Friday, January 27, 2012

Flieder's Flicks - Good Day - FOX 35 Orlando 1/27/12


Check out my appearance from this morning where I gave my thoughts on 'Man on a Ledge', 'The Grey', 'A Dangerous Method', and '50/50'.

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/entertainment/movies/012712-flieder-flicks-friday

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:

(Newest releases are in green)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close     Grade: A+

The Descendants                Grade: A+ 

The Artist                            Grade: A

Carnage                               Grade: A-

A Dangerous Method        Grade: A-

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol     Grade: A-

Shame                                 Grade: B+

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy         Grade: B+

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows      Grade: B+

Man on a Ledge                Grade: B+

Young Adult                       Grade: B

The Grey                           Grade: B

We Bought a Zoo              Grade: B

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo       Grade: B

The Iron Lady                     Grade: B

My Week with Marilyn     Grade: B

J. Edgar                               Grade: B

Hugo                                   Grade: B

New Year's Eve                  Grade: B-

The Muppets                      Grade: B-

War Horse                           Grade: C+

A Separation                      Grade: C+

The Darkest Hour              Grade: C+

The Adventures of Tintin      Grade: C+

Contraband                       Grade: C+

The Flowers of War           Grade: C


Albert Nobbs                     Grade: C-

Haywire                             Grade: C-

Red Tails                            Grade: D+

Underworld: Awakening     Grade: D+

The Devil Inside                Grade: D+

Man on a Ledge


Sam Worthington plays the titular character, a convicted felon who stands alone high atop a New York City skyscraper proclaiming his innocence.  And he's got a plan to prove it.

I must admit, by the summer of 2010 Worthington had quickly become my least favorite movie star, based on forgettable and downright subpar performances in blockbusters like 'Avatar', 'Clash of the Titans', and 'Terminator: Salvation'.  To me he seemed worth significantly less than a ton, but he was undeniably king at the box office and it became clear we'd be seeing a lot more of him.  And while I still haven't really taken a liking to him, his last three movies, 'The Debt', 'Last Night', and now this one, are all major improvements in script and in his own performance.  So he's off my $#!& list (at least until the upcoming sequel to 'Clash' and rumored sequel to 'Avatar'.  Ugh.)  But that's not why you called...

While 'Man on a Ledge' doesn't really provide anything we haven't seen before, it provides exactly what most people go to the movies for: fun, exciting, non-stop escapism.  It's an action thriller heist film that keeps you on the edge of your seat (or ledge, so to speak) from start to finish.  And each familiar face that pops up is more likeable than the last.  (Is there a better supporting actor than Ed Harris?  I don't think so.)  And for a January release, this one's a nice surprise.

Grade: B+

The Grey


These days, every movie poster for the latest Liam Neeson action vehicle looks pretty much interchangeable.  Whether it be 'Taken', 'Unknown', or now 'The Grey', you pretty much know what you're gonna get.  This time out, though, rather than having the conflict be man vs. man (or man vs. many men, as was the case in 'Taken'), here it's all man vs. nature. 

After a plane crash, seven tough guy survivors must battle the punishing cold of Alaska, and a pack of bloodthirsty wolves.  Call it 'Frozen' (about a group of kids stranded on a ski lift overnight who had to tangle with the same perils) meets 'The Edge' (where Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins had to survive both the wilderness and a relentless bear.)  Just don't expect anything unexpected and you'll probably enjoy yourself.  It's not as good as 'The Edge', but Neeson is an engaging leading man, even when what he's leading is a group of forgettable supporting actors who you just know are gonna succumb to nature one by one.  (And if that's a spoiler, then you really need to see more movies.)

Grade: B

Albert Nobbs


Glenn Close plays Albert Nobbs, one of many servants for a rich family in 19th century Ireland in this period drama.  But no one suspects that Albert is actually a woman.  Really??  Oh c'mon.

Just like 'Some Like it Hot', 'Tootsie', 'Mrs Doubtfire', 'Just One of the Guys', 'Jack and Jill', or almost any cross-dressing film, I just can't suspend my disbelief.  I can't stop thinking that no one would ever buy this.  Not for a minute.  And I really don't think Close does a particularly convincing job of pulling it off.  (Although she's infinitely more believable than Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Joyce Hyser, or Adam Sandler in drag.  Granted those are supposed to be ridiculous comedies.)  But Close's gender bending appearance is only one of a few unbelievable things about this film (which I won't spoil in case you do decide to see it.)  Well, I can't recommend it, and I find it hard to believe Close has been nominated for an Academy Award for her performance here.  Grossly undeserved.

Grade: C-

A Separation


Few films have received as rave reviews in 2011 as this Iranian film.  It's won way too many nominations and awards to name, including the Best Foreign Language Film at both the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Movie Awards.  It played many prestigious festivals including Berlin, Cannes, Telluride, and Toronto.  And it has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  But, as always, I have to keep it real.  I don't get the hoopla.  It's an OK film, don't get me wrong.  But I don't see what's so special about it.

Life is hard.  Bad things happen.  People are cruel.  These truisms are universal.  And this film explores them around one man dealing with his alzheimers stricken father, a wife who wants a divorce, and an accusation made by an employee.  The story is told honestly and believably.  But it's just not completely engaging or significant.  It's just OK.  Personally I think this, along with 'The Artist', are the bandwagons of 2011 that all critics feel the need to hop on.  Here, at 'Flieder on Film', I always keep it real.  'The Artist' is a good movie and you should see it.  This one's fine, but you needn't go out of your way.

Grade: C+

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kill List


Now available on Video on Demand, this film which played many prestigious festivals over the last year, begins as your typical British crime film, reminiscent of 'Sexy Beast', with those to-be-expected semi-unintelligible accents (of which I'm actually a fan because it makes for fun repeat viewings).  But just when you think you have it pegged, the film takes off in an unexpected direction.

I'm pleased to say that many of the films premiering on Video on Demand prior to their limited theatrical release are surprisingly good, and in fact better than the major studio releases in theaters.  These films are generally less mainstream and less cookie-cutter, and you get to watch them in the privacy of your own home for $10 or less.  I love that.  And while this movie isn't perfect, I love any film that takes you on a ride you don't see coming.  It's violent, creepy, and a bit hard to follow.  My kind of movie.

Grade: B+

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Perfect Sense


Now available on Video on Demand, Ewan McGregor and Eva Green star in this thought provoking film about unrelated people across the world suddenly and mysteriously losing their sense of smell.  Is this an epidemic?  Is it temporary?  Will things get worse? 

I'm a sucker for these kinds of high concept 'what if' films.  This one's for those who appeciated 'Blindness' (about people mysteriously going blind), 'Children of Men' (about all women mysteriously unable to get pregnant), and 'Contagion' (about a new disease with no known cure spreading rapidly).  Exploring these kinds of worst case scenarios always keeps me intrigued and makes me feel like I got my time and money's worth.  And this one's pretty close to 'Perfect'.  Ewan McGregor and Eva Green give amazing performances.  It's artsy, bleak, thought provoking, powerful, and moving.  It blends romance, melodrama, and sci-fi perfectly.  And it touches me in a profound way.

Grade: A+

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Underworld: Awakening


It's never a good sign for a movie when there aren't any advance screenings for the press.  That generally means the studios don't think the critics are going to like it (i.e. it isn't very good) and they want to get a big opening weekend before negative reviews hit the internet.  So I just paid to see it since I am a fan of the series, but sure enough it wasn't worth it.  Not even close. 

Kate Beckinsale is back, after being absent from the third installment, and although Beckinsale is always nice to look at, there really aren't any other redeeming qualities here.  The first three in the series are much better than this fourth.  I particularly liked the third one, a prequel featuring Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, and Rhona Mitra.  That one added a lot of insight to the backstory.  This one adds virtually nothing except for painfully long and dull action sequences.  And the 3D is pointless, only serving to milk the audience for $3 more.  Skip it.

Grade: D+

Friday, January 20, 2012

Flieder's Flicks - Good Day - FOX 35 Orlando 1/20/12


Check out my appearance from this morning where I gave my thoughts on 'Haywire', 'Red Tails', 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close', and 'The Ides of March'.

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/entertainment/movies/012012-flieder-flicks-friday

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:

(Newest releases are in green)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close     Grade: A+

The Descendants                Grade: A+ 

The Artist                            Grade: A

Carnage                               Grade: A-

A Dangerous Method        Grade: A-

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol     Grade: A-

Shame                                 Grade: B+

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy         Grade: B+

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows      Grade: B+

Young Adult                       Grade: B

We Bought a Zoo              Grade: B

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo       Grade: B

The Iron Lady                     Grade: B

My Week with Marilyn     Grade: B

J. Edgar                               Grade: B

Hugo                                   Grade: B

New Year's Eve                  Grade: B-

The Muppets                      Grade: B-

War Horse                           Grade: C+

The Darkest Hour              Grade: C+

The Adventures of Tintin      Grade: C+

Contraband                       Grade: C+

The Flowers of War           Grade: C

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1      Grade: C

Haywire                             Grade: C-


Red Tails                            Grade: D+

Underworld: Awakening     Grade: D+

The Devil Inside                Grade: D+

The Sitter                          Grade: D-

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


When you see as many movies as I do you often question why you do it.  Most movies are just ok.  (If you regularly read my blog you know I don't give out A's very often.)  But a few times a year I get reminded exactly why I see so many movies, and exactly why I prefer to see them without knowing anything about them.  This was one of those times and this is easily one of the best films of 2011. 

I don't want to say much about the film because I believe it's meant to be discovered as it unveils itself.  But I will say it packs an emotional wallop.  There wasn't a dry eye in the house.  It has a great supporting cast of very recognizable names like Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock and features a great understated performance by veteran actor Max von Sydow.  But it's the lead actor, a 13 year old boy named Thomas Horn, who deserves the majority of the credit.  Horn, a previous Jeopardy winner, had no acting credits prior to the film, but his performance is truly amazing and one of the best of the year.  He already received the Best Young Actor award at the Critics Choice Movie Awards, and rightly so.  And since all the performances and the entire tone of the film is so perfect I can't leave out director Stephen Daldry.  Daldry's resume includes 'Billy Elliot', 'The Hours', and 'The Reader', and he has proven himself a force in Hollywood to be reckoned with. 

Unlike the overrated 'Hugo', which is also about a boy trying to unravel a mystery, this one pulls you in completely from start to finish.  So do yourself a favor.  Don't read about it.  Don't watch the trailers.  Just go see it.  And bring tissues.

Grade: A+

Red Tails


Ah January, oh January.  Oh, how I hate you, January.  Not only are the holidays over, but us movie buffs have to suffer through one bad movie after another.  Let me tell you, it's been a rough week at the movies.  And it's no coincidence that January's typically a bad month for films, because if they were any good the studio would have pushed to get them out by year end to make them eligible for the awards season.  This movie about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American combat pilots in the US Army Air Corps that fought in World War II, wouldn't have stood a chance.  And that's too bad because there's definitely a story worth telling here, buried under poor casting, roll-your-eyes acting, inferior direction, and a laughably cheesy score.  In fact, that story was already told, better, on HBO in 1995, also featuring Cuba Gooding Jr.  This version, produced by George Lucas, is inferior.  And, as usual, overindulgent filmmakers tend to think longer is better.  It's not.  Some of us have to get up early to talk about these bore-fests on TV.

Grade: D+

Haywire


Female assassins seem to be in vogue.  Last year I had to sit through two less than enjoyable entries in the genre:  'Hanna' and 'Columbiana'.  (I even watched 'Hanna' a second time after hearing so many other critics raving about it.  I didn't enjoy it any more than the first.)  And now we have Mixed Martial Arts champion Gina Carano kicking ass.  Why?  After 93 minutes of watching her, I'm still not sure I can tell you.  And I was trying to pay attention, I swear.  It's something about being double-crossed by her 'black ops' employer.  Blah, blah, blah.  It doesn't matter, the plot is paper thin.  This one's all about the fight sequences, and to me it's a giant bore.  I didn't fall asleep, but I surely struggled not to as this film meandered from one pointless, unexciting fight scene to the next.  Eventually my pain came to an end with an ending as unsatisfying as the beginning and middle.  Three big mysteries remain, however.  First, how did such a bore-fest come from the skilled directing of Steven Soderbergh?  Second, how did this script attract such a stellar supporting cast of relatively small parts filled by Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, and Bill Paxton??  (Although the fact that it was directed by Soderbergh may answer that.)  And third, and perhaps most bizarre, why were some people in the audience cheering at the end?  (These were undoubtedly the same people who cheered at the end of 'Hanna'.)  Watching this movie gave me flashbacks to another disaster of cataclysmic proportions that had a lot of potential: 'The Men Who Stare at Goats', also with McGregor.  (Another one like these two and I may have to recall my tribute to him.)

To be clear, early reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are quite favorable and it's clear some may really have a good time.  But I didn't care for it and recommend skipping it unless you really liked 'Hanna', in which case you should stop listening to my opinions because we obviously don't share the same taste.

Grade: C-

Flowers of War


It's always interesting to see what projects Christian Bale gravitates towards.  You never know what to expect, except that it'll be heavy and he'll be giving it all he's got.  Sometimes that means losing a ridiculous amount of weight, like he did for 'The Machinist', 'Rescue Dawn', and 'The Fighter'.  Sometimes he'll be so deep in character that he blows his temper at a member of the crew distracting him, like he did on the set of 'Terminator Salvation'.  And on three occasions he's been intimidating bad guys with his disturbingly loud gravelly whisper voice as the Dark Knight.  And now, he takes it down a few levels to play an unlikely savior disguised as a priest in 1937 China trying to protect a group of innocent young girls from the Japanese invaders who would do them harm.  As always, Bale gives an honest and admirable performance.  But unfortunately the thin storyline and poor character development just isn't enough to keep you caring about the outcome.  And it's just not engrossing or emotional enough to warrant spending almost 2 hours and 20 minutes of your time.

Grade: C

Monday, January 16, 2012

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:

(Newest releases are in green)

The Descendants                  Grade: A+ 

The Artist                            Grade: A

Carnage                               Grade: A-

A Dangerous Method        Grade: A-

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol     Grade: A-

Shame                                 Grade: B+

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy         Grade: B+

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows      Grade: B+

Young Adult                       Grade: B

We Bought a Zoo              Grade: B

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo       Grade: B

The Iron Lady                     Grade: B

My Week with Marilyn     Grade: B

J. Edgar                               Grade: B

Hugo                                   Grade: B

New Year's Eve                  Grade: B-

The Muppets                      Grade: B-

War Horse                           Grade: C+

The Darkest Hour              Grade: C+

The Adventures of Tintin      Grade: C+

Contraband                       Grade: C+


Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1      Grade: C

The Devil Inside                Grade: D+

The Sitter                          Grade: D-

Contraband


Mark Wahlberg heads up this action crime drama about a former smuggler gone straight who needs to return to his old ways one more time to help his wife's brother pay off a debt to a crazy drug dealer.  Now, when you hear a general synopsis like that doesn't it just sound like every late night cable or straight to video B-movie ever made?  Considering that, the cast here is better than you expect giving this one a fighting chance of being something special.  Unfortunately it really isn't.  Even the stunningly beautiful Kate Beckinsale, and a top notch, fun supporting cast of character actors including Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Foster, and J.K. Simmons doesn't raise the bar enough to make this one worth your time.  I can't quite figure why they all signed on.  (Ribisi sure seems to have cornered the market on sleazy, greasy, psychopaths though.  I'd sure love to see a glimpse into his real life story.  Or perhaps I wouldn't.) 

For better, recent, lesser known films featuring Ribisi, Foster, or Simmons, check out 'Middle Men', 'The Messenger', or 'The Music Never Stopped', respectively.

Grade: C+

Friday, January 13, 2012

Carnage


I can't help but wonder what attracted legendary director Roman Polanski to this particular project?  This faithful adaptation of the Broadway hit 'God of Carnage' only boasts a cast of four (Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet, and Christoph Waltz) and takes place in just one location, a New York City apartment (aside from a very brief prologue and epilogue.)  And the premise is simple:  Two couples get together to discuss the fight their children had at the playground.  But what begins as calm, rational conversation slowly escalates.  So is that enough for a theatrically released feature film?  It turns out, for me, it is.

I actually saw the play on Broadway, starring Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandalfini, and Marcia Gay Harden, and it was really very enjoyable, albeit too short.  But I didn't for one minute think it would make a good feature film.  And had I even considered it, I never would have thought of Polanski to helm it.  It's quite different than his usual material.  But I guess that's what makes Polanski more of a visionary than I am.  He really didn't make many changes at all, but it still translates well to film and was just as enjoyable in its new form with a cast just as good as the original.  This is one for those who appreciate a simple story jam packed with fast, clever dialogue.  And just like my reaction to the original, my only complaint is it's too short.  (And I rarely say that about a movie.)  I just hope the trend of adapting the best of Broadway to feature films continues so I don't have to fork over $175 for 90 minutes of entertainment.  So go see this one for me.

Grade: A-

The Iron Lady


Meryl Streep stars as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and this is the story of her rise to power.

Unfortunately, biopics this year have been somewhat disappointing.  'J. Edgar', 'My Week with Marilyn', and 'The Iron Lady' are all based on compelling subjects, but none of them are really must see films.  It just seems like biopics aren't what they were in their hey dey, back in 2005 and 2006 when 'Ray', 'The Aviator', 'Walk the Line', and 'Capote' wowed critics.  Sadly, they seem to have devolved to a formula.  We know exactly what to expect and how the story will be told.  And even though Meryl Streep delivers a first class performance, and Jim Broadbent is as good as always as her husband, we expect nothing less.  The bar is high for both of them and they simply meet expectations.  Perhaps that's unfair, but it's how I feel.  Frankly, this one is better suited for HBO.  And that's not meant as an insult at all.

Grade: B

Monday, January 9, 2012

Critics Choice Movie Awards


Esteemed movie fans, don't dare miss the upcoming Critics Choice Movie Awards airing live on VH1 this Thursday at 8:00 PM.  Unlike the voters for the Oscars, movie critics actually see most of the eligible films and therefore make better informed decisions.  (Of course, as a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and a voter for the Critics Choice Awards I may be a bit biased.  But that doesn't mean I'm wrong.)

Click here to see the nominees.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Flieder's Flicks - Good Day - FOX 35 Orlando 1/6/12


Check out my appearance from this morning where I gave my thoughts on my Top 5 films of the year.

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/entertainment/movies/010612-flieder-flicks-friday

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:

(Newest releases are in green)

The Descendants                  Grade: A+ 

The Artist                            Grade: A

A Dangerous Method        Grade: A-

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol     Grade: A-

Melancholia                       Grade: B+

Shame                                 Grade: B+

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy         Grade: B+

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows      Grade: B+

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo       Grade: B+

Young Adult                       Grade: B

We Bought a Zoo              Grade: B

Tower Heist                        Grade: B

My Week with Marilyn     Grade: B

J. Edgar                               Grade: B

Hugo                                   Grade: B-

New Year's Eve                  Grade: B-

The Muppets                      Grade: B-

War Horse                           Grade: C+

The Darkest Hour              Grade: C+

The Adventures of Tintin      Grade: C+

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1      Grade: C

The Devil Inside                Grade: D+

Happy Feet 2                    Grade: D

The Sitter                          Grade: D-

The Devil Inside


Who's ready for another documentary style horror film about demonic possession?  If you are then you obviously haven't seen as many of these as I have lately.  Even before seeing this one I felt like the genre was overdone.  And now after having seen it, I'm quite certain of it.

This one is pretty much your standard priests and camera crew trying to exorcise the possessed.  And there really isn't much more to it than that.  Sure, it's got a few scares and a few awkwardly intriguing, contorted, demonically possessed subjects.  But really it's just a far inferior version to many other documentary style horror films we've already seen over the last few years.  Stick with 'The Last Exorcism', 'Paranormal Activity', 'Grave Encounters', and the original 'Blair Witch Project'.  This one just ain't worth it.  But if you do decide to see it, then don't waste your time staying through the unnecessarily slow, painfully silent end credits.  There's no payoff.  It was as if this was one final joke played on us suckers who actually went to see this disappoint-fest.  OK, you got me.

Grade: D+

A Dangerous Method


Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen play Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, respectively, collaborating and debating their ideas on Psychoanalysis at the top of the twentieth century.  Jung's most intriguing patient, played by Keira Knightley, suffers from hysteria, of which Jung is attempting to find the cause.

Director David Cronenberg brings us yet another thought provoking film for the art house crowd, as he's done the past six years with 'Eastern Promises' and 'The History of Violence', all starring Mortensen.  This is not a film for mainstream audiences.  There's no action and minimal plot.  But the dialogue comes fast and brilliant, the shots and locations are beautiful, and the performances are superb (although Knightley's is debatable; It's either one of the best or worst performances of the year, but she really goes for it and that certainly makes it one of the most memorable.)  For those like myself that like smart dialogue and find the topics of Psychoanalysis, sexual repression, and hysteria intriguing then this is a must see, not just once but several times.  Mainstream audiences, however, should take a pass.

Grade: A-

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Darkest Hour


Aliens attacking Earth is always a fun premise, even when executed less than optimally.  And that pretty much sums up my feeling about this movie.  It's really just a poor man's 'Independence Day' except this time the focal characters happen to be in Moscow.  And while the setting is different, and the aliens are fairly intriguing, it's the cast and the script that keep this one from being worth your time.  I know Hollywood probably feels you don't need to break the bank on humans or on script in an alien movie, but you really don't want to skimp on the cast or writers.  The unengaging yet attractive all-white twentysomethings here are no Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, or Bill Pullman.  The boys are your typical only-in-Hollywood-films brilliant entrepreneurs yet cool party animals, and the girls serve no purpose but to be dragged around and look good.  Overall the acting is pretty subpar.  And the story never really goes anywhere you don't fully expect.  Nevertheless this is hardly without entertainment value.  In fact, I was entertained throughout its short 89 minute runtime.  So if alien flicks are your bag then by all means go see it.  It's just not a must see.

Grade: C+

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Best Films of 2010 Revisited

If you see as many movies as I do, by the time the year is over and every critic is publishing their Best lists, all of which resemble each other, and everyone is only talking about the same 10 movies through the end of February, you get anxious to move forward to a new year of films.  But before I do that, it seems like a good time to walk down memory lane and revisit my favorite films from 2010.  By my count, I saw 236 releases last year and below are my favorite 37.  Note that this is a revised list, reordered a bit after some reflection, and adding some that weren't on my original.  These lists are constantly evolving.  However, for now, my favorite of last year remains the same: an unexpected verbose treasure about the creation of Facebook.  I look forward to your comments.
  1. The Social Network
  2. Kick-Ass
  3. 127 Hours
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
  5. Get Low
  6. City Island
  7. Barney's Version
  8. Blue Valentine
  9. Please Give
  10. It's Kind of a Funny Story
  11. The Greatest
  12. Black Swan
  13. Buried
  14. The Ghost Writer
  15. Paper Man
  16. Never Let Me Go
  17. Heartbreaker (L'arnacoeur)
  18. Against the Current
  19. Inception
  20. The Way Back
  21. In a Better World
  22. Winter's Bone
  23. The Fighter
  24. Daybreakers
  25. Casino Jack
  26. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
  27. The King's Speech
  28. The Art of the Steal
  29. Middle Men
  30. The Next Three Days
  31. The Kids are All Right
  32. Toy Story 3
  33. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  34. Another Year
  35. Incendies
  36. Rabbit Hole
  37. The Illusionist

Sunday, January 1, 2012

State of the Blog


Happy New Year!  I figured I'd start the year off with a 'State of the Blog' keeping you up to date on all things 'Flieder on Film' and 'Flieder's Flicks'.

2011 was a busy year.  I published 319 posts on this blog offering my thoughts on around 270 films released in 2011, as well as my weekly list of what to see in theaters, ranked from best to worst.  I also posted my regular Friday morning appearances on Good Day on FOX 35 in Orlando.  To date I've been on there 64 times.

I also became a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association this year.  This is truly an honor, as the BFCA is the largest film critics organization in the U.S. and Canada, with a little over 250 TV, radio, and online critics.  You can check out my profile by clicking here:

As a member of the BFCA, I am now a voter of the Critics Choice Awards, which airs live on Thursday, January 12th on VH1.  I'll be attending the show in person and I encourage you to watch it.  Unlike the voters of the Oscars, my colleagues in the BFCA actually see pretty much everything released.  So who better to select the truly best films and performances of the year?

If you like this blog, and you want me to continue providing totally free, ad-free movie reviews and content, then I would certainly appreciate if you'd become a follower. Just click the button on the right hand side of the page.  (You may have to set up a free account, but it's easy!)  Don't worry, I won't be able to track you thereafter.  But I'd love to know how many people are regular readers.  I can tell you I've gotten over 27,250 page views and around 20% of those come from outside the U.S.  (The U.K., Germany, Canada, Australia, and Russia are my top 5 outside of the U.S.)  So that's not bad.  But more would be nice.  And to that end, I'm changing the settings a bit to display only the latest post on the main page.  That way you'll have to click for each post individually.  We'll see how that works out.

I also encourage you to become a Twitter follower.  Unlike most tweeters, I only tweet movie reviews.  You won't have to hear about the delicious sandwich I just ate, or where I'm visiting, or any other trivialities from my life.  But you will get a 140 character or less movie review with a link to my full review.  Again, just click the button on the right hand side and set up a free Twitter account.

And finally I encourage you to 'Like' my Facebook page.  Now, I won't lie to you, I haven't set up anything on it.  Quite frankly it's a terrible Facebook page.  But it'll only take 30 seconds of your life and if I get enough 'Like's I'll start putting up content.  So just click here and press 'Like'.

As always, thank you for reading.  (Particular thanks go out to CK, Taralyn, TMcGPhilly, The Martins, food-ie mike, and tinseltine.com for their regular comments.)  And as always, I encourage all feedback, positive and negative. 

And now, let a new year of movies begin ...