Jen's Thanksgiving: 5 Movie-Related Things I'm Thankful for in 2011

tylerperry300.jpgA Very Movieline Thanksgiving continues! Like Louis Virtel and Julie Miller, I'm quite grateful for the cinematic discoveries that came my way in 2011. Raise your glass along with me as I give thanks to five of the movie-related things that kept me going this year, including the sweet sounds of the Baby Goose, the best film fest-karaoke super fun time of the year, and -- yes -- Tyler Perry.

5. That Drive soundtrack

Look, I know Drive, its soundtrack, and that scorpion jacket the entire world and their mother wanted a month ago is so over at this point, but when I saw it earlier this year I was hooked, obviously. Drive still sits near the top of my Best Of list for the year, but just think of all the additional pleasure this one little movie gave me/us beyond those two hours in the dark: Hours and hours of obsessing over Ryan Gosling (MMC shout out!), somewhere to go eat greasy Chinese food out in the Valley, and the brilliant electro score combining Glass Candy and Goodbye Uncle Tom.

4. The discovery that Tyler Perry is, indeed, a genius

S.T. VanAirsdale had it right long before I realized how wrong I'd been to write off Tyler Perry as a cross-dressing comedy hack; the man is fucking hilarious, measured when it comes to the crossroads between family values, urban stereotypes, and religion, and he's made it this far in the face of haters, famous and otherwise. Also? Madea's Big Happy Family had me rolling in the aisles, which is more than I can say for the rest of the year's comedic offerings. HALLELUJER, indeed.

3. Fantastic Fest!

I can't possibly extol the virtues of this annual Austin film festival more, but here's a rundown of why it's become my favorite trip of the year: Awesome genre films to discover, great venues (the Alamo Drafthouse), insane special events, Karaoke. All. The. Time. and a festival head who's not afraid to eat bugs and box ladies and drink a lot in the name of the fantastic. The only downside: Sometimes you have to watch people eat shit. But plenty of folks enjoy that.

2. Abduction, starring Taylor Lautner

If you haven't had the sheer, jaw-dropping pleasure of sitting through this unintentionally hilarious extra-Twilight outing by Taylor Lautner, I'm not sure you've truly lived. "HOW'D YOU KNOW MY NAME??"

1. Joining Movieline in January

The honest truth is, I'm most grateful to have joined the Movieline family earlier this year. I can be myself around you guys. We speak the same language, dear reader. I'd be lost without my fellow Movieliners, who comprise the best editorial staff a girl could dream of. You complete me. Now, in the grand tradition of Thanksgiving, let's dig into some turkey and get to bickering over the important stuff (y'know, like Yoda noodles and Scarlett Johansson and the best-worst Bad Movies We Love of all time).

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  • Brent says:

    Were you part of the old TVSquad... squad? Who came over from there, as it seems from some of the writing styles I've seen here since finding this place the other week that there has to be a couple of the old writers here.

  • Brent says:

    And by TVSquad, I meant Cinematical, lol.

  • The WInchester says:

    I'm thankful that you lot let me have a place for the demon monkeys in my head to make their peace and comment on this ridiculous business of motion pictures that I simultaneously love and loathe. (And occasionally win Jurassic Park movies because of).
    Happy Turkey Day to all of you, and to all a good night!
    (I'd be more original if I didn't have a turkey to brine)

  • Jen Yamato says:

    Nope, not a TV Squad veteran, though I did write for Cinematical at one point. Was previously at Rotten Tomatoes,, and a number of other great sites. I found Movieline to have its own distinct voice & style, which I love, but it certainly falls into the larger tonal family of a certain group of movie publications.
    While we're on the subject, R.I.P. Cinematical. Was a great place to be while it lasted.