Goodbye 2012. I am happy to see it go.
Goodbye to the fiscal cliff. Goodbye to the most negative presidential election I have ever seen in my life.
Goodbye to end of the world prophecies. Goodbye to the bloodiest year for domestic gun violence since the civil war.
Goodbye to the shittiest year of the 21st century so far.
Let’s get to it…
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Movies of 2012.
THE GOOD of 2012:
Television got even better in 2012. People had less money in 2012. Stayed at home and watched TV more in 2012. So TV producers stepped up their games and brought the goods in 2012. Television was awesome in 2012
Best Television Moments in 2012
In 2012 some of my favorite shows had their best seasons. Here are ten of my favorite things.
Doctor Who: The Snowmen Christmas Special
The episode was very good. I love the new companion. She’s as pretty as Rose Tyler, as brilliant as Martha Jones. She’s as fearless as Amy Pond, as cute & funny as Donna Noble. But most of all she’s about as mysterious as River Song. The one word lie detector test scene was amazing.
I can’t wait until April. I WANT MORE DOCTOR WHO NOW.
The Walking Dead’s Michonne
She really made this season of the show for me. She is a badass. A badass, dread-locked, lesbian w/ a samurai sword. Where do I sign? I loved this season. Best one so far.
Rachel Maddow’s Last Show Before Election Day & Her First Show After The Election
I would put both of these shows in the time capsule. Pure Perfection. Rachel really worked overtime this election season. Before he leaves office, President Obama really should reward her in some way. (Exclusive Interview, Medal of Honor, Blanket Pardon for Future Crimes… something nice)
Fringe: The Final Season
The show is fantastic. Still one of the best shows in TV history. Some of their best performances are from this season. And some of their best writing.
Game of Thrones: The Battle of Blackwater
The episode was one of the best hours of TV in 2012.
Peter Dinklage was robbed at the Emmy’s. I can’t wait until March.
Elementary & Vegas
These are two entertaining & well-written new mystery shows on CBS. With all-star casts. And neither is your run-of-the-mill procedural. Both are great shows renewed for second seasons. Watch them.
Girls: Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. The Crackcident
The Bushwick Episode was the best episode of the season of a thoroughly enjoyable and immensely entertaining show. Lena Dunham did great work last year. I hope the second season is as good as the first.
Breaking Bad’s Evolution of Walter White
This show gets better and better every year. It was already good. It’s criminally good now. (“Say My Name” “Heisenberg.” “You damn right.”) I’m looking forward to an intense finale.
Best Performer in 2012
2012 was most definitely her year. Anne Hathaway has been good for a while but finally everyone else is beginning to recognize her talent.
She is incredibly good in Les Miserables. Made me weep my eyes out. I was soaked. Great voice. Great acting. She dropped the weight for the necessary realism. And then proceeded to blow the roof off of every theater in the country.
And the Oscar goes to…
And earlier in the year she kicked ass as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. She took an iconic character that has been played to death by Oscar winners and icons in movies and television for decades and she made it her own. Anne Hathaway was my favorite thing in an excellent film (one of my top films of the year…wink).
Anne Hathaway has officially become my favorite actress. She is insanely talented, funny, has a fantastic voice and is gorgeous. The girl is smokin’ hot.
And even when she hosted SNL (a show that has seen better days but looks to be getting back to form) it was their best show of the year.
And now to bummer town…
THE BAD of 2012
or more accurately
The problems we need to address in 2013
First and foremost…
Movie Ticket Prices
Come on man, $23.00 for IMAX? And even more for IMAX 3D. That’s crazy pants. Although I did like the reserved seating for The Hobbit. No line, already knowing where your seats are. (I got cheated out of the Star Trek sneak peek that they promised, however. Still angry about that one)
But guys, seriously, the movie going experience is no longer better than viewing at home. It just isn’t. You have to either make it more special. Maybe a restaurant & movie situation or beer & wine at the movies. Perhaps optional headphones. I don’t know. But it ain’t worth the money as it is, except for maybe when there’s a major event movie coming out, where seeing it the first weekend is important.
Other than that I’ll be waiting for the DVD.
It’s the escalation of the mass shootings that troubles me & how the pattern seems to suggest that they are designed in a way to make us feel unsafe in the places that have been our safe havens.
Of course that suggests that there is an intelligence behind them. Not just wacko after wacko trying to outdo, out-evil, out horrify, and one-up the last, instantly famous mass murderer that came before them before they off themselves.
(By the way, fellas, skip right to the last shooting, the one where you shoot yourself. That way you die a hero. You die having killed a probable & future mass murderer. “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Half of a great man said that)
But these trends do not have to have intelligence behind them. The next killer, having seen the way the news vilifies but also enshrines and bathes in the spotlight the previous super villain (these guys think they’re in a comic book or something), then comes up with a new, more heinous way to make us all cringe.
The depths of darkness that someone can dive to when they believe that they are dark to their very core is only limited by imagination.
Universal Mental Health Care (and Health Care in general, for that matter) can do so much to reduce this escalating trend. You need to find these troubled souls when they are too small to make these plans, to hold a gun, to do these things. For our safety, for their family & friends and for the victims.
Not just racism, mind you, but race. Because there is no racism without the misguided idea of race.
So why can’t different humans from different regions and different backgrounds just look different: Skin, Hair, Eyes, Height, Weight. Be different: Sex, Personality, Creativity, Intellect, Language. And/Or believe different: Politics, Spirituality, Religion. Be Human without then having to form groups and perpetuate the illusion of a competition.
That’s what sports are for. (And frankly I’d rather be in a soccer riot than a race riot any day)
The misguided fear that believes if homosexuality is universally accepted that they will have no choice but to be gay. Because the only thing stopping them at this point, I suppose, is that people LIKE THEM would attack them. (or other equally stupid reasons to deny Marriage Equality)
And the annoying fear that seems to believe that by accepting a man’s role in human reproduction, as almost nil, somehow makes men more useless than they already are. Leading to this need to legislate reproduction so that they still feel important and involved. Aw, fellas. You feel left out? By how you’re acting, I’m guessing there’s a reason. Uterine envy is ugly business, gentlemen. Stop it. Stop it now.
And the idiotic fear of Science, fear of evolution or climate change FACTS. A fear so great that you deny the validity of scientific discovery, basic Biology & Physics & Math. Fear that somehow science wants to replace god. We are meant to understand… everything. Your willful ignorance would make any deity weep. If your god had wanted us to remain dumb he wouldn’t have made us so curious.
So those are the problems that I believe reached critical mass in 2012. And if we begin to address them, to solve them, we can save the world.
Fear, Race, Terrorism… & Movie Ticket Prices.
Get on that, planet.
THE MOVIES of 2012
There are 3 major films from 2012 that I haven’t seen yet they are Lincoln, Argo & Zero Dark Thirty but I don’t like to see political propaganda films until a few years after their release. And I know they are all amazing. I’m weird, okay?
To the list
My Top Ten Movies of 2012 (and links to where I blog about them)
1. Les Miserables – Anne Hathaway!! (you have to picture me singing that and not just saying it)
Les Miserables (pronounced lay-miz by theater geeks) is easily the best film of the year. It is the best movie musical of all-time. (Yes, better than West Side Story & The Wizard of Oz. Better than Chicago & The Sound of Music. It’s that good)
It’s the story of Jean Valjean. Imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread to feed a starving child & how that crime changes his life. It is the story of the police officer, Javert, haunted by his own past and his twisted sense of justice as he tracks down the fugitive. It is the story of Fantine, a woman pushed to her limits in order to keep her daughter safe and fed. It is the story of France in the early 19th century & the class struggles that followed the French Revolution. It is a love story. It is a story of redemption. But most of all, it is a story with some incredible music.
What the filmmakers added to Victor Hugo’s story and Claude Michel-Schonberg’s beautiful music was an insanely talented cast: the aforementioned Anne Hathaway, the insanely versatile Hugh Jackman, the golden throat-ed Amanda Seyfried & the much hated Russell Crowe (He’s a lot better than he is given credit). They sing every line. There is no speaking. And they sing on camera. On set. Every take.
I loved this film. It is perfect. Some complain about the sound stages and the look of the film but having the actors sing on set creates the need to shoot on a sound stage. There are musicians off camera, playing along with the scene, with the actors. You can’t get that realism on location. because you can’t get that sound on location. So I forgive the sets because the MUSIC is the whole movie.
Go See It or at least Rent It (I’m going to buy it)
2. Prometheus – Ridley Scott (Back where he belongs. Making kick ass Sci Fi Horror)
3. Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan & Hathaway as Catwoman (Fantastic end to an amazing trilogy)
4. The Avengers – Joss!!! (Joss Whedon can do no wrong. Honestly)
5. The Hunger Games – Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss (I used to call Lucy, Catness but now I call her Kitty Katniss) This was a surprisingly good movie.
6. Skyfall – Casting Casting Casting (New M, New Q [all the letters are back and better than ever] and Javier Bardem is deliciously villainous)
Skyfall is a return to form for the Bond franchise. The reboot of the series, and the first two films (The first one about how he becomes a superspy, the second about how he deals with becoming a broken man) left out many of the iconic symbols James Bond fans have been used to seeing. This movie brings them all back with a vengeance.
James Bond is back in the saddle. But this time he’s joined by Q branch, M and Miss Moneypenny and the Ashton Martin & the Walther PPK also his favorite drink (shaken, not stirred)
Personally I didn’t like Skyfall as much as the first two Daniel Craig installments in the series (The amazing Casino Royale & the under-rated Quantum of Solace) but I was happy to see all the old favorites back.
However the absolute gem of Skyfall is the performance by Javier Bardem (Hollywood’s creepy bad guy) as the villainous Silva. He is creepy, evil, funny and heartbreaking all at the same time.
I’m looking forward to, now that the franchise is back up to speed, seeing where Daniel Craig can go with the character. I believe he is the best James Bond since Sean Connery.
7. The Hobbit – I want to go to there. Where? New Zealand (The landscapes and scenery in this film have a starring role. It is gorgeous)
The first installment of The Hobbit Trilogy (I know it’s just one book but somebody should tell Peter Jackson) is a thrill ride. He brings us back to Middle Earth and introduces us to a new group of adventurers. This time: The Dwarves.
The party scene, where the Dwarves take over poor Bilbo’s home, to me, is the highlight of the movie. I like how the Dwarves all work as one well-oiled machine. It’s fun to watch.
Martin Freeman as the young Bilbo is expert casting. He fits the role like a glove. He is not the hero (well not on purpose), he is just along for the ride.
It remains to be seen how good the last two films will be but this was a great way to start.
And much like in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gollum steals the movie from the moment he slithers on-screen. Not the best film of the year but in my top ten.
8. Looper – Joseph Gordon-Prosthetic Nose-Levitt (Fantastic film if a bit Timey Wimey)
9. Ted – Seth MacFarlane (Love him. So Funny… & Mila Kunis)
10. Snow White & The Huntsman – Rupert Sanders (For his first feature he did pretty damn good and I don’t mean sleeping with the lead actress)
The Bottom Five Movies of 2012 or (how Hollywood spends millions to shit on audiences)
In reverse order
5. John Carter – Mindless Martian Crap
4. Battleship – Loud Abrasive Crap
3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – Presidential Seal of Crap
2. The Amazing Spider-Man – Comic Book Killing Beautifully Dressed Up Crap
And the worst movie of 2012:
1. Men in Black 3 – A Big ol’ Steaming Pile of Crap
YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID.
And that, my friends, was my 2012. I did not like this year at all. A lot more bad than good if you ask me. From the election, starting with those hate-filled republican debates, really casting a dark shadow over the year. And the massacres at a movie theater, a temple, a college, an army base & a school along with rampant racism on the internet and talk radio & it was like everybody was in such a bad mood all year.
I’m here to tell you, (I’ve been to the future so listen to me)
2013 was… I mean… will be AWESOME.
Trust me, I’m a Doctor.
Happy New Year Everybody