Every year my family sits around the Thanksgiving table and tells each other what we’re thankful for, which winds up being the same thing four times over – family. Sure, that’s very much true and will remain so my entire life, but as the movie industry is such an essential part of my life, there’s no denying that the business’ highlights genuinely have an impact on my year.
1. Lionsgate Seems to be Doing The Hunger Games Right: I wouldn’t call the casting process a disappointment, but every time a short list was unveiled the studio always seemed to go with an actor I wasn’t rooting for. From there it was loads of skepticism, which slowly faded as the Entertainment Weekly covers, stills and those strikingly beautiful character posters rolled out, but then the trailer arrived and – wow. Not only did it justify every casting choice, even Liam Hemsworth who I was weariest about, but everything came to life incredibly on line with what I’d been imagining while reading the book. Between simply loving Suzanne Collins’ work and the wild amount of time I’ve devoted to covering the soon-to-be franchise, if this film lives up to expectations, it’ll mean much more to me than that just a positive review.
2. 3D Beings Put to Use Properly: From day one I’ve branded the 3D technology a gimmick and it wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that the extra dimension broke a barrier. First it was A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. If there really is no way to use 3D to enhance a narrative, you might as well embrace it as the gimmick that it is and that’s exactly what happens in Harold and Kumar’s third adventure. The filmmakers appropriately opt to tear that fourth wall right down, hurl the most ludicrous items in your face, deliberately announce that they’re doing so and the result is an absolute blast. So, does this mean it’s going full gimmick or bust for 3D? As of about a week ago, no! I had the pleasure of catching Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and am proud to announce that this is what we’ve been waiting for; this is what the technology is capable of. Not only does the additional dimension simply add quite a bit of depth to the image, but when snow falls, you can practically feel the chill and then you’re quite literally consumed by the warmth of the bustling environment of the train station. I always considered myself the ultimate 3D skeptic, but it looks like there’s hope!
3. San Diego Comic Con: This year I had the pleasure of going cross-country to cover my very first San Diego Comic Con. Having covered New York Comic Con a few times, I thought I had somewhat of a sense of what I was in for, but until you’re actually there and in the masses of some of the most intense fans, you have no idea of what this extraordinary event has to offer. For four days I probably got just about three hours of sleep a night, but I wouldn’t dream of staying in my room a minute more; there is so much to cover – The Twilight Saga, The Walking Dead, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Griff the Invisible, Final Destination 5, Game of Thrones and so much more. This very well might have been the hardest working four days of my life, but, at the same time, I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun working – and that’s coming from someone who absolutely cherishes this job. Interacting with incredibly passionate fans, talking to TV and film talent and meeting some of the most talented journalists the movie news industry has to offer, San Diego Comic Con is certainly one of my favorite memories of 2011 and I absolutely cannot wait to bring you all the best of the best from Comic Con 2012!
4. Attack the Block: Well, clearly I’m spoiling my top ten of 2011– at the moment at least. Quite similarly to my favorite movie of 2010, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, there’s something about Attack the Block that’s totally infectious. I can’t stop watching it. The characters are an absolute blast to hang out with, their situation is wildly enjoyable, but perilous, and then director Joe Cornish brings it all together with his sleek visual style and particularly memorable dialogue. I get excited about good movies all the time, but this one transcends some simple personal enthusiasm and makes me want to run rampant through the streets urging everyone to join the fun. Okay, maybe I don’t mean that literally, but I have certainly championed this film amongst my friends and film.
5. Shockya.com: Ready to turn on the cheesy sentimentality? I am so incredibly thankful to work for this wonderful outlet. Just about two years ago, on a lark, I sent an e-mail to the man in charge, Brian, hoping to pick up some additional work. When he gave me the thumbs up, I was simply happy to have the opportunity to continue writing about movies and have a little extra cash in my pocket, but never did I imagine how wonderfully proud I’d become of this website. Over the years it’s grown more than I could have ever imagined, not just in the size of our readership, but in the quality of work as we’ve continued to recruit some of the most talented writers this industry has to offer, including my own sister! But, even beyond the actual familial presence, Shockya.com really has become a family to me, both my stellar colleagues and our dedicated readers and I am so genuinely thankful to have this site as such an integral part of my life.