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You know a list like this is coming.   I'm finally finished with all of the potential contenders... I will admit, there is one contender I have intentionally not seen, that being Zero Dark Thirty.   I have read the script, and frankly, I have dismissed it in light of that.  

I recognize that there are many who will put it very highly in their lists, but for me, it's not even worth contention so it's probably the first one that will create debate in any lists.   Some may rank it very high.

My worsts, obviously, will be different also.   I'm not looking for Razzie level worst - a film that people expected to be bad that was bad.   Those are obvious; if I went after those, I would be putting Piranaha 38DD and the like in my list.   I view films as "worst" based on the difference between expectations and results.   So, if a film had high expectations and really failed, that would be a worse film than one with very low expectations that failed.    

In light of that, HERE we go.

1. The Master

The Master is one of those films that as I watched it I kept thinking.. a lot of people are going to hate this.   Not somewhat hate it, they will hate it with a passion.  The film for me though is one of the most effective films I've ever seen at delving inside the minds of egomaniacs, religious zealots, and followers.  What is it that makes people want to believe lunacy?   How is it that people open their homes and checkbooks to frauds?   The most interesting angle to me was that you slowly came to understand that a tipping point was being blown by.. and now The Master was just a slave to keeping his yarn of bullshit going.   Every role in this was very well played.  

2.  Amour

Beautiful.   Devestating.  Sad and heart wrenching.   People somehow felt comforted by a film like "The Notebook" but Armour tackles the real results of illness and loss in such a brave and tough way that it stands out.  Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva deliver performances that will make this a film that five years from now people will remember.

3.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I had mixed expectations for this film, and yet, almost with Armour, it was a film that absolutely had me weep in a theater.   There is something fantastic about the direction of Perks of Being a Wallflower.  It's pacing is dead on and the actors so effectively play their characters that you rarely doubt them in their roles.   This is a film that could so easily move into "Look at me!  I'm an actor!"  But it never does, it manages to ring true and moves so effectively between joy and sorrow.  Fantastic.

4.  Safety Not Guaranteed

A film that caught me completely off guard.   Is the guy real?   What story do you want to believe?   If you really could change the flow of time, would you?   I thought the end was not quite as effective as the rest of the film, but this film worked for me as a quirky comedy romance, and give it a while it will get a bit of a cult following.

5.  Holy Motors.

I don't know how to really describe Holy Motors except that it's a zany, brilliant, at times unbelievably funny effort that left me rolling.

6.  Beasts of the Southern Wild

A few years ago, I told my wife that Children of Men was one of the best Sci-Fi movies I'd seen in years and she turned to me and said "it's Science Fiction?".   That's Beasts of the Southern Wild.   Melding a science fiction storyline and a setup of the day to day life of it's people it's a well rounded epic that absolutely works.

7.  Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

"Everything will be alright in the end, and it's it's not alright, it's not the end."

A lot of people pass on stories like this because they don't view them as worthy of a top ten list.   Oh, it's a simple story.   But frankly some of the best and worst stories are simple - it's in the telling that sets them apart.   Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is rewarding, heartwarming, funny, well paced, incredibly well acted and a film a lot of people are going to buy and put in their library or watch repeatedly.  

8.  Argo

Argo isn't a perfect film.  And it's not perfectly historically accurate.   So why a film like Argo and not Zero Dark Thirty?   Because part of the point of film, in my view has always been to get the "sense of truth" as well as to provide the audience with a feel.  If you're fiction you are flat out fiction, if you're truth you take creative license where necessary to tell the story as long as the principle is not compromised.   Interviews and excerpts with those involved, provided as part of the film during credits round out a well done action vehicle that is one of the most suspenseful films I've seen in a theater in years.   Great fun, and well directed.

9.  Django Unchained

You either love or hate Tarrintino.  Django Unchained, like Inglorius Basterds, is a revisionist history story.  It's violent, bold, profane, bitter and yet it uses comical sentiment to point out how irrational an entire period of history is.   Revisionist history tales are a tricky thing, people an either accept them for a zany concept of vengence ex-post-facto or view them as just offensive uses of violence.   I can accept those who dismiss Django, but the cinematography and script move so fast and fluently it has to get a place on this list.

10.  The Sessions

The sex life of a quadrapalegic is a tricky matter.   Should a grown man who is physically unable of movement feel ashamed of the fact that he still has a sex drive, desire and needs?  The Sessions is a gutsy, frank and funny film that challenges our thoughts about sex and desire.   It's brilliant and deserves to be seen.

Noted Only 11-15

11:  Lincoln
12:  The Avengers
13:  Skyfall
14:  Les Mis
15:  Cabin in the Woods

The WORST films of 2012.

1.   The Sitter

Have you ever had a film with heavy marketing with tons of dirty jokes, an Academy Award nominee and then figure out: the script is horrible, the jokes are unfunny and by 25 minutes in you may want to demand your money back?   Welcome to "The Sitter"

2.  This Means War

Two CIA agents fight to the near death to be the first to bed Reece Witherspoon.   I would say more, but if that isn't enough to get you to run for the hills, I'm too late.  The plot makes no sense and challenges everything you know about the rights of the government to invade your privacy while being amazingly unfunny.

3.  What to Expect When You're Expecting

How do you take a 400 page book with absolutely no plot line that is mostly a self-help and tip book for women who are dealing with pregnancy?   Well, the basic answer is: you don't.   Next?  The phone book as a movie.

4.   October Baby

A fictional survivor of a failed abortion at 24 weeks old, a young girl battling depression, mental disorders, disabilities and joint problems moves to find Jesus in some way or.. look, I checked out early on into this.  The confluence of events in this film is so wildy improbable that it's an offense to even people on the pro-life side of the argument.

5.  The Vow

Take "Armour" above, and assume it was written by a person who normally writes snickers commercials.

6.  Good Deeds

It amazes me that Tyler Perry trots out films like Good Deeds - which features at moments some wildly racist assertions about what it means to be "black" as well as the way the world works that I just roll my eyes.   For those that need a surprise: in the end, when given plane tickets and 3 hours notice to travel to africa, it turns out the homeless mother and daughter have up to date passports.   One of those things they managed to keep while living in a car.

7.  Seeking Justice

Nicholas Cage apparently still owes the IRS.   ZOMG.  

8.  Taken 2

Here's the worst part.   I liked the first one.

9.  That's my Boy

Even with using the metric that says: low expectations make it less likely to get on this list, That's my Boy is offensive in ways I couldn't imagine.  If it wasn't for low expectations, this would be #1.   A film which pokes fun at sexual abuse of boys, molestation, incest and then goes on to suggest that sexual abuse of young boys is "awesome" is so offensive that if I saw Adam Sandler I might have to punch him.  

10.  John Carter of Mars

Fans of science fiction everywhere are thanking the director for basically abusing their childhood.   A mess of bad special effects, disjointed script and terrible acting this film never recovered.

Honorable Mentions:   The Words, A Thousand Words, Gone, Battleship

So, what do you think?

Originally posted to tmservo433 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:43 PM PST.

Also republished by What are you watching?.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:43:21 PM PST

  •  Shouldn't it be Perqs and not Perks? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, Aunt Pat, Munchkn

    Like perquisites not perkiness?
    I've stopped watching Adam Sandler films years ago. Everything he does I find offensive in its stupidity, unconsciousness, lack of meaning and utter crudity.

    Thanks for the list, I almost never go to the movies anymore unless it is some big 3d spectacle. I gotta agree with you on "Safety Not Guaranteed," totally wonderful, hilarious, heartfelt, weird and already showed on SHO or HBO or one of them.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:05:28 PM PST

  •  What about Les Mis? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quaoar, Aunt Pat, mahakali overdrive

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:10:01 PM PST

    •  Would be in the 11-15 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, zenbassoon, rb608

      It's not bad.   But I was a bit put off by the cinematography.  And while I quite liked Hugh Jackson more than I thought, Russell Crowe really doesn't get it quite right.

      I'm also a bit unsure about why they changed some elements.  For example: Instead of Eponine delivering the letter to Cossette, it was Gavroche.. I'm not sure what was gained by it and it didn't feel quite right.

      Hathaway gives a fantastic performance, though.. and Helena Bonham Carter is great too.. I had a feeling about that considering how solid she is in "Sweeney Todd", she has excellent pipes.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:13:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I actually liked Russel Crowe in this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmservo433

        but then, put him in a uniform and onscreen and I'm happy with whatever he does. But I preferred him to Hugh Jackman who I though was forced to sing in a range too high for his voice. He (Jackman) sounded strained and reedy, especially towards the end. I'd heard reviwers say that his vocals blew Crowe out of the water but I though Crowe held his own just fine and Jackman came out all the worse.

        What has struck me about the reviews I've seen for this movie is how the sentiments are literally all over the map - Crowe was great/Jackman sucked...Jackman was awesome/Crowe sucked....everything was awful....best movie musical evah!!!!...meh.....OK except for the cinematography....etc

        It's not my favorite musical by a long shot, and I thought the cinematography was distracting and much too hyper...overall it was a movie worth seeing and...sigh....Russel Crowe in uniform.....worth the price of admission just there.....lol.....sigh....

        :-)

        "one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress" -- John Adams

        by blue armadillo on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:28:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it depends (0+ / 0-)

          On how you liked different staged productions.   The problem I had with Crowe is that being used to a different presentation of the musical, his character lacked that deep, rich cantor I was looking for.   He definitely looked the part.

          Jackman wasn't "great" but he was so much better than my expectations (which were way low) that I have to give him credit for that.  Hathaway was also very good.

          The thing is, though, when I think about really successful transitions, Les Mis won't be one... it's good, but when I think of musicals that hit it out of the park, I think of things like "Chicago".  

          I can't really put my finger on it, it just wasn't quite what I wanted.  And the minor script changes in comparison to the staged versions drew me out of the production

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:34:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I only saw the show once, when it was in London (0+ / 0-)

            back in the early 90's and although I thought it was big and pretty good, I was never a huge fan. The music was overall pretty forgettable for me and the story seemed to wander all over the place...love story/story of survival and endurance/OMG! Barricades! Let's fit THAT in too!...

            It just never completely "clicked" for me as a musical so going to the movie, my expectations were not sky high.

            Put Russell Crowe in a uniform and I'd just stare at the screen without any sound. LOL!!!

            I think his Javert was very restrained and I never felt him as a real menacing force of evil. And his last number...I kept waiting for it to really come alive, and it never did...just sort of was there. Good but not astounding.

            The person I went with is a musician that has performed in the orchestra for this musical numerous times...he felt the orchestration was rather thin for the movie version, overall, which bothered him.

            It was an enjoyable few hours, but not great, and other than watching Crowe as I do with fangirl's eyes, probably not something I'd want to sit through again. lol

            "one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress" -- John Adams

            by blue armadillo on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 07:27:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Lincoln (0+ / 0-)

        IS 11.

        While Les Mis would be closer to 14/15.   But Lincoln is a film that I waffle on.  It's a great, great film.   But it doesn't quite meet the way I look at film to be in my top10.   Plenty of actors will get award nominations and the script.

        I had waited for someone to say "Safety Not Guaranteed over Lincoln!?!? or Zero Dark Thirty?@?@"  But the reason I picked the ones I did was that they had a certain level of artistry I didn't find in others.  Lincoln was great.   Trim it by about 10 minutes.. and I'm betting anyone who has seen this can easily think of where ten minutes can get chopped, almost instantly, and you've got a better, tighter film.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:29:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Saw Argo last night (3+ / 0-)

    Enjoyed it very much.  Tonight I'm seeing Silver Linings Playbook.

    I was just too busy this year to see many movies this year so I'm cramming in as many as I can during some down time.

    Thanks for the list.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot

    by paulitics on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:11:57 PM PST

    •  Just got back from Argo - a classic "caper" film (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, paulitics

      chock full of old-school suspense instead of kung-fu fighting and extravagant explosions.  Some of the plot devices were classic Hollywood standards, but so what? They work! The political angles were nicely balanced. too.

      Have you noticed?
      Politicians who promise LESS government
      only deliver BAD government.

      by jjohnjj on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:47:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Were you aware that really happened? (0+ / 0-)

        "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

        by mumtaznepal on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 03:18:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  PS loved Argo, thought it one of the best films of (0+ / 0-)

          the year.

          Yes, I know it's not precisely 100% accurate - but it's pretty damn accurate to history.

          "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

          by mumtaznepal on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 03:29:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I did enjoy Silver Linings Playbook (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paulitics, daveminnj, denise b

      Say what you want about Jennifer Lawrence, but the woman very definitely can act.

      Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

      by mbayrob on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:55:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  silver linings playbook was quite good (0+ / 0-)

      strange, but it really kicks in about 40 minutes in.

  •  The Master... (5+ / 0-)

    ...was probably the worst film I've seen going back to Lynch's Lost Highway.  Just full of pretentious, excruciatingly boring self-indulgent bullshit that went absolutely nowhere.  I felt every minute of its length.

    Chloroform on celluloid.

    Preparing for the Mayan doomsday prophecy by hastily trying to get in the good graces of snake-bird god Q’uq’umatz

    by dov12348 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:22:14 PM PST

    •  Like I said (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348, Aunt Pat, rb608

      Some people will hate it.    Like really hate it.   I get that.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:23:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Worst movie for me too. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348, mumtaznepal, rb608, daveminnj

      1/3 of the theater in NYC walked out after the first hour.  Our group stuck it out because of the reputation of the director and actors, but a very painful 2 1/2 hours of no plot and characters you could care less about.  I envied the ones that walked out when  the movie finally ended.  

      It's like they took a 5 hour movie, let the Scientologist cut out what they objected to, left in all the scenes where they spent a fortune to produce them at the expense of scenes that created a plot or built characters and as a last ditch effort to save it threw in some lousy transitions of reading a letter or telling the audience what happened to pretend there was a plot.  I kept hoping one of the main characters would die just so something would happen that was interesting.  The opposite of show, don't tell.  This was tell and show a bunch of really dull pretentious stuff that didn't connect.  

      I didn't see charisma in the leader, there were very few followers of whatever the cult was suppose to be, and never got why he gave a crap about the Joaquin Phoenix character since he had no money and was just an alcoholic that drank poison.  His PTSD could have been interesting but was told instead of showed except for a few quick dream scenes on the beach. The nudity and sex scenes were gratuitous and very uncomfortable with no apparent connection to the story.  The motorcycle scene was so obvious, but yet they made us suffer through about 15 minutes before he drove off.  

      Awful movie.   Longest 144 minutes of my year.  
       

    •  I agree, I hated The Master. Boring, pretentious. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      durrati, rb608, dov12348

      I had to keep myself from walking out, in the vain hope there would be an ending worth seeing.

      Overhyped, terribly disappointing.  

      "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

      by mumtaznepal on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 03:19:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This Year's Biggest Disappointment Was..... (6+ / 0-)

    'Prometheus,' at least for me. Maybe I expect more from Ridley Scott, but 'Prometheus' was basically a copy of 'Alien' ... just way shittier.

    Both movies are essentially horror movies in space, but the horror tropes in 'Alien' work because they seem like natural outgrowths of the situation the crew of the Nostromo was stuck in (i.e. they're essentially "space truckers" trying to deal with something they have no training for, while also being betrayed by the company they work for), while the plot of 'Prometheus' depends on a crew of the smartest people that could be assembled for a trillion dollar mission making the dumbest & most irrational possible decisions at every given point.

    "This penis-tentacle alien which resembles a cobra snake displaying clear threat behavior.... I'm going to try and pet the fucker!"
    And I think what makes it worse for 'Prometheus' is that it tries to have it both ways. It's a film that seems to think of itself as presenting "deep" philosophical questions for the audience to ponder, but it surrounds those questions with an idiot plot.
    •  Prometheus DID suck (4+ / 0-)

      I still cannot get over the moment where the computer sampled their DNA, and an 8 foot tall albino with 4 breasts is a 100% DNA match for Humans.   How the hell does that happen?   What software are they running there?

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:31:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So Much Scientifically Wrong With That Scene..... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmservo433, rb608

        There is no such thing as a "universal" human DNA sample by which to compare something. So what in the hell was the Engineer a 100% match to?

        If the writers were trying to say that the Engineers have the same DNA as humans, that's no big whoop since every living thing that lives or has ever lived on Earth shares the same DNA (and, while it would be a significant discovery, l don't think many biologists would be all that surprised to find alien life that uses the same four nucleotides too).

        However, an 8 foot tall albino with 4 breasts being a 100% DNA match for a Human sample must either mean that by the late 21st century there's 8 foot tall albinos with 4 breasts roaming Earth, or it's just plain dumb writing.

        •  dumb writing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmservo433

          was rife in that movie. so sad, because parts of it LOOKED beautiful.

          •  LOTS of dumb writing (0+ / 0-)

            "Oh look, there is oxygen here.   Despite the fact that there may be alien germs or any other number of elements here that could kill me or make me sick, I'm just going to whip off my space suit without checking for contaminants."

            "Oh, let me pet this terrifying looking snake after I just ran away like a small child from a fossilized body."

            "I thought I would find eternal life.."   (Really!?  On what foundation?)

            Ancient species all had advanced astronomical knowledge that was lost to all humanity somewhere between the Mayans and today, but wow did they all nail it, every one.  But every one of them just forgot to pass the story on.

            Combine that with an emergency C-section that you recover from in 15 minutes to whip out a weapon and go beat the hell out of people.  

            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

            by Chris Reeves on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:40:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Lincoln was very good too nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daveminnj

    "one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress" -- John Adams

    by blue armadillo on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:28:53 PM PST

  •  You can love and hate Tarantino, I hate his (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, rb608

    glorification of violence but I really liked Inglorious Bastards and plan to see Django unchained.

    •  No fan of Tarantino, but his use of violence (0+ / 0-)

      is deliberately cartoonish and exaggerated.

      "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

      by mumtaznepal on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 03:21:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but sometimes it works and sometimes it just (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        k88dad, mumtaznepal

        seems childish and boring.  I thought RESEVOIR DOGS was an absolutely brilliant movie, as were most parts of PULP FICTION, but aside from a couple od powerful scenes I thought INGLORIOUS BASTERDS was a self-indulgent, incredibly boring mess.  I'll watch DJANGO UNCHAINED when it comes out on disk & I can get it for free from the library;  but I don't want to risk wasting my money and time seeing it in a theater since it sounds like mostly a variation on the theme of I.B.

        P.S.  I love JACKIE BROWN but it's not really in his main line of development -- it's as much Ellmore Leonard as Tarrentino, which is probably why I like it so much.  I'd go see another Leonard-Tarrentino collaboration in a minute.  

        •  I like your first sentence. I picture Tarantino (0+ / 0-)

          recalling the movies he loved as a kid, and remaking them exactly according to his imagination.

          The final scene of Django was so exaggerated as to be completely unrealistic and cartoonish.  That's deliberate on his part, I think - he knows he's well off into fantasy.

          "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

          by mumtaznepal on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:04:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I neither love nor hate Tarrantino (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, rb608, daveminnj

    I just don't think he has the degree of significance to justify that level of engagement.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:33:40 PM PST

    •  I agree with this. He's very overrated. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608
      •  I never get this "He's very overrated" thing (3+ / 0-)

        I don't think he's trying to be significant.  He's just trying to make movies he enjoys.  Quentin's a very enthusiastic guy, by all accounts.

        Like his films, or don't like his films.  But don't hold him responsible for what critics write about him.

        Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

        by mbayrob on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:58:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Come on (0+ / 0-)

          Tarrantino is in the film business. He's absolutely aware of how much his ability to make films depends on his image and you can be sure that he takes pains to cultivate it. He certainly doesn't discourage the critics, he encourages them.

          Only a complete idiot would make films like "Inglorious Basterds" or "Django" without realizing the critical controversy that would ensue and Tarrantino is no idiot.

          If you make films about serious subjects, even silly exploitative ones, it's an exercise in cynical hypocrisy to claim that you shouldn't be subject to serious criticism.

          To be fair, I've never heard Tarratino claim that he shouldn't be taken seriously as a film maker.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 07:30:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •   hopes for tarantino were so overheated after pulp (0+ / 0-)

          the praise was so overwhelming and the hopes for future works so messianic--i think reaction to pulp fiction has overshadowed his later career.

          his subsequent work has been very clever, but a retreat from reservoir and pulp.
          at least he didn't completely flame out like cimino.

  •  The problem with this list (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, rb608, schnecke21

    The problem with a lot of lists like this -- is that most of the movies on it are too obscure.

    Hardly anybody -- other than folks who are seriously into film -- has seen any of them.

    They might very well be the 10 best of the year, but nobody can judge that one way or another because very few folks have seen them. Many of us live in parts of the country where these films will never be shown.

    Makes it hard for a lot of folks to have a discussion about the films when maybe 10 percent of us have seen them all.

    Of course, the flipside of that is that it makes me want to seek out some of those movies I haven't heard about.

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      I saw 5 of the 10, and I don't think I saw a dozen movies this year.

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 05:08:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This was a crummy year for movies IMHO (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, Shahryar, rb608

    I'm pretty avid about cinema. This year was weaker than usual, unfortunately. I did miss a few major films this year though and have them on my "to see" list.

    Tops?

    Footnote
    Le Havre
    Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
    The Dictator (I'm going to Hell, but I adore Sascha Baron Cohen)
    Moonrise Kingdom
    Skyfall (I'm embarrassed to nominate a Bond film, but it was good; really good)
    In Darkness
    Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
    Coriolanus
    The Grey (I don't know why I loved it, but I did; I feel guilty)
    Frankenweenie

    Worst?

    Ted (one of the worst films I've ever seen)
    50/50 (good reviews but insufferably bad to watch)
    Snow White and the Huntsman
    The Campaign (bombed despite two good leads)
    Dark Shadows (I feel sad about this)
    The Lorax (even more sad about this)
    Casa de mi Padre
    Wanderlust
    21 Jump Street
    Prometheus
    The Descendents (considering the hype, one of the most boring films I've ever seen)

    I am waiting to see Les Miserables.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:43:09 PM PST

    •  interesting... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, tmservo433, rb608

      I watch very few movies at all, I've only seen a few on either your list or the diary list.

      I adored Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - but then I love all the actors.  That was a very serious bias on my part, you put Bill Nighe in anything and I will watch it - add Judi Dench and Maggie Smith and I will watch it repeatedly.

      I love Daniel Craig as Bond too - this is not the old silly Bond, it's a new gritty, shitty asshole Bond that I like a LOT better. So I see no need to feel guilt about Bond not sucking anymore.

      I LOATHED Moonrise Kingdom and could not finish it - I tried 4 times.  It was just too... too much like a string of carefully set dioramas that had nothing to do with each other.  Lovely sets, lovely colours - absolute garbage dialogue and plastic people.  I just don't get why people squee over this guy and his movies.

      Dark Shadows was just miserable.  So much potential down the flusher.  WTH.  It could have been wonderfully serious or wonderfully comic and came out neither.  UGH.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:52:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wes Anderson -- you either love him (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mortifyd

        or you don't. Sounds like you don't. He's beautiful if you're like one of his characters, laugh.

        We mainly rent once movies come onto DVD these days. Often, we get them for free too since we are friendly with the local video store manager. I adore foreign films, but since I usually watch with my family, we'll wind up renting something that's excellent and then total crap too and watching both as a plea bargain for the evening. I shouldn't be watching movies but working, but I'm so burnt out all the time that I do watch film.

        Netflix is great too.

        I didn't think I'd like Seeking a Friend... but seriously, loved it and would recommend to anyone (with the caveat that Keira Knightly overacts and is generally hideous; less so here thank goodness and also, I love Steve Carrell beyond measure).

        How on EARTH did I not include Jiro Dreams of Sushi here? Was that last year? It was one of the manager's recommendations.

        Dark Shadows was brutally bad indeed.

        I declined to mention the Hobbit which I liked but didn't love, although I wasn't angry about it like some LOTR fans (as I am). It was fine in my view, and the addition of bits from the Silmarillion enhanced it. I thought the film techniques were too CGI or something icky. Also, most of the main characters were less compelling than in LOTR. And the film was fine, but it did drag a bit.

        I also didn't mention The Woman in Black which, by absolutely zero measure was a good movie, and yet I totally enjoyed every moment of it, as a B-Movie fan: this one was particularly a good old-fashioned ghost story with fine acting and great sets. So I liked it very much. Everyone else with me looked bored. I'd recommend it to anyone who liked cheesy old ghost films from the 1960's.

        I forgot to add to my Worst list the 2nd Sherlock Holmes film (adored the first) which resulted in my making a cake midway through the film out of sheer and complete boredom. My family was like, "Shall we pause the film?" and I was like, "No, this cake will just take a moment here!" which was a bit of a lie since it had multiple layers, sprinkles, and all of that. It was, I thought, wretched, but I didn't really give it much of a chance considering that it didn't grab me from the outset. The first was, again, quite good, esp. for a Sherlock Holmes fan (which I am).  

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:19:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Documentaries (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rb608

          Are a really hard animal to put in.  I saw a lot of great docs, like Jiro and Whore's Glory.. but I can't really mix them in with dramatic and fictional efforts.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:22:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Love documentaries when good (0+ / 0-)

            when poor, forget about it. one of my very favorite genres though: anything Hertzog sends me.

            Favorite recent documentary? Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Amazing.

            Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

            by mahakali overdrive on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:34:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  that's his name! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive

          Wes Anderson.  His films are beautiful to look at - with the sound off.  LOL  But I often feel the same way about Tarrantino as well - visually stimulating but not satisfying.

          I am hesitant to see the Hobbit - it looks good, but not -quite- as good as LoTR.  I'll get there eventually now that I'm home with the parents for a while - movies are very much a part of their entertainment.

          Watched part of Sherlock Holmes 1 tonight and it reminded me I hadn't seen the second one - now I'm not so sure about that either. :P

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:44:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not the biggest Wes Anderson fan, (0+ / 0-)

      but Moonrise Kingdom was among his best. The Descendants came out in the first half of December, 2011, and copped a much-deserved writing award at the Oscars. It was another fine film from Alexander Payne. I've pretty much enjoyed everything that he has done (Cedar Rapids, Sideways, About Schmidt, Election, Citizen Ruth, etc.)

  •  Flight should definitely be in the Top 10 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    decembersue, denise b

    I thought it was an excellent movie, and I'm not even really a fan of those kinds of movies as evidenced by the fact that my Blu-ray collection contains several Hollywood classics such as Hot Tub Time Machine, Dumb and Dumber, Jackass, Billy Madison and the Harold and Kumar trilogy ;)

    "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

    by yg17 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:48:58 PM PST

    •  heh. I actually enjoyed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4mygirls, jk2003, rb608

      Hot Tub Time Machine. There. I said it.

      •  I watched this movie the first night my nine month (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sillyalicia, decembersue

        Old slept for more than two hours outside of my arms.  I fucking love that movie just for the memory of how damn happy I was to not be holding that child.  And, it was funny.  Be not ashamed.

        We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discoverers - thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams. - Peter S. Beagle

        by jk2003 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:48:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I liked the period references (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        decembersue

        as well as the costumes & hair.  Sorta painfully funny.  Can't say I'd recommend it to a friend, but I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would.

        "It is not, you fucking liberal prick." ..My RW friend Dave's last words to me.

        by rb608 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 06:10:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I thought Flight way better than I (0+ / 0-)

      anticipated.  Great character development.  

      "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

      by mumtaznepal on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 03:24:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd probably juggle some of the best Top Ten (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433

    around a bit, and would certainly move les Miz into that group, perhaps at the expense of...well, I'm not sure what...

    As far as the "Worst 10" goes, I would send "John Carter"  - as they used to say about the Billboard music charts back in my wasted youthful radio days - to the Top With A Bullet.  There are many worthies in this category, but this movie deserves to be at the top if only because of the vast wealth squandered in the effort to bring it into being...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:49:00 PM PST

  •  I'm with you on the Master (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, IreGyre

    I can't stop thinking about that one, either. Would top my list for best actor for Phoenix.

    The last scene between those two men, when they say their final words to each other, was exquisite.

  •  If you've missed ZD30 (0+ / 0-)

    You are missing what is likely the best movie of the year, on a whole bunch of levels.

    Its subtle but effective message about the inhumanity of torture and its inefficacy and the moral cost of its use is a bonus.

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the most reactionary movie of the year (and borderline racist). Les Miserables is pure cinematic torture, just an incompetent mess from start to end.

    •  I acknowledge (0+ / 0-)

      That there are those who will likely love ZD30.   I've read the script.   I have enough significant disagreement with the film that I'm not going to hand it any of my money.  If I can see it for free, I might, but in light of the script, I can't give it a fair shake, and unless it suddenly cured my bum knee, I doubt it would get a good review.

      Sometimes it goes that way with films.   This isn't an opposition to Bigelow, I found The Hurt Locker to be an exceptional work.   But the script to ZD30 bothers me.

      I admit, I can't give it a fair shake; there are extenuating circumstances with that I won't post into Kos.  

      But, like I said, everyone will have their own list ;)

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:37:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you think you can tell about a movie (0+ / 0-)

        from reading a script, sorry, don't mean to be nasty, but you know very little about cinema.

        It is what the director does that makes a film. What Bigelow does is stunning. She sets the tone. She made an incredibly sad and disturbing movie out of what even most progressives accept as a triumph (Bin Ladin's death). But that just scratches the surface of what the film accomplishes.

        •  I tend to agree (0+ / 0-)

          As I note in many of my thoughts, cinematopraphy, direction and actors make a big difference in a film.

          However, as someone who just fundamentally disagrees with the concept of her work, I am not someone who can give the film a fair shake.

          There are films like that.. great works that people love that others hate; it's our own inbuilt bias.  

          It's the same reason why I can't give a fair shake to a film like Moonrise Kingdom.  I can appreciate the craft and the work, but the layout of Anderson's stories always leave me dry.

          I openly acknowledge others will love the film.   I have just personal biases that would prevent me from giving it a shake that go beyond cinema, and frankly, aren't even directly political in a left/right mode.

          shrug

          In the end, I'm compiling the list of the films I've seen - and I tend to watch a great deal, but that's how it goes.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:48:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, no rec... I'd love to (0+ / 0-)

    read about your nominations, but by the time this diary down-loaded to my not-that-old Mac (dual core, DSL ISP), I was so frustrated at having to sit and wait 3 minutes for the down-load all I wanted to do was post this comment.  Would it be possible to post such diaries with links instead of embedded trailers for those of us who have ancient (4 years old) computers?

    Sorry for the rant...

    Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by ceebee7 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:44:18 PM PST

  •  My 10 best list (0+ / 0-)

    (and though I have likely seen more of the contenders than nearly all critics, there are a handful I've missed that might have made it, led by Tabu)

    Best (7 way tie, since I've only seen two twice)

    Zero Dark 30, The Kid on the Bike, Amour, Flight, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Holy Motors, The Master

    then rounding out, Barbara, The Deep Bliue Sea, Killer Joe

    •  On a side note (0+ / 0-)

      Once Upon a Time in Anatolia was an interesting film, I couldn't quite... it just didn't work for me but my wife loved it.   Did you get a chance to see Rust & Bone?  

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:18:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        For me, the first time Marion Cotillard in a lead role justified the hype (not a fan of Ma vie en rose). The film overall is uneven, not as strong as Audiard's The Prophet, but has a distinctive flair to elevate its plot.

  •  Why all the hatin' on "John Carter"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ender, niemann

    I was pissed at Disney for not giving the film its proper title, but I can guess why DISNEY might not want to make a movie called "Princess of Mars". I understand that actual ownership conflicts were the real cause of this.

    I would remind viewers that Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a fantasy story in 1912, not a work of science fiction. In those terms this film was a very good rendition.

    I could have been happy without the obligatory theme-park-thrill-ride sequence. But some films are so gorgeous to look at you have to forgive a few blemishes in the acting or pacing.

    I'd rank "Carter" below "MIB3" for SciFi this year, but above the ponderous "Prometheus" and the tedious "Hunger Games".

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:13:41 PM PST

    •  I loved Hunger Games... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ender

      ...except for the end.  I didn't know it was a multi-part movie when I watched it and, not knowing this, was deeply let down.  Don't like this trend in movie series where they don't provide satisfying endings.  I guess they're trying to get you to come back for more.  Disliked it in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and dislike it here.

    •  I agree. The worst thing about John Carter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IreGyre

      was the marketing.

      It must be some kind of pack instinct. Since the movie is bleeding money, everybody feels an urge to turn on it and rip it apart.

      John Carter was similar to an Indiana Jones movie where you have the bigger-than-life hero, the girl and the bad guys. All of which were done very well. Then you have the action and the beautiful scenery, etc.

      It was no Citizen Kane, but I don't think that John Carter belongs on any ten-worst list.

  •  Worst for me was Amazing Spider-Man... (0+ / 0-)

    ...though I would vote for the Adam Sandler film as worst movie of the year just from that trailer.

    Don't watch as many movies as I used to.  Been catching up lately with Netflix.  I added many of your top 10 to my queue so thanks!

  •  Actually, I enjoyed John Carter of Mars. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ender, IreGyre

    Tremendously.

  •  of that list I've only seen (0+ / 0-)

    Lincoln and John Carter, but I'm planning to see Django and Argo. I liked Lincoln quite a bit when i saw it, but the effect hasn't really stayed with me. I thought John Carter was entertaining, but not great.

    "I have more than two prablems" - The Coach Z

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 01:22:38 AM PST

  •  Skyfall & Lincoln (0+ / 0-)

    I really like "Skyfall", probably the best Bond movie ever, and I thought "Lincoln" was great.  I rated "Lincoln" my favorite and had "Skyfall" in the top ten.  I really liked the "Marigold Hotel" as well.  A great year for Judy Dench, as she revealed her macular degeneration.

  •  What I saw in theaters this year: (0+ / 0-)

    Casablanca.  I saw it twice.
    Singing in the Rain
    Lawrence of Arabia
    To Kill A Mockingbird

    Oh, and early in the year,  I saw The Help with my daughters, the Tigger Movie and Finding Nemo in 3D with my granddaughter.  I did mean to see Marigold Hotel, but I let that one get away from me.

  •  Moonrise Kingdom (0+ / 0-)

    It had everything...for sure best soundtrack..
    The colors were ah so colorful
    The story universal...cool actors doing the amazing dialog.
    Everything was crazy..and it worked...

  •  ok.. (0+ / 0-)

    My dark side movie Looper..
    but as I get older the dark side is not as appealing..

    Just saw Django. which could have been dark but had just enough "blazing saddles meets "Man with no name"...gonna have to see that one again to find out why that mystery woman is even there...

  •  About the 10 worst - I am always surprised (0+ / 0-)

    to find that people go to really bad films. Don't you make any effort not to? I rarely see anything I hate because I don't go unless I have reason to think I'm going to like it. Which is not to say that I like everything I see, just that it's pretty rare that I actually think it's a terrible movie.

    The Sitter, for example, has a 22% critic rating and 41% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there's no particular critic whose word I take, with a consensus that low among 107 reviewers it's a really good bet to be truly awful.

    Unless you see anything and everything, why would you choose something like that?

    The last thing I really detested was The Mexican in 2001, but I went to that one against my better judgment.

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 04:59:21 PM PST

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