Thursday, January 5, 2012
Tinker Tailor Solider Spy
My View: Tinker Tailor Solider Spy (2011) This film, based on the John le Carre novel of the same name, is about the British Intelligence Agency during the early 1970’s. The agency is in a shambles as its long time leader, Control (played by John Hurt), had to resign due to the death of a British spy in a communist country. Before he leaves office, Control gives a retired spy master (played by Gary Oldman) the difficult task of pinpointing a Russian spy who is one of four people at the top of the British agency. Drink a cup of coffee before you see this film, not because it’s boring, but because you will need to be alert to pay attention to the complex plot that has plenty of twists and turns. This is an incredible cast which includes Hurt and last year’s Best Actor winner, Colin Firth, but it’s Gary Oldman who masterfully plays the man trying to figure out the mystery. His acting, alone, is worth the price of admission. For those of you who say they don’t make films for adults anymore, here is an intelligent film rolled into a highly enjoyable spy-caper. My Rating: Full Price Tinker Tailor Solider Spy Website
My Bottom Ten Films of the Year (Please note, I didn’t see every film, so I missed films like Jack and Jill and New Year’s Eve, both of which I sure would have made the list):
1). Green Lantern (2011) This film, starring Ryan Reynolds, has a storyline that appears to have been written in crayon and special effects that make the film look like it’s a Japanese animated T.V. show in the 80’s. It contains one of the most anti-climactic battle sequences I have ever seen to resolve the battle of good guy vs. bad guy. But, by then, you don’t really care who wins. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again Green Lantern Website
2). Sucker Punch (2011) When I saw the trailer, I was excited to see this film. It looked like a fun comic book-like move about a female action hero. What we got, though, is a depressing film about a young girl who is committed to a mental asylum and uses a fantasy world where she is a super hero to escape the reality of her situation. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again Sucker Punch Website
3). Just Go with It (2011) Adam Sandler plays a jilted plastic surgeon who meets the woman of his dreams (played by Sports Ill. swimsuit model, Brooklyn Decker), but he has to come up with lie upon lie to keep her. Aniston plays his office manager who goes along with Sandler's lies and poses as his soon-to-be ex-wife. This is a film where we are supposed to believe that Sandler has never noticed how beautiful Aniston is until they go on vacation. Maybe someone at the studio thought this was going to be funny, but it’s more likely Sandler just wanted to make a film in
. My Rating: Cable Hawaii
4). Alvin and the Chipmunks – Chip-wrecked (2011) The Chipmunks and the Chipettes are on a cruise ship with Dave (Jason Lee) when they are stranded on deserted island. If you are older than the age of ten, you will want to run out of the theatre when they start singing another Lady Gaga song. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked
5). Red Riding Hood (2011) Just skip on to Grandmother's house and pass up this retelling of the folk tale aimed at the Twilight crowd. Amanda Seyfried is the object of affection of her childhood friend, a man she really loves (played by Shiloh Fernandez) and the boy she is betrothed to (played by Max Irons). There is, however, a werewolf in the neighborhood that she may have to sacrifice herself to so she can save the village. By the end of the film, you just want the wolf to eat everyone. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again Red Riding Hood Website
6). Bad Teacher (2011) Cameron Diaz plays an uninspired junior high teacher who gets dumped by her sugar daddy. She then tries to woo a millionaire (played by Justin Timberlake) who happens to be more into public service than having fun and spending his money. There isn’t one person in this film that you root for, and Diaz’s character is really unlikeable. Also, Timeberlake never finds a way to make his character funny. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again Bad Teacher Website
7). Beastly (2011) It’s a modern day telling of Beauty and the Beast. A young man is cursed by a teen witch (Mary-Kate Olsen of all people) and now looks like a biker who won the lottery and spent all his winnings getting tatted up. Vanessa Hudens is the love interest who, while looking cute, can’t act her way out of a paper bag. I was praying at some point that Angela Landsbury would start singing, but much to my disappointment, the movie just kept going on and on. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it again. Beastly Website
8). Scre4m (2011) Ghost Face is back and killing again. Other than the first five minutes, this film really isn’t worth watching except for the tension between Courteney Cox and David Arquette, who had just filed for divorce when the film was made. While the original Scream was a good twist on the horror /slasher movie, this film is just more of the same – making it an old, tired, bloody mess. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again Scre4m Website
9). The Catechism Cataclysm (2011) With a name like that, how can it be good? An inept priest comes back to his hometown and talks an old buddy into taking a canoe trip with him. This bizarre film is not funny and is just boring. But, hey, if you enjoy a dead person getting a rock for a head (I would say that you have to see it to understand how that can happen but you still wouldn't know) then go ahead and watch this mess of a film. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again The Catechism Cataclysm Website
10). Final Destination 5 (2011) Did we really need another reminder that you can’t cheat death? A group of people nearly escape a collapsing bridge only to be killed by such things as death by Lasik and death by uneven parallel bars. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again Final Destination Website
The following films almost made it into the bottom ten: Conan the Barbarian, The Three Musketeers, Happy Feet Two, Meek’s Cutoff, I Am Number Four, Something Borrowed.
I was able to avoid these films but they keep showing up on other critics' bottom ten lists: Zookeeper, Jack and Jill, Atlas Shrugged: Part I, New Years Eve, Human Centipede II, Your Highness, I Don’t Know How She Does it, Smurfs.
Weird Credits: From the credits of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Property Department Translator
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Albert Nobbs (2011) Glen Close plays a woman who, for thirty years in 19th century
, poses as a man to get work as a butler. Albert Nobbs Website Ireland
Until Next Time!