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The Lucky 13: Best Films of Summer 2012

August 26, 2012

13. “Men in Black 3” – After the disaster that was “Men in Black II”, I seriously wasn’t looking forward for a third outing about the famous boys in black, fighting off nasty alien beings, hell bent on, you guessed it, taking over the world (OF COURSE). “Men in Black 3” isn’t the perfect threequel, but it’s a lot of fun, very funny, and VFX that are enjoyable to look at.

12.“Brave” – Pixar’s 13th feature film is certainly one of the most fascinating entries in the entire Pixar collection. Not only is it Pixar’s first lead female voice narrative, it’s also the studios first entry into the realm of fantasy/fairy tales. I felt my heartstrings tugged at the end, during the credits, when the filmmakers decided to remember their friends & mentor Steve Jobs, Jobs would certainly be proud to this day.

11. ParaNorman – “ParaNorman” is without a doubt one of my favorite animated films to come out this year, trailing behind it is the competitive Pixar feature “Brave”. Come Oscar season, it’ll be interesting to see who gets more favor.

10. Beasts of the Southern Wild – Great story, powerful raw acting by newcomers (who’ve never acted a day in their life), top-notch production design, and for a first time feature director, it was aces in my book.

9. “Ruby Sparks” – Real life, loving, couple Paul Dano & Zoe Kazan star in this bright indie comedy fantasy that evokes classic Woody Allen movies of the old days, with a dash of “(500) Days of Summer” sensibility.

8. “The Amazing Spider-Man” – A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! The title of the film speaks for itself, “The Amazing Spider-Man” is without at doubt the Spider-Man film fans of the wisecracking superhero deserved and it took the director of “(500) Days of Summer” to give it to us. Weird isn’t it? No. AMAZING!

7. Prometheus – The film has great intentions, ambitious ideas, but more importantly a film about humanity and where it all began. It’s a thinker piece, with some gritty scares, and some stomach churning scenes. RIP Executive Producer Tony Scott.

6. “Bernie” – Oscar worthy material. I would love nothing more than to see Jack Black earn some respective recognition for this role, but will he be given the chance? It’s not only Richard Linklater & Black’s best collaberation, but Linklater’s best film.

5. “Marvel’s The Avengers” – A well deserved filmmaker that is Joss Whedon, with a strong cast, stellar action, and your favorite heroes all-together at last makes this a STRONG movie and a multiple viewer one at best. Marvel has set the bar high with this picture, and it may be a tough act to follow, but only time will tell.

4. The Dark Knight Rises – There aren’t many films out there that can make me tear up, but by the time the end credits burst onto the screen like the past two films before it one last time, you can’t help yourself but shed that tear. There’s a mixture of pride, honor, and enthusiasm when witnessing a Christopher Nolan Batman film, especially being the very last in his personal Batman legacy; Nolan’s vision, his story, his tale, he couldn’t have picked a more poignant way to end a famed trilogy, a trilogy about silent guardian, a watchful protector, a dark knight…

3. “Moonrise Kingdom” – The supporting adult players here are terrific in their respective roles, Bill Murray is awesome (that’s a given), Frances McDormand is good (even if she’s underused slightly), Ed Norton is funny in such an opposite role for himself to play, but the real winner here surprisingly enough is Bruce Willis, who may see his first Oscar nomination from playing the role of Captain Sharp. It’s honest portrayal of young puppy love between two pre-teen kids is true at heart.

2. “Safety Not Guaranteed” – If you could time travel where (or when) would you reallywanna go? “Safety Not Guaranteed” begs that question to its viewers. Sure, it would be cool to time travel, who wouldn’t wanna see some gladiators duke it out? But really, ask yourself, what would you really want to do? First time feature director, Colin Trevorrow, and first time screenwriter, Derek Connolly have crafted something truly special

1. “Killer Joe” – My favorite films of the year (so far), it’s got the classic elements that make a great cult dark crime drama hit. It has the captivating/memorable performance by a well-respected lead, it makes the best of the location the film is set in, the side characters are deemed quotable for years to come, and has an ending that’ll rile up so many film lovers out there. I just love that ending; the ending really makes the movie satisfying as a viewing experience. It’s just good old fashion a totally twisted deep-fried Texas southern redneck kind of experience, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

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