Here is my list of my favorite films from 2012. Keep in mind, due to my illness in the first part of the year, I missed a lot of movies.
But of the ones I did see, here are the ones that stood out for me:
1] The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
I was a little nervous about this, since director Peter Jackson was taking one book and splitting it into three movies. However, this first installment in The Hobbit trilogy of films had very little downtime, even considering its almost three hour runtime. I also saw it in the new 48-frames-per-second speed of film (regular film is 24-frames-per-second) and in 3D. Everything felt more realistic and it gave the 3D effect a true depth I hadn’t seen before. This isn’t a perfect movie, but it came very close.
2] The Avengers
I missed it in theaters since it debuted the weekend I went into the hospital, but I did get the DVD for my birthday. Joss Whedon crafted an amazing movie. I mean, how do you take already established characters, who have their own separate franchises, add in a couple of new characters, and make them seem to work as a cohesive unit? He made it look easy, with a film that had great dialog, amazing action sequences, and seamless special effects. Of course it helps that the film had high caliber actors (Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston) bringing their A-game to their characters. I honestly don’t know how Whedon is going to top this, but he has until 2015 to figure it out (that’s when Avengers 2 is due out – ooo..maybe they’ll shoot that in 48fps!).
I’ve never been a huge Bond fan, but even though this was the 23rd in the series, it felt very fresh and new. Daniel Craig returns as 007, and he’s a more human Bond. As the villain, Javier Bardem is an ex-spy with a grudge against MI:6, and he plays it well. This film was sexy, exciting and action-packed, without being too over-the-top. I mean, this IS Bond, after all.
4] Cabin in the Woods
Written by Joss Whedon and directed by Drew Goddard, this film takes the typical elements of horror movies, and completely skewers them to create one of the most original horror films, I’ve ever seen. Just when you think you know where it’s going, it totally turns in a different direction. My favorite scene was the elevator of monsters.
5] Jack Reacher
This no-frills action thriller struck all the right chords. Tom Cruise stars as ex-military cop Jack Reacher who turns up to help solve a case involving a former sniper. It’s fast paced, has snappy dialog (including some great one-liners), and has some great supporting performances by the likes of Robert Duvall. It doesn’t try to re-invent the genre, it just does it really well.
Disney struck gold with this animated tale of life inside video games. Whether you grew up on classic arcade games or the latest home video games, you’ll identify with the characters. Lots of great jokes and sight gags (the Oreo guards are among my faves), plus it also pulls on the heartstrings at the right moments.
7] Hotel Transylvania
This movie was hilarious, taking all the classic movie monsters and making them out to be good guys who just want to be left alone by the dreadful humans. A great message wrapped up in the story about not judging others until you get to know them was icing on the cake.
8] Silver Linings Playbook
Normally I don’t like romantic dramas, but I loved that the interactions felt very real, and not cutesy. In the film, neither lead character was perfect, but together they found a way to make their crazy lives work. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were great co-leads and had amazing chemistry. Robert De Niro and Chris Tucker were strong in their roles as Cooper’s father and friend. This film was all about the strong script and great acting. I enjoyed it.
9] Les Miserable
I’m not totally in love with this film, the way some of my friends are. Some of the performances weren’t that great and at 2hrs and 40 minutes, it seemed too long. But Hugh Jackman (as the central character Jean Valjean) and Anne Hathaway (as Fantine) were brilliant in their roles, both as actors and singers. If you’re a fan of musicals, this is worth seeing.
10] I really wanted an even 10, but there wasn’t another film that I liked enough this year to put in this spot. Maybe 2013 will be better for films with me.
How about you? What films were your favorites from 2012?