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My Top 10 Movies of 2012

January 31, 2013

10. Some Guy Who Kills People – R

I saw a lot of low-budget films this year that could have easily been included on this top ten list. I probably like this one more than the next film on the list, but the premise of that one is just too perfect.

09. God Bless America – R

A guy gets fed up, and goes cross-country eliminating people he deems to be a pox on society. I was sold within the first five minutes. Well, truth be told, I was sold on the premise alone, but Bobcat Goldthwait delivers.

08. Goon – R

Hockey movie about an enforcer.  I loved it.  I wish I could have ranked it higher.

07. Bernie – PG-13

Jack Black is underrated.  This quasi-documentary about a real murder is quite entertaining.

06. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World – R

I really enjoyed this one, and it reminded me how much I like Keira Knightley.

05. Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet – NR

It’s like watching a documentary on Mozart, but with actual video of Mozart.  I’ve been a fan of Becker for many years, and was looking forward to watching his tragic, inspiring, and humbling story in movie form.

04. Skyfall – PG-13

Best Bond movie ever?  I don’t know, but I guess I can’t think of one that is better.  Bardem is definitely the best Bond Villain ever. The only thing I can think of that would have made it better is if Sean Connery had been the groundskeeper.

03. The Dark Knight Rises – PG-13

I didn’t see how they could make a film anywhere close to The Dark Knight, but Nolan did so while also bringing his three Batman films to an awesome conclusion.

02. The Avengers – PG-13

This was actually an awesome year for movies.  It was hard narrowing down to 10 films let alone the order.  Joss Whedon made the quintessential super hero team movie here.

01. Moonrise Kingdom – PG-13

I still think I give the edge to The Royal Tenenbaums for being my favorite Wes Anderson film, but Moonrise is probably actually a better film. It’s everything you’d expect from Anderson, and done to perfection.


My Top 10 Least Favorite Movies of 2012

January 31, 2013

10. Jeff, Who Lives at Home – R

This movie wasn’t completely trash, but it just didn’t do enough for me.  It had a solid cast, and that counts against it because I expected a bit more.

09. John Carter – PG-13

It’s an action movie with aliens.  That, the always awesome Mark Strong, and the smoking hot Lynn Collins is about all it had going for it.

08. The Expendables 2 – R

I really enjoyed the first one, but this one had way too many nudge-nudge moments of taking jabs at the cast’s previous roles.  One or two every ten minutes is fine, but there were like 10 in 1 minute.  The plot wasn’t nearly as good as the first one, and that is kind of sad.

07. The Five-Year Engagement – R

What is with Jason Segal and writing roles for himself where he ends up cheating on the woman he loves?  Hard to like that kind of character.

06. Ruby Sparks – R

I liked the concept, and the cast performed quite well.  The problem, like in the previous film on the list, is that the protagonist does something that is unforgivable.  Even more so than hypocritical infidelity.  So, screw him. I hope he dies unhappy and alone.

05. Snow White and the Huntsman – PG-13

Kristen Stewart might have been the best thing about the film.  Yeah, it’s that bad. I lie of course, because Charlize Theron was actually good.  She just didn’t have anything to work with.

04. Detention – R

I had low expectations, and even they were not met.

03. Red Tails – PG-13

I still think Lucas produced this to show that Episode II wasn’t actually that bad.  In that, he almost succeeded.

02. The Three Stooges – PG

As bad as I expected.

01. Wrath of the Titans – PG-13

I didn’t watch the first one.  So, maybe that would have helped?  I doubt it though.

The movies of 2012 that I have seen

January 31, 2013

Red Tails
The Woman in Black
Safe House
Act of Valor
John Carter
21 Jump Street
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
The Hunger Games
Mirror Mirror
The Cabin in the Woods
The Three Stooges
Jesus Henry Christ
The Five-Year Engagement
The Giant Mechanical Man
Marvel’s The Avengers
God Bless America
The Dictator
Men in Black 3
Moonrise Kingdom
Snow White and the Huntsman
Safety Not Guaranteed
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
The Amazing Spider-Man
Some Guy Who Kills People
Get the Gringo
The Dark Knight Rises
Ruby Sparks
The Watch
Total Recall
The Bourne Legacy
The Campaign
Premium Rush
The Revenant
The Inbetweeners
The Expendables 2
Trouble with the Curve
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet
Wrath of the Titans
The Grey
Cloud Atlas
The Words

I intend to see the following films:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Jack Reacher
Les Miserables
Mission to Lars

My Top 10 Movies of 2011

January 5, 2012

10. Senna – PG-13

It seems like there are always one or two really good documentaries every year, and Senna definitely fits that description.  I don’t care much for motor “sports,” but this movie isn’t really about that as much as it is the meteoric rise and sudden death of one of the greatest racers of all time.  The best documentaries have a natural character arc, and Senna doesn’t disappoint.  It’s worth a watch even if you have no interest in racing.

09. Warrior – PG-13

Warrior is completely unbelievable, quite predictable, moderately clichéd, and somehow still manages to be entertaining.  Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton play brothers who haven’t seen each other for many years, but both end up in a mixed martial arts tournament. Nick Nolte is their recovering alcoholic father.  Their performances are  fantastic.  Several other real life MMA personalities also play themselves.  If you like sports movies at all it’s worth a watch to be sure.  I think you could enjoy it just for the universal theme of life’s struggles, but I tend to like sports movies so I can’t say for sure.

08. Red State – R

Kevin Smith can’t win with some people.  I can’t think of too many filmmakers who are willing, or able, to make such a drastic departure from their traditional style.  Red State follows three typical high school kids and their attempt to respond to an online classified ad offering sex with a mature woman.  That could be a story element for a typical Kevin Smith film, but that is pretty much the only similarity aside from a lot of often clever dialog.  The rest of movie is a thriller involving a psycho preacher and his congregation (read family).  Several familiar faces like John Goodman, Kevin Pollak, and Stephen Root play opposite a strong performance from Michael Parks as the aforementioned preacher.  If you are a thriller fan that likes brainless dialog, and non-stop action/gore then you probably won’t like Red State.  It’s definitely a more methodical journey.

07. Bridesmaids – R

I kept hearing Bridesmaids was like Hangover for women.  I see where that comparison comes from, but it also kept me away.  I finally succumbed after looking at the cast that includes: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rose Byrne, Chris O’ Dowd, and Melissa McCarthy.  There are also tons of familiar faces scattered throughout the film like Jon Hamm, Terry Crews, Michael Hitchcock, and Matt Lucas.  Certainly a capable cast, and it doesn’t disappoint, although I have to say McCarthy steals the show.  Like Hangover there are tons of funny moments, and more than a few disgusting ones.  If you like Kristen Wiig you should be good to go.

06. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – PG-13

I refused to watch this one until someone finally told me Tim Burton was in no way involved.  With that guarantee in hand I was safe to commence viewing.  I was treated to an exemplary prequel to the original Planet of the Apes with references galore.  The cast is strong with the likes of James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, and Tyler Labine, and Andy Serkis.  As a casual fan of  the original this one seemed to fit really well.  The amazing advances in technology have allowed for exceptionally skilled performances from actors like Serkis, and do so in a way that doesn’t force the viewer to recognize the illusion.

05. Paul – R

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, and Jason Bateman all in the same film.  I don’t really have to say anything else do I?  I do?  How about Jeffrey Tambor, Jane Lynch, David Koechner, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, Blythe Danner, and some guy named Steven Spielberg?  Still not interested?  Then screw you.  I don’t think I want to associate with you.  Go away.

04. Your Highness – R

Okay, I probably like Paul more, but two of my favorite actresses in a fantasy setting, and more importantly costuming,  must be rewarded.  That, and I love Franco and Danny McBride.  Any movie that involves a minotaur penis deserves consideration.  What needs to be considered is another matter entirely.

03. X-Men: First Class – PG-13

As a non-Marvel comic book fan I have enjoyed every X-Men movie.  This one is the best.  That pretty much sums it up.

02. Hesher – R

I looked forward to this with a great deal of anticipation after seeing the trailer with Metallica music playing.  They let them use their music, and the movie poster utilized the classic Metallica font.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt based his character on Cliff Burton.  How epic is that?  Devin Brochu, Rainn Wilson, and Piper Laurie are all strong.  Oh yeah, and Natalie Portman.  She can dress poor and nerdy, but she’s still hot.  Dare I say hotter?

01. Super 8 – PG-13

Super 8 is almost like a cross between The Goonies, E.T., and Romeo and Juliet.  If that doesn’t at least partially interest you then you are in need of some self-reflection.  Six kids are making a zombie movie on Super 8 when they become entangled in a military conspiracy involving an alien.  The kids are all solid, but Elle Fanning especially so.  Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard, and Noah Emmerich are also quite good as the main adults in the movie.  To top it all off, Michael Hitchcock makes an appearance as a policemen.  It may not be the best movie of all time, but it is certainly entertaining.

Slight spoiler alert:

Ignore those people who get hung up on the believability of the derailment scene.  The movie has an alien with telepathic powers and technology necessary to make a ship out of toasters, and the derailment is the part they can’t believe?  These people are morons, and should be shunned.

My Top 10 Least Favorite Movies of 2011

January 4, 2012

10. The Hangover Part II – R

I actually still enjoyed this film despite the fact that they pulled an Austin Powers, and made it exactly like the first film with one key exception: a monkey.  Monkeys are awesome.  Not awesome enough to sate my anger from being shoveled the same film in a different location, but still awesome.

09. The Green Hornet – PG-13

I don’t exactly hate this movie either, but I needed ten movies to be on my least favorite list.  That, and this one just never did much for me.  It was at best a decent popcorn flick, but Seth Rogen is one of my favorites and decent just doesn’t cut it.  Also, what a waste of Cristoph Waltz’s talent.

08. Our Idiot Brother – R

This film had several of my favorites: Zooey Deschanel, Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, and Elizabeth Banks.  It still managed to suck.  It just felt generic.  Not just unoriginal, but even inadequate during the few times of originality.

07. Arthur – PG-13

I never saw all of the original, but it surely couldn’t have been this sterile.  I like Russell Brand, and Helen Mirren is just plain awesome.  Neither is utilized properly in this film.  Mirren is excellent of course, but otherwise wasted on this sorry piece of crap.  Brand doesn’t seem to be given full opportunity to do what makes him funny.  He was hamstrung by the original I think.  I like this film for introducing me to Greta Gerwig who I instantly liked, but it seemed like she was a poor man’s Zooey Deschanel here.

06. Contagion – PG-13

A phenomenal cast for this one (Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, and Jude Law), but was there a plot?  OK, a horrible disease strikes.  Who’s the protagonist?  It just seemed like four people’s perspective of the situation slapped together.  There was some fantastic technique, but I just kept waiting to feel something beyond a passing interest in the characters.  In many respects this should be number one because of the sheer disappointment, but the otherwise excellent filmmaking still shines enough to save it from that fate.

05. Batman Year One – PG-13

The worst Batman ever.  At least George Clooney made an okay Bruce Wayne.  Bryan Cranston was excellent as Gordon though.

04. Everything Must Go – R

One of those dramas where something bad happens, and then when you think nothing worse can happen they kick the three legged dog after it tripped on it’s freshly broken front leg just to be reassured at the end that bones can heal. Forget that nonsense. Real comfort comes when the dog is put down.

03. Transformers: Dark of the Moon – PG-13

Sigh.  I wasn’t even given the benefit of looking at Megan Fox.

02. The Smurfs – PG

You might be stunned, but it just wasn’t very good.  I expected very little, and was given even less. Well done.

01. Atlas Shrugged: Part I – PG-13

This one hurts.  I couldn’t even get half way through.  Why can’t they just do a mini-series on HBO instead of making this third-rate crap?

The movies of 2011 that I have seen

December 31, 2011

Once again, I used this awesome site.

The Green Hornet
The Adjustment Bureau
Red State
Battle: Los Angeles
The Lincoln Lawyer
Your Highness
The Hangover 2
Kung Fu Panda 2
X-Men: First Class
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
Super 8
Green Lantern
Cars 2
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cowboys and Aliens
The Smurfs
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
30 Minutes or Less
Our Idiot Brother
Everything Must Go
Batman Year One

I have seen part of the following:

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1
Gnomeo and Juliet

I intend to see the following films:

The Debt
Johnny English Reborn
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn
The Darkest Hour
The Muppets
The Descendants
Puss in Boots
Tucker and Dale vs Evil

Star Wars is kind of messed up

April 10, 2011