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The Best and The Worst of 2011

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The year 2011 is coming to an end. Now it’s time of the year where we reflect on the year that was, which means, of course, it’s time to assess the best and worst in the year’s movies!

This year has been a really good year for movies. That’s because there’s been a high quantity of good quality films. Last year, with a few exceptions, we really didn’t get many good films until the fall season. Not so, this year. Sure, there was the average share of crap during the first half of the year like the critically panned Season of the Witch, The Dilemma, Something Borrowed, and Atlas Shrugged: Part 1. But during that time there were also Limitless, The Adjustment Bureau, Insidious, Source Code, and Cedar Rapids – none of which were great per se, falling short of that due to a flaw or two, but were quite good.

Now, having said that, the one thing that 2011 lacked was a truly knock-your-socks-off great film. There is no The Social Network, no Inglorious Basterds, no The Hurt Locker this year. Be…

Golden Globes Picks Fail to Shine (Again)

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The awards season has returned and it seems yet again the Hollywood Foreign Press has failed to restore the public’s faith in its credibility with this year’s list of nominations. It isn’t that the Golden Globes nominees are so bad that they’re beginning to mirror the Razzies; there do seem to be plenty of good picks. However, there are many oversights and head-scratchers.


Now, I’ve only seen 5 of the 35 films nominated, but I’ve also seen over 50 of 2011’s films, so take my thoughts however you like.

Here are the nominees for 2011:

Best Drama:

- The Descendants

- The Help

- Hugo

- The Ides of March

- Moneyball

- War Horse

Best Comedy or Musical:

- 50/50

- The Artist

- Bridesmaids

- Midnight in Paris

- My Week with Marilyn

Best Animated Film:

- The Adventures of Tintin

- Arthur Christmas

- Cars 2

- Puss in Boots

- Rango

Best Foreign Film:

- The Flowers of War

- In the Land of Blood and Honey

- A Kid with a Bike

- A Separation

- The Skin I Live In

Best Director:

- Woody Allen (Midnight in …

Film’s Future Embraces Its Past in Surprising Hugo

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After the explosion early last year that was Avatar, audiences were quickly faced with a barrage of 3D in the theaters. Online and in film news, there was much debate about the legitimacy and future of 3D. Lines were drawn among filmmakers, journalists, critics, and outspoken bloggers (i.e. yours truly). Martin Scorsese was among the great filmmakers who stepped out and argued in support of 3D.

Hugo is his attempt to prove its worth.

What would Scorsese’s 3D picture look like? I must admit I was quite put-off by the film’s trailer, which simply featured generic footage of Sacha Baron Cohen chasing after kids through a train station. It looked like an average kids film. I expected much more from the director of Taxi Driver and The Departed.

I was right to, because it turns out Hugo is much more than it seems – not only exceeding expectations (which were lowered by the trailer), but providing one of the best movie-going experiences I’ve had all year.

Hugo is about a boy, Hugo Cabret (Asa…

Best (and Worst) of 2011 So Far

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As we pass through July, it’s a good time to take stock of the year as it’s been so far.

It seems safe to say this year is already a bit better than last year. This time last year, we really only had Cyrus, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, How to Train Your Dragon, Inception, Kick-Ass, The Kids Are All Right, Mother, Shutter Island, Toy Story 3, and Winter’s Bone that were worth their Salt (another worthwhile flick). That seems like a lot, but that’s roughly 10 really good to great movies in seven months; the rest were decent at best – many of which were somewhat disappointing (Iron Man 2, anyone?). We have a bit more than that to look to this year.

Now, feel free to take this article with a certain grain of salt as I have yet to see the following 20 films of 2011: Another Earth, Attack the Block, Bad Teacher, The Beaver, Beginners, Bridesmaids, Fast Five, Friends with Benefits, Hobo with a Shotgun, Horrible Bosses, Limitless, The Lincoln Lawyer, Meek’s Cutoff, Midnight in Paris, Paul

The Gibson Review Takes a Seat in the Back

It seems fitting that this week's post and poll are devoted to final chapters in film given this week's announcement. 

Due to the demands of a career change I'm undergoing, I will no longer be posting weekly on The Gibson Review.

This is expected to only be temporary and the hope is that after a few months, once things have smoothed over, you will once again see movie reviews and editions of Remember That Movie and Film Faves on a regular basis.  The inspiration behind this site has always been the pursuit of a career in film journalism (or whatever they call it now).  The reality of the situation is I need a job that can pay the bills and allow me to pursue that passion.

To those five of you who've somehow become devoted readers of mine I say, fear not: my hope is to still continue posting editions of Film Faves once a month, provided there's interest.  I've got too many plans for its future to let it fall by the wayside.

Also, be sure to frequently check in …

Deathly Hallows Part II: An Ending Worth The Wait

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The end was near. Now it is here.

After ten years and seven other movies, the Harry Potter film series is now movie history.

To mention any specifics about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II would be to risk giving away spoilers (although you may want to spend a great deal of time discussing those specifics with somebody afterwards). However, there are reveals in Part II that I would put up against those of any in film history, including the Vader/Skywalker reveal in The Empire Strikes Back (as a matter of fact, one can spot a handful of parallels to the Star Wars saga here, daddy issues aside).

In my review of The Deathly Hallows Part I, I pointed out how exceptional the film series is for maintaining both its quality and its cast. For anyone who’s followed the series, this is especially evident in The Deathly Hallows Part II. You will notice elements from every film are paid off from the smallest appearances to significant characters or plot-driven moments. You will even …

Film Faves: 1993

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Hey there folks and welcome back to another edition of Film Faves!

Film Faves is a regular feature here on The Gibson Review wherein I count down my twelve favorites of any given film topic.  Other sites may offer an objective 'Best of', 'Top Ten' countdown with some Honorable Mentions.  With Film Faves, I fill you in on a topic and countdown my favorite dozen - that's it.  Think of it as a celebration of film and an extra insight into what really gets me jazzed about movies.

The march through time continues this time with the year 1993.  Let's get on with it.

While the year 1993 may not be considered as significant a year in film as what was to come in 1994, it still was a great year in terms of its large quantity of quality films.

To start off, the most prestige of prestige films and perhaps the greatest film of the past 30 years, Schindler's List was released and inevitably won the major awards.  Other prestige pictures of the year included The Age of In…

Remember That Movie: The Mad Max Trilogy

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A revenge thriller. A post-apocalyptic Yojimbo. A kid-friendly adventure.

There are few trilogies as varied in both quality and tone as the Mad Max trilogy. In this edition of Remember That Movie, I’ll take a look at each installment of the trilogy, how the sequels fit into the series, their influence on cinema, and the careers of both George Miller and Mel Gibson, the major players behind Mad Max.

Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… dyin’ time is here!



Mad Max (1979)


“I am the chosen one. The mighty hand of vengeance, sent down to strike the un-roadworthy!”


Mad Max is a low-budget Australian film inspired by society’s occasionally aggressive attitudes during the oil crisis of the early seventies. The story was conceived by Byron Kennedy (who also produced) and George Miller (who directed and co-wrote the script with James McCausland). How low was the budget? It was $300,000, so small that post-production was completed at Kennedy’s house.

Mel Gibson, who was unknown at the…