Friday, December 21, 2012

My Year at the Movies

Retirement has improved my movie-going experience. I think I saw more movies in the theater this year than the last 3 years combined. I did miss a few I wanted to see and will have to catch them on DVD. Book reading, however, suffered for some reason.

Here's a movie look back on my first year of retirement at the movies.

Movie Theater Ticket Stubs
I'm missing at least one movie, and I can't recall if there were others.

  • Hunger Games: Based on the first book of a Young Adult science fiction/dystopian trilogy, this was a fine adaptation, with a great cast and a solid script.
  • The Artist: An excellent movie about the early days of movie-making, focusing on the transition from silent films to talkies.
  • Avengers: One of the best, if not the best, comic book adaptation ever. Nuff said.
  • Dark Shadows: Seemed mostly to be played for laughs, this reworking of the classic horror soap opera starred Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. I don't think it did well at the box office, but, as a longtime fan of the TV show, I enjoyed it and thought it was a lot of fun.
  • Men in Black 3: I'm missing the stub. A fun movie that makes up for the awfulness of the second movie in the series. Josh Brolin did an excellent job channeling a young version of Tommy Lee Jones.
  • Rock of Ages: I don't have the stub, and I saw it twice, with different relatives each time. We all enjoyed it, but it also didn't do well at the box office.
  • Magic Mike: A fun look at male strippers, and such sexy guys they are! A good movie that managed to not be exploitive while still delivering plenty of male eye candy.
  • The Campaign: A funny, cynical look at the election process that had some real bite.
  • Looper: I wasn't sure about this, but the reviews were good, so I gave this science fiction/time travel movie a try, and I'm glad I did. There was a good story here, well told and well acted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.
  • Argo: A solid thriller based on an actual event, the rescue of six Americans given shelter by the Canadian ambassador after the American embassy was taken by Iranian rebels.
  • Skyfall: The latest James Bond adventure was excellent.
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: This wonderful adaptation of the first part of JRR Tolkien's book has me eager for the two sequels.

There was at least one other, maybe two, that I didn't enjoy as much as I'd hoped. I've also forgotten the titles. I also watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the American version with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara) and thought it was a fine adaptation. The other major movie I saw on DVD was Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig, so it was kinda a bit Daniel Craig year for me. And he sure makes a great Bond.

Edited to add: I also saw Arbitrage with Richard Gere. It was well acted and a solid story of a basically good though weak-willed married man who digs a deeper and deeper hole for himself after his girlfriend is killed in a car accident when he was driving.

Feeling: tired