2012 Movies

50/50 (Jan 7) - Grade: B. Triple play action! To celebrate my newly-rediscovered freedom, we went to the Dollar Theatre for a triple-flick extravaganza! Woo! First was this movie which I had seen slated as a "comedy." And Seth Rogen was in it too. So I was thinking your Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express type of comedy I don't generally appreciate. But I believe this film was mislabeled. It was serious, and actually rather heavy amid its light-hearted comedic quips. I really enjoyed this film.

Real Steel (Jan 7) - Grade: B-. A lot of people have hated on this movie for being absurd, horrid, ridiculous, etc. You name the adjective, it's probably been thrown at this movie. But I don't really agree. Granted, it's not your X-men, but I didn't think any of the acting was poorly done. It's a camp story, but it was executed in the right ways, and I enjoyed this flick just as much as the next kid.

The Help (Jan 7) - Grade: A. I haven't read the book, so maybe I missed out, but I loved this film. Loved. Emma Stone was priceless, the message was heavy, heavy, heavy. It raised a lot of questions for me about issues we still face in 2012 and not just in terms of race. Which is still an issue, contrary to popular belief. I definitely cried at the end. What an amazing testament to human spirit and resilience. This is a must-see.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Feb 9) - Grade: C. The previews for this movie made it look like this movie was going to be absolutely incredible. And with it centered around an event so near and dear to my own heart, I was hoping it would find a place on my shelf of "movies that I bawl through, destroy me, and make me a better person all at once." But it just didn't come together on this one. Don't get me wrong. Most of the performances are amazing. But there are pieces missing. It didn't grab my heartstrings and rip them out and never stop like I wanted it to. I would have written the ending just a little differently to get the result I wanted. There were pieces that should have been included that weren't, and that frustrated me.

The Secret World of Arrietty (Mar 8) - Grade: A-. I love The Borrowers and I grew up reading The Littles so I already wanted to see this. And then to find out that Miyazaki was involved? Yes please! I really only had one complaint about this movie, and that was the wasted opportunity in animating their house. So many things like the needle, etc., were "big" stuff that the "littles" used, but that was absent in the house make-up for the most part. I wanted to see the kitchen table be a button, and them using a thimble as a pitcher, etc. I think there was a great opportunity for a lot of that to be incorporated that was missed. Other than that, I loved it.

The Hunger Games (Mar 23) - Grade: D. I am one of like 3 people on Earth who hated this movie. [ INSERT RANT HERE]

John Carter (Apr 12) - Grade: F. This movie was awful, which for Disney is saying something. The best part of the whole movie was that giant slobbery dog-lizard thing. Only redeeming character. The movie was camp and it wasn't supposed to be. The acting was sub-par, the writing terrible, and it was awful. Don't waste your time.

Lockout (Apr 13) - Grade: C. This movie was so forgettable I couldn't even remember what it was and had to look it up. Then I still couldn't remember having seen it. I had to read a complete synopsis to jog my memory. And then, only just barely. Nothing to write home about here.

Cabin in the Woods (Apr 15) - A+. Love, love, love. Joss Whedon is pretty a complete genius at everything he does. I was a little worried about this movie since I'm not big on horror or the 'hack and slash' genre, but Whedon was at the top of his game here (though he's gotten more fame from Avengers when he made this. It's almost a parody of the horror genre in its entirety. There are scary and bloody parts, but trust me, it's NOT what you think it is. AT ALL. And that's part of why this movie is so amazing. Maybe the best film I've seen all year!

I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) (Apr 19) - Grade: C. I continue my seemingly futile quest to find quality gay flicks that are not Prayers for Bobby. I was intrigued when I saw Jim Carrey starring in this film, but apparently his acting swings both ways. Ewan McGregor is super attractive in this film, but the storyline is a little too contrived for my liking. And Carrey's character is clearly crazy. I didn't hate it, but I don't recommend it.

BULLY (Apr 29) - Grade: A. This movie was incredibly eye-opening. Before I say anything else, I will say this: SEE THIS MOVIE. ABSOLUTELY SEE THIS MOVIE. It is engaged in enlightening people about a very serious problem that affects our young people. I totally bawled through at least half of this movie, because I identified so, so strongly with the characters. After it was over, I was chatting idly with my friends and I was absolutely shocked to learn that this story was NOT in fact all of theirs as well. I had just taken for granted that the people I took with me had all suffered like the kids in this movie. Like me. I will never be able to look back at my childhood with fondness or happiness. I can only take from it the strength that was beaten into me. And that to me, is a tragedy. I made it, but there are so many more who don't. Bullying is NOT okay, and somehow that message needs to be spread, because as they say in the film - most of the kids who bully learn it (unfortunately) from their parents. It doesn't just all of a sudden spawn out of them. This film was heart-wrenching and a little too close to home for me, but I believe that absolutely everyone should see it.

Thor (May 29) - Grade: B-. This movie was okay. Capt. America was better. Maybe the Iron Man(s) were too. This movie was probably the most important prequel to see going into Avengers, but it wasn't the best. Maybe Natalie Portman was part of the problem? I just don't really love her. Chris Hemsworth is pretty... but I liked him better in Cabin in the Woods to be honest. I dunno. Maybe I'm just biased because I want my Justice League.

The Avengers (June 5) - Grade: A. I can't really fault this movie. Because it's Joss. And Joss is everything. This movie undertook something that hadn't been done before really, and with 5 prequels, it definitely lived up to the hype. It was a great story, the fx were ridiculous, and Joss made it hysterically funny as well. Wonderful action movie. No qualms here.

The Adventures of Tin Tin (July 10) - Grade: C. Everyone was really excited for this classic comic to come to the big screen. I was excited too. The animation was absolutely mind-blowing, and sometimes I forgot it wasn't live action. Maybe I'm not familiar enough with the comics, but there was too much camp for me. It was just overdone and needed to be toned down a bit in my opinion. I didn't hate it, but it wasn't anything amazing.

BRAVE (?) - Grade: A. I'm really sad that I don't remember when I went to see this movie! But I loved it. Everything about it. Such a great story, such great characters, loved the female lead, everything was spot-on with this movie. Definitely a must-see.

Magic Mike (July 15)- Grade: C. Em and I went to see this one together. Because let's be honest... So the movie was not at all what I was expecting, which was hot men shaking what they got. Well, it DID give that, but then it also tried way too hard, way too late, to be a serious movie with a plot. I mean, I'll give it credit for trying to have a plot when almost everyone believed it wouldn't have ANY, but it tried to be heavy-hitting in the wrong places without enough backstory and/or character support, and it just hurt the film badly. Especially the ending. That shouldn't have happened. There should have been more shaking and dancing. The best parts of the whole movie were when Channing was actually legit dancing. Because he can!

Batman: Dark Knight Rises (July 20) - Grade: B-. Midnight Premiere! I've seen all the Batmans now and I have to say this one was my least favorite. (Although Joseph Gordon-Leavitt FTW). I always thought this inception of Batman sounded completely idiotic... then I heard Bane talk. Really, though? There were some exciting plot twists that took me by surprise, and the action was wonderful as always. Also, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman was spot-on casting. She killed that role. I think I liked the first one best, though this one did not have its redeeming moments. The second one was incredibly dark, and I'm not so much into that, which is why I think they got progressively worse. Again, though, don't hate them. This is still a B- film and I wouldn't try and stop you from seeing it.

More movie action is coming your way!

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