Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top Films of 2012


What a year for film. We were given some of the most anticipated films in, probably all of film history. It also had a series of record breaking films, despite the box office take, overall, being disappointing. It was an especially nerd friendly year with titles like, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, The Hobbit, and Ridley Scott's kind of Alien prequel Prometheus. As well as films from Oscar winners Steven Spielberg, Tom Hooper, Ang Lee, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Zemekis. I had a lot of fun at the movies this year. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I was puzzled by Silent House. All the great emotions that people experience at the movies. So today Im going to be counting down my top 10 films of the year. This is an unbiased list and just my personal preference, so if you disagree, whatever, this is my list and you can make your own. Granted there were a few movies this year that I didn't get around to seeing, like Anna Karenina and Zero Dark Thirty, so come a month from now, my list may change. But probably not.
Shall we begin?
10)Silver Linings Playbook
Yea, it was a bit melodramatic and a bit predictable but the lead characters were so original and charming and the performances were so impressive from everybody that this movie easily landed in this slot edging out Django. Sorry QT. It was funny, it was touching and the characters were likable. In my top ten, but not as deserving of an oscar nod as others here.
9)The Avengers:
There was so much hype leading up to this movie and nobody's mind was at ease. This movie easily could have been a disaster, yet it surpassed all expectation and became one of the surprise hits of the year. Not just because of its dazzling action and special effects, but because of the intelligence in the script. Its one of those action films that surprises you with the story. The story itself was a bit straight forward, but the all the characters, though super human, were all human. The movie is great because of its direction, but is perfect because of its writing. All of the actors in this movie personified each of their respective roles in the best possible way and I will be truly sad when one of these actors stops playing that role.
8)Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World:
Perhaps my favorite apocalypse film of all time. This was easily my favorite film of the summer and rightfully so deserves to be on any best of list. This felt like a much more realistic interpretation of what would happen if a meteor was headed for earth. Not everybody is going to party and go crazy. There are just so many people that are unfulfilled with life that still refuse to live even when life is just about to end. This is both a great tale of friendship and a fantastic love story wrapped up in a nice little road trip.
Now we're starting to get dirty
7)Looper:
The science fiction opus of the year. This was both a killer action film and a breath of fresh air in terms of sci-fi. The concept is realitivly simple but Rian Johnson's writing really breathes life into an area that could really turn stale in the worst way. It is really easy to complicate time travel and have it not make sense, but the film even subtley tells the audience to not think too hard on it which is both a great idea and hilarious. Especially in this day and age when everybody has to hate everything. The action is thrilling, and JGL is the man. It also features one of the most brutal torture scenes in recent history
6)Killer Joe:
Definitely the most bizarre film of the year. And arguably the most brutal. This film is not for anyone with a weak stomach, but I am a creepy weirdo, so I embrace films like this. I wish more film makers/studios would take risks and make films that are as dark and twisted as this one. But for all of it darkness, it is equally funny. This is what a dark film should be. Its got some really fucked up shit, and enough laughs to go along with it, making it tasteful as a work of art.
Because I can't enough of Paul Dano...
5)Ruby Sparks:
Ruby Sparks is the story of love and how unpredictable, irrational and how magical love actually is.
Not only is Ruby Sparks the kind of movie that you fall in love with, but it makes you want to fall in love. There weren't many fantasy films this year, and although not traditionally what you would expect from a fantasy film, but its still always welcome to see fantasy being made in Hollywood. This is also the only film this year that I went out and purchased.
4)Sleepwalk With Me:
It takes a lot for a comedy film to be on my top 10, but this wasn't your average comedy. The film is shot documentary style and is intersliced between the narrative and Mike Birbiglia telling the story from his car. This is both a funny story and an unbelievable tale of triumph through adversity, and his adversity is sleepwalking. The scenarios that the sleepwalking gets him into, you couldn't make up. One of the scenarios is my favorite scene of the year. I give this all the more praise because I really don't like endorsing comedians and this film works as both a comedy story and a drama about a man chasing his dream.
Top 3. Are you getting chills yet?
3)Dredd 3D:
Nothing more to say (see my previous review)
2)Skyfall:
Where do I begin? As a lifelong Bond fan, I feel like this was a love letter to me and my kin. It contained everything that a Bond film should be known for. Fast paced action, neat spy work, sexy dames, cool cars, and an intimidating bleached blond villain. It even features the return of Q and some other fun little easter eggs. But it was also a competent and beautifully shot spy thriller with some clever dialogue and fantastic performances from Daniel Craig and (a scene stealing) Javier Bardem. This is how a Bond anniversary should be celebrated and it allows me to forgive the mistake of Die Another Day. The song is classic Bond and the tone is incredibly modern and bleak in this post 9/11 world, with a tight and very personal plot. It almost made it to my number 1, but my number 1 was too good to not steal this spot.
1)The Perks Of Being A Wallflower:
Beautiful script, beautiful score, beautifully shot and beautiful characters. In a year that was largely inhabited with tales of high school, this was easily the best introspect into it. Its not all bullies and parties, but given the right situation, everybody becomes a villain. The story is about a lonely kid who makes friends with a group of social oddities who are just like everybody else in their own way, and they show the boy how to live and have fun. Its a perfect look at friendship, sexual discrimination, love and loneliness. This is honestly what I look for in a film. Some of you reading this may have a different favorite film of the year, but this is just my opinion. Unfortunately I couldn't put every movie on this list. So honorable mentions go to The Dark Knight Returns Part 1, Django Unchained, 21 Jump Street, Robot and Frank, The Raid and Chronicle. If you haven't seen any of these films, go out and give them a look see, and don't forget to buy Dredd. I can't wait for next year because there are a lot of great films that need to be watched and I am just the man for the job
     -L.K

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