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I guess I just like liking things

It turns out I went to see 27 movies at the theater this year. That includes two showings of Cabin in the Woods, two of The Dark Knight Rises (one in IMAX), and three showings of The Avengers (two of those were on opening day), so 23 unique movies in the theater.  It’s unlikely that I’ll get to another one before the year is out, but if I do, it will probably be Les Misérables. Let’s see if I can’t put this in some kind of order, as I know we all love lists. This is actually kind of a difficult task, because I tend to know a lot about a movie before I ever go see it, so it’s rare that I’ll go to a movie I don’t like.  Of course, there are movies that I know will be bad but I want to see them anyway (cough*ResidentEvil*cough).

Let’s see how it shakes out:

21. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – I don’t hate the first Ghost Rider as much as most people seem to, but this movie was just bad.  They did some nice things within the movie, but the overall movie was bad. I don’t plan to buy this one on Blu-Ray, unless maybe I see it for a dollar somewhere.

20. Total Recall – The biggest problem with this one is that it’s not the original. This one would probably be a fine (if bland) action movie on its own, but it’s overshadowed by the craziness of the original.

19. Resident Evil: Retribution – I have a fondness for this series that I can’t adequately explain, but this is the first one in the series that I’ve reacted to with an “ugh.” I’ll still see the next one, though, I’m sure.

18. Taken 2 – Loved the first one (as many of us did). This one started off with a fantastic premise and then devolved into nonsense.

17. The Hunger Games – I never read the books, but I enjoyed this movie well enough.

16. Prometheus – I really enjoyed this sorta-prequel to the Aliens movies, despite everyone else’s problems with it.

15. The Amazing Spider-Man – I, like you, didn’t feel we needed another version of the origin story, but Emma Stone elevates this one and Andrew Garfield won me over as Peter Parker. Now if they could only have made different decisions on that Lizard CGI…

14. Men in Black 3 – You already know how much I enjoy Will Smith. MiB3 is way better than MiB2, but not as good as MiB. The ending muddles things that didn’t need to be muddled.

13. The Artist – I don’t have much to say about this one. I liked it, but haven’t felt the need to see it again.

12. Brave – It’s #6 on my Pixar list and I’m itching to see it again. If I don’t get it for Christmas I’ll pick it up after myself.

11. Skyfall – Daniel Craig is my James Bond. I know that’s sacrilege because Sean Connery!, but that’s how it is for me.  I enjoyed 98% of this movie.

10. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter –  In many other years this one would be much higher on the list. I loved how they treated this almost like a biopic – I felt the serious approach was a better choice than campy.

9. Pitch Perfect – Need to have a crush on Anna Kendricks for some reason? This’ll do it. This movie out-Glees Glee and is almost thoroughly enjoyable. I could have done without all the vomiting.

8. Looper – Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis and time travel. If that’s all you knew about this movie that would be all you would need to know. I don’t care if there are holes in the plot just like any other time travel movie, it didn’t stop me from enjoying it.

7. Dredd 3D – I don’t understand why this one didn’t do better in the theaters. It’s non-stop mega-action done extremely well. Soooooo much better than the Stallone film, and I’m an avowed Stallone and Diane Lane fan. If you like violent action flicks, don’t miss this one.

6. The Expendables 2 – Speaking of Stallone… I liked this one better than the first Expendables, though I wish it had more Jet Li. An absence of Mickey Rourke and the additions of more Schwarzenegger, Willis, Norris, and Van Damme really bump this one up.

5. Cabin in the Woods – This movie literally changes every other horror movie that precedes or follows it and I want to talk about why but no one should ever see this with prior knowledge of it.  I will say, though, that I didn’t enjoy it as much the second time.  The revelations in it work so much better when you go in blind. In fact, don’t even read my comments here about it.

4. Wreck-It Ralph – Just a wonderful movie all around. My favorite part was Q*bert, but I loved the whole thing.

3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – I just talked about this one, so you already know what I liked about it!

2. Batman Begins/The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises – I’m lumping these together because my local theater showed them all in a row with TDKR starting at midnight. I love the whole series and think people who gripe about the third one are just trying to be cooler than you and have chosen a weird way to go about it. Ignore them and enjoy.

1. Marvel’s The Avengers – People who know me best will be surprised that I picked this one over Batman, but this was the most enjoyable movie I saw in theaters this year. I took the day off work to go see it at the first showing of the day (I opted out of the midnight showing because it was two days before my 40th birthday and I was feeling my age), because I wasn’t sure if my wife would be able to go that night to see it. As it turned out, she was able to go, so I ended up seeing it twice on opening day. And I didn’t mind at all.  Frankly, if my movie-going budget had allowed for it, I probably would’ve gone to see this one a couple more times in the theater.  Well done, Mr. Whedon and everyone involved.

Most of these are out on home video of some sort now, so feel free to catch up. A couple of notes:

  1. I will not be doing this with all 163 movies I’ve seen so far this year.
  2. You will not like Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter near as much as I did.
  3. If they would sell Q*bert figurines from Wreck-It Ralph, I would buy the whole set.


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