Monday, December 31, 2012

My year in movies

The closest I came to any sort of resolution in 2012 was to tell myself I was going to see 52 movies released this year, so an average of a new movie a week. Not an unreasonable or undoable resolution. Only instead of seeing new movies, I caught up on some older fare, watched TV, and read some books. I also became a fan of original online programming (I recommend The Lizzie Bennett Diaries and Burning Love.) So while looking at the running list of new movies I had seen this year in early December, I realized I was woefully behind on my goal, and had to see an average of one new movie a day before the end of the year in order to meet my goal. Out went any discretion in movie selection. It was a movie released in 2012 and it was readily available on Netflix or Amazon? Well, then I was going to watch it. Among those movies were some not-so-bad surprises. And some truly godawful clunkers. Below is a list of everything I managed to see by December 31st.

  1. 10 Years
  2. 2 Days in New York
  3. 21 Jump Street
  4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  5. The Amazing Spiderman
  6. Argo
  7. The Avengers
  8. Battleship
  9. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  10. Bernie
  11. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  12. Big Miracle
  13. Brave
  14. Cabin in the Woods
  15. Casa de mi Padre
  16. Chronicle
  17. The Dark Knight Rises
  18. Five Year Engagement
  19. Friends with Kids
  20. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  21. Hope Springs
  22. The Hunger Games
  23. Hysteria
  24. Jeff Who Lives At Home
  25. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
  26. John Carter
  27. Les Miserables
  28. Lincoln
  29. Lola Versus
  30. Looper
  31. Magic Mike
  32. Men in Black 3
  33. Mirror Mirror
  34. Moonrise Kingdom
  35. One for the Money
  36. ParaNorman
  37. Pitch Perfect
  38. The Queen of Versailles
  39. Red Tails
  40. Ruby Sparks
  41. Safety Not Guaranteed
  42. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  43. Savages
  44. Silver Linings Playbook
  45. Sleepwalk With Me
  46. Snow White and the Huntsman
  47. Ted
  48. This Means War
  49. Wanderlust
  50. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
  51. Wreck-It Ralph
  52. Your Sister’s Sister

The Good:
I truly enjoyed Argo, Wreck-It Ralph, The Avengers, Moonrise Kingdom, Hysteria, and Lincoln. The Avengers was just a good time at the movies, Moonrise Kingdom was charming, Hysteria was a fun romp about the invention of the vibrator, Argo kept me riveted even knowing how it was going to turn out, and Wreck-It Ralph had me laughing and crying. (I love a good unforced cry – and it seems I teared up at all the animated movies I saw this year.) Lincoln was well-acted and had much more humor than I thought it would.

The Worth a Look:
Bernie, starring Jack Black and Shirley McLaine, was better than expected, and actually quite more fun than you’d think a movie about a murderer would be. Sleepwalk With Me was a painfully honest (and funny) look at trying to make it as a stand-up comic and relationships. Brave and ParaNorman were both good movies about young people trying to find their place in the world, both made me tear up, and both happen to be animated. Jiro Dreams of Sushi should not be watched if hungry…and it really made me want to go eat some sushi in Japan. Les Misérables had some terrific performances, and I definitely wept, but I wasn't a fan of some of the director's choices, namely the extreme close-ups.

The Ugly:
I have nothing positive to say about One for the Money or Battleship – they didn't even do a good job of highlighting all the eye candy in the cast. Hated them both.

The Rest:
Everything else fell in the “don’t like but don’t hate” to “it’s okay” range. I enjoyed some more than others, but wouldn't put them in any list of favorites.

Looks like I’m still supporting the work of Friday Night Lights (TV show) alumni – having sat through all THREE Taylor Kitsch vehicles released this year. (Tim Riggins sure is pretty, but his movies weren't too good – in fact, I think playing the Battleship board game would've been a million times more fun that sitting through that movie.) Kyle Chandler, aka my beloved Coach Taylor, has so far had a much better track record on the big screen – loved seeing him in Argo. Apparently I've also become somewhat of a fan of both Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the hardest working actors of 2012, since I saw both of them in three out of the four movies they each were in this year. Gotta say, for me JGL has the highest batting average this year, since I liked all three movies he was in, but his young Bruce Willis in Looper wasn't as good as Josh Brolin's young Tommy Lee Jones in MIB3.

Overall, not a bad year at the movies…even if I was cramming at the end. I'm glad I finally kept a New Year's resolution, and just in time to make a new one too! :)

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