2011: The Year in Review (Observations & Wrap-Up)

I did the compiling — now it’s time to actually figure out what it all means.

I have made a list of every film that appears on Wikipedia’s 2011 in film article (and even some that don’t), as a list of all films that came out in 2011. I’ve cross-checked that list with every film I’ve seen this year (every single one has been reviewed in my Movie Year in Review articles: here, here and here), as well as all of the films I previewed back in January as they were, at the time, scheduled. Then I wrote a final review of my thoughts on the films as they stand now, days, weeks and even months after seeing them. And then I concluded with a quick analysis of how close I was, based on what I thought I’d rate the film back in January and what I actually thought about the film.

So now what? Now it’s time to add everything up, and really see how close I was, all things considered. Admit it, you don’t remember anything I said in those articles. You probably didn’t even read them. Come on. I know you. You know you can’t read. I’m compiling everything here, so you don’t need to go back and look at all those. I’m not sure exactly how I’m gonna go about it, so we’re both gonna find out together. Keep reading, it’ll be exciting.

All right. Let’s start with the easy one — which is: films I didn’t preview in January, therefore couldn’t be right or wrong about (despite me thinking I’d have put down a certain rating). If I didn’t put anything down, then nothing was said and it can’t count. It’s only fair.

(I won’t bother with the films that didn’t come out. I took care of that earlier today.)

Here are the films that, for whatever reason, my heart or my shoes I didn’t preview in January, so I couldn’t judge my correctness or incorrectness (whether I saw them or not):

Sanctum, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Super, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, The Art of Getting By, Another Earth, Attack the Block, The Guard, One Day, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, The Debt, Creature, I Don’t Know How She Does It, Burke and Hare, Killer Elite, Courageous, Margaret, Dirty Girl, Take Shelter, The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), The Big Year, Father of Invention, Margin Call, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Like Crazy, The Double, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, J. Edgar, Melancholia, Albert Nobbs, Shame, The Artist, Young Adult, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Carnage, The Iron Lady, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

And, the other easy category. Here are the films I didn’t see, but previewed back in January (since I took care of the ones I didn’t see and didn’t know about up there):

Barney’s Version, The Heart Specialist, The Rite, From Prada to Nada, The Eagle, Beastly, Mars Needs Moms, Jane Eyre, Win Win, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Insidious, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family, Prom, Jumping the Broom, Final Destination 5, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, Anonymous, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.

Okay, smaller version, but no less important — films I previewed but didn’t guess what I’d rate them, because they didn’t have release dates and weren’t guaranteed to come out. Even though I can guess what I’d have said about them, I didn’t, so I can’t include them. Here they are:

Rubber, Hobo with a Shotgun, Meek’s Cutoff, The Conspirator, The Beaver, Last Night, Everything Must Go, Atlas Shrugged: Part I, Henry’s Crime, Midnight in Paris, The Whistleblower, Our Idiot Brother, Red State, 50/50, The Ides of March, Trespass, The Rum Diary, Son of No One, London Boulevard, The Descendants, A Dangerous Method, Rampart, My Week with Marilyn, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Lot of films there. The first set — some of them I can’t explain. I’ll try to do better this year. The rest make sense to me. I won’t explain them, because that takes time. The second set — I’d only even think to see maybe like four of them. I will only end up seeing maybe two of them. I am not sorry. Third set — this year I will be rating everything whether it has a release date or not. If it’s even a possibility to come out next year, I’m slapping a rating on that bitch.

Okay. That’s out of the way. Right there, a whole chunk of films are taken off. Don’t worry, though, there’s still a shitload more that counted.

First, we’ll start with the basics. A simple count, before we start analyzing. Just a list. We’ll tally when we’re done.

Here are the films I guessed exactly (no qualifiers):

Season of the Witch, The Dilemma, The Green Hornet, No Strings Attached, Just Go With It, The Roommate, Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son, Gnomeo and Juliet, I Am Number Four, Hall Pass, The Adjustment Bureau, Red Riding Hood, Paul, Soul Surfer, Rio, Water for Elephants, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Tree of Life, Beginners, Super 8, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Bad Teacher, Cars 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Monte Carlo, Zookeeper, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, Winnie the Pooh, Captain America: The First Avenger, Friends with Benefits, Crazy Stupid Love, The Help, Apollo 18, Straw Dogs, Moneyball, What’s Your Number?, Footloose, Paranormal Activity 3, The Three Musketeers, Johnny English Reborn, In Time, Tower Heist, Jack and Jill, Hugo, The Muppets, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Darkest Hour, War Horse.

Now, the ones I call correct, with qualifiers. First are the ones I call correct because I didn’t award half-stars in January:

The Way Back, Unknown, Source Code, Priest, X-Men: First Class, The Smurfs, Fright Night, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, Colombiana, Dream House, Puss in Boots, New Year’s Eve, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Adventures of Tintin.

Now for the ones I call exact based on the wording (Example: I said 3 stars, but then said higher or lower based on certain factors):

The Company Men, Cedar Rapids, Drive Angry, Kill the Irishman, Rango, Thor, The Hangover: Part II.

Note: I consider all those to be dead on, or at least, correct. Even if they weren’t perfect, I treat them like when the teacher is like, “Well, I guess,” and just gives you the check mark.

Now for the ones with slight inquiries to be had. I’m calling inquiries on the ones where I was less than a star off, but my wording wasn’t precisely clear as to whether I was right or wrong. Or, in certain cases, I expected 4 stars and got 4.5 or 5 stars. Anything remotely questionable, I put an inquiry in for, and I’ll talk through what I think are the best ways to proceed on them:

Country Strong. In January, I said 3, 2 if it’s schmaltzy, probably 2.5, but swaying depending on the film. I wasn’t definitive, but in a way, it was correct. I gave it 2 stars. So it’s not entirely correct, but it’s also not entirely wrong, and I gave myself a lot of outs. I can’t really call this totally correct, and I can’t call it incorrect either. Let’s call it a push, since I called it well but somehow went high on the rating. Half-stars would have helped.

Battle: Los Angeles. I said 2 stars, but gave it 1 star. However, it was a 2 in execution, and I just despised it. So, while it was worse than expected, that’s how Unforgivables work. In a way, I was right, given that it was actually a 2 star movie, but in another way, I did despise it and thought it would be generic. After weighing everything, I say this counts as being correct.

Hop. I said 2 stars, expecting I wouldn’t like it. Gave it 1 star, because it annoyed me. In a way I was correct in my assumption, but slightly off on the rating. Could go either way. Since I said nothing but negative things about this, I’m saying it was mostly correct.

Hanna. I said 4 stars and knew I’d like it, and got 5 stars and a potential Top Ten. I was right in knowing I’d really like it, and am calling this right even though I didn’t guess exact 5. (It’s hard to start expecting things to be perfect so far out. Loving something after guessing you’d really like it isn’t that much of a stretch.)

Fast Five. Said 3, got 3.5. Close, but it still exceeded expectations. Gray area. Not sure if I’d have gone with 3.5 even if I did do half-stars. Calling it a push, since there’s no outside judge.

Something Borrowed. Said 2, but was wary for unforgivable. It was 1, and was unforgivable. I say mostly right, since I saw the potential and was trying to be optimistic.

Bridesmaids. Said 2 stars, expected to not like it (and even thought it could be Unforgivable). I gave it 3 stars, and didn’t hate it, but I definitely didn’t like it as much as everyone else did. And I think my expectations of not liking it and my actual status of not really liking it all that much put it partially right, but also not exactly. Calling it gray area, even though I think I did well here.

Cowboys & Aliens. Said 4, with the chance to go down to 3. It went down to 3. So I wasn’t wrong, but I wasn’t totally exact. I guess I’d call it wrong, since it was worse than I expected it to be.

Contagion. Said 4, possibly 5, got 3.5. I’d have called it good if it weren’t for that 5 thing. I wasn’t wrong, but I wasn’t totally right. I’m calling it a push.

Drive. Said 4, got 4.5. I call it correct anyway.

Abduction. I said 1 star and expected it to suck. Thing is — it did suck, but was halfway to actually being generic. So I don’t know what to do here. Though, my whole thing was, this could have been okay with a lead that wasn’t Taylor Lautner. With him, it was bad. Not sure. Let’s call it wrong. I was still a star off. (Note: So was the film.) (That joke was worth being wrong.)

Arthur Christmas. I said 3, but I got a 3.5. Not sure what I would have done with half-stars, so it’s gray area. Calling it a push without an outside judge.

The Sitter. I guessed 3, and said it could go higher to 4 and could go lower to 2. I didn’t do half stars, so I didn’t even entertain the possibility of the 3.5 that I eventually gave it. So it’s hard to know how right or wrong I was. I pretty much left it at “wait and see,” so, it’s pretty much gray area through and through.

Now for the ones where I was off:

The Mechanic. Said 3, possibly 2. Got 3.5.

Take Me Home Tonight. Said 2, got 3. Not strong 3, but definitely not a 2.

Limitless. Said 1 and on Unforgivable watch. It was 2 and bad, but not awful.

The Lincoln Lawyer. Said 2 stars. It was 3.5.

Sucker Punch. Said 3, maybe 4, but it has to overcome the fakeness (obvious green screen) of it all. Got 2 and Unforgivable.

Arthur. Said 4, gave it 2.

Your Highness. Said 4 and that if it sucks, I’d take full responsibility. Gave it 2.5. I take full responsibility.

Scream 4. Said 4, got 3.

Green Lantern. Said 3, even though I wasn’t looking forward to it. Got 2 and unforgivable. Don’t think anyone expected it to be that bad.

Larry Crowne. Said 3, let the movie decide. Gave it 2. Close, but not exact.

Horrible Bosses. Said 2, got 3. Slightly better, but not great.

The Change-Up. Said 2, got almost 3. Definitely better than I expected it to be, even though it wasn’t that great.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Said 2 to be strict, even though it would probably be a 3. It was a solid 4. Definitely surprised.

30 Minutes or Less. Said 4, got 2.5.

Conan the Barbarian. Said 4, got 2.

Shark Night 3D. Said 4, got 2.

Warrior. Said 4, got 3.

Dolphin Tale. Said 3, got 2.

Real Steel. Said 3, got 4.

The Thing. Said 4, got 2.

Immortals. Said 4, got 3.

Happy Feet Two. Said 4, got 3.

Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. I said 3 (and said it could be 4, but it needed to prove itself), and might have given it a 3.5 in January if I did half-stars, but it was still 4 stars, and I’m calling it wrong (but in the best way possible).

– – – – – – – – – –

Now, if I’ve counted correctly, I’ve tracked 189 films that came out this year. (Though I know something must have been missed. I haven’t come up with the same number more than once yet.) Not that that particular number matters.

Of those approximately 189:

39 I didn’t preview in January, either because I didn’t know about them, missed them, or because they didn’t have release dates and I wasn’t sure if they’d be out this year.

24 I previewed but didn’t rate, so I couldn’t count them.

19 I previewed but didn’t see.

So that’s 82 right off the top. Sadly that leaves us only with a sample size of 108 films. Not bad, but — I’ll try to do better this year.

So, we have 107 films left. Of those:

49 I guessed exactly.

14 I guessed exactly, in that my opinion was exactly as I thought it would be, and, if I awarded half-stars, I’d have had it exact.

7 I guessed exactly based on the wording of what I said, even if the actual rating wasn’t precisely the same (you can read the reviews if you don’t believe me).

Now, we have 13 films where there are inquiries:

I consider myself to have gotten 5 mostly (or just plain) correct, 2 wrong, and 6 in the gray area.

And there are 23 I consider myself to have gotten wrong. Unequivocally wrong.

There is 1 film left to go. And that’s We Bought a Zoo. I will see it when I see it, and if that’s within reason, I’ll update this article.

Now if I’m counting correctly, I believe that puts my record, from 107 films, at 75-25-6.

Even if we count those 6 gray area films as wrong, that still puts me at 75-31.

My record, at best, will be 76-31, and at worst, 75-32. That equates to about (exact number once I get those three films in) at .700 or .710 win percentage. That’s the equivalent of an 11-4-1 season. Which I’ll take. Because this is much more impressive to me than an 11 win season. (I’m attempting to look at this from the perspective of, “I know myself very well,” and not, “Hollywood is so predictable.”)

Also, just to point out — in baseball, that’s the equivalent of a 115 win season. Just sayin’.

Next year, things won’t be this good. Next year, I’m rating 95% of what’s out, so I’m figuring that means I’ll be wrong much, much more than I was this year. We’ll have to figure out a system that will accurately gauge right or wrong, since a lot of the time, my ratings will be half-stars off a lot. I’ll guess 3, get 3.5, stuff like that. I guess that all will come down to the wording. I don’t know, we’ll figure it out next year.

I’ll think about it tomorrow.

Or, for a significantly smaller portion of the people reading this — Thursday. We’ll play on Thursday.

Basically, though — I did pretty well this year. That’s kind of the general point of all this.

– – – – – – – – – –

Now that the personal back-slapping and masturbation is aside (within arm’s reach though. Hi yo!), I’ll get to the observations part. Or the wrap-up part. I don’t fucking know which one this is.

I’d just like to point out which films did actually surprise me, and either apologize for my excitement, praise the stuff that didn’t suck when I thought it would, or just wonder what the fuck happened.

First, just looking at what films I didn’t see, out of everything:

Sanctum, the Bieber movie, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, The Art of Getting By, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Creature, Margaret, Courageous, Dirty Girl, The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), The Big Year, The Double, Barney’s Version, The Heart Specialist, The Rite, From Prada to Nada, The Eagle, Beastly, Mars Needs Moms, Win Win, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Insidious, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family, Prom, Jumping the Broom, Final Destination 5, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, Anonymous, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.

Most of these make sense.

First, there are the “never gonna happens”: Bieber, Judy Moody, From Prada to Nada, Beastly, Prom. Kids movies, not good movies — not for me. Leave ’em alone. Pretty sure 99% of people who see lots of movies each year haven’t seen these.

Then there are the horror movies: Creature, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark The Rite, Insidious, and, to a lesser extent, Final Destination 5, though that’s gonna go on the next list. We know I don’t like horror movies, and I’ll generally skip them. It was bound to happen. They’re just not my genre.

Next, franchise films where I either never saw past the first one, never saw any of them, or gave up on them long ago: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (didn’t see the first one, plus it’s for kids. I don’t really care), Final Destination 5 (it’s horror, and I haven’t seen past the first one), Twilight (haven’t seen any of them) The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) (though that one’s more of a — I haven’t seen the first one, and will probably never watch it unless I’m drinking with a large group of people. I wouldn’t want to watch this movie alone, just because — why?), Alvin and the Chipmunks (haven’t seen past the first one, and why would I want to subject myself to abject torture?).

Next: the “Urban” films: The Heart Specialist, Jumping the Broom, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family. I am not the market for these films. I do not feel bad about not seeing them. Also, Tyler Perry movies also count as the “never gonna happens” as well as the “franchises I don’t give a shit about,” since he’s technically a franchise. Also, to me, they also kind of count as horror movies.

Which only leaves 13 films that are remotely in question. Though I can lightning round a couple of them off right now:

Courageous — a Christian cop drama, promoting religious values.

The Double — the twist was spoiled in the trailer (and for those who say that it wasn’t — the fact that they spoiled what would have been a twist clearly tells you there’s another twist, and it’s really obvious what it is. I know how actors operate. They want to start playing certain roles, so you’ll see similar things come in bunches. Topher Grace played this exact role in Predators. Haven’t seen a frame of film outside the trailer, and I already know what happens. Somebody who’s seen it — tell me I’m wrong). I don’t need to ever see this, because I already have.

Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star — financed by Adam Sandler’s company, the trailer was laughably bad, and it got some of the worst reviews I’ve seen in a while. Plus it was released in like, ten theaters and hidden from view. So, really no need there.

The Eagle — Roman sword and sandal film. They haven’t been doing these very well over the past couple of years. They were fun in the 50s and 60s because they were fun and adventurous and campy, but now, they try to do that Gladiator action with them. I don’t like that. This was an obvious skip.

So that’s 4. 9 left.

I’ll tell you right now: Margaret, Anonymous and The Big Year, I’d have seen if I had the opportunity. Plus I have Barney’s Version on a hard drive somewhere and just haven’t watched it. So those will be seen by some point, so I don’t even really count those. Plus Barney’s Version is a 2010 film (remember, Giamatti win a Golden Globe last year for it), so that’s why I didn’t feel it had to be seen for this.

Sanctum and Mars Needs Moms I didn’t see because I just didn’t think I’d like them. I’ve been watching all the animated films the past couple of years, even though the really kiddie ones are almost unbearable. Something like Mars Needs Moms is not made for me, so I don’t feel a compulsion to see it. And Sanctum — I really was only gonna see it if it got exemplary reviews and seemed like something that mattered. Otherwise, I treated it as a Jim Cameron experiment to try to get people so see stuff in 3D. Like, “See how we can do a thriller well in 3D?” I wasn’t seeing it in 3D, and since I still haven’t even seen The Descent, which is like, the mother of all cave movies, seeing this would really have just been like seeing Batman Forever before The Dark Knight. (Assuming a world where you hadn’t seen any of the Batman movies.)

So we’re really down to three films where I feel any kind of guilt or feeling about not having seen them.

The Art of Getting By — this one I was gonna see, but it got such mixed reviews, and no one seemed to give a shit about it, that I just decided to skip it entirely. I felt slightly bad about not seeing it after telling myself I would, but, honestly, I don’t really care. I’ll forget about this come January 1st. (Though if it were Watch Instant, I’d have checked it out. Just sayin’.)

Dirty Girl — This one I just couldn’t find. Never had an opportunity to see it. Otherwise I almost certainly would have. I blame this on that. There’s a small part of me that says (based on the reviews) that I wouldn’t have, but I think I probably would have.

Win Win — This one I never really cared about seeing at all. It’s just — it’s gotten such a positive response that I felt somewhat obligated to check it out. But honestly, I really don’t care all that much about seeing this, and once the “deadline” passes, I probably won’t ever see this unless something compels me in the future. But, I just don’t like Giamatti, and that (plus the response for it. It’s one of those things where, people did nothing but talk up this film and didn’t talk up the actual great films. That annoys me. When people latch onto something and shout about it and completely marginalize everything else) led me to just not want to see it. I might see it eventually, I just can’t for the foreseeable future (unless it gets nominated, which is like a 2% chance).

All right, that’s just what I haven’t seen. Most of it — makes sense. I feel like no one would really fault me for any of those (maybe Win Win, but I feel I made my case pretty clear there), and if you did — I saw 150 films this year (plus Shame, Marilyn, Dragon Tattoo, War Horse, We Bought a Zoo and Iron Lady to come). Just be close to that number before you say something. That’s all I ask.

Now, from what I have seen, here are some points I want to make (they’ll mostly be random musings):

  • Surprisingly strong year for indie movies. I say that because, usually there are some I enjoy, but rarely do they have chances at making my top ten list. Another Earth and Like Crazy were really strong films, and Another Earth is still fighting for a potential top ten spot.
  • Note: While Shame is an indie film, I don’t consider it a true indie. It’s got major players in it. Like Blue Valentine wasn’t a real indie. When you have a deal with Fox Searchlight/The Weinstein Company, you’re no longer indie. That’s not to say it’s not an indie, it’s just — there are levels. The studio indie (the least indie level) is stuff like Precious. Remember when they tried to paint that like it wasn’t backed by Tyler Perry and Oprah? Until it was? That’s not an indie. That’s a low budget film from a studio you’re calling an indie. Then the second level is Blue Valentine, the indie that is made on the cheap, independently, with major stars, and then is picked up and distributed by a studio. This basically just means more people will see it, but it’s still a major indie. The real indies are stuff like Another Earth and Like Crazy, films that — if they don’t go over well at festivals, you’ll never hear about them ever again. There are at least ten films every year from Sundance you don’t even know about. So just to clarify, when I mention an indie film, I’m talking about the true indies. Films that you don’t even know about until May.
  • The trendy indies again disappoint for me, though. We Need to Talk About Kevin and Martha Marcy May Marlene were being talked about as these brilliant films. Both were solid, but were lessened for me because of the internet. Next year continues my search to stay both informed and totally isolated.
  • Jumping off that last point — I did find that not watching trailers this year has helped me. Last year, I watched every trailer for almost every movie. And I developed preconceived notions about them. This year, I knew as little as possible going into a film (for the most part), and it actually worked out. I found myself able to go in with a (mostly) open mind. The only real thing that derailed some films for me (aside from their quality) is when the internet was going crazy over something. So next year, I think I’ll try and continue not watching trailers, unless it’s something I know I will see (like Dark Knight Rises. But even that, I almost didn’t want to watch the trailer). It’s making me less cynical about things.
  • Also, to clarify: When I say the internet is going crazy, I mean — say I’m reading an article (or several. Be it by the same person, site, or just in general), and they’re talking about stuff that looks like it’s gonna be strong for the Oscar season, and they go, “Why isn’t anyone talking about Win Win? It’s one of the strongest films of the year!” And then they keep doing it. Every article you read continues to mention it and mention it, and it just feels like an attack. If I read something once, I’ll go, “You know, maybe I’ll check it out.” If I read it over and over, and each time it’s like, “Ugh, again with the disrespect for this film. It’s better than half the shit out there!”, I’m not gonna want to see it. And that’s what the internet often feels like. (And it gets worse when you get the watered down version of that. Like when those mainstream sites (or worse, random blogs) make their stupid top ten lists about the dumbest things (or just really obvious things. “Top Ten Valentine’s Day Movies”? That’s a new one. Oh, what a surprise, you put a movie called Valentine’s Day on it. Oh, and you put the movie that just came out this year. Way to try to get more site hits), they do “Top Ten Films You Need To See This Oscar Season,” and it’ll be shit like: 1) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 2) War Horse, 3) some random South African film no one’s heard of, 4) Tintin, 5) My Week with Marilyn, 6) The Artist, 7) random Swedish film that’ll be nominated for Foreign Language Film 8) Win Win (and they’ll talk about how it was underappreciated), 9) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, 10) The Iron Lady. And you’re like, “You missed so many good films. Half of these won’t factor into any of the major categories, and all the bullshit you wrote in the blurb is literally just the watered down version of what everyone else has been saying. (Ladies and gentleman this is Mambo #5 — Hollywood.)
  • It’s nice to find a hidden gem here or there. The key is to look at a bunch of stuff, and if you see that something looks interesting, even if it’s not getting a wide release, seek it out. I did that with Burke and Hare and really enjoyed it.
  • Attack the Block seems to be a bit overrated by people. That’s not to say it’s a fun movie, but I think people are getting a bit out of hand with this one. That’s just me.
  • The stuff that seemed like obvious Oscar films were pretty underwhelming for me. I guess that happens pretty much every year, though. Plus that seems more like something for the “What Have We Learned” article. Or maybe not. Actually, maybe it is best done here. My point was — actually, I don’t really know what my point was. Overall, it was a pretty shitty year for movies, actually. It actually felt worse than last year, and I hated last year (outside of the awards films). I don’t know what it is — it just feels empty.
  • All of my five star films made my top ten list.
  • I ended up liking every superhero movie a lot less than I thought I did. All of them lost a half-star from their initial review. Almost all the summer movies have lost their luster to me by now. Goes to show how much substance they don’t have.
  • Films that really surprised me for the positive: Real Steel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Fast Five, Arthur Christmas, The Three Musketeers, The Mechanic, The Lincoln Lawyer, Kill the Irishman, Henry’s Crime, Burke and Hare, Our Idiot Brother, Killer Elite, Like Crazy, Another Earth (these last two are because I have zero faith in independent films to actually be as good as what the internet says about them).
  • Films that surprised me for the negative: Battle: Los Angeles, Sucker Punch, Cowboys and Aliens, Arthur, Bridesmaids (after the buzz. On its own, it was pretty close to what I expected), Your Highness, Green Lantern, Shark Night, Conan the Barbarian, The Thing. (You’ll notice something about a few of these tomorrow.)

That’s about it, really. I guess anything else would be overlapping with the “What Have We Learned?”

Oh, also, while I’m here — let’s break down all the ratings I gave. I’ll see how many stars I gave for each rating. As in:

I gave 8 films 5 stars. (40)

I gave 6 films 4.5 stars. (27)

I gave 27 films 4 stars. (108)

I gave 26 films 3.5 stars. (91)

I gave 37 films 3 stars. (111)

I gave 17 films 2.5 stars. (42.5)

I gave 21 films 2 stars. (42)

I gave 2 films 1.5 stars. (3)

I gave 8 films 1 star. (8)

I gave 1 film 0 stars.  (Which, coincidentally, is the #1 film on the Unforgivables list — which is coming out tomorrow.)

(Also keep in mind, this is sans My Week with Marilyn, Shame, We Bought a Zoo and The Iron Lady. Which, if I had to guess flat out right now, I’d say are two 4s a 3.5 and a 3. Not sure what’s gonna be what, but that’s what I’m figuring to get out of those.)

Also, just so we’re clear, it’s only based on what I’ve seen. There’d be a lot more 2s and below had I seen the films I deliberately did not see. So this number isn’t exactly accurate. Actually, here’s what we’ll do:

Based on what I saw, my average rating for 2011 (again, not including those 4, but it doesn’t really change at that point with or without those) was a 3.1.

Also, keep in mind, if I added the 30 films I didn’t see (and this is all conjecture), I believe I’d be adding one 3.5, four 3s, seven 2.5s, thirteen 2s, one 1.5 and four 1s to the list (not gonna tell you what was for what film. That’s for you to guess), and taking my average rating down to 2.9. Again, this is all conjecture. Either way, though, a 3 rating seems about average. So I feel this has been a standard year.

Also fascinating would be to see how I rated each month. That is, what the average rating was for each month of the year (and how this clearly ties into my How to Read a Hollywood Release articles):

January had an average rating of about 2.9, with one 4, two 3.5s, two 3s, and three 2s. However, three of those were 2010 films (Country Strong, The Company Men and The Way Back). If we factor in just the 2011 films, the average rating (minus a 2, a 3.5 and a 4) was 2.7.

February had an average rating of 2.3 (really 2.25) (wow), with two 4s, one 3.5, no 3s at all, two 2.5s, two 2s, two 1s, and a 0.

March had an average rating of 2.7, with one 4, three 3.5s, three 3s, two 2s, one 1.5 and one 1.

April had an average rating of 2.9, with one 5, three 4s, two 3.5s, six 3s, two 2.5s, one 2, and one 1.

May had an average rating of 3.1, with one 4.5, two 4s, two 3.5s, four 3s, two 2.5s, and one 1.

June had an average rating of 3.1, with one 4, two 3.5s, four 3s, and one 2.

July had an average rating of 3.1, with two 5s, one 4.5, one 4, one 3.5, five 3s, two 2s, one 1.5, and one 1.

August (oh boy) had an average rating of 2.8, with two 4s, one 3.5, one 3, six 2.5s, and two 2s.

September had an average rating of 3 (2.97, actually), with two 4.5s, three 4s, three 3.5s, two 3s, six 2s, and one 1.

October had an average rating of 3.1, with one 4.5, three 4s, two 3.5s, four 3s, three 2.5s, and two 2s.

November (which will be edited once I see My Week with Marilyn) had an average rating of 3.5, with two 5s, one 4.5, four 4s, three 3.5s, five 3s, one 2.5 and one 1.

December (which will be edited once I see Shame, We Bought a Zoo and The Iron Lady) had an average rating of 3.9, with three 5s, four 4s, four 3.5s, one 3, and one 2.5.

– – – – – – – – – –

That’s pretty much it. I don’t really have a snazzy closer to this. Tomorrow is my Unforgivables list and the day after is my Top Ten list. That’s enough of an exciting closer.

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