These three 2011 movies, including summer blockbusters and an independent film were some of my birthday / Christmas presents this year.  Here are my thoughts on each.

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011)

I went to see “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” at a theatre in King of Prussia, Pa. with my best friend and we both loved it.  Actually, anyone who I’ve heard talking about this movie has had nothing but great things to say about it.  In the days after I saw it, I began to see award-season buzz online about Andy Serkis and his motion-capture performance as the ape Caesar.  Now that the nominees have been announced for the Critics’ Choice, SAG and Golden Globes, it was great to see Serkis being nominated this year.  According to IMDB, the re-telling of an apes takeover has three Critics’ Choice award nominations.

“Midnight in Paris” (2011)

I first heard some talk about this on campus and with a storyline involving literature among the sites of Paris, I looked forward to seeing it.  The opening scenes are beautiful, filled with some of the city’s great architectural detail and overall views.  It definitely triggers a wanderlust to France.  Owen Wilson’s character, Gil, has this strong desire to do a very simple and leisurely activity while in Paris; keep watching to see if it works out for him.  According to IMDB, nominations for this enjoyable movie include the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globes and Independent Spirit awards.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2” (2011)

Stunning special effects continue right to the end of Harry Potter’s adventures at Hogwarts with friends Hermione, Ron and others.  I missed this in the theatre only because I wasn’t quite caught up with the series at the time.  However, the final installment of the Harry Potter films was a must-see no matter what the format is.  Following a fade-out from the scene of the wand-wielding trio standing together, the ending gave a message of good wizardry continuing with a new generation.  This is nominated in four Critics’ Choice categories as well as other nominations at the People’s Choice and Grammy awards, according to IMDB.

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I’m looking forward to seeing how the award season goes for all of these.