As far back as I can remember; television and movies have been a huge part of my life. From circling all the movies I wanted to see in the TV guide at Christmas time through the early days of VHS, the explosion of DVD, the war of HD-DVD and Blu-ray and a lifetime of going to the movie theatre; I have seen many, many films over the years.

Every year that goes by I wish I could sit down and share my favourite experiences of watching movies; but since I am not going to the theatre every week and am not a paid film critic I realise that I can’t to a favourites list of films for that particular year because I haven’t seen everything. I need a year to catch up. So that’s what this first entry is – my favourite films of last, last, LAST year. 2011.

Please note – favourite does not mean best. I don’t really agree with tagging something like movies, directors or actors with “best” so if I use it I will be using it sparingly. “Favourite” is an opinion and subjective. Admittedly it is  perhaps a cop out – but it serves to keep the decisions and conversations more… what is the word… fluid.

So without further ado… Butler’s Top 10 Favorite Films of 2011

10. The Help

09. The Art Of Getting By

I doubt this indie film would make any critics top ten list – in fact it didn’t make any of the fifty or so lists here on metacritic. Emma Roberts has a great career ahead of her – I hope she can find good roles.
08. Drive

07. Thor

06. We Bought A Zoo

05. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Look. The truth is; that despite their cult status all the other Planet Of The Apes movies are… well… shit. You might be able to argue a case for the original staring Charlton Heston; but the rest of the sequels up to and including the Tim Burton abomination are some weak sci-fi nonsense. But against all odds and fairly well under the radar; English director Rupert Wyatt managed to come from obscurity to helm one of the most critically acclaimed and commerically sucessful science fiction movies in recent times. Using the most up-to-date motion capture technics, lead animal (and Gollem) impersonator Andy Serkis and a strong cast of able humans – the prequel grounds the story in a more believeable way than has ever been presented before. There are some poignant moments dealing with slavery, friendship and loss between Caesar and James Franco’s character. The film ends perfectly with a sense of dread that harks back to the original in 1968. However I have little hope that the resulting follow on sequel will be any good at all – the best part of the monkey apocalypse got covered in this movie. (Actually that’s a pretty good title…! Planet Of The Apes 2: The Monkey Apocalypse). Anyway we will see in 2014 when “Dawn” arrives.
04. Fast Five

The top three movies are some of my favourite movies ever made… so without further ado:

03. Goon

Seann Willam Scott is the MVP of this exceptional sports comedy.

02. Moneyball

01. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I haven’t read the book. I haven’t seen the Swedish movies. I missed this in the theatre. In fact I bought this as a cheap dvd on the same day I bought Prometheus and I’ll admit I was more interested in watching Scott’s prequel. The truth is I was completely blown away by this movie – from the opening frame I was shocked, horrified, amazed and transfixed. As the credits rolled I remember thinking “Why are there so few films of this quality?”. Not that I needed any more evidence; but David Fincher is the best filmmaker making films today and might be the best ever. His mastery of every detail of making movies from pre production through to post can be seen so absolutely on every frame; but it is his work with the actors that lifts him above everyone. Both Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are great in this (Craig is much better here than in any of the Bond movies) with great supporting work from Stellan Skarsgård and Yorick van Wageningen. I really hope they will make the sequel.

Also watched: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Help, Source Code, X-Men First Class, Captain America: The First Avenger, Bridesmaids, The Descendants, Sherlock Holmes – A Game Of Shadows, Limitless, Transformers – Dark Of The Moon, Cabin In The Woods, The Grey, Sucker Punch, Friends With Benefits, Horrible Bosses, Tower Heist, Haywire, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Contagion, Super 8, Real Steel, Just Go With It, Green Lantern, The Hangover Part II, The Ides Of March, The Adjustment Bureau, Cowboys & Aliens, No Strings Attached, The Change Up, Conan The Barbarian, Unknown, Bad Teacher, Footloose, The Inbetweeners Movie, The Lincoln Lawyer, Colombiana, Take Me Home Tonight, Your Highness, The Thing, The Mechanic, Battle Los Angeles, The Awakening, The Green Hornet, Scream 4, The Dilemma, The Guard, The Beaver, Flypaper, I am Number Four, Side By Side, The Innkeepers, Drive Angry, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”, Hanna, Hugo

Special Feature – Worst Movie of the Year: Hall Pass

Special Feature – Best Trailer: Your Highness (Red Band Trailer)

Special Feature – Best Documentary: Pearl Jam Twenty, Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Special Feature – Best soundtracks: Hanna (The Chemical Brothers), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, We Bought A Zoo, Drive, Pearl Jam Twenty

Special Feature – Premise War: “Fuck Buddies” Friends With Benefits vs. No Strings Attached

Hasbro continue to tease us with with Colossus parts – the Juggernaut figure includes the right arm/hand piece and the Metal-head’s head! Please give us a body.



The left arm/hand was previously available on Red Hulk.


Just solicited in this month’s Previews… Colossus is a white rook!


Comic Book Resources have all the info:

I really liked Mr. Cudmore in the role – I just wish they would have given him more to say and do.

Wonder who they’ll get?


Look what arrived today… YAY!!!!!!


One to open… one to keep MIB (mint in box). That is all.



Another line of plastic men I enjoyed back in the late 80’s were the Kenner Starting Lineup released by Tonka in the UK as Sportstars (one ‘s’ in between… not SportsStars… that is something else entirely).

From what I understand; they were produced in large quantities but didn’t sell particularly well… there are few resources on this line – however one of the best is at which has a number of posts on the topic. (Interestingly does not have Dalglish listed under liverpool but does have Whiteside under Manchester United — see “Unproduced?” below).


I have built up a small collection of players:

Manchester United

  • Mark Hughes
  • Steve Bruce


  • Ian Rush
  • Peter Beardsley
  • John Barnes

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Gary Lineker
  • Paul Gascoigne


  • Gary Lineker


  • Mark Hughes



  • Steve Nicol – Liverpool
  • Bruce Grobbelaar – Liverpool
  • Bryan Robson – Manchester United
  • Brian McClair – Manchester United
  • Jim Leighton – Manchester United


  • Norman Whiteside – Manchester United — Only appears on some of the UK backing cards – never seen. Whiteside left United in 1989 for Everton so may not have been manufactured.
  • Kenny Dalglish – Liverpool — Appears on all the UK cards but I have never seen a picture of one and have found numerous references to the “complete Liverpool set” none of which included Dalglish. As a Player-Manager; he didn’t play for Liverpool in the 1988-89 season.

This year I discovered the greatness in The Walking Dead… it took four years of enjoyment and a rewatching for it to cement it’s place in my favourite TV shows. It lead me to Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent) which is one of the most beautiful, haunting pieces of music ever created. I reconnected with Lost and decided that The Wire is not for me.
Ghostbusters turned 30 and I spent a small fortune on merchandise.
I also enjoyed:
  • Turtle Power – A Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • House Of Cards (Season 2)
  • True Detective (Season 1)
  • Gone Girl
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
  • The Good Wife

Looking forward to in 2015:

  • Spectre
  • The Walking Dead – Season 5 – Part II and (the already renewed) Season 6 – Part I
  • The Walking Dead “Cobalt” companion show (Kim Dickens is great casting)
  • Marvel Infinite Series: Colossonaut
  • Batman: Arkham Knight (on XBOX One)

Was reading and look what the Red Hulk Marvel Masher has…


…a Colossus arm! The folks at MTN seem to think that a Colossus Marvel Masher might be on the way in 2015! Which is awesome!

While I don’t own any of these – I actually quite like the idea (and execution) of the line… I have had the Ice Man in my hand a couple of times for purchase but just haven’t been able to justify the funds of late. A Colossus would be a must-buy for me though.


It’s not that often that we get new Colossus toys/statues/collectibles – so every one should be celebrated. I returned home on Friday to find two of these beautiful statues-in-a-tin waiting for me – shipped directly from Dark Horse recommended seller Things From Another World! (I had these pre-ordered about 6 months ago).

It seems so strange to me that Dark Horse – a comic publisher that was probably third biggest before Image comics was formed – is producing Marvel collectibles. However – it is nice offering – a collectible tin, a pin badge, booklet and a six inch statue – in classic “primitive but charming” (their words) styling. If I had the bucks I would probably pick up more of these… there are nice Fantastic Four offerings, more X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk and a few others.

Publication Date: November 12, 2014
Price: $49.95
UPC: 7 61568 24805 0