Monday, December 17, 2012

Best and Worst of 2012: Movies

DISCLAIMER: These are the best and worst movies that I saw for the first time in 2012, not necessarily ones released this year.

Siobhan's Ten Best Movies of 2012

1. October Baby: I stumbled upon this movie on sale for a super-low price at my local MovieStop, and was blown away by how wonderful it was.  The acting, the message, the story, the production values...everything was simply amazing.  Even if you've been turned off by previous Christian movies, you should definitely see this one.
2. The Avengers (2012): The superhero movie that everyone was talking about this year!  In this case, I believe that popular opinion was right; Joss Whedon's multiple-hero masterpiece is a winner for sure.  Any Marvel comic fan needs to see this, ASAP.
3. The Witches of Oz: Some may scoff, but this movie drew me in, and kept me up past midnight watching it just to see what happened next.  Sure, the special effects may have been hokey, and the acting failed at times, but good entertainment keeps you glued until the end, and that's what this flick did.
4. That Thing You Do!: This was a bit of a surprise; I had heard it was great, but I still had my doubts.  However, watching it--on VHS, no less!--made me a huge fan.  The music, acting, story, and everything were quite good.  I did have a slight quibble with the ending and some of the language, but is any film truly perfect?
5. Spy Kids: I purposefully avoided this and its sequels when they first came out, just because I didn't care for Alexa Vega for reasons that are currently unclear.  Still, to expand my horizons a bit, I tried it out, and I ended up really liking it.  The special effects may have been a bit cheesy, but the action and suspense were spot-on.  Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, which I watched soon after, deserves an "honorable mention" on this list.
6. John Carter: Okay, so, this movie was a flop, but I liked it anyway.  It had a killer story, and was pretty much an enjoyable, popcorn-munching flick.  If it had been a success, I'm sure there would be news of a sequel by now; unfortunately, movie-watchers completely missed the boat by not giving this a go.
7. Courageous: The latest from the Kendrick brothers, Courageous is a bit harder-edged than Fireproof and Facing the Giants, but the morality and messages are still spot-on.  I can't recommend this for children due to the themes, but teens and adults will likely love it.
8. The Flash II: Revenge of the Trickster: Luke Skywalker playing a villain? You can laugh if you want, but Mark Hamill gives a killer performance as The Flash's maniacal nemesis The Trickster, who is every bit as creepy and crazy as the infamous Joker.  The first Flash movie had some serious content problems--sex and profanity--and, therefore, can't be recommended, but this sequel blew me away.
9. In the Beginning...: A well-made, Biblically-inspired, respectful drama, this movie starts with the creation and goes through the highlights of Genesis--Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his coat, etc.--and ends with Israel's Exodus.  Everything about it was quite impressive, and it's easily one of the best Bible movies I've seen; I think only The Gospel of John or The Visual Bible: Matthew even come close.
10. Captain America: The First Avenger: A prequel to this year's The Avengers, Captain America features an honorable, old-school hero, and the film has an overall retro charm.  Though you don't have to see this to understand The Avengers, it's still enjoyable cinema nonetheless.

Siobhan's Five WORST Movies of 2012

1. C Me Dance: What was supposed to be an uplifting and thought-provoking Christian flick ended up being a terribly produced, incomprehensible piece of cinema.  With a dumb plot, poor acting, bad special effects, a badly made DVD, and a scene with a preacher uttering a profanity, C Me Dance was something no one would want to "C".
2. The Black Hole: What a disappointment this one was.  As a kid, I had an easy reader book based on this movie, and I had always believed that it was supposed to be a classic.  Though the sets were elaborate and the plot was decent, sub-par acting, a completely confusing ending, an overly long opening sequence, and the most annoying soundtrack I've ever heard completely ruined this for me.
3. Girl in Progress: I don't usually watch "PG-13" flicks unless they fall into the genre of science fiction or fantasy, including superhero movies, or are Christian-produced, but this one was approved for ages twelve-plus by the Dove Foundation, so, I checked it out anyway.  Though it had some good points, the content was rather offensive, and I wouldn't recommend it to a preteen or young teen friend, and I doubt most adults would care for it, either.
4. The Journey of Natty Gann: The name Disney has become synonymous with family-friendliness; when a movie doesn't have any profane language, reviewers call it "Disney clean," whether it was made by the House of Mouse or not.  Unfortunately, The Journey of Natty Gann may be Disney, but it is not "Disney clean".  Profanity throughout, some violence and scary content, and even a scene with a child molester made this simply unenjoyable.  It's no surprise that it's nowhere near as well-known other old-school Mouse flicks, such as Beauty and the Beast and 101 Dalmatians.
5. The Avengers (1997): It's funny how there would be one movie on both lists with the same title, but these are totally different movies.  While this year's The Avengers may be based on Marvel's comics, the one on this list is based on a classic British television programme.  Though the flick started with some interesting visuals, it became rather terrible as it went on, and proved to be largely a waste of time.  I don't think even big-time Anglophiles would like it.

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