2011 So Far

2011 has been a slow year for film for me but I have a feeling that is due to my lack of watching the right films. Being bogged down by a busy semester, I really didn’t have time to watch as many films as I have wanted too. Before reviewing anymore-new releases I wanted to summarize the films that I saw this year and discuss what are some of the best and worst films 2011 has offered so far.

It’s sad to say but probably the best film I have seen all year is a Norse god throwing a giant hammer around. Thor is not only the best film I have seen so far but it also has to be the biggest surprise. Thor never seemed appealing to me and to be honest I probably would of rather of seen Vincent Chase talk to dolphins for two hours than see this but after seeing the film I was surprised by how much I kinda liked the character and his powers. Thor does a good job of being what it’s suppose to be, a comic book movie. Never takes itself too seriously and does a great job of presenting the mythos of the character, Thor is a great time at the movies that leaves some promise for the character in the future.

Then comes the middle ground. Source Code is a very entertaining film but the movie is way too cheesy and the premise just becomes more and more laughable as the film goes along. Hard to believe the guy who made Moon made this and Wright’s performance is his worst by far. X-Men First Class suffers bi polar disease where it doesn’t know if it wants to be as serious as The Dark Knight or as light as The Last Stand. I do have to say though that the two leads in the film are fantastic and saves this film from being borderline. Then there is Fast Five, which is so much fun and light but has too many mistakes to overlook. Rio is a pitch perfect children’s film where the action is fun and the characters are entertaining but walking out of the theater you probably will forget what you just saw.

Then comes the ugly, which seems to be half of the films I have seen this year. Even a so-so cameo from Dave Matthews couldn’t save Just Go With It for me. Not that it is a bad Sandler movie but it doesn’t even seem to be a Sandler film.  If I didn’t have to endure my girlfriend’s bad tastes in movies (just kidding……kinda) I would never have had to endure I Am Number 4 which steals from any bad action/syfi films. I almost felt that I was watching a Twilight rip off and Twilights bad enough. Except for a few laughs The Hangover Part 2 was one of the biggest disappointments of the year. It is exactly like the first film and never tries to do anything new or creative which is why the first was so good. Battle: Los Angles looked to be the fix I needed in early March but the film wasn’t nearly brutal enough and provides some awful cardboard characters to go along with it.

Here are all of the ratings for the films I have seen so far and to be honest I am embarrassed by how few of them there are:

I Am Number 4 – D

Battle: Los Angeles – D+

Fast Five – C-

The Hangover Part 2 – D+

Just Go With It – D

Rio – C+

Source Code – C+

Super 8 – B-

Thor – B+

X-Men First Class – C+

Now we move on to music and although I have only listened to three albums, I have to say that this year is looking like a strong year for music. The best album I have heard this year will probably be the best album I hear all year, which is Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues. After their breakthrough first album and EP, Fleet Foxes have created something that is truly original and haunting. There isn’t a bad track on this album and each song balances their sound of old and a Simon and Garfunkel feel. This is what a second album should be, progressing a bands sound and also infusing it with something new and interesting. The title track, Helplessness Blues, may be one of the best songs to come out in awhile and is a pitch perfect Fleet Foxes song.

The Antlers Burst Apart opens up with one of the best opening tracks in a long time. I Don’t Want Love is the perfect way to separate this album from there pervious, Hospice. This album starts out moody and dark and seamlessly moves into a melody driven ballads that are some of the best songs the band has ever recorded. A lot has been talked about Radiohead’s new album and how disappointing it is and although it can’t compare to their best work, King of Limbs a tour da force. The album includes three stand out tracks: Lotus Flower, Separator, and Little by Little and the rest fit in perfect with the rest of the album. Each song feels new and fresh except Morning Mr. Magpie, which contains an awful title and seems like a B Side off Hail to the Thief. Just enjoy new music from the world’s greatest band and stop complaining that it can’t live up to your Kid A expectations. The only disappointment albeit only a small disappointment is My Morning Jacket’s new album Ciruital, which is a good album but doesn’t live up to some of the bands previous work. The songs are exciting and new at first but seem to fade after multiple listens. This year has only just begun though with new releases from Bon Iver and Beirut coming soon.

Here are my ratings of the four albums that I have listened to so far:

Burst Apart by The Antlers – 9.3/10

Ciruital – My Morning Jacket – 7.3/10

Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes – 9.6/10

The King of Limbs by Radiohead – 9.1/10



About Brian Rector

I am 22 years old and I go to school at Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri. I have always been an avid filmgoer and I have always wanted a place to share my views and opinions on modern film. This blog is to give reviews on new release, thoughts on other artforms such as music and books, and to discuss the happenings of the film industry. View all posts by Brian Rector

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