1. Seven Psychopaths~ A black comedy with old favorites and newer favorites. With Baby Boomers, like Christopher Walken to the Gen X generation of Colin Ferrell as the actors, and the audiences of these ages should love this movie. Especially if you like movies about hit men. This movie has a very interesting pace and feel. The writer/director is one of my favorites as well, Martin McDonagh, who wrote and directed In Bruges in 2008. He has a quirky sense of humor,and he enjoy’s a bit of bloody violence, but it keeps you interested. This is my favorite for this almost completed year. What I really appreciate is how he gives a nod to what’s old school and what’s new, right down to his choice of cast, cars, and locations, which just happens to be where I grew up in Los Angeles, he really didn’t do anything wrong for me in this movie. Umm except for the cursing lots of cursing. Rated R.
2. Argo ~ So this feature was good because of the subject and the directing. I for one don’t usually like movies that are factually based because I want to know that the facts are correct. Having said that, what’s interesting about this movie is again lots of old school actors intermingled with the younger generation of actors. This is always a great combination, also I remember when this story happened back in the late 70’s which helped me know that this story had some researched based facts in it. Not the part however about them making a movie to get the Americans out of Iran, I had no idea about that, but the other part about the Shah of Iran. However, the Shah was always portrayed as a hero in this country. So there were a few things I learned about the Shah that made him a tyrant in Iran which is why Iran exiled him away to Egypt. Alright, so my reasons for liking this film are, because of Ben Affleck’s directing, as well as his acting. Also, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman, not to forget one of my favorite all time actors, the great Alan Arkin. All very stellar performances as well as the writing and directing. Rated R.
3. Skyfall ~ I can’t believe this is on my list but it is. I don’t usually like James Bond anything, but since it was out and there was nothing else to watch at the theater, I went ahead and saw it. I was pleasantly surprised because I enjoyed this from the first frame to the last. I was so worried Skyfall was going to be the same old Bond story, sleeping with and exploiting a ton of women, as well as being to cool for his self. But they didn’t play it that way. I also, liked that his female assistant was black that was a change of pace and it wasn’t clear if she slept with him which I really thought was classy. And the villain Javier Bardem, was full of folly. They kept it authentically European, right down to the singer of the title song Adele, not like other Bond films which seem so American you forget it he’s a British international spy. Good fun entertainment. Rated PG 13.
4. Frankenweenie ~ This movie was pure fun for me. I think it was excellent, it has everything in it, a good story line a clear moral to the story, good consequences for all involved, very good stop motion animation, and classic Tim Burton style. Not to mention the voice actors, all very good at what they do. It is very good family fun, unlike some kid films. Kids 5 and up can see this movie. Rated PG.
5. Wreck it Ralph ~ Another stellar kid film, with John C. Reilly as the lead voice actor. He did his best to become Wreck it Ralph. Also a very good story and moral, about learning why we should never exclude anyone from the fun of things because they are different. Using lots of old computer games to help the old parents to relate to the movie. As well as stellar CGI a wonderful use of color and they didn’t make the villain too scary, although, I would say kids under 7 shouldn’t see this one. All the voice actors were exceptional. Rated PG.
6. Flight ~ Was another very decent story, the special effects were stellar about the plane crash in the first scenes of the movie. I also thought this was the best I’ve seen Denzel Washington act in a really long time. His character had some pretty bad addictions and he wasn’t a very nice man. So he ameliorated from bad character to good character by the movies end. This movie had a really good supporting characters and a very good moral to the story. It was an all around interesting story that played out. A very hard Rated R.
7. Lincoln ~ Wow, a movie about American history and slavery, as well as a decent president. Not usually my cup of tea but this movie was played so well, from acting to writing and directing, I have to mention it in my top 10. Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing as Lincoln, and Sally Fields was too as Lincoln’s wife. Costume design and set design was brilliant. There was no cutting corners on this film. I felt like I was watching a movie from the 1800’s. Joanna Johnston was the costume designer and her creations made the movie pop. Since costumes can become a character in film which is what happened in this one, you need to have a good one. This film had all these things going for it so it was well done. Rated R. Wow I didn’t realize this film had an R rating, it was very tasteful for this rating.
8. Looper ~ This movie was a little confusing and hard to understand, movies that flash back and forth can give you a headache by the movies end. Having said that, if the story didn’t have any punch it wouldn’t have made my list. But it did, it was kind of interesting what the story ended up being about. Which wasn’t what I thought it was about, when I walked in and sat down. It was nice to see Bruce Willis in a movie again, and he is always interesting when he has a gun. Sometimes it’s good to go with what you know and toting a gun gave him star status back in the late 80’s with the Die Hard series. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has also become a very decent adult actor. He imitated Bruce Willis very well, and the make up for him was good too. Many kid to adult actors are none existent but some tend to pull through and he’s one of them. He has been extremely busy over the course of a couple of years. I guess that’s why my daughter thinks he’s adorable, because she hasn’t seen anyone else doing movies. Rated R.
9. The Dark Knight Rises ~ So, had it not been for the mentally ill man who decided to kill an audience of people at that first screening of this movie,in Colorado, would probably been higher on my list. However, I do know it wasn’t this movies fault that this happened but it is unfortunate all around. The movie was decent, and Mr. Michael Cain is brilliant in almost any movie he plays, so this was no exception. I did like Morgan Freeman as well but Michael stole the show more maybe because he’s not overused like Morgan. The interplay with Anne Hathaway’s Cat Woman and Christian Bale’s,The Batman was interesting. I liked that the story had a better ending then the last Batman movie. Direction was good, the music, as well, and the villain was decent the only thing that wasn’t so great was that I couldn’t understand anything the villain was saying. Outside of that decent. Rated R.
10. Django Unchained ~ Classic Tarantino, with all the comic book violence. One of things I really appreciate about Tarantino, is he likes to employ black actors in his movies. It’s nice to see directors who take chances and cast people of color in their movies. I also like that he doesn’t care what people think, he has enough credibility in the industry to do what he wants and that’s not a bad thing for a director. He always picks an eclectic cast for his roles, and I guess I appreciate that because maybe he’s part of my age demographic and it’s nice to see actors from my youth that don’t get much work these days. Who knows but I’m always excited to see who’s in his movies, besides the main characters. This is a hard R rating.
***I just realized that everyone of these movies is led by a male actor, I’m not sure why that is but I think these directors should rethink this…***
- Honorable mention movies ~ Moonrise Kingdom, Chronicle, Jack Reacher, Bourne Legacy, Taken 2, Premium Rush, Pitch Perfect, Savages, End of Watch.