2011 was a good sport. There were threats of apocalypse, boy band reunions, singing film directors, and strange "NOOOOO!!!!" inclusions into Star Wars movies. And, despite all of that, 2011 still offered some fantastic entertainments. While we certainly got some important works of art delivered to us this year (there will be a blog on my favorite films of the year around Oscar time), I'm going to, in this blog, list the most fun entertainments I encountered this year. So, without further ado, and without categories, I give you my ten favorite entertainments of 2011.
10. Parks and Recreation
9. Horrible Bosses
8. Middle Brother - "Middle Brother"
Million Dollar Bill," is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring. I have listened to this album over fifty times since November, and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. It is absolutely a blast to listen to.
7. Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Brad Bird, the master director behind The Incredibles and The Iron Giant, thought he'd make his leap to live action filmmaking with a high budget blockbuster sequel. The Mission Impossible franchise is one of the more uneven movie franchises I can think of, with the quality ranging from the passable original film, the deplorable second film, and the fun and exciting third film. However, Bird's film is a horse of a different color. With the additions of Jeremy Renner (adding much-needed credibility to the ensemble) and a plot that actually makes sense, Ghost Protocol succeeds in almost every way possible. From the perfectly conceived prison-break that opens the film to the much publicized skyscraper scene, this film works remarkably well. The direction, the effects, the performances (yes, Tom Cruise is good), and the plot all work together in a way that few action movies can duplicate. This is popcorn entertainment at its very best.
6. tUnE-YaRdS - "W H O K I L L"
Merrill Garbus's sound perfectly replicates that feeling you have when you get off work, or eat a good meal, or take an extremely refreshing dip in a hot tub. Her music makes you warm, giddy, excited. The beats are electric, interesting, innovative. "W H O K I L L" is one of those rare albums evolves with each listen. It shows you something new with each play through. The real standout song on this album is the opener, "Bizness," which might be the grooviest thing produced all year.
Breaking Bad may be the "best" show on television, but Louie is by far the most entertaining. Louis C.K.'s tour de force of awkward, gritty, dark, hysterical, and poignant subject matter is one of the most rare and pure examples of storytelling I've ever seen on television. He writes, directs, produces, edits, and stars in every episode, and with that kind of creative control, C.K. has done remarkably well. This year, we were treated to one of the most awesome moments in television history because of this show. I think that's something we can all be thankful for.
4. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
THE video game.
a review of Hugo, so I'll just say this. If you've ever said that 3-D has no place in the movies, or that it's nothing but a gimmick that is used primarily to steal our money, then I highly recommend you go see this movie at once. If you've ever wondered what makes the silent-era films so magical, but you're afraid you'll be too bored to sit through them, then go see this movie. If you want to see one of the most inspiring, beautiful, and touching love letters to film ever made, go see this movie. Go see this movie. Now.
2. The Felice Brothers - "Celebration, Florida"
Some of the least entertaining entertainments this year
- David Lynch - "Crazy Clown Time"
- Your Highness
- Sucker Punch
- Jack and Jill
- Lou Reed and Metallica - "LuLu"
- Owl City - "All Things Bright and Beautiful"
- The Green Lantern