Germain’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

In 2011, I saw more new movies than I ever have in the past. Previous years I’d flirted with roughly two per week but, this year, thanks to a full Sundance Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Butt-Numb-A-Thon and other events like AFI Fest and the Los Angeles Film Festival, that number jumped up to 167. Several of those won’t be released until 2012 and others won’t get released at all, but it’s still a more than sufficient cross section of 2011 releases to adequately speak on the state of film in 2011 and give my top ten movies of the year. (Note: Any film that didn’t get an Oscar qualifying 2011 theatrical run did not qualify for this list. That’s just my personal rule.)

For me, 2011 was the year of “good, but not great.” You know the type. A film that does everything right, is entertaining, emotional, but doesn’t stick with you once you’ve left the theater. We’re lucky to have films like that because, alternatively, we could get films that are total garbage. Looking back at the year as a whole, though, very few 2011 films will stick with me as all-time favorites. It was a good year, but not great.

The films after the jump were the ones that stayed with me more than most though and, because of that, earned a place as my top ten films of 2011. Read More »

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Angie’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

I find it difficult to say whether 2011 was an unusually strong or unusually weak year for films. As in any year, there were pleasant surprises and disappointments alike. If I had to pinpoint the one thing my favorites tend to have in common, though, it’s a sense that each of them were made with great love by people who cared desperately about them.

I don’t think there’s anything anyone can say at the start of a top 10 list to totally deflect the disgruntled comments from readers who incensed to see that X made my top 10 when Y didn’t, etc., but I’m still going to throw out the usual caveats. There are certainly deserving films that were left off just because I forgot about them, or because I missed the theatrical run, or because I couldn’t fully appreciate them due to my own biases, or what have you. I also want to acknowledge that there is no fair way to compare, say, Bridesmaids against Tree of Life, but that by ranking these movies I’ve done so anyway.

Finally, and most importantly, I’d like to stress that this is not intended as an objective list of the ten best movies of the year, but as a totally subjective look back at my personal favorites of 2011. Read my list and leave your thoughts after the jump.

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69th Annual Golden Globes Award Nominations

Gerard Butler, Woody Harrelson, Rashida Jones, and Sofia Vergara got up extra early this morning to announce the nominations for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 69th Golden Globes Awards, which will be televised on January 15, 2012.

Returning host Ricky Gervais (called a “naughty, naughty schoolboy” this morning by Aida Takla-O’ Reilly, the president of the HFPA) will likely be the main attraction of that broadcast, but the Globes do get attention for the awards doled out each year, if only for the way that the organization targets films with big stars to show up at the ceremony. How else to explain multiple nominations for Madonna‘s W.E.? Sure, her Best Song nomination could have gone to a tune from The Muppets, but why would the HFPA want anyone from that film at the ceremony?

The Artist, Midnight in Paris and The Help are the big nominees. Check out the full list below. Read More »

We’re getting into the full swing of the awards season for 2011, and this evening four organizations announced their picks for best achievement in film in 2011. The biggest group is the American Film Institute, which released a simple unranked list of ten ‘movies of the year,’ which includes Bridesmaids, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo and The Tree of Life.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association named The Descendants as best picture of 2011, while the Boston Society of Film Critics named The Artist best film of the year, which was also voted as the top film by the New York Film Critics Online.

Lists from all four organizations are below. Read More »

Drama is easy and comedy is hard. That’s the sentiment of writer/director/producer Judd Apatow who, at a recent Oscar-themed screening of Bridesmaids, said he believes the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences undervalues humor and should give out an Oscar for Best Comedy much as they do for Best Animation.

Watch a video of Apatow’s quote and discuss this complicated issue after the jump. Read More »

Even the people who dislike Paul Feig‘s Bridesmaids agree that Melissa McCarthy is the film’s hilarious stand-out. The actress, previously known for Gilmore Girls and her own CBS sitcom Mike & Molly, came into Kristen Wiig‘s world and totally stole the show as Megan, a belching, boisterous new friend who also happens to be wealthy, well-connected government official.

McCarthy is so strong in the film that her character gets the credits gag with a food-filled sex tape between her and Air Marshall Jon, played by Ben Falcone. Falcone also happens to be McCarthy’s real life husband, which makes so much sense when you see the full version of the sex tape from the Bridesmaids Blu-ray. It’s after the jump. Read More »

Part of the great appeal of Bridesmaids — and indeed, of any Judd Apatow flick — is the loose, sometimes improvised dialogue between characters. But for every witty line that makes it into the film, there’s tons more material that ends up on the cutting room floor. Thankfully, that’s what Blu-rays, DVDs, and YouTube are for.

If you saw the movie, you may remember the scene where disgruntled jewelry store employee Annie (Kristen Wiig) begins lashing out at her customers, including one pretty teenager (Mia Frampton) who gives as good as she gets. Only a few choice lines were seen in the movie, but there’s much more where that came from, in the form of a 10-minute extended scene from the Blu-ray titled “The Longest Argument Ever.” And you may want to treasure this extra bit of Bridesmaids, because if co-star Jon Hamm‘s comments are to be believed, a Bridesmaids 2 may not be coming down the pipeline after all. Watch the scene and read Hamm’s comments after the jump. (A note of warning: The bickering ends with some NSFW language, so if you’re watching the video at work you may want to stop around the 9:20 mark.)

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2011 Summer Movie Attendance Was the Lowest Since 1997

With Labor Day behind us and school back in session, summer in the US is officially over, at least from a cultural perspective. So it’s time to tally the box-office receipts from what has been the biggest movie season over the past thirty years.

The good news? Revenue is up from last year. The bad news: revenue is up by less than one percent. More troubling: after taking into account that a good portion of the overall revenue came from inflated 3D prices, analysts reveal that attendance was actually down this year. about 543 million tickets were sold this summer, which is the lowest number since 1997′s famous summer of 540 million tickets. (OK, perhaps not so famous.) But wait, there’s more! 2011 is the fourth consecutive year f dwindling summer movie attendance. Read More »

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