I managed to see sixteen of 2012′s movies this year, although half were through Netflix. However, towards the end of the year, I did finally start seeing movies on my own instead of repeatedly missing them in the theater while waiting for friends, so hopefully I will be able to increase my theater viewing next year.
Not part of this summary, I also made a large effort to fill in some gaping holes in my movie background. I watched Terminator 1 & 2 (movie 1 did NOT age well, ugh, 80s; movie 2 was still pretty good), Die Hard 1-4 (all great, especially 3 with Samuel L. Jackson), Alien and Aliens (amazing, bought the BDs soon afterwards), Beverly Hills Cop (eh, is ok), Blade Runner (Final Cut) (loved the world, seems to have aged well except for maybe the score), Unbreakable (the disc died halfway through, which I took to be a protest by my player and read the spoilers because I didn’t want to sit through that again), and Mission Impossible 1, 3, & 4 (a lot of fun, despite Cruise’s RL insanity; I was told 2 blows, so to just skip it). I will want to continue this trend next year. Problem is there’s a lot of Mel Gibson movies in this list (Lethal Weapon, Mad Max) and he’s been outed as a complete dick. I’m not sure if I can put that behind me or not.
Ok, back to the current year!
Movies seen in the theater:
- Secret World of Arrietty: blog post here.
- 21 Jump Street: blog post here.
- Avengers: The pinnacle of the Marvel build up of the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man 1 & 2. And it was amazing. Loved this movie. Totally how a comic book movie should be made. Lots of action, lots of flashy sequences, no emo angsty stuff (or very little), just lots of good lines, a fun story, and punching of things. Black Widow was a total badass, too, yay! Also the birth of the rabid Tom Hiddleston fans. I think they started poking their heads out after Thor, but they kind of exploded after Avengers.
- Brave: This was sort of sold as a princess movie, but it really wasn’t a princess movie. This was a mother/daughter relationship movie. The trailers only covered the first half of the movie, and it really wasn’t about Merida not wanting to be a princess. It was more about how she and her mother did not understand one another and didn’t listen to each other until it was almost too late (like Freaky Friday). I actually enjoyed the movie, and thought Merida was pretty great, especially with her mass of wild red hair.
- Looper: This was the first movie I saw by myself after I got fed up with missing Prometheus and Dark Knight Rises during summer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to be the It guy this year. He’s been slowly becoming more and more popular (and more and more attractive) and now I can’t seem to get enough of him. I still need to buy Inception. Anyway, this is a time travel movie with all the time travel problems, but it does a pretty good set up of the rules, so it worked for the most part. Also Beta Male Experience pointed out this was kind of two movies where the hero in one “movie” is the villain in the other “movie.” The juxtaposition is cool. JGL was also totally a young Bruce Willis, eerily so. Not so much in looks, even with the prosthetics, but with his mannerisms. I love this man. (note to Beth: he is my new Depp infatuation)
- Argo: The second movie I saw by myself after I totally didn’t die after seeing Looper. This might be my favorite movie I saw this year. A great thriller, even though since it’s based on history (the Iran hostages), you totally know the end, like with Titanic. But this movie was great. Lots of tension, but also balanced with some light comedy between John Goodman and Alan Arkin. Minor note, but also neat was the usage of the old 70s red, black, and white Warner logo. Haven’t seen that for a while, but I liked the mood it instantly set, transporting me back in time.
- Lincoln: During my visit home, I spontaneously asked my mom if she wanted to go see Lincoln with me. And she said yes! I haven’t been to a movie with her since 1989. So this was extra special. It was an excellent movie, although it really should’ve ended five minutes before it did. Tommy Lee Jones and Daniel Day Lewis were fantastic, especially the former, being grumpy TLJ at his best. It was almost really more about the ratification of the 13th Amendment more than Lincoln himself. I’m so happy I got to see this with Mom, and that she had a good time (and didn’t fall asleep!).
- Django Unchained: I managed to squeak in a solo viewing of this (definitely NOT a Mom movie, haha) the day after Christmas. Fabulously fun and violent (sometimes too much so; could’ve done without the eye gouging scene. I’m all for gunfights and stabbings and explosions, but anything meaty and hands-on other than punching makes me queasy). Extremely satisfying seeing all those horrible slave owners and racists shot up all over the place. However all the Western cameos totally went over my head (I mean, c’mon, I totally missed recognizing Tom Wopat, and I grew up on Dukes of Hazzard). Also, there was this one woman with a bandanna over her face that looked like she was supposed to be important, and then nothing ever came of that, so that was just weird. And I do wish Pearl had done something badass at least once. Great soundtrack.
- Jiro Dreams of Sushi: blog post here.
- One for the Money: A bad movie. Really. Not good at all. Morelli wasn’t even remotely Italian (the guy playing him just screams Irish). Katherine Heigl didn’t feel anything like Stephanie Plum, and I think she was sleepwalking through the movie. Ranger was ok, I guess. Lula was good, but there wasn’t enough of her. That wasn’t really the movie’s fault; Lula becomes a stronger character in later books. I did like Stephanie’s family; that was done well. Well, Debbie Reynolds was not physically Stephanie’s grandma (I always picture Sophia from Golden Girls), but she acted enough like her.
- Woman in Black: The first non-Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe movie I saw. Super creepy! Wasn’t really crazy about the ending, but the scariness of the movie was good.
- Cabin in the Woods: One of the movies I really wanted to see in the theaters, but didn’t. All I heard about this movie was “DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILERS” and “go into the movie blind” so I avoided everything, and went in knowing nothing except some vague stuff that I couldn’t help but overhear. It was GREAT. I loved this movie. And I hate horror movies, especially slasher pics (the only reason I saw the above movie was ’cause I wanted to see how Radcliffe would do as non HP). As such, I don’t really want to say much about this movie so as not to ruin it for others who haven’t seen it. Another Whedon picture, but some parts felt more Whedony than others. This movie was scary and funny and I saw some parts coming, but I think you were supposed to, and it was more of the dread knowing it was coming and it would be bad. A whole lot of fun (despite some gore) and highly recommended.
- Men in Black 3: Another case of actors in a movie acting like younger versions of other actors in the movie. Here it’s Josh Brolin (a long time favorite since Young Riders) acting like Tommy Lee Jones back in 1969. I think I may have actually liked this movie the best of the MIBs. I haven’t seen 2 for a very long time, but everyone says that one is terrible, and I liked the first one, sort of, but not as much as everyone else seemed to. Most of all, I like the J and K chemistry, which is now mostly J and young K chemistry, and it was still really good. Brolin did an excellent job as a still serious, but slightly looser K, and I enjoyed Emma Thompson as Agent O.
- Prometheus: Prometheus was really the reason I wanted to catch up with the Alien franchise. This was supposed to be huge, and I wanted to be ready for it. Plus Ridley is supposed to be one of the biggest badasses around, and female to boot. I watched this with my cousins. Er… yeah. What was up with the WORLD’S DUMBEST CREW EVER? No weapons on an unknown planet. They take their dumb helmets off once sensors say the air seems to be breathable. WTF. Who does that? There could’ve been other reasons to leave your helmet on, like biological reasons. The biologist gets grossed out by an alien corpse. THE BIOLOGIST GETS GROSSED OUT BY A DEAD ALIEN. DOUBLE WTFERY. And then when he sees a LIVE OBVIOUSLY ANGRY ALIEN, he’s all, “Oooo, pretty!” ARGH! And really David? That was the best way to do test “that”?? WHY? Are you programmed to be a freaking SADIST? *rageragerage* This was a really DUMB movie. As in all of the characters would do things for no explainable reason, completely counterintuitive, nonsensical, other than to move the story along. The travel chamber was pretty though. I’ll say that. Also, there’s the whole “yes it’s a prequel” “no it’s not a prequel” confusion, where things happen that make it look like a prequel, but then things happen that would totally not lead to Alien, so… meh. It’s like, it’s definitely the Alien universe, but there are too many similiarites to not be a direct prequel, yet too many differences to be a direct prequel. What a mess.
- Magic Mike: Channing Tatum is soooooooooooo pretty once he starts moving around. Hotness. Other than that… everyone else in the movie was a complete asshole. Hated the Kid. Hated Matt Bomer’s character. Doubly hated Matthew McConaughey, just for being so grosstastic. I just need a DVD of Channing Tatum doing his dance routines. (After typing this, I just went and added Step Up to my Netflix queue, haha) Also, what was with all the boobs? Needed more naked Tatum butt, IMO.
- Amazing Spider-Man: Let’s see… I wasn’t completely thrilled they rebooted this movie already after only ten years. I did like the cast. I thought the cast was awesome. Especially Emma Stone, because I like her way way more than Kirsten Dunst, even though I prefer MJ over Gwen Stacy. Martin Sheen made a great Uncle Ben. Andrew Garfield… was a fine actor… but I didn’t like his Peter Parker. This Peter Parker was not nerdy enough. He was kind of a jerk and not really likeable. Plus he seemed WAY too emo to be Peter Parker. I dunno. Having his parents in the movie, too, was weird. I never heard anything about Peter Parker’s parents before this movie. It’s always Uncle Ben and Aunt May. The Lizard guy was fine. And I liked Denis Leary as Captain Stacy. So yeah. Great cast. Great action; I loved all the webslinging. So-so story with lots of weird happenings, like the whole spider bite reason. And the cranes. I didn’t like the cranes at all until he was actually using them. The reasoning though was completely contrived and fake.
- Dark Knight Rising (#1 on my Netflix list)
- Rise of the Guardians
- Les Miserables
- Cloud Atlas
I’m hoping to cram 2013 with all of these.
Movies I’m looking forward to for 2013:
- Zero Dark 30 (it actually just came out, hit #1 slots of top 10 lists all over)
- Man of Steel (maybe. Not really feeling emo Superman. Supes isn’t emo, ffs. Will probably rent)
- Pacific Rim (it’s got mecha and kaijuu!! It’s like a live action anime movie, but good! I hope…)
- Die Hard 5 (since 1-4 were so fun)
- Iron Man 3 (hopefully the Kingsley curse doesn’t fall on this movie)
- Star Trek 2 (FANIME MOVIE)
- GI Joe 2 (YES YES YES, Cobra Commander has his shiny mask, and Snake Eyes lost his lips! And JINX)
- Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann movie, means if nothing else it’ll be full of eyegasms)
- Fast & Furious 6 (super guilty pleasure)
- Thor 2
- Frozen (new Disney fairytale movie)
- Oz (maybe. Not really a Franco fan, but I do like Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz)
- Gangster Squad (maybe. I LOVE that period. Awesome cast. And it has Anthony Mackie wearing a hat and suit again)
And quick rundown of my top 5 movies of 2012, in no order: 21 Jump Street, Argo, Lincoln, Avengers, and Cabin in the Woods.