Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Best Movies of 2012

2012 In Review: Best And Worst.... 
And Afew Things In Between

Part 1: The Best

So its the end of the year, and though i must first and foremost say i am sorry for my lack of reviews this year, i was honestly just so busy between trying to find work and lots of family related speed bumps that i wasn't really able to get much done review wise, but i promise you, i will crank out the ones i intented to review in the first few weeks of January as a means of getting my review numbers back up, after all its not fair to all of you that i basically take a year off even though I was having alot of offline issues, the few of you that actually read the stuff i write, I owe it to you to be open and honest and review things even when life is abit rough.

So what i would like to do, is sort of a best and worst of 2012, because it was a pretty big year for tv and movies, and there are some really good movies and some really good tv shows that got put out this year, and i'd like to do a condensed version of my old three part best of thing i used to write each year, simply because, well i'm a critic and critics do that sort of thing, so i think the best action at this point is to just jump right into it, what do you say? Alrighty then, .... a room a zoom zoom and awaaaaaaay we go!

Best Of 2012:

Best Movie Of 2012:

Not Fade Away

When I first saw Not Fade Away, I was expecting it to be just another movie that blatantly ripped off movies like Almost Famous or The Commitments, but instead, what I got was sort of like The Wonder Years with a band, which really if you think about it, The Wonder Years needed a band, that would have been awesome. Set in suburban New Jersey, and centering around the members of a garage band called The Twylight Zones, Not Fade Away, David Chase’s deeply felt love letter to the music of the Sixties, is a film about dreams that come true -- and the ones that never do.  For Chase, “It’s about anybody who has ever had a dream and about what it takes to actually realize that dream. Rock & roll is at the heart of the movie because for some of the characters, rock music is the gateway to transcendence, but it doesn’t end there.” Traditionally, most rock & roll movies have focused on the agony and ecstasy of “making it” on a grand scale, usually with thousands of fans screaming in the background. As a rule, we witness some band of brothers’ rise and fall, then their crash and burn, and perhaps the eventual resurrection.  As one might expect from a man best known as the creator of the groundbreaking television series The Sopranos, Not Fade Away is not your average rock & roll movie.  Instead, this is an intimate, powerful, alternately painful and funny drama about coming of age and the sort of indelible memories, musical and otherwise, that end up making us who we are.

 Best Drama Of 2012:


Its not very often that I agree with the majority of the critics out there, truth be told I find most others in my field to be pretentious douchebags who think because people look to them to give advice on movies and television to view, they go abit power hungry and believe they are the be all and end all of whats what. But in this case, I have to admit, they got this one right, this film is brilliant. I have to admit, I was abit worried at first, with Steven Spielberg talking for years and years how he felt his ultimate accomplishment in film would be to do a proper movie about Abraham Lincoln, whom he'd always admired and wished to do a film on, i was worried that this would turn into another Red Tails situation. For those that don't know the 2012 film Red Tails was a film that George Lucas has talked about wanting to make about The Tuskegee Airmen for nearly 20 years, and when he finally made it, it was an atomic sized bomb that came off more blaxploitation then historical action, and the film is often mocked and lampooned for just how bad it is. I bring it up because that was my fear with Lincoln, with a similar origin story as a "dream project" that was done as a means of a vanity project to solidify one director's place among the greatest of all time. Thankfully, Lincoln is true to what it should be, an often heartfelt, often frustrating and even often funny, look at the life of legendary president Abraham Lincoln, as he navigates through the passing of the laws to abolish slavery, covering also, the newly started civil war, his home life, and his interacting and navigating the political waters of Washington DC, oddly though, they left out his vast career in vampire hunting, but that aside, this film truly is brilliant, and worthy of best drama.

Best Comedy Of 2012

The Three Stooges

Much like with Lincoln and Not Fade Away, I have to admit, though at first I winced at the idea of a movie about the creators of the situation comedy, The Three Stooges, it wasn't that i didn't think a movie could be made about them, so much as I wasn't sure what way they were gonna go, were they gotta focus on them behind the scenes, their lives and struggles at a group, and how they did their best to replace Curly after the stroke and the public's dislike of Shemp and Curly Joe, you know, the serious route, or where they gonna just basically do a loving remake of their classic skits? I was on the fence, though I knew Will Sasso as Curly was the perfect choice. I do have to admit, I find myself pleasantly glad that this film was, for lack of a better term, a love letter to the kings of early sunday morning indie television, the movie doesn't really recreate or give you a behind the scenes history, what it does is, in a sense, reboot one of the most beloved trios of all time. The movie is told in classic Stooges style, and is full of both classic bits originated by the original three, but also adding some new ones, Moe on The Jersey Shore is hilarious, as is the idea of them being orphans who have no where to go but the orphanage they were left at, and now work at, mostly because Jane Lynch and Larry David as nuns are down right funny. Its hard to really get into explaining this movie with out giving away to much, but honestly, just have a look, you'll laugh at the straight up classic slapstick mixed with modern humor, and thats coming from me, a guy that was more of a Marx Bros. fan then a Stooges guy.

Best Animated Film Of 2012

Wreck-It Ralph

Back in 1988, when I was but a lower case me, and all our cartoons were 30 minute toy adds that actually had plots and stories, when our hip hop was non-threatening, when we all rode dinosaurs, and Tom Carvel, a man that sounded like a bricklayer who gargled each morning with lava hot tarmac and then smoked 3 packs of unfiltered cigarettes a day, spent his time selling us ice cream creations like Cookiepus, Fudgey The Whale, possible ice cream pedophile Hug Me The Bear, and Cookie O'pus, the drunken irish cousin of Cookiepus who fights against the british occupying his irish motherland and bans homosexuals from marching in his parades, it was a magical time really, and to top all off, we had a movie released called "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?". Whats so important about Who Framed Roger Rabbit that it warrants mentioning, is that it was not only an amazing film that also gave the world the wank material that is Jessica Rabbit, but it also was the first and only time that every known animation character from every studio current and last, all come together to bring life to a place called "Toontown" a place just outside of Hollywood where animated stars live together happily. I bring this up because to a degree, Wreck It Ralph is alot like Roger Rabbit, except instead of cartoons, its all about characters in video games. The story goes, that at night when the arcade closes, all the video game characters travel out of their games to a central meeting area thats like a big city, there are many things to do, places to go, ect, and everyone interacts with each other regardless of the game. This is the world of Wreck-It Ralph, a villain in the game Felix Fix-it Jr., where in he breaks and wrecks buildings for Felix to fix them. Ralph has been at it for 30 years now, and day after day of the same thing, he wrecks the buildings and Felix fixes them, he's tired. He's tired of wrecking things, everyone from the game shunning him simply because he's the bad guy when the game is being played. Ralph is a member of a villain support group, with many classic video game villains who you will all recognize, and one night, he tells them all, he no longer wishes to be a bad guy, he wants to be a good guy, much to the shock of his group mates who tell him he'll never be more than he is, its all he's programed to be. The movie from there is Ralph proving everyone wrong, and proving that you can be a hero if you want to be, you just have to believe in yourself. Seriously if you haven't seen this film, you have to, it was adorably cute in some spots, hilarious in others, and visually amazing in others, its such a great gem, really if you haven't seen it, do so.

Best Sci Fi Movie Of 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I guess you could call 2012 the year of Lincoln, with both a true life story, and a more exciting fictional life story on the movie screen, though granted they were at different times of the year. And though I went on and on about how great Lincoln is, as many a critic has this year, for my best sci fi film I wanted to give the award to the other, more exciting story of Abraham Lincoln, the story of a young man who was fueled with anger and vengeance for his dead parents, a hatred for vampires that can only be slated in one way, shining up his ax real nice, turning that son of a bitch sideways, and shoving it up their candy asses... or you know, beheading them or staking them, both of those also work pretty well as ways for Abe to send all the vampires he comes across to the smackdown hotel. The story itself is pretty awesome really, it tells the story of young Abe Lincoln, working on a plantation with his parents, and how he befriends a young black boy named William Johnson, who would be a life long friend, at one point Abe stops the plantation owner,  Jack Barts from whipping William, which angers him and he decides to take it out on Abe's parents, by killing them. Fast forward 9 years when teenage Abe Lincoln, full of rage tracks down Barts and tries to shoot him on a river side dock, this fails miserably, and is given a savage, super natural powered beat down by by Barts, he is infact almost killed until he's saved by a man named Henry Sturges, who takes young Abe Lincoln under his wing and teaches him in the ways of vampire hunting, explaining that Barts is a very powerful vampire. From there, they set off on a quest that though he keeps it secret, will factor into Lincoln's life even after he takes office, and into the civil war itself. Seriously if you haven't seen this awesomely untrue story of the life of our 16th president, you really should, its action packed and alot of fun.

Best Action Movie of 2012

The Avengers

And now we come to the movie most people were expecting me to gush over and give tons of awards, now though I will admit, The Avengers was the best movie of the summer, the highest grossing movie of the year, and proved that you can properly use like 8 superheroes in a film together, and still make it work flawlessly, even giving each character their own bit of spotlight,which is very hard to do in the confines of a single movie, specially a movie that clocks in at just a smidgen over 2 hours, seriously its, to use a phrase, marvelous. It modernizes the story of how the avengers came together, all to stop Loki, god of mischief, who in this version has enlisted the help of a being called The Other, and through him an army of alien warriors known as Chitauri, and all he has to do for them, is bring them the tesseract, the cube of unending power that was a key plot point in Captain America. This ofcourse sets in motion the actions that bring together all of the avengers, which as i'm sure you know, leads to alot of asskicking to be had by all. Sure, Avengers has its faults, its plotholes and screw ups, and if you're nitpicky you can pick them all apart pretty blatantly, but that isn't the point of this kind of film, its not ment to be the fodder for nerd debate like say The Dark Knight Rises, the film that tried and take the crown from the avengers, its supposed to be a fun lively romp through a world of superheroes and villains in bright outfits making a difference in the world, alot like reading a marvel comic book infact.

Best Foreign Film Of 2012

Where Do We Go Now?

This little known film is listed as a dark comedy, though other then maybe the location of the town it takes place in, surrounded by landmines and only one safe road of passage in and out, I find it more of a surrealist drama then a dark comedy, though there are some comedic bits here and there, but, thats pretty normal for any movie honestly. It tells the story of a peaceful little isolated town in Lebanon, where Muslims and Christians live peacefully together, they sort of have too with all the landmines surrounding the town on all sides, as news starts to spread that there is civil unrest between the two groups all over the country, the women of the town fear that all of that unrest will come to their little peaceful town. So they get together and through a series of events, some comical some not, they try and keep the peace, specially after a young Muslim boy was killed accidentally. This film is great in the sense it tells a little isolated story, about an isolated little town that is sometimes funny, and sometimes serious, and most of the time somewhere in the middle, that might seem boring to some, and thats ok for them, but me, I like a good self contained quirky story thats as lighthearted as it is serious with its message. If you've not seen this lovely arabic jem. you won't be let down, I promised you won't be let down.

Best Documentary Of 2012


I tend to find documentaries boring, unless they're about space or how Hitler survived World War 2 and ended up dying of old age at a secret compound in southern Argentina, or something like that,  but when i kept hearing people tell me to go see Bully, I figured to give it a look. Holy shit was I stunned by what I saw. i mean seriously. Not sense Scared Straight have i seen a documentary that smashes you in the face with a baseball bat wrapped in barbwire and lit on fire Mick Foley styley. Bully is a blunt, in your face, makes no apologies and spares no feelings, look at the growing problem of bullying in schools, and focuses on afew of the recent rash of suicides related to it in the last few years. This pulls no punches and shows you just how horrible teenagers in particular can be to each other, its seriously eye opening, when you have bullies trying to justify their actions as if they have the right to do what they do, its seriously eye opening, if you have a strong stomach, and aren't easily shocked, then seriously take a look at this one, you'll be amazed at just how much you will learn from it, and how long it will stay with you.

And now for afew secondary movie awards....

Best Fight Scene

John vs. Ted 
from "Ted"


I have to admit, when I saw Ted, I never believed that amist all of the laughing till I couldn't breathe, i would find myself watching the best fight scene ever filmed between a grown man and his magical living teddy bear, i'm not talking like afew punches here, i'm talking full on south boston brawl, lamps, pictures, mirrors, televisions, doors, sinks, if you can grab it, it gets bashed over the other guy's head, southie fight club rules baby. Seriously, you could put this scene up with anything in Boondock Saints and The Town and it would put them to shame, its hilarious and violent and crazy all at once, and to think it all started with one single sentence, "Sometimes, I wish I just got a Teddy Fucking Ruxpin..."

Moment You Rewind The Dvd To Watch Again

Hulk owning Loki
in "The Avengers"

I don't even need to really explain this one, seriously just watch the gif, I could watch that shit on a loop over and over till the end of time. ....... puny god.

Ok thats it for Part 1, we'll be back soon with part 2, the worst, then onto tv!
i promise they'll be up sooner, was a busy first month and a half of the year