Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Last Circus


The Last Circus is easily one of the most over the top and disturbing films of the year. There is absolutely no subtlety to this movie at all, there is ultra-violence and some of the most perplexing sequences I have ever seen in a movie. I really felt like Hobo With a Shotgun was the craziest movie I had seen all year until I was witness to this movie. I can only describe what goes on in the movie because I know nothing of any of the actors and have never heard of the director of the movie before. This movie mainly consists of scene after scene of pure insanity with a little bit of odd emotionality. The main characters in the movie are strangely unappealing to the viewer, as the "main" character become more and more unhinged and finally snaps towards the end of the movie. This is a movie that really made me say "what the fuck is going on", multiple times and I'm usually really good at following the most convoluted of plots. But this movie really did have a lot of scenes that were shocking or were used to make the viewer uncomfortable. The best part of the movie was the first 10 minutes of the film with the machete wielding clown that takes out an entire regiment of soldiers. It was a beautifully shot movie but it was not really a great movie in my eyes. It was a good foreign "horror" film but it really didn't appeal to me. I could not sympathize with any of the characters and the only characters in the movie with any common sense are the background characters. I would give this movie a 6/10, not really that great but it is a beautifully shot movie.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Top Ten Movies of 2011 (So Far)

In the following article, I will detail what I believe to be the top ten movies of the year so far in 2011. This is my opinion only and for each movie give you my reasoning for putting each movie on the list.

10. CrazyStupidLove- I am an absolute sucker for romantic comedies, I don't know what it is but I usually end up liking most romantic comedies that I see. This was a fantastic movie and had some of the best chemistry between characters that I saw all year. This movie also made me laugh out loud in several parts. I'm kind of glad that I got to see this in an empty movie theater because it allowed me to pay attention and soak in the greatness of this movie. Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell have some outrageous moments together and this is also the movie that affirmed my belief that Emma Stone is my dream girl.

9. Fast Five- This is the big dumb action movie of the list. I saw this opening night with a bunch of my friends and it was probably the best experience that I had all year in a theater. Everyone was pumped to be watching the movie and people cheered at parts of the movie but it was never distracting which was a plus. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker know their characters inside out and this is one of the only times that their dialogue does not feel forced. The action is amazing and the use of real stunts instead of CG was an inspired choice. This was the most fun I had in a theater this year.

8. Stake Land- As I described it in a previous review, this is The Walking Dead with Vampires. The story may not be something entirely new but the characters are believable and the action is brutal. These are not Twilight "sparkle" vampires, these are "I'll rip your throat out and eat it" vampires. The cast is comprised of mostly "unknown" actors outside of the horror genre and that is perfect for a movie that demands a focus on story and character development. Having a huge star in the cast would have instantly ruined the movie. For those of you looking for a great horror/action movie, look no further than this.

7. Bridesmaids- I am fully aware that this is kind of a chick flick, but this movie was flat out hilarious. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy steal the show in this movie with McCarthy stealing absolutely every scene that she is in. Ensemble comedies work more often then single starring comedies because it allows for smaller roles to be featured and jokes and gags are spread throughout the cast to take advantage of each actor's talents. This was one of the funniest movies of the year and my only regret was not seeing it in the theater. Watch this with a group of your friends to get the most out of the movie, its always better to laugh in a group.

6. X-Men First Class- The comic genre could not be shut out of the top ten that would be a tragedy. This ranked higher earlier in the year for me but since its release other have surpassed its quality. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are amazing as younger versions of Magneto and Professor Xavier, and the supporting cast is also great. This is the first movie that really brought Jennifer Lawrence to the mainstream movie audience and all I can say is that she is a great young actress and has an untainted beauty to her. This is also a movie that will open comics up to a whole new generation. It was also impressive how they wove the narrative into real life historical events without anything feeling forced or unnatural.

5. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil- The only reason this movie is not higher is because the top five movies on this list are virtually interchangeable with each other and this was the first one that came to mind when thinking of my top five. I rented this movie after hearing about it for a while and seeing trailers that really intrigued me. This movie isn't a traditional horror movie but it is in the same vein of Shaun of the Dead in that it is a horror/comedy with light dramatic influences. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine make a great team and play so well of each other it wouldn't surprise me to see them in more movies together or possibly a television show. This was the year's biggest surprise in my eyes because no one really expected a small independent horror/comedy to be this good. Just a great movie all around. Also on a side note Tyler Labine gave me a few retweets when my site started, so a big thanks goes out to him for his support.

4. Super 8- This was my favorite of the summer movies because it really brought me back in terms of feel and tone to the great movies of the 80s. J.J. Abrams is a genius and everyone in the film business knows it. This man knows how to put together a great story and if this movie isn't for your liking then watch his reboot of the Star Trek franchise. The child actors are great in this movie because they haven't been tainted by the Hollywood machine and seem to be acting from the heart. The only movie that had a better collection of child actors in it would probably be The Goonies and that is one of my top movies of all time. The action is great, the storyline is superb and the effects are spectacular. What more could you want in a summer blockbuster? Also a shout out goes to Kyle Chandler, who finally got the chance to star in a major motion picture and does not disappoint. Watch this movie if you want to be taken back to the greatness of early Spielberg films.

3. Drive- This is where I have a really hard time ranking the movies. Drive was such an astounding film in many ways but two simply beat it out for my favorite. This is the movie that proved that Ryan Gosling can carry a movie on his back with almost no help, that is not to say that the rest of the cast was not fantastic but most of the movie is focused solely on Gosling's character. Bryan Cranston does a really great job in this movie in a mostly thankless role as Gosling's character's best friend and boss. The only problem people may have with the film is that it is an art house movie and at times it is rather slow. Fans of Mad Men get to see one of their favorite characters just get obliterated in this movie and for some strange and morbid reason I fould it kind of funny and laughed a little out loud in the theater. Gosling gives on of the best performances of the year in this movie and the brutality of the action will keep gore hounds and meat heads (who can't understand the movie) engaged through the movie's slower points. Bonus points go to Ron Perlman for continuing his stream of playing shit sack bad guys and Albert Brooks for playing an amazing antagonist opposing Gosling's Driver.

2. Hanna- This and the number one movie on my list are in the top ten movies I have seen all time, so that is how highly I hold this and the following movie. Hanna is an incredible movie with characters that you actually feel for and a story that gets progressively better and better. Saoirse Ronan kills it in her role as Hanna and has command of the screen whenever she is on it. For such a young actress she also seems to be physically overpowering at times and that may be due to camera effects but she also does a fantastic job during her many fight sequences. The music in this movie is a character all its own and each scene has its own specific track meticulously crafted by The Chemical Brothers. If you haven't heard this soundtrack then you need to go download it right now. It is as good as the soundtracks for Drive and Tron: Legacy, maybe even better when you take into account how the soundtrack tells a story. This is the best "spy" movie I have ever seen and ranks up there with the best action movies I have ever seen as well. This is a pure 10/10.

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