Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Taking On 2012: Top Films (Q1 Quarterly Review)

The month, it has been tough, but slowly the lights at the tunnel's end are starting to appear. Hot (or rather cold, as this case may be) off the heels of the Top Tracks and Albums of 2012 so far, come the best films I have seen. As I compiled me list, which is a bit paltry, to state things lightly, I discovered that I barely had enough for a Top list. This should not imply, my friends, that 2012 has been a bad year for cinema, just that the heavy hitters are still to come. I mean Cannes hasn't even happened yet.

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:

  1. Tiny Furniture
  2. Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
  3. Jeff, Who Lives At Home
  4. Pina
  5. The Secret World of Arrietty
  6. Damsels in Distress
  7. Titanic 3-D
  8. A Dangerous Method
  9. The Cabin In The Woods
  10. Radio Rebel
  11. Fenemies
  12. 21 Jump Street
  13. The Hunger Games
  14. A Separation
  15. American Reunion
  16. 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.

And if you want to know what I'm watching, listening to, playing , and reading you can follow my tumblr account!
© 2011 Richard James Thorne


  1. Your #1 is correct. This is the only thing that really matters so far this year.

    1. I imagine there are a few other holdover releases that I haven't seen, but when it comes down to it I think Tiny Furniture definitely has had the most lasting impact on me. Not to say it can't fall, and I imagine it eventually will, but when I really consider it the movie is quite impressive. I was initially surprised when putting the list together to see it at number one, but it does make the most sense.