Movies belong to the geeks -- how else do you explain the box-office dominance of Harry Potter, Transformers and Marvel superheroes? Fans want out-of-this-world action and dazzling special effects, and 2011's movies were happy to deliver in spades. Whether it's a summer blockbuster or a scary monster movie, we want our favorite characters doing one of three things at all times: blowing something up, doing something hilarious or kissing someone hot (bonus points if they pull off all three at once). But in a year filled with roller-coaster thrills, how do you pick out the highest peaks?
We took a second to catch our breath and name the moments that made us geek out the most this year. From wizard make-outs to ridiculous foreheads, here are Moviefone's Best Geek Moments of 2011.
Gallery | The Geekiest Movie Moments of 2011
11. Wolverine's Cameo in 'X-Men: First Class'
OK, so let's just ignore the fact that this scene's very existence completely muddles up the continuity from 'X-Men' and 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine.' For once, we're going to say "don't think about it and just laugh." 'First Class' is not a flawless film by any means, but when it pops, it pops big and loud with colorful set designs, rollicking action scenes and great chemistry between its lead stars, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. Here, Hugh Jackman's quick-and-to-the-point appearance throws the mutants a hilarious curve-ball.
10. Peter Sarsgaard's Forehead in 'Green Lantern'
Seriously, look at that thing. This is how Warner Bros. thought they would follow-up 'The Dark Knight'? This was the best way to make the Green Lantern cool? The critically acclaimed star of stage and screen delivers a mad scientist portrayal on par with Jeffery Jones in 'Howard the Duck.' Sarsgaard's spindly, worm-like performance of Hector Hammond is so ridiculously over-the-top that it elevates 'GL' from forgettable bad movie to cheese-ball classic, on par with the best '80s VHS dreck from Orion Pictures.
9. Geek Hollywood Unites on 'The Adventures of Tintin'
It's kind of surprising that American geeks aren't flipping out for this movie more. Yes, we all know that the film is being directed by Steven Spielberg, the godfather of blockbuster cinema, but let's not forget that he's co-producing the thing with Peter Jackson. Not only that, but the script is written by Edgar Wright ('Shaun of the Dead,' 'Scott Pilgrim'), Joe Cornish ('Attack the Block') and Steven Moffat ('Dr. Who'), and it features 'Shaun' zombie-bashers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in supporting roles. We already can't wait for the Limited Four-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray, which hopefully features that legendary test footage from 2006 on the 'Avatar' set where Jackson and Spielberg first tested out the motion capture with James Cameron and Robert Zemeckis.
8. The Plague from 'Hobo With a Shotgun'
These guys are not for the faint of heart, the squeamish or the morally decent. Horror fans desperate for a new slasher king that would slice, dice and splatter their way to a massive bodycount, got exactly what they were asking for -- and more! -- with the armor-covered duo from 'Hobo With A Shotgun.' These are the guys that the villains call in to do the really dirty work and they give Rutger Hauer's grizzled vigilante his toughest fight. Trying to vanquish the Plague is like trying defeat the most frustratingly tough boss in the world's most nightmarish video game.
7. All the Asgard Scenes in 'Thor'
Cause sometimes all you want to do is watch a Viking warrior mess up a bunch of frost giants. Fans were skeptical that the Shakespeare-trained Kenneth Branagh would be able to bring the thunder needed to film the Marvel superhero / Norse god. But while the earth-bound scenes between Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman's "scientist" character play out like a faux-'Twilight' teen romance, the Asgard-based parts of the film totally rock. Rainbow bridges, trickster gods, big, bearded dudes who chug a chalice of mead before charging into a cave filled with monsters -- it was like the side decal of a '70s heavy metal van come to life.
6. The Jotnar from 'The Troll Hunter'
And speaking of Norse bad-asses... This cult indie horror didn't have the biggest audience, but we'll blame that on people's unwillingness to read subtitles. The premise for this one is simple: a found-footage style adventure through the Nordic countryside; but instead of Blair Witches or Cloverfields, it's the ugly creatures from fairy tale lore. 'Troll Hunter' helpfully identifies all the types of trolls that could gobble you up, whether they're bridge-dwelling Ringlefinches or Mountain Kings. But it's the 200-meter-tall Jotnar's first appearance on the big screen that really blows you away.
5. They Finally Kiss in 'The Deathly Hallows, Part 2'
The 'Harry Potter' movies have been nothing but a series of geek-out moments; their mere existence would be enough to satisfy some fans, but generations of readers were fortunate enough to receive eight great adaptations and witness an endless series of favorite scenes on the big-screen. But amidst all the wizard battles and games of Quidditch, it's this simple moment of teen love that leaves them all in the dust (well, as simple as you can get after surviving a tidal wave in the Chamber of Secrets ... but we digress). Potterheads have been waiting a decade to see Hermoine and Ron kiss, and when it finally happened, it sent the audience into a white-hot supernova level of geeking out.
4. The Driller from 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'
In case you're the kind of person who thought "giant robots from outer space that turn into cars" was too subtle, enter the Driller, a subterranean, tentacled monstrosity ridden like a chariot by the Decepticon Soundwave. Spotlighting one specific scene in Michael Bay's 'Transformers' series may seem impossible, but that's just because you're still in a daze from having the $200 million visual junk food orgy being smeared across your eyeballs. The craziest action scene belongs to the Driller and its destruction of the Chicago skyscraper containing the human resistance. The subsequent battle with a jet-pack-armed Optimus Prime was just the whip cream and gravy on top of it all.
3. Andy Serkis as Caesar in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'
Andy Serkis first wowed audiences almost a decade ago with his performance as Gollum in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy; his innovative performance inside a motion-capture suit created the first computer-generated character that truly felt like a living breathing creature. With this summer's hit 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes,' he was given a platform that allowed him to take center stage. His thoroughly-realistic portrayal of an ape granted with super-intelligence took what could have been a cheap remake of a beloved sci-fi classic and turned it into an thrilling Darwinian adventure. For once, the humans had to play second banana to the monkey (apologies for the awful pun).
2. Moses Vs. the Monsters in 'Attack the Block'
Not enough people have seen this film: one of the coolest, funniest sci-fi action movies in years. Juvenile delinquents from the London projects find themselves at ground zero of an alien invasion, and need to save a world that doesn't look out for them, armed with whatever fireworks and gasoline-filled Super Soakers they can find. Moses, the gang's stone-face leader steps up in the film's finale -- a chase sequence so cool, it should win an MTV Music Video award. Every teenage boy wants to be a kickass action star -- 'Attack the Block' lets these kids live the fantasy.
1. 'The Case' from 'Super 8'
This year was filled with robots and monsters and superheroes, but that all happened in hundred-million-dollar blockbusters designed to sell merchandise. The cast and crew of Charles Kaznyk Productions made their gory zombie thriller with nothing more than a couple rolls of film and a case of monster make-up. Along the way, hearts were broken, friendships grew stronger and clues fell out of out of the pockets of attackers' pockets. 'Super 8' had fantastic adventure scenes and an overall beautifully paid tribute to '70s-era Spielberg, but it also perfectly captured that feeling of being young, up for anything and having the time of your life.
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