I started doing movie reviews on my blog on February 21, 2011, starting with Disney's Tangled - since then I've posted 70 film reviews in the past 3 years, which is a long time frame for me to develop as a writer and critic of other works and so opinions can change. Vastly. Some of my more naive opinions cropped up in early reviews during 2011, so I feel it's time to establish my new thoughts in retrospect.
In this list I have selected a few of my 2011 film reviews which need serious rethinking, complete with new opinions and ratings!
I reviewed Rango on April 2, 2011, praising its visuals, voice acting and...use of mature words? Well, it was only my second movie review ever written, so I was still developing my writing style. It's one of my few early reviews that's way too long and spends too much time nitpicking at silly points. Instead of a review, it feels like a casual expressing of my opinion due to the loose writing. But I'm going off on a tangent here; I gave the film a 9/10, but watching it again makes me realize it has some major problems - notably a slightly bland story. A good film, but not the masterpiece I made it out to be.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
I love the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, so I was uber excited to see the fourth installment after initially thinking it was all over in 2007. I reviewed this film on May 29, 2011, awarding it 3.5 stars. My praise was aimed at its acting and thrilling action sequences, but in hindsight this was not enough to justify such a good rating. Depp's portrayal of Jack Sparrow is more of the same, and the villain Blackbeard is poorly developed and cliché, despite a decent performance from Ian McShane. If Dead Men Tell No Tales is as lacklustre as this, then damn you Disney.
KUNG FU PANDA 2
This is easily the biggest offender of my old film reviews, published on June 25, 2011. Now don't get me wrong, I like this film - it's beautifully animated, has a great villain and a nice emotional message. But 4.5 stars was far too generous - I sucked up to the content of the film, believing some sad moments made it the most compelling drama ever produced. When I look back at it, it has some notable issues - the villain Lord Shen is cool, but never feels like a true threat as he loses in every goddamn situation no matter how much the odds are in his favour. Our main hero Po is also rather annoying in this film, being stupid and comedic in every situation to the point where his charm is lost by the time the plot concludes. A good animated film, but definitely not as amazing as I originally claimed it to be.
Pixar are so awesome that it's difficult to criticise them, even if they make a mediocre film. Cars 2 for me was definitely their first crappy effort, with a lazy plot, annoying characters and a forced, stupid moral of friendship. I made similar points when I reviewed this film back on July 24, 2011, but I still concluded my review by calling it decent and awarding it 3 stars. That's not a great rating, especially for Pixar, but it was still too generous for this piece of trash. The excellent animation and fun set pieces are all it has to offer - outside of that, it does nothing but tarnish Pixar's stellar reputation.
COWBOYS & ALIENS
I'm sure I was on something when I saw this pile of shit - I called it a reasonably entertaining summer movie when I reviewed it on August 22, 2011, and gave it a 3 stars. Okay, expecting a really compelling movie is absurd when you see the title, but the script even manages to cock up its own silly premise with bland characters, some ridiculous plot contrivances and a story so stupid it clearly never developed beyond the first draft. There is no reason for anyone to see this film and I'm glad it was a box office bomb.
Thanks for reading!