2011: A Year Of Entertainment In Review

Movie Theater Popcorn

What a year in entertainment it was! Not only was it a record breaking year for movies – 27 sequels were released in 2011  – but there has been a lot of crazy happenings in television as well. We got some great popcorn flicks – Tranformers: Dark of the Moon, X-Men: First Class, and Rise of the Planet of the Apeswe saw the final Harry Potter film, Breaking Bad season four was nucking futs, Community was put on hiatus til Spring of 2012, and we were introduced to American Horror Story.

I myself sat down to partake in the viewing of a lot of entertainment this year, but not as much as I would have liked. Again, I had tried to fulfill a year of more films to knock off my shame-list, but sadly I was overtaken with more real-world priorities and a very inconsistent work schedule. How much media did I watch this year that I have never seen before? I kept track, so take a look!

A little over a year ago, I embarked on a mission to watch a year’s worth of movies within a year that I have never seen before. As a newly aspiring film geek, I made it my goal to knock off as many films as I could from my “shame-list” – a list of movies that one would suspect a movie lover to have seen. Even though I made my goal, I went beyond my expectations and in the end I ended up seeing 390 movies in one year’s time.

That previous goal started in May of 2009 and ended in May of 2010. I started off fresh this year and settled down in 2010 so I could begin again on January 1 of 2011. I unfortunately did not reach a year’s worth of movies, but I did however branch out to new mediums such as television and comics.

Overall, in the year 2011, I had watched 628 episodes of television (some half-hour shows, some one-hour shows), 181 movies (79 of which came out in 2011), 4 comic book series, and 1 novel.

TV Shows I Watched:

Glee, 2.5 Seasons – 53 Episodes to present date
Community, 2.5 Seasons – 59 Episodes to present date
Inuyasha – All 193 Episodes
Yu Yu Hakusho –  All 112 Episodes
Party Down – All 20 Episodes
Breaking Bad – All 46 Episodes to present date
Dexter Season 6 – 12 Episodes
American Horror Story, Season 1 – 12 Episodes
New Girl, Season 1 – 10 Episodes
South Park, Season 15 – 14 Episodes
Walking Dead, Season 2 Part 1 – 7 Episodes
Arrested Development – 14 Episodes
X-Men: The Animated Series – 76 Episodes

This year was a very interesting mixture of television as I revisited some anime that time had forgotten. I have seen a few episodes of these shows here and there, but I could never really claim to have “seen” them before. The other shows I partook in were a bit genre-esque, but tickled my amusement.

Inuyasha was probably the toughest show to get through as it had the largest number of episodes, but the real killer was that it just took so long to get through a lot of the adventuring and battles they had. (Much like Dragon Ball Z, but not as extreme.)

Party Down is a great under the radar comedy about out-of-work actors working in the catering business that was canceled and may see a movie soon. (It’s on Netflix Instant now so watch it!)

Glee has been interesting, it’s had its ups and downs – lately downs – but when Glee gets things right, boy do they get it right. The show is not for everyone, but it’s a show many should try if they like fun characters, great music covers, and Jane Lynch.

I am so glad that I came to my senses and finally watched Community and Breaking Bad.

Community will always now hold a special place in my heart as one of THE best shows I’ve ever witnessed. I. LOVE. IT. It’s smarter than I could have possibly imagined, hilarious, and is one of the most underappreciated shows on network television today. (Watch all episodes of Community on Hulu Plus!)

Breaking Bad is also incredible. I’m glad it has been there to fill my Mad Men void. I can now see why Cranston has been winning the Emmy over Jon Hamm. Nothing against Hamm, as his performance is just as stellar, but there is something more to Walter White than the cold shoulder Don Draper. (The first three seasons of Breaking Bad are on Netflix Instant! All four seasons of Mad Men too!)

American Horror Story. What came as a weird horror drama has now shocked a nation in suspense with its off-the-wall tale of the Harmon family. It was a slow and miserable start, but it built up to be something that folks will look back on for a while. It was daring, and Ryan Murphy shoved it in all our faces. I was not a believer that this show could pull it off, but the final two episodes really redeemed the show in more ways than imaginable.

South Park and The Walking Dead were respectively the same good time I expected, TWD not as much as South Park (see episode “Broadway Bro-Down”), but it still pulled through in the end. Arrested Development is something I started and hope to finish this year.

Other than Arrested Development, I plan on trying to watch a few shows that have been on my TV shame-list for quite awhile, such as Firefly, Freaks and Geeks, Doll House, Prison Break, True Blood, The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation, and How I Met Your Mother.

The Book I read:

The Hobbit

Yes, I’ve never read The Hobbit before in my life. Deal with it. My goal is to finish The Hunger Games trilogy before the first film comes out this year.

Comics I Read:

Y: The Last Man, 60 Issues
Scott Pilgrim, 7 Volumes
Sin City, 7 Volumes
The Walking Dead, 91 Issues

Sin City and Scott Pilgrim have been on my list to-do since the films have come out and finally I was able to read them all. I gotta hand it to the writers, they are just so damn good. The adaptations of the comics do them justice, but without these puppies, those great movies never would have been made in the first place.

I hope to the gods that Y: The Last Man becomes a movie in the very near future. It has been in development Hell forever and it’s about time it comes out. Y: The Last Man is about a guy and his pet capuchin monkey as they are seemingly the very last of mankind, literally. I phenomena swept the world wiping everything out with a Y-chromosome, including all animals, eggs, embryos, and sperm. Yorick is the last man on Earth as he must seek out the truth to his survival. Many hijinks ensue, including some favorable results for men who could envision life as the only male in a female dominated world, but many very unexpected events occur that turn out to be disturbing, brutal, and dangerous.

The Walking Dead must be read by anyone who is enamored by the show. The comic series is still on-going to this day and continues to shock and awe. Robert Kirkman has created something special here that defies all laws of storytelling. No one is safe in Kirkman’s world and with no foreseeable end in sight, this zombie apocalypse may be the most terrifying anyone has ever witnessed.

I don’t really have any plans to read any new comics this year, but if there was one I’d really be interested in it would be the Marvel Civil War series. I also plan to keep up with The Walking Dead.

Movies I Watched:

Once again there have been some really great movies, some that have just sucked, some forgettable, and others that have been added as new favorites.

This was definitely a year for 3D, more so than 2010, but the overall consensus that I have on that technology still remains lukewarm. Some notable 3D movies were: Hugo, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas. There were a lot of movies that I saw that were optioned for 3D, but seeing them in 2D I could tell it would have been a complete waste of time (I’m looking at you Thor).

The beginning of the year was a lot of catch up from 2010. The winter is also a good time to catch up on a lot of older movies due to awards season. I didn’t really watch too many old old movies, but a lot that have been on my shame-list for awhile like Ocean’s Thirteen, O Brother, Where Art Thou, Amélie, Boogie Nights, Trainspotting, and Adaptation.

1: Somewhere – Jan 1
Tron: Legacy 3D – Jan 2
Pi – Jan 3
Ocean’s Thirteen – Jan 8
The Expendables – Jan 8
127 Hours – Jan 8
Tangled – Jan 9
Four Lions – Jan 9
O Brother, Where Art Thou – Jan 17
10: Blue Valentine – Jan 18
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009)- Jan 18
The King’s Speech – Jan 18
The A-Team – Jan 20
I Love You Phillip Morris – Jan 21
Re-Animator – Jan 21
Amélie – Jan 22
Saturday Night Fever – Jan 27
Salt – Jan 29
Flipped – Jan 29
20: Training Day – Jan 29
Going the Distance – Feb 1
I Spit On Your Grave: Unrated (2010) – Feb 3
Spanglish – Feb 5
Monster – Feb 6
The Heartbreak Kid – Feb 7
• No Strings Attached – Feb 8
Paper Man – Feb 10
It’s Kind of a Funny Story – Feb 12
Four Brothers – Feb 12
30: Boogie Nights – Feb 12
Get Low – Feb 13
Rushmore – Feb 14
Erin Brockovich – Feb 26
Dogtooth – Mar 1
The American – Mar 6
Martyrs – Mar 10
Freakanomics – Mar 12
• Battle: Los Angeles – Mar 12
• Rango – Mar 12
40: Daredevil – Mar 12
McGruber – Mar 13
Adaptation – Mar 13
Diary of a WImpy Kid – Mar 13
Trainspotting – Mar 16
Megamind – Mar 18
The Swtich – Mar 19
Morning Glory – Mar 19
Fish Tank – Mar 20
Machete – Mar 25
50: Love Actually – Mar 26
• Sucker Punch – Mar 26
The Next Three Days – Mar 26
Leap Year – Mar 28
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – Mar 28
Everybody’s Fine – Apr 4
• Hall Pass – Apr 5
Psycho (1998) – Apr 6
Piranha (2010) – Apr 7
• The Adjustment Bureau – Apr 8
60: Super Size Me – Apr 9
• Paul – Apr 9
• Hop – Apr 9
• Source Code – Apr 9
Killers – Apr 9
Jonah Hex – Apr 9
• Scream 4 – Apr 17
Conviction – Apr 17
Mystery Team – Apr 18
The People vs. Larry Flynt – Apr 19
70: Step Up 3 – Apr 20
Green Zone – Apr 21
• Insidious – Apr 22
• Hanna – Apr 22
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief – Apr 23
Middle Men – Apr 26
Aliens in the Attic – Apr 28
Good Morning, Vietnam – Apr 28
Singin’ In The Rain – Apr 28
Batman: Under the Red Hood – May 2

Starting the Summer movie season, I tried to mentally prepare for what I was in store for. It was ludicrous, the amount of movies I was looking forward to, but overall it was a very entertaining Summer.

80: Hard Boiled – May 3
And Soon The Darkness – May 4
• Thor – May 6
Capote – May 7
Rear Window – May 11
• Bridesmaids – May 13
Scent of a Woman – May 14
Secretariat – May 18
• Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – May 20
Charlie St. Cloud – May 22
90: Weird Science – May 22
The Virginity Hit – May 22
• The Hangover Part II – May 26
• Kung Fu Panda 2 3D – May 26
Hereafter – May 27
Raising Arizona – May 29
• X-Men: First Class – June 3
• Super 8 – June 10
The Hobbit (1977) – June 14
Jackass 3.5 – June 17
100: The Thing (1982) – June 19
• Green Lantern – June 19
Suspiria – June 25
Little Fockers – June 27
• Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D – June 28
• I Saw The Devil – June 29
Porky’s – June 30
The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) – July 1
• Rubber – July 3
• Bad Teacher – July 5
110: • Horrible Bosses – Jul 8
• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 3D- July 15
• Cedar Rapids – July 16
• Friends With Benefits – July 22
• Captain America: The First Avenger – July 22
• 30 Minutes or Less – July 22
P2 – July 23
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End – July 23
• Midnight In Paris – July 26
• The Green Hornet – Jul7 27
120: • The Change-Up – July 28
• Cowboys and Aliens – July 29
• Crazy, Stupid, Love. – July 29
• Just Go With It – July 30
Dazed and Confused – July 30
[Rec] 2 – July 31
• The Tree of Life – Aug 2
• Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Aug 4
• I Am Number Four – Aug 10
• The Help – Aug 11
130: • One Day – Aug 25
• Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – Aug 30
• Our Idiot Brother – Aug 31

During the Summer movie season I kind of dragged a bit. I had moved to California, I work a lot, and I never got enough time to watch as many movies since I cancelled my mail delivery Netflix account. Most of the films seen were in theaters and unfortunately many weren’t some I wanted to knock off my shame list, but you know, shit happens.

• Apollo 18 – Sep 2
• Contagion – Sep 10
• Drive – Sep 18
Life As We Know It – Sep 26
• 50/50 – Sep 29
• Hobo With a Shotgun – Oct 1
The Return of the Living Dead – Oct 2
140: Top Gun – Oct 3
Session 9 – Oct 11
• Trollhunter – Oct 15
• The Ides of March – Oct 19
• Red State – Oct 20
• Paranormal Activity 3 – Oct 25
• The Ward – Oct 26
Poltergeist II: The Other Side – Oct 27
Funny Games – Nov 2
• Martha Marcy May Marlene – Nov 2
150: • In Time – Nov 2
The Young Victoria – Nov 2
Irreversible – Nov 8
• 13 Assassins – Nov 10
• A Very Harold And Kumar 3D Christmas – Nov 17
• Limitless – Dec 4
• Take Me Home Tonight – Dec 4
• Hugo 3D – Dec 5
The Vicious Kind – Dec 6
• The Descendants – Dec 7
160: • Like Crazy – Dec 8
• Beginners – Dec 10
• Win Win – Dec 11
• The Beaver – Dec 12
• The Art of Getting By – Dec 14
The Secret of Kells – Dec 17
• When Harry Left Hogwarts – Dec 18
Being John Malkovich – Dec 19
• Melancholia – Dec 19
• Young Adult – Dec 20
170: Escape From New York – Dec 20
Brick – Dec 21
• Carnage – Dec 22
• We Need To Talk About Kevin – Dec 25
• Hostel: Part III – Dec 26
• The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) – Dec 28
• The Muppets – Dec 28
• The Greatest Movie Ever Sold – Dec 28
• Another Earth – Dec 29
• Super – Dec 30
180: • Hesher – Dec 31
• The Skin I Live In – Dec 31

An “•” denotes that that film was released in 2011.

There was nothing too big for me to branch into as my taste for movies has grown leaps and bounds since I started this project in 2009. I never really watched animated films, big named dramas, or unknown indies before, but this year I didn’t have much room for growth. It was a great mixture of everything.

As I look back, I want to try and get back into more of the older movies I haven’t seen before like Driving Miss Daisy, many of the classic Clint Eastwood films, and many more. There aren’t as many big blockbuster pictures that are screaming my name this year as they were in 2011 so I’m sure I’ll have more time for older films, but I’m sure I’ll be out in theaters, you can count on that.

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