Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top 10 of 2012

I've finally caught up on most of the movies I wanted to see that came out in 2012, at least enough I believe for me to make my unnecessary Top 10 list of the year. I do have to say, the movies I thought would be in my top 10 at the beginning of the year are very different from the ones in my final list. I never would have thought that The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, or The Hobbit would all be so damn far from my top ten. Anyway, here it is:

Honorable Mentions:
Cloud Atlas
Safety Not Guaranteed
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Les Miserables

10) Silver Linings Playbook: I haven't been fully on board with Bradley Cooper as a serious actor until this flick. My god his performance here is something special. The rest of the cast is also pretty fantastic. A few months ago I made a list of romantic movies for people who hate romantic movies, this movie definitely deserves to be on the list.

9) Looper: It's a smartly made and extremely entertaining sci-fi thriller.

8) The Master: In my opinion, this is the best movie made this year. It's just a movie that's difficult to like, and even more difficult to fully comprehend. When you see it though, you know you're seeing something incredible, and it just latches onto your brain and refuses to let go. Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman reach Daniel Day-Lewis levels with this flick.

7) Skyfall: Is this the best Bond flick ever made? Well, no probably not, but it is an extremely well made spy flick that manages to be modern and about our times and classical at the same time. We all knew Sam Mendes would bring it with the drama, but who knew he'd be such a kick ass action director. I'll take his approach to Marc Forster's any day. Also, the cinematography is gorgeous.

6) Zero Dark Thirty: This was the flick that caught me by surprise. I had absolutely no interest in seeing this, especially since I never even made it all the way through The Hurt Locker, but damn am I glad I did. The movie kept me locked in the whole time and made me care about a topic that I didn't honestly really ever think twice about. I'm frankly still kind of amazed by how much I dug this flick. You can be damn sure I'm gonna give The Hurt Locker a second look after this.

5) Django Unchained: The first hour of this movie is among my favorite things Tarantino has ever done, unfortunately it does start to drag a bit in the second act. Still, this is an entertaining fuck all crazy Western (Or Southern) filled with that wonderful Tarantino dialogue.

4) Argo: Of the movies nominated for Best Picture, this is my choice for winner. A really well done thriller, with a great comedic second act. The final 30-40 minutes though, holy shit does Affleck build up the tension. I can't remember the last time I wanted to stand up and cheer at the end of a movie. My friend had residual stress for an hour after watching the movie. Can't think of higher praise than that for a thriller.

3) The Raid: [Technically made in 2011, the movie wasn't released theatrically here or in Indonesia until 2012 so I'm counting it] The best pure action movie I've seen in a LONG time. My personal list of absolutely untouchable action movies before seeing this flick was very short, James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and John Woo's Hard Boiled. This movie has joined that list.

2) The Avengers: The only really geeky movie to make my list in a year full of really geeky movies. Of all the other geek fare this year though, this was the only one that absolutely 100% met my expectations. It was exactly the movie it should have been.

1) Moonrise Kingdom: Sometimes, Wes Anderson gets a little too Wes Andersony, and frankly, after The Royal Tenenbaums, as his movies got more experimental, it seemed like his characters and plot got lost in the visuals. Then I saw this movie. I am completely head over heels in love with Moonrise Kingdom. Great performances from a pretty amazing cast, but frankly, the two kids walk away with it. This is such a pure piece of filmmaking that makes me wish I lived in a different time. Like Anderson's Bottle Rocket it shows us how unbelievably stupid cynicism is, and in a world that's as fucked and bitter as ours, something like that is wonderful. It makes me nostalgic for a part of my life that I frankly never had. Despite loving all the movies on this list, I have little(probably inconsequential) issues with all of them, that is except for Moonrise Kingdom.

Movies I still desperately need to see:
Life of Pi
Cabin in the Woods
Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Grey
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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