Friday 11.30.12

IMG_9827It’s not even December and I’m already starting to collate a list of my favorite films of 2012.
With only a month left in the year, and with Decembers releases looking promising it may change a little, but since I’m sitting around the house watching one of my top five from 2011 (Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and bored…  here’s the list so far.

  1. Beauty is Embarrassing. 
  2. Argo.
  3. Safety Not Guaranteed.
  4. Looper.
  5. Moonrise Kingdom.

Tarantino has a new film coming out on Christmas day, and as much potential as it has.. Jamie Foxx. I’d use the words “infamously loathe” when it comes to him. When I see him on screen I get angry. So regardless of how good the screenplay is, how good the other actors are, the total package- I just don’t see myself being able to get over my distaste for him. The Hobbit will be FUN, for sure, but top five? I can’t see it.

Beauty is Embarrassing:
Start to finish a compelling documentary. It does it’s job- to tell you who Wayne White is and why you should care. But it also inspires; the power of a positive mental attitude (Wayne and his family are amazing) and the power of art and why we need it in our lives. It’s rare that a film comes along in the last part of the year and makes it into the top spot on my list, but.. this one did. I’m looking forward to the DVD; Wayne mentioned during the SKYPE chat the other night that it has ‘tons of extras’.

Argo:
Affleck. Seriously. How this guy became such a good director is beyond me, but damn do his movies stand on their own two feet. ‘From the Academy Award winning star of Reindeer Games‘ is not something you’d ever imagine saying about the director of my #2 film of the year, but with Argo he nails it. Great cast, great style and despite knowing how the true story ended you’re still white knuckling your seat in the last ten minutes. This can be added to The Town and Gone Baby, Gone as great films by the star of Phantoms.

Safety Not Guaranteed:
Aubrey Plaza skews everything she’s in for me. I would have enjoyed TED (which may be the worst film I saw in 2012) had she been in it. So it’s hard to say if I loved the movie on it’s own merits (I did) or if it’s just because Miss Plaza was in it. It’s such an odd little film and the payoff at the end is great. Good acting all around and you never get the sense that it’s odd for odds sakes.

Looper:
Intelligent Sci-Fi used to be the rule, not the exception.
Alien, Blade Runner, Buckaroo Banzai, Brazil… you had really talented director shooting really talented actors with really kickass screenplays. Then things just went squirrelly. People started making scifi films for general audiences and not nerds and there was a natural dumbing down of the scripts. They started getting bigger stars who felt the need to change things that worked in favor of things that made them look more ‘action starry’. Rian Johnson came along and brought back the IQ back to the genre. Joseph Gordon Levitt became Bruce Willis- not the prosthetics; he got his personality down and just really owned being a prick. Lot of open interpretations with this screenplay- it’s one of those movies you can discuss afterwards and still not know 100% what to make of certain things.

Moonrise Kingdom:
I saw this film when I was having a really hard time post breakup and it sort of become ‘that’ film that really resonated with me- a ‘time and a place’ movie that summed up a lot of what I was feeling about love and life. Kid actor movies can go either way, and the two protagonists in Moonrise are just perfect. It might be the only film in 2012 I saw three times theatrically- and I’ve watched it at the Overground Cinema to raise the total to four.

Honorable Mention: Para Norman.
Paranorman was in my top five before seeing Beauty is Embarrassing, so I figured it gets an honorable mention at the end, above the ‘best of the rest’. The quality of animation was top notch, the characters each had their own quirks and charm and the ‘reveal’ at the end really takes it to the next level. As a ‘monster kid’ myself, Norman really brought back memories of being totally obsessed with monsters and horror films when I was young- not that much has changed really- and the anti bullying message of the film was relevant without beating you over the head. I’m going to double feature this with Coraline at the Overground soon.

Best of the Rest:

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
21 Jumpstreet
The cabin in the woods
The Sound of my voice
Best exotic Marigold Hotel
The Avengers
Beyond the black rainbow
The Master
The Perks of being a Wallflower

Kind of a weird assortment of films- different genres, some indie and some blockbuster. It was a fairly good year for movies all things considered, and I’m sure that I’m missing some, but if you haven’t had a chance to see any of the top five- check them out. Let me know what you think.

Also- Use the COMMENT section to tell me your top films of the year!

Photo: DC Sticker- Apparently Jesus is in hell, but is still saving us. Thanks, Champ!

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