NOTE: these are not in order of the ones I rated the best OR were released in this year. This is simply the 9 most enjoyable tv shows/movies I watched in 2012…
Slings & Arrows (2003)
I was introduced to this phenomenal series this year and have already started to watch it a second time! That’s right, 2 times in one year! That’s how good this series was. It also helps that each of the 3 seasons has only 6 episodes. The beauty of it though is that the writing, direction, acting and story arc are all superb. I can’t recommend this series enough! And it ties up perfectly. By the last episode of the third season the magic of theatre is palpable and so alive *sigh*, it just doesn’t get any better.
Apparently this was the year of the amazing tv series for me. I was introduced to Sherlock by a good friend of mine. The first season was on Netflix and so my wife and I sat down and began watching. From the word go this series wowed us. Each episode is a complete mini-masterpiece! Each episode is 90 minutes long and is a complete Sherlock Holmes mystery from the old days; yes, they have been updated to make a bit more sense to our time, but they hold the original mystery and suspense perfectly. The writers handle each episode with the care and attention that any die-hard fan should.
To top all of the writing off, you have the wonderful casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Watson. These two are entirely enjoyable and Cumberbatch as Sherlock is a delight to watch and listen to. He delivers his lines with a frantic, biting and rambling genius that really gives this Sherlock all the character he needs! Another series I can recommend delightfully to EVERYONE!
The Avengers (2012)
Probably hands down the most entertaining movie I watched all year. Not that others didn’t come close, but overall this movie just combined so many great talents and had a fun storyline, excellent ratio of action to comic book mischief that I just had to watch it at least twice in the theatres and then I had to buy it on DVD/Blu-Ray 🙂
A phenomenal performance by Sam Rockwell. The production design of the movie is reminiscent for me of the original Alien movie and those late 70’s early 80’s solid sci-fi movies. This movie isn’t for everyone as it moves at a slower pace than most sci-fi movies these days and doesn’t have a huge cast…it’s pretty much just Sam for the whole movie. But I guarantee, if you like science fiction movies, you will not be disappointed!
Secret of Kells (2009)
I am always a sucker for kids movies. I love cartoons, I enjoy watching movies that are critically nauseating (some anyway); I think animated films have a greater potential scope for metaphor and that is one thing that I thoroughly love. This year I have watched plenty of kids movies, but none of them really stood out to me like this one did. Now, it’s not necessarily for young kids – the images can be intense at times and it has a bit of an intense/scary story going on. But the animation is so refreshing! And the voice acting, is subtle, which is surprising for an animated film, but right on point. The voices, the acting and the animation are perfectly juxtaposed. It’s just a delight to watch!
I wasn’t sure what to make of this movie. I wanted to see Gina Carano act and kick butt, however at the same time, I was worried. You often get these sports stars who take up acting because they “look” good in a role only to find out that they can’t act their way out of a wet paper bag. Not so with Gina. Now, it’s not the most demanding role, but Steven Soderbergh is a great director and knows how to frame shots to make Gina act without acting. The story is a fun little whodunnit mixed with some of the most palpable action scenes I’ve seen in a movie. When Gina hits someone you can feel it; there is a gravitas to the way the fights were choreographed, shot and executed. Simply a delight to watch.
I love action movies. I love science fiction movies. This is great mix of the two with a thinking man’s movie added into the mix. Rian Johnson does a superb job of telling a difficult story with great actors and in a simple effective way. Definitely a movie that I would recommend to some people, but the subject matter is a bit tougher to deal with. Heavy to be sure, and the execution of it, while sensitive, does not pull any punches. A superb story, told by a very competent storyteller!
The tv show that had my wife and I in stitches almost every episode. Season 1 was great: solid and lays a good foundation. Season 2 opens up the possibilities of this group of people to a degree I had not dreamed possible; quirky to be sure but, if you got the inside jokes, then so rewarding! Season 3 is good, but definitely feels like a third season. They found what worked and then over-used those ideas. It was still very VERY funny, but not as refreshing as the first 2 seasons. All in all, a great show to watch and very easy to fall in like with!
The Cabin In The Woods (2012)
I don’t like horror movies. I’ve tried to watch several: The Exorcist, The Shining, Event Horizon, Freddy Vs. Jason. But each time, I just couldn’t find anything to enjoy. Sure, well made, but just not for me. Joss Whedon though is my man! He found a way to make a horror movie that I not only enjoyed but was completely captivated by. Add to that it was a complete and delightful head game! To make things even better, my friend watched it and then wrote this fantastic blog post with great observations [warning! contains spoilers!!!] –> http://poserorprophet.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/the-cabin-in-the-woods-all-war-is-class-war/
Honorable Mentions: Avatar: The Legend of Korra [simply because I didn’t finish watching it before this post happened], Ponyo, Easy A, Attack The Block, Blue Like Jazz, Madagascar 3, Kung Fu Panda 2, Inherit The Wind