This was a tough list for me to do because, as you might have noticed, I rarely ever rate anything under a B. I can’t help it. I like a lot of things. But creating these lists wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be because there were those few works that stuck out and made me say ‘Definitely needs to be on the list!’
The movies chosen are ONLY from 2012. There were a few released prior to 2012 that would have made the list if they were released in 2012, but I will go into them later.
To Rome With Love: Surprisingly the only Jessi Eisenburg film that almost made the list. While it was a good movie, it wasn’t one that stuck out right away. I did feel like Woody Allen deserved to be on the list and it was good enough to be tied with a few others, so I decided to make it runner-up.
10. Being Flynn: I had to actually go and double check to make sure this movie did come out this year, because I hadn’t seen it in the theater (although I really wanted to). Placed at number 10, Being Flynn was an interesting film. Both Paul Dano and Robert De Niro did spectacular jobs at acting, but it’s a film I think I’d need to watch a few more times to fully appreciate.
9. Ruby Sparks: Another film staring Paul Dano, Ruby Sparks was a little better than Being Flynn. It showed the trappings of humanity and what could happen when we love someone too much. It was an imaginative film and funny in it’s own way, even if some parts were a little creepy.
8. The Raven: Mr. Poe just made the list through the directors way to tell a captivating story on what could have happened to Edgar Allen Poe in the days up until his death. Although slightly unbelievable, I did have to give points to the suspense and how Poe’s stories (even one’s that weren’t as popular as others) were incorporated.
7. Hugo: More of a child’s movie, Hugo made it onto the list because the directing and acting was done very well. The story telling was impeccable, even the bits added that weren’t in the book, and the visual affects were epic. A great family film that’s definitely one for the ages.
6. Chronicle: I must admit that it’s a bit surprising that Chronicle made it this high up on the list seeing as I didn’t even remember what this movie was just from the title. But when I went back and looked at my review, I remembered just how much I enjoyed this movie. It was a great story about telekinetic powers gone wrong and delved into the lives of those people who had to deal with the consequences. Points were added because of the likeness to Akira, one of my favorite anime movies.
5. Cloud Atlas: It’s no surprise that Cloud Atlas hit my top 5, because it definitely deserves a place in it. This film was magical and I loved the way it was outlined. Although the movie was 3 hours long, it didn’t feel like it was, which is always a plus. The acting was impeccable, and I loved that there was a mixture of big name actors and not so well known actors.
4. The Hobbit: If The Hobbit wasn’t on my list, I think we’d have a problem, especially because this was definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. Not only did it stick closely to the book, but it enhanced a lot of what was just glossed over. I loved the actors they chose and the special affects and make up were very well done. If this movie doesn’t win any type of award this year I will be very, very surprised.
3. The Avengers: For those who know me, you may be wondering how a superhero film took the number 3 spot (especially with The Hobbit and Cloud Atlas below it). It’s a bit surprising to be too because I’m not a big superhero fan. However, the explanation can be given with just one name: Joss Whedon. The creator of many great television shows, I couldn’t help but think while watching The Avengers that the script was impeccable (which is the first time I ever thought that while watching a movie). It was definitely written for all audiences and not just those who are obsessed with superhero’s or action films.
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower: This is a film that really spoke to me. Although I have never experienced any of what happened in the film, it was definitely a lesson to everyone about living life and observing the world around you. It brought me to tears (or made me sob, I should say) and definitely deserves a spot in the top 3.
1. Cabin in the Woods: Joss Whedon claims the top spot for his amazing writing skills and being able to create what would have to be the best B horror film in existence. I remember that I originally did not want to see this film because it didn’t look that appealing. However, after I saw that Joss Whedon wrote the script, I knew I had to go see it just because I love a lot of his other works. From the very beginning I was so happy that I did because Cabin in the Woods is not your typical horror film, and for those who did not like it that’s probably why. It wasn’t really meant to be scary (although some parts really did freak me out), but to put a comedic twist to the traditional films and add in the question: what if the government was behind what happened in horror films?
The two films that were not released in 2012 that would have been on this list if they were are Session 9 and Stardust because they are both captivating and intriguing films.
Now, the books listed were NOT all released this year. My fiance said he thinks it’s odd that I would make a top 10 book list of book that weren’t released this year, but the reason for this is because I’m usually behind on my reading and rarely get the chance to read books that were released in the right year. So this is a collective count down of the top 10 books I read throughout the year.
10. Werewolves by Paul Jessup, illustrated by Allyson Haller: I picked this book up by chance after seeing it in a record store and absolutely loved it. The illustrations were beautiful and the story worked well with them. It also was short and to the point, making it easy to read within one sitting.
9. Dog Years by Mark Doty: A true account from Mark Doty, Dog Years recounts his experience with his dogs and how they changed his life. It is a captivating book and will speak to any dog lover.
8. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini: This is one book in particular that spoke to me. Definitely a story I would recommend to all teenagers to read, It’s Kind of a Funny Story provides an inside look into the mind of a teenager experiencing life changes that are bigger than he can handle.
7. Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli: As one of my favorite authors, it’d be a crime if Jerry Spinelli wasn’t on this list, especially after his captivating tale in Milkweed. Set during the Holocaust, the reader gets a glimpse of what life was like for those children who didn’t have any home to go to and no identity.
6. Un Lun Dun by China Mieville: One of my favorite books, Un Lun Dun is a call to arms to fight against pollution, which could affect us in more ways than we think. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fictional story, but the moral is embedded and can be easily found (although it is not preached).
5. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan: A Christmas gift from last year, I’m excited to list it as the beginning of the top 5. The Last Werewolf was an interesting take on the werewolf myth and I can’t wait to read the sequel which came out earlier in the year.
4. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys: Not to be confused with the ever popular 50 Shades of Gray, Between Shades of Gray tells a story not often heard in history. Instead of focusing on the Holocaust, this book looks at a time just before that when Stalin takes over Lithuania and begins the deportation of thousands of people. It’s riveting and definitely a book that all students should be acquainted with.
3. The Book Thief by Mark Zusak: Another tale of the Holocaust, The Book Thief is told from the viewpoint of death as he comes in contact with a young girl more than once during a time of great struggle.
2. All But My Life by Gerda Weissman Klein: Where the other two books were fiction, All But My Life is a true account of the Holocaust and what Gerda had to do in order to survive the ordeal. Well written, it definitely deserves the number 2 spot in the count down, illustrating just how horrific the Holocaust was and making sure we never forget the tragedy.
1. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein: There was no doubt in my mind that this book would not make number 1. Told from a dog’s perspective, The Art of Racing in the Rain does a great job at using racecar driving as a metaphor for life experiences. This book traveled through several hands, with me and my sister recommending it to anyone and everyone. Definitely a must read!
There you have it. I hope you all enjoyed my thoughts on what I think are the top 10 movies and books of 2012. I hope you all have a great New Year and I will see you all in 2013!