Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jonesy's Top Five of the Year (So Far)

We're only half-way through the year, and if I'm being honest, making this list wasn't the easiest to do. Unfortunately it wasn't because there were so many films to choose from, but there hasn't been many films that have stuck with me. I'm hoping the second half of the year proves to be better, but for now, in no particular order, here are my top five films (and some honorable mentions) for 2012...so far:

21 JUMP STREET- Maybe it was the sour mood I was in, but I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard tears streamed down my cheeks and my side hurt. There were so many jokes and funny lines jam packed into this film, that I missed some of them because of the laughter. Of course the actors have great chemistry, and it's expected Jonah Hill to be funny; however, I was shocked at how hilarious and scene stealing Channing Tatum was. He ended up being the highlight of the film. And this has been one of the only 2012 releases I've purchased this year.

THE AVENGERS- Seriously, this film shouldn't have worked. Too many stars and individual arcs packed into a film. But somehow Joss Whedon was able to balance action, unique characters, and interesting dialogue into the most fun film I've seen this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed this experiment of having individual films of each superhero lead up to this film. So by the time we get to the main film, we're familiar with each character and know the path they all took to get together.

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS- This film will probably win the award of hyped film of the year. Yet, it completely lived up to all the internet buzz. It was fun, smart, and surprising. I thankfully took all the a advice I heard before seeing it and stayed away from all forms of reviews, previews, and trailers. Trying to stay as unspoiled as possible made each new element of the film that much more enjoyable.

CHRONICLE- This ended up being an absolute surprise. February is a normal dumping ground for films. It's too late for Oscar season and too early for summer blockbusters. Had this film be released any other time, it probably would have gotten lost in the shuffle. Instead we had a gem of a film during the lull season. The film takes a "realistic" look at what happens when an everyday teen suddenly gets superpowers. Shot in a "found-footage" format, which is a little gimmicky, the film ends up being very entertaining and exciting.

COMPLIANCE- I heard the hubbub about this film when it caused people to angrily storm out of the screening and elicited a very heated Q&A at Sundance. When a film has this type of response, I'm always insanely curious. This was the best film I saw at this year's Dallas International Film Festival. It was a later screening which had a Q&A afterwards with one of the actors. Even though the film is very disturbing and even worse that it's based on a true story, it was a tasteful depiction of these horrible events. Some people in my screening didn't believe that this was tasteful at all which lead to a very charged discussion afterwards. No one stormed out, but this was the most lively audience I've seen. The movie is well shot and acted and stays with you after you walk out.


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