|Canon in 2D|
Sara N.'s Picks
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil - My husband and I laughed ourselves silly over this funny, bloody gem of a movie. Yes, it's a slasher film rather than sci fi or fantasy, but I love it so much that I'm recommending it anyway. Tucker and Dale are two rednecks just trying to get in some vacation time at their cabin in the woods, but darned if they don't keep getting mistaken for deranged redneck killers at every turn. This film is a hilarious inversion of all the hoary old slasher movie trope you can imagine, including the finalist of all final girls. Rent it and laugh. (Bonus: It stars Alan Tudyk. Honestly, he should be required by law to be in every single movie. He makes everything he's in just a little bit better.)
The Avengers suite of movies - Captain America and Thor were both fun action romps, with yummy heroes and pleasing female leads. Thor's emotional turn-around may have been rushed, but it was an overall strong (har!) superhero outing. And Cap was all rousing, old-fashioned, sweetly patriotic action. Here's hoping Joss Whedon can bring all of the elements together, along with the tart of Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and the sour of past failed attempts to modernizing the Incredible Hulk, in 2012's The Avengers.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. II - The final movie based on the final book of a worldwide literary sensation. Sweeping storytelling, good triumphing over evil, and Mrs. Weasley putting Bellatrix in her place. Of course it's one of the best films of the year!
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Look, the trailer was pretty great, with that pounding music and the big ol' robot worm eating its way through that building. I actually thought for a hot second that Michael Bay might have pulled off a fun, robotic romp featuring the beloved action heroes of our childhood. Instead, we got insipid dialogue, a supermodel forced to flee from rampaging robots in high heels, and a vicious robot decapitation. No more, OK, Mike? (By the way, Alan Tudyk's in this film, too. As promised, his scenes suck less than the rest of the movie combined.)
Any superhero movie with "green" in the title - Green Lantern, Green Hornet ... not very good, either of them. Let's be glad the final Batman movie isn't called The Green Knight Rises, just in case the green curse carries.
The Adventures of Tintin - I've been a huge Tintin fan ever since I was little, so this film was just so damn good to me. Oh god, it was awesome. I was skeptical of the motion capture animation, but never once did it veer into Uncanny Valley territory. After awhile you even stopped thinking of it as a cartoon! The plot was taken from some of the Tintin comics and was wonderfully and lovingly translated to the big screen. I've never been so happy at a movie. It was thrilling, adventurous, and funny. Completely my favorite movie of the year.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - Ultimately, I'm easy to please. Give me Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law and Victorian England and I am a happy, happy girl. I love Sherlock Holmes stories and these films are the closest thing to the novels Hollywood has ever produced. The adorable and frequently hilarious "bromance" between Downey and Law is part of what makes this movie series so great. They have undeniable chemistry with each other. Furthermore, I love the way these movies are filmed. The cinematography is impressive and even the slow-mo bullet time stuff is done so well. This chapter of the series had a great plot and blink-and-you'll-miss-it clues that kept you on your toes. Another wonderful installment!
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - I loved this movie. It had action! It had romance! It had Jeremy Renner! Delicious Jeremy Renner... Wait, what? Sorry, got distracted. Moreover, I saw this movie in IMAX and it was absolutely gorgeous. The cityscapes of Dubai made me want to get on a plain and head on over there immediately. What beautiful film-making. Paula Patton was the best "seductive yet tough female agent" I've ever seen. Most are like Claire in the first MI - pretty and weak. Paula Patton's agent kicked some major ass and was physically strong as well as hot. Right on, girl. Also, Jeremy Renner.
Xmen: First Class - Michael Fassbender. James McAvoy. A world of yes. It must have been legitimately difficult to cast the young versions of Magneto and Professor X, considering how fine the actors are who play the present-day versions. How do you put out a call for a young Patrick Stewart or Sir Ian McKellan? Fassbender may be even more intense than McKellan, and that's saying something. I loved the setting, the retro clothes, and the legitimate difficulty of the choice between Charles and Eric in terms of how to live as a mutant. (Uh, personally, I'd probably be siding with Magneto.)
Green Lantern - Meh. I wanted to like this film, but it was just so hopelessly miscast. A convincing superhero has to have at least a little bit of danger involved. Christian Bale, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth - you get the idea that you don't want to get on the bad side of either the alter-ego or the superhero. That if they had to, they could be extremely unpleasant. Ryan Reynolds? Well, not so much. He might (maybe) use some PG-13 language. But then he'd be, you know, really sorry. BORING! Also, Blake Lively is a mannequin. No, I take that back - I've seen livelier (HA!) mannequins. Sigh. It wasn't even the suit. I liked the suit! It was just... meh. Boring.