‘The Help’ tops our 2011 movie list

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

It’s the start of a new year, but the movie review crew has unfinished business to handle from 2011.
Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 will open our look back with three of her least favorite films.
She gave an “I” for incomplete to “A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas,” because she was unable to sit through the movie’s “sacrilegious scenes.”
Another “I” went to “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” a horror movie that featured tiny monsters terrifying a little girl and her family.
“Sucker Punch” earned an F. It’s about a mental patient who imagines she’s a hooker who imagines she’s a warrior. If that makes sense to you, you could’ve written the script.
Kelli and I agree with “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.” The little creatures are scary until a character kills one by stepping on it. What? You mean they could’ve been shooting BB guns at the little varmints the whole time?
The reboot of “Conan the Barbarian” relies too heavily on special effects, and not enough on old-fashioned storytelling. No sequels, please.
And “New Year’s Eve” turned out to be a star-studded disappointment. If they’d cut the impressive cast list in half, they might have had something worth watching.
The good side
Karlson was a big fan of “The Help,” the movie version of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling book. She expects the movie to be richly rewarded at Oscar time.
“The King’s Speech” was released in 2010, but it didn’t come to Tupelo until early 2011, so it counts. Geoffrey Rush plays a speech therapist who bonds with the King of England while helping the king overcome his stuttering problem.
“Moneyball” with Brad Pitt also makes Karlson’s list. That’s mainly because of Pitt, whom she called “our generation’s Robert Redford.”
I agree about “The Help.” Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard and the rest of the cast give funny and deeply touching performances.
Another comedy/drama mix was “50/50,” which starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a guy who gets cancer. When his girlfriend, played by “The Help’s” Howard, flakes out, his buddy, played by Seth Rogen, steps up in rude and surprising ways.
As a wild card pick, “Paul” is fantastic. It’s a road movie where a pair of science fiction fans, played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, meet an alien, voiced by Rogen. If you have any geek in you, this is a must-see.
“Roadkill” Bill with Wizard 106.7 caught a few films in 2011, and wanted to celebrate “The Muppets,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Cars 2,” and “Kung Fu Panda 2.” For sheer entertainment value, it’s hard to argue with his picks.
Come back next week when we start compiling our list of hits and misses for 2012.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

The Movie Crew’s Lineup
THE GOOD
• Scott liked “The Help,” “50/50” and “Paul”

• Kelli liked “The Help,” “The King’s Speech” and “Moneyball”

THE BAD
• Scott disliked “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” “Conan the Barbarian” and “New Year’s Eve”

• Kelli disliked “A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas,” “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” and “Sucker Punch”