Short Reviews for the Films of 2011 I Watched but Never Reviewed

Now you guys know what I think of the un-reviewed films I put on my 2011 compilation and on my top ten list for 2011. 🙂 Here are the reviews:

Insidious
From the trailer and marketing, this one would appear to be your average haunted house movie.  There’s about the trillionth example of where trailers are incredibly misleading.  One of the only horror films in recent years that made me wonder if I would be able to sleep that night, and only of the only films ever I was willing to watch the next day.  Though there are a few flaws here and there, it makes no difference when in the grand scheme of things, this is a chilling thrill ride.  GRADE: A.

Super 8
Does is really take any research to discover that Steven Spielberg produced this?  No, not at all, I’d say.  This is a blast from the past that reminds us of E.T. and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, two alien films from his earlier directorial roots.  Even better, it’s directed by J. J. Abrams, the producer of recent disaster film CLOVERFIELD and the director of the even more recent STAR TREK.  His science fiction embellishment is mind-blowing and terrific, as is are the performances from a cast mainly of younger teenagers, few of which have recognizable names.  GRADE: A.

Kung Fu Panda 2
Let’s just say I went into the theater skeptical of this film.  I’ve seen the first installment in this series by now, but back when I saw this in June, I hadn’t.  I thought it looked stupid and childish.  Childish, maybe, but not stupid.  Rarely does an animated film bring my inner child out so much and make it laugh so vygourously.  And there’s also the main thing that any animated film needs to succeed: good animation–except the animation here is phenomenal.  GRADE: A-.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins
I’m still not understanding why this film got so much hate.  The book, though I vaguely remember it, was a childhood favorite of mine, and I was quite excited to see the film adaptation.  Okay, maybe it was quite fond of penguin excrement, and it obviously didn’t follow the book well (the book was published over seventy years ago, yet we have cell phones here), but it was better than I expected Jim Carrey to be nowadays, especially in a family movie.  GRADE: A-.

Rio
A voice cast of names that have become familiar in the past five years or so…okay.  When you have will.i.am and Jamie Foxx in a film like this (or a film at all), you should be glad it’s animated and they can’t have full-fledged acting roles.  The premise (a rare bird who doesn’t know how to fly) is what makes this an intriguing movie, or at least I thought so.  Otherwise, it’s just plain cute, with amateur animation that strives to be something of the Pixar variety.  I give it points, also, for attaining a G rating, since that’s nearly impossible because of how tyrannical the MPAA has become with family movies.  GRADE: B.

Soul Surfer
Based on her own memoir, this is the biopic of Bethany Hamilton, a surfer girl who was attacked by a shark at age thirteen, forced to live the rest of her life with a single arm.  It’s a nice, sweet movie that is often suitable for the whole family (except when it makes a show of imitating JAWS), but often gets too noticeable with fluff.  A nice cast, as well.  GRADE: B.

Just Go with It
Surprisingly watchable and entertaining romantic comedy from the recent Adam Sandler.  Very, very funny, but often plagued by being unrealistic and mindlessly crude.  A disappointing performance from Aniston, as well.  GRADE: B-.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Better than the first movie, and nicely entertaining, but for the entire first thirty minutes, I kept thinking, “Why did I decide to watch this?”  GRADE: B-.

Bad Teacher
A teacher…does unfathomably bad things.  Maybe it’s believable when she does all this stuff on her own time, but when she does all of it in front of her students (drinking, swearing, and beyond), it’s impossible to believe.  So unbelievable that it sets the humor back a few ten steps.  GRADE: C-.

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19 thoughts on “Short Reviews for the Films of 2011 I Watched but Never Reviewed

    • I’m going to have to ask you to stop insulting me on my own blog. It’s one thing if you do not agree with me, but it’s another thing if it compels you to insult me, which leads me to wonder why you are reading my reviews in the first place?

      And to answer your question, the series just doesn’t look all that interesting to me. It’s not that I have made an assessment of them that they’re terrible without seeing them; there’s just only certain action movies that I enjoy, and the premise doesn’t look appealing to me.

  1. Can’t believe you gave Breaking Dawn a D. As for these reviews, Insidious, Bad Teacher and Super 8 you’re correct about. But Mr Popper’s Penguins and Just Go With It were lacking. Really surprised you haven’t seen Fast And Furious Five – best 2011 movie in my opinion.

    • Didn’t Think you would have. I saw these all (except for Bad Teacher, which I saw around November, but was too offended to write about it) months ago (obviously before I created my blog in late July of last year), so I had to kind of strain my brain to remember them. The next film I watch and review will be either The Adjustment Bureau, Something Borrowed, Jumping the Broom, or James Cameron’s The Abyss (the special edition extended by an entire forty minutes). I find it funny that Cameron made a film called the Abyss in 89 and then made a similarly titled Titanic doc in 2003. 😀

      • My next review is Drag Me To Hell, it’ll be going up tomorrow. After that, Titanic. Your next one should be The Adjustment Bureau, it’s really good. Please keep away from Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom. I haven’t seen those but, man, do they look terrible! And yeah, the Ghosts of the Abyss/The Abyss title thing confused me, too.

        • I loved Drag Me to Hell. Excited to read your review. Here’s mine:
          http://themoviefreakblog.WordPress.com/review-drag-me-to-hell
          And about Jumping the Broom and Something Borrowed, I understand they look awful. There’s certain films I watch to make fun of (i.e. The Lorax–which I ended up enjoying, a Tyler Perry film if I ever decide to watch one, Plan 9 from Outer Space–thats about the only reason to watch that one, Abduction, etc.) because I expect them to be awful. And Fernando, if you give Titanic anything less than 5 stars, I will cry. 🙂 (Obviously I’m kidding, but it would be a surprise if you gave it anything less than a 4.5. No pressure. :))

            • Mind-bogglingly cheesy?! Are you talking about…
              “Freud? Is he a passenger?”
              …or…
              “Never let go.”
              …or…
              “I saw that once in a nickelodeon and I’ve always wanted to do it.”
              …or…
              “I’m the king of the world!!”
              …or…
              “Draw me like one of your French girls, wearing this. Only this.”
              …or…
              “Mirror looks the same. Reflection’s changed a bit.”
              …or…
              “You’d rather be a whore to a gutter rat??”
              …or…
              “-‘Are you of the Boston Dawsons?’ -‘No, the Chippiwa Falls Dawsons, actually.'”
              …or…
              “My heart will go on…”
              I’ve almost memorized this movie, and I honestly don’t see where it’s cheesy. 🙂

            • I guess the paragraphs were just too short for my mind to fathom when I read it and I didn’t give enough info about my opinion of the film. D: Maybe I’ll watch it again this Halloween and write another review… Speaking of Halloween, did you hear about the upcoming remake of Carrie?? It’s one of my favorite movies (and books) so I can’t wait to see how it turns out!!!

                • Chloe Grace Moretz will do well, it’s clear. Not sure about Moore…don’t recognize her name as much. You really should see the original. A classic horror movie, and even when I try to put it on just for fun and NOT freak out, the last scene always makes me jump. It’s pretty good when a movie that old (about 36 years) works that well today. You may want to read the book first, though. I made the mistake of reading it afterwards, and I probably enjoyed the movie less than I could have. It’s not my favorite Stephen King book (my #1 would be either his endless extension to The Stand or his most recent 11/22/63, which was surprisingly fantastic), but it’s his debut novel, and at that, it’s quite well-done.

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