Our picks for the Top 5 films of the Spring...and yes, we are prepared for the inevitable blowback.
Now, for the controversy. Now, to stir up a spit storm or two. You can't have 'Worsts' without 'Bests', and you can't have either without some manner of aesthetic argument. Right now, there are lovers of a certain cotton-tailed character from a month or so back that can't believe some cynical old jerk thought his merry little movie was one of 2011 animated abominations. Similarly, the minute this list of "likes" takes shape, there will be many admonishing the choices at numbers five and four (at least). It's all part of the game, part of the process of trying to wrap one's critical brain around what Hollywood hands us every January through April. Some years, selecting a group of good movies is not all that hard. In others, the pickings are slimmer than a supermodel.
In 2011, what we got the most of was promising if not completely successful content. Paul, for example, had the brilliant Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the leads (and with the script) and the always interesting Greg Mottola behind the lens. Yet the alien on the lam with two UK geeks comedy really didn't deliver on its percolating nerd potential. Similarly, a movie like The Green Hornet tweaked a ton of comic book conventions (pissing off the funny book fanbase in the process) and yet couldn't quite bring together its clever combination of superhero and satire. The Mechanic was a fine action effort...and that's about it, while Fast Five did a direct job of addressing the franchise's often obvious weaknesses...and little else.
Still, you're probably going to be shocked to not see Source Code or Hanna among the following choices. Within the social soapbox that is the Interweb, those films are considered "untouchables", works of wonder that demand blog BS attention, beyond whether or not they are truly successful films. And again, when you see the list included, those names (and others) are going to bite at the back of your brain like an embedded deer tick. Aside from the obvious criteria for make said selections (we had to see them before we could rate them), all compilations are matter of opinion. While it may sound like a cop-out/mea culpa, it's the truth, just like the follow five films are what Shorts Ends and Leader consider to be the Best of Spring 2011: