Best of 2012

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Moonrise Kingdom 2012,  PG-13)
Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson. You defy categories, you crazy sonuvabitch. It's weird. Wes has this sort of style that permeates through his career that's humble and heart warming. I can't quite place it but it's always there. Certainly not in a Tim Burton "OMAGAD I'M TIM BURTOBLAHAHA" way either. It's a welcome coat of shine to all of Anderson's films. Moonrise Kingdom is a completely fearless movie about a boy and girl in what they genuinely hope is love. In their efforts to elope they happen to worry the best cast assembled for a Wes Anderson film. Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, and Edward Norton comb the small island looking for them, putting their own interests and underlying motivations aside. There are layers of stories present in Moonrise Kingdom that give it's innocent veneer gravity. There really isn't anything like this and it must be seen to be believed.
The Cabin in the Woods 2012,  R)
The Cabin in the Woods
In a deep, dark pit of mucky remakes and "reboots" shines the bright light of Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods. A triumph of horror harkening back to what I would affectionately refer to as "the good 'ol days". This, of course, is not scary. The age of actual horror is long gone. This is a wonderfully comic and polished romp through horror cliches. Some say it's been done before and will hold onto Scream and its sequels (which I love, as well) but what I love about this is that it goes out of its way to explain the why of a horror film. I can't go into much detail without spoiling all the surprises. In summation what I can say is this is definitively a thrillride, which I hardly ever use to describe any film.
Marvel's The Avengers 2012,  PG-13)
Marvel's The Avengers
There really isn't that much that needs to be said about The Avengers. A culmination of a decade's work, fully realized, flawlessly executed. Everyone is given time to shine (except maybe Hawkeye but how much was he gonna shine anyway?). I'd venture to say this is the ultimate crowd pleaser. It just doesn't stop. I will say before concluding, I am extremely partial to the Marvel movieverse. They just get everything right because they care about their own damn characters. So many people moving in the same direction for entertainment. I am humbled by it. It's just so well put together, and The Avengers is proof of that. Excelsior!
Lincoln 2012,  PG-13)
Dredd 2012,  R)
Hitchcock 2012,  PG-13)
Silver Linings Playbook 2012,  R)
Argo 2012,  R)
Ace Attorney 2012,  Unrated)
Ace Attorney
Woah, woah, woah. Takashi Miike you have blown me away. Gyakuten Saiban is a testament to what all adapted screenplays should be, not just for video games. In the US it seems that video game films have a bit of a stigma associated with them and it's well deserved. They're all terrible. There's no respect for the source material. Takashi Miike has so much respect, almost reverence, for Phoenix Wright it's astounding. From the very first scene up till the last credit rolls it's completely and wholly Phoenix Wright. The hair, the courtroom, the crazy objections, the out of this world personalities. It couldn't have been done without Miike, either. His direction was great enough to hone Wright's world and fine-tune it into a 2 hour movie. To non-turnabout fans, things may move rather quickly and seem disjointed. This is in the interest of brevity. All the juicy essentials are intact. OBJECTION!
The Raid: Redemption 2012,  R)
The Expendables 2 2012,  R)
Les MisÚrables 2012,  PG-13)
Flight 2012,  R)
Skyfall 2012,  PG-13)
End of Watch 2012,  R)

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