Well, we’re nearing the end of another year, and you know what that means on the internet! Tons of “best of” lists. Everywhere you look. Best movies, best books, best albums… best everything.
And don’t worry – here at Cult of Clair, we’re planning on shoving tons of lists down your throat, eventually. But today, I present a list that isn’t really about the “best” of 2012 – it’s more about “the things I watched” in 2012. I’m not even going to pretend like I could pick the best movies of the year, because I only go to the theater about once a month so haven’t actually seen 90% of movies that came out. But what I CAN do is tell you about every movie I saw in the theater and give my raving/scathing review (I’m a person of extremes).
If you also saw these movies, I’m quite certain you’ll agree with my comments. And if you didn’t see them, don’t worry – I’ll let you know whether or not they’re worth netflixing.
So here they are – every movie I saw in the theater this year, in order of release date:
1. The Hunger Games: And so began my girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence. This movie was fantastic, although the camera work was so shifty I thought I was going to throw up. But still, I will see anything with Elizabeth Banks. And Stanley Tucci. This movie was just as good as the book, and I cannot wait for the next one to hit theaters. Ohhh but I must wait, because those money-grubbing producers are going to milk this series for all it’s worth.
2. The Avengers: I’m not a huge superhero fan, but I ended up seeing this movie in 3D and at the risk of sounding like a 14-year-old boy, it. was. AWESOME. The casting of Jeremy Renner as a superhero was… off. But Scarlett Johansson kicked some major ass and Robert Downey Jr. is just so dang charming. This movie far exceeded my low expectations (that’s a compliment – I swear) despite the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow was in it. She didn’t goop it up too badly.
3. The Dictator: Well, let’s just get this on the table – I have a pretty crude sense of humor. Borat was one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, and even though The Dictator had pretty bad reviews, I had to give it a chance. Luckily I saw it at the cheap theater ($3. Holla.) so didn’t waste much money, but I did waste 90 minutes of my life.
DO NOT RECOMMEND
4. Moonrise Kingdom: Based on my affinity for extremely crude movies, you may guess that I wouldn’t necessarily appreciate the filmmaking of someone like Wes Anderson. And generally, you’d be right. Not that I dislike his movies… it’s just, I’d prefer watching Adam Sandler beat up Bob Barker in Happy Gilmore. That kind of thing. But I went to see Moonrise Kingdom with Cult of Clair’s resident Wes Anderson lover, Laura, and it totally stunned me. I mean, really, I bought it on DVD, which is something I only do for movies I absolutely love. This movie is exactly what a movie should be – a visual story that transports you to another place, a story told in a whimsical, unreal world but that still affects you in such a raw, deep way. Whenever I feel the need to experience life like a child, this is my go-to movie.
HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND (the highest level of recommendation you’ll see on this list, btw)
5. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter: There were two movies released about Lincoln this year. A really terrible movie that I literally can’t believe wasn’t straight-to-DVD, and an Oscar front-runner starring arguably the greatest actor of our time. Yeah, I haven’t seen the latter. Should I? I probably should. But no, unfortunately I only saw Vampire Hunter. Let me tell you a short story of how I ended up spending $10 and 2 hours of my life on this horrid thing: Husband wants to see it. I laugh in his face. Power goes out for 3 days. It’s 95 degrees. Everyone’s power is out. Except the movie theater. My choice is to watch this movie or melt into a puddle in my 110-degree apartment. I give in. My dignity is gone.
WOULD’VE RECOMMENDED DURING THE POWER OUTAGE; NOW IT’S WINTER AND THIS MOVIE IS OUT OF THEATERS; NO LONGER RECOMMEND
6. The Dark Knight Rises: Fantastic. Breathtaking. Made me not hate Anne Hathaway as much (and then she went and starred in Les Mis and the hatred levels are back up). But guys… I gotta say, it doesn’t touch The Dark Knight. Also, I didn’t understand the ending and my husband had to explain it to me. That’s probably more my fault than Christopher Nolan’s, but still, it pushes this movie from a “highly highly recommend” to merely a “highly recommend.”
7. Celeste & Jesse Forever: Not super memorable (I literally didn’t remember it until I scrolled through a list of every movie released this year), but a very well-written little movie. I’m a huge Rashida Jones fan – mostly, because I’m a huge Ann Perkins fan – and Andy Samberg did a great job playing a more serious role than we’re used to seeing him in. Saw this at the $7 theater and it met my $7 expectations.
RECOMMEND, BUT PREPARE TO BE DEPRESSED
8. Pitch Perfect
9. Pitch Perfect: Yeah, that’s right. I saw this movie twice. Because it’s THE BEST. It deserves the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Song, Rebel Wilson deserves the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, etc etc… Seriously, this movie is so much fun. I saw it in the theater last night, for the second time, and there were times when I found myself just smiling at the screen. It’s not like the scene was funny and I was laughing – no, I was just smiling at the screen, like an idiot, because it’s just so fun to watch. I would watch literally any movie ever about acapella, but the added bonus with this film is that it’s also really, really funny. Rebel Wilson is quickly moving up my list of “favorite hilarious people.”
HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND
10. Skyfall: Don’t hate me, but I must be honest and admit that I didn’t love this movie. Yeah, it’s well-done, Daniel Craig is awesome, yadda yadda yadda. But it just kind of bored me. I fell asleep in the theater for about 10 minutes at one point, which isn’t totally unheard of for me (in fact, it’s quite heard-of), but still, I just wasn’t digging it. I’m not sure what it was, but something was just not quite there. The plot felt a little thin, maybe? I was also heavily distracted by the Bond girl’s ill-fitting dress and cake-y lipstick. I mean, just look at her. She’s gorgeous, but her dress doesn’t fit and her lipstick looks so weird. I realize this is extremely shallow, but she’s a Bond girl. She just needs to look flawless, ya know? And yes, I think that’s my biggest problem with this film. That’s the kind of hard-hitting criticism you’re not going to find in your average film reviewer, so, you’re welcome. I’m a straight shooter.
11. Twilight: The Last Damn One: You all know how I feel about this one already.
RECOMMEND, BUT IF YOU TELL ANYONE I TOLD YOU THAT, I WILL DENY DENY DENY