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rewind 2012:  movies

Movies. I love them. Here's my rewind 2012 look back at the movies I've enjoyed watching in 2012. First up is my top 10 favorite movies of 2012.

10. Brave
9. The Hunger Games
8. 50/50
7. The Dark Knight Rises
6. Cloud Atlas
5. Skyfall
4. The Hobbit
3. Argo
2. Lincoln
1. The Avengers

I watch movies a lot but in the last few years I've noticed I've made it out to the movie theatre less each year. Perhaps it's age or perhaps the movies just aren't as appealing to me these days. I still managed to see a decent number of movies this year. My top 10 doesn't reflect many award bait - more serious- movies which I'm bound to see in the next 2 months. Some of the ones I'm looking forward to are The Impossible, Les Miserables, Amour, Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, The Master and a few more. My top 10 was literally my favorite movies to watch from this past year.

Brave was a fantastic and fun movie to watch. It kind of surprised me with the magic angle and the comedy but the movie has heart like so many of Pixar's movies. Not my favorite Pixar flick but all around a very good movie. The Hunger Games also surprised me. I went just because of all the fuss. I thought it would be another Twilight style franchise. I hate the Twilight movies. Too melodramatic and I was expecting to hate this movie. It was fun though. Jennifer Lawrence continues strong performances in her roles and she's going to be around a long time. I will definitely go see the next installment in this franchise. At number 8 is a smaller movie I caught as part of the Independent Spirit Awards screenings. It really resonated with me and again Joseph Gordon Levitt surprised me. As well as Seth Rogen. They took the subject of cancer and managed to make it funny and heart warming. Having lost my Mom to cancer it pushes some extra heart strings for me too. If you haven't seen it - you should really check it out on video. Something different.

At number 7 is The Dark Knight Rises. The final film in Christopher Nolan's excellent Batman trilogy. The Dark Knight to me is a near perfect movie so I knew it would be tough to beat that one. It didn't for me. I thought this was a bit long at times, but still very enjoyable and twisted. The character of Bane played by Tom Hardy was initially tough to understand for me but ultimately proved to be menacing and didn't bug me after a bit. Really difficult to top Heath Ledger's Joker though. Anne Hathaway's Catwoman plays more like a heroine but thought she did a fine job. The standard players are back too. All in all, a timely corrupt government / political storyline. A very well done flick. Cloud Atlas gets in at number 6 for me this year and earns the distinction of being the movie I enjoyed the most while understanding the least. A great cast playing multiple roles in a genre busting time traveling fantastic movie. First off, it's beautiful to look at. You could spend the whole movie just watching the visuals and still be blown away. It's really a movie about life and love. Based on a book that I'm now intrigued to read, it just confused the hell out of me while still blowing me away with how riveted I was. Directed by Tom Twyker of Run Lola Run fame and the Wachowski brothers of Matrix fame, it's just plain a must see. The movie stayed with me for days and had me thinking and thinking. I will probably see it again on video.

Number 5 was Skyfall. A very fun James Bond flick that brought a little humor back to the franchise. Much more fun than Quantum of Solace. Straight up a blast with some great crazy action sequences and some great dialogue scenes for a change. One particularly uncomfortable one occurs between Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem who plays a great Bond villain. And the classic Bond theme song sequence is in there too. Number 4 is The Hobbit. This is quite honestly a technological marvel. I might have to write a whole post on just the techie aspect of it. I must see it again. I saw it in 1 of the best tech cinemas available. 3D high frame rate 48 fps 4k digital projection and Dolby Atmos sound. Amazing. Story wise I thought it was a bit bloated, but there are things happening in this movie that I'm not sure I'd even dream up. Stunning visually. The best thing about it though was the return to Peter Jackson's middle earth from Tolkien that was the most fun. Number 3 is Argo. A political based on real events movie about the Iran hostage crisis of the 1970's directed by Ben Affleck. A really great edge of your seat thrill ride of a movie. I loved it and found myself wanting to know more about that time in history. Excellent movie.

The top 2 was very difficult to rank for me. These movies are so different that its almost unfair, but they are both great movies. I settled on Lincoln at number 2 plainly because I'd seen it less. Spielberg and a hands down Best Actor Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln our 16th president. It surprised me that the movie wasn't a straight biopic but rather a tense political drama about the passing of the 13th amendment to the constitution of the US which effectively ended slavery and a bit about the civil war. Just a great great all around movie with near flawless acting by all parties. It really showed Lincoln's straight ahead way of dealing with the politics of the times. He also found a way to get things done. I hope every politician out there sees this movie and can draw some of the same comparisons to today's politics and is inspired to change some thinking. My favorite movie of the year goes to The Avengers from Marvel. Outstanding flick. Very very fun to watch and super funny dialogue. Directed by Joss Whedon it was just a super fun movie to watch and re-watch. I've seen the movie 3 times in the theatre and at least once on video since it was released. I wasn't sure they could pull it off but they sure did. Best popcorn fun of the year. The Hulk smashing Loki and hitting Thor scenes are worth watching over and over again.

Although these movies didn't make the top 10, they are worth talking about. Ang Lee's heart wrenching visually stunning flick Life of Pi was great and worth seeing. Amazing Spider-Man was fun and a good re-boot. I really loved Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. She's fantastic in almost everything she does. Prometheus by Ridley Scott I was really excited to see but slightly disappointed in. It was an Alien prequel of sorts but confusing as all hell. Some parts fantastic but some just plain boring. Left me torn. Bourne Legacy was fun and Jeremy Renner was a fine action star but the movie felt it was missing some pieces of why I enjoyed the earlier Bourne films so much. Rise of the Guardians was a fun family animated flick that basically turns Jack Frost into an action star, elves into funny idiots and Yetis into toy makers. Fun but I found myself a bit bored in spots. Act of Valor is worth noting not because its a great movie. It's fairly bad actually but it contains some bad ass action of actual Navy SEALS.  It's worth seeing for that. Unfortunately the same bad ass Navy SEALS also do the majority of the acting and are bad actors. They were a few notable 3D re-releases that were great to see again on the big screen. Beauty and the Beast shows its age but is still a sweet lovable movie that it doesn't matter how many wrinkles in the movie's animation are revealed. Titanic was great to re-visit. The IMAX 3D treatment also shows some special effects magic flaws of the time but its still a great movie.

All in all another great year at the movies and I'm hoping to see more great movies soon.

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