Thursday, January 3, 2013

Top 10 Movies of 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I did a blog post that was called Top 10 Songs of 2012. That list was put together completely by numbers and facts while not including my own opinion in the matter. This post is quite the opposite. This is purely my opinion - my top 10 favorite movies of this past year, so don't get too confused. If you want to know what the highest grossing movies are, there are about a hundred sites that will tell you. Anywho, 2012 turned out to be the highest grossing year ever for the Box Office in the United States, so there were a lot of popular and hyped up movies and a sad trend for me was that I came away from quite a few of them let down, so if you had a favorite movie of this year that is not on the list, that is probably why. Now it is possible that a movie is not included because I didn't see it, but I have seen enough movies that I feel comfortable about my top 10 that I am presenting here, so enjoy! And feel free to respond with any questions, comments, or concerns that I don't address in this post.

10- Skyfall - Being honest, I am not the biggest Bond fan out there. I have nothing against the series, I am just one that for one reason or another haven't seen too many Bond films. Many claim that this is the best Bond movie of the series and I can't comment on that, but I don't know if it would be my favorite. I wasn't completely in love with it, which is the reason it comes in at number ten, but nevertheless I did enjoy it. Every once in a while you need to see a good action movie that you can just watch and enjoy without having to think too hard about the plot, the character development, or whatver. That's what Skyfall was to me, as with most Bond films that I have seen actually. It won't go in my list of favorite movies and I don't know if I will ever own it, but when it is being shown at whatever venue, I will sit down and enjoy myself. And while I'm at it, I'll give a shout out to Adele for writing a fantastic song for the movie that will probably come to my head every time I hear the movie title.

9- John Carter - This is a movie that was one of the biggest flops of the year. Disney invested a ton of money in this film and intended on it become the next big franchise that everyone would see and enjoy. However, due to a poor marketing effort it fell right on its face and hardly anyone saw it. In fact it took a huge effort from world wide grosses to even break even, which it barely did. This made me really sad honestly because I saw the film and I loved it. Not the most epic movie of the year and it did have a few problems of its own, but overall it was a great movie and it would've made for a great franchise, but nevertheless another John Carter will probably never be made, which means I will have to motivate myself to pick up the books sometime, because it set itself up for a sequel. If you haven't seen this movie, which is probably most of you, you should find it on DVD and give it a shot.

8- The Hunger Games - I wasn't a part of the huge Hunger Games craze before this movie came out and quite honestly I didn't even hear about the books for some reason until everyone got hyped up for the movie coming out. It did catch my attention, though, and I defintely gave the movie a shot. I was immediately sucked into the series and actually ended up enjoying the whole series more than most people I have talked to so far. I saw the movie before reading the book and it turns out that after reading the book myself I found a few minor problems with the movie that caused it to not be so incredibly high on this list, but nevertheless it was still really good. It was also one of the huge surprises this year in the Box Office. Sure, it was expected to do really well, but I don't think anyone thought that this first Hunger Games movie would earn more than all eight Harry Potter movies, all four Twilight movies, and all three Lord of the Ring movies (domestically speaking).

7- Wreck-It Ralph - Out of all of the animated movies that came out this year, this one was easily the best. If it doesn't win best picture, I will think that there is something seriously wrong with the Academy. Oh wait, I already kinda do. But hey, the couple of years my favorite animated movie of the year actually did win, so hopefully this will follow suit. Wreck-It Ralph was a Disney movie that looked like a Pixar movie and was just really good all around. All of the video game nerds who loved the older 80's and 90's arcade games were greatly rewarded and even one wasn't a huge video game nerd, that person was still rewarded because it was a great story and movie for the whole family.

6- Chronicle - This is the first of four Superhero movies that graced my top 10 list and since we are at the top 6, you can probably guess what the rest of my list is going to look like. A great year for Superhero movies. Chronicle, however, is not your typical superhero movie. It's more of a psychological movie that toys with the idea of 'what if a group of teenagers randomly came upon superhero powers?' And even more specifically, 'what if one of those teenagers was an abused psychopath kid?' It's definitely a dark, somber movie, but at the same time it is quite realistic in terms of the psychological issues that it presents. No, a group of teenagers isn't going to randomly come by a crazy hole in the ground that will give them superpowers, that's not what I mean when I say its realistic. But there are a lot of people around us that need our care, our friendship, and our attention and if we don't give that to them, bad things could happen. They might not turn into a psychopathic killer, but they will definitely become lonely and afraid. This movie is of the found footage style and while I am not always a fan of that style, it worked quite perfectly for this movie. Chronicle wasn't a blockbuster movie that everyone saw, so that means there is a good chance that if you are reading this, you haven't seen it either. I'd reccomend you find it and give it a shot.

5- Life of Pi - Life of Pi is definitely the most beautiful movie I've seen this year. And when I say beautiful, in this specific context I am meaning cinematography wise. If this movie does not win the Oscar for best Cinematography, I just might throw a fit. Also if you like animals, which I do, this is definitely the movie for you. But the biggest thing that makes this movie a big hit for me is the ending. It really made me think about the whole movie and what the whole purpose was and in that I got a lot of insights. Obviously I won't go into any detail because that would ruin the experience for you, but I will just recommend you go see it if you haven't already. It should get a Oscar nomination for Best Picture, so maybe that will get you out if nothing has yet.

4- Lincoln - This is a movie about Abraham Lincoln, the real version of him that doesn't hunt vampires. Specifically this is about the last few months of his life. I don't need to go into any detail about what that is about. If you don't know then I will direct you to your history books. Given that it is a movie about Lincoln, it is a very political movie and thus is the style that everyone won't like as much of it is back and forth political banter, but what makes this movie absolutely fantastic is the performance of Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln. I mean seriously, it felt like they reincarnated Abraham Lincoln himself and casted him to play himself in the movie. It is that realistic and good. His physical appearance - height, beard, form, hat - and his personality. Then you walk out of the movie and are in awe not only because of how good DDL did, but because you are reflected back on the life of Abraham Lincoln and are reminded of how great of a president he really was. Lincoln is not my personal favorite movie of the year, but of all the movies that are going to get nominated for Best Picture, this movie deserves to win it most.

3- The Amazing Spider-Man - I tried to not make my top three movies all be Superhero movies. Even though I knew I wanted all three of these movies on here, I tried to mix it up. But when push came to shove, I just couldn't do it. The three big superhero movies of this year in my opinion were the best three movies of the year. They are three movies that I will love and re-watch many times over the course of my life. Let's of course start with The Amazing Spider-Man. I know its completely cliché for me to say this, but this movie was amazing. It's really the best word for it. Yes, it re-tells the origin story and that bothered a lot of people because we have already seen the origin story for Spider-Man in a movie recently, but it needed to happen because it did a better job of it. It focused more on the character development of all the characters and was more true to the actual comic book story of Spider-Man. I liked the original Spider-Man trilogy (expcept for that awful third one), but this movie by doing such a good job of telling the Spider-Man story showed me how off the original movies really were. This wasn't a superhero movie that told a quick origin story then made sure to have a bunch of action. This was a superhero movie with emotion and depth to it and when it did get to the action it was pretty darn good, too. It also had an amazing cast of characters, especially Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the lead roles. And I won't be ashamed to admit it, I am completely in love with Emma Stone. Not only was she a really pretty girlfriend, but she was also useful and depth behind her. She wasn't your typical shallow pretty girl who needed saving every three seconds by her superhero boyfriend. She did everything she could to help herself and help Spider-Man even when he told her to just run away from the situation and that was awesome. Kudos to the Amazing Spider-Man crew that was risky enough to remake the series this quick. I was skeptic of it for a long time, but after seeing it, I am already super stoked for the second one.

2- The Dark Knight Rises - From Spider-Man to Batman. And not just any Batman, but in my opinion the best Batman movie ever made. And yes, you can quote me on that. Most people would agree that Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy really are the best Batman movies. It's almost a no-brainer that if you argue against, you will get slammed. However, the debate is up in the air as far as which was better, The Dark Knight or the Dark Knight Rises. While I did like The Dark Knight, and actually like it more and more every time I see it, my vote in the matter is that The Dark Knight Rises is the best of the trilogy. I liked it because it tied in many aspects and themes from both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. It was a great final story that started with Bruce Wayne being a loner in his his house, then went to him realizing that he needed to be Batman again, but took a drastic turn with Bane kicked his trash, broke his back, and sent him to a prison half way across the world. He then had to learn to rise again, to get up after he had fallen, and to go back and stop Bane who was terrorizing Gotham. To me that was a beautifully written story. And speaking of Bane, he was one sick villain. Joker was epic and was probably more of a crazy psychopath, but Bane did a lot more damage to the city and for a final movie he was a perfect villain. Tom Hardy, by the way, was totally a stud in this. He did such a good job. And last but not least I have to give a lot of praise to Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. She did a stellar job and even looked hot while doing so, which if you can get me to say both of those things about Anne Hathaway, you know it's impressive.

1- The Avengers - Yup. If you know me at all or have talked to me extensively in the last 8 months or so, you knew this was coming. If you couldn't tell already, I am a sucker for Superhero movies and The Avengers is easily my favorite Superhero movie ever. What they did in this movie was quite epic. You don't need me to tell you this, but I am anyways. They built up to this movie for five years. They made five movies that I really loved just to build up to this one movie. Then they took the four main Superheroes from those movies and threw them all together with a hardcore group of agents from SHEILD and put them into one movie. It takes some serious brilliance to make that work without it being cheesy or just plain awful, but Joss Wheedon totally pulled it off and is now one of my heroes. And the thing that I liked about it is that it wasn't just all peaches and roses. If you were to grab four people that are used to being the center of attention and put them all onto one team, they would usually but heads for the beginning at least and this is exactly what happened and it was beautiful to watch it all take place. Then of course there was the action, which consisted of most of the movie in this case, specifically a final battle that was the whole second half of the movie. That doesn't always work, but in this case it completely blew me away. Avengers is a movie that I will be watching many times in my life. It already set a record for number of times I saw one movie in theaters. Five times is how many times I saw it in theaters. And I loved it to death each time.

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