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Jan 1, 2011

The 50 Films I Will See in 2011

My interbuddy Scott (of the Frankly My Dear podcast, and long ago of the blog He Shot Cyrus) had a great idea that he posted recently as a status update on Facebook. He said that he "thinks everyone should make a "100 Movies I Will Watch in 2011" list."

No, that's not a typo. He said 100, the title of this post says 50. But more on that later.

Anyway, I thought it a great idea. I'm sure many a blogger has made a mental list - and some have probably posted their lists every year, but I think it just works as a general thing to do each year for all. We make our Top lists at the end of a year; we should make a list of films we plan to see for the next year right after. A list of film resolutions, of sorts.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would. I quickly realized that 100 was too ambitious for me. I could certainly find and list hundreds of films that I'd like to watch in the coming 364 days, but realistically I knew that I'd never watch all of them. Much as I'd like to, I just don't watch that many movies a week - and that was before a bouncing bundle of baby entered my life (though that might end up enhancing my film watching in the long run). So I narrowed the list to 50. IMDb helped. Random internets lists helped some more. And Netflix helped the most, especially when taking into consideration what's available on Instant Streaming. Some are classics. Others have been on my to-do list for some time. Still more are just there out of morbid curiosity. And hell, I even own some of them on DVD (and have for years).

So the End of Year Spectacular has been added to. I look forward to doing this every year, and more importantly, looking back a 12 months later to grade how well I did. I'll be happy if I see 2/3 of 'em...

UPDATE: I've added a button to the main navigation to this post, and I'll be updating it periodically. After I've seen one of the films listed below, I'll strike it out and offer a link to any words written about it, if applicable. Check back often!


18: The Mormon Proposition
2A Fistful of Dollars
3A Prophet
4About a Boy
5Alice in WonderlandBurton's version
6Angels & DemonsRead the book; it's been sitting in the Netflix queue for months, though.
7Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New OrleansCage!!!
8Before SunsetOwn it - have yet to watch it.
9Black Dynamite
10Black Hawk Down
11Blazing Saddles
12Bonnie and Clyde
14City of God
15ContagionDamon, Winslet, Fishburne, Law, Paltrow, Soderbergh = I'm in.
16Cowboys and Aliens Looks like too much fun. Love to see Ford in a villainous role. Favreau has yet to make a bad flick (that I've seen).
19Dog Day Afternoon
20Gentlemen Broncos
21Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
22I'm Still Here
23Master and Commander
24New York, I Love You
25Night of the Living DeadOwn it - have yet to watch it.
29PaulFrost + Pegg + Mottola = Yes, please!
30Seven Samurai
32Sixteen CandlesFor a series Hatter is running ('cause I've never seen it).
33Source CodeTwo words: Duncan Jones.
34Super 8
35The Adjustment Bureau
36The Constant Gardener
37The DescendantsAlexander Payne's latest; as a bonus, it stars Clooney.
38The Fighter
39The Girl with the Dragon TattooFincher's version. The urge will be too much to overcome.
40The Green Mile
41The Hangover Part IIYea, it'll be a letdown, but that's okay.
42The Hunt for Red October
43The IllusionistThe new one.
44The Pianist
45The ProposalWhy not? I'll be in the mood for it one day.
46The Road Warrior
47The Shining Can you believe it? Though I feel like I've seen it already.
48This is Spinal TapOwn it - have yet to watch it.
49TimecrimesLove me some time travel movies, and I've heard too many good things about this one to ignore it.
50True GritWayne version.

22 people have chosen wisely: on "The 50 Films I Will See in 2011"

Nick said...

Oh... fancy idea. I might do something like this myself (though I already kinda have something like it with the 60/60 List).

Anonymous said...

Whoa, there's a lot of films on there I'd have expected you to have seen.

The Shining? Casablanca? Black Dynamite? Seriously, you've got to keep up with this stuff, man. I mean what kind of film lover are you if you still haven't seen Black Dynamite? It's only like the most sublime film experience of the decade!

Still, I like the idea and hopefully it will help you catch up on all these great films instead of all those silly 80s and 90s movies you pull out at last lamb standing games.

I'd do something similar, except that's what my whole marathon idea is for, helping me fill in gaps of movies I should have seen by now.

Jess said...

I've seen 20 of your Fifty. Some are definitely on my own list (Gotta see Seven Samurai someday). Skip New York I love you. If you liked Paris, you won't like this - uninspired and bad rip off of Paris. Glad to see The Proposal on there - I love it. The Hunt for Red October is incredibly dated, but still worth watching, though it may not grab you given we don't really fight Russians anymore (though you grew up then, so maybe). Good luck!

Castor said...

Great idea and judging from the list, you will have loads of fun watching movies in 2011. I would definitely recommend skipping New York I Love You which is certainly the weakest of the 50 films on that list.

Buffett35 said...

Wow, that list does nothing for me. I've seen 9, and am not crazy about any of them. Angels and Demons is a piece of garbage. I read The DaVinci Code and enjoyed it, but the movie sucked, and I have no interest in giving Dan Brown any more time or money. Black Hawk Down is ok, but nothing special. Blazing Saddles and Spinal Tap have some funny parts, but both are a bit overrated.

Living Dead doesn't hold up with today's zombie flicks. RETURN of the Living Dead holds a special place in my heart as one of the first horror movies I ever saw, though. Sideways is the only one I was truly surprised that you haven't seen. It seems right up your alley. Sixteen Candles is exactly what you think it will be.

Before you watch The Green Mile, I want you to read the book the way I read it. It was separated into 6 parts, released on the 1st of the month over 6 months. I still have them. It was much more enjoyable than just reading the whole thing at once. Oh, and the movie didn't live up to the book at all, of course.

Since I live with 4 girls, I saw The Proposal too, and didn't hate it, but it's still pretty lame of you to put that on your list :)

JacksSmirkingRevenge said...

I have seen 31 of these, here is the order I would view them in, in terms of must see:

1Bazing Saddles
2City of God
3Seven Samurai
4The Road Warrior
6Black Dynamite
7The Pianist
9True Grit
10A Fistful of Dollars
11Sixteen Candles
Girl wt Dragon Tattoo (for vers)
16The Fighter
17About a Boy
18Night of the Living Dead
19The Shining
20The constant gardner
21Alice in Wonderland
22Black Hawk Down
23Master and Commander
24Green Mile
25The Proposal
27Bonnie and Clyde
28Angels and Demons
29The Hunt for Red October
30Gentleman Broncos
31Before Sunset

Frankly, My Dear said...

I've seen 29 of these. A Prophet made my list this year. Master and Commander almost did. I can't wait to see what you think of The Shining.

Fletch said...

Nick - Yeah, you've pretty much already covered your bases with this one. And I'd imagine you could fill out up to 100 easily, especially taking new releases into account.

James - Love how you pulled Black Dynamite from that pile of classics you referenced. Yeah, I have a lot of holes in my historical viewing files, and that doesn't even count all those pre-code flicks you're so in love with. ;)

Everyone knows the 80s and 90s are the best decades for film. :P

Jess (and Castor) - My sense of completion is what will make me watch New York, I Love You one of these days. I'm not exactly dying to see it after all I've heard, though, trust me. But I gotta!

(to Buffett as well) The Proposal is only on there because I know it's the kind of 'easy' movie I'll choose to watch one day in place of sinking 3+ hours into something like Seven Samurai. Probably shit, but I'm a sucker for TBS-ish movies. And Ryan Reynolds is a draw, too...

I just feel like I need to see Hunt for Red October one of these days. Saw the Ford ones, might as well see Baldwin's Jack Ryan, too (though I'll certainly never catch Affleck's...).

Buffett - your overwhelming positivity always brings a smile to my face. ;)

I've read 4 Dan Brown novels...again, I gotta see the adaptation at some point, just to see how good or bad it is. TDVC movie sucked in comparison to the novel, but what the hell? At worst, it ought to have some nice sight-seeing, right?

Your summation of Black Hawk Down is probably the reason I've yet to see it. Never really felt like I was missing much, but it makes many a Top 100 of the 2000s list.

The film geek in me says I have to watch Night of the Living Dead. Consider it homework alongside Samurai and the classic westerns and such. I'm sure I'll be let down by it.

So be it for 16 Candles. It's better than Pretty in Pink, though, right? That was a bummer when I saw it for the first time a couple years ago.

Okay, gimme The Green Mile stuff and I'll read it.

JSR - Some interesting choices in your ranking there. Had to add a couple comments to my list per your list. First, it's the new Alice in Wonderland on my list. Love the original. And I've seen all of the Stieg Larsson foreign versions; the one on here is the upcoming Fincher version.

Not a fan of Before Sunset, eh? I dig the first one and have owned the sequel for years, but I want to watch them in sequence and never get around to it.

Can't argue much with your top 10 there, except to say that I currently have the Fistful at home via Netflix, so it'll get priority viewing.

Andrew Wickliffe said...

Originally, I wasn't going to do something similar... but then I totally changed my mind (sort of)


Univarn said...

Very interesting list Dylan. I'm going t a bit more 'humble,' shall we say, with my 11 to see in 2011.

If you can get through them all, then I shall say bravo! Love your comment on The Shining. I can't even begin to count the number of films I haven't seen, but I feel as if I have through other people's conversations and clips that appear in documentaries.

Fletch said...

Andrew - yeah...that's a left turn of sorts. But a cool one! Not many people review short films. I suggest Instead of Abracadabra.

Univarn - c'mon, I know you see more movies than I do. You don't think you could make a list of 50?

If I get through all 50, well...I'll call you when that happens.

Buffett35 said...

I can't control the fact that 99% of the movies I see for the first time are disappointing. You're critiquing a dying medium. TV is where it's at now!

I actually gave Angels & Demons a legitimate shot on a Saturday afternoon with no distractions, but found myself wandering around the house looking for things to clean because I was so bored. I consider everything after TDVC to be cheap, lazy attempts to capitalize on its success.

Yes, 16 Candles is MUCH better than Pretty in Pink. Anthony Michael Hall is a way better nerd character than Jon Cryer, and Long Duk Dong is a cinematic legend. Keep an eye out for the Cusack siblings, too.

Fletch said...

Buffett - Dying medium - ha!

I don't doubt that A & D isn't good, but it can be fun to watch a bad movie sometimes, too, right? I feel the need to watch it more than I want to, if that makes you feel any better.

Well, only one book has come after TDVC, and The Lost Symbol was a decent follow-up. I enjoyed it for what it is.

Jess said...

I actually liked A&D - huge improvement over DaVinci Code. But no Audrey Tatou

Fletch said...

Update - I've made this page a button on the main navigation and will be updating it with the results as I go. 2 down already! Gonna post a little something about it as well for those that don't see this.

Buffett35 said...

Oops, I wrongly assumed that A & D was after TDVC. I guess it's Hanks that's capitalizing on TDVC's success more so than Brown. Whatever. Now I hear he's writing "The Michelangelo Code" or some shit. Seriously... that's not a joke.

Fletch said...

Yup, Howard and Hanks and gang thought they'd capitalize on the movie's success, so they decided to switch up the timeline and make A & D a sequel.

Brown is no literary genius, but if you want a breezy, fun page-turner, I'd imagine you could do much worse. And for nothing else, I respect the hell out of the amount of research that he must do for each book. Think of them as cheap travel guides for a vacation you might never take.

Kaiderman said...

^%@$, You're dead to me!
I expect this from Hatter but not my Fletchy!
All right, kidding aside, I can say a few that you should easily like are Timecrimes and City of God. You should knock those out quick.
I'm tempted to say you'd like Sideways,which I love, but I could easily see it annoying you too.
I just did A Prophet and it's a bit long and not as great as I thought it would be.
As far as classics, for which we are pretty sympatico, I actually had Dog Day Afternoon in the prize pack for the Tourney in case you won. It's an older film I dig. As is Bonnie and Clyde. Won't be hard to get through those.

Fletch said...

Kai - A few months back, I even had the City of God DVD from Netflix but returned it before watching cause we wanted a Dexter season or something. I will knock it out soon, though, I'm sure.

I haven't disliked a Payne flick yet, so there's really no reason to think I won't dig Sideways. Just one that slipped through the cracks all these years.

Yea, not so much psyched for seeing A Prophet anymore.

Dang - my ineptitude foils me again. Oh well, Dog Day's on Streaming, so it'll be an easy one to get to.

Is Night really that good anymore, though, or is it just iconic? I get the feeling it's just the latter...

Kaiderman said...

Still good especially if you haven't seen the remakes. Holds up way better than Dawn or Day... and I LOVE Dawn!!!

Sammy V said...

I know it's been said by other commentators, but Angels & Demons is really not worth your time. Loved the book, but the film is garbage. Especially if you liked the book.

Love the blog.

Fletch said...

Thanks, Sammy, for both the compliment and the advice regarding Angels & Demons. I think it just went off Netflix Streaming, so there's some disincentive against seeing it. Though I didn't love the book, necessarily. I think all of Brown's books are enjoyable reads, but are ultimately so empty (and similar) that I just can't get beyond liking them.