This will be the final entry for the 2011 version of this list. I was going to do occasional follow-ups, but I’ve decided against it. Instead, I’ll offer up my (mostly) definitive “Top Films of 2011″ list sometime in the coming weeks. Since it will already be hitting late, I figure another couple weeks won’t hurt and it will allow me time to catch a few more films (both in theaters and at home) that I have missed so far.
In the meantime, here’s what I’ve seen since the last update and where the year stands as a whole for me at the moment. I’m going to keep things short for the most part…
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Loved it. I went into this cold, having neither read the books nor seen the original films. It’s no masterpiece, but still another good effort from Fincher. Since catching it in theaters, I’ve seen the three Swedish films. While I liked them (the first is the best), Fincher’s is definitely the superior version in my eyes. I’d love to see him adapt the other two books, but I suspect that won’t be happening.
The Adventures of Tintin – I went into this one expecting a decent time and ended up loving every single last minute of it. It’s a shame that we’ll have to wait until at least 2014 to see the inevitable sequel………but at least there’s a good reason (The Hobbit!).
Colombiana – Another one that took me by surprise. I expected a mildly entertaining actioner and got something more. It’s not a game-changer by any stretch of the imagination, but I had a lot of fun with it……particularly the supporting work from Cliff Curtis, Jordi Molla, and Lennie James. Score another one for Luc Besson’s action factory!
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – I liked it. Nothing fantastic, but I thought it was fun. I keep flipping back and forth between preferring this one or the first one. The previous entry is a lot leaner and better paced, but the sequel has the better villain and ending. I’ll certainly see a third if one is made, but I won’t be terribly heartbroken if things end here either.
Kung Fu Panda II – Another good sequel, though I think I like the first one a bit more. Still, there is a ton of fun to be had here if you loved the original as much as I did.
Black Death – An excellent Wicker Man-esque Medieval tale with a great cast of (mostly) unknowns.
Batman: Year One – Not a masterpiece, but definitely one of the best efforts to come out of DC Animated recently……..which is saying something.
Crazy, Stupid, Love – There’s some great work here from almost all involved, but the writing doesn’t really back them up. Could (and should) have been better.
Fright Night – A lazy remake that happens to have a bunch of actors I really like in it. It’s nice to see Colin Farrell cut loose for a second time this year, but this sucker is pretty forgettable. There’s still only one good Fright Night in my eyes and this isn’t it by far.
The Captains – An extremely odd documentary. I went in expecting Shatner’s usual schtick and that’s not what I got at all. This is an oddly insightful piece………and boy, does Avery Brooks have issues!
Chillerama – Adam Green’s segment (“The Diary of Anne Frankenstein”) is absolutely sublime. “Wadzilla” is pretty damn great as well. That said, the wraparound is merely decent and “I Was A Teenage Werebear” is pretty bad………otherwise I’d rank it a lot higher. Still, this is well worth your time if you want to catch it while it’s still on Instant.
Season of the Witch – This one was surprisingly entertaining for the first two thirds, but really shit the bed in the final act. The script needed some more time in the oven (and probably a better director).
Bunraku – The production design is excellent and it has a good cast, but not much else going for it. Again, more time on the script could have changed this from being ultimately forgettable to something worthwhile.
The updated list is below. As usual a few films have shifted spots.
2. Attack The Block
3. The Muppets
5. X-Men: First Class
6. Captain America: The First Avenger
9. Red Hill
11. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
12. The Adventures of Tintin
13. Super 8
14. Fast Five
15. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
16. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two
20. I Am Number Four
21. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
22. Machete Maidens Unleashed!
23. Kung Fu Panda II
24. Black Death
25. The Lincoln Lawyer
26. Drive Angry
28. The Help
29. Scream IV
30. The Adjustment Bureau
32. The Thing
33. The Mechanic
34. The Green Hornet
35. Death Race II
36. Batman: Year One
37. Crazy, Stupid, Love
38. Fright Night
39. Horrible Bosses
40. The Change-Up
41. Winnie The Pooh
42. Conan O’Brian Can’t Stop
43. The Captains
45. Green Lantern
46. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
48. Sucker Punch
49. Battle: Los Angeles
50. What’s Your Number?
52. Your Highness
54. Take Me Home Tonight
56. Conan The Barbarian
57. Season of the Witch
59. Hatchet II
60. Red Riding Hood
61. The Beaver
62. I Love You, Phillip Morris
63. Bad Teacher
64. Henry’s Crime
66. The Resident
67. The Howling Reborn
68. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
69. Gnomeo & Juliet
Feel free to agree with or eviscerate me, be it in the forums or below.