Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Movies We Saw in 2012

I interviewed the New Year's Eve crew about their favorite movies of the year and then compiled my own.  The New Year's crew is me, Val, and Chelsea Ashton.  So it went pretty fast.

James's List o' 10

I'm still catching up on some movies.  Here's the list of movies I haven't seen but intend to see that will make this list change:  Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, Les Mis, Cabin in the Woods, Life of Pi, The Hobbit, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, and Flight.

Of the movies I've seen, here's my list.  It was a fun year for movies and a lot of my favorite movies were the ones I had the most fun at.

10.  Cloud Atlas

This movie was a big, ambitious mess of a movie with a lot prostheses and yellow face and it fell short a lot but I love movies that go for broke.  There's so much playing it safe in Hollywood.  I'll take mess over same old.

9.  John Carter

Same thing as Cloud Atlas in ways.  It didn't hit all the marks but it was epic and fun and beautiful to look at.  I had a great time and I wish there were going to be more.  Alas, critics killed it before it had time to hatch.  Marketing and renaming didn't help either but I loved it.

8.  Prometheus

Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof together?  Crazy.  And it felt like them together.  Like they were both guiding the crazy reins.  Uncomfortable?  Yes.  Can I love Michael Fassbender even more? No.  I'm at maximum capacity now.

7.  The Dark Knight Rises

It was a satisfying conclusion for me.  Taking Gotham hostage was an amazing move.  I've never seen anything like it.  Didn't know it was coming.  It was good to see Batman's no fear of death plot be answered and turned around.

6.  Hunger Games

When I saw this, I felt the tone.  It never quit.  The opening scenes kept a feeling through the whole movie that just never let go.  I loved the book and I loved this adaptation.

5.  Skyfall

My favorite Bond movie now. In ways it was the Anti-Bond movie.  It got down to relationships and aging out of the spy world.  And the end wasn't going to some exotic locale and jetski fighting or something. It was up close and personal. And Javier Bardem is the best Bond villain ever. EH-VER.

4.  Looper

Rian Johnson (the director) is quickly becoming one of my favorite all time directors.  This movie looked like it was going to be some mindless awesome time travel action.  But this movie had some real heavy themes going on. This is his third movie I've adored.  JGL and B. Willis together forever.

3.  Argo

Ben Affleck.  Who knew?  You are one fantastic director.  Recreating those scenes from the newsfeeds during the Iran Hostage Crisis was chilling.  I couldn't believe people would act like this.  I was having a hard believing this actually happened.  As I'm sure people felt during the time.  And then the humor balancing the movie out was handled with a deft touch.

2.  Moonrise Kingdom

It's a fight between number 1 and 2.  I am a superfan of Wes Anderson but even admitting that, this movie was something special.  I know a lot of people hated that awkwardness of the kids making out but it was so real and awkward.  I remember that.  It was that sincere and scary and I just felt the whole movie captured something indelibly quirky and true.

1.  Avengers

I can't even gush enough about this movie.  It was everything I wanted it to be.  And then ten times more.  These are second rate superheroes.  People I never cared about while reading comics.  Captain Shield Spinner and his buddies, Hammer Boy and Robot Suit and Purple Robin Hood.  But holy crap.  Avengers was a revelation.  A fanboy mind explosion.

Chelsea's Top Ten List

Chelsea is having a hard time narrowing down her list.  She says her list is 'blockbustery' but she liked a lot of movies and she likes what she likes, so get over it.

10.  Pitch Perfect

9.  Hunger Games

8.  Secret World of Arietty

7.  Wreck-It Ralph

6.  Moonrise Kingdom

5.  Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

4.  The Dark Knight Rises

3.  Les Miserable

2.  Avengers

1.  Argo

Valerie's Favs

Val gives her top 3.  She didn't see that many movies this year.  Because apparently babies have to be taken care of.

3.  Hunger Games

It's impossible to compare it to the book without being disappointed.  As a stand alone movie, it was beautifully crafted.  

2.  Moonrise Kingdom

I will spend my whole life waiting for my address to be:  Summer's End.

1.  Twilight:  Breaking Dawn Part 2

Suck it, haters.  I defy you to find a series that ends better than that does.  It's all about the fans.  And that's me.

Honorable Mentions:  Wreck It Ralph & Avengers