Monday, February 20, 2012

Best movies of 2011: Nos. 10 & 9 (Dan)

Editor's note: To coincide with the Oscars on Sunday the Inscaped staff are posting their lists of the best movies of 2011.

Unlike other best of lists you won't see a bunch of pretentious movies you've never heard of. We like to focus on films that the general public actually sees. With that in mind get ready for some unconventional surprises.

10. "Horrible Bosses"

This will be debated. More than any other movie on this list, this is a pick that is purely out of my own personal taste. Which really just means that Tim may call me insane. But hear me out!

"Horrible Bosses" starts off as a loosely-fitted film that takes three ordinary Joes with... HORRIBLE BOSSES. Get it? That's the movie name.

But like an amateur pilot taking to the cockpit of a passenger plane and landing it safely, the three leads make this movie something more than just another casual brofilm. It's actually an enduring tale of losers finally taking control. Whether or not that is a good thing is decided in the plot.

Now here's my chance to rave about Charlie Day. If you don't know him, it's not a surprise. He mostly does his work on "It's Always Sunny In Philidelphia" on FX. But Day may be one of the best underrated actors of our generation. He has the voice of a perpetual clown. He can read you the morning news and you'd be chuckling. As a physical comedian, all it takes is him kicking open a door and yelling "WILDCARD, BITCHES!" to make you double over.

So when Day treads known ground of the dolt who accidentally snorts coke, you don't expect much. BUT... When you see him coked out, alone in a car in the middle of the night on a dark street, passionately singing The Ting Tings "That's Not My Name," how can you NOT enjoy yourself??

Maybe you won't like "Horrible Bosses." But if you can forgive a flimsy premise and enjoy comedians doing good work, you'll walk away with some great laughs.

9. "Rango"

Full disclosure: I love a good animated movie. And the last decade has been good eating for me! Animated features are maybe the most hit and miss medium in film imaginable. So when you see a cartoon where you forget it's a cartoon (a la "The Incredibles," "Up," "Tangled"), it means you're watching a great movie.

Rango is a big hit that way; halfway through the story of a chameleon who wants to strike it big and ends up in over his head when he stumbles into a high-tension Western, you forget that it's just a bunch of lines and colors. You want to see Rango be a hero as much as you feel a little terrified of Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy).

If "Rango" was a live action western-comedy, it would have made a much bigger splash. But let your inner child out and go enjoy yourself a good ol' lizard shootout!

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