(in no particular order.)
i'm a huge fan of wesley wales anderson -- i love every single movie he's ever seen. so, unsurprisingly, i loved moonrise kingdom. it's definitely one of wes's best. the story is quirky and slightly offbeat, but it's wes anderson, so what do you expect? it's about a young boy and girl who are tired of their mundane lives. they're a part of a world in which they do not fit in, and plan to run away. and they do just that, and are of course discovered. and the movie plays out well. you either loved this movie or thought it was weird. i adored jared gilmore, who played sam shakusky and kara hayward, who played suzie bishop. those kids were absolutely perfect. and of course, the rest of the cast was flawless. you can't go wrong with a cast made up of bill murray, frances mcdormand, bruce willis, edward norton and jason schwartzman. i strongly recommend seeing it if you haven't already.
The Dark Knight Rises
i honestly don't think there's anyone on this earth who can't appreciate nolan's batman trilogy. the man is such a phenomenal filmmaker. and he totally recreated batman in the best possible way through these movies. batman has always been one of my favorite superheroes, and batman forever was pretty much my favorite batman-centric movie before the dark knight trilogy came along. the dark knight rises is, without a doubt, my favorite of nolan's three. i cried four times, no shame. the actors were incredible; they blew me out of the water. damn, christopher nolan sure knows how to make a good movie. there's no denying it.
Silver Linings Playbook;
if i were making a "top three movies of 2012" list, this would be in it. i'd never heard of this book until i saw photos of bradley and jennifer filming it, and then it was soon to come out and i was at target and the book was on sale for a really good price; so, of course, i invested. i read it in two days and loved it. it was written so well and i just enjoyed the characters and the story. i went and saw this movie with gabriel, and was excited, to say the least. the movie is a thousand times different from the book. they're hardly similar at all. usually, that would bother me, but the screenplay was adapted so well that i can't complain in the slightest. so pat, bradley cooper's character, has just gotten out of a mental hospital because he beat the crap out of the guy his wife was cheating on him with, and this caused a mental breakdown. he moves back in with his parents and is getting trim and fit in order to win back his ex-wife. people see him as delusional; and i guess he kind of is. but he just strongly believes in happy endings; that there's always a silver lining. he meets jennifer lawrence's character, tiffany, whose husband has died and they're both just hot messes. they start running together (more like jlaws follows him around, with him fighting against it, at first at least.) and they begin a friendship. she tells him that if he helps her out, she'll allow him to write letters to nikki and she'll deliver them to her. and he has to be her dance partner in an upcoming dance competition. this is basically the premise of the movie. (i don't do justice in describing it.) in the book, pat absolutely hated kenny g, because his and nikki's wedding song was "songbird". (and it was playing when he discovered her wife and her "boyfriend".) it was the funniest thing, his vehement hatred for kenny g. ("it's not a song played by a soprano saxophonist, is it?' i ask, because kenny g is my nemesis, as you know.") in the movie, the song he hates is "my cherie amour" by stevie wonder. (i love this song wholeheartedly. mostly because of almost famous and other reasons.) if you haven't stopped reading my rambling yet, i really am getting to a point here. the acting in this movie was so well done. jennifer lawrence gave one of her best performances, as did bradley. honestly, i hope they both win globes -- they deserve it. i'm not biased; because i saw a lot of amazing movies this year. they really deserve it. and i hope they at least get nominated for oscars. I CANNOT WISH FOR THIS ENOUGH. everything was perfect about this movie. the cast, the writing, the cinematography, the story. EVERYTHING. please go and see this movie. okay, i've written enough about the silver linings playbook i think.
Perks Of Being A Wallflower;
i don't think i could describe it any better than jenn did, so i'll just use her words;
"if you read this in your teens or early 20's this book struck a chord in you for some reason. it's like the staple for this generation. "have you read perks? it's so good". the truth is, yes it's over hyped and everyone and their mother has something to say about this book but it's seriously a damn good book. the fact that it was made into a movie and that the author of this book wrote and directed the movie was a good choice. it's a stand out film, the film collectively struck a chord in the same way the book did. it's a love letter to your teen years but in the best way possible, told through the eyes of charlie the wallflower. logan lerman's performance was incredible, he was born to play charlie. emma watson is the perfect sam. i remember hearing she would be in it and immediately thinking, yeah that makes sense. powerful film."
ezra miller also plays the most perfect patrick. he did such a good job. this movie was beautiful in just about every way, you should definitely see it. and read the book, as well. it's a must.
Cabin In The Woods;
i'll be honest: i did not want to see this movie. i thought it looked so stupid. so on one friday night, when jenn suggested we go and see it, i was extremely pissed off. there were lots of other movies i wanted to see that were out, so why was i paying 8.50 to see this particular film? needless to say, i was incredibly wrong about this movie. first of all, it's joss whedon. and how can you not love a movie by joss whedon? the cast was wonderful. fran kranz, who played marty, was probably my favorite character. i also loved chris hemsworth. the best thing about this movie though, wasn't the cast or anything, it was purely and simply the story. one of the most unique premises of a film i've ever seen. it was written INCREDIBLY well. (the caps were necessary.) it was also hilarious. and it ends up a way you would never expect. definitely a must-see.
hands down my new favorite quentin tarantino film. it was astounding. first of all, the cinematography was gorgeous. secondly, you could not have picked a better cast for it. thirdly, it was just so freaking good. i don't even know what to say. it made me fall madly in love with christoph waltz; beard and all. also, WHERE IS LEO DICAPRIO'S FREAKING OSCAR?!?! i mean it, though. this movie is getting a lot of flack for its premise and overuse of the "n word", among other things. people just need to relax. it isn't derogatory towards african americans at all. it's the story of a doctor, christoph waltz, who rescues jamie foxx's character, django out of slavery. waltz is a bounty hunter and so him and django start working together and django's goal is to ultimately find his wife and free her from slavery. she is a slave on the property of calvin candie, leo. you wouldn't think a movie like this would be as funny as it was, but i was crying from laughing so hard at some parts. (mostly when jonah hill had his cameo. so terribly funny.) unsurprisingly, this movie is extremely violent and is likely offensive to some, but i sincerely recommend it. truly one of my favorites.
i'm sure you're unsurprised that this made my list. but how could it not? i've loved les mis for as long as i can remember. my mother and my sisters always made me listen to the original broadway recording; i grew up on the music and the story. i saw it at the tuacahn the summer before junior year and i thought it was done so well. (my mom and sister have seen it on broadway, though. so, NBD.) and in english that year we had to read the book, and i fell more in love with the story. it's sort of hauntingly beautiful. i was so excited to find out that they were doing a movie of the musical version, FINALLY. and i was not disappointed in the slightest. the music is beautiful. the fact that they did mostly live-action singing was one of my favorite things. i hate music in musical movies that are so over edited, making them less realistic. i hate that. my favorite performances were by eddie redmayne who played marius and aaron tveit who played enjolras. others who were noteworthy were sascha baron cohen, samantha barks and helena bonham carter. hugh also could do no wrong. and anne's performance of "i dreamed a dream" was stunning. i have such high praise for this movie. i've seen it twice, already, and am planning to see it for a third time tomorrow. beautiful, heartbreaking film. i wept like a baby. ps. eddie redmayne's performance of "empty chairs at empty tables" is ASTOUNDING. his acting makes me violently weep. much love.
Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World;
this movie was a hit or miss with people. i loved it. of course, i am a huge steve carell and keira knightley fan. there were quite a few noteworthy and funny performances by random actors such as adam brody, gillian jacobs, rob corddry, patton oswalt, william petersen and tj miller. the premise was one we're all used to; the end of the world. it was sweet and funny and lackadaisical. i wish steve was credited more for his acting chops, because he honestly is so talented. i just really enjoyed this movie.
this movie was a lot of "WOW". all of the main characters were in every single story in the movie; the makeup and costumes were so phenomenally done. there were some stories that i loved, and some that were so-so. but it all tied together so perfectly. the film was incredibly beautiful. there's a scene in which one of the characters is daydreaming, and he and the love of his life are in a china shop and they just start throwing the china on the ground and it's shattering and it's just absolutely stunning. i feel like this movie was overlooked a bit because of it's big budget and also because it's like three hours long. but i think it was worth the time. definitely worth seeing at least once. i can't wait to see it again and take more notice of the little things. such a well made movie.
holy cow, was this movie phenomenally done. i feel as if it didn't get the credit it rightly deserved. they get joseph gordon levitt to look like a young bruce willis. and they do it so incredibly well. it was shot beautifully. i'm basically in love with this movie's cinematography. i also can't complain about the cast. you've got JGL, bruce willis, the love of my life's amazing wife, emily blunt, jeff daniels, paul dano, and garret dillahunt. you honestly can't go wrong. it is hands down one of my favorite "futuristic" movies. it's so cool and sleek. and it has some twists that will have your jaw dropping a bit. it just came out, so go and rent it! i plan on buying it this week. also, the director and writer, rian johnson, has directed a couple of my favorite breaking bad episodes. so you know this movie is going to be freaking great.
other notable movies of 2012;
your sister's sister, the hunger games, ruby sparks, safety not guaranteed, the avengers, bernie, snowhite and the huntsman, casa de mi padre.
(i didn't see a ton of new movies in 2012. i missed out on a couple of really good ones, like wreck it ralph and lincoln. but i'll get to them.)
i apologize for this not being extremely eloquent. it's almost 3 in the morning.