If you really think about it, it's impressive that we escaped the doldrums with as many competent releases as we did. Even if, you know, some of them are cheats.
5. The Secret World Of Arrietty
Though there's a sense of lethargy to certain portions of Ghibli's latest coming of age story, there's also a genuine sense of sadness that I really admired. In a way I feel as if I'm underrating this film, but that's what these Quarterly reviews are for, after all, allowing time for reflection and adjustment.
4. Pina 3-D
When a film can make me understand and possibly even appreciate an artform that I feel has little value because of the linguistic limitations placed upon it, it is a success. I have to admire the way information is scaffolded in this film. And it's kind of hard not to be completely floored by the wonderful use of 3-D in Wim Wenders's latest film.
3. Jeff, Who Lives At Home
Some may say that this is another example of the Duplass brothers veering away from the mumblecore that buttered their bread as they tow the studio line more directly. I'm not sure there's enough room for debate or affirmation there, or that it's actually worthwhile, as they are still making really good films regardless. The movie puts all its cards on the table upfront and it still ends up working. Take that, plot driven narratives!
2. Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
I really am not well versed in the anti-humor of Tim and Eric, so I mostly went in to this feature film cold. What I do know is the limited sketches that I have seen never really grabbed me in the way this more cohesive whole works. From expressions to delivery the film is clever enough to make the crazy humor work. And work magnificently.
1. Tiny Furniture
Technically this film has some super limited runs in 2010 and 2011, but since it didn't hit DVD until this year I never had the chance to see it, so I'll count it as 2012. Because why not? Despite Lena Dunham now generating massive buzz thanks to her new HBO series Girls, seeing where it really all began, in this stylized, detached perspective is indicative of the clear complexities beneath the surface.
And, for the record, here's a list of all the films I have seen this year:
- Tiny Furniture
- Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
- Jeff, Who Lives At Home
- The Secret World of Arrietty
- Damsels in Distress
- Titanic 3-D
- A Dangerous Method
- The Cabin In The Woods
- Radio Rebel
- 21 Jump Street
- The Hunger Games
- A Separation
- American Reunion
- Friends With Kids
So there we have it. Plenty more to come, I'm sure. What did I get right? What was off base? Should I start breaking films in to sections so we all know the 'good' from the 'bad'?
Comments are welcome and, for anyone with a literary mind, I encourage checking out my poetry blog filled with all original works for your reading pleasure.
Also, I am on the old Twitter thing so I guess you can follow me at twitter.com/FLYmeatwad.
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© 2011 Richard James Thorne