Friday, January 11, 2013

Brian's Favorite Films of 2012


Now that a new year has begun, it's always fun to take a look back at the previous year and remember the movies that managed to stand out among the rest.

This isn't a traditional Top 10 list, and these aren't my picks for "best films of the year." Instead, these are simply my favorite movies and theater going experiences of 2012. Oh, and I should mention that as of this posting, I still haven't seen The Hobbit or Beasts of the Southern Wild. I will though. ...No, really. ...Stop looking at me like that!

REALLY GOOD

These film were the most memorable theater-going experiences for me last year:

            SILVER LINING PLAYBOOK
            A satisfying examination of two broken people 
            learning to live with each other's help. Great
            performances make this a fun and sweet story 
            to watch. 

MOONRISE KINGDOM
I love me some Wes Anderson. I've been on board with him since Bottle Rocket and while he seemed to be wavering a bit for a time, this was a lovely return to form. His confidence in his quirky voice brings this story of young love to life in a left of center, but most importantly, honest way.


LOOPER
An un-apologetically grim and heady time travel thriller. While the film proudly owes much to many films that came before it, it still manages to feel like a breath of fresh air.




ZERO DARK THIRTY 
I loved the no nonsense, laying-out-the-facts nature of the film, all leading to a cinematically thrilling reenactment of one of the most famous take downs of one of the most famous real-life villains in history.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Yes, it's too long. Yes, if I could, there are a few things I would want differently. But there was no other movie that grabbed me by the lapels and swung me around like this one did in 2012. From the opening airplane heist to Batman flying away, lugging a nuclear bomb, ready to die for his city, nitpicks and notes aside, this movie is a triumph of execution and I still enjoy it. 

GOOD TOO:

CLOUD ATLAS
Ambitious and intriguing, this nearly three hour epic spanning centuries isn't without its lulls, but the way the six or so stories are woven together - melding the beats and crescendos of each story with one another, seamlessly hopping back and forth between them - is remarkable, giving the film an exciting energy. While some stories work better than others, and ultimately the movie comes just short of the impact I feel it was building toward, I still found myself taken with it.



THE AVENGERS
 A popcorn flick of the highest caliber. It's effortlessly fun and pulls off what should have been a next to impossible juggling act of charismatic personalities, exciting set pieces, and impressive effects eye candy.

 


CABIN IN THE WOODS
While not my genre at all, this fun deconstruction of horror films (while actually being a darn inventive one itself) had me intrigued, laughing and hooked from the opening title card.

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED

A sweet, offbeat tale about a guy convinced he's built a time machine, all he needs now is a partner to travel with him. For such a goofy premise, the film found a good hook with a lot of heart that keeps you invested in figuring out what's really going on.

CHRONICLE
Kind of can't believe this came from a major studio. Although a found footage film about teenagers, this is a thoughtful and kind of melancholy take on what would happen if regular kids inherited super powers. In spite of a teeny budget, there were still many memorable moments of the kids' powers on display in grounded, real-life settings.

CASA DE MI PADRE
Yup, the one where Will Ferrell speaks Spanish the entire film. Think Three Amigos meets Anchorman and you're on your way to an idea of what this bizarre and hilarious movie is like. All I know is my brother and I were laughing constantly.







HONORABLE MENTIONS:
SKYFALL, THE GREY, RUBY SPARKS, SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, SOUND OF MY VOICE,
21 JUMP STREET, and ARGO.


 
But you want to know what my favorite theater going experience was this past year? Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I somehow managed to catch three times on a big screen - once even with Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg in attendance!  Watching a movie you've seen a million times in an actual movie theater is a special experience because that unparalleled immersion allows you to get invested in the film as if seeing it again for the first time. You take notice of things you've missed or forgotten about, sucking you into the story in a way you just can't experience at home. "If you have the means I highly recommend it. It is so choice."




And that about wraps it up! Thanks for taking a look and feel free to shoot me your thoughts on YOUR favorite films of last year.

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