The world didn’t end this year but we surely are spoiled by great movies that came. There’s just so many good movies this year coming different genres for far wider audience’s taste. Sci-fi, drama, action, espionage, superheroes, indies, and a bunch of stupid movies coming along this great year for movie goers. The hardest part is judging and filtering out the movies just to come up with my annual list of the Top Ten Movies of 2012. Man this is tough, it’s like making a trip in thrift shops/ukay-ukay, “Oh this is great, oh this is crap, next please!”
I don’t really have a particular criteria of judging movies, and most especially I don’t give a damn shit about a movie’s rating in Rotten Tomatoes. Ratings and critics are quite deceiving and are just parasites feeding upon the aesthetic purpose in the art of film-making. There are a lot of good movies this year that those retards (critics) didn’t like. So I am basing my choices either based on the fun factor, the relevance of the story, the technicality of the story telling, the emotional impact, the narrative style, or perhaps a combination of those. So please bear with me as I unveil my Top Ten:
10. Big Miracle (starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski )
What it’s about. Based on a true story about an incredible rescue mission of a few Alaskan community to save a family of gray whales trapped in miles of ice. Not to mention the phenomenal media attention it got.
Why I liked it. I love the idea of the filmmakers to recreate those events in 1988 and turn it into a light-hearted family movie. The narrative was pretty straight forward and sometimes cheesy but hey it works and it’s really fun to watch with the family. We need this kind of movie to remind us to protect the animals around us (and don’t forget to call your local TV networks while doing it). The message is clearer that way.
9. The Words (starring Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Ben Barnes and Zoe Saldana)
What it’s about. A young struggling (and incredibly handsome) writer stumbles upon an old manuscript written by another, and out of desperation he claims the authorship and get it published. The book hit big. And he met the original authors, that’s when the shit started. The magic word is: Plagiarism.
Why I liked it. This a good case why should never listen to critics, they practically murdered this movie. But this is a really good movie with a deep voice about morality between methods of writing: finding one’s own literary voice and the act of stealing somebody else’s work. The movie is told into three phases/timeline: the story of the young man written in the novel; the old original author and the young writer who stole the story; and a third voice that narrates their story in a book launch. It’s serious, intriguing and curious as to how these men will end up. It’s practically about taking responsibilities; to man up and live with the choices. And this movie is packed with of honest-to-goodness quotes worthy for a Facebook status.
Now, can somebody send a DVD copy of this to our great (and incredibly stupid) Sen. Tito Sotto!?
8. Dredd (starring Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby)
What it’s about. It’s a remake of that dreadful 1995 Stallone movie about a judge-jury-executioner in a dystopian city Mega-City One. This one is a much better and loyal adaptation of the original comic strip (2000 AD). The story has a frightening resemblance to the equally bad-ass Indonesian movie “The Raid” where good cops goes in a criminal headquarter only to find themselves trapped and in the mercy of the drug lord. And they fight, and hard. Real fun.
Why I liked it. It’s so bad-ass! The action scenes is so intense, it’s a hyper-violent action flick with a massive body count and unforgiving feast of bullets. It’s a dark and super gritty take on a character that never takes off his helmets. Man, the way the Philippine crime rate is rising matched up with our still unreliable justice system, we need Judge Dredd on our streets. And most important I need more sequels of this shit.
7. The Secret World of Arrietty (created by Studio Ghibli, distributed by Walt Disney Pictures)
What it’s about. A gorgeous looking coming of age story about a small (as in very small) borrower named Arietty who forges an unlikely friendship with a human after her contraband mission went terribly wrong and threatens their way of life.
Why I like it. Because I’m a big fan of Studio Ghibli and Arietty is one of their finest project to date. There’s really not much to hate about this movie. The animation is fluid, the colors and cinematography are really good, the story is deep and intimate, and the music is simply dazzling and magical. It’s a rich tale about survival and friendship.
6. Looper (Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis)
What it’s about. Time travel. In 2044 time travel is not yet invented, but 30 years into the future the technology falls into the wrong hands – the criminal underworld. Of all the possible usage of the machine, they used it for assassinations by sending their target into the past where a special kind of assassins called ‘loopers’ are waiting to blast ’em up dead. Cool. Not until a looper finds out his future self is sent back to time for him to kill.
Why I like it. It’s probably the best time travel movie ever made. It’s not just an action movie but something thought-provoking that let us think how much consequences in the the future we will pay by our present actions, and how much of your present are you willing to sacrifice for your future. This is one of those intellectually crafted storylines that tackles choices and morality; and not really giving the audience which side they should root for. The options are: the innocent of the present who is also the bad guy from the future, a man who will do anything to save his wife, a fucked-up man who wants to start a new life, a mother who wants to protect her child or perhaps the stupid thugs finding acceptance from their boss. Pick your choice, because the stake are all personal.
5. The Amazing Spider-Man (starring Andrew Garfield and my wife Emma Stone)
What it’s about. This is not Spider Man 4. It’s a reboot. New spidey, new villain, new girl, no MJ (thanks God).
What I liked about it. One of the biggest realization I have upon watching this movie is that how we unconsciously hated Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man that started only a decade ago. Not that those films are bad (except for the last one with the Venom shit), it’s just we deserved a darker and better adaptation of our friendly neighborhood superhero (not some bright-eyed emo swinging around). Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield’s on-screen chemistry are so damn good. The story though made simpler is way better with a grounded ambition on practical stunts and fast paced fight scenes. Spidey’s in good hands.
4. Magic Mike (starring Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and the eternally topless Matthew McConaughey).
What it’s about. A shameless glorification of the fine art of male stripping. Lol. Loosely based on Channing Tatum’s earlier life as male stripper, the plot follows the young Adam (Pettyfer) entry into the world of stripping guided by Mike (Tatum). High level of testosterone and nudity guaranteed.
Why I liked it. I am still secretly dreaming of becoming an artist by day and macho dancer by night haha. I’m no gay but I’ll be damn Amalayar if I don’t find this movie extremely hot. The dance choreography is really good and I was like “man I have to learn that stuffs” haha. But seriously the real message of this movie is not about stripping and dancing, ironically it is a great tale about a man’s dream until life gets in the way that forces him to be totally somebody (and somebody else’s fantasies). It simply about chasing your dreams and taking great chances to make it come true. Real charming.
3. TED (starring Mark Whalberg, Mila Kunis and Seth McFarlane)
What it’s about. John Benett doesn’t have friends so on Christmas eve he wished to be with Ted forever. Miraculously the teddy bear came into life. Fast forward, John Benett is an adult having a quarter-life crises, drinking bear and smoking pot in the sofa with a teddy bear – a real pain in the ass, dirty minded, thrash talking bad influence and nothing bad trouble former childhood star wonder. This is a really bad teddy.
Why I liked it. Probably the craziest, wildest and funniest movie I watched with the boys at home. We simply have so much fun watching this movie while practically spending the whole time hard to breath from laughing. I mean Ted is just so adorable with an attitude. This movie is loaded with funny lines, racist and mindless remarks and a whole lot of profanities. Ted is something so adorable yet so vulgar and maniacal. And the story is really smart and fluid, there’s never a boring moment in this one. So please watch this one at your own risk (and sanity).
2. The Dark Knight Rises (starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman and lotta more)
What it’s about. Do I have to explain this? It’s Batman!
Why I love it. Christopher Nolan’s groundbreaking The Dark Knight trilogy wraps ups with a very big bang with this epic finale. The stakes are bigger, and the bad guy got even bigger and badder. The explosions are even louder. For me, TDKR is a lot better than the popcorn flick The Avengers. The direction is solid, the music is chilling, the performance still great and Batman, still clumsy but right he’s only human with no real superpowers. But we still loves him for who he is, right?
1. SKYFALL (starring Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem)
What it’s about. It’s the 23rd James Bond film and I believe the very best ever made. James Bond is suddenly pushed the very limit of his espionage career when an enemy from the past threatens Mi6 and the lives of many agents. In order to defeat the enemy he must face his demons from the past and prove his loyalty to M.
Why I love it. One of the finest and well crafted action movie of all time came out this year. Sam Mendes has given us a James Bond we have never seen before: something real, human and with a deadly past. Daniel Craig delivered yet another fleshed out interpretation of the character with darker and grittier personal score to settle. Same with the new villain portrayed by Javier Bardem delivering a unique diabolical character whose goal is only to exact revenge in the people who abandoned him. Yup, say goodbye to World Domination fraternity of villains. This one is personal. The movie never failed to deliver the right mix of goods packed with exhilarating action scenes, breathtaking cinematography, a bond girl to kill for and an intimate view of the Bond character this film will surely delight the long time fans and the new ones alike.
Movies: I have yet to watch (unfortunately); Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, The Hobbit part 1, Cloud Atlas, Django Unchained, Anna Karenina, Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook.
Other Notable films of 2011 that should have been included in my 2011 list (I only watched them this year):