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Movies 2012

I saw 19 movies in the theater this year and a handful more on DVD/Blu-Ray. Here are the ones I enjoyed the most...

1. The Avengers - My expectations were high for this movie...not only had the movies leading up to it been quite good but Joss Whedon was at the helm and I'm a huge Joss Whedon fan. The movie delivered. It was the perfect super-hero on the screen movie, full of great action, character, and humor. And then there was the Hulk. So much fun.

2. Django Unchained - Speaking of high expectations, I always have them for a new Quentin Tarantino movie. Here again, my expectations were exceeded. No one puts a film together the way QT does - such a perfect marriage of visuals, soundtrack, and dialogue. Christoph Waltz was fantastic and Samuel Jackson chewed the scenery so perfectly. Leonardo DiCaprio was a perfect villain and Kerry Washington showed why Broomhilda was worth saving. And then there was Jamie Foxx, who was perfect in the title role. I loved this movie.

3. Wreck-It Ralph - The setting of this movie, video games in an arcade where the characters can travel back and forth, was smart. The forward thrust of the plot, that a villain didn't want to remain in that role, kept the movie grounded and made it memorable, as did the voice performance of John C. Reilly as the title character. Fun, funny, and full of heart - it was a great night at the movies.

4. Looper - This was a time travel movie and a character study rolled into one and I thought it was great. Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing a younger version of Bruce Willis was great but Emily Blunt probably stole the whole movie. A smart movie.

5. Moonrise Kingdom - Yes, I am predisposed to like Wes Anderson movies but this was just completely charming. The story of young love has often been told but I don't think it's ever been done quite in this way, framed by the more complicated problems of love as one grows older. Plus, more Bruce Willis!

Honorable Mentions
Argo - Ben Affleck directed a suspense-filled movie about a subject of which I already knew the outcome. That's hard to do. Also, Alan Arkin and John Goodman were great.

Cabin in the Woods - Hey, it's another Joss Whedon film, this time in collaboration with Drew Goddard. It's a great deconstruction of the horror genre and a ton of fun.

Flight - Denzel Washington was fantastic as a great pilot with a whole bunch of demons

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - It shares a lot of similarities to the first of the LOTR trilogy but has a different tone. I guess my expectations weren't quite met, though I did enjoy the film a lot, especially the scene between Bilbo and Gollum deep in the mountains.

Skyfall - This was the best of the Daniel Craig Bond movies and maybe my favorite Bond movie ever.

The Master - I wasn't sure what to make of this movie after I saw it but it lingered with me for a week or two. Great performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman and really arresting visuals. Maybe it should have been on the proper list but I'll just leave it here.


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