The Big Picture: MovieBob's 2011 Top Ten

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NinjaDeathSlap:
"LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT WHAT AN ARTISTIC STATEMENT I'M MAKING!"

I laughed and agree 100% with you, NinjaDeathSlap. I don't know why people are obsessed with this movie. To me, it seems Malick has created the perfect ego for himself and knows it by making this film. He's made good movies in the past (I enjoyed Thin Red Line) and he makes his moves several years apart so that when he decides to make another movie people are all like 'OMG, Malick is making another film. It's been x number of years since he's made his last one. Give him ALL the awards'. I guess this is a movie that you either love or hate, and I hate it. I'm not going to state the reasons why I hate it because I might sound stupid to the ones who love this movie, the same way I think people who criticize Drive are stupid because their only arguments are, 'they never explained why there was a second car in the holdup', 'there's too much pointless blood and guts'and 'there's no dialogue'.THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, ARRRHHHH. Anyway, blah blah blah, I'm just another insignificant voice on the internet who loves movies.

To be thoroughly honest I wasn't expecting you to list The Tree of Life as #1. I don't even know why, but I just wasn't expecting it.
Though I do agree - it's a truly great film, and one of my four favourites of this year (the others being Melancholia, Sucker Punch and Drive in no particular order).
In fact it was the second film(after Drive, which was ridiculously beautiful visually too) I watched on my new computer monitor(otherwise known as a 42" LCD TV) and my jaw was literally on the ground for half the film due to the visuals alone. But overall I loved every part of the film... just visuals generally take precedence in terms of importance as far as describing a film goes.

Seems I wasn't the only one who compared it to a dream... heh.

An excellent year, overall.

SpiderJerusalem:

Casual Shinji:
X-Men: First Class is actually among my worst movies of the year.

The majority of scenes are so cheaply shot it feels like your watching Chuck, all the CGI except for Beast's feet look like shit, and starting the movie with a German Kevin Bacon talking about chocolate in what was obviously supposed to be a highly dramatic scene crippled the movie for me before it was even out of the gate.

Really? Him offering chocolate to the boy in what is clearly a malicious, horrific and threatening gesture thinly disguised as kindness, followed by him brutally executing Magneto's mother in front of him was what ruined it for you?

The chocolate?

Oh man, I've heard some pretty wide ranging reasons to dislike the new X-Men film (some understandable even), but this is probably the most ridiculous and out there thing I've heard in a while, especially since it seems like you're actually seriously blaming the movie for what is, no question, your own shortcoming.

Unfortunately however it's the movie's shortcoming.

Having Kevin Bacon speak in the most atrocious German accent completely defuses any tension the scene might've had. Add to that the totally flat angles and cheap way in which the scene - and nearly every other scene in the movie - is shot and you'll forgive me if the malicious, horrific, and threatening atmosphere is lost on me.

The movie even opens with a reinactment of the very first scene from the original X-Men movie. Not only is this lazy as fuck, it doesn't work in the slightest because you're watching a well-loved scene with different actors.

So yeah, this movie makes an extremely bad start, one that isn't rectified by the mediocrity that follows.

The only good thing about X-Men: First Class are Beast's feet. That's it!

Strain42:
I admit that MovieBob can sometimes be a bit strong in both his positive and his negative opinions (when it comes to superhero movies)

So he's biased. Wups.

Casual Shinji:
Unfortunately however it's the movie's shortcoming.

Having Kevin Bacon speak in the most atrocious German accent completely defuses any tension the scene might've had. Add to that the totally flat angles and cheap way in which the scene - and nearly every other scene in the movie - is shot and you'll forgive me if the malicious, horrific, and threatening atmosphere is lost on me.

The movie even opens with a reinactment of the very first scene from the original X-Men movie. Not only is this lazy as fuck, it doesn't work in the slightest because you're watching a well-loved scene with different actors.

So yeah, this movie makes an extremely bad start, one that isn't rectified by the mediocrity that follows.

The only good thing about X-Men: First Class are Beast's feet. That's it!

You've got to decide what you're arguing about. Is it the fact that he's offering chocolate? Is it his accent? What?

You're actually picking bones at the fact that he has an odd accent while speaking German? You do know that his character is an American and probably would have an accent? It's also hilarious that you're calling the films shooting "cheap" and "flat" when nearly everyone has called them the best parts of the movie, in fact, they're the one thing that even the detractors haven't faulted.

Also, opening for the first two minutes(!) with a quick recap of the first films beginning isn't lazy, it's a clever way to remind audiences of a decade old film and point out in an economic, smart and quick fashion "we're back here, this is what happened to Eric between this moment and the beginning of the first X-Men film" (which, incidentally, was written by Bryan Singer, who worked as a writer on the film), or are you really going to argue that it was a logical decision in the first film to just brush off the plot hole that why would they have kept Magneto alive after the scene? It also amuses me that you're calling it a "well loved scene" when it's been pretty well documented that when they stared to make this new X-Men film, people were actually in dire need of reminding of that scene - because it was only a small bit in a decade old movie!

No, it sounds like you went into the film wanting to hate it and are grasping at straws to prove some kind of point about the quality of the film, which holds no water whatsoever. Next time, go watch a movie with an open mind and without the "this is going to suck, I hate it already" mentality.

SteelStallion:

TownTattle:

SteelStallion:

I was already reluctant to elaborate on why I hate the movie, and what, you expected some kind of intricate breakdown of the movie and a meaningful critique? Of course it's a crude criticism, I'm not writing a fucking blog post review for you to read.

No, I do not find kids thinking they can take on an alien with a water gun funny. At all.

No, it's not called a "serious lack of humour", you're just ignorant and think the world revolves around your opinion. Different people find different things funny. The sooner you realize that sense of humor is subjective, the sooner you'll stop humiliating yourself post after post.

crude criticism= bad criticism= bad opinion based on nothing. Care to elaborate on why you didn't find it funny? Also, pulling the subjectivity card means nothing.

*Snip*

He's just trying to start a discussion, which is kind of the purpose of these forums. If you don't want other people to ask about your opinions then you probably shouldn't voice them in a place where you know they probably will. Especially when you call him 'butthurt' for simply asking. But heck, I'll bite too.

Yes, the characters are unlikable shits from the start. I guess I'm just not so bitter that I instantly wish a painful death upon them from the start for that. I give characters a chance to develop.

Look, no one's questioning your sense of humour for not laughing at the toy gun, or the water pistol filled with petrol, because neither of those things were really jokes anyway. But I will question your sense of humour over thinking that those are 'the big jokes' that other people were rolling in the aisles about. When you can't even recognise the other jokes, I am going to think you don't have a sense of humour. And I would point them out to you, but none of them are really big jokes since the film isn't a comedy in the first place, or at least isn't a pure comedy. No doubt you'd do what you've already done, say that I'm claiming that those jokes are 'hysterical' rather than just 'a bit funny' in an attempt to undermine my point.

As for special effects, while they obviously didn't have a huge budget for that they still managed to create very distinctive creatures that, barring one or two scenes, never looked superimposed on the film or out of place.

Well, I haven't been to a movie theater in so long I don't remember truly how long it has been and what was the last movie I saw in the theater.

At the moment, the only thing I can see myself going to see this year, is The Hobbit, if it actually does come out in December.

brazuca:
MovieBob could also do that for games and comics (but with 5 instead of 10) to keep it short.

Top ten on the others would be fine as well. I mean seriously, what else are you doing, that a six minute video isn't short?

I watch videos on the Escapist when I have free time to kill; it's for recreation and entertainment not for when I'm rushed and on the go.

Eric the Orange:
I'm just gonna vent my opinion here but...

I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE, pretentious artistic films like Tree of Life. Or as I call them rorschach movies. because like a rorschach test, the dense symbolism and meaning, will vary from person to person. being more like a tool to explore your mind than a conveyance of a message. If you can't get across your message to the audience in a movie, your doing it wrong.

Sylveria:
Tree of Life... Well, I hadn't been taking Bob's "Word for it" on movies for a long time, but talk about the last nail in the coffin. It's a big budget film school project with great camera work. Pure pretension with absolutely no meaning with it except what you've convinced yourself should be there, and the absolutely repulsive human beings that the nameless main characters are. But it's a Malick movie and film snobs eat his shit up.

Why can't a movie just be a stunning visual experience and then leave all meaning to be determined by the audience?

I guess I'm just very middle of the road in my thinking on entertainment, media, and art. They are motion pictures after all, why can't it be like a still painting in an art gallery, where the painting has no real concrete subject matter and it is for viewer to decide what it painting is. It is abstract art.

On the other end of the spectrum I can't stand it when people look at something concrete where it is obvious what the meaning is, but they try to explain how an apple on a table isn't just an apple, or a man in a story fighting for his family, isn't just fighting for his family but he's fighting for some random thing the viewer thought up.

It is like those stupid literature classes that study one book, or maybe just one scene in a play, and try to interpret why a character drank a glass of water or some simple thing. Things that the writer obviously put in as filler, but now hundreds of years later, people are acting like the keys to the meaning of life or the story are in that little act.

It's those types of classes that I dreaded as an English Major. Where in stupid writing classes I write a poem about just straight nature and life, but when the professor gets to critiquing it, he goes off on some weird tangent about what he thinks my poem is about.

The apple is just an apple, and on the other end, abstract is there for you to determine what it is.

Just let them be what they are.

Sonic Doctor:

Eric the Orange:
I'm just gonna vent my opinion here but...

I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE, pretentious artistic films like Tree of Life. Or as I call them rorschach movies. because like a rorschach test, the dense symbolism and meaning, will vary from person to person. being more like a tool to explore your mind than a conveyance of a message. If you can't get across your message to the audience in a movie, your doing it wrong.

Why can't a movie just be a stunning visual experience and then leave all meaning to be determined by the audience?

That's not exactly the issue. For example fantasia is a enjoyable experience without having really and narrative to speak of. But most "arthouse" movies are just boring, the message is supposed to be the point. But that's where they shoot themselves in the foot because the message isn't clear.
I could make a bunch of scribbles and say to you "this is deep, it has a lot of symbolism.".
You may ask "What does it mean."
which I could respond "that's for you to interpret"
And if you over analyzed it long enough you could probably BS something that had some semblance of sense. But if I was truly trying to give a message I should have made it clear.

I guess I could respect them if they said straight out that the point of the movie was to be a tool to explore your subconscious. Much like the absurdest films of David Lynch. While I still find them boring I can at least respect what he is trying to do. But if the point of the film is to deliver a message, then they fail at there purpose.

thought that you dropped the ball on this list bob, no way that tree of life was movie of the year IMO.

It wasn't that I am not open to the movie, in fact I am a lover of independent and art house movies but half of tree of life was pretentious crap that had nothing to say and said it very loudly, the other half was a fantastic and heartbreaking movie about 1960s suburban america seen through the eyes of a child.

The 'wierd' scenes in my opinion were obvious and boring, not enlightening me in any way. A special mention going to the part when swimming through a door symbolises a babies birth, not exactly deep thinking in my opinion. Never seen any of Malicks other films but judging by TOL, he seems to see himself as a unique persona with a unique and visionary take on the world.
He isn't.

my opinion, do not begrudge anyone for liking it :)

Duffeknol:

Strain42:
I admit that MovieBob can sometimes be a bit strong in both his positive and his negative opinions (when it comes to superhero movies)

So he's biased. Wups.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

If MovieBob were biased to superhero movies, that would imply that he automatically likes or dislikes all superhero movies, which I've already pointed out isn't the case.

Overly praising something that you like isn't the same as being biased towards it.

SpiderJerusalem:

Casual Shinji:
Unfortunately however it's the movie's shortcoming.

Having Kevin Bacon speak in the most atrocious German accent completely defuses any tension the scene might've had. Add to that the totally flat angles and cheap way in which the scene - and nearly every other scene in the movie - is shot and you'll forgive me if the malicious, horrific, and threatening atmosphere is lost on me.

The movie even opens with a reinactment of the very first scene from the original X-Men movie. Not only is this lazy as fuck, it doesn't work in the slightest because you're watching a well-loved scene with different actors.

So yeah, this movie makes an extremely bad start, one that isn't rectified by the mediocrity that follows.

The only good thing about X-Men: First Class are Beast's feet. That's it!

You've got to decide what you're arguing about. Is it the fact that he's offering chocolate? Is it his accent? What?

You're actually picking bones at the fact that he has an odd accent while speaking German? You do know that his character is an American and probably would have an accent?

He didn't just have an odd accent, he had an accent which sounded like he just came off the set of 'Allo 'Allo.

It's also hilarious that you're calling the films shooting "cheap" and "flat" when nearly everyone has called them the best parts of the movie, in fact, they're the one thing that even the detractors haven't faulted.

You find that hilarious? I find it rather sad that the cinematography in this film is held in high such regard. RedLetterMedia made an excellent point regarding this, the shots feel like your watching a parody, like The Naked Gun or Space Balls.

Also, opening for the first two minutes(!) with a quick recap of the first films beginning isn't lazy, it's a clever way to remind audiences of a decade old film and point out in an economic, smart and quick fashion "we're back here, this is what happened to Eric between this moment and the beginning of the first X-Men film" (which, incidentally, was written by Bryan Singer, who worked as a writer on the film), or are you really going to argue that it was a logical decision in the first film to just brush off the plot hole that why would they have kept Magneto alive after the scene? It also amuses me that you're calling it a "well loved scene" when it's been pretty well documented that when they stared to make this new X-Men film, people were actually in dire need of reminding of that scene - because it was only a small bit in a decade old movie!

Imagine that; Me being disappointed when I'm spoon fed the identical scene from the first film with different actors, instead of the film coming up with something new, unique, and it's own thing. When the very first film came out that scene was a total surprise. It was the first live-action X-Men movie and it started off not with mutants fighting or something else superhero-y, but with a concentration camp. It completely blindsided you and immediately grabbed your attention.
By reinacting it in a movie from the same franchise a decade later, all that surprise is gone and they might as well have opened the movie with a "Previously on The X-MEN" segment.

No, it sounds like you went into the film wanting to hate it and are grasping at straws to prove some kind of point about the quality of the film, which holds no water whatsoever. Next time, go watch a movie with an open mind and without the "this is going to suck, I hate it already" mentality.

Why would I go into a movie I PAYED FOR wanting to hate? If I wanted to do that I'd go watch Transformers 3, The Last Airbender, or the Twilight movies, none of wich I saw because I know I wouldn't like them.

Geo Da Sponge:

SteelStallion:

TownTattle:
crude criticism= bad criticism= bad opinion based on nothing. Care to elaborate on why you didn't find it funny? Also, pulling the subjectivity card means nothing.

*Snip*

He's just trying to start a discussion, which is kind of the purpose of these forums. If you don't want other people to ask about your opinions then you probably shouldn't voice them in a place where you know they probably will. Especially when you call him 'butthurt' for simply asking. But heck, I'll bite too.

Yes, the characters are unlikable shits from the start. I guess I'm just not so bitter that I instantly wish a painful death upon them from the start for that. I give characters a chance to develop.

Look, no one's questioning your sense of humour for not laughing at the toy gun, or the water pistol filled with petrol, because neither of those things were really jokes anyway. But I will question your sense of humour over thinking that those are 'the big jokes' that other people were rolling in the aisles about. When you can't even recognise the other jokes, I am going to think you don't have a sense of humour. And I would point them out to you, but none of them are really big jokes since the film isn't a comedy in the first place, or at least isn't a pure comedy. No doubt you'd do what you've already done, say that I'm claiming that those jokes are 'hysterical' rather than just 'a bit funny' in an attempt to undermine my point.

As for special effects, while they obviously didn't have a huge budget for that they still managed to create very distinctive creatures that, barring one or two scenes, never looked superimposed on the film or out of place.

Like I said before, it isn't that he's questioning my opinion that bothers me, it's that he's pointlessly pointing flaws in my posts rather than my opinion. Read his posts, it has nothing to do with the movie and he even states he likes the movie too. I know someone trying to provoke senseless arguments when I see one, and that kid is a moron. I'm through with him though and he isn't worth anymore of my time. Moving on.

Also, you're trying to twist what I was saying against me. The only reason I even mentioned the toy gun is because the previous poster kept mentioning it and was using it to defend his point about how the movie was funny. I figure if he brings it up so much, he must have found it hysterical. And it wasn't. It wasn't even slightly funny.

I never said anything particularly bad about the effects other than that they were subpar, which is to be expected. Having a low budget doesn't excuse it, facts are facts. But like I said, they don't bother me, but when there are no other redeeming qualities in a movie the very least you'd expect is some eye candy, which it doesn't really deliver.

SteelStallion:

Geo Da Sponge:

SteelStallion:

*Snip*

*Snip*

*Snip*

Ah, well then... Sorry to sound as if I was trying to start another argument, you're being far more reasonable then I thought. And I was kind of a condescending dick there.

My apologies.

MovieBob, you seem to be struggling between keeping your credentials as a film critic (Midnight in Paris, Drive, and Tree of Life--You? Really, Bob?) and keeping your credentials as a nerd (Captain America as Number 2?!???). The result (your list) is honestly a bit unsettling and I'm not sure if you're being completely honest with us here. I know this year hasn't given us as many movies to love like the past couple years have (heck, last year EVERYONE's top 10 list was pretty much the same). Even Oscar is already talking about cutting the Best Picture field down from 10 (again). I say pick a side and stick to your guns. I feel like you probably spent a couple hours looking at other critics' lists and grabbed the overall consensus of their best movies, and then arbitrarily slapped the comic book ones in there to make the fanboys happy.

For the record though, "Tree of Life" is my number one pick as well (if anyone really thinks there was a better movie released in 2011, try and prove it. You can't). We also share a couple more movies on our lists. I'm just baffled by the inconsistency. Perhaps you should do two lists.

Really disagree with you about Drive- it was pretentious twaddle and Im not sure its possible for Gosling to be any more wooden.

NinjaDeathSlap:
Agree 100% up to the Tree of Life. Seriously? The Tree of Life your #1? It was terrible! It was a nothing movie that tried to get away with making no sense and having nothing substantial to it by just having a load of space/time imagery shout in your face "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT WHAT AN ARTISTIC STATEMENT I'M MAKING!" I'm not against movies making artistic statements, I'm all for it actually, but they also have to not suck. The most powerful emotion that I ever felt when watching The Tree of Life, was the soul crushing sadness at how I was never going to get those two hours of my life back. It was that bad.

That's Malick for ya; a man who keeps getting away with crap like this. If I want a GOOD version of something like this I'll just watch the batshit INSANE finale of Neon Genesis Evangelion which was at least serving a purpose. Malick is just using this as a biopic of himself. And surprise, his life WAS NOT FUCKING INTERESTING.

SilversunFire:
MovieBob, you seem to be struggling between keeping your credentials as a film critic (Midnight in Paris, Drive, and Tree of Life--You? Really, Bob?) and keeping your credentials as a nerd (Captain America as Number 2?!???). The result (your list) is honestly a bit unsettling and I'm not sure if you're being completely honest with us here. I know this year hasn't given us as many movies to love like the past couple years have (heck, last year EVERYONE's top 10 list was pretty much the same). Even Oscar is already talking about cutting the Best Picture field down from 10 (again). I say pick a side and stick to your guns. I feel like you probably spent a couple hours looking at other critics' lists and grabbed the overall consensus of their best movies, and then arbitrarily slapped the comic book ones in there to make the fanboys happy.

I disagree about your statement about not giving very many movies to love this year. In previous years, it's a lot easier to make a top 10 list, not this year. I do agree that his fan-dom for comic book movies is absurd, I don't have any comic book movies in my top 10 (highest is Thor @ 17).

I don't watch a lot of movies, but some of those movies look interesting enough to try to watch sometime.

Huh weird, I liked Thor, as much if not more than Captain America. Cap was a bit slow at parts(and the singing and dancing went on a little long) but Thor was pretty well paced, the stuff on earth wasnt drawn out and we saw much of Asguard.

Yeah I pretty much saw all those, they where good I admit. I also liked "In Time", and throughly enjoyed "Real Steel". If any movie can do a franchise its Real Steel.

I typically agree with Bob on movie issues, but Tree of Life was easily one of the *worst* films I've seen this year, or, really, in my life. It felt pretentious while still managing to be trite, symbolically confusing while managing to remain shallow, and somehow manages to say essentially nothing while being incredibly offensive and sexist. So the kid's father is emotionally and physically abusive to both the kids and their mother? Tree of Life seems to think it's not his fault, and uses the mother as a constant emotional punching-bag while basically ignoring her role in the kids' lives. Meanwhile, while the astronomical/underwater/dinosaur scenes were visually striking, they seemed incredibly out of place and context and went on for far, far too long. Unlike 2001, Tree of Life fails at pacing and relevance, giving us striking visual images and ostensibly deep symbolism while not communicating to us why we should care or what relevance this has to the rest of the film.

I agree with all those movies except for Muppets (I never watched them as a child) midnight in paris (haven't seen it yet) and tree of life...I feel bad for saying this because i know that the movie is technically "good" but it is the most boring, uninteresting movie I have seen this year. If they took the "beginning of the universe" scene and put in on youtube, it would be awesome but the movie itself, meh.

Comparing Tree of Life to 2001: A Space Odyssey isn't saying a whole lot since 2001: A Space Odyssey bored the the living fuck out of me. I mean sure it was all moving and whatever, but did Kubrick really need to take 20 min. to show the ship landing?

So, Bob has been a bit busy on Twitter trying to defend his choice of Attack The Block.
Many people have commented that they cannot identify with the chav leads of that movie, basically because these are guys that you can run into on the streets, and mug you.
Bob has been defending it saying that Hollywood has put many "bad" guys in hero roles (Han Solo, Jack Sparrow) and that the chavs from Attack The Block fall into that same category and should be seen in the same light.

Well Bob, here is a movie pitch for you:

Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Son Of Sam team up to fight an evil PMC trying to push trough the SOPA law.

Would you defend that, if it made for a compelling movie?

aristos_achaion:
I typically agree with Bob on movie issues, but Tree of Life was easily one of the *worst* films I've seen this year, or, really, in my life. It felt pretentious while still managing to be trite, symbolically confusing while managing to remain shallow, and somehow manages to say essentially nothing while being incredibly offensive and sexist. So the kid's father is emotionally and physically abusive to both the kids and their mother? Tree of Life seems to think it's not his fault, and uses the mother as a constant emotional punching-bag while basically ignoring her role in the kids' lives. Meanwhile, while the astronomical/underwater/dinosaur scenes were visually striking, they seemed incredibly out of place and context and went on for far, far too long. Unlike 2001, Tree of Life fails at pacing and relevance, giving us striking visual images and ostensibly deep symbolism while not communicating to us why we should care or what relevance this has to the rest of the film.

Actually there's never ONCE a moment in the film where he's hitting his kids or his wife. There's one point where the wife is hitting HIM, but never the opposite. If anything it just makes the kid version of Penn look like a whiny, spoiled, creepily incestuous brat who probably didn't get smacked ENOUGH. Pitt's character the only likeable character in the whole film.

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