts in their life and nothing magical gets you out of them but rather you live through your problems and deal with them as best you can. I enjoyed the fact that the movie moved from what felt liked sketch to sketch and finally, I enjoyed quietly warning the characters to not watch the Lost finale. That was probably my favourite part.
Hmm I went to see this on a matinee by myself because I was so bored and no one else would go with me. I really wanted to support Peter Berg (FNL fame) and Taylor Kitsch (probably not deserving at this time). I actually quite enjoyed this movie quite a bit. Possible reasons for this is that I was in Hawaii while they were filming this and from my hotel I could see a set piece where they were filming. During that same trip to Hawaii I also visited Pearl Harbour and instead of tut-tuting about a 70 year old battleship becoming battle operational in less than 4 hours I merely went along with it because Battleships are cool and frankly there are far too few movies about naval warfare. I was also quite amused how they actually incorporated the board game into the movie. I thought it was rather ingenious.
My second favourite animated movie of the year. My favourite animated movie of the year is in the top 15 and I’ll give you a hint of what its not (its not Monsters Inc. 3D). I really enjoyed the ridiculousness of the plot. Monsters having their own hotel because of human persecution, awesome. I also very much enjoyed the voice acting that was done for the movie. I really thought they nailed every character with the possible exception of Andy Samberg but that is ok. I believe that this may be the best medium for Adam Sandler and Kevin James now because their live action movies are getting a little bad. Certainly, this movie was a charming heartwarming tale.
18. John Carter
Despite losing Disney a significant amount of money (here’s an idea don’t allow an animator to take on a live action project when he hasn’t done any before) and saving them on taxes from their Avengers windfall, this movie was actually pretty good. Sure the plot has been played out a couple of times but the movie was executed really well and It was kind of neat watching John Carter jumped all over Mars. I thought it looked like a really cool movie. I got a little lost once on which alien was suppressing the other alien but I really liked the movie. That being said I still don’t know how to market the movie better. They really just spent too much money making the movie. Kitcsh was a little wooden in the movie but I’m pretty blind to his acting flaws.
17. John Reacher
I’ve read exactly one Jack Reacher book and they happened to make a movie about it. Despite already knowing most of the plot I still enjoyed the movie probably more than I should have. Obviously Tom Cruise is not anyone’s first choice for Jack Reacher (who is described as a towering man in the novels) but he actually plays the part really well despite no physically looking the part. The movie is surprising loyal to the book with one major change and that is the main location. I forget where One Shot was originally located somewhere small in the mid-west but they moved the movie to Pittsburgh which greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the movie because I have been to Pittsburgh a couple of times now and have been to many of the places that they shot the movie at. The probably went to Pittsburgh for the tax credits but the movie didn’t portray the city in the most positive light having a sniper attack at one of the most trafficked spots in the city. I wonder if after watching this movie you would like to travel to Pittsburgh or not. It would be an interesting survey I think.
Yeah the one good horror film of the year. Feels like years since I saw Ethan Hawke in something. Its been 11 years since Training Day which amazes me ( I still can’t believe Denzel won for that movie). He is pretty good in this movie too. The problem with horror movies as I explained earlier is that people rarely make logical decisions. Its not a problem in this movie as the characters unusually almost always made justifiable decisions. It just happened to be too late for them to do anything about the decisions. This movie was also pretty frightening. Ziggy from The Wire also appears in the movie and well any time you get to see a Wire character is a good times (especially McNulty who made a great appearance in Spice World).
Tomorrow is the top 15. I expect most will be surprised with Number 1 and you get to see where I stack up most of the summer blockbusters and which comic book movie I was most impressed with.