2012 Recap

“After taking a good long while to put together last year’s recap, I realized it’d be much easier to maintain an excel sheet throughout the year with all of the pertinent info. Wow, so much easier to get all of my stats together. Here are the numbers:
-119 total movies seen in theaters
-6 Repeats, which leaves 113 distinct movies
-8 previously released, which leaves 105 distinct new movies
-35 rated \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
-20 rated \m/ \m/ \m/ \n
-29 rated \m/ \m/ \m/
-9 rated \m/ \m/ \n
-11 rated \m/ \m/
-1 rated \m/ \n
-0 rated less than \m/ \n
-10 in Jan, 7 in Feb, 9 in Mar, 5 in Apr, 14 in May, 10 in Jun, 4 in Jul, 14 in Aug, 17 in Sep, 9 in Oct, 13 in Nov, 7 in Dec
-14 theaters across 5 states
-40 movies at AMC Loews Boston Common
-25 at AMC Harvard Square before it closed in July
-22 at Kendall Square Cinema
-10 at Somerville Theater
-9 at Regal Fenway
-3 at Jordans Imax (2 in Reading, 1 in Natick)
-4 in LA (3 at the Landmark, 1 at Grauman’s)
-3 in Laredo (1 at the Hollywood Stadium and 2 at the mall)
-1 each at the Brattle, in NYC, and in Providence
-countless hours, a plethora of movie buddies, and far more dollars than I’d care to think about. Not too much popcorn though

Dayum. So I was actually _really_ good and did do write ups for all of the new movies. One thing some of those stats tell me, either I’m really generous with my ratings or I’ve gotten better at avoiding duds. Little column A, little column B. Also, this was just a really good year for movies. There’s various theories running around as to why this was (that tends to be the consensus in the industry as well). Mine is that the way that the writer’s strike negatively impacted the past couple of years with all of the bad half assed movies meant that the screenwriters had all that time to perfect their next scripts. Maybe the timelines don’t work out to support this, but it’s as good a theory as any other. Anyways, here’s the full list:
A Dangerous Method, The Artist, Contraband, The Iron Lady, Carnage, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Haywire, Man on a Ledge, Albert Nobbs, The Woman in Black, Chronicle, Safe House, This Means War, Rampart, Gone, The Lorax, John Carter, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Friends With Kids, 21 Jump Street, The Hunger Games, The Cabin in the Woods, Mirror Mirror, The Raid: Redemption, Casa De Mi Padre, American Reunion, Jeff Who Lives at Home, Lockout, The Five Year Engagement, The Avengers, Safe, The Raven, Sound of my Voice, Dark Shadows, Crooked Arrows, The Dictator, Battleship, Men in Black III, Chernobyl Diaries, Bernie, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, Moonrise Kingdom, Rock of Ages, Safety Not Guaranteed, Brave, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Magic Mike, Ted, The Amazing Spider-Man, Savages, The Dark Knight Rises, Ruby Sparks, The Watch, Killer Joe, 360, The Bourne Legacy, Hope Springs, The Campaign, Total Recall, The Expendables 2, The Imposter, Paranorman, Compliance, Premium Rush, Lawless, Hit and Run, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Bachelorette, End of Watch, The Master, Dredd, Arbitrage, Looper, Pitch Perfect, Hotel Transylvania, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Frankenweenie, V/H/S, Argo, Seven Psycopaths, Paranormal Activity 4, The Paperboy, Smashed, Cloud Atlas, Man with the Iron Fists, Wreck it Ralph, Flight, Skyfall, Lincoln, Anna Karenina, The Sessions, Red Dawn, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Hitchcock, Silver Linings Playbook, Rise of the Guardians, Life of Pi, Killing Them Softly, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, This is 40, Les Miserables, Django Unchained, Jack Reacher,

For the record, the repeats were Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (repeat from last year), Cabin in the Woods, Avengers, Bourne Legacy, Dredd, and the Hobbit. Previously released were Beauty and the Beast, Rocky Horror Show (twice), Indiana Jones (4 movie marathon), and Hard Eight.

Oh also worth mentioning in case it wasn’t obvious, I count a movie towards the year in which I see it, not the year of its release. Hence, for example, The Artist counts towards this year while Zero Dark Thirty won’t count til 2013. That said, here’s how the top and bottom of the 105 stacked up. Keep in mind, as always, I grade on entertainment value and likeability. That doesn’t necessarily translate to quality, so don’t expect my list to match up with the Oscar nominees.

Expletive Dleted’s Top 10 for 2012
1-The Avengers – You can’t tell me you didn’t see that coming. The rare occurrence where overambition comes together perfectly. Each individual movie in the franchise has been fantastic, and instead of imploding when combined, it got even better. Thank you Joss Whedon.
2-Cabin in the Woods – Yeah I know. Joss again. Maybe I am playing favorites. This film is just such a brilliant satire/homage of this subgenre of horror that Hollywood should never have to visit it ever again. But we all know they will, and if we can have bits of Whedon’s dialogue in our head when they do, then the world is truly a better place.
3-21 Jump Street – For the past few months, I’ve been referring to this as my favorite movie of the year that didn’t involve Joss Whedon (swear, last time I’ll say his name in this post). What sounded like a stupid idea worked because it was aware it was a stupid idea, and they ran with it with a very tongue in cheek meta approach that was truly hilarious. Beyond that, it did have a lot of heart and some fun performances.
4-Wreck it Ralph – The only kiddie film to make my list this year, mostly because it played just as well to us “”big kids”” as it did to the little ones. I can’t remember ever smiling so wide throughout an entire movie. The nostalgic references hit me hard, the characters were cute, the dialogue clever. Very original and incredibly fun.
5-Les Miserables – The single most anticpated movie of the year for me. Yes, even moreso than Django Unchained or The Hobbit. It certainly didn’t disappoint. I’m not sold that it’s the horse I’ll choose to back in the Oscar race, but that’s a discussion for a later date.
6-Looper – It seems like every year there’s one great gritty subversive scifi slash psychological thriller. This year it was Looper. One of the best handled time travel stories I’ve ever seen, while extremely dark and thought provoking on many levels. I anxiously await the BluRay which should be on its way to me this week.
7-Pitch Perfect – I would never have guessed that this movie would end up on this list, much in the same way I never expected Mean Girls to make my all time favorites list. Then I saw it. Incredibly funny (much of which is due to Ms. Rebel Wilson) and some uh-may-zing musical arrangements. I imagine this will become a cult classic amongst my musical theatre friends once it circulates thru more of them.
8-Django Unchained – Tarantino has a very unfair advantage, much like someone else mentioned earlier whose name I swore I wouldn’t repeat again today. No matter what he produced, his film had a disproportionately high probability of ending up on this list. Time will tell how well Django does against the rest of his oeuvre, but it certainly appealed to this die hard fan.
9-Safety Not Guaranteed – This was the most unexpected movie of the year for me. I hadn’t thought too much of it, and only made an effort to go see it because I sought the air conditioned movie theater. I left there so happy. Thus we’ve fulfilled the quirky indie requirement for the list.
10-Rock of Ages – Guilty pleasure LIKE WHOA. Certainly not the best movie of the year by far, but one that’s perfect for me. If you have any shred of respect for Tom Cruise, you really should see this. I’m serious. It’s a bizarre but fun and underappreciated performance. Not to mention the incredibly rocking soundtrack.
Honorable Mentions – End of Watch, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Bourne Legacy, Argo, Perks of Being a Wallflower

And on the flip slide

Expletive Dleted’s Bottom 5 for 2012
1-The Paperboy – The only reason I dont absolutely regret those two hours seeing is is because I know that otherwise I would have still been curious and would end up watching it later. Possibly by buying the DVD. *shudder* Just awkward.
2-Rampart – I love Woody Harrelson, but this movie just ceased to have a point after the first hour. Even his great performance couldn’t save it.
3-360 – Oh joy. The pretentious everyone-is-connected indie that’s a total downer and makes you want to slit your wrists. Then judges you for it. I know, way harsh Tai.
4-Mirror Mirror – The costumes were pretty. Armie Hammer’s pretty. That’s about it.
5-Gone – I hadn’t quite realized how not good this was til I got home and realize there was absolutely no redeeming qualities to it. But it was a run ride while it lasted.
Dishonorable mentions – Snow White and the Huntsman, Albert Nobbs, Bachelorette

And there you have it. Here’s to another year of awesome!”

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