2012 Year-End Wrap-Up.

Time for my epic year-end wrap-up. Most people put these lists in separate posts... but I don't have that kind of time, so it's all going up in one! First, I want to talk about the films I saw this year not from 2012. My only rule (besides "can't be from 2012") is that the movies could not be from the 50/50 List either, as I already made a Top 10 for that and it wouldn't be fair to the other films not from that project.

Top 10 Movies Not From 2012 Or 50/50 Seen This Year For The First Time

10) Murder Party

This was one strange dark horror/comedy. A group of pretentious artist friends put out fliers for a "murder party" wherein, if somebody showed up, they would get to murder the person. They really don't want to do it, but just want to impress a friend who will give them a large sum of money to help with any future projects. Unfortunately, a hapless, lonely, and naive young man answers the flier and finds himself caught up on bizarre night. It's a pretty slow (and strange) first hour, but that last 30 minutes or so are bat-shit insane. If you're a fan of horror/comedies, even odd ones, I'd suggest this one unknown little film.

9) Arahan

One of the most original action/comedies I've seen in a long time, coming right out of South Korea. A bumbling, naive police officer finds himself caught up in a world of kung fu and mysticism when the Masters of Tao begin training him after they believe he has a powerful Qi. Of course, another powerful warrior escapes from his imprisonment and goes after the Masters to try to find an artifact that could help him become a ruler of the world. Think like a live-action Kung Fu Panda, but in modern times and with people instead of animals, and where kung fu mysticism is actually secret. It's totally fun and funny and has some fantastic action.

8) Perfect Blue

The film that inspired Black Swan is equally trippy, if not more so. It's pretty much the exact same story except it's with a pop singer/actress instead of a ballerina. And this version blurs the lines between reality and dreams/hallucination even more. Unlike its remake, you really don't have any idea what's real and what's fantasy in this version. The animation style took me a while to get used to, but it's definitely worth a look.

7) Delicatessen

For a post-apocalyptic film about cannibalism and murder, you wouldn't expect it to be so charming and heart-warming. We talked a lot about this film on a past episode of DemPod, so I won't go into too much detail now. It has a great musicality and dark sense of humor to it, and it was a totally fun watch.

6) Operation Condor

Every now and then I get into the mood to watch some Jackie Chan. And I've discovered he's pretty hit or miss (no pun intended). But this wacky version of Indiana Jones with Chan is an insane amount of fun. The gags are great, the action is great, and the story is typical Indiana Jones-type fair. I've heard the sequel is terrible, though. But this one is a hoot.

5) I Love You, Man

I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to have actually seen this movie. But I could really relate to a lot of things in this film... not to mention it's just down-right hilarious. If you haven't seen it yet... do so.

4) We Need To Talk About Kevin

Is it a 2011 film? A 2012? Apparently nobody can make up their mind on that, but the majority have decided on 2011, so I'm including it on this list. It's a little too on-the-nose with its music, but it's an otherwise horrific look at parenthood and actually made me rethink wanting kids. And Ezra Miller is fantastic in it.

3) The Skin I Live In

Another we discussed on DemPod earlier this year, so I'll keep it short. This is one screwed-up movie with an excellent turn of events about halfway through. I strongly recommend it... but if you're a guy, be prepared to curl up into a fetal position.

2) Die Hard with a Vengeance

I really was the last person on the planet to have seen this one. While it might not be an overall better movie than the original, I think I might enjoy it a bit more. Samuel L. Jackson is great, and I love the city-wide chase and puzzles aspect to everything.

1) Archie's Final Project

And now to end on a movie only I've seen. It's a depressing topic, but the film is made in one of the most original, ADHD, and stylistic ways I've ever seen. This film is a trip to watch, but it also has the depth to back it up. Definitely, definitely check it out if you haven't.


Now, before I get to this year, I think I should share what movies I haven't seen as of this post which might potentially alter these lists in the future when I do see them.

First up, some "good" movies I have not yet seen: Les Miserables, This is 40, Jack Reacher, Zero Dark Thirty, Hyde Park on the Hudson, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, Flight, Cloud Atlas, The Sessions, Holy Motors, Argo, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, End of Watch, To Rome with Love

And now some proclaimed "bad" movies I have not yet seen: The Devil Inside, Red Tails, Journey 2, Project X, Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, A Thousand Words, Casa de Mi Padre, Wrath of the Titans, Chernobyl Diaries, That's My Boy, Step Up Revolution, Sparkle, The Apparition, House at the End of the Street, Alex Cross, Red Dawn, The Man with the Iron Fists, Oogieloves, Piranha 3DD, What to Expect When You're Expecting

With all that being said, let's get into it, shall we? I'll try to keep my rambling to a minimum in the following lists.


Top 20 Favorite Performances of 2012

Note: These are my FAVORITE performances, not what I think are necessarily the BEST performances. If I were going with just the best, this would be a totally different list.

Honorable Mention: Anybody - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

With so many great actors, this underrated film rested solely on how good the characters were... and they really were.

20) Jack Black - Bernie (Bernie)

The overall film was just OK for me, but Black was perfect for the role. Probably his best performance.

19) Michael Shannon - Bobby Monday (Premium Rush)

Average, mindless movie, but I liked Michael Shannon as the bad guy who just wanted people to cut him some slack.

18) Quvenzhane Wallis - Hushpuppy (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

This was a great year for young unknowns, and this 5-year-old girl gave us one hell of a performance.

17) Edward Norton - Scout Master Ward (Moonrise Kingdom)

We all know I'm not a big fan of Wes Anderson, but I did kinda like this film, and Edward Norton was part of that reason.

16) Emma Stone - Gwen Stacy (The Amazing Spider-Man)

Like every other guy, I have a bit of a crush on Ms. Stone, and her turn as the charismatic Gwen Stacy was wonderful--not to mention she had amazing chemistry with Andrew Garfield.

15) Juno Temple - Dottie (Killer Joe)

Speaking of blonde cuties, Juno Temple acted her butt off in this film.

14) Stanley Tucci - Caesar Flickerman (The Hunger Games)

I was tempted to go with either Tucci or Wes Bentley for this spot, both having expanded characters from the book (Bentley even more so), but it's hard not to love Stanley Tucci.

13) Matthew McConaghey - Killer Joe Cooper (Killer Joe)

Matty McC had quite a year this year, but his performance here definitely overshadows his other films.

12) Karl Urban - Judge Dredd (Dredd)

Urban makes this film work as well as it does.

11) Dane DeHaan - Andrew (Chronicle)

Dane DeHaan is like the next Ben Foster. Yeah... I went there.

10) Samuel L. Jackson - Stephen (Django Unchained)

Stole every scene he was in... and unexpectedly so.

9) Tom Cruise - Stacee Jaxx (Rock of Ages)

The movie is god-awful, but Tom Cruise kills it. His performance deserved a much better film.

8) Daniel Day-Lewis - Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln)

Best actual performance of the year.

7) Javier Bardem - Silva (Skyfall)

Such an fantastic villain... and you never quite knew where he was going to take it.

6) Pierce Gagnon - Cid (Looper)

One of the most surprising parts of the film was this kid. Did they just happen to find one of the best child actors in the world with him or what?

5) Martin Freeman - Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit)

Even people who hated the movie agree that Martin Freeman was awesome.

4) Guy Pearce - Snow (Lockout)

It's hard not to love the snark.

3) Anne Hathaway - Selina Kyle (The Dark Knight Rises)

Best part of the film for me.

2) Fran Kranz - Marty (The Cabin in the Woods)

The character of Marty was basically the heart of the film. With any other actor, the film might have crumbled and not worked. Fran Kranz owned it.

1) Sam Rockwell - Billy (Seven Psychopaths)

If you've seen the film, there's no need to explain.


Top 10 Favorite Scenes

Honorable Mention: The Battle - Breaking Dawn Part 2

It's not in the book... and it's actually really cool. But it's still Twilight, so I couldn't really justify putting it on the list.

10) Interrogation Scene/Chicken Leg - Killer Joe

This is the scene that either made the film or killed the film for people. It was so off the wall that I couldn't help but at least admire it. Starting with the slow interrogation of the parents, then the violence, then... the chicken leg... this is one intense and bizarre scene.

9) Self C-Section - Prometheus

Noomi Rapace gives herself a C-Section in a giant machine thing. 'Nuff said.

8) Garret Dillahunt Visits - Looper

The fantastic scene where a fellow Looper shows up at the farm to kill Joseph Gordon-Levitt... ending with a really upset Cid and a bit of gore.

7) The Imagined Climax - Seven Psychopaths

Sam Rockwell imagines what will happen at the final shootout in a cemetery... and it's violently hilarious.

6) Puny God - The Avengers

The shortest moment here, but it gets the biggest laugh. Hulk vs. Loki.

5) Riddles in the Dark - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Bilbo faces off against Gollum in a game of riddles, and both Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis face off  to figure out who is actually better in this scene.

4) The Dinner Table Scene - Django Unchained

When I was putting together this list, I had like 4-5 scenes from Django alone. But I had to narrow it down to one. I decided to go with this scene that begins with Leonardo DiCaprio dissecting a human skull before things get really intense.

3) Javier Bardem's Introduction - Skyfall

What begins with a single take of him getting off the elevator and walking down the long room while telling a story ends in something a bit... shall we say... "suggestive" between him and Bond.

2) Three-Way Climax Battle - The Raid: Redemption

Easily the best 2-on-1 battle on film. And it just goes on... and on... and on. And it looks amazing and brutal.

1) Don't Blink Questioning - The Master

I might not have loved the overall movie, but holy crap is this scene both amazingly well acted and intense.


Top 10 Worst Films of 2012

10) Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

It's actually the best film of the series, but as I just said in the last list... it's still Twilight.

9) Paranormal Activity 4

Really good characters and acting from the two leads. Terrible film.

8) Silent House

Good concept... really boring.

7) John Carter

Good concept... really boring.

6) Underworld: Awakening

I had actually forgotten I'd even seen this movie. Terrible, terrible film.

5) The Divide

Good concept and some good acting in parts... but such an awful execution.

4) Battleship

Yeah, it's not even really so-bad-its-good. Well, kind of. At times. But mostly it's just bad.

3) Rock of Ages

Ugh. A disgrace to musicals and to rock music.

2) The Lorax

Ugh. A disgrace to children's films and to Dr. Seuss.

1) Silent Hill: Revelation

My biggest disappointment of the year and easily one of the worst sequels of all time. How do you go from having one of the best video game movie adaptations to one of the worst? There needs to be a retcon of this sequel so they can just try again.


Top 20 Favorite Films of 2012

Note: Again, these are my favorite films, not necessarily what I think are the best films. And I'm not gonna go into any explanations on these. I'll just let them speak for themselves.

Honorable Mentions: To Boldly Flee and The Cinema Snob Movie. These films were low-budget, independently produced, Direct-to-DVD flicks, so I didn't want to include them on the official list. But they are still very well done.


  1. Dat chicken scene in Killer Joe. KFC is a total no go for me now. And heck yes Matty M!

    And heck yes We Need to Talk About Kevin!

    I don't even know what else to say because there's so much here, but top work. Especially all the love for Looper. Freaking love that film.

    1. haha, yeah... it makes you rethink chicken.

      I *loved* Looper! Can't wait to see it again.

  2. YES YES YES. You mentioned Perfect Blue. SO glad you got to see this flick. Satoshi Kon is one of my favorite animators

    1. It was pretty trippy! I'm an anime fan, as well, so I'd heard of this movie for YEARS. Just never got around to it until now.

      As far as Satoshi Kon, I've seen Paprika and didn't like it whatsoever. Though I've heard almost unanimously great things about Millennium Actress. (As well as Tokyo Godfathers... just not as often.)

      Between Perfect Blue and Paprika, I'm not a HUGE fan of the actual animation style thus far. It's a little too "off" for me.

  3. Perfect Blue is quite the film. I much prefer it to Aranofsky's work just because of how crazy it is and I also feel it has a lot of interesting things to say about the phenomena of celebrities.

    1. lol, I like how people are more interested in my other movies outside of 2012. :P

  4. Despite how much we disagree - its great to see so many films i love and enjoyed this year turn up.

    THE SKIN I LIVE IN and JEFF,WHO LIVES AT HOME specifically I think are brilliant. The latter turning up high in my own Top films of 2012.

    Love the pictures you chose too!


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