New Jack City: The Best in Film 2012

sincityfinalIn 2012 Hollywood finally reversed its agonizing trend of both declining domestic box office grosses and theater attendance…

U.S. moviegoers spent around $10.8 billion at the nation’s movieplexes during this past year—a 6% increase over 2011’s haul of $10.2 billion.

Even more important, actual theater ATTENDANCE—bodies in seats was up 5% over last year and finally giving the industry something to smile about.

To that end I once again submit my picks and favorites that I had the pleasure of reviewing during the past year.


ARGO# 1—Ben Affleck‘s white knuckle life or death covert operation ARGO starring Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Alan Arkin. GREAT FLICK!

# 2—MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS! Super hero fun that’s as good as it can get.

# 3—Director Sam Mendes‘ first crack at James Bond in SKYFALL—and a damn good one!

Toronto-International-Film-Festival-Silver-Linings-Playbook-September-7th-jennifer-lawrence-32105036-3000-2009# 4—David O. Russell‘s slightly off-center mental health comedic drama SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.

# 5—Ang Lee‘s wonderous fateful voyage of adventure and discovery in LIFE OF PI.

# 6—Christopher Nolan‘s epic Batman trilogy swan song THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. (Sadly it was overshadowed by a midnight massacre at the Cinemark in Aurora, Colorado.)

# 7—One of Denzel Washington‘s career BEST! Director Robert Zemeckis’ action-packed mystery thriller FLIGHT co-starring John Goodman and Don Cheadle.

21-jump-street# 8—I didn’t expect much from the big screen version of 21 JUMP STREET. So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I saw it. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in rare form here.

# 9—THE MASTER, Paul Thomas Anderson’s fascinating 1950’s-set drama centering on the relationship of a charismatic intellectual (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his faith based religious group. And the drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) who becomes his right hand man.

# 10—Seth MacFarlane‘s talking teddy TED starring Mark Wahlberg. WHY? Because it made me laugh. And boy did I need a good laugh in 2012.

First Runner Up Bonus Title: Richard Gere‘s Wall Street-like high finance drama and hedge fund thriller ARBITRAGE co-starring Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth.

cabin-woods-01_510x317* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And finally, an honorary tribute to a small movie that overcame some mighty big obstacles, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. This sci-fi gem got lost for nearly three year’s in MGM’s bankruptcy and finally surfaced on the screen in 2012.
I can’t really say too much about it without giving it away. Suffice it to say that just when you think you know the story–YOU DON’T!

Rent it! It’s now on DVD. You’ll thank me for it later.

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4 Responses to New Jack City: The Best in Film 2012

  1. the dude says:

    Yeah, I guess with most reviewers the meta poke in the eye of the genre flew over their collective heads on The Cabin in the Woods. I enjoyed it especially when the one guy got “mer-manned”. The old lady did not like it as much I guess since the marketers sold it as a horror movie. Good rental.

    21 Jumpstreet was a decent rental but I would not go putting it on any best lists.

  2. jack p. says:

    Hey Dude,
    I don’t really think of them as ‘best’ either. They’re just the movies I really enjoyed this past year.

  3. Craig Glazer says:

    Jack what a wonderful job you do reporting on the movies and ‘why’ they work or not. I am going to see all of your top ten that I didn’t because you are almost always on target. IN fact you give some space for movie mistakes, that’s nice as well.

    Yes this year was better. More adult films, though budgets are falling hard for movies that are not super hero/or tent pole pictures. Sadly our ‘movie’ stars are getting older and not too many will be replaced. Names of the 90’s and early 2000’s are having trouble finding work these days. Not enough ‘real’ movies being made. But yeah when movies like Flight work and Ben Afflick films work, that sure helps.

    Happy New Years Jack.

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