My Favorite Movies of 2012

I’m typing this as I have curlers drying on my head. I’m getting ready for an Oscars party tonight with friends. We’re getting dolled up in our flimsy dresses, and meeting up with some ladies to pre-game before heading to the main event.

I have seen most of the movies nominated for awards tonight, but I have also seen many other great movies in 2012—many of which will likely get overlooked or worse, forgotten in short time. So before I head off, here’s my list of my favorite movies of 2012. I’ve watched all of these in the theater. I still love the dreaming awake that happens in the public dark of the movie house.

In no particular order, my Top Ten are as follows:

1. My Favorite 3D Reissue: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

The 3D enhancements here really added infinite depth to the loneliness and melancholy that inhabits the enchanted castle. The echoing footfalls, the meager rays of candlelight, the expanse the extra dimensionality provides darkens the film and it makes it a much more grown up movie. This is especially refreshing after the mediocre 3D effort of The Lion King that Disney previously reissued.

2. My Favorite Soundtrack: Rock of Ages

Hello, 80’s! The arrangements and mash ups take the radio classics of my youth and reinvigorate them without bastardizing their liberating brashness. Not a perfect movie, but so singable and danceable.

3. The Movie I Watched Twice: The Hunger Games

I watched it when Dan was away, and he wanted to me to watch it with him when he returned. I was happy to oblige. It’s probably actually worth a third watch—so much societal commentary and wonderful acting. This world is fully imagined and a little too real.

4. My Favorite Surprise: Chronicle

I loved watching the boys discover themselves and create a secret pact that goes so wrong. It has elements of every great movie I loved threaded into a boggling, satisfying mess.

5. My Favorite Documentary: Louder Than a Bomb

Shown as part of our PoemCity 2012 offerings last April. Such a moving portrait of the power of poetry and the aspirations of our youth.

6. My Favorite Post-Feature Easter Egg: Three Stooges

Really, the Farrelly brothers should get their own TV show.

7. My Favorite 3D Movie: The Amazing Spiderman

Here’s an example of 3D done very well, taking advantage of a character’s POV, and the sweeping cityscapes that only he can experience. Plus, it’s a great 90’s period piece.

8. My Favorite Bechdel Movie: (tie) Brave and Bourne Legacy

In Brave, we suffer the same story of a young lady who must be married off, but the greater, more timeless lesson is the complex bond between mother and daughter. Bourne Legacy suffers the same action-hero plot twists we’ve seen a gajillion times, but gives us a lady scientist who is really dedicated to her work.

9. My Favorite Fluff Film: Journey 2 (3D)

Because well, a.) Dwayne Johnson really hams it up with endearing self-mockery, and b.) they ride giant bees, to name a couple things.

10. My Guilty Pleasure: Phantom Menace 3D

Don’t judge. This is kinda like a Western Civ text book rolled into a video game. I went in hating the movie, and I emerged as its ardent defendant.

My BONUS addition, though I had mixed feelings about it is: Life of Pi because it is so refreshing to see an entire movie with mostly Asian faces, especially here in my corner of Vermont.

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