Ah, the top ten list. The time of year when critics compile all of the movies they've seen over the year, pick the ones they think will impress their peers the most by showing how insightful they are into the movie making process, and put out a list that proves jack fucking shit.
So why am I doing one? Because I'm just as stupid as the rest of them. Now, before I get started I want you to know I haven't seen every movie in 2011. Films like "Melancholia," "Bellflower," "The Tree of Life," "Tintin," "War Horse," have slipped past me. I have seen quite a few movies though, but not every great one has made this list. Movies like "13 Assassins" and "The Skin I Live In" just missed the top ten. My list is compiled of films that I think were not only the best films of the year in terms of story, acting, etc., but ones I would actually want to see seventeen hundred more times. Too many great movies out there like "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" that are good, but I would never sit through it again unless I had a hard time sleeping.
Alright, enough talking. Like most top tens, this list will be filled with controversial decisions and you, the reader, will think I'm a dipshit. Which will fit right in with everything else I've ever written.
Here we go! El Guapo's Top Ten of 2011!
X-Men: First Class
Holy crap, a comic book movie made it into my top ten? How did this happen? Despite the potted plant acting of January Jones, "X-Men: First Class" reminded me of an old school Bond movie only this one had mutants that could kick tons of ass. Great acting and a solid script easily put this one into my top ten. Put that in your shield and smoke it, Captain America.
I know, I can't believe a movie that has Seth Rogen in it made it into my top ten either, but "50/50" was a wonderful mix of comedy, drama and great acting by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. A fantastic script by Will Reiser, who the film is loosely based on, showcased a great tale about friendship and the pain individuals go through when they discover they have a life-threatening disease.
Winnie the Pooh
Disney's return to the old school was one of the most charming films I had seen since...well, since the original Pooh films. With excellent voice acting by Jim Cummings, Tom Kenny and Craig Ferguson, this animated classic had enough laughs for both kids and adults. I hope Disney does more old school stuff because they're still the best at it. Pssst...be sure to stay through the credits.
I Saw the Devil
Man, this is one fuuuucked up movie. Nothing says 'Revenge is a dish best served bad ass' like "I Saw the Devil." Tired of movies where the bad guy does something terrible and his only punishment is being shot or captured at the very end? Ya, so are the Koreans. Devil is the one movie that has you rooting for no one. Lee Byung-hun makes every other movie cop look like a total pussy as he hunts down the man who killed his girl, beats the shit out of him, heals him, then keeps doing it throughout the entire movie. It's so fucking cool I'm shocked it's not higher on my list.Why the hell isn't it higher on my list? Idiot.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Fox wasn't monkeying around when it came to this excellent prequel. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" has some wonderful motion capture performances, a great script and you actually feel bad for both the humans and the apes. I know Fox greenlit a sequel so I'm really anxious to see where they go with these damn, dirty apes.
"The Muppets" had me smiling from beginning to end and that's the kind of experience you want when watching a movie. I loved the return of Kermit and the gang. Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller gave us a great story that had a lot of fantastic moments without losing the charm of what made these guys so popular in the first place. The songs and laughs were nonstop and this was a wonderful way to introduce The Muppets to an entirely new generation of kids. If they can make more Muppet films then life really is a happy song.
You buttholes can stop freaking out now, "Drive" made it into my top ten. I've never seen more dick sucking on Twitter for a movie like I have for this one, but the ass kissers were right - Drive is a fantastic film. Great performances by Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks, intense action scenes and a trippy score put this one high on my list of 2011.
What the fuck? "Fast Five" is #3 on my list? Have I gone insane? You think any other critic has Fast Five in their top 3? No they don't, so shut your facehole. Fast Five's gas tank was overflowing with nonstop ass kicking action, cool as shit stunt sequences, hot whips, hot chicks and one of the craziest 3rd act car chase scenes ever put on film. It's no secret I have nothing but man love for the Fast & Furious franchise, and I'll be first in line for the next installment.
If I hadn't seen this with a friend I would have stayed in the theater and watched it again. I loved this film and George Clooney gave one of the best performances of his career. Shit, even Matthew Lillard was good in it, a testament to director Alexander Payne who manages to get great performances out of everyone, including newcomers like Amara Miller who plays Clooney's youngest daughter. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Hawaii, Payne's new film shows that relationships can be both tragic and endearing at the same time. "The Descendants" was a heartfelt look at how people deal with loss.
Ha! Totally kidding. Fuck you, Kate Hudson.
Midnight in Paris
Once again, Woody Allen has made it to #1 in one of my top ten lists. A great story, great acting, some surprises and some laughs, all set in the beautiful city of Paris. Owen Wilson as the frustrated screenwriter who finds love in the strangest of places is a movie you should be rushing to see. Part love story/part science fiction/part fantasy, "Midnight in Paris" is out now on DVD if you happened to miss it.
And that's it! My top ten films of 2011. It was a great year for movies and this year's list was really tough to compile. I have to make sure I catch all of the movies I missed though. Everyone keeps talking about Bellflower and Melancholia and I'm sure my list would be different if I had seen them all. Will 2012 be just as good as 2011? We'll have to wait and see.
Suck it, Adam Sandler.