Year End Review-2011

Previously Posted

There are just a few more days remaining of 2011, and I would be remiss if I did not do a year in review as all of the other web sites are doing.  I would lose my internet membership card.  So here is the thread for 2011,

Over the next several days, I’ll be adding lists to the thread of my choices for the top this or top that of 2011.  I considered doing an award type post… and I almost had Westley and Nigel Grimm from the Brothers Geek host it, but in the end, I chose for this format.  (Westley and Nigel will just have to get over it.)

We will start with my list for the Top Ten Best and Worst Movies of 2011.  Now I did not see every movie released this year like some critics out there, and my list will not include many of the “high brow” films that “big-time” critics include.  My list is for the typical person,,, the geek, if you will.

And as I said, I did not see every film so some horrendous movies such as Jack and Jill, My Idiot Brother, The Smurfs, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Zookeeper, Shark Night 3D, Chipwrecked, The Chaperone, Dream House, The Sitter, or Bucky Larson will not be included.  These are movies that, even with my huge increase in movie attendance, did not inspire me to see them at all and I am sure that if I had to sit through them, they would have found their way onto the crap list.

I supposed I should make a comment about the star ratings that I give the film during my normal reviews.  That rating will not necessarily be what I look at for these lists.  It is really an arbitrary rating that doesn’t mean that much.  And those star ratings can raise or lower over time (ex Apollo 18).

Anyway, let’s start off with the Worst Movies of 2011, because I just got done talking about some horrible (presumably) films.  I have two special additions.  Two movies that I had to cut from the list to reach ten.  Call them the Dishonorable Mention.

Dishonorable Mention:  The Thing and Bad Teacher.

#10 Green Hornet  This could have been great, but the Seth Rogan vehicle was a real mess and one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

#9 Conan  The new Conan movie was… well, there was nothing to it.  Another movie full of promise, but ending in disappointment.

#8  Green Lantern  Bad year for Green things.  Ryan Reynolds’s super hero movie was terrible… from the first shot of the laughable bad guy to the ridiculous heel turn of Sinestro in the movie credits.  DC should just stick to animated movies.

#7 3 Musketeers  Pretty stupid of a film, but at least it was stupid fun.

#6 Hangover II  Another huge disappointment.  When you take the exact script from the first movie and just change location, and add lots of penises, the film will suffer.  This was surprisingly unfunny.

#5 Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark  Horror movie that really was a pain to watch.  Why don’t these people use their heads?

#4 Sucker Punch  I felt like I was sucker punched after watching this dream infused mess.

#3 The Darkest Hour  in 3D, if you want to call it 3D.  Was it bad that I was cheering when the unlikable characters were killed by the invisible energy aliens?

#2 The Creature  At least there was a lot of nudity involved.

#1 Immortals  Worst movie of the year.  I almost walked out on it several times.  It looked good… but that was about all I could say about it.

Top Ten Best Movies of the Year

Okay, let’s put the crap aside and see what was good about 2011 at the cinema.

#10  Winnie the Pooh.  I actually only saw this on DVD, but I was truly enchanted by the story.  I thought this was way funnier than most of the movies this year.

#9 50/50  Seth Rogan appears in this list as well.  But this time it is about a fantastic comedy/drama about a man and his battle with cancer.

#8 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two  The satisfactory conclusion to the Harry Potter series was worth the wait.

#7 Rise of the Planet of the Apes  A surprising movie with a lot of tension and suspense.  A real gem this summer.

#6 Super 8  JJ Abrams’s great monster movie that focused on a group of young children making a movie.  The train crash scene at the beginning was just astounding, and the kid actors were as good as any adults could have been.

#5 X-Men:  First Class  A movie that I had dreaded since it was announced as images of X-Men Origin: Wolverine floated around in my head.  However, this mutant spy thriller was way better than I had ever expected it to be and should have resurrected the series.

#4 Thor  Some critics did not like this movie.  And to them I say…. HAVE AT THEE!  Thor was a great comic book movie and kicked off the summer in grand fashion.

#3 Drive  This was ultra-violent, but Ryan Gosling’s performance as the unnamed driver was just spot on.

#2 The Muppets  A wondrous and nostalgic trip into the hearts and minds of a young person who remembers watching the Muppet Show.

and #1 Captain America:  The First Avenger Everything worked for this.  I was afraid of a couple different things.  I worried about the casting of Chris Evans as Cap.  But he was fantastic as the Sentinel of Liberty.  And I had worried about the rumored Cap joins the USO bit of the film, but it turned out to be one of my favorite sections of the movie.  Hugo Weaving was amazing as the Red Skull and everything worked so well.  Captain America is my second favorite Marvel character (behind Spidey) and to see him with a successful film makes me very happy.

So there is the year in movies.  What will be our next list?

We are not ready to leave the world of films just yet as there are several other categories that I would like to include… starting with the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

And Meryl Streep will be nowhere to be found (nothing personal Meryl, if you’re reading this… EYG!)

Best Actor

#5 Chris Evans (Captain America:The First Avenger).  I was worried about this one, but Evans just knocked it out of the park.  I had no problem forgetting that he was the Human Torch and now I see him and I think… Cap!

#4 Joel Courtney (Super 8)  One of the reasons this movie worked so well was the young actors involved.  And I believe that this was Courtney’s first film.  Congrats young man.

#3 Michael Fessbender (X-Men: First Class)  Playing the soon to be Magneto is daunting, but Fessbender was wonderful in the role, bringing a humanity to Erik.  We understood why he does what he does when we see what Erik went through.

#2 Joseph Gordon-Levitt  (50/50)  This was a great performance, balancing the humor and the pain, and doing it in such an entertaining manner.

#1 Ryan Gosling  (Drive) I was so impressed with Gosling’s subtle performance as the nameless driver… the nuances that he brought with a minimal amount of dialogue.  A masterful performance.

Best Actresses

#5 Charlize Theron (Young Adult) I didn’t really enjoy this film much but Theorn’s job as the lead, extremely unlikable, character was well done.

#4 Amy Adams (The Muppets)  Amy played the happy-go-lucky Mary very well and she did not have her scenes upstaged by anyone.  She also sang.  And she had some surprising depth to the character as well.

#3 Helen Mirren (The Debt)  Mirren was wonderful as the older woman remembering the terrible case from her youth.  She showed why she is such a master of the craft.

#2 Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)  Rooney Mara had a tough job.  She had to follow Noomi Rapace from the Swedish version of the movie.  And Mara provided an amazing performance, making the character of Lisbeth her own.

#1 Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) She was the best part of this movie, easily.  Williams became Marilyn Monroe and showed just how hard it was to be her.  Just a transcending performance.

Best Supporting Actor

#5 Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows)  Fry played Shelock’s brother, Mycroft, and he was a hoot.

#4 Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn) Thor’s director showed he still had some acting chops with his portrayal of Sir Lawrence Olivier.

#3 John Lithgow (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) Seeing Lithgow was when I knew this movie was more than just another Planet of the Apes film.  He brought life to the story.

#2 Tom Hiddleson (Thor) Hiddleson was perfect in his role as Loki, Thor’s evil half-brother.  Every time he was on the screen, I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.  I am very happy to hear that Hiddleson would be returning for next summer’s Avengers.

#1 Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) Caeser was the entire emphasis behind the movie, and Andy’s work as the primate was what provided the character with such a haunting and moving feeling.  Without Serkis, Caeser would not be what he was… an amazing performance, again, done mostly with facial expressions.

Best Supporting Actress

#5 Gabourey Sidibe (Tower Heist) The former star of Precious stole every scene she appeared within Tower Heist.  I would have liked to have seen more of her.

#4 Emma Watson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2) Emma has been consistently one of the best parts of the film series and she does a great job in the finale.

#3 Chloe Cgengery (Paranormal Activity 3) The young Katie does a great job throughout this prequel.  The young girl has a bright future ahead of her.

#2 Ellie Fanning (Super 8) She really showed some acting ability in this movie, which so depended on the kids to carry it.  Her scenes where her character was acting were amazing.

#1 Jennifer Aniston (Horrible Bosses) Who knew that Jennifer Aniston could be so great being nasty.  She seemed to embrace the slutty, wicked, sexual harasser with so much gusto.  She was the best of the horrible bosses.

Movie Music

I am sure that the Oscars will mess this award up, so I guess I’ll have to set them straight.

#5  Gathering Stories by Jonsi (We Bought A Zoo)  Intriguing song with a neat melody.

#4  Immigrant Song by Karen O (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) the reimagining of the Led Zepplyn classic really set the Dragon Tattoo off with a powerful kick.

#3 Pictures in My Head by the Muppets (The Muppets)  The sweet song sung mainly by Kermit that had Kermit wishing for the past.

Tied for #1  Man or Muppet by Jason Segel and Walter (The Muppets) and The Star Spangled Man (Captain America: The First Avenger)  I have not been able to choose between these two songs, so I decided… why choose.  They are both fantastic.  Man or Muppet is the whole basis behind the story of the Muppets and the Star Spangled Man really builds the character of Steve Rogers into the heroic Captain America.

Next two categories for the Year in Review are still from Movies…

Best Cameo and Best Animated Movie

Best Cameo

#5 Mickey Rooney (The Muppets)  Just nice to know that Mickey is still alive.

#4 Stan Lee (Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger)  Too bad Stan couldn’t be in X-Men: First Class and make this a trifecta this year.

#3 Jack Black (The Muppets)  How can he stop Animal from drumming?  Jack Black is very funny as the kidnapping victim and guest host of the Muppet telethon.

#2 Neil Patrick Harris (A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas) NPH is the best part of this movie, with his portrayal of NPH, but addled on drugs and not gay and a downright dirtbag.  Method acting?  This would have been the number one cameo of the year had it not been for the following one…

#1 Hugh Jackman (X-Men: First Class)  Maybe the greatest cameo of all time.  I laughed like crazy when Wolverine dropped the f-bomb to Xavier and Erik.  Never saw it coming, and it was one of the best moments of a film that was really good.

Best Animated Movies of 2011

#5 Rio  This just beat out Arthur Christmas (which gets an honorable mention).  Jesse Eisenberg provided the voice of the lead macaw.

#4 Rango  with the voice talent of Johnny Depp and a great villainous snake, Rattlesnake Jake

#3 Puss in Boots  The prequel to the Shrek series starring everyone’s favorite feline, Puss.  Puss’s origin is told with Antonio Banderas returning as the voice of Puss.

#2 Kung Fu Panda 2 A very strong sequel with Jack Black returning to voice Po, the Dragon Warrior.  Add Gary Oldman as Lord Shen, the peacock and the sequel comes out very strong.

#1 Winnie the Pooh  which, if you had read the top ten movies of the year, I included this one in that list… which should have tipped this off to you.  It’s like at the Oscars last year when Toy Story 3 was nominated in the Best Animated Movie category and was the only animated movie nominated in the Best Picture category.  Um… will it win Best Animated Picture?  Duh!  This is like that.

Here’s a chance to go back and look at what I decided was the Top 15 Geek moments of 2011.…

Moving along to Television now… the top ten television programs of 2011 in my opinion… (By the way,Breaking Bad, which the critics and the Emmys love soooooooooooooooooooo much, is not on my list since I do not watch it.  Sorry)

Top Ten Television Programs of 2011

#10 Grimm.  This one has been up and down.  It still has some possibilities.

#9 Colbert Report  Always funny with the parody of the news programs like FOX might broadcast.

#8 The Daily Show.  Jon Stewart is always funny, and I am entertained every episode.

#7 Desperate Housewives  A strong new season, the final season, has brought an enjoyment back to Wisteria Lane.

#6 The Big Bang Theory.  I have just recently discovered this little gem from CBS.  I am not sure why it took me this long to start watching it.

#5 Revenge.  The top guilty pleasure of the new season.  Emily Thorne is out to take care of the Graysons.

#4 Once Upon A Time The great new show from writers of LOST that features the story of fairy tale creatures cast with an evil curse to make them forget their lives.  But Emma has come to fix the world.

#3 Walking Dead  AMC’s great zombie show took a further step into character development this season.  Some thought it was slow, but I appreciated the attempt.

#2 Castle  I love Castle, and putting it at number two is a surprise.  I love Nathan Filloon and this show is funny, exciting and has a lot of mysteries.  Great characters.

#1 American Horror Story.  A great new show.  A show with a beginning, middle and end.  A story where the entire main cast died.  Except Jessica Lange, of course.  She’s just raising the Anti-Christ.


Continuing with television:

Best Actor:  Nathan Filloon (Castle)  Filloon has been so consistent in his role as Richard Castle.  He is witty, dramatic, and fun.  His chemistry with Stana Katic is off the chart, and Castle has developed over the years.  His relationship with his mother and his daughter are the best on-screen relationships on television.  This is all because of Nathan Filloon.

Best Actress:  Jessica Lange (American Horror Story)  Lange was amazing every time she was shown on this great television show.  Constance knew what she wanted and she went and got it.  She was shown to be anything but sweet.  In fact, she was responsible for multiple murders.  But the death of her children tore at her, and her determination to raise her grandson (the Anti-Christ) was eerie.

Best episode:  Cops and Robbers (Castle)  Rick Castle is at the bank when he notices something with his writer’s eye.  He calls Beckett and says that he believes the bank was about to be robbed.  And it was.  And a hostage situation began.  But like all Castle episodes, there was more than what met the eye.

Best Character:  Daryl Dixon  The development of Daryl this year has been the strongest part of the Walking Dead.  And things will only get better.

Worst storyline:  Dexter.  Did Dexter’s sister really fall in love with him?

Television show that I have not seen, but I want to:  Homeland.  This sounds like 24… only more.

Best Reality ShowWWE Tough Enough.  Thanks mainly to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.  The young kids on the show were not up to the challenge.  The last ten minutes of each episode really showed how charismatic and down to earth Stone Cold was.

Worst Reality Show:  Most of the rest.

In the world of sports entertainment… aka professional wrestling…and once again… these are my choices for the following awards.  I suppose that this will be mostly/if not completely a WWE award list since I rarely watch TNA.

Wrestler of the Year:  CM Punk

Tag Team of the Year:  Air Boom (Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne)

Feud of the Year:  Randy Orton vs. Christian

Pay Per View of the Year:  Money in the Bank

Face of the Year:  Randy Orton

Heel of the Year:  Mark Henry

Promo of the Year:  CM Punk’s shoot promo

Comeback of the Year:  The Rock

Diva of the Year:  Beth Phoenix

Most Improved Wrestler of the Year:  Zack Ryder


Matches of the Year

#10 The Royal Rumble Match.  40 participants in this year’s bout instead of the normal 30 made this the “largest Royal Rumble of all time.”  This was won by Alberto Del Rio.

#9 RAW Elimination Chamber Match.  John Cena defeated Sheamus, Randy Orton, CM Punk, R-Truth and John Morrison.  Morrison did some unbelievable Spider-man-like moves.

#8 Miz vs. John Morrison (RAW)  The falls count anywhere match on the first RAW of the year was spectacular and was won by WWE Champion the Miz.  It seemed like it was the start of big things for Morrison.  However, that was not to be.

#7 Christian vs. Randy Orton (SummerSlam) The No-Dq match was outstanding, even though Christian lost his World Championship back to Randy Orton.

#6 Smackdown Elimination Chamber This match did not sound like it would be as solid, but it was outstanding.  Edge retained his World Championship against Rey Mysterio, Drew McIntyre, Kane, Big Show and Wade Barrett.

#5  Smackdown Ladder Match (Money in the Bank) Daniel Bryan surprised the wrestling world by becoming the Smackdown money in the bank winner in an exciting Ladder Match.

#4 Randy Orton vs. Christian (Over the Limit) Another great match between these two performers.  This was when they were still both faces.

#3 Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio (Extreme Rules)  Christian won this ladder match and won his first ever World Championship as his friend Edge looked on.  I specifically ordered this PPV on my computer to see Christian win… and his victory made things really happy for me… at least for the two days (5 storyline) that he held it.

#2 Undertaker vs. HHH (Wrestlemania 27) This was the best match on the biggest show of the year between two classic veterans.  When HHH tombstoned Undertaker, I actually thought the streak was over.  However, in the end, Undertaker went to 19-0 at Wrestlemania.

#1 CM Punk vs. John Cena (Money in the Bank) Held in Chicago (Punk’s hometown) and with the threat of Punk winning, letting his contract expire and walking out as Champion.  The crowd was 100% behind their hometown hero and Punk wound up getting the win.  He left through the crowd with the WWE title.  Though he would be back a few weeks later, this moment was as memorable as any ever.  He blew the kiss to Vince McMahon and took off into the Chicago night.  The 30+ minute match was the match of the year.

Biggest Television Deaths of the Year

#5  Sheriff Graham (Once Upon a Time) The sheriff was killed off by the Mayor just as he began to remember his other life as the Huntsman.  She killed him by grinding his heart to dust in her hand.  Tough way to go.

#4 Sophia (Walking Dead) Her death was considerably better than the storyline of her disappearance.  Her disappearance was the worst part of the season two episodes, and her transformation into a zombie and subsequent bullet int he head may have been the best part of the season.

#3 Daniel Grayson (Revenge)  At least, we believe he is dead as he was killed in the first minutes of the season, and then we went back in time to discover how it occurred.

#2 Otis (Walking Dead) Otis was not a regular character, but his death by zombie was major because of how it happened.  Being chased by Walkers, Shane shot Otis in the leg and left him as zombie bait so he could escape.  Otis’s death led to an even more nasty Shane.

#1 The Harmons (American Horror Story) Ben, Vivien and Violet all died throughout the year, which, strangely enough, turned out to be a happy ending for the family.

Top Super Heroes of the Year

#10 Animal Man Buddy Baker has been re-imagined in the DC 52 reboot and has become one of the creepier comics of the year.  Animal Man makes our list of top heroes.

#9 Thor the Norse God of Thunder and the star of the first Marvel movie of the summer

#8 Steve Rogers. The former Captain America accepted the President of the US’s appointment to replace Norman Osborne as the executive in charge of super humans.  Plus, he was in the top super hero movie of the year.

# 7 Superman.  Rebooted and with a new outfit and attitude, Superman is not the Kryptonian of old.

#6 Batgirl.  Barbara Gordon was rebooted into the Batgirl costume and out of her wheelchairwhen DC relaunched their DC universe.

#5 Flash  Barry Allen returned to the DC Universe and his return led to the huge reboot after “Flashpoint”

#4 Batman Batman had another top year, with his new series being some of the best in the new 52 reboot and starring in the top video game of the year.

#3 Spider-man.  Peter Parker lives in the real Marvel Universe and thanks to a new creative team, Spider-man is fun again.  A huge battle called Spider-Island, a new dream job as a scientist/researcher, and plenty of women troubles with a new girlfriend and an old girlfriend.  Plus, Spider-man is in every team in the Marvel Universe… and I’m not really kidding.  Even in Spidey’s new FF uniform.

#2 Spider-man (Miles Morales) The new Ultimate Spider-man, who took over when Peter Parker died, became a national story as he is part African-American, part Hispanic.

#1 Daredevil.  Matt Murdock was the top return of the year.  After being dumped on for years, Matt Murdock, Daredevil became an Avenger, and the new issues of his series were some of the best of the year.