2011 Year End Movie Review: David Medsker

A funny thing happened at the movies this year: absolutely nothing blew me away.

There were things I really liked, but my list of favorite movies is kind of a joke, really. They’re not bad movies (not in my mind, anyway), but there are few, if any, Best Picture candidates in the bunch. Compare that to last year, where six of my top 10 movies were nominated for Best Picture. This time around, that’s just not happening. Just want to lay that out up front.

Worse, there isn’t one movie that stands above the others. I liked my favorite movies equally, more or less. That might sound like a copout, but it’s true. Of the movies I’ve seen so far, this was the year where movies were just sort of…there. Maybe we’ll have better luck next year.

My Favorite Movies of 2011

Margin Call
Selling one’s soul is a popular subject in movies, since no two people are willing to settle for the same amount. “Margin Call” explores the subject on a massive scale, since the ripple effect of the actions of a few will be felt around the world. It’s not a thriller in the traditional sense, but it’s absolutely gripping. Kevin Spacey shines here, as does the ever-reliable Stanley Tucci.

Super 8
It probably helped that I grew up in a small Ohio town not terribly unlike the one in “Super 8” (though no one used the word ‘mint’ the way Riley Griffiths’ character does here), but “Super 8” wasn’t merely an exercise in nostalgia; the movie delivered top-notch thrills, well-drawn characters, and the most spectacular sequence of the year with that jaw-dropping train crash. Elle Fanning, meanwhile, put on an acting clinic, and she’s only 13. Wow.

Read the rest after the jump...

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Award season kicking into high gear

The end of the year is upon us, and at this time everyone in Hollywood starts gearing up for the award shows. Who will be nominated and who will win? Everything culminates with the Oscars, but there are tons of other important awards as well. We just heard from the Golden Globes who announced their nominations. So far “The Artist” has been the huge hit that is generating the most buzz.

As these initial award shows release their nominations, we start to get a better idea of who might be nominated and then ultimately win the Academy Awards. But, of course there are always surprises. Predicting this stuff can be tricky.

Because of that, fans have a field day with office pools and other ways to guess who will be nominated and who will win. There are tons of websites now devoted simply to information and gossip of which film, which starlet and which director might get the final nod.

Stuff the the award shows fuel entertainment betting which has become more and more popular. Everything in entertainment is fair game, from box office winners, Blu-ray sales to which song Madonna will lead with at the Super Bowl.

I think “The Artist” is going to clean up. You?


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