Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Top 10

This is always so hard to do, and it should be for almost anyone. There is no way that I could have seen every film that was released in 2012, and I didn't even come close.

That being said, I did get a chance to check out a decent amount either in the theater or when it was finally released on DVD. So, I figured I would give it a shot.

This is MY Top 10 list of 2012. These may not be the actual best films released, but out of the ones that I was able to see these are my favorite. In fact, they may not even be the best films but more films I enjoyed and have no problem watching again.

So, without further ado here is MY Top 10 films of 2012:

10) Rise of the Guardians

Really wasn't expecting to like this film as much as I did. Even though Dreamworks is still a few steps behind Pixar in terms of animated films, I guess I should start expecting good things from them. They rarely disappoint, especially of late. This film gives our beloved characters (Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy and Sandman) a little more to do than most films - they protect those children who believe in them. And with a threat rising, Jack Frost is selected to join the Guardians to help rid the world of the threat.

9) 21 Jump Street

I guess it may be time to take Channing Tatum off the just a good looking actor list and actually consider him a decent actor. I saw a handful of films with him in it this year and he really did a great job in all of them, no matter how little or what he was asked to do. Here he teams with Jonah Hill to re-create the Johnny Depp starring television show. And, we actually get a fun ride. Pretty darn funny - probably one of the funniest comedies this year. They took a lot of risks in this film, and they all pretty much paid off nicely.

8) The Amazing Spider-Man

Again, I feel Spider-Man gets a bad wrap. I thought this film was pretty good and a decent (though probably unnecessary) reboot. Unfortunately, we were saddled with another origin story to re-start this franchise - much of which was already seen in the Tobey Maguire version. Also going against it was the other two pretty large superhero films released this year around the same time. Any other year this would have probably been the best superhero film of the year - but in 2012 it was the third. Still, I see promise in this franchise and with Andrew Garfield in the title role. Looking forward to the films to come.

7) Brave

For years Pixar was the go-to studio for animated films. It dominated for years with winning Academy Awards for best animated feature. But, for me, it was actually outshined by another animated film in 2012 - by its sister studio Disney. But, as I have said many times, Pixar has really done no wrong. Even their bottom films are still entertaining. Brave is not a bottom dweller, but more a middle of the road film in the Pixar library. Very much enjoyable, funny and tons of adventure. One I will probably watch a bunch.

6) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

What isn't there to like about this film (and the rest of its upcoming series of films)? We know what we are going to get - it was already laid out for us perfectly in Lord of The Rings. All we have to do is sit back and enjoy the process. Instead of Frodo, whose journey we follow in the other films, we get Bilbo's journey in The Hobbit, which is set more than 60 years before Frodo's journey begins. It takes a little while to get going as the film is setup, but we get great action and some comedy sprinkled in as well. And the crossover with characters from Lord of the Rings allows us to realize we already know these characters and we enjoy them.

5) Wreck-It Ralph 

When I first saw this trailer I was pretty excited. I was even more excited when I saw Bowser from Super Mario Brothers in the trailer - my son loves him. So, it had me hooked right away. What I was not expecting though was just how much. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire film. It had action, comedy and a ton of heart - not to mention a lot of retro video game characters and references to really get my inner geek going. And, it had a great twist ending that I didn't see coming - which is pretty hard to pull off. Really looking forward to see it again.

4) Les Misérables

I really am not sure what to call my taste for musicals. I guess I am somewhere in the middle where I either absolutely love it or very much despise it. This was not really on my radar to go see this year, but my wife really wanted to see it. So glad that I did because it ends up fourth on my favorite films of the year. Wasn't sure I was going to like the singing of every word at the start - but before long it was hardly even noticeable. The music was outstanding, all of the actors did a superb job in that aspect - and to not only be able to sing live, but also show emotion and continue on with the story, they were all amazing in their feat. Plus, any film that can get an emotional reaction out of me has to be a good film.

3) The Hunger Games

Again, pretty much going into this film blind - which I love. I don't read books so the film wasn't spoiled for me going in. I am not sure if this is another Harry Potter but it certainly got off to an amazing start and I am definitely looking forward to finally seeing the other films in this franchise upon their release. Despite being a bright spot in last year's X-Men: First Class and 2010's Winter's Bone - Jennifer Lawrence hit A-list status with her portrayal as Katniss. But, the film strives with its other cast members as well. Most notably, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci and strangely Lenny Kravitz. 

2) The Dark Knight Rises

This film will be in almost everyone's Top 3 for the year. It wrapped up what was possibly the greatest superhero franchise of all time in Christopher Nolan's Batman. It got off to such a huge and surprising start with Batman Begins and went to levels not known possible in Dark Knight with Heath Ledger's amazing portrayal of Joker. It wraps up with Batman lost, old and broken - but needed one last time to save the city that had learned to despise him for reasons that were not true. As I said then it won't get the credit it deserves because it followed Dark Knight and Tom Hardy's Bane won't get the credit he deserves because of Ledger's Joker - but we ended with a bang and that is all we can ask for.

1) The Avengers

Who knew that this is the masterpiece we would be getting way back when Iron Man was released in 2008? We weren't even aware what we would be getting with Iron Man to begin with, but thanks to a great film helped by the great performance by Robert Downey, Jr. The Avengers finally had a pulse. Even with the success of Iron Man, Thor and Captain America could the people involved in those films all come together and create a film that showcases so many superheroes? I definitely had my concerns - we have all seen just how wrong things can go with so many characters in one film - but those concerns were quickly dashed and I was given my top film of 2012. And, I continue to look forward to the many, many films that this franchise will produce - especially when Avengers 2 hits theaters.

No comments:

Post a Comment