31 December 2011

2011: Looking Back on Looking Forward

Way back last January we here at Norwegian Morning Wood posted the 11 Things We're Looking Forward to the Most in 2011. At Year's End now it's time to look back on what we looked forward to and see if any of it was worth it. A cursory glance suggests we were waaaayyy off. Let's start with #11:

#11: Battle: Los Angeles (03/11/11) - Terrible. What a mishmash movie that could never quite get its act together. Some impressive battle scenes that showed up already in the trailer, but outside of that, this was not worth the wait. At least it was better than Skyline (2010) in the fact that it didn't make me want to punch babies until my knuckles bled.

#10: Drive Angry (02/25/11) - I didn't actually even end up seeing this. From what I heard it wasn't all that great, although Amber Heard is still a babe. Nothing can slow the Cage down though, if Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012) means anything. Something's got to pay off the IRS, after all.

#9: The Thing (10/14/11) - Some people liked it, but this prequel just couldn't faithfully emulate the spirit of the original or add anything new to the concept, which is something all great remakes, sequels, or prequels need to do. The original The Thing (1982) after all, was a remake itself. You just can't touch classics like this and put this little into it.

#8: Cowboys & Aliens (07/29/11) - Can you believe we looked forward to this? It's starting to look like a trend here. This had everything nerdy going for it, a superb cast, a good director, and an intriguing genre mash-up. It could never get past those surface details though and ended up getting beat-out at the Box Office by The Smurfs (2011). Ouch.

#7: Sucker Punch (03/25/11) - haha fuck!

#6: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (07/15/11) - I think this was a worthy capstone to the Harry Potter Experience over the past decade, but there were some glaring problems and leaps of logic that the sheer emotional catharsis of the series ending couldn't cover over. All in all it was a very cool flick though and as far as Harry Potter films go, taking this and Part 1 together makes the most complete of any film in the series.

#5: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (07/01/11) - A tremendous improvement on the second installment and one of the better Alien Invasion flicks of the year, Transformers 3 really does capture the oppressive mood of a technologically superior occupation (stay with me here), even if the first half's awkward Sam and Rosie moments are pretty forgettable. These movies are at their best when they stick to the explosions, although admittedly Optimus Prime is just too awesome to contain and the rest of the Autobots still suck complete balls.

#4: Year of the Portman - This wasn't as big a deal as it seemed like it would be. She wasn't a huge presence in THOR (2011) and her other movies bombed hard. No Strings Attached (2011) was actually decent, but it left almost no pop cultural impact. Nothing else major except some Dior ads the rest of the year. Not great.

#3: Detox by Dr. Dre (February?, 2011) - "Kush" and then...wait was this even released? Last January this was slotted for February 2011? Are you kidding me, Dre? "I Need a Doctor" isn't even that good! Maybe that's why it's "back to the lab again." Keyshawn Johnson would give a big "C'MON MAN!" for that!

#2: The Return of Parks and Recreation (01/20/11) - Thank goodness, finally something on this list that turned out better than we even expected. This is not only one of the funniest shows on television, it's one of the best written, character-driven and genuinely warm and fuzzy half hours on the tube. It's that rare show where every single character is awesome and likeable and the humour doesn't come at the expense of anyone. Not even Jean-Ralphio.

#1: THOR (05/06/11) - This was pretty awesome. I enjoyed THOR tremendously despite the rampant commercialization, Avengers-tie ins, and worthless Kat Dennings characters. It kicked off Summer, along with a nice string of Marvel Property hits and could have easily slipped into Green Lantern (2011) territory. Ouch. I'm not sure a sequel is as necessary as Chris Hemsworth's ubiquitous presence in The Avengers (2012), but it's inevitable.

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