Dave’s Top 10 Movies Of 2012

Published by Dave in: Film,Top Ten Lists -- Date: 31 Jan 2013 Comments: 0

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Savages PosterSo another year has come and gone. But 2012’s movies will convert into DVD’s that will fill our hearts, homes then hatboxes forever. While I, personally, watched many terrible movies, I saw quite a couple that revived my mind and reminded me why cinema is a worthwhile hobby.

Having a diverse taste in films isn’t always easy. With tastes that are all over the map, my movie watching is eclectic and that will show in this list. I should also admit that I did not get to watch all the movies that I wanted, so once Cloud Atlas finally comes out on Blu-Ray, the list may change.

Without further ado, let’s present my Top Ten list for the best movies of 2012 starting with the least favorites:

11. Savages
I know, I know. I said I’d present my Top Ten, but, in my opinion, this movie deserved a special mention. I have been a fan of Blair Butler since I saw the Traveling Pants movie, but this movie proved to me that she could act. I also have a personal soft spot for both John Travolta and Salma Hayek, so this movie was a fun drug-induced romp. Of course, it didn’t end the same as the novel, but who reads now anyway?

All jesting aside, this film was a move in the right direction for me. It was honest and weird and edgy, but it knew it was and exploited all that to provide some solid entertainment.

Reason why it’s not #1:
I’d ruin the ending, but I’m not 14 and you’re not reading my post on tumblr.

10. Rock of Ages
I’ve never been so disgusted by Tom Cruise.

Which is a good thing, because he stepped out of himself and his other roles to become this creepy rocker who has charm for who-knows-what reason. I will admit that I am an admirer of musicals, so Rock of Ages was right up my alley. It had a fun story with stupid turns and twists that made you chuckle to yourself as you sang along. What I also liked about this musical was how accessible it was. It’s quirky and fun for everyone who has heard a Foreigner song.

Reason why it’s not #1:
The reason we’re here is for the two lovey-dovey main characters, but they were annoying and obtuse. In the end, they could have been either launched to the moon or mauled by a bear and it would have not made any bearing on my mind.

Casa de Mi Padre

9. Casa de Mi Padre
This is another honorable mention. Casa de Mi Padre, for those of you who don’t know, is a movie starring Will Ferrell where everything is spoken in Spanish with subtitles. I rented this one on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. As a Spanish speaker, the fact that the translation of the bizarrely phrased dialogue was spot-on was only more amusing to those who have seen any “Cantinflas” movies. It took all those cheesy latin movies and parodied them with clever humor. “Casa de Mi Padre” was like Napoleon Dynamite all over again; I was quoting lines for weeks after watching it.

Reason why it’s not #1:
While this movie is funny, it’s no masterpiece. Some parts lagged a bit, and some of the humor felt underwhelming or forced.

8. The Woman in Black
I also love horror movies.

The Woman in Black was, in simple words, too much fun. I watched this one with my wife, and she was clutching onto my arm the entire film. As I understand it, “The Woman in Black” is based on a book that has been turned into a play where sometimes a lady in black LITERALLY gets up and personal, walking up and down the aisles and scaring the audience members. With that history in mind, The Woman in Black delivers with a solid character that is chilling and terrifying. My wife had nightmares for weeks.

Reason why it’s not #1:
Daniel Radcliffe has never been my favorite. Harry Potter equals Arthur Kipps (the guy in this) equals his portrayal of Allen Ginsberg. He’s fine, but he doesn’t mean much to me in terms of an actor.

The Amazing Spider Man7. The Amazing Spider-Man
I love comics.

As such, I had been excited for The Amazing Spider-Man for a while, so when it came out, I actually cried during that one part where the city rallies behind him and helps him in one of the fights. This movie was fresh and encouraging, and Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were the perfect couple to fill my Spidey-sensitive void in my heart.

Reason why it’s not #1… yet:
This movie was a lot of setup. I can appreciate that, but it felt like the first movie in Raimi’s trilogy. I had the sensation that I had seen most of it, if not all of it, before. It may pay off in the end with the sequels, but for right now, I have my reservations.

6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Okay, I ALSO love fantasy.

I was really nervous about The Hobbit. As with many other common folk, I was raised on Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” and I was hoping Peter Jackson wouldn’t ruin my childhood like that one Speed Racer movie where people’s heads floated in waves of neon colors a lot. But, in the end, the movie delivered. The Hobbit had such a great cast. Not only was the LOTR cast back, but the dwarves were amusing and clever.

Reason why it’s not #1:
I hate, hate, HATE attempts to stretch movies into trilogies or two-part elements. Many novels, in my opinion, can be truncated to an enjoyable point. By tossing in too many elements from “The Salmarillion” and bringing back some unnecessary characters from the LOTR series, they have to arrange story arcs that distracted me from the main quest. The movie was fun, but it had serious tones that I could have done without in a movie based on a kid’s book.

5. The Hunger Games
Yes, I read these books too. No, I am not happy they’re going to turn “Mockingjay” into two parts. However, “The Hunger Games” was beautiful. It was accessible for those who haven’t read the books, but it also provided a world that was exactly like what I was expecting and hoping for. The characters were intriguing, and it was fun to see Katniss’ world. Also, it’s great to see a female heroine in cinema.

Why it wasn’t #1:
It was fun, but at the end of the movie, I felt like if I hadn’t read the book, I might not have loved the movie. Some parts felt sequential, like, “This happens, then this happens,” and it didn’t seem as honest as it could have, especially before they got into the arena.

4. Looper
Remember back when people watched Inception and they had trouble grasping the plot even though the plot wasn’t really that complicated? Yeah, those people’s brains hurt after Looper. Looper isn’t your normal time-travel movie, and I enjoyed that. It follows a different time-traveling mythos where both of the time lines are parallel worlds that effect each other. It was entertaining, suspenseful, and the make-up made the story believable.

Reason why it’s not #1:
Oh, I just think there are better movies that came out this year. While this movie is amazing, it is not a light movie I want to watch all the time.

Les Miserables Poster3. Les Miserables
See, I TOLD you I like musicals!

Any audiophile knows that Les Mis (Pronounced LEH-MIZ, not Less-Miss) is one of the greatest musicals ever created. As a fan of the theatrical version, I could respect the movie version of Les Miserables (pronounced LEH-MIS-UHR-AUB, not LEH-miserable). By allowing the actors to sing in real time, the movie brought out the raw nature of the French Revolution depicted in the book and play. I do not know a single person that did not fight back tears during this movie.

Reason why it’s not #1:
I could say Russell Crowe, but that’s not true. In aiming for a raw movie, director Tom Hooper also left himself open to the flaws that come with raw material. The cast as a whole had difficult parts.

2. The Cabin in the Woods
I know people may disagree with me on this one, but “The Cabin in the Woods” is one of the most brilliant pieces of cinema ever produced. What “The Cabin in the Woods” does is provide an intelligent commentary on the stereotypical nature of every horror flick out there. Since this movie was in production hell for a good long while, pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth is less muscle, and seeing now famous actors as their younger selves adds to the fun, campy nature of the movie.

Reason why it’s not #1:
This is a toughy. It would have been #1 for me if it weren’t for a movie called:

Safety Not Guaranteed

1. Safety Not Guaranteed
Haven’t heard of this movie? Go rent it. Seriously. Now. We’ll wait.

Okay, watched it now? See what I mean?
“Safety Not Guaranteed” is brilliant and fun. It has that hipster humor that is becoming more common nowadays; all the characters are indifferent humanoids that drink PBR and make sarcastic comments all day. However, this movie is also honest, in a way. It’s all about regret and what making something out of yourself REALLY means.

When I saw the movie for the first time, I was skeptical. There are already too many indie movies about being part of the “modern generation,” but this movie was different. This film always had me guessing about whether the characters were either just crazy or downright insane. And then the ending! The ending is so awesome, especially that part when–well, you know. You watched the greatest movie of the year already.

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