Digest Movies: Catching Up on 2011

Here’s a list of movies that I saw in 2011 that I haven’t yet written up as reviews.  I have notes on all of them, although some of them I don’t plan to write up.  If there is one in particular that anybody wants me to write up formally sooner rather than later, just let me know in the comments.

Drive: So violent.  A lot of people said this was a “cool” movie but I didn’t really care for it.  I didn’t like the soundtrack, I didn’t like the maddeningly mute protagonist (except for his looks, I mean, it is Ryan Gosling.)  I can see how he’s sort of heroic but to me it was just dark with very little redeeming light.

Warrior: Family drama, very good, I really really liked it!  Great depiction of long-lasting consequences for people’s actions, damaged relationships and the difficulty of mending them.

Our Idiot Brother: indie comedy that wasn’t that good.  Like situations were a bit too preposterous and wrapped up a bit too easily and predictably.  No plans to write up a real review.

Dolphin Tale: one of the worst movies I saw this year, although it should have been good.  I was more moved by the actual footage of rescued, tail-less, and rehabilitated dolphin Winter during the credits than I was by the whole based-on-her-real-story movie beforehand.  It was clunky, and excruciatingly cheesy, with a lot of not-great acting.  No plans to review.

Moneyball: was okay, good message about persistence and not selling out, based on a true story.  But I thought it was kind of boring, and I don’t get why so many other critics have been praising this movie and Brad Pitt’s role in it so much.  It was okay, it was good even, but I didn’t think it was great.

Real Steel: loved it!  Totally cheesy but in a good way, really well told, highly enjoyable.  Hugh Jackman is great, the child actor Dakota Goya is great, the robots are fun.  Really, really, really loved it.

In Time: I wrote in my notes “giant eye-roll!” but it wasn’t totally terrible; it was a good idea for a sci-fi plot, and it had some very relevant themes about wealth distribution and oppression.  But it kind of devolved into mindless action sequences.

The Rum Diary: boring, uninspiring tale about a burgeoning writer who is drunk in Puerto Rico pretty much the whole time, supposedly finding his voice and something about fighting corruption and injustice, maybe, but not really because mostly it’s him in drunken escapades.  Did not care for it. (But maybe I just didn’t like it because I’m from Kansas). No plans to review.

J. Edgar: fascinating biopic about J. Edgar Hoover and the founding of the FBI.  That dude was so paranoid!  Superb acting and age make-up on Leonardo Dicaprio and Naomi Watts, slightly less superb old-age acting by Armie Hammer.  Over two hours but not boring at all.

The Change-Up: just another stupid raunchy comedy.  Really stupid.  No plans to review.

The Debt: really great acting in this remake of a fictional Israeli film.  Wish I could find the original.  Good message on revenge and lies and honor, and how Israelis as a country and as individuals have dealt with and continue to deal with the Holocaust.  The most annoying thing about it was that they spoke English but wrote and read what was clearly Hebrew, only they’d read it out loud as English-gah! Just speak Hebrew then, and use subtitles! (This is why I want to watch the original.)

Straw Dogs: still trying to digest this one. I watched the remake and the original.  They are both disturbing but highly thought-provoking and have sparked numerous on-going discussions between myself and the friends that I watched them with.

The Descendents: I can see why this one has been getting Oscar buzz, I do think the acting is good.  It’s a drama (based on a book) about dealing with grief and loss populated by characters aching with so much pain.  But I didn’t like the movie overall, because I think the main character is fundamentally selfish and acts in a way that is understandable, but so very human and with no though of striving to be something better.

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows: a fun sequel that is entertaining but not as good as the original because everything, (plot, character dynamics, villain) is overblown.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: technically I saw this one in 2012.  I didn’t like it and I don’t think most of my regular readers would like it either.  It’s got some very dark content and it is very explicit, pretty much for the sake of being dark and shockingly explicit.

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