Zookeeper

Name: Zookeeper
Year: 2011
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 102
Description: A group of zoo animals decide to break their code of silence in order to help their lovable zoo keeper find love — without opting to leave his current job for something more illustrious.
Stars: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance

That is the second time I watch a Coraci movie and wonder why the critics are so harsh on him. At times it was really funny and at others ridiculous, but it’s certainly not awful. As usual, Rupert Gregson Williams’ score is unmemorable but great fun.

Young Adult

Name: Young Adult
Year: 2011
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 94
Description: Mavis Gary, once the high school ‘It Girl’, now an alcoholic divorcee who writes a soon to be canceled young adult fiction series, takes the decision to return to her childhood home in Minnesota. There she embarks on a plan to win back her former sweetheart, Buddy. The fact that Buddy is now married with a baby doesn’t dissuade her. Along the way, she forms a bond with Matt Freehauf, another former classmate, who has been left disabled by a beating he took from a bunch of jocks.
Stars: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson and Patton Oswalt
Genres: Comedy, Drama

Liked the music and Patton Oswalt. Stupid movie.

Wuthering Heights

Name: Wuthering Heights
Year: 2011
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 129
Description: A poor boy of unknown origins is rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy. Based on the classic novel by Emily Bronte.
Stars: Kaya Scodelario, James Howson and Solomon Glave
Genres: Drama, Romance

Liked it, though I distinctly remember a different original ending… There was also no score, and surprisingly that really worked very well.

Unknown

Name: Unknown
Year: 2011
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 113
Description: A biochemist and his dishy wife arrive in Berlin for a conference at which a scientist and his controversial Arab funder will announce breakthrough research. While his wife checks into the hotel, he grabs a cab to return to the airport for his briefcase, left at the curb. En route, an auto accident puts him in a coma, from which he awakes four days later without identification and with gaps in his memory. He goes to the hotel: his wife refuses to recognize him and another man has claimed his identity. With help from a nurse, the cab driver, a retired Stasi agent, and an academic friend, he tries to unravel what’s going on. Is the answer in the briefcase?
Stars: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones
Genres: Action, Mystery, Thriller

Not really sure what to say about it. I liked it very much in the beginning, but then when it became clear it was gonna be the Bourne Identity all over, I lost interest. The major difference, however, is, that this film does contain a noticeable and fine score. In the end, though, the relationship between the taxi driver and the protagonist has no clear resolution, and I find the idea of a spy suddenly saving his intended victim utterly ridiculous. The assassination was, of course, not justified to begin with, but I wonder why a man who clearly had some justice in him chose to become a spy like that in the first place, unless comas and accidents can completely reverse your personality. Oh well, I’ve watched worse.

The Help

Name: The Help
Year: 2011
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 146
Description: Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives — and a Mississippi town — upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, is the first to open up — to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter’s life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories — and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly — and unwillingly — caught up in the changing times.
2011 Oscar Winner!
2011 Oscar Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer
Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
Genres: Drama

So moving, and Thomas Newman’s score only made it worse. I guess the worst part is that all this happened just 50 years ago. Feeling rather sick now.

The Guard

Name: The Guard
Year: 2011
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 96
Description: Sergeant Gerry Boyle is a small-town Irish cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humor, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought straight-laced FBI agent Wendell Everett to his door.
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle and Mark Strong
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Thriller

Not fucking bad. Liked the fucking Irish. Wouldn’t fucking watch it again. Hope fucking Brendan Gleeson fucking survived.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Name: Sherlock Holmes A Game Of Shadows
Year: 2011
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 129
Description: Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his longtime trusted associate, Doctor Watson (Jude Law), take on their arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), with the help of Holmes’s older brother Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry) and a gypsy named Sim (Noomi Rapace).
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Jared Harris
Genres: Action, Adventure, Crime

I still like this one better than its predecessor. The story is much better and Robert Downey Jr never disappoints.

I decided to watch it on my 5.1 speakers for the first time, and what a great idea that was. Why is it that everything always needs to pound and thump like crazy these days? Even if Hans Zimmer isn’t doing it, trust the special effects to take over. I had to turn down the volume of the trout scene because apparently torturing someone is accompanied by lots of rumbling that probably alerted the whole of London. Surprised the neighbours aren’t asking me for explanations yet.

As for the score, I’m currently craving everything non-D minor. The themes are great, but watching this one after The Force Awakens was a rude awakening.

Shame

Name: Shame
Year: 2011
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 101
Description: Brandon is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon’s world spirals out of control. From director Steve McQueen (Hunger), Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us.
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale
Genres: Drama

What in the name of God was THAT? The main character should have been locked up from the start and basically spends the entire film… well, not even sure what to say, working out whether he’s straight or gay (or at times an animal…)…? Carey Mulligan’s role was intrigueing and, unlike the main character, she did a great job. She did sound rather weird trying to speak American. It took 40 minutes before anything actually happened. The score serves its purpose, but that’s all. The Bach source music really worked. Never again.

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

Name: The Adventures Of Tintin The Secret Of The Unicorn
Year: 2011
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 107
Description: Having bought a model ship, the Unicorn, for a pound off a market stall Tintin is initially puzzled that the sinister Mr. Sakharine should be so eager to buy it from him, resorting to murder and kidnapping Tintin – accompanied by his marvellous dog Snowy – to join him and his gang as they sail to Morocco on an old cargo ship. Sakharine has bribed the crew to revolt against the ship’s master, drunken Captain Haddock, but Tintin, Snowy and Haddock escape, arriving in Morocco at the court of a sheikh, who also has a model of the Unicorn. Haddock tells Tintin that over three hundred years earlier his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock was forced to scuttle the original Unicorn when attacked by a piratical forebear of Sakharine but he managed to save his treasure and provide clues to its location in three separate scrolls, all of which were secreted in models of the Unicorn. Tintin and Sakharine…
Stars: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig
Genres: Animation, Action, Adventure

I tried to watch this, hoping Tintin wouldn’t be the annoying prat he was in the TV series of yesteryear, but honestly… Wouldn’t you think that a journalist understood that:
1. Dogs cannot understand human language.
2. Dogs can therefore not participate in detective operations.
3. TALKING TO YOURSELF AND THINKING ALOUD IS UTTERLY USELESS. ‘I wonder what this means, why would he say that, I must know what’s going on?’ Well maybe if you shut the hell up for a while and just thought in silence, you might come up with a few answers!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Name: Harry Potter 8 The Deathly Hallows Part 2
Year: 2011
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 130
Description: The final chapter begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord’s three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Again, I’m surprised how much I liked it. I suppose the key is forgetting everything you know about the book.

Story-wise, things are all right, but the Deathly Hallows story remains elusive. How did Dumbledore get the Resurrection Stone, did he buy it in a local shop? Kloves included the answer in his script, so use the script, David Yates! Also, a much more glaring mistake occurs in the flashback sequence: we hear Trelawney’s prophecy about Pettigrew returning to Voldemort instead of the one where she predicts Voldemort’s rival will be born soon. As a book reader, this is really irritating to listen to. As a non-book reader, it’ll probably sound utterly incomprehensible. Then again, the first prophecy in film 5 was totally misrepresented and Thompson delivered the second one much more dramatic in 3, so…. And it sounds pretty good mixed with Desplat’s music as well. And, again, I hate those unscored moments that should have been scored: especially the scene after Voldemort’s death sounds raw and unfinished, and for the love of God, whoever would not score the trio’s goodbye after the memory sequence?

Talking about sound, whoever did the sound mixing for films 7 and 8 really knew what he was doing. At last, the six channels are used to their full extent. Desplat’s score was a pleasant rediscovery as well, though I missed the Trio’s theme and its few references were sometimes difficult to place and the disappearance of the villain theme is stupid too.

All in all, it’s difficult to say which films I like the most. Nevertheless, a vain attempt folllows: 4, 3, 7, 8, 1, 6, 2, 5. I won’t even try to justify that choice as they all have good and bad moments.