With the BGH crew's final best of 2011 list creeping ever closer, Casey drops in to illuminate us on his picks for best of the year that was.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 - Sure, “Harry Potter” was written for kids, but the filmmakers did a great job of finishing this franchise up in truly epic fashion. And they kept it nice and dark as well. No pulling punches for the kiddies in this flick!
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - To be honest? "Rise" is one of the finest and purest forms of science fiction we've seen in theaters in some time! A perfectly gripping start to an epic franchise that left me feeling more for the primate characters than for their human counterparts.
Drive Angry 3D - Sure, Nic Cage has hit rock bottom in his acting career, but the guy’s still got some chops. He’s cheesy and ham-fisted, but those qualities fit perfectly in the confines of this grindhouse throwback.
Insidious - I've watched a lot of horror movies in my 37 years. You could say I'm pretty desensitized and jaded when it comes to getting scares in a movie. This one is the first movie in a long time that made me jump continuously and think twice before shutting off the light when I went to bed.
Super 8 - I grew up in the age of Stephen Spielberg, and "Super 8" was a great throwback. The sense of adventure as the kids fought their way through the film smacked of "The Goonies" (I know, not Spielberg!), the fight against the alien felt akin to something like "Jurassic Park". There was a bit of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" in there as well, and all topped off with a touch of heartwarming "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial". How can you not love that?
Melancholia - Me? Not a Lars Von Trier fan. Filled with characters I don't care about, dealing with problems that I live with in my own life? This was two hours of tedium capped off with what could have been some cool science fiction. Instead, the one thing that did lure me in, a planet colliding with earth, turned out to be nothing more than a set piece. Why did I sit through this again?
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - For a movie written by Guillermo Del Toro, I expected something dark and magical. Instead, I got boring and flat out stupid. Pack in a Guy Pearce who's obviously just collecting a paycheck and the emotionless clothes rack that is Katie Holmes, and you've got yourself a boring two hours' worth of frustration.
Season of the Witch - Yes, I sang the praises of Nic Cage for "Drive Angry". "Season of the Witch" was a whole different story. What could have been cool turned into a movie about Nic and Ron Perlman doing a hell of a lot of walking. Hurry up and get there guys, this isn’t "The Lord of the Rings"!