Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 Movies

I was in Bangkok and on airplanes again this year - not a good combination for watching great movies. The actual theatres in Bangkok are spectacular - clean, modern, comfortable and you can get seaweed in your popcorn and there is assigned seating - but the movie choices are miserable. As I was recovering from a job and unemployed for most of the year, I was able to go to a lot of movies and matinees. But the findings were blech...

But I got to the US just in time for Oscar season and started to see some of the big ones... I'm sad that I missed Silver Linings Playbook and Anna Karenina but I hope to find them and watch them before the year is out.

The best: 
Moonrise Kingdom - Probably my favorite movie of the year so far (as of July 2012). I adore Wes Anderson and love his style. The music was spot on and I loved the kid actors. That little girl stole the movie from Bill Murray and Edward Norton and Bruce Willis. She still stays with me when I think about running away with my love - star crossed lovers who find each other despite all odds. I love the musical numbers...

Magic Mike - surprisingly good! I saw it alone in a crowded theatre in Bangkok and just laughed and cheered through it. I've now become a Channing Tatum fan. Funny and good looking and that guy can DANCE!

The Hunger Games - really loved it. Saw it again on the airplane and it was still as good. Managed to draw you in like the book but not make it mawkish teenage dreck like the Twilight movies.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Airplane) - excellent! I wished I had seen it in the theatre. I have seen the Swedish version and this one was just as good, I think. I love Daniel Craig and Robin Wright Penn together and the scenary was fantastic. Rooney Mara was a great Lizbeth Salander.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Airplane) - excellent and sexy. Javier Bardem! Penelope Cruz! Wow! One of Woody Allen's better movies (not particularly deep) but sexy and entertaining.

Argo - so excellent, I think this is one of the best movies I saw in 2012. Tense, funny, politically savvy. I think my only complaint was that Ben Affleck was a bit too low key in it. But he looked super sexy with his beard and long hair.... 

Beasts of the Southern Wilds*** (Airplane) Such a wonderful and moving film. I was really blown away. It was also so refreshing to actually see a movie told from a different perspective than a White man. The cinematography was stunning, the story was original, and the acting was raw and real. The little girl Hush Puppy was so amazing. 

Skyfall - best Bond film I've seen in ages. Daniel Craig is killing it and Ralph Fiennes will be a nice addition to the series. It hit all the things one might want in a Bond film but I wish there had been a more compelling story with the Asian girl from the brothel who leads Bond to the villain.

Lincoln - Saw it in the theatre in South Carolina surrounded by both black and white South Carolinians. I wondered about their political leanings, I wondered how they felt when they were described as traitors and treasonous (which I believe they were), and there were a few anti-South moments that felt tense. Daniel Day Lewis was fantastic and I liked Sally Field's performance although it was very "sally fields" . not as many Spielberg-esque moments as I had feared (the entry of the black men and women into the house of representatives to watch the debate) and the music didn't put me off. A fascinating look into the politics and made me sad that our rough and tumble political world isn't more dynamic - instead its all posturing for the cameras.

The middle of the road/good/entertaining: 
The Hobbit: It just went on and on but I was happy to be back in the Middle Earth again. Dwarves are boring though. I would rather just see Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf talking all day than deal with those boring dwarves.

The Impossible: A very moving story about a family that survives the Tsunami of 2004. Thailand comes out looking great- their doctors save the patients, their people rescue the farangs, their airlines are awesome, and their hotel staff are great! Overcome any doubts you have about the "racism" in this movie- its just a particular story. The Thais have a movie industry. If they want to make a movie about how Thais overcame the tsunami, they will.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - pretty good with cool special effects but a bit odd. I did quite like the horse stampede fight sccene.

Men in Black III - I could see the "twist" coming from a 100 miles away. There were very few black generals in the US Air Force who would be guarding Cape Canaveral in the 1960s... lame.

The Avengers - saw it in 4D. Not that great. Some funny lines but still a rather shallow and not very exciting super hero film. Scarlett Johansen and that dreary bowman add almost nothing to this film. Give me all Captain America and David Bruce Banner all the time!

The Amazing Spider Man - pretty good. Andrew Garfield is as cute as a puppy dog and I love Emma Stone but I still prefer MaryJane and the red hair.

The Grey -incredibly intense! I just love Liam Neeson. And the plane crash was horrifying. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - horrible ending! She waited for that guy and mourned his death and then when he comes back, she ditches him???

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - eh. I like the Robert Downy jr. and Jude Law chemistry but it needs more of that.

Bad Teacher (Airplane) - pretty funny - I like Cameron Diaz more and more when I see her playing the anti-hero. And Justin is a good prude.

Friends with Kids (Airplane) - pretty good and thought -provoking. A lot of great actors in this one. Adam Scott is, of course, everyone's dream boyfriend - except for that whole Megan Fox thing.

Gosford Park (Airplane) - seen before but excellent to watch again. I'm including it because maybe since everyone loves Downton Abbey now, we can get another movie from Julian Ffellowes.

To Rome with Love - parts were cute and very funny but it was very uneven.

Ted - way too long. The parts in Fenway Park were just painful. But Marky Mark is always a treat on the screen.

Cloud Atlas - a difficult book to film. Was one of my favorite books in book club. I loved the Luisa Rey sections and the crazy Korean Soon-Mi sections the most although Jim Broadbent may now be my favorite character actor of all time. I just love him. The prostethics to make people seem Asian or White were very very lame but I was still in love with the scenes. Perhaps it was my overwhelming adoration for the book that oozed over into the movie but I quite liked it.

Life of Pi - a beautiful visual extravaganza. I don't know how much it resonates, particularly with me about spirituality and religion and god but it was gorgeous to watch. Especially the scene with the whale and the phosphoresce.

The Five Year Engagement (Airplane) - also a waste of talented actors who usually have chemistry. Emily Blount's character was so self centered and undeserving of her boyfriend. And I can't believe a town like Ann Arbor would not have one restaurant that would hire him. Also, I was glad when they broke up. Since I saw it on Qatar Air, they edited out the one scene I had heard about when he tries to fake an orgasm.

Total Recall (Airplane) - not as cheesy as the original Arnold Schwarznegger extravaganza but still enjoyable. Kate Beckinsale has become an odd parody of herself. I finally buy her as an action figure but her mean girl attitude from "Last Days of Disco" is in full effect as a villain. Maybe she should only play mean girl robots from now on. I was suprised Qatar air showed the three boobed prostitute. Was she wearing a bikini top in the original film? 

The dreadful:
Prometheus - so many problems with this movie.... so many many problems. This article sum up many of my problems with it...I left the movie furious and dying to discuss it with people and NOONE had seen it. I'm still waiting to hear from others who saw it.

Snow White and the Huntsman - ridiculous that Kristen Stewart can be cast in anything that demands any acting beyond looking like you might throw up. This video sums up the "Kristen Stewart school of acting" that was on full display in the film despite Charlize Theron's best efforts.

In the Cold Light of Day - straight to video normally, but because of the deficit of films in Bangkok - I went to see it. Really, not worth the time at all. I don't know who is trying to sell us Henry Cavill as a leading man but please just stop. It got a six on Rotten Tomatos. I think that should say something.

The Raven - ridiculous. John Cusack has joined the Nicholas Cage school of acting. "Shut it Bernice" was an actual line spoken by the so called 18th century villain. C'mon!

Young Adult (Airplane) - depressing and not funny at all although Patton Oswalt is great.

People Like Us (Airplane) - painfully bad and boring. I can't remember who the male lead was now but Michelle Pfeiffer and Elizabeth Banks deserve better. They are fantastic.

What to Expect when you are Expecting (Airplane) - you can always tell its going to be a bad movie when they have a long montage set to a mopey contemporary love song. Ugh. This clip is as bad as the movie.

Movies I wanted to see but didn't come to Thailand:
Anna Karenina

Silver Linings Playbook

Django Unchained


  1. If you haven't seen Silver Linings Playbook yet, I'm IN. I missed EVERYTHING on the boat so have a couple years of catching up to do!

  2. Ahhh - bummer, I saw it Monday at the Matinee!