Alright, it’s time to finish up this list. If by chance you missed the first half of this (how could you just jump into this thread with reading the first one?), here’s a link! http://bit.ly/dSaEwp Now, to finish the countdown.
5. How To Train Your Dragon
So I fought with myself like 80 times on this order with this movie and my #4, Toy Story 3. But in the end, my allegiance to Pixar and Toy Story shined through. That isn’t a slight to this movie though, this is a great movie and it comes from DREAMWORKS! Dreamworks has really only hit on Shrek ((before whoring it out to 4 movies (still haven’t seen the 3rd or 4th films)) in the last decade.
In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a complete list of movies done by Dreamworks animation studio:
-Ants, Prince of Egypt, Road to El Dorado, Shrek, Spirit, Sinbad, Shark Tale, Madagascar, Over The Hedge, Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs. Aliens. How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind….. Honestly, has anyone seen half of these? So needless to say, I took a complete pass on this one in theaters.
I saw this after dvd release and was pleasantly surprised at how great it was. The guy who voices Hiccup the main character, Jay Baruchel, can be a little annoying in real life but did a great job in this film. A great story about a boy and his dragon…and his Viking brethren that wants to exterminate all dragon life….
4. Toy Story 3
Story: I’ll admit…when I first heard this was coming and the premise was that Andy was giving up the toys and having them try to recapture a child’s joy at a daycare…. I was skeptical. Toy Story was already the first Pixar flick to get a sequel, and now you’re telling me they’re trying to make it work…AGAIN?! But as I learned with Wall-E and with Up, never EVER doubt Pixar. With that said I totally think Cars 2 is going to crash and burn with people over the age of ten. But the story worked. The toys who, sans Woody, believed that Andy had abandoned them in preparation for his college departure, and were trying to get adjusted with the new toys at Sunnyside Daycare. There is something different about this daycare and the with head man, Lots-O’ Bear and it’s up to the toys to decide if they should stay or go.
Last 20 minutes: Ok…. WTH, PIXAR?! Those who have seen the movie know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. I’ve now seen the film 2 times. I had tears in my eyes and kept shaking my head back and forth like “They can’t do this, right? THEY CAN’T ACTUALLY DO THIS!” The second time I teared up, but at that point I of course knew the ending. We all knew in our heart of hearts that there was no way Pixar would do that but for 3 minutes there, we all had EXTREME doubts about that fact.
Technology advances: You really have to love the advancements from 1 to 3. Just think about the opening sequence of this movie, do you think they could do that in the first movie? It’s only helped make the movies better by giving more freedom to these guys to do things like that.
New characters: Meh….. but that’s really the case with all the new Toy Story cast mates. They never really make an impact on any of the characters. I also really hated them just getting rid of Bo Peep without explanation and adding Barbie in her stead. The difference was that Woody didn’t have a love interest which was just sort of like “WTF, PIXAR?” And then they made Buzz’s love interest with Jesse more prevalent. As much as I loved Spanish Buzz, it was just disappointing.
*BTW Quick shout out to one of my favorite animators and story tellers, Hayao Miyazaki who turned 70 last week and one of his characters appeared in this movie (Totoro). This is him (big rabbit looking one), he was in the little girl’s set of toys.
3. Harry Potter 7
The much anticipated finale to the Harry Potter films, HP7 part 1, didn’t fail to meet the fandom. This is my 3rd movie because I can’t award it higher for being a partial film. Everything else is at least a complete movie so your stock gets hurt a bit. But with the second film coming up in a few months, one can only wait and see how great this one can truly be.
Meeting anticipation: It did that. I was glued to my chair the whole 2+ hours and could’ve easily stayed for the other film if it were there. It’s easily the best film of the 7 and again, only the first half.
Scenery: Some of the spots they choose for this thing were so breathtaking. The winter wonderland scene with Harry and Hermione talking, comes to mind right off the top.
Ministry of Magic Sequence: Bravo. This was done to the best of its abilities. There was nothing left out and is definitely 1 of the 5 premiere scenes in this book (Gringott’s bank scene, Opening sequence trying to transport Harry, Characters being trapped at the Malfoy’s, and of course….the battle at Hogwart’s).
Still leaving stuff out: Yeah, I know there’s no way to include everything and they do the best with what they have but I would be wrong to include this gripe. One of my fellow threaders was instantly mad they changed the scene in the Malfoy’s house when Bellatrix was torturing Hermione and Ron was locked in the basement with Harry trying to break out. This was a huge scene because it was working to that final moment when Ron and Hermione both finally admit to their feelings for each other AND is how Wormtail redeems himself to some extent to Harry by freeing them. Wormtail dies in that scene and is seen as somewhat of a hero and now I don’t know how that’ll be reflected in part 2.
2. Tron Legacy
I know what some of you guys are thinking…..WTH is up with this guy? His list is completely bs….. TRON LEGACY!? C’MON SON! My response is….did you see Tron? Did you see this movie? While the original Tron is a bit of an appetizer for Tron Legacy, this movie was amazing in my opinion. And I walked in with little to no expectations. I had just seen Tron the night before and that movie hasn’t aged well….At all. So I went in wondering how this would turn out. I already some excitement involved because one of my favorite musical duos, Daft Punk, did the whole soundtrack. So it can’t be that terrible…. Well the movie started and off top, it’s one of the most beautiful sets of movie scenery I’ve really ever seen. It’s the neon lights. They add this cool ambiance to the movie. And that soundtrack is great by itself but it is amazing added into the movie. The film takes place 28 years after the events of Tron. Focusing now on the son of Kevin Flynn (hero from first film), Sam, and his pursuit to try and manage the company after his father’s disappearance some 20 years prior. The technological advancements I mention in Toy Story 3 is definitely made apparent here. This movie just blew me away in that department. It is deserving of this spot and can only be dethroned by…….
1. The Social Network
Yes, The Social Network. A sort of biopic of what happened behind the veil for Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg and The Facebook. What we learned was that life wasn’t as rosy as status updates and friend requests. In actuality it was filled with betrayal, lies, and lawyers. Mark has to try to run damage control as he’s being sued by one of his former best friends as well as the Winklevi twins who believe that Mark stole their idea for Facebook. The movie proves to be very interesting as throughout the movie you have to side if you emphatize with Mark or just figure out he’s the douche bag he’s been trying to come across as being the whole movie.
Story: All who are reading this more than likely have a Facebook account and have spent more than a marginal amout of time fine tuning it to what it is today. I found watching how all that came to be, absolutely fascinating. And Jesse Eisenberg does a great job playing the quirky Mark Zuckerberg who always seems like he’s destined for bigger and better things. Or was he just the Bill Gates of his time? Being able to reflect on what Facebook was then and what it is today was also an added bonus.
Armie Hammer: The man who played the Winklevoss twins. The guy played 2 people in a movie seamlessly! What’s not to love?? Sure he had a stand in for all of his scenes but it was still pretty great and none of us knew it was one person until after the end of the movie.
Why does Zuckerberg keep thinking he can change Facebook? HONESTLY????
So as I mentioned before, sorry these films aren’t as heavily critiqued as the others but I really enjoyed each of these very much. All are very great films and deserve to be watched so go out and rent or buy them. You won’t be disappointed!
Now here’s the complete list of films I saw last year:
Book of Eli, Edge of Darkness, Alice in Wonderland, She’s Out of My League, Hot Tub Time Machine (free screening, Thank God), How to Train Your Dragon, Why Did I get Married Too, Kick-Ass, Iron Man 2, The A-Team, Toy Story 3, Knight and Day, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Inception, Salt, Scott Pilgrim, The Expendables, Machete, Going the Distance, Social Network, Paranormal Activity 2, Jackass 3D, Harry Potter 7, Tron Legacy.
Key films that I missed but could’ve been on this list: True Grit, The Town, Black Swan, The American…hope to see them soon.
Thanks for reading, I know some of you guys hated where Inception was but that’s why lists are objective!