Friday, February 24, 2012

Best of 2011: 6, 5 & 4 (Steph)

After a few days off I'm back with Nos. 6-4 of my top 10 movies of 2011 list.

6. "The Muppets" - America had long been waiting for The Muppets to return to the big screen. Luckily Jason Segal gave our childhood heroes the movie they so richly deserved. In an art imitates reality twist, The Muppets have disbanded because they're not that popular anymore. However, superfan (and new Muppet) Walter helps get the gang back together for a telethon and it's everything fans had been waiting a lifetime for.

While the film is a funny, family friendly musical, it is also extremely poignant in places. None more so than Kermit singing "Pictures in my Head." What helped this movie more than anything else was Segal and all the other human participants clear love and respect for the history of The Muppets and how that translated to the screen. I dare you not to tear up during "Rainbow Connection."

5. "Captain America: The First Avenger" - Captain America has always been one of the most popular heroes ever, but his sincerity and the time period of his adventures made a movie adaptation a question mark. The most obvious problem, who could exude Cap's patriotism and earnestness. Chris Evans, who was previously Johnny Storm, turned out to be perfect casting. It was his longing to serve his country when everyone kept telling him no that made him a real hero.

Outside of Evans' great performance, the film was beautifully shot. It somehow blended modern effects with a classic style and look. Add in Hugo Weaving as Red Skull and a fantastic ending that set up "The Avengers" perfectly and this was far and away the best comic book movie of the year.

4. "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" - Tim already discussed how truly spectacular the Dubai high rise sequence was, but what got this movie into the top five was how top to bottom good the film was. Everything worked from Tom Cruise's return as Ethan Hunt to Jeremy Renner's introduction to Simon Pegg in the field. Every second of the movie something good was happening. And in IMAX, wow, it was breathtaking.

Up next Nos. 2 and 3.

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