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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Stephanie's Fabulous End of the Year Movie Picks: New Year Edition

There have been many excellent movies this year. And some major stinkers. These are the 3 best as I see it. (Note from Liz: A HUGE thank you to Steph for helping out on the blog and hooking us up with sweet movie goodness every week. She's a killer sister and a great friend.)

The beginning of the end of an epic story is told on the silver screen in this seventh installment in the Harry Potter film series. It features performances by a few of my favorite British actors, namely Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, and the ever wonderful Alan Rickman. As the Dark Lord comes to power, Harry, Ron and Hermoine find themselves on the run in a hunt for the fragments of Voldemort's soul so he can be defeated and peace can return to the wizarding world. While it is a shame that the 3D version of the film was not ready in time for the November 17th release, it hardly needed it. The special effects and performances speak for themselves. And this movie picked a wonderful stopping point in the book. Harry has just rescued Luna and suffered the tragic loss of his friend, the house elf Dobby, and Voldemort has found the Elder Wand. Cliff hangers rock. The audience was riveted by the action and are hungry for the climactic final battle.

Pick #2: The Other Guys
Without a doubt, this was the best comedy of the year. The Other Guys stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as two cops bound to their desks, filling out the paperwork of the hot-shot cliches of their department (played brilliantly by Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson), and have their opportunity for stardom after our affore mentioned action guys die under hilarious circumstances. As I have said in the past, I wasn't particularly a fan of Will Ferrell, but he has earned my laughs this year. And, of course, I have to give props to Michael Keaton for his perfomance as the oblivious, TLC quoting captain of our main characters' department. Always remember to aim for the bushes, whether they exist or not.

Pick #3: Despicable Me
This Universal Studios production is probably the most adorable film I've seen. Its message of the importance of family isn't overpowering and so the viewer gets to enjoy the movie without feeling you're being suckered. The movie features the vocal talents of Steve Carell (Gru), Jason Segel (Vector), and Russell Brand (Dr. Nefario). Gru wants to be a successful supervillain, but always seems to get it wrong. The minions are actually quite cute, in a weird sort of way. And I loved the scenes in the amusement park. "Its so fluffy!"  Gru's plans eventually succeed and he gets the moon, only to realize he doesn't really want to be a villain anymore. *insert "awwww" here*  The disco number at the end is a show-stopper.

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