- Answer the questions of the person who tagged you and write 11 new ones
- Tag 11 new people and link them to the post
- Let them know you’ve tagged them
1) What’s your dream car? a ‘70s muscle car that does not pollute the air but still revvs up and drives from 0 to 80 in less than 10 seconds. In red with a painting of an Aztec woman with her pet jaguar on the hood.
2) What was your favorite subject in school? I was so fucking good at math I don’t know what happened. But I later became good at art.
3) What nickname would you give yourself? MALA
4) Favorite present you’ve ever received? Why was it your favorite? Jackie Brown soundtrack on vinyl from Noe. Because he knows me so well.
5) There’s a fire in your house/apt and you can only grab one thing (aside from pets) what would it be? Laptop, because it would suck to have to replace it, I pay my bills and work from it, and my whole life is on it.
6) If you could have any super power, what would it be? to FLY.
7) Most expensive thing you’ve ever purchased (for yourself or someone else) My car.
8) What breed of dog do you most identify with? Ha I’ll let you know when I know..
9) First thing you’d do if you won the lottery? Cut my parents a check so they wouldn’t have to stress out about money.
10) What would you say if your significant other told you they wanted a open relationship, or if you’re poly, they wanted a monogamous relationship? “The door is open, go find yourself another relationship.”
11) You can only ask one question to anyone in history or your personal life that has passed on, who would it be and what would you ask? I will never find a satisfactory answer to this question. The mystery is what makes them great in my eyes.
Hey friends, recently I’ve had the pleasure of being able to shoot my good friends Betsy and Erin so that they can have some great pictures of themselves (if I do say so myself) and I can have some stuff for my portfolio and I think they turned out pretty great. If any of you in the area would ever like something like this feel free to ask and I’d be happy to set up a day for you as well. Enjoy!
Hello again friends and welcome to my obligatory end of the year opportunity to revel in my own self-magnificence, and describe to you what I thought were the best movies I watched this year. Normally I’d do a separate post for other forms of media, but really those are much more straightforward and I’m not going to waste too much time with them but feel free to ask if you like. However I did feel like my movies list warranted a more detailed write up, and so here we are.
First of all, there are still quite a few things I did not see but really wanted to which includes Holy Motors, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty, and The Master so they will obviously be absent from consideration, even though I’m sure some of those would certainly contend had I seen them. Other than that, simply remember that these are not necessarily the best films of 2012, merely the ones I saw and enjoyed the most. Enjoy!
10. Ruby Sparks An extremely nice end of the year surprise. In a year filled with quirky indie romances, this one easily surpasses the others through it’s clever attempt at deconstructing the manic pixie dream girl trope, and specifically acting as a response to the popularity of films like 500 Days Of Summer. While I was drawn in due to my love of Paul Dano and some extremely positive early buzz that it was far more than it first appears, once it started to really drive home it’s point and really explore the unsavory nature of the concept, I was hooked. Special mention must be made of the climax which easily stands as one of the most incredibly horrific moments in any movie this year.
9. Skyfall First of all, let it be known that I am not the biggest fan of the Bond movies in general. I like the Connery films, but never really delved into the continued history of the character. I loved Casino Royale and thought it was a great reintroduction to the series for viewers like me, but was unfortunately let down by the mess that was Quantum Of Solace. For a while, I was worried that despite having a great new Bond in Daniel Craig, MGM would be unable to maintain Bond’s relevance in an ever expanding selection of espionage films. It was then my delight to discover that Skyfall was made very much as a response to it’s questionable state of relevance. Managing to find a middle ground between the hyper modern and quasi-realistic direction of Casino Royale and the fantasy espionage of classic Bond, Sam Mendes managed to make what is easily the year’s best straightforward action movie in a year filled to the brim with action movies. The scene in the blue building in Shanghai will probably win the Best Cinematography award alone. Javier Bardem also stands out as the films obviously Heath Ledger Joker inspired cyberterrorist Silva who also helps to develop that middle ground between the more grounded everyday villainy and the cartoonish supervillains of 007 past.
8. Looper Having been a fan of Rian Johnson ever since his neo-noir in high school debut Brick, hearing that he was going to be combining that noir sensibility with some hard R science fiction immediately made it one of my most anticipated films of the year. Despite the futuristic setting and the plot being based around time travel and super powers, the film manages to maintain an extremely focused pace and structure. Much to my relief, the film quickly establishes (through the use of one incredible early scene featuring something I’ve never seen in a time travel film before) it’s time travel rules and never contradicts itself. Joseph Gordon-Levitt manages to channel early Bruce Willis perfectly and their interactions with each other are some of the highlights of the movie. While I do have some mixed feelings on the ending, there really isn’t anything wrong with it, and it certainly resolves it’s plot almost completely, although leaving enough open to interpretation to maintain the noir-ish sense of mystery.
7. The Avengers Yes it has flaws, a lot of them in fact (the villains are weak, Loki’s plan leaves far too much opportunity to fail, a lot of the creature design is uninspired, etc.), and I do agree with most of them. However, none of them really detract from the fact that it manages to succeed in the hitherto imagined impossible feat of creating a fully realized shared superhero mythology that truly translates the experience of reading a comic book onto the big screen. Joss Whedon manages the task of balancing all of the heroes perfectly, keeping Robert Downey Jr. in line and even giving importance to previously lesser characters such as Scarlet Johannson’s Black Widow and particularly Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk (which is unquestionably the definitive depiction of the character). Even better than the film itself is the possibilities it opens up for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. With all of the characters as fully established as they are, Marvel has all sorts of opportunities to explore them further in new forms and genres other than the established straightforward superhero film. Marvel is doing a very smart thing in keeping Joss around, because when the man is in his element, magic happens (more on that later).
6. The Secret World of Arrietty Easily sneaking past Paranorman and stealing the position of the year’s best animated movie, Arrietty is easily my favorite Miyazaki film since Spirited Away and is certainly up there with said film and Princess Mononoke (easily in my all time top 5 films) as my favorites. Returning to telling a much simpler tale than the weird and unfocused ones found in Howl’s Moving Castle or Ponyo, Arrietty manages to tell a story that is all at once horrific, whimsical, and heartbreaking. Arrietty herself is up there with the great Miyazaki heroines such as Sen, San or Kiki. Miyazaki manages to turn the everyday spaces in our homes into a lush and wondrous fantasy environment up there with anything found in his other films. I’m hoping he continues to move in this direction, because it’s never a bad thing when Hiyao makes me cry.
5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey This one should come as a surprise to no one who knows me and my obsessive love for Jackson’s take on Tolkien. The Hobbit manages to both maintain the same look and feel of the Lord of the Rings films while still managing it’s own unique and more high fantasy feel. Many people have gone on to describe it as overlong and boring, but its stuff like “That’s What Bilbo Baggins Hates” that I’ve always loved about Tolkien, and moments like that are usually saved for the extended cuts. Overall the film plays out like an incredible visual translation of a well constructed campaign of Dungeons and Dragons, complete with songs and Goblin Kings. Martin Freeman was born to play Bilbo Baggins and his scenes with Gollum alone more than make the movie one of the year’s best. While I’m certainly intrigued to see how they continue to stretch what is a rather simple book into three huge movies, after this I really have no doubt that Peter Jackson will continue to impress.
4. Chronicle It’s a shame that this really didn’t get the attention that it deserved, because in a year as full of superhero films as this was, it was easily the best. Using the superpowered nature of the film to it’s advantage, Chronicle manages to find new and creative ways to use the found footage style which I have been on the verge of writing off as a whole. Succeeding largely due to an incredibly smart script that finds new and more entertaining ways to approach the typical superhero origin story and some incredible new talent with all three of the film’s leads. Watching the three of them go about their respective arcs towards heroism and villainy, culminating in an incredible climax that builds on everything the film had been developing in magnificent fashion. Definitely make a point to see this one if you missed it because everyone involved is going to be going on towards great things in the future.
3. Moonrise Kingdom Nothing pleases me more than to see people make films about the strangeness of childhood without necessarily being children’s films. Yes Wes Anderson continues to make use of all of the tropes that he’s become known for over the years, but here he’s really in top form. Despite the incredible cast of adults featuring some of my favorite working actors (Ed Norton in particular proves that he was born to act under Wes) the kids steal the show and watching Sam and Susie run away together makes for the year’s finest romantic moments hands down. Never afraid to touch on the awkwardness of young love but always managing to balance it with sincerity and style that manages that ever elusive quality of being nostalgic yet not overindulgent. Easily my favorite out of Wes since Tenenbaums, and possibly his best overall.
2. DjangoUnchained Following up Inglorious Basterds with yet another tale of historical fantasy, Quentin this time sets his sights on telling a heavily spaghetti western inspired story of love and revenge that aims to take any sense of charm out of the antebellum south that manages to be both one of the funniest and most horrific films of the year. Managing to maintain a sense of whimsy while never shying away from honestly portraying the horrors and injustices of slavery, Django manages to somehow walk away as Quentin’s most sincere and personal film yet. Perhaps my favorite surprise was that despite Christoph Waltz’s expectedly great performance as Dr. King Schultz, Jamie Foxx manages to completely steal the show in probably the greatest performance of his entire career. Managing to balance the necessary sense of humbility and restraint with an extremely sharp sense of humor and aptitude for violence that makes it’s face once his patience reaches its end, Foxx surprises the hell out of me and really acts circles around a cast of actors that also manage to bring out their A game. DiCaprio also shines when given the chance to be completely and utterly detestable, and it’s nice to see more actors who usually play heroic roles take the chance to be completely villainous. While perhaps not as blood soaked as Kill Bill Volume One, Django manages to feel much more gruesome and I’ve never quite seen gunfights done the way they are here. If you’re a fan of Quentin you’ll find plenty to love here, and even if you’re not I think this one might have a lot of pull due to the previously mentioned sincerity not typically seen due to his preference for snark.
1. The Cabin In The Woods This one should come as a surprise to no one who knows me. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s beautiful love//hate letter to the horror genre as it exists now manages to lay out all and explain all of the horrible problematic qualities that have been plaguing the genre since the onset of the slasher film and also shows how to overcome them. Beyond that, Cabin In The Woods stands as a shockingly firm statement regarding authorial creativity in the face of the demands of a content audience. I don’t want to say too much in case there are those of you who have still managed to avoid seeing this reading this list, but please make a point to see this, especially if you have fundamental problems with horror films of the last few decades. This film is for you just as much as it is for me, and make no mistake, I’ve never seen a film speak so clearly and directly to me as much as this one did. It’s hilarious, it’s scary, it’s perfect, and it’s my favorite film of 2012. See it.
And that’s it. Obviously there were a lot of others I greatly enjoyed that didn’t make the list. It should come as a surprise to no one that I loved The Dark Knight Rises (because you know, Batman) but it was held back due to a shockingly weak third act and “surprise” villain further developing Nolan’s weakness with female characters despite the casting of great actresses. If you talked to me at all this summer I’m sure you’ve heard more than enough about the extreme disappointment of Prometheus that despite having everything going for it (Ridley Scott returning to Sci-Fi, Fassbender AND Noomi Rapace, and some of the best visuals in movies this year) managed to be an overblown mess that made use of some of the worst horror tropes that felt extremely bad in the wake of Cabin In The Woods and succeeding at pretty much nothing. I really liked the double feature of Indie Sci-Fi Romances with Safety Not Guaranteed and Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World and one of those would have probably made the list were it not for Ruby Sparks. Lincoln proved to be far better than it had any business being and managed to take what would have been a boring and straightforward Oscar bait-ey biopic into a historical heist film that managed to portray some of the lesser known manipulative qualities of a typically godlike figure.
Other than that while I’m sure there were plenty of other things I missed, there wasn’t much else going on this year. Next year has plenty of neat things such as the reunion of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost for The World’s End and the culmination of their Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy. Feel free to leave any comments or criticisms as well as any suggestions that I might have missed in the ask box and I’ll get back to you tomorrow, but for now that’s it, I’m off for a night of alcoholism and tamales.