The Best And Worst Films And Shows Of 2011
The Best And Worst Films And Shows Of 2011
For the past few years, television had undoubtedly surpassed film in terms of quality art and entertainment. In 2011, however, the opposite occurred. TV took a serious slide this year while cinema flourished.
What’s old was definitely new again in the cinematic arts as we saw a great retro superhero film (“X-Men: First Class”), a thoughtful film about nostalgia (“Midnight In Paris”), exciting franchise resurrections (“The Muppets” and “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes”), and even a rewarding film involving the early days of cinema (“Hugo”). Additionally, there were a number of truly original and emotionally involving films such as “Like Crazy,” “Win-Win,” “50/50,” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene”.
Below I have listed my favorite and least favorite films and shows of the year as well as some notable picks.
- X-Men: First Class- Screenwriters Jane Goldman, Zack Stentz, Ashley Edward Miller, and writer/director Matthew Vaughn not only managed to breath new life into the “X-Men” franchise with ‘First Class,’ but they also managed to make one of the best comic book films to date. The retro/James Bond esque approach to the story was ingenious and the casting of Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, and especially James McAvoy was truly inspired.
- Moneyball- As a longtime Oakland A’s fan, this movie was both an emotional ride for me as well as a cinematic treat.
- Hugo- Scorsese’s best and most rewarding film since “Goodfellas”. Arguably the best use of 3D to date as well.
- Like Crazy- A wonderfully acted, sweet, realistic, and heartbreaking story about young love.
- 50/50- A touching dramedy that makes you think about mortality and what’s important in life.
- Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes- A satisfying prequel to “Planet Of The Apes” that fits in continuity with the original 5 films.
- Midnight In Paris- An endearing Woody Allen film about love and nostalgia.
- Batman: Year One- A spot on adaptation of Frank Miller’s classic comic series.
- Win Win- Writer/director Thomas McCarthy can do no wrong.
- Tie- Pearl Jam 20 and Martha Marcy May Marlene- ’PJ’ is a superb, emotional documentary that chronicles the formation of the legendary grunge band to the present day. ‘Martha’ is a a truly haunting and disturbing psychological thriller.
The Muppets, The Guard, Contagion, A Very Harold And Kumar Christmas, Tabloid, Albert Nobbs, The Reef, A Dangerous Method, Insidious, Attack The Block, Our Idiot Brother and The Adjustment Bureau.
- Chromeskull: Laid To Rest 2- “Laid To Rest” was a pleasant surprise, but the sequel was an unpleasant surprise. Let’s hope there’s not a third part.
- Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night- An embarrassingly cheesy and low-budget take on the classic “Dylan Dog” comic series.
- Your Highness- A colossal misfire.
- Battle: Los Angeles- Barely a cut above the worst SyFy channel film.
- Green Lantern- A perfect example of how not to do a comic book film. A rushed, bloated, miscast mess from start to finish.
- I Was A Teenage Werebear- The only cringe worthy story in the otherwise entertaining “Chillerama”.
- Rubber- An amusing concept that is horribly executed.
- Drive Angry- I’m still wondering how this got made.
- In The Name Of The King 2: Two Worlds- Uwe Boll continues to inflict pain on movie watchers with this unwanted sequel. This might be his worst yet.
- The Adventures Of Tintin- The most soulless movie of the year.
- Game Of Thrones- A rich, surprising, and supremely well written fantasy series based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song Of Fire And Ice” novels. Bring on season 2 and more Peter Dinklage as Tyrion!
- Beavis And Butthead- Mike Judge’s classic toon is better than ever.
- Psychoville- A dark, hilarious, and wholly original British series.
- Breaking Bad- The fourth season had a few rough patches, but the season finale alone more than made up for the shortcomings.
- The Inbetweeners- While it didn’t come out in 2011, I discovered the series this year and I have to say the first two seasons are comedy gold.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars- The back half of season 3 was some of the best “Star Wars” to date.
- Doctor Who- 2011 was an uneven year for ‘Who’ to be sure, but “The Doctor’s Wife” and “Closing Time” earned ‘Who’ a spot on this list.
- Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace- A fun-filled “Star Wars” animated special. I hope to see more of these in the near future.
- The Tommy Wi-Show (Web Series)- I would watch Tommy Wiseau read a phone book.
- Tie- Impractical Jokers and Geek Love- ‘Jokers’ is a hilarious hidden camera show while ‘Love’ is the most honest, charming dating/reality series to date.
Transformers Prime, Hollywood Treasure, and The Guild.
- Torchwood: Miracle Day- How do you go from one of the best pieces of sci-fi television with “Children Of Earth” to one of the most godawful, drawn out story arcs with “Miracle Day”? I hate to say it, but at this point, I think “Torchwood” is better off dead.
- Outcasts- A horribly written sci-fi series.
- Haunted Collector- The paranormal series genre has reached a new low.
- Terra Nova- Not even dinosaurs can save this snooze fest.
- Falling Skies- I know it seems like I’m picking on sci-fi shows this year, but unfortunately, it was not a good year for the genre. ‘Skies’ was yet another big budget, poorly scripted affair.
- Good Vibes- A grating, painfully unfunny animated toon on MTV.
- The Cape- It’s not hard to see why this laughably bad superhero series was short lived.
- Being Human- Another needless, inferior American remake.
- Wilfred- An embarrassing one joke show. Elijah Wood deserves better than this.