The Best Movie Moments of 2011

2011 wasn’t really a great year for movies as a whole, but it had a lot of great movie moments. After painful deliberation, I finally managed to narrow down my 25 favorite moments of the year. Share yours with us!

25. The Line Dancing Scene from “Footloose”

As a fan of the original 1984 Footloose and a skeptic of remakes, I wasn’t expecting much from the modernization of the Kevin Bacon cult classic. Thanks to Craig Brewer’s solid direction, I was pleasantly surprised with the retelling of a big city boy in a small town. Best of all, it included an important Southern tradition that was oddly missing from the original: line dancing! The scene where Ren and his friends drive to the big city will have you tapping your feet and resisting the urge to dance!

24. The Fan Camera in “Paranormal Activity 3”

The setup for the Paranormal Activity movies is so basic even a child could make these movies. Set up a camera in a fixed position and wait for scary things to happen. In the third installment of the hit franchise, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman of Catfish fame reinvented the rules and allowed the camera to move. This time around, the camera is mounted on top of a fan, giving us a bigger view of the things that go “bump” in the night. This apparatus also gives birth to some of the more heart-pounding moments in the franchise to date.

23. Colin Farrell in “Horrible Bosses”

When I set out to make this list, I knew that Horrible Bosses would find a spot here but I didn’t know for what moment. For my money, this movie was the best comedy this year. Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudekis made a great comedic trio and Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey were both delightfully evil in their own way. However, it was Colin Farrell is his curiously short amount of screen time that made me laugh the most. Farrell has done comedy in movies like In Bruges before and I hope that he continues to do more roles like this.

22. The Climax to “Crazy Stupid Love”

The moment in Crazy, Stupid, Love where all the plot lines intersect is staged so well. I personally didn’t see the twist coming, but even if I had the comedy in the scene is executed so well by the actors that it is impossible not to enjoy the scene.

21. Tom Hiddleson in “Thor”

Tom Hiddleson was a relatively unknown actor until his big burst onto the scene this year, starring in three of the year’s biggest movies. He had some small parts in War Horse  and Midnight in Paris, but it was his role as the villainous Loki in Thor that caught everyone’s attention. Loki isn’t just someone who wants to take over the world and rule. He is the God of Mischief, the man with a plan, an outcast looking to find his place and fulfill his longing for acceptance. Hiddleson’s striking screen presence and pitch-perfect performance made Loki the most compelling, three-dimensional Marvel villain since Doc Ock.

20. The Soundtrack in “Hanna”

The soundtrack to Hanna is this year’s TRON: Legacy. The movie is a thoroughly entertaining experience that wouldn’t be as effective without its original. It’s the best soundtrack of the year, and makes the high-octane action sequences exponentially more entertaining. In fact, I’m listening to it now. And it’s making everything I do epic.

19.  Hugh Jackman’s Cameo in “X-Men: First Class”

Did they just use the f-word in a PG-13 comic book movie? Classic.

18. Ending to “Melancholia” 

The ending to Lars von Trier’s apocalyptic drama is one of the most masterfully executed and unforgettable endings I have ever seen. We know from the opening prologue to the film that the world will indeed end. Even so, the closing moments of the film where the planet Melancholia collides with Earth are incredibly moving. It rendered me speechless.

17. Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

In a movie with an unlikable protagonist and a story that is extremely manipulative, one aspect of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close stood out and almost made the film worth sitting through. Veteran actor Max von Sydow delivers a flawless performance as  The Renter, a man who does not speak and communicates instead through handwritten notes. It is hard to make such a character convincing, but Sydow makes it seem effortless, earning him a well-deserved Oscar nomination.

16. Sacha Baron Cohen in “Hugo”

There are many things to love about Hugo, from its love letter to silent film to its art direction to its spectacular use of 3D. It was hard to just pick one, but I settled on Sacha Baron Cohen. A marvelous character actor, Cohen throws himself into the role of the Station Inspector, a man who takes his job extremely seriously. He damaged his leg in the war and considers himself better off alone, except of course for his trusty Doberman Pincer. It’s his best performance. Second only to Borat, of course.

15. The Ending to “War Horse”

There’s so much going in the emotional closing moments of War Horse, and all without a single line of dialogue. Set to John Williams fabulous score, this ending is pure Spielberg magic.

14. The Tracking Shot in “The Adventures of Tintin”

Speaking of Spielberg magic, The Adventures of Tintin has been a pet project of the prolific director since 1983. The movie consists of one great action sequence followed immediately by another. The most memorable scene in the film is a three-minute chase scene all done in one take where Captain Haddock and Tintin race through the streets of a village to catch the next clue on their path to buried treasure. It’s a wonder to behold and left me with my mouth agape.

13. The Ending to “Fast Five”

It was a good year for action films, and Fast Five was one of the big ones. Easily the best of the franchise, the film gets rid of the racing aspect that made the previous films a drag and turned it into a heist movie. The final action scene is so far-fetched you can’t help but love it. The climax of the film has the characters breaking into a police station and stealing a vault using their cars, dragging it through the city with police in pursuit. Blockbuster movie-making at its finest.

12. “Life’s A Happy Song” – “The Muppets”

I love a good dance number, and the opening to The Muppets put a smile on may face that stayed there for the rest of the film.

11. “The Case” – Super 8

There were a healthy handful of movies this year that celebrated the magic of film, but the way that Super 8 did so was so wonderful. On the surface, the film is a simple alien movie. A heavy subplot of the film, though, is a group of kids filming a zombie movie. Throughout the film, we watch with joy as the children film their low-budget zombie movie. The best part? Getting to see the completed work at the end of the movie.

10. Minny’s Pie – “The Help”

If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you’re really missing out.

9. The Championship Fight – “Warrior”

Two estranged brothers fight each other for the MMA championship, unleashing all the anger they have. In the end they reconcile, and in tearful embraces exit the ring in an incredibly moving sequence set to “About Today” by The National. So good.

8. Michael Fassbender in “Shame”

In one of the most talked about performances of the year, Michael Fassbender proves himself a force to be reckoned with. In Steve McQueen’s Shame, he plays a man unable to connect with anyone on an emotional level. His addiction is sex. He is more often than not silent and introverted. However, his face and mannerisms tell us what he is really thinking. It is without a doubt the best performance of 2011.

7. The Opening to “Drive”

In suspenseful opening scenes to Drive, we watch as Ryan Gosling carefully calculates his every move, evading cops, parking his car, walking away without getting caught. There’s no fast editing here, no explosions, no heart-pounding music. It’s nothing like we saw in Fast Five, and yet its still one of the best chase sequences ever filmed.

6. The Origin of the Universe  – “The Tree of Life”

In what has to be the most analyzed and discussed film of the year, director Terence Malick examines life from its origins to the day we die and searches for the meaning of it all. The most memorable scene of the film ponders the origin of the universe, from the first rays of light all the way to the dinosaurs. It is a jaw-dropping sequence that is both beautiful and thought-provoking. This movie will stay with me forever.

5. Scott Hatteberg Hits a Home Run – “Moneyball”

“How can you not be romantic about baseball?”

4. The Pool Scene – “The Descendants”

What would you do if you found out your mother was going to die? The most memorable moment in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants is, like many other moments on this list, dialogue-free. Upon learning her mother’s fate, Alexandra (played to perfection by Shailene Woodley) dives under the water of her pool. The camera follows her as she cries under the water, and we feel her pain. It’s a wonderfully executed sequence.

3. The Burz Khalifa Sequence – “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”

If there was ever a definitive reason to see a movie in IMAX, this is it. The latest Mission: Impossible installment is easily the best of the series. Under solid direction by Brad Bird, the film gives us back-to-back memorable action sequences. The most talked about one is, of course, the Burz Khalifa sequence. Doing his own stunt work, Tom Cruise scales the tallest building in the world and leaps from window to window. It’s the best action sequence of the year, and the IMAX footage puts you right there next to Ethan Hunt.

2. Adam’s Surgery – 50/50

The reason that 50/50 is so effective on an emotional level is that you don’t expect it to hit you so hard. The moment where Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) realizes that he might not wake up from his surgery is so emotional and moving it turns you into a teary-eyed mess. 50/50 is by far one of the best films of the year, a triumph on every level. It’s a crime this film didn’t get more recognition this awards season.

1. The Battle for Hogwarts – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

After ten years of waiting it finally happened. Bellatrix and Mrs. Weasley. Voldemort versus Potter. Neville versus Nagini. Sacrifices made and lives lost. The Battle for Hogwarts was brought to the screen so well. This die-hard Potter fanatic couldn’t have asked for more.

Joseph’s Most Anticipated Films of 2012

As much as I would like to post my top 10 films of 2011, that list would have recently featured Crazy, Stupid Love, which is indicative of how many 2011 films I need to catch up on. But that doesn’t stop me from looking forward to 2012…

 10. Coogan’s Trade


I’m not familiar with the material, but any film that puts Brad Pitt and Richard Jenkins on-screen together is a film that I want to see. It’s also written/directed by Andrew Dominik, who previously directed Chopper and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

9. Looper

Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) writes/directs a film about time-travel starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. If that isn’t enough to get you on board for this film, Collider reports that Shane Caruth worked alongside Johnson on the time-travel mechanics. Caruth wrote/directed the small-budget 2004 film Primer, which is one of the best time-travel films out there; watch it.

8. Untitled Terrence Malick Project

I would watch a Terrence Malick film about paint drying. Watching Ben Affleck act is a close second. Known on IMDb as “Untitled Terrence Malick Project”, this film stars Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams in,  “A romantic drama centered on a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart.” I may have my doubts on the casting, but Terrence Malick and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki know how to make  a beautiful film together.

7. Lincoln

Daniel Day Lewis leads an impressive cast in Steven Spielberg’s film about Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Lewis is joined by Sally Fields (Mary Lincoln), Tommy Lee Jones (Thaddeus Stevens), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Robert Lincoln), David Strathairn, John Hawkes, Hal Holbrook, Jackie Earle Haley, and Michael Stuhlbarg. 2013 Oscars, anyone?

6. Django Unchained

The above image says it all.

5. The Avengers

I’ve been looking forward to this one ever since Samuel Jackson’s first appearance at the end of Iron Man. (My poor wife is now tired of my “Where’s Samuel Jackson?” joke after every movie we watch in the theater. But let’s be honest; Kirsten Wiig and Tintin would be awesome Avengers.) With Joss “Can I kill off a main character?” Whedon at the helm, I think this is going to be a fun, bantering, character-driven superhero film.

4. The Master

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix star in P.T. Anderson’s latest film about, “The relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as “the Master” whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man”, set in the 1950s. (IMDb) I’ve been hearing about this film for a while now, and am really excited about it. I’m not sure if it will be released in 2012 or 2013, so don’t hesitate to correct me on this. If it’s a 2013 release, maybe Tom Tywker’s Cloud Atlas will be placed at number ten.

3. Brave

Brave is the latest film from Pixar Animation Studios, and it looks incredible. I have my doubts from watching the preview for the film, but I’ve learned over the years that Pixar trailers tend to undersell their films. I like that it’s an original fairy tale, and that they’ve casted Emma Thompson as the Queen.

2. The Hobbit

I’ve been wanting to see this film (live-action, mind you…) since I first read the book. And while I’m a fan of Peter Jackson and his version of Lord of the Rings, I was really excited about Guilermo del Toro directing it. I’m curious if any of his vision will make it into the final film. On a technical level, The Hobbit is being filmed in 3-D at 48 frames-per-second, twice what films are normally filmed at; I’m excited to see how it ends up looking.

1. The Dark Knight Rises

Choosing The Dark Knight Rises over The Hobbit was a tough decision. I ended up with Christopher Nolan’s latest (lastest) in the series because it’s not a story that I’m familiar with, having not ready many comic books. (Although if I had to pick my favorite trailer of the year, it would be The Hobbit). The trailer for The Dark Knight Rises succeeds in selling the film while not spelling out what it’s about. I think a trip to the Whitaker Center IMAX in Harrisburg might be in order for this one.

Honorable Mentions: Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Project, Cloud Atlas, Moonrise Kingdom, Dark Shadows, The Cabin in the Woods

What films are YOU looking forward to the most this year?

Oscar Nomination Predictions

The 2012 Oscar nominations will be formally announced tomorrow, and these are my predictions for the films that will be nominated. This year I’m only predicting the main categories.

Best Picture
The Artist
The Help
The Descendants
Midnight in Paris
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
War Horse

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Alexander Payne (The Descendants)
Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
Martin Scorsese (Hugo)
Terrence Malick (Tree of Life)

Best Actor
George Clooney (The Descendants)
Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar)
Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
Michael Fassbender (Shame)

Best Actress
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Viola Davis (The Help)
Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)
Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn)
Albert Brooks (Drive)
Nick Nolte (Warrior)
Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Patton Oswalt (Young Adult)

Best Supporting Actress
Bernice Bejo (The Artist)
Octavia Spencer (The Help)
Shaileen Woodley (The Descendants)
Jessica Chastain (The Help)
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)

Adapted Screenplay
The Descendants
The Help
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Ides of March

Original Screenplay
The Artist
Midnight in Paris
Win, Win

The Oscar nominations will be announced at 8:30 ET.

Golden Globes Predictions


For better or worse, Ricky Gervais returns tomorrow evening to host the 2012 Golden Globes Awards. The night is bound to have memorable moments as well as some painful ones. Remember Brendan Gleeson last year? Or that awkward moment during Natalie Portman’s speech? Then again, how could you forget when Jim Carrey won for The Truman Show? Or when Martin Scorsese accepeted the Cecil B. DeMille Award?

You can find a full list of nominations here, but we’ll only be focusing on the Film-centric awards due to the fact that we’re not as well-versed in the television nominations. Let us know who you think will win!


Drama: The Descendants
Actress (Drama): 
Viola Davis
Actor (Drama): 
George Clooney
The Artist
Actress (Comedy/ Musical): 
Kristin Wiig
Actor (Comedy/Musical): 
Jean Dujardin
Animated Feature: 
The Adventures of Tintin
Foreign Film: 
A Seperation
Supporting Actress: 
Octavia Spencer
Supporting Actor: 
Christopher Plummer
Michel Hazanavicius
Midnight in Pairs
Original Score: 
The Artist
Original Song: 
“The Living Proof”


Drama: The Help
Actress (Drama): 
Viola Davis
Actor (Drama): 
George Clooney
The Artist
Actress (Comedy/ Musical): 
Michelle Williams
Actor (Comedy/Musical): 
Jean Dujardin
Animated Feature: 
The Adventures of Tintin
Foreign Film: 
A Separation
Supporting Actress: 
Octavia Spencer
Supporting Actor: 
Christopher Plummer
Michel Hazanavicius
Original Score: 
The Artist
Original Song: 
“Lay Your Head Down”

Top 5 Steven Spielberg Films

This was without question the hardest list Joseph and I have ever had to assemble. Steven Spielberg is truly a man that needs no introduction, having directed countless films that have implanted themselves deep into our culture. Almost every one of his films are iconic in one way or another.

With War Horse and The Adventures of TinTin in theaters, we take a look back at what Spielberg films we love the most. Naturally, your lists will be different. Please feel free to share!



5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind

 What a film. Everything about this movie draws me in, from Richard Dreyfuss’s performance to John Williams’s entrancing soundtrack. It’s a unique film that like all other Spielberg’s films captures not only our imaginations but our hearts as well.

4. E.T. 

The first time I saw this movie as a child, I bawled my eyes out when I thought E.T. was dead. It was the first time I had ever cried in a movie, but it wouldn’t be the last. Spielberg’s follow-up to E.T. has a contagious feeling of magic. You come to love E.T. just like the children do. It is a wonderful adventure for any age.

3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

I appreciate that Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first film to feature Indiana Jones. I applaud that it the most financially successful and critically acclaimed of all the Jones adventures. However, in terms of sheer entertainment, I’d take Last Crusade any day of the week. The introduction of Sean Connery into the franchise as Indy’s father provides for one of the most unexpectedly delightful partnerships to ever grace the silver screen. It’s a great ride.

2. Jaws

The first summer blockbuster and model for those to come, Jaws is pure entertainment. It’s still just as suspenseful for me today as it was back when I saw the film for the first time. The performances by Roy Schneider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss are top-knotch, and John Williams’s immortal score is the icing on the cake. A true masterpiece.

1. Saving Private Ryan

Easily one of my favorite war movies of all time, Saving Private Ryan holds a special place in my heart. It was probably the first R-rated movie I ever watched as a child, during a time where we would dress up in camo and play war in the backyard. As I’v grown older in years, the movie  effects me in a different way. Tom Hanks gives a heck of a performance, as does the rest of a magnificent ensemble cast. My love for this movie grows over the years, and will continue to do so. It is at times a hard movie to stomach, but remains for me an incredibly moving experience.



5. Munich

My wife won’t be pleased that Jurassic Park isn’t on this list (and almost made it), but she hasn’t seen Munich yet. With a running time close to three hours, it’s a hard film to get through, but is definitely worth the effort. The performances were good, especially from Eric Bana and Ciaran Hinds. It’s a large story that will keep you thinking after the credits roll.

4. Catch Me if You Can

My first interaction with Frank Abagnale’s story was reading about it in the newspaper; it just begged to be made into a feature-length film. Like most films in the genre, it treads a fine line between who the audience should root for. Do we want Frank to succeed in his pursuits, or do we want Carl to catch up with him? Spielberg succeeds in presenting the glamor, while at the same time undercutting it with harsher realities and consequences for Frank’s actions.

3. Schindler’s List

I watched Schindler’s List for the first time this year. It quickly became one of my favorite Spielberg films, and also one that I will probably not be watching again any time soon. It’s a great, exhausting film, with wonderful performances from Neeson and Fiennes. The quasi-documentary style and the black-and-white imagery really capture the emotion of the people and the landscape.

2. E.T. (The Extra Terrestrial)

The last time I watched E.T. was on an old VHS tape that had horrible lines running through it and a nasty green tint. It was still incredible to watch. I really appreciate the balance between childhood and the process of growing up in this film. The images continue to take my breath away, and John William’s score (as always) is a perfect complement to the film.

1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

As much as I love Raiders of the Lost Ark, this is the Indiana Jones adventure that sticks with me the most. Sean Connery is brilliantly cast in a role that doesn’t seem like it would fit in his filmography, but does. Spielberg knows how to film action scenes, and this film is no exception. (I have chosen wisely)

Win a “Transformers 3” Poster

Before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the highest grossing film of the year was Michael Bay’s blockbuster Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon. I wasn’t a fan, but the sequel to 2009’s highest grossing movie ended up making over $1 billion worldwide. I guess  some people liked it.

I have a poster for the movie taking space in my room and I know many of our readers would love to get their hands on it. IN TEN WORDS OR LESS, leave us your review of the movie in the comments section below. The person with the best review wins the poster!

The deadline to enter will be Sunday, December 18 at 12:01 AM, CST.











The Sitter Review

The Sitter
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Written by: Brian Gatewood & Alessandro Tanaka
Starring: Jonah Hill / Ari Graynor / Sam Rockwell

I laughed three times during The Sitter. The first two times were on account of the fact that I genuinely found something funny. The third time was a laugh of joy, a celebration that the movie was over and I could finally leave.

Directed by David Gordon Green, who was also responsible for the cinematic sewage that was Your Highness, The Sitter stars Jonah Hill as Noah Griffith, a wonderful individual living at home with his mother on account of the fact that he is suspended from college. He spends his spare time trying to sleep with Marisa (Ari Granyor), a girl up the street who has no likable qualities whatsoever. Noah agrees to babysit three children, but a dilemma rises when Marisa promises to sleep with him in the event that she brings her some cocaine from a psychotic drug dealer named Karl (Sam Rockwell). What could possibly go wrong?

Naturally, everything goes wrong, and Noah is not the only one to blame. The children with which he has been entrusted are a recipe for disaster. There’s Slater, a heavily medicated young boy struggling with the idea that he might be gay. Then there’s Blithe, an adorable little girl who spends her day endlessly applying makeup and preparing to be the next Paris Hilton.  Lastly, there’s Rodrigo. When he’s not trying to run away from home, he’s either taking things that don’t belong to him or blowing up toilets.

There’s almost nothing in this movie to enjoy. The kids’ antics aren’t funny, Noah’s decisions make no sense, and there’s nobody likable in the movie at all. The script is so flat and bereft of life I’m positive the movie we were given was based off a first draft. How can we expect Jonah Hill to breathe life into this movie when he doesn’t even look like he wants to be there?

The Sitter does have its moments though, albeit you can count them on one hand. Sam Rockwell is fun to watch in his eccentric role as a drug dealer. He isn’t given much to work with, but he makes the most of it. There’s also a funny moment with Jonah Hill and a bouncer at a club, but you can catch that in the trailer.

David Gordon Green needs to take a break from comedy. Between this and Your Highness I don’t know how much more I can take. Bring on Sherlock Holmes and Mission:Impossible. Now that’s entertainment.

CONTEST: Win a “Descendants” Poster

Christmas is just around the corner, and we’re in a giving mood! How’d you like to win a Descendants poster?

Thanks to its increasing box office success, Alexander Payne’s The Descendants is expanding to 876 theaters nationwide. Not only is this movie one of the year’s best, it also features what could possibly be the best performance of George Clooney’s career.

But what is Clooney’s best performance? Perhaps his Oscar-winning role in Syriana? His big screen debut in From Dusk Till Dawn? Or maybe you’re a fan of his unique portrayal of an assassin in last year’s The American. In the comments section below, tell us in 100 words or less what you believe is George Clooney’s best performance! The person with the most convincing argument will win a poster for the film.

If you need some help, or something to get the wheels turning, check out Kris Tapley’s list of Clooney’s best performances over at InContention.

The Deadline to enter is Wednesday, Dec. 14 at midnight.












Not a fan of the poster? Don’t worry. We have a lot of awesome posters we’ll be giving away this holiday season. Like this one.


TOP 5: Desired Rereleases

One of the latest trends in Hollywood is rereleasing classic movies for a limited engagement on the big screen. Disney is the most active participant in this trend. The Lion King came roaring roaring back into theaters this past September, capturing a massive box office intake of $94 million. The financial success of this move prompted Disney to rerelease other classics in the coming years, including Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and The Little Mermaid.

But Disney isn’t the only one rereleasing beloved movies. George Lucas is rereleasing all six Star Wars films in 3D starting next February. James Cameron’s Titanic also sails into theaters next year in 3D. AMC Theaters hosted special screenings of many films before their Blu-Ray release, including The Lord of the Rings, Top Gun, and Taxi Driver. My viewing of Taxi Driver just happened to be one my favorite movie experiences this year.

Seeing a movie on a big screen is a magical experience. There’s nothing quite like it. With that in mind, here are five films I would love to see rereleased on the big screen.


5. Aladdin 

Dinsey’s rerelasing The Little Mermaid instead of this? Aladdin is the second-highest grossing hand-drawn animated film of all time. It made nearly three times what The Little Mermaid did and stands among one of Dinsey’s greatest. Rerelease Aladdin. Ariel can wait.

4. Singin’ in the Rain

The greatest musical of all time, Singin’ in the Rain would have its audiences dancing in the aisles if given the big screen rerelease it deserves.

 3. Citizen Kane

The cinematography alone in this film merits a viewing on the big screen. Not to mention that that Orson Welles’s debut film is considered one of the greatest films of all time and continues to inspire filmmakers to this very day. I only have one condition should this film be rereleased: No 3D.

2. Rocky

My default favorite movie of all time. Seeing this on the big screen would be a dream come true.

1. The Godfather

It’ll be an offer you can’t refuse.

Fall / Winter 2011

The Summer blockbuster season is over, and with the announcement that Eddie Murphy will be hosting next year, the race to the Oscars has begun.

Daniel & I are looking forward to a lot of films coming out in the next few months, and thought we’d share our individual top ten anticipated films with you.

Feel free to agree, disagree, and share your own top ten in the comments below.


10. J. Edgar

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the greatest actors to ever grace the silver screen. The list of directors he has worked with reads like an All-Star Hollywood lineup — Ridley Scott, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, and Martin Scorsese, to name a few. Now he has a new name to add to his resume: Clint Eastwood. Eastwood showed he had a skilled hand for historical drama in 2008’s Changeling. With Oscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk) on board for his latest work, we could be looking at another fine film from one of the greats.

9. Moneyball

We haven’t had a great baseball movie since The Rookie. The sad truth is that baseball movies are few and far between these days, but Moneyball looks to be a winner. Co-written by Aron Sorkin (The Social Network), the movie tells the story of Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane and his radical decision to use computers to draft baseball players. Co-starring Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, and the always reliable Philip Seymour Hoffman, Oscar buzz for this movie seems inevitable.

8. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

I’ve never been the biggest fan of motion capture animation, but after seeing the trailer for Spielberg’s first animated feature, I was sold. The Adventures of Tintin is something I don’t want to miss. Every frame is alive with spirited energy and overflowing with vibrant life. It’s always exciting to see directors pushing the medium forward. Who knows, maybe Spielberg will do for motion capture what Cameron did for 3D.

7. Drive

After his terrific performance in Blue Valentine last year, Ryan Gosling seems to be getting more and more roles. His latest is a man simply known as Driver, a professional Hollywood stunt driver who drives getaway cars in his spare time. After a heist goes wrong, he finds himself targeted by powerful men. Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Vahalla Rising) took home top honors for his direction on the film at Cannes and will continue to receive such praise as we head into Oscar season.

6. 50/50

Screenwriter Will Reiser tells the story of his personal diagnosis with cancer and the effect it has on himself and those close to him. With an incredible cast featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, and Bryce Dallas Howard, this mix of comedy and drama is sure to be one of the year’s best.

5. The Ides of March

George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck remains one of the best films of the last decade, and I’m very excited to see what he brings to the table in this year’s Ides of March. Loosely based on Howard Dean’s failed presidential campaign back in 2004, the movie explores dirty politics in a presidential campaign. Boasting one of the best ensemble casts of the year (Clooney, Gosling, Tomei, Giamatti, and more), The Ides of March is bound to be a key player in this year’s Oscar race.

4. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Gary Oldman is garnering quite a bit of Oscar buzz for his role as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, an all-star thriller set during the Cold War. Oldman may be getting most of the buzz, but it’s the cast as a whole (Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Toby Jones, and Mark Strong to name a few) that has me really excited for this movie. After learning that a Soviet agent has embedded himself deep inside MI6, Smiley comes out of retirement to find the traitor. I don’t know much about the original novel or the British television series it inspired, but I know I’m going to see this as soon as I can.

3. The Artist

The Artist promises to be one of the most unique movie experiences this year. The year is 1927, and the arrival of talking pictures is right around the corner. This poses a problem for George Valentin, one of the kings of silent cinema. While he  deals with the changes that Hollywood is embracing, he must also confront his interest in a young dancer by the name of Peppy Miller. The movie was a huge success at Cannes, and it looks to be a personal instant favorite. The biggest attraction to this movie is that it’s filmed like a silent film, the kind that we would have seen back in Valentin’s day.

2. Hugo

Is there any genre Martin Scorsese won’t tackle? He’s done biblical drama, period pieces, romances, concert movies, documentaries, and more. Hugo, based on the beloved children’s book by Brian Selznick, is the great director’s first family-oriented film. Scorsese transports us to 1930s Paris, where we follow a young boy named Hugo and his quest to discover the mysteries left behind by his father.

I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have in the director’s chair for a proper adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. David Fincher’s work on films like Seven and Fight Club are perfect examples of why he is the right man for the job. I enjoyed the Swedish adaptation of the popular novel, but it suffered from budget constraints. I can’t wait to see what Fincher does with the material and a more appropriate budget. Its dark and haunting story might be too much for Oscar voters to handle, but it’s bound to be one of the year’s best.



10. Albert Nobbs

2011 is definitely a good year for strong female leads, even with Glen Close playing a woman character who dresses as a man. I’m really looking forward to her performance, which in my mind, is a follow-up to Steven Spielberg’s Hook. (Don’t believe me?)

9. My Week with Marilyn

Michelle Williams takes on the titular role of the celibritous Marilyn Monroe. Kenneth Branagh also stars, in a role envied by many a British actor, as Sir Laurence Olivier. Emma Watson, fresh off of the Harry Potter train, joins the cast as well.

8. The Rum Diary

I will admit that I haven’t seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (also based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel), but I have heard about this adaptation for many years. The hype has slowly been building in the back of my mind, and with the recently revealed trailer, it looks like this film has actually been filmed.

7. Drive

Reminding me of the genre-bending present in Hanna, Ryan Gosling stars in a film that, on paper, sounds like a knock-off of the Jason Statham vehicle, The Transporter. With that preconception in mind, the positive buzz from Cannes was confusing. The trailer for the film shows that yes, it shares the same concept, but is something else entirely (Apologies to Martin Scorsese for bumping Hugo from the list at the last minute). Also, I need to watch Bronson now.

6. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

I have fond memories of reading the American versions of The Adventures of TinTin, a comic book series by Belgian artist Herge. I had worries about it being translated to the big screen, but I think it’s in good hands with director Steven Spielberg. They seem to have a grasp on the overall tone and atmosphere that makes the series the period/modern/future swashbuckler that it is.

5. The Iron Lady

The theme today is performances, and The Iron Lady is no exception. I’d watch a movie starring Meryl Streep playing a woman who watches paint dry. (Paging Gus Van Sant) Streep stars as former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and as usual, chameleons her character well. I’m interested to see how Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!) does directing a period film.

4. J. Edgar

Leonardo DiCaprio has an impressive track record for quality acting, and has been busy for the last several years. His latest performance, as J. Edgar Hoover, teams him up with director Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) and writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk). If this isn’t a recipe for a road to the Oscars, I don’t know what is.

3. Moneyball

I love a good game of baseball, but as a spectator sport, I’d rather watch golf. So why, out of all the films coming out this year, would I want to watch this? Director Bennett Miller, writer Aaron Sorkin, and actors Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman (woefully absent from the trailers), and Jonah Hill (hoping he does well in a non-comedic role).

2. War Horse

While at times sounding more like Lassy than Gone With the Wind, I’m excited about the latest from Steven Spielberg. (I loved Munich and enjoyed Crystal Skull) The story sounds moving, epic, and judging from the trailer, looks gorgeous. It stars David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston, and newcomer Jeremy Irvine in the lead role.


1. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

This movie looks fantastic, plain and simple. Tomas Alfredson, who directed the magnificent Let the Right One In in 2008, returns with a film set during the Cole War. Alfredson has proved his skill in subtlety and atmosphere, and has surrounded himself with a steller cast, including Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Cieran Hinds…the list goes on. Watch out for this one.