Sunday, January 6, 2013

Top Ten Movies of 2012: Jonesy Edition

2012 was a fairly decent year of movies for me. However, I did have a tough time compiling my list. Not because there were an overabundance of films I wanted on there, but because I couldn't find ten films easily. Even though I saw a lot of really good films, I didn't have many that just blew me away. Most were easily enjoyable, but none I cared to necessarily revisit anytime soon or had too many flaws I couldn't look past.

So, I have my ten favorites from this year in no particular order. I find it difficult to list films in an arbitrary order because how can I really ever compare PITCH PERFECT to CLOUD ATLAS. All these films were released in theatres during 2012. There are a few films that I didn't get a chance to see that I was very much anticipating (LES MISERABLES and ZERO DARK THIRTY), but alas I missed them, which I think every blogger has that issue towards the end of the year. 

All of my picks spoke or have stuck with me in some sort of fashion, and I'm surprised (more at myself) that I don't really have flat out Oscar bait films on here...okay maybe one.

So for better or worse, here are my top ten films of 2012, in no particular order. 

This film was acca-awesome. Unfortunately, it was marketed in a very strange way and had to rely on word of mouth for people to see it. Thankfully, I listened, and I was in stitches multiple times from the witty dialogue. But all the rumors are true, this movie is more hilarious then the previews show. Of course, I'm a sucker for any sort of glee club movie.

This one took me completely by surprised. Not only was the film funny, but it had an enormous amount of heart. I thought I had figured out where the story was going, but the plot went somewhere a lot darker than I was expecting. For a "kids" animated film, this story explored the themes of prejudice and stigma of being "different" in such an honest way. This was the animated film of the year.

This film kept the new year from being a slow trek until summer. I can be a sucker for found footage films, and I enjoyed how that aspect didn't feel too forced. It's a fascinating look at what happens if superpowers fall into the wrong hands. Not in the super villain-type of wrong hands, but the type of hands that isn't mentally prepared to deal with the power that was given to them.

One of the most original movies I saw this year. Yes, it lived up to all the hype it received from SXSW. It's innovative, funny, gory, and flips your expectations of horror on its head. If you still haven't seen it, go into it as unspoiled as you can. You won't regret it.

Frank wants to prove to his pregnant girlfriend that he is ready to have a family, so he and his buddy Casper kidnaps Frank's 14 year old nephew and goes on a canoe trip. It's as awkward as it sounds and the above picture suggests. The film has tons of uncomfortable, dry humor that pushes the line of good taste but ends up being delightful.

I really enjoy what type of director Ben Afflect is becoming. He was able to capture the international scope of the situation while keeping the story intimate. Even though we know how the story ends, Afflect was able to masterfully keep the film tense throughout. It also had one of the best lines uttered in a film all year.

Even though this film has its problems, I still appreciate with how ambitious it was. The worlds that the Waschowskis and Tom Tykwer created were enthralling, and I only wish that we could have spent more time exploring each new world.

My only documentary to make it onto my top ten this year, but this is one I plan on revisiting every October. With his sophomore feature, Michael Stephenson documents house haunters from a small Massachusetts as they prepare for the greatest night of the year, Halloween. What stands out in this film is how heartfelt it is. Stephenson has a gift for not only telling a great story but making us pull for his subjects.

This film had no right to be as funny as it was. I was not excited to see it whatsoever; however, I was blown away by the comedy and chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Instead of being a cheesy remake, the film takes the ideas from the original series but becomes something that can stand on its own two feet.

With any film that deals with time travel, there's always the problem of once you start breaking down the film and logistics after the fact, you usually find glaring plot holes and impossible situations. However, director and writer Rian Johnson was able to make an original film that, yes, has some problems, but ends up being so interesting and character driven that it overrides any of the time traveling conundrums.


Festival Mentions: ROOM 237, I DECLARE WAR, NEW KIDS NITRO

Goodbye 2012 movies. You will be missed. Be sure to check out Javi's Top Ten if you haven't yet. His post also has links some other top ten lists from around the internet.

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