Best Movies of 2012
Technological changes finally caught up with the movie business in 2012. Several of the best films actually made their debut on DVD and pay-per-view. After minimal theatrical releases, they went directly to cable pay-per-view, DVD and other formats. I downloaded one of the year’s best, Bernie, to a handheld device, and I suspect that trend is going to become increasingly more important.
Seven Top-Ten Theatrical releases of 2012:
Silver Linings Playbook – Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are unlikely lovers in the year’s most unusual romantic-comedy/drama.
Lincoln – Steven Spielberg’s look at the last months of the President’s life is the front-runner for all of the major awards.
End of Watch – Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are uniformed LAPD cops and best friends. Perks of Being a Wallflower – A high school freshman falls in with a senior clique and is smitten by Emma Watson, and who could blame him?
Flight – Denzel Washington is brilliant as an alcoholic pilot.
Argo – Ben Affleck directs and stars in the fact-based story of the rescue of American embassy personnel from the home of the Canadian ambassador in Iran.
Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti Western/comedy is set in the antebellum South.
Eight Top-Ten DVDs of 2012:
Bernie – Jack Black deserves an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a funeral director who murders the meanest woman (Shirley MacLaine) in a small Texas town.
Ted – Mark Wahlberg and his best friend, a live stuffed bear (voice of director Seth MacFarlane) can’t quite seem to grow up.
The Campaign – Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis compete for a North Carolina House seat. Funny and nasty in all the right ways.
Arbitrage – Richard Gere is excellent as a New York financier who finds his life crumbling as he tries to put together a deal that will save his company.
The Artist – Last year’s big Oscar-winner loses nothing on DVD.
Hugo – Audiences missed Martin Scorsese’s valentine to silent French movies in theaters, and if it’s not as impressive on DVD, it’s still thoroughly enjoyable and moving.
American Horror Story, Season One – A fiercely original, challenging and frightening story of a troubled family that moves into a haunted Los Angeles house.
The Muppets – One of 2011’s best brings Kermit and company out of retirement. Grand fun for audiences of all ages.