in Review

2012 was a really great year for movies, as there were a lot of ones I really enjoyed that I won’t even give an honorable mention, unlike Skyfall, The Deep Blue Sea, and Argo.  However, at this point I’m pretty much spent as far as talking about 2012 movies.  I already reviewed a lot of these movies in addition to talking about nearly all of them on this week’s podcast, and on top of that Sean and John have already talked about most of these movies on their own lists.  So at this point, I can’t think of any reason why I would need to talk about these movies that you already know my opinions on.  So basically I’m just gonna–

Ow!  Fuck!  I seem to have just been hit in the head with an unidentified blunt object.  Uh oh.  It feels as though I’m coming down with a severe case of amnesia.  Oh god, oh man, oh god, oh man!

Wait, what is this list in front of me?  Looks like a top ten movies list.  Well, I guess I might as well write about these movies that I can’t remember anything about.  I mean no one’s gonna notice if I bullshit my way through this.  Right?

10. The Queen Of Versailles

Ah yes, The Queen Of Versailles.  I instantly fell for this luscious costume drama about the gay sexual exploits of King Louis XIV.  Sure, there were no actual records of Louis XIV showing any signs of having homosexual tendencies, apart from sporting frilly wigs and high heels, but I think it’s this kind of approach to reconstructionist history that is widening the boundaries between fact and fiction in today’s film landscape.  It’s just too bad that the movie got really boring after the first half hour of hot steamy French monarch man-sex.  But I guess it’s hard for 17th century costume dramas that aren’t named Amadeus to not be boring. And this one tried its best.

9. This Is 40

I had my doubts walking in, but I found myself pleasantly surprised by the equal amount of humor and inspiration in This Is 40, a film about Lester Terletaub, America’s fattest baby, weighing in at a hefty 40 pounds.  I found the CG baby in the early moments in the film to be a little distracting, as he reminded me of a miniaturized version of what it’d be like if Don Rickles ate Carl Reiner.  But I couldn’t help but be moved by the later moments of the film when we got to see Lester grow up to set the record for most weight lost in the history of “The Biggest Loser”.  Which of course led to him being instantly sworn in as President Of The United States.

8. Moonrise Kingdom

I do like me some Kurosawa samurai epics every once and I while, and I loved how Moonrise Kingdom was able to channel that kind of vibe with meticulous detail.  Based incredibly loosely on the cliff notes to Henry V, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of General Tsao, and his rise to power in a kingdom in which the moon rising is a really big deal.  I was quite surprised by the final scene of this film, in which our protagonist is brutally assassinated by a superimposed image of Toshiro Mifune.  But those kinds of questionable choices are what ballsy filmmaking is all about.  Am I right?

7. The Avengers

I think I was in the minority, but I was delighted to hear Warner Bros. was going to re-release the misunderstood 1998 classic The Avengers in to theaters, this time in 3-D!  I think now was definitely the right time to expose this film to a new generation, considering that Sean Connery is old and retired and people now actually give a shit about things based on British TV.  Still, it was unfortunate to see that the film wasn’t able to regain the enormous debt it built up in it’s original theatrical run, and critics still attacked it on the grounds that no one wants to see Ralph Fiennes star in anything.  But I thought it was one hell of a ride.

6. Silver Linings Playbook

I believe this was the one about the writer, based loosely on L. Ron Hubbard, who creates his own Scientology-esque religion, all based on his own book that unlocked the keys to a finding a deeper spiritual meaning in life. He called it his Silver Linings Playbook.

5. Lincoln

Of course, who could forget LinkedIn?  Based on the real life exploits of Reid Hoffman, founder of the professional networking site that everyone once used two years ago, LinkedIn was much more than just a blatant rip off of The Social Network.  Sure, it was suspiciously similar how it’s trailer used a children’s choir singing “Two Princes”, but I think the similarities end there.  And I was completely blown away by that ending, in which they show a Warriors-style street brawl between Hoffman, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom from MySpace, and that old Jewish guy that invented Instagram.

4. Chico & Rita

A bit of an obscure choice, but still one worth checking out, as it’s a pretty fascinating document of one of Hollywood’s more bizarre occurances.  This of course is the film based on the time in which noted gambler Chico Marx won Rita Hayworth in a drunken game of poker from Hayworth’s then-husband Orson Welles.  This of course led to the great scene in which a sweat-drenched Welles agrees with Chico on the terms of their conditions, eventually leading Welles to state: “I told you, you can’t own a human being.  It’s all part of the sanity clause.”  To which Chico replied: “You can’t fool me, there ain’t no sanity clause.”  Because he talks exactly like he does in his movies.

3. Beasts Of The Southern Wild

In what can only be thought of as a stunt in which Disney decided to blow off all the money they assume they’ll be making with the new Star Wars sequels, Beasts Of The Southern Wild was truly a visual and thematic mish-mash unlike any other.  Taking the classic formula they established with earlier unsuccessful animated films like Home On The Range and Brother Bear, and combining that with the outdated racial stereotypes of Song Of The South, this was a film unlike any other.  It may have lost $150 million dollars at the box office (that’s a triple John Carter), and caused Spike Lee to quit directing forever (leaving Brett Ratner to finish the upcoming Oldboy remake).  But I love the fact that despite it’s apparent racism, it went with an all gay voice cast (including Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, and David Hyde Pierce), and thus making it’s true underlying message all the more confusing.

2. The Master

Finally.  I think the world was looking for a worthy remake of the 1982 classic The Beastmaster, and this one absolutely nailed it.  Too bad I don’t know anything about The Beastmaster.

1. Zero Dark Thirty

Well with a title as eerily vague as Zero Dark Thirty, it’s hard to go wrong.  I mean it must have been pretty great if it managed to be everybody’s favorite film of the year.  I can’t remember the last time that happened, or anything for that matter…

  1. I feel like this was a test to see if everybody’s paying attention. I passed.

  2. On the topic of Beastmaster, has anyone made “Breastmaster” yet? Or better yet, “Breastmasters of the Southern Wild.”

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