My top 5 movies of 2011

It’s the end of the year, so you know what time it is? That’s right, it’s time for my 3rd annual top 5 movie blog post.

Looking back to 2009 I was a big fan of comedies, as all of my choices gave a good laugh or two. In 2010 I’m sure I watched funny movies, but I moved on to more dramatic/thriller kind of movies for my top 5 picks. After watching 37 movies this year, let’s see what top picks are. When you’re done scrolling let me know your favourites:

5. 50/50

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, 50/50 is based on a true story of writer Will Reisler who blends the seriousness of a life-threatening cancer story, with comedy.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2It was a long journey but the story of Harry Potter was finally settled, and they couldn’t have finished it in a better way. I found as the cast got older and the storyline became darker, the movies became more entertaining.

3. Bridesmaids

BridesmaidsI hadn’t really seen a comedy that made me laugh til it hurt since The Hangover, but I was expecting Bridesmaids, starring Kristen Wiig and a great cast would at least compete for the title – and it matched it.

2. The Help

The HelpAs I mentioned in my review earlier this year, I was worried the movie version of The Help, wouldn’t live up to the book version – thankfully it did, and then some. This is a great story to open up the discussion of race relations, but also one with strong female characters played by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and (though on the evil side of strong) Bryce Dallas Howard.

1. Super 8

Super 8When I first saw the previews for Super 8 I wasn’t all that excited to see it, but once I watched it I couldn’t take my eyes off the movie, and it shot to the top of my list. I’ve seen a few people saying this J.J. Abrams directed movie is an homage to producer Steven Spielberg’s films like E.T. for the most part, but I could also feel a hint of Hook and Jurassic Park – simply for the use of the children.

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Bridesmaids: A painfully funny movie

Bridesmaids

Kristen Wiig shines in her first starring movie role in Bridesmaids, which was produced by Judd Apatow, directed by Paul Feig and co-written by Wiig as well. While it may come across as such, this movie is definitely not a “chick flick” as many seem to think it is; the producer should be a big hint of what kind of comedy this is.

In her role as Annie, Wiig shows she can hold the starring role in a movie and while I don’t want to see her leave Saturday Night Live, I hope this is the beginning of a string of great comedies by this SNL veteran. Set in Milwaukee and Chicago, Annie isn’t the most successful person in life, and after her friend Lillian, played by former SNL’er Maya Rudolph, asks her to be her Maid of Honor, everything starts going down the toilet – hilariously, of course.

I like the premise because it appeals to both audiences. Forgive the stereotypes, but many women will connect with the characters and storyline, and both men and women can enjoy the raunchy, gross humor; even the love story is one that grows with one comedic event after another.

If anyone takes the limelight from Wiig, it’s Mike & Molly’s Melissa McCarthy who plays Megan, the sister of the husband-to-be. If I’m allowed to draw comparisons, she’s the Zach Galifianakis of the group everything that woman did and said made me and the theatre burst out laughing – I was literally in pain a couple of times.

My only real criticism is that I would have liked to see bigger roles for Ellie Kemper (The Office) and Wendi McLendon-Covey, because the scenes they were in were funny, but for the most part the characters and actors went wasted.

It’s easy to call this movie the female version of The Hangover, as there are a few similarities and the release date is clearly meant to compete with it. I thought the same going in, but other than the cast of characters I wasn’t getting that Hangover vibe at all; this one stood on it’s own. I give Bridesmaids a 5/5 and the best comedy I’ve seen since, well, The Hangover.

Bonus: After exiting the movie, I was handed a free Cineplex movie pass for checking-in on Foursquare and tweeting that I was seeing the movie. I thought that was a great job of tying-in real customer interaction with social media by Cineplex, though I have to admit, I was a bit scared that I did something wrong when the guy called my name out.

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