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Thread: A Year of Awesome Movies

  1. #1
    Rift Disciple Berethron's Avatar
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    Nov 2010

    Default A Year of Awesome Movies

    This past year, I have seen more quality films than I have seen any other year. Each and every movie I saw this year was at least fair, and most of them were far better than that.

    While I didn't see every movie that came out this year, I did see a good number of them. I have made a list of every one I saw here, explaining my thoughts and opinions on them. They are ordered in favour of preference, from least good to best.

    The Dark Knight Rises

    Yes, I admit it: this film had a lot of problems, but I still enjoyed it. Yes -- the plot has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese in a machine gun nest. I don't care. Everything else is just so good that it saves the movie. The stakes are high. The emotions the characters are feeling are spot-on. The characters themselves are identifiable (sometimes). In short, while it's not a great movie, it's certainly a good movie.

    Final Score: 6/10

    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

    I wanted it to be the best. I so, so wanted it to be the best. The Lord of the Rings movies are my favourite movies ever. But, The Hobbit falls short of that in many ways.

    But it isn't bad -- not by a long shot.

    What's wrong with the movie? Well, a couple of things.

    First of all, these aren't just plain heroes...they're action heroes. Instead of being the identifiable, shy, and timid hobbit in the book, Bilbo is incredibly brave and smart. The dwarves are not much different -- during the parts they're simply supposed to be wandering about like idiots (in the book), they're instead swinging their weapons about like it's going out of style. This wouldn't be so distracting if it weren't for the fact that Tolkien didn't write it that way -- while the dwarves are certainly warriors, and Bilbo is heroic, Peter Jackson is stretching this one aspect of their personalities far beyond what Tolkien intended.

    Another thing: Azog. For those who don't know, the Battle of Azanulbizar is touched upon in the appendices of The Return of the King. Yes, Azog and Thorin were both in that battle -- that's good. The problems start when Peter Jackson has Azog survive the battle. In the book, Azog was decapitated. So why does Peter Jackson have him survive? I know the story needs a villain, but don't we already have Smaug AND The Necromancer? (Yes, they're both far away from the action of An Unexpected Journey, but so what? We have not one but THREE villains now, and the main one is the one villain who is supposed to be dead!)

    Now...the good. For starters, Radagast is in this movie. Radagast is a wizard of the same order as Gandalf and Saruman, and lives in Mirkwood. While his personality is never really given much explanation in the book, in this movie he's hilarious and lovable. I love the way his eyes cross when he smokes Old Toby. And come on -- that rabbit-powered sled was awesome. ("Those are Gundabad Wargs! They will overtake you!"
    "These are Rhosgobel rabbits. I'd like to see them try!")

    While The Hobbit is certainly more childish and funny than The Lord of the Rings, I have to admit -- that's the spirit of the book! The Hobbit was written for children, and The Lord of the Rings for adults. It's supposed to be light-hearted.

    I knew that The Hobbit wouldn't strike the same chord in me that The Lord of the Rings did. And while I did hope for better, I also feared for worse. All in all, while it fell short of my hopes, it fell far short of my fears as well.

    TL;DR: Instead of being a great, drama/action like The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is just childish fun.

    Final Score: 7/10

    The Hunger Games

    I bought the DVD on a whim (and recommendation from my sister, the paper, and the web), expecting to be wowed. Instead, I went "Ehh...it's not bad." But, after taking time to reflect upon everything I saw, I have to admit -- it's a pretty good movie. It's just that the fanboy in me wasn't as thrilled as he thought he would be.

    While the situation within the story is certainly hypothetical, it does get you thinking. What would happen if society really did do something like this? What if our world leaders got so fed up with our rebellions that they decided to clamp down on us by making our children fight one another in the name of entertainment? And, most thought-provoking of all -- how many of those kids actually want to be there? (My guess is the only one who did was that one guy who, at the end of the movie, got eaten by the dogs. And even that is probably pushing it.)

    My biggest problem with the movie, aside from being not as well-entertained as some others in the room, was the CGI. Seriously -- did you really think those dogs were chasing them at the end? Watch that clip, mute it, then play Yakety Sax -- you'll see what I mean.

    Another thing was the costumes -- specifically, that one guy who's beard seemed alive and that other guy who had the blue hair. Oh, and that woman whose skin was just waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too pale. Was this stuff in the book? Idk; never read it. If so, I guess it's kind of forgivable. But still...trippy. And if it wasn't in the book...wow, really? You're making the CGI dogs look real by comparison. I think the special effects budget for this movie went toward those three costumes, and they had nothing else left.

    All in all, while I wasn't wowed by the movie, and even distracted at times, it's definitely one of those films that gets you thinking. I view this one the same way I view The Wrath of Khan: the fanboy in me is saying "Meh...it's ok," but the critic in me is saying "Yes, this is definitely a good and memorable movie."

    Final Score: 8/10


    A friend of mine told me that Tintin came out last year. Maybe it did; maybe it didn't...idk. I saw it early in the year, and only when it was released in the second-run theatres. All I know is that it was awesome.

    Spielberg and Jackson did a superb job translating from the original comics to the big screen. You can tell they studied Herge's original work in great detail, to the point you'd swear Herge came back from the grave to tell them how it's done.

    Captain Haddoc is changed just a tad from his comic form. In the comic, he's a hard, almost bitter, alcholic and smoker. Here, while he's still neck-deep in the bottle, he's much kinder, though a little more stupid. I especially like how he finally found another use for alcohol. Yes, it involved setting a boat on fire -- even capsizing it -- but hey! He finally managed to use it for something other than getting drunk.

    Final Score: 8/10

    The Avengers

    Ah, you knew I was getting to this one sooner or later. Yes, we all saw this movie. Yes, we all loved it (unless you're one of the few people who didn't enjoy it, which is perfectly fine). In fact, we all loved this movie so much that I originally planned to simply say it was self-
    explanatory, and leave it at that. But, after watching it again, I decided to explain why I loved it in detail.

    First of all, while not a comic book fan...The Avengers. For years, we all saw movies revolving around the individual heroes. While some were good and some were bad, having all of them together just makes things so much better -- if two heads are better than one, why stop there? Oh, and Thor, Hawkeye, and Iron Man are all awesome. Each one of them is Da Man.

    Tom Hiddleston's performance as Loki is stellar -- he just captures the villain you love to hate so perfectly. He's treacherous, he's murderous, he's conniving, he's despicable -- as he should be. Kudos to Hiddleson for being such a good villain -- and when I say good, I mean good in the sense that he actually brings forth such hatred for his character (but not for him personally!!!)

    Aside from one or two moments that don't make any sense ("I'm always angry!"), you pretty much just sit back and let the movie do it's work, and suspend your disbelief. The final battle sequence alone deserves it's own spot in the record books (like I even need to explain that), and you leave the cinema feeling like you could punch a tank until it begged for mercy.

    Final score: 9/10

    The Amazing Spider-Man

    Yep, this one was even better than The Avengers. While I certainly didn't hate Toby Macquire's Spiderman, he didn't leave any lasting impression on me. But Andrew Garfield? I'm still thinking over his performance many months later. Garfield plays a much more believable Peter Parker than Macquire, imo (and not because of the age difference). Garfield seems like a believable teenager -- Macquire spent most of his time stumbling
    through one disaster after another, moping all the way; but Garfield, once he figures out how to use his powers, does what any normal person would do: use his powers to better himself, and no one else.

    The scene where Uncle Ben is killed is far improved, imo. In Sam Raimi's film, all we see is Peter find Uncle Ben dying in the street, but here, we actually see Uncle Ben try to stop the robber, then get shot. We also see Garfield actually steal a drink from the store owner -- a far more relatable scene than the one where Peter gets ripped off by the guy giving him cash for beating a famous wrestler. Oh, and Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben -- need I say more?

    And my favourite part of the movie...Gwen Stacy. Yes, she's easy on the eyes, but that's not why I think the character is so good. Kiersten Dunst's Mary Jane was useless. Her only purpose was too get captured so Peter could rescue her. Over three films, Peter rescued her what -- six times? Seriously, Peter...find someone else -- like Gwen!

    Gwen Stacy is smart and brave. When Peter tells her that his teacher is going to turn the entire city into lizards, does she hide? No! She immediately starts working on an antidote. And when the lizard comes after her, she takes a cigarette lighter and spray can and holds him at bay with a jet of flame. The lizard is so shocked that he simply takes what he needs away from her, leaving Gwen unharmed (and uncaptured). Why did we need Mary Jane again?

    Final Score: 9/10

    For Greater Glory

    Here's one that nearly slipped under the radar. If not for my best friend telling me about it's existence, I would probably have missed it.

    And boy, am I glad I didn't.

    This film is, imho, the best movie to come out this year. It is simply PERFECT. I have one, itsy-bitsy, tiny, insignificant, what-are-you-even-complaining-about, complaint -- I can't tell whether the movie is going at 24 or 30 fps...sometimes. Seriously, that's it. When that's all
    you can even remotely complain about, you know it's going to be good.

    The film is set in Mexico around and after WWI. During the time, President Plutarco Elías Calles introduced laws specifically designed to stamp out the Catholic Church. At first, Calles was content to simply impose restrictions on the church's followers, but eventually, he turned to violence. Churches and homes were raided. Priests and lay people alike were murdered.

    Eventually, the people had had enough. They formed the Cristeros, a rebel group whose aim was to keep the Church in Mexico alive. They fought againt Calles' armies, and even went so far as too -- unfortunately -- murder innocent people.

    The film centres upon Enrique Gorostieta (Andy Garcia, baby!), a retired general who volunteers to lead the Cristeros. Despite being an athiest, Gorostieta supports freedom of religion, and sees no good in letting Calles persecute the Catholic Church. He turns the Cristeros from a rebellious mob into an army capable of opposing Calles, and wins numerous victories against the dictator.

    While I certainly recommend this film to anyone who likes this sort of thing, it definitely is not for the faint of heart. People are gunned down in droves on both sides. A priest, driven by the desire for revenge, burns a trainload of innocent people alive (though this occurs
    offscreen). A fourteen-year-old boy is tortured and executed. So, despite disagreeing with the film's R rating, I do not recommend it if you're under the age of 14 or have a weak stomach.

    But that's just what makes the film so great -- it holds nothing back, showing you things just the way they happened. There really was a rebellion going on in Mexico at the time, and for those exact reasons. The people in the film really existed. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Final Score: 10/10

    So, what were your favourite movies this year? I certainly didn't get to see every single one -- there were some pretty good ones I missed (Wreck-it Ralph, anyone?) Did you see any of your favourites on this list? Are there any others you feel we should know about? Let us know!
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  2. #2
    Telaran Ordika's Avatar
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    Apr 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by Berethron View Post
    TL;DR: Instead of being a great, drama/action like The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is just childish fun.
    This is something I see in a lot of reviews of the Hobbit, but just as you pointed out it is suppose to be a children's story. It isn't suppose to have the drama/epic action of LotR, it is suppose to be a smaller story.

    To me this is the one fault of the movie, it is attempting to have some of that drama/epic action of LotR (because of the LotR familiarity) but it really shouldn't attempt that. If I were making the movie I would have made the Hobbit one film, and then made a second film featuring all the Necormancer/White Council/Gandalf stuff in a second movie. I assume the reason he did it by mixing it all together was to bind the story a bit more (you know immediately why Gandalf isn't with the company), but it would have preserved the whimsical atmosphere of the Hobbit.

    All in all it was still a fun movie and I can't wait for the other 2 films.
    Last edited by Ordika; 12-31-2012 at 07:57 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Jan 2011
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    I think the best movie I've seen this year so far was Argo. I'm excited to see Zero Dark Thirty but no theater around here has it yet.

    I thought Amazing Spiderman was one of the worst superhero movies that Marvel has done. Awful aside from two things. Emma Stone and Dennis Leary.
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