At the beginning of the year, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to see as many movies in 2011 as I would like, so when I was considering my yearly quest to see as many movies as possible which I hadn’t seen before, I set my goal low for the Drive for 66.

I blew that away before August was over.

So I set a new goal of 85 movies, which was at least 11 films too low based on my rate of seeing movies, but I did it anyway…

…and I’ve already passed that.

I didn’t set a new goal, but it would be cool to surpass the number I set last year, which was 95.

Here are my reviews and superlative-candidates for the films I saw in November:

87. Twilight

I’ll admit it, I read the book. I wanted to see what all the hype was about and I heard it was a quick read, so I checked it out. Aside from being told from a girl’s perspective, it’s an interesting story. Just like any book I read, I was interested to see how the film translation went (the fact that Ashley Greene / Anna Kendrick / Kristen Stewart were in it didn’t hurt). Seeing it pop up on FX one day made it an easy choice to add to the list, since I wasn’t investing anything other than a little DVR space temporarily, and a couple hours of my life. At times this was a painful movie to watch. The acting, as you could guess, left a lot to be desired, and while some of the special effects were just lame (sparkly vampires, for example) but some of the scenes were really cool. It wasn’t a good movie – just like it wasn’t a good book – so I don’t recommend watching it. Not to mention the fact that Ashley Greene has a very small role in the movie and her hotness is somewhat decreased due to her character’s hair / makeup. If you’ve read the books, you’ve probably already seen the movie, in which case this recommendation doesn’t mean much to you.

88. Never Say Never

It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that I’m not a fan of Justin Bieber. That’s not to say I’m a hater, but I have no intentions of ever obtaining an mp3 of his. So why did I see the documentary about him? Because the trailers sold me on watching it, and they weren’t lying. When you get past the screaming hordes of young female fans, Bieber’s actually a very talented musician. That’s right, he’s not just a guy who learns choreographed dances to perform while singing in concerts. The documentary shows how Justin was a prodigy on the drums from a young age and is skilled with the guitar as well. If you’re surprised and somewhat intrigued by the fact that Bieber has more talent than just what you’d expect from a pop star, you might enjoy this documentary. Sure, there’s parts you can fast forward through, but there’s enough content otherwise that you won’t feel as if you spent your whole time getting past the clips of his live performances. If you are a Justin Bieber fan, WELCOME TO GUYSNATION, HOW’D YOU END UP HERE? If, by chance, you’re Justin Bieber, just know that we’re always welcome to getting new investors!

89. Avatar

The concept for Avatar intrigued me, but I’m late to the game in seeing it because (somewhat surprisingly) none of my friends or family were interested in seeing it in the theater… which leads me to believe that the box office records it set were the result of a LOT of people saw this movie MANY TIMES. While James Cameron did a great job at making this an epic movie, I’m not entirely disappointed that my viewing experience was in my home. Sure, the 3D or IMAX experiences could’ve been interesting, and the richness of color of the visuals would’ve been better in the theater, but with the time-investment in watching a 3-hour movie among other reasons, I was happy to enjoy it from my couch. And don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the film and I appreciated the technological advances on display, but I wouldn’t put this film anywhere near my Top 100 films all-time. Unlike a lot of people, I probably wouldn’t watch it again. It’s something that most people should probably watch at least once, but I wouldn’t be surprised if upwards of 70% of the people never sat through a second viewing. In truth, given all the areas where the plot should probably have been fleshed out a bit more and scenes added to strengthen the characters relationships, it would’ve worked better as a five-part mini series of one-hour episodes. And yes, I know they’re working on sequels, but the additional content I felt the film needed were things that would build to the climax of THIS film, not just expand on the existing characters.

90. Alien

Not a big Sci-Fi / Horror movie fan, so I had ZERO interest in the films for the longest time. In fact, I have friends (@BTSJunkie, for example) who really like some of the first few Alien films, and even after they brought me into the series by dragging me to the theater to see Alien Resurrection fourteen years ago, I still didn’t have any interest in diving in at the beginning. Sure, there is a talented list of directors who took the helm of the earlier films, whose other work I enjoy, but the genre on the whole doesn’t interest me. Because the first of the series was on a movie channel I have at my disposal, I set my DVR and decided to sit through a viewing. It’s no doubt a well-crafted, suspenseful film which holds up decades after its initial release. The antagonist creature is bad-ass from the moment it infects its first host and continues to be a formidable adversary for Ripley & Company until the bitter end. While this is not likely to get into my Top 100 either, I did enjoy it and I’ll probably watch ALIENS somewhere in the first half of 2012, and I won’t be waiting for it to show up randomly on my television.

91. True Romance

At the recommendation of @BDKReviews, who considers it one of his all-time favorite movies (you’ll notice it in the background of his Twitter account), I saw this early Tarantino film and it was much better than I was expecting, and my hopes were fairly high. It’s surprising to me why this film isn’t lauded more by the critics and that it’s not mentioned more as being a cult film favorite (if it’s not, it should be). There are plenty of great performances in this film, not the least of which being a great scene with Christopher Walken interrogating Dennis Hopper. If you don’t mind seeing a little bit of blood here and there, you shouldn’t miss this film. Definitely in my Top 100.

92. In Time

The concept of this movie really drew me in: when you turn 25 years old, you get 1 year’s worth of time to use as currency, and any currency you’d earn (through working or betting or stealing) is added to your account – the amount of which is visible on your forearm. People don’t age, and there is a large agency tasked with tracking the currency. This film even delves into some philosophy as it takes on the concept of class warfare at its core. Given the cast, it wasn’t surprising that the talents of young Hollywood were on shining display. Standout performances were given by Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde and Alex Pettyfer. I’m not sure why this film only scored 6.6 on IMDB or has a mere 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s definitely in my Top 100, maybe my Top 50, but then again, I don’t shy away from dense films that make me think about different concepts along the way. If movies having philosophical themes at their core isn’t something you’re interested in, don’t watch. Everyone else? Check it out.

93. Beauty And The Beast

Half of you are saying “why is GuysNation talking about this movie?” and the other half of you are saying “what took him so long to see this movie for the first time?”  Well it wasn’t my cup of tea back in the day, and I decided not to go when some of my friends went to see it in the theater (declining again when some of them went a second time). Why did I see it now? Because I can appreciate the fact that it got plenty of praise along the way for various aspects of the film and because it showed up on the Disney Channel after my young son finished watching morning cartoons and so with a click of the DVR-buttons on the remote, it was available for viewing.  Having now seen it, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Gaston is a much more interesting character than I thought he would be, and at times, Beast proved to be somewhat bad-ass. Still, it was mostly a girlie flick – not surprising for a Disney film – and there was too much music for my taste, but I’m glad I saw it at least once. I’m not dreading the day when I end up having to sit through it some day with my son, and neither should any of you.

94. G-Force

Don’t ask me to explain WHY this Gerbal-spy movie caught my interest, but the trailers for it definitely got me to chuckle once or twice. That was enough of a reason for me to record it on DVR once it showed up on the guide (which I believe directly followed the viewing of Beauty And The Beast, since my cable company displays on the guide whatever channel from which you recorded the DVR’ed program). This was by no means Zach Galifianakis’ best work, as you might’ve guessed, but he definitely added to the enjoyability of it. The talents of Bill Nighy, Will Arnett, Sam Rockwell, Jon Favreau, Tracy Morgan among others were definitely more enjoyable than what I was expecting. The story was well developed and had some interesting twists, and I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed the film despite some decent initial expectations. Still, I wouldn’t recommend that everyone checks out this film, but if you’re really bored some afternoon and want something to watch while you drink a beer that Shaggs reviewed for us (or even mentioned on Twitter). It certainly helped my viewing.

Potential Award Nominees

At the end of each year, I give out awards for the movies on my lists. As I write up these articles, I like to keep track of the nominees and let you, the reader, know what I’m thinking along the way. Feel free to comment and show support – or lack thereof – for my nominees (or let me know what I erroneously omitted).

Best Actress Nominee – Zoe Saldana (Avatar)

Best Actress Nominee – Patricia Arquette (True Romance)

Best Actor Nominee – Sam Worthington (Avatar)

Best Supporting Actress Nominee – Olivia Wilde (In Time)

Best Supporting Actor Nominee – Alex Pettyfer (In Time)

Best Supporting Actor Nominee – Cillian Murphy (In Time)

Best Supporting Actor Nominee – Almost anyone from True Romance

Best Director Nominee – James Cameron (Avatar)

Best Director Nominee – Ridley Scott (Alien)

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