Hello, and welcome to my annual movie post! This year the list features 15 movies. It seems like it was a tough year for movies, as I didn't love, love, love any of them. Some of the movies I saw weren't because I had a huge desire to see them, either. This means that some of them weren't of a particularly great quality. I think I just like to watch movies.
For your reading enjoyment if you are interested, here are my previous years' posts: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005.
1. Skyfall - The winner of this year's movie was a tough one to call, as I liked both of them. This one wins because I think that it's the most rewatchable of the two. I would actually like to rewatch it right now, especially because one of my friends had a big giggle fit while watching it, so I was distracted by her. I thought that it was a compelling movie with feeling and good action. Generally James Bonds are sort of robotic, sexy movies with a near comic book element, but the Daniel Craig Bond movies have really added the human and feeling components to the Bond character. I like that. I like human beings who have feelings, even if they are completely fake human beings on screen.
2. Lincoln - Daniel Day Lewis is incredible in this movie. Actually, he's just incredible. I like it when an actor can cause me to forget that it is them playing the character. A lot of actors are kind of the same person in every role. It's amazing to me when I have to remind myself that it was a particular actor playing a role. I liked the character interactions, and I enjoyed Tommy Lee Jones's character, even though he had a terrible wig and was playing Tommy Lee Jones In Every Movie the whole time.
3. Moonrise Kingdom - Again, I liked the acting in this movie (I think Edward Norton seems like an eternal teenager or something in it), and I quite enjoyed the storyline. It was a quirky kind of movie following kids in their attempts to participate in unconditional love in a world where they don't typically feel it. I think everyone can relate to this to a degree. At least I think we all have needs that we try to have met with a lack of success in a lot of cases. The kids are sympathetic characters for me, and it caused me to feel a little angsty for a relationship of love and acceptance myself.
4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - I wasn't in love with this movie. It seemed very much like a continuation of The Lord of the Rings movies. I didn't have a huge problem with it, per se, but I think a lot can be said for brevity sometimes. Three movies does seem kind of extensive for the story, not to mention the length in and of itself of this movie installment of the franchise. It felt long, and it wouldn't surprise me if an extended version were released which seems excessive at this point. And the goblins and goblin king were a little too Gungan a la Star Wars for me. But yes, this is #4 in spite of my grievances of this movie.
5. The Avengers - This wasn't a special movie by any degree, and it seemed like so many people were in love with it when it came out. I didn't have a love affair with the movie. I think I liked it just because it took the other movies and characters and wove it into one, using story elements of all of them. The movie was able to skip basic character development and delve right into the story. I appreciate that sometimes. And I appreciate humor, which it had.
6. The Hunger Games - This one is so high, just because I think they did a great job adapting the book into this movie. I think that the storyline and the important little things were maintained while unnecessary aspects were ignored. None of the acting seemed really terrible to me, which I would have expected in such a niche fanboy story such as this, so it ultimately succeeded for me.
7. Men in Black 3 - I am almost embarrassed to put this on here because it's a Men in Black sequel with no particularly new gags, but I liked it. It was formulaic at best, but it somehow succeeded in my mind. I can't even give you a logical explanation or reasoning why this would be a good movie, but it just was to me. I enjoyed it.
8. Les Miserables - I know that this should probably be higher, but I just couldn't put it there. I perhaps am an unfeeling and desensitized soul, but this movie did very little to evoke emotion from me, which is weird because it's the sort of thing that normally would cause me to cry or at least inspire my heart to swell a little. I really care for the storyline, but the most it did was cause me to listen to an older recording of the Les Miserables music for a week afterward. It wasn't bad by any means, but I didn't love it.
9. The Bourne Legacy - I honestly had to think really hard to remember what this movie was. It was like a typical action flick. There was nothing particularly unenjoyable about the movie. Perhaps the storyline seemed a little choppy and the characters slightly robotic, but I guess it ended up working, even though it was pretty forgettable.
10. Brave - Okay, so I didn't love this movie. I felt like the storyline of discord for parents' expectations and traditions of the main character weren't appealing, which is weird because it wasn't far off from what Moonrise Kingdom was accomplishing. Still, though, the movie was too much like Brother Bear for me, and while I think it would be an entertaining bedtime fairy tale, an entire movie with hokey characters just didn't do it for me. I also feel like animated movies lately are celebrating the independence of women and are doing a disservice to men by portraying them as stupid, brutish, or otherwise non-thinking individuals. That's not appealing to me. I think one can have a film that celebrates women's independence without disparaging men and in fact can additionally celebrate men. To celebrate one gender, you don't have to put down the other. I think I need to watch this again to like it better. Maybe we were supposed to accept the men in all their imperfections, too.
I also saw:
Jack Reacher - Hello, this is a Tom Cruise movie. My name is Tom Cruise, and I have chemistry with the on screen lady. We have lots of chemistry, and you are supposed to feel sexually frustrated by our encounters because we have a lot of chemistry but do nothing about it. We do nothing about it because I am Tom Cruise, and I am more concerned with repeating myself and also getting the job done of this movie, which is to show that I stop at nothing to uncover the truth because I am Tom Cruise, the hero who kills a bunch of guys to uncover the truth and save my lady friend with whom I have a lot of chemistry because you need to know that we have chemistry. And also, if you ask what the motivation is for the antagonist, we will tell you that we get the motivation but not actually tell you what that motivation is, so you should be satiated by the motivation because we the characters know what it is, even if you never quite get it.
The Amazing Spider-Man - I have no complaints about this movie at all, except that I already saw another version of Spider-Man not too many years ago. It's just too soon to reboot the franchise, in spite of what any legal agreement says. But I guess they can go ahead and make their piles of money from the fanboys and fangirls who will basically keep seeing whatever movie they produce of minimal entertainment value based on a superhero. Except the Green Lantern, I guess. What happened with that?
The Dark Knight Rises - I kept checking the time while I was watching it. I just didn't love the plot or the movie, even though I am generally a fan of Batman. I think I felt tired of the movie. Maybe I should rewatch it, just to see if I end up liking it better the second time.
Snow White and the Huntsman - I was totally enjoying this movie and was along for the ride until the end, and then it died a fiery horrible death. It ended just so badly that the enjoyableness of the beginning and middle were overcome by the terrible taste that it left in my mouth. The ending sucked greatly. What more can I say?
Breaking Dawn -- Part 2 - I am so grateful that this franchise is done. I no longer feel obligated to watch these movies for the purpose of laughing at them, and I am so glad about that. This movie was better than the book in that something happened (even though nothing really happened). I was entertained at least until the psych moment, and then that was just hilarious anyway. Ultimately, it was a pretty juvenile story, and it reeked of a Mormon, especially there at the end. THE END.
I also saw some movies that I listed on my blog last year for 2011:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules - It was funny and alright, but it wasn't awesome or as good as the first one. A third movie of this genre just seems excessive.
Moneyball - Well, I liked it because it was economics as applied to baseball, but it wasn't wonderful by any means. Still good, though.
Like Crazy - I liked it, but it was kind of a frustrating movie to me in a lot of ways because it seemed like a bunch of fickle drama. It wasn't necessarily heart-warming. It just took you through a couple's dramatic relationship and kind of highlighted a lot of the worst parts of it in my opinion. It was perhaps realistic but not very inspiring to me. Kind of a downer love movie for me.
Tower Heist – Ridiculous with tons of antics, but it made a particularly long flight for me bearable.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - I actually quite liked this movie. It had a good plot and some good action, and it was quite entertaining.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - Enjoyable movie for me. I really like the character of Sherlock Holmes, even though he would probably be very frustrating to me in real life. He's crazy but in a good way.
Crazy, Stupid, Love - I didn't love this movie, either. It was kind of another downer of a love story, and I don't love Steve Carrell. It was good to see people move on in spite of dysfunction, which I do think can be quite real in people's lives. Still, though, a downer.
Cowboys & Aliens - Wow, the acting in this movie was pretty terrible. It was a strange adventure, and I can't say I necessarily recommend it, but I didn't hate it, either.
The Tree of Life - I didn't love it. I didn't really like Brad Pitt's character at all, but at least it was a new and interesting way to present and portray the religious theme at hand, and Brad Pitt's character is in all of us, to some degree.
I decided to kick Footloose off the list because I've seen the 80's one and feel like it's completely unnecessary to watch a rebooted version. Why change an 80's-tastic movie? I have decided to replace Footloose with Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which I haven't seen yet.
Here are some movies from 2011 that I saw but I hadn't listed on my 2011 post:
We Bought a Zoo - For me it wasn't a bad movie, but it also wasn't necessarily unforgettable. It was just a clean movie with the odd aspect of buying a zoo.
War Horse - My mind is boggled by all of the acclaim that this movie has received. It wasn't a bad movie, but it didn't even have a great plot. I never really cheered for the horse. It was kind of a mechanical following of events related to this particular horse.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - I think that I liked this movie because of the kid. He was searching for something that he couldn't really find, but this was a story of patience and forgiveness, which I really appreciated ultimately. I love the concept of accepting and loving people in spite of their faults because it's something I seek.
The Artist - It was quite enjoyable because they pulled some fun antics in it. I think I can only do silent films on occasion, though.
Movies I still want to see from 2012:
Nitro Circus: The Movie
The Central Park Five
The Queen of Versailles
Frankenweenie - maybe
Life of Pi - maybe
Do you have any other suggestions for me? Did you see anything you can recommend in 2012?