Best of 2011: The Movies! [FaN Cheers]

Amy says : My favorite movie of the year should have been RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, but I was in the Colorado wilderness the entire time it was in theaters. The original, with Chuck Heston, is my favorite movie of all time. The first time I saw it, I knew I wanted to be an actor. It was also the same night I was recovering from a major blow to my head that resulted in 4 stitches. No definitive answer on if the acting aspirations are related to the head wound. Since I didn’t get to see the great apes, I’m going with THE MUPPETS, just for the sheer joy of it. This movie was chock full of exuberant silliness and dance numbers! Yes, I did tear up during “The Rainbow Connection” and the “Muppet Theme Song.” Jason Segal did a good job (while keeping his clothes on) of churning up emotions from the viewers of my generation, who grew up with THE MUPPET SHOW and also entertaining the younger kiddies with humor and hope. The theater bathroom, post-movie, was filled with young voices singing Manamana, which is very happy making.

And Amy wasn’t the only one who loved this movie. We had so much agreement at FaN this year, that we could easily split our Best of list up as THE MUPPETS, BRIDESMAIDS, ATTACK THE BLOCK, THE LAST HARRY POTTER, and EVERYTHING ELSE. So um, that’s what we did…


It’s a tie between THE MUPPETS and RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES - because those were the movies I came closest to seeing this year. I couldn’t, though because I had to stay home and watch Pawn Stars instead since my DVR was down to 18% and I had to clear space for the Psych marathon over the weekend. It’s a hard knock life for me.

Eric Sims from California Seething

It’s a toss-up between GNOMEO & JULIET and THE MUPPETS. GNOMEO & JULIET is a feast for Shakespeare fans and actor geeks everywhere. Montagues are the blue garden gnomes; the Capulets are the red garden gnomes. Get it? It’s seriously the best, funniest, and surprisingly faithful adaptation of a Shakespeare play I’ve seen in a long time, besting the R & J a German company did in 1995 at the RSC’s London International Shakespeare Festival –  where Juliet refused Paris by stamping her feet and smearing her face with a chocolate bar, a long line of her suitors bearing gifts entered the stage on skateboards, and the balcony scene was done on trapeze. GNOMEO & JULIET is also your one big chance to hear Maggie Smith, Patrick Stewert, Julie Walters, Jason Statham perform together.

Watching THE MUPPETS was like looking in on my childhood, like living Emily’s climactic speech in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” when, during the herafter-death peek in on her life on earth, the morning of her 12th birthday, she says, “Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover’s Corners….Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking….and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths….and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth,you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it–every,every minute?” — only the theme of the movie was that you don’t have to say goodbye. The Muppets never left. The world just…forgot about them.

Oh, Kermit. Piggie! Manomana Doo Doo Da Doo Doo and Wakka Wakka! Someday we’ll find it, The Rainbow Connection! The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me…sniff.

Sarah Fazeli from Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered



BRIDESMAIDS. Because nothing is funnier than watching a girl crap her wedding dress in the middle of the street.

Zack Bunker from Tall Glass of Shame and Runway Rundown


BRIDESMAIDS. This was a huge surprise to me. I have to admit that even though I think I am a highbrow subtitle reading poser, I love juvenile bathroom humor movies, and this one was a bathroom humor movie with heart.  I haven’t laughed so much since SUPER BAD.

Patrick Connolly from Piping Hot Nerd: Adventures of a Bagpiper Mastering Manhattan


BRIDESMAIDS: I can’t remember the last time I almost peed in my pants in a movie theater.

Frankie V from Frankie Says…



It is my mission in life to get every nerd I know to 1) read READY PLAYER ONE, and 2) watch ATTACK THE BLOCK. Both of them are gifts from Nerd Heaven. And ATTACK THE BLOCK is a great crowd pleaser if you’re convening with family over the holidays. It’s the one new release on video right now that everyone over the age of 12 will at least sorta enjoy — like REAL STEEL with English project kids, weed, and aliens. Okay, nothing like REAL STEEL — but it really is a crowd pleaser. Seriously, give it some love. I also adored MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, REAL STEEL, CRAZY STUPID LOVE, and DRIVE.

Ernessa T. Carter from Fierce and Nerdy

ATTACK THE BLOCK. Just go on iTunes right now and rent it. You will not be disappointed.

CH from CH’s Picture of the Day

Going over the list of 2011 movies, I am shocked at both how little I saw and how little I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw. I did like ATTACK THE BLOCK a lot because it was a simple movie, and I am a sucker for sci-fi, cockney Brits, and hip hop. Also liked THOR, CAPTAIN AMERICA, RISE OF THE PLANET APES (amazed at how much I liked this!), FRIGHT NIGHT (also shocked), and THE MUPPETS. Yes, I clearly went style over substance this year.




I’m going to have to geek out and say HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: Part 2. As a longtime HP fan, I’d been waiting for this film for a while, and as someone who didn’t so much love Part 1, or even the film before that, I was worried that they would screw it up. But in my opinion, they didn’t.

Gudrun Cram-Drach from Secret Life of an Expat

That last Harry Potter – I am only saying this cos it is the ONLY movie I saw in the theater!

Missy Kulik from Dork Lifesyle



Michael Winterbottom’s THE TRIP. Not since SIDEWAYS has there been a better exploration of the subtly twisting tides of male friendship. Equally hilarious, heartbreaking and cringe inducing. Plus, it makes you really hungry for scallops.

Ryan Dixon, FIERCE ANTICIPATION editor and writer of The Ryan Dixon Line


SUPER 8 made me feel like a kid growing up in the eighties again.  I loved the storytelling, the emotional adventure, and grew nostalgic for those pre-digital days before twihards and texting.

Roya Hamadani from Fierce Foodie


MONEYBALL. I’m a big baseball fan and I thought this film captured the magic of the 2002 Oakland A’s and the attempt to create the perfect team.  The film takes a hard look at the inside workings of the game from the stats, to recruiting, the politics, and economics involved in signing the perfect player.

Jersey Joe from Kicking Back with Jersey Joe

THE ARTIST.  Precise, moving, deceptively layered, amazing performances and a dance sequence.  Loved it muchly.

Michael Kass from Single White Nerd


The first hour and fifty-five minutes of TAKE SHELTER. TAKE SHELTER is a patient, deeply moving portrayal of a good man trying everything he can to stave off the inevitable destruction of schizophrenia. Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain deserve Oscar consideration.


BELIEVE YOU ME.  Films should mean something and this one does.  Here’s a link:

Josh Pullin from Stay-at-Home Dad

There’s just no way to pick one, so I’ll thumb my nose at the rules and declare that I was equally thrilled by WIN WIN, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, CONTAGION, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, RANG, THE KING’S SPEECH, BEGINNERS, THE BEAVER, BRIDESMAIDS, and HUGO. Let’s just call that my best picture nomination list.

R. B. Ripley from Hyperbolic Tendencies


DRIVE. Who thought an arty little genre movie would have such impact. It was SHANE set in lonely Los Angeles, with a wonderful soundtrack that added to the mood, great performances by all involved (Ryan Gosling even won me back with this one), and great surprises (mostly of the violent sort). Most of all, as an Angeleno I thought it really captured the feel of Los Angeles. Its geography was actually correct in chase scenes, and the sense of isolation in a crowd while driving a car really rang true for the experience of living in L.A.

Joe Rusin from On the Contrary


MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. I expected to see a decent romantic comedy, and it turns out that its actually a fantasy movie And of course, any artist can relate to this theme: “Why does everyone keep calling my art a freaking hobby.” Oh life.

Matt Udvari from Gamer by Design