Sunday, February 27, 2011

83rd Academy Awards

Well, awards season is officially over and we can finally close the books on 2010 films.  All in all, it was a pretty great year for film.  In a few months I'll be posting my revised Best of 2010 list, reflecting some additional 2010 films I've seen and blogged about since year end, maybe a few I still have yet to see, and some tweaks to my original ranking.  So look for that.  But below are some thoughts on the Academy Awards, some of which I will be delivering live to my adoring fans in Orlando in a few hours when I do a special Monday appearance on FOX 35.

Regarding the hosts, even though I love pretty much everything James Franco has done over the past year or two, and clearly Anne Hathaway is attractive and can sing very well, I think they were only so-so.  I really think the Academy needs to return to comedians.  To me, Billy Crystal will forever be the quintessential host.  (Bob Hope hosted 18 times but was before my time.)  Of course, I wouldn't blame Crystal for not returning again as host, as he has nothing left to prove, but it was great to see him appear as a presenter, where he received a standing ovation.  (As an aside, his broadway show '700 Sundays' was one of the best I've ever seen.  Needless to say, I'm a fan.)  For future hosts, I say bring back Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, and Ellen DeGeneres.  Or how about Craig Ferguson or Jimmy Kimmel?

As for presenters, besides Crystal, you can always count on Robert Downey Jr. for some clever quips. He and 'Sherlock Holmes' co-star Jude Law were pretty entertaining.  'The Fighter's Melissa Leo dropped the F-bomb in front of a billion people, and co-star and fellow winner Christian Bale made a clever self-deprecating joke about how he won't do the same since he's already done that plenty.  Ha!  (That's a reference to his notorious rant on the set of 'Terminator: Salvation' in case you didn't get it.)  Writers generally make for good speech makers, and 'The Social Network's Aaron Sorkin and 'The King's Speech's David Seidler were no exception.  And this may not be politically correct, but I think they need to stop inviting stroke victim Kirk Douglas as a presenter.  He's a Hollywood legend, but he really slows down the show.  (I look forward to your comments.)

And now for my thoughts on the awards:

'The King's Speech' was the big winner of the night, winning for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.  Many expected Best Picture would go to 'The Social Network', but I correctly predicted this film would win the coveted award after I returned from the Toronto Film Festival in September.  It won the audience award there and had all the ingredients of an Academy Award winning film.  It was almost too easy.  And Colin Firth was by far the favorite to win for Best Actor, but personally I think James Franco was robbed.  Firth is always a class act but Franco's performance in '127 Hours' was unbelievable.  Tom Hooper winning for Best Director was a little bit of a surprise since many thought it would go to 'The Social Network's David Fincher, but it's not a complete shock since generally the Best Director award goes to the director of the Best Picture.  And I think 'Inception' should have won for Best Screenplay, although I did enjoy David Seidler's acceptance speech.  I saw Seidler speak in Santa Barbara and he's really very entertaining and a great writer so I am happy for him.

'The Social Network' didn't do nearly as well as many anticipated or as I had hoped.  It only won for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Score, and Best Editing.  I personally think it's clearly the best film of 2010.  But 'The King's Speech' is more typical Oscar Best Picture fare.  But at least Aaron Sorkin won, and clearly deserved his win for Best Adapted Screenplay.  He's an excellent writer and a master of rat-a-tat dialogue.

'Black Swan's Natalie Portman won for Best Actress.  No surprise there, although some were speculating it might go to Annette Bening, but I'm happy Portman was victorious.  She really pulls off every role in every genre perfectly dating back to 'The Professional' when she was only 11 and 'Beautiful Girls' which followed shortly thereafter.  I look forward to seeing what great performances she delivers to come.

'The Fighter' won two major awards:  Melissa Leo won Best Supporting Actress and Christian Bale won Best Supporting Actor.  They both gave terrific performances in 'The Fighter' and in all their previous work, so the awards were well deserved.  (Leo was great in the critically acclaimed but under-watched TV show 'Homicide: Life on the Street'.  And Bale never ceases to amaze me as to how deep he can sink into a role.  Check out his unbelievable performance and weight loss in 'The Machinist' if you're skeptical.)  Nevertheless it was unfortunate that Geoffrey Rush didn't win for 'The King's Speech'.  That was also an amazing performance and he totally stole that film.  I find the contrast interesting that Bale makes acting look so hard, and Rush makes it look so easy, but both consistently turn out great performances.

'Toy Story 3', not surprisingly, won Best Animated Feature.  That was the obvious choice in that category.  And Randy Newman won for Best Song for 'We Belong Together'.  I don't agree with that win, but Newman is the 800 pound gorilla at the Academy Awards with 20 nominations.  And this is only his second win, so they probably felt he was due.  And he did give one of the more entertaining speeches of the night.

'Inception' took home four technical awards:  Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing.  In my opinion writer/director Christopher Nolan should have at least been nominated in the directing category, and should have won Best Original Screenplay over 'The King's Speech'. 

'Alice in Wonderland' won two technical awards for art direction and costume design.  I wasn't a big fan of the movie but I certainly can't argue that it had good art direction and costumes.

'The Wolfman' won best make-up.  I suppose the make-up was good, but the movie was so bad that I really don't think its name should have even been uttered during the broadcast.  This was clearly a bone that should have been thrown to 'Barney's Version' which didn't get any other nominations.  Bad move, Academy.

'127 Hours' unfortunately didn't win anything.  To me, this is the biggest outrage of the year.  Danny Boyle should have at least been nominated in the directing category.  James Franco should have won over Colin Firth.  And A.R. Rahman should have won for Best Score.  The soundtrack to this film is my favorite of the year and I still listen to it frequently.  To anyone that hasn't seen this film yet, I highly recommend it, if you can stomach it.  It's not an easy viewing but it is a rewarding one.

'The Kids are All Right' came up empty.  It's a good film, but comedies rarely get recognized and I'm actually surprised it got as much recognition as it did.

'True Grit' didn't win anything and that didn't surprise me or offend me.  I personally don't think it's as good as others do.  It's not bad, but it's just not one of the Coen Brothers' best and certainly not one of the ten best of the year.

'Winter's Bone' didn't win anything, and that's not surprising.  It's a good film for sure, but it was extremely lucky to get the 10th nomination in the Best Picture category.  For a $2M budget, that nomination in and of itself was its reward.

'Inside Job' won Best Documentary.  It's definitely good and worth seeing, but I think Joan Rivers got shafted by not even getting a nomination for her show-all-tell-all doc 'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work'.

'In a Better World' from Denmark won the Best Foreign Language Film.  Unfortunately I haven't seen any of the five nominated films this year.  Sad, I know.  But 'Biutiful' and 'Dogtooth' are on my short list of films to see in the near future.

And as for the shorts?  Who cares?  Seriously.  Nobody's seen them.

Well, those are my thoughts.  (Sorry for being so long-winded.)  How about you?

Friday, February 25, 2011

FOX 35 News Orlando - Friday 2/25/11

Check out my appearance from this morning on the FOX 35 website where I give my thoughts on 'Hall Pass', 'Drive Angry', 'Get Low', and who's going to win the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday.  This includes the world premiere of the awesome new animated intro to the segment, now entitled 'Flieder's Flicks'.  I'm not worthy.

Flieder Flicks: Friday February 25, 2011 :

In Theaters Now

Looking to head to the theater this weekend, but don’t know what to see?  Here are my grades at a glance:
127 Hours                            Grade: A+   (#5/38 of my Toronto Film Festival blog)
Barney's Version                Grade: A   (#4/38 of my Toronto Film Festival blog)
Black Swan                         Grade: A   (#7/38 of my Toronto Film Fest blog)
Blue Valentine                   Grade: A
The Way Back                   Grade: A-
The Fighter                         Grade: A-
Casino Jack                         Grade: A-  (#10/38 of my Toronto Film Fest blog)
The King’s Speech           Grade: B+  (#11/38 of my Toronto Film Fest blog)
The Company Men            Grade: B+

Rabbit Hole                        Grade: B+
The Illusionist                    Grade: B+
Hall Pass                             Grade: B+
Another Year                   Grade: B   (#16/38 of my Toronto Film Festival blog)
Inside Job                          Grade: B   (#21/38 of my Toronto Film Festival blog)
No Strings Attached          Grade: B
The Green Hornet              Grade: B
True Grit                            Grade: B-
Unknown                           Grade: B-

Drive Angry                       Grade: B-

Cedar Rapids                     Grade: B-
The Mechanic                   Grade: C+
Just Go WIth It                 Grade: C
Vanishing on 7th Street   Grade: C   (#32/38 of my Toronto Film Festival blog)
How Do You Know          Grade: C-
The Dilemma                    Grade: C-
Somewhere                     Grade: C-
Sanctum                           Grade: D
I Am Number Four           Grade: D
The Rite                            Grade: F

Drive Angry

Well let me begin by saying I didn't drive to the theater, but I was somewhat angry even before I arrived that the only advance screening of the film was at 9:00 PM the evening before its release.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the opportunity to see movies in advance at all, but I have to review this on FOX 35 in a few hours so I'm going to keep this brief.

Nicolas Cage, Mr. Over-the-Top, is at it again in a WAY over-the-top midnight B-movie in 3D, as a man who will stop at nothing to get his grand-daughter back.  This is a grindhouse film worthy of Tarantino or Rodriguez, and actually much better than their 'Deathproof/Planet Terror' entry in that genre.  It's violence, nudity, and car chases galore with some comedy and supernatural fantasy thrown in.  And the cast is perfect for it, including Cage, character actor William Fichtner in top form, and the generally understated and underrrated David Morse.  And the 3D works pretty well in this film, in true 'comin' at ya' style where they throw everything and the kitchen sink your way.

This is a good bad movie.  Normally I don't like bad movies.  But this one's pretty good ... for a bad movie.

Grade: B- (and close to a B)

Hall Pass

The Farrelly Brothers are back with another R-rated comedy.  You're probably familiar with their work as the writers and directors of 'There's Something About Mary', 'Dumb and Dumber', 'Me, Myself and Irene', 'Stuck on You', and the remake of 'The Heartbreak Kid'.  That should give you a pretty good idea what you're in for here.

This time Owen Wilson stars as a good family man, as husband to 'The Office's Jenna Fischer and loving father of three kids.  But Wilson still has an eye for the ladies.  He doesn't act on it, of course, but he can't help but notice.  And when his noticing gets noticed by Fischer, she and her gal pals reluctantly decide to let their husbands have a 'hall pass'.  For one week they can pretend they're not married and do whatever they want, with no consequences and no questions asked.

Not to be unexpected, the comedy here is mainly sexual and crude.  But it's also uproariously funny.  All the gags are pretty well executed.  Even when you see them coming, which is not that often, they're done so well you can't help but laugh.  Well, I couldn't anyway.  (I'm not a proud man.)

Wilson and Fischer are perfectly cast, as are their costars Christina Applegate, SNL's Jason Sudeikis, The British 'Office's Stephen Merchant, and 'The Visitor's Richard Jenkins who always steals every film he's in, and in a completely different role than I've ever seen him before as the Sherlock Holmes of the club dating scene.

But the biggest surprise is that the screenplay was co-written by Pete Jones.  Did anyone see the first season of HBO's 'Project Greenlight'?  Does anyone even remember 2002's 'Stolen Summer'.  I sure do and I always wondered why Jones disappeared after such a respectable first film.  Of course, this is not the type of film I expected from him, but it should put him back on the map.  I look forward to 'Stolen Summer 2', Pete.

So, needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this one.  Check it out, unless you're easily offended by crude sexual humor.

Grade:  B+

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


James Franco plays Allen Ginsburg, the poet, in this art house courtroom drama based on a true story, now available on DVD.  In 1955, Ginsburg presented a poem called 'Howl'.  The publisher was put on trial for whether or not 'Howl' was considered obscene.  Jon Hamm and David Strathairn play the attorneys, Bob Balaban plays the judge, and Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels, and Treat Williams all give testimony at the trial.

I had heard lukewarm things about this one and so was a bit concerned it might not be that good.  But James Franco hadn't let me down yet, and the cast is pretty top notch, so I figured I'd give it a go.  And as usual, Franco's performance is quite good, and the rest of the cast is what you'd expect.  But the film is very slow, as Ginsburg's enigmatic poem is dissected and debated ad nauseum.  I won't spoil the court's findings, but I do find this film guilty of being a bore.  Skip it unless poetry is your bag or you're a major Franco-phile.

Grade: C-

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Barry Munday

Patrick Wilson stars as a sex-obsessed, creepy horndog who gets in a scuffle that results in the semi-ironic removal of his testicles in this offbeat comedy with heart by first time writer/director Chris D'Arienzo.  Things take a turn for the even more bizarre when shortly after he is slapped with a paternity claim from a girl he doesn't even remember, played by comedy ensemble regular Judy Greer.  Instead of requesting a DNA test he views this as a miracle and thus begins his transformation towards maturity.  Chloe Sevigny, Jean Smart, Cybill Shepherd, Malcolm McDowell, and even Billy Dee Williams co-star.  (I never thought I'd mention BDW in my blog, unless I ran out of films to discuss and did a 'Star Wars' retrospective.  Ummm ... not gonna happen.)

This is not a masterpiece by any stretch, but it didn't deserve it's fate of complete obscurity.  It's enjoyable enough as a weekend rental or download.

For an even better, albeit much, much darker film starring Patrick Wilson, check out 'Hard Candy' also starring Ellen Page.  I won't say much about it, because its surprises should be experienced not read about.  But it's worth watching as a companion piece to this film.  But beware, that one's intense!
Grade: B-

Monday, February 21, 2011

Paper Man

Jeff Daniels plays an author who moves to Long Island to get over his writer's block.  He's taking time away from his wife played by Lisa Kudrow, and starts an unlikely relationship with a local high school girl played by Emma Stone.  Oh yeah, and he also has an imaginary super hero friend played by Ryan Reynolds.

This dramedy is wonderfully off-beat, with the perfect cast, really strong writing, and some great visuals.  It's 'Lost in Translation' as if written by 'Greenberg's Noah Baumbach, and maybe with a touch of Charlie Kaufman thrown in. 

Jeff Daniels is always great in both comedy and drama ('Dumb and Dumber', 'Pleasantville', 'The Squid and the Whale'), and he blends that talent perfectly here. And it's always interesting to see what non-traditional film choices Ryan Reynolds makes (like 'Bured' and 'The Nines'), as well as co-star Kieran Culkin ('Lymelife', 'Igby Goes Down').  And 'Easy A's Emma Stone gives a really strong, moving performance.

When I go to a film festival like Sundance, this is the kind of film I hope to find.  I can't fathom why it didn't get a wider distribution or more recognition.  Although the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes aren't as glowing as mine, so I may be alone in my high praise.  But if you like dramedies as much as I do, this one's certainly worth checking out on DVD and Blu-Ray. 

Grade: A

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cedar Rapids

Ed Helms (from 'The Office' and 'The Hangover') stars as a childlike small town insurance agent who has never been anywhere.  But he becomes a little more worldly when he is sent on a business trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in this indie comedy which just premiered at Sundance last month.  The film costars John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, and Sigourney Weaver.

These types of indie comedies are usually the kinds of films I love.  And yet I didn't love it.  I liked it.  I liked the cast, and I liked that I had no idea where it was going.  But it's really not that funny, nor does it connect you with any of the characters.  Call me corny, but my favorite moment is a short scene where Helms explains to Heche why he loves being an insurance agent.  But moments like that were too few and far between.  Nevertheless, at least this film is somewhat original.  And I can't say that about most of the movies released in January and February.  So I probably shouldn't complain.  Much.

Grade: B-

Friday, February 18, 2011

FOX 35 News Orlando - Friday 2/18/10

Check out my segment from this morning on Fox 35 in Orlando where I give my thoughts on 'Unknown', 'I Am Number Four', 'Barney's Version', and 'The Disappearance of Alice Creed'.

Flieder Flicks: Friday February 18, 2011 :


Liam Neeson plays Dr. Martin Harris, a man traveling abroad in Germany with his wife for a conference.  Shortly after arriving he gets in an accident which causes him some memory issues.  He still remembers who he is, but his wife, played by 'Mad Men's January Jones, acts as if she doesn't know him, and another man, played by Aidan Quinn, claims to be her husband and the real Dr. Martin Harris.  Is Neeson delusional from the accident or is this a conspiracy?

I didn't really know the premise of the film before seeing it, as I prefer, and my only preconception was the title of the film and the movie poster.  And since the poster could easily be swapped with that of 'Taken', I was a bit concerned that Neeson was in a rut and I'd be watching that same film over again.  Well, I am pleased to say this one is significantly different than 'Taken'.  However, 'Taken' is a slightly better film.  But this one isn't bad.  It's definitely suspenseful.  And the cast is great, including Neeson, Jones, Quinn, and 'Frost/Nixon's Frank Langella.  And it wasn't completely predictable.  I couldn't figure out what the big reveal would be, but truthfully I wasn't completely satisfied with it when it finally arrived.

This film succeeds as an entertaining, action, suspense ride.  It isn't dull at all.  So it's not a bad choice for the weekend.  But, not unlike Neeson's character's history, it also isn't completely memorable.

Grade:  B- (but close to a B)

I Am Number Four

Alex Pettyfur stars in this science fiction action film as an alien disguised as a high school student who is being hunted by an evil enemy.  There are only nine of his species remaining, and they are being hunted in order of their number.  One through Three have already been killed.  He is Number Four.

I wasn't familiar with almost anyone in this fresh faced cast.  I've never seen Pettyfur before, and I'm not particularly fond of him now that I have.  The supporting cast includes 'Justified's Timothy Olyphant who is generally a pretty interesting character actor, Dianna Agron from 'Glee', and Teresa Palmer who doesn't have much screen time but really gives the film the burst of energy it needed whenever she showed up.  I wish she was in more of it.

Basically, the film felt like watching a bad episode of 'Heroes'.  And with a less interesting cast.  It's based on the first book of a planned six book series.  I sure hope I don't have to sit through five sequels, and I suspect I won't.  To be fair, I suspect I'm older than the target demographic.  So it may be fun for the teens since it has young, attractive faces and doesn't require any thought.  But if you're over 21 you probably want to steer clear of this one.  It's closer to number two than number four, if you know what I mean.

Grade: D

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Now Available on DVD

Looking to head to the video store, but don’t know what to see?  (Does anyone still go to video stores?)  Well, here are my grades at a glance for some recent releases:
The Social Network                            Grade: A+

Kick Ass                                                Grade: A+
127 Hours   (Available 3/1)                Grade: A+
Get Low   (Available 2/22)                 Grade: A+

City Island                                           Grade: A+

Please Give                                          Grade: A+

It's Kind of a Funny Story                  Grade: A+

The Greatest                                       Grade: A

Buried                                                  Grade: A
Never Let Me Go                                 Grade: A

Heartbreaker (L'Arnacoeur)              Grade: A

I Knew it Was You:  Rediscovering John Cazale    Grade: A

Against the Current                           Grade: A-

The Secret in their Eyes                    Grade: A-

Inception                                            Grade: A-

Winter’s Bone                                    Grade: A-

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work          Grade: A-

The Art of the Steal                          Grade: A-

The Kids are All Right                        Grade: A-

Toy Story 3                                        Grade: A-

The Last Exorcism                             Grade: B+
Mother and Child                             Grade: B+
Waking Sleeping Beauty                 Grade: B+

Centurion                                          Grade: B+
Timer                                                 Grade: B+

I’m Still Here                                     Grade: B+

Going the Distance                          Grade: B+

The Disappearance of Alice Creed     Grade: B+

Easy A                                                Grade: B+
Cyrus                                                 Grade: B+

High Rollers                                      Grade: B

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps     Grade: B

The Town                                          Grade: B
The Virginity Hit                               Grade: B

Leaves of Grass                                Grade: B

Knight and Day                                Grade: B

Sorcerer’s Apprentice                     Grade: B

How to Train Your Dragon             Grade: B
The Romantics                                 Grade: B

Dinner for Schmucks                      Grade: B-
Takers                                              Grade: C+

The Other Guys                               Grade: C+

Disney's A Christmas Carol            Grade: C+

Eat Pray Love                                  Grade: C

Salt                                                  Grade: C
Valentine's Day                               Grade: C

Despicable Me                                Grade: C

Piranha                                           Grade: C

Splice                                              Grade: C-

Frozen                                             Grade: C-
You Again                                       Grade: C-

Devil                                                Grade: D

The A-Team                                    Grade: D

The Extra Man                               Grade: D

The American                                Grade: D
The Killer Inside Me                       Grade: D

The Expendables                           Grade: D
The Last Airbender                        Grade: F

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World         Grade: F

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You Again

Kristen Bell transforms from an ugly duckling to a beautiful and successful executive at a PR firm.  And all is great until she finds out her brother is getting married to the girl who ruined her life in high school.  Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, and Betty White co-star as earlier generations who still have high school issues.

Seriously, how many of these high-school-geeks-grown-up-but-still-emotionally-scarred comedies do we have to endure?  It was four years.  Get over it.  And I love K-Bell more than anyone, but she's clearly on that Jennifer Aniston-formulaic-rom-com spiral downward.  'When in Rome' wasn't bad, but she hasn't really hit the mark since 2008's 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'.  I really think she needs to get back to her roots and do something less predictable and more edgy.  'Burlesque' was a respectable attempt but not a complete success.

I'm clearly not the target audience for this film, but I am trying to look at it from an unbiased perspective.  And even still, it just wasn't that much fun.

Grade: C-

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Romantics

This drama about a group of thirtysomething friends reuniting for a wedding premiered at Sundance in January of 2010 and is now available on DVD.  The cast alone is reason enough to see the film:  Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Anna Paquin, Malin Akerman, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, and Candice Bergen.  That's a very interesting ensemble.  Wood and Brody don't have a ton of screentime, but I always look forward to seeing their film choices.

The film gradually unfolds the complex, incestuous relationships between the members in this tight group.  It's 'The Big Chill' minus the Motown.  And as far as wedding dramas go, I personally think it's better than both the overrated 2008 film 'Rachel Getting Married' with Anne Hathaway and Noah Baumbach's barely adequate 'Margot at the Wedding' from 2007.  But unfortunately 'The Romatics' is not quite as good as I hoped.  Nevertheless I still found it satisfying and I'm surpised it didn't get a significant release in theaters.  But other reviewers on the internet weren't quite as kind as me, so maybe that's why.

Grade: B

Valentine's Day

OK, so I'm a year late on this review, I know.  I've been hesitant to see this film because I've heard such terrible things about it, despite a very impressive cast, and a fairly decent looking trailer.  So it seemed like a fitting time to watch and review this film and make up my own opinion.

The cast is jam packed with major stars, including Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace, Eric Dane, Jessica Biel, Jamie Fox, George Lopez, Larry Miller, Hector Elizondo, Shirley MacLaine, Kathy Bates, Queen Latifah, Emma Roberts, Taylor Lautner, and Taylor Swift.  Wow.  I don't think I've ever thought this before, but there is just too much talent in this film.  As a result, it's much longer than a movie like this should be (over 2 hours) and has too may storylines, many of which are utterly predictable or just plain ridiculous.

But, with that said, I've spent much worse time, watching much worse films, with a much less attractive cast.  This film is likable enough, with beautiful people in beautiful homes, offices, and locales.  And it's directed by the great Garry Marshall, who directed 'Pretty Woman', and produced classic TV shows like 'Happy Days', 'Laverne and Shirley', 'The Odd Couple', and 'Mork and Mindy'.  Marshall knows how to make a likeable enough movie, so this is not the worst choice for Valentine's Day viewing.  But the script by Katherine Fugate is severely lacking, and so this certainly wasn't the best use of my time.  Sadly, I do not look forward to 'New Years Eve', the next Marshall/Fugate collaboration jam packed with celebrities, due out in December.

Grade: C

Friday, February 11, 2011

In Theaters Now

Looking to head to the theater this weekend, but don’t know what to see?  Here are my grades at a glance:
127 Hours                            Grade: A+   (#5/38 of my Toronto Film Festival blog)
Barney's Version                Grade: A   (#4/38 of my Toronto Film Festival blog)
Black Swan                         Grade: A   (#7/38 of my Toronto Film Fest blog)
Blue Valentine                   Grade: A
The Way Back                   Grade: A-
The Fighter                         Grade: A-
Casino Jack                         Grade: A-  (#10/38 of my Toronto Film Fest blog)
The King’s Speech           Grade: B+  (#11/38 of my Toronto Film Fest blog)
Little Fockers                     Grade: B+

The Company Men            Grade: B+

Rabbit Hole                        Grade: B+

The Illusionist                     Grade: B+
Country Strong                 Grade: B+ 
Another Year                   Grade: B   (#16/38 of my Toronto Film Festival blog)
The Tourist                         Grade: B
No Strings Attached          Grade: B
The Green Hornet              Grade: B
True Grit                            Grade: B-
The Mechanic                   Grade: C+
Just Go WIth It                 Grade: C
How Do You Know          Grade: C-
The Dilemma                    Grade: C-
Somewhere                     Grade: C-
Season of the Witch        Grade: D
Sanctum                           Grade: D
The Rite                            Grade: F