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The Ten Best Movies for 2012

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Once Upon A Time in Anatolia

Just saw this on Netflix Instant Watch this morning. I chose it for subtlety; what's it about? Crime investigation done realistically, I'll opine. Takes place in Turkey. Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. I liked the cinematography most, with sweeping, unpretentious long-shots of golden fields, rolling hills of the countryside, outskirts of Istanbul, I suppose. Investigating a homicide is stressful; this is what it's about, in part. The Prosecutor and Doctor get into some discussion here that goes beyond the stress felt, I'll add. At times, medicine can contribute to an investigation that gets bogged down.

The Master

I loved this film, but need to see it again. Anything with Laura Dern needs repeated viewings. Much of this is about the disease of Alcoholism; this is what I was thinking anyway when leaving the theater. Indubitably, Philip Seymour Hoffman is the greatest living American actor still working. The role he plays as Lancaster Dodd only reinforces my claim. Joaquin Phoenix plays one messed up individual, Freddie Quell; but don't a lot of us know someone just like this, passing through our life?


Argo gives us some history we didn't know before about the Iranian Hostage Crisis; it requires a good bit of follow-up research, then several more viewings. I haven't got around to doing this yet, but will. I understand the histrionics were fake, according to the real CIA operative, Ken Taylor. This conundrum of the record of history merely amps up my curiosity regarding what Ben Affleck was up to here. Great movie regardless of historical distortions, however!

Moonrise Kingdom

Did you see Moonrise Kingdom? Did you like it? I loved the fairy-tale like sets. I don't believe very many people saw it. Perhaps more will come around. It's a love story about misunderstood young people eloping, and how the adults react to what they've done. Wes Anderson's style is unique, and Bill Murray is a perfect fit for what he's up to. Odd role for Edward Norton in that scout outfit also. May want to get the Blu-Ray!

Killing Me Softly

Loved the soundtrack. Loved the story. Good Mob Film, which we don't see too often anymore. The greatest ones are behind us, so it's all B films going forward. Yet the B genre is better for Goodfella flicks, in my way of thinking. Would've been terrific for Drive-Ins, but not many of them are around these days. The primary take-away, you might discover, is finding the crime novels of George V. Higgins, a mostly forgotten bit- writer from the 1970s. His dialog is the crispest I've ever heard! This must have been how John Gotti and his crew really talked.


This was actually my favorite movie of the year, but it's politically incorrect to make a horror flick number one. Ethan Hawke is a true-crime writer who finds some old 8 mm home movies in his attic. It takes off from there; what a great storyboard it has without relying on cheap special effects. It turns out, those weren't too bad either; the soundtrack drilled my fat butt down into my cheapy soft drink stained CinemaMark seat too! I forget the name of that demon, but he rocks; best since Pumpkin Face in the Scream franchise!

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Django Unchained

I just saw it yesterday after warnings about its excessive violence and trouble with portraying slavery. Well, these claims are still true after a viewing, but it was a great film with a terrific soundtrack! I'll probably need to have this one on Blu-Ray; hey, Ennio Morricone wrote part of the music. What more do I need to say? Black-Sploitation or Spaghetti Western? I'll let you decide; maybe a bit of both. I feel guilty, but I loved it. What does that tell you? I'm just a normal American (I keep saying to myself).


I loved this one too! Anthony Hopkins plays a perfect Alfred. Psycho is the best film ever made; Hitchcock is a quasi-documentary of his greatest film. We learn how difficult it was to make back in 1960; this was enough for me to assess it as important (for 2012). We forget, this man was a gifted, experimental artist, who had a few personal problems of his own, with regard to beautiful women. What's the cold-blonde thing all about (?), we still want to know.

The Queen of Versailles

I've only watched the first 10 minutes on Netflix this morning, but I can already tell I love this documentary. Jackie Siegel is like the next Anna Nicole Smith, it just occurred to me. I understand, this couple's fortune withers away as the film progresses (or digresses. I'll soon find out?) This looks like reality television, but is actually a documentary. Lust, Greed, or Excess? I'll find out shortly. I will say, however, without knowing the outcome, best Botox injection job ever seen (on Jackie Siegel)!

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Jack Reacher

I had to push myself to attend the theater for this one, suspecting it was going to be junk. It turned out good, with a very well-worked out screenplay, along the lines of the Dirty Harry franchise. Tom Cruise really kicks some butt here too, with one of the best car chase scenes since Steve McQueen's topper, Bullet. Steve's still King, but Jack Reacher gives him a run for his money! Robert Duvall is the icing on the cake. Rosamund Pike as Helen Rodin will turn your head a few times. Cold-blooded Russians? It's been a while.

John Kays identifies timeless remnants from our past that will endure, or be admired by future generations. Read more stories by John Kays.

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