It’s been a few interesting weeks for me, but I’ve realized that I’ve neglected this blog a little, so I think that another post is long overdue. Before I get into anything, though, I’d like to share my opinions on this year’s Grammy Awards. First and foremost, I was rather displeased with this year’s chosen live artists. No creativity or thought was put into their selection; no folk, indie, alternative, but pop and country. It seemed like another new year’s celebration to me, so I wasn’t too excited about the shot itself. I don’t think that Adele is fantastic enough for 6 Grammys, and in one night nonetheless; However, after seeing her competition in some of her successful categories, she was the only good candidate (such as in the Best Artist category). Luckily, Bon Iver was able to pull through in the end to represent the indie/alternative music community, which I was happy about
Enough of that, and on to my top 5 movie choices of 2011! Yeah!!
5.) Mission Impossible: Gost Protocol;
To be honest, I think that this was a terrible year in terms of movie quality. There were too many films that were generally unimpressive, and this is depressing to me. I’m hoping that this isn’t a trend, where the public would pay for action scenes and bullets over the art of cinematography or soundtrack writing. So, without further delay, I give you my 5th best. This is only here, to be honest, because I needed to have a fifth choice. In this movie, Tom Cruise manages to entertain us yet again with his action-packed fighting and intense scenes. However, nothing else really impressed me. Sure, there were a few nice camera shots of the Middle East, but otherwise, things were unimpressive. Many events either didn’t make sense or simply didn’t fit into the movie’s plot. Going into an action movie, I do realize that I can’t expect a huge degree of art and finesse. However, I do enjoy seeing a certain degree of unforeseen plot twists and creative workarounds, not just new gadgets and Cruise’s ultra cool moves. I’d give it a 4.5/10, if you’re one for numbers.
4.) The Adventures of Tintin
I thought that this movie was absolutely spectacular. First of all, the movie served as a prime example of the great developments of animation over time. Every scene was crisp and beautifully done; At one point, I could have sworn that a camel in one certain scene was actually living. Also, the camera angle was phenomenally creative. The camera angles that were created (for it is animation, not actual shooting) took into account that the movie was about exploration and discovery, not about a cutesy story of sorts. I found this aspect to be extremely impressive. Finally, Spielberg managed to direct the production in such a way that it actually seemed like an adventurous and friendly boy who could use his wits naturally to overcome hardships. This “natural” use of knowledge seemed to be ruined in such films as “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (terrible movie, by the way) where Holmes wasn’t as much a master of knowledge as he was a master of getting lucky. The film was created so that Tintin’s use of his knowledge actually made sense and his successes were actually based off of his knowledge. Also, the soundtrack was pretty good. My only complaint is the emptiness in the plot; It seemed as if it were rushed through in order to tell the entire story in a condensed period of time. As a result, some scenes seemed too short and hollow. But really, that is my only complaint. All in all, this movie earns an 7.5/10 in my books.
Moneyball was an interesting story, especially for me in particular. I am not typically one to be a fan of sports (let alone sports movies), but I found myself captivated by this movie. Pitt, as usual, did an excellent job with his role; However, I felt as if the supporting actor, Jonah Hill. Hill really does an amazing job of filling his role in this film; He really altered his personality and social skills to fit the part. The cinematography, though easily overlooked, was also done very nicely. The outdoor shots were carefully chosen, and the indoor ones were well arranged. Also, it was nice to hear a bit of “The Show”, a song by Lenka. In my opinion, this song is ideal for a little girl to be singing, and this was implemented nicely into the movie (otherwise, the song isn’t really my cup of tea). This movie earns my stamp of approval with a 7.5/10.
2.) The Tree of Life
To sum this movie up in one word: Gorgeous. The cinematography was probably the best I have ever seen. Every single scene and clip was captured with extreme precision and thought, and the results are simply stunning. The story was slightly complicated at times, but for the most part, an imaginative perspective of life as a concept was illustrated in a way that really made you think. Music was not noteable, but again, the cinematography really makes up for it. This masterpiece deserves a good 8.5/10.
1.) The Artist
Finally, the best film to come out of 2011 made its way out at the end of the year. This film was an absolute masterpiece. The entire concept of a silent film in an era where speaking during films is essential to the movie’s quality is interesting. I saw this film in the theaters, which actually adds to the whole effect. Things started off slightly awkwardly where everyone in the theater was clearly thinking something along the lines of “My god, im sitting in a room with around forty others, and everything is silent with only the exception of music… weird”. However, as the movie progresses, it really draws you in, and makes you realize that it does. You are so engrossed with the movie that whenever you realize how much you are actually taken in by it, it comes as a slight shock. I really liked how the acting was really done the way it would have been in a silent movie back in the 20’s-30’s, where none of the modern quirks were added in. The acting was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic, both by starring actor Jean Dujardin and supporting actress Berenice Bejo. The style was old fashioned, the character fit in every circumstance, and the romance was genuine. Finally, the soundtrack, which needed to be better than average because it was the only sound from the movie, was nicely done. Nothing too showy that would take away from the “engrossing” I had mentioned before, but just enough for comfort and ease for the audience. There was just enough drama and tension to keep the romantic aspect in contrast. This work of art deserves a solid 9.5/10 in my books, and is definitely one of the most influential movies that I have seen to date.
Today’s photo is of the Appalachian Mountains, as seen in North Carolina.
Oh, Happy Mardi Gras.