This year’s first movie list! This is probably my favorite list to discuss, because most of these movies caught me off guard and though they may not be the best movies I’ve seen all year, they certainly had an extra surge of entertainment value due to my low (or sometimes uninformed) expectation.
1. Crazy, Stupid, Love (3) – RomComs don’t do much for me, mostly because I find them terribly formulaic, but this one had a few things going for it. 1. Ryan Gosling (more on that later…maybe). 2. Multiple plot lines that you actually care about. 3. TWIST! I won’t say more, but if you are expecting the same boy-meets-girl routine, you won’t find it here.
2. Limitless (3) – This one just keeps going and going (in a good way). What if you could take a drug that made you awesome? Not just feel awesome (I don’t really have any experience with drugs save for daily doses of the socially acceptable amounts of caffeine), but actually be awesome. Yeah, I’ll watch 2 hours of that.
3. Lincoln (4) – sometimes a period piece or a movie that is historical/biographical in nature will get me bored (Walk the Line, for example). But truly, I was on the edge of my seat for the entire movie. That’s excellent considering I kind of already knew what was going to happen. I knew Lincoln would be good, I just was surprised at how good it was.
4. Jack Reacher (3) – Whenever I see a Tom Cruise movie, I always tell the same joke (to whoever is listening), “Every Tom Cruise movie could be entitled Tom Cruise.” You just kind of know what you are going to get with nearly every Cruise movie that ever existed ever. But Jack Reacher? Something weird happened where I was perfectly at home with the pacing, acting, and Cruise-ish-ness. He was still himself, but I had such a blast with this movie never once wanting to check my email or refill my popcorn.
5. Dredd 3D (2.5) – I’ve never seen the original (so I don’t care about the rebooting). I don’t like 3D movies (wearing 2 sets of glasses, yuk). The trailer was bad. So why go see it in the first place? Well, sometimes a guy just needs to go watch another guy shoot all the bad guys and blow everything up. And that’s what you are going to get. Dredd delivers on exactly what it promises and nothing more (nothing less). I don’t want you to think that Dredd has some kind of hidden gem that you can discover by seeing it. It doesn’t. There’s barely a discernable plot and zero character development. There are no break-out performances, and no twists. And it’s awesome fun.