A look at the good, the bad and the complicated from our film writers
Published: January 2, 2013
Let's talk about sex
Sure, the penis pump and male G-strings in Steven Soderbergh's better-than-it-seemed Magic Mike raised a few eyebrows, but movies like The Sessions and Hope Springs (which I didn't really like) had the balls to remind us that getting laid is more than just fluttery romantic yearnings or giggle-inducing naughtiness. Unlike the perverse anti-sex messaging of the Twilight films, these two movies acknowledged that sex is basic human need, one that brings with it complicated emotional issues and physical challenges.
Most disturbing prostate exam
David Cronenberg's intellectually challenging and oh-so tedious Cosmopolis owns this category for all eternity. Or so I hope.
Best animated film
I kind of loved ParaNorman and The Secret World of Arrietty, but I have to give it to Marvel's The Avengers. Robert Downey Jr. was so lifelike.
The more I think about it, the madder I get
Certainly the Twilight films fall into this category. And Prometheus, which astounded with its visuals and insulted with its plotting deserves a special mention. But the documentary Detropia gets the gold here. Not only does this intellectually empty documentary revel in Detroit's ruins (a banal approach if ever there were one) and indulge in monochromatic condescension, but its title is thematically meaningless. The filmmakers claim that their made-up word suggests two possible futures for the Motor City: utopia or dystopia. Please, Ms. Ewing and Ms. Grady, explain to me how anything in your despairingly vapid yet well-shot movie could be construed as utopian? Want a more thoughtful look at Detroit's woes? Check out BURN: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit.
They sound great but didn't play here
Foreign imports Holy Motors and Amour have made many a critic's year-end list. Alas, I cannot include them because, well, you read the title above right?
Movies I didn't have room to praise
The Cabin in the Woods, Looper, Skyfall, Argo, The House I Live In, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, The Imposter, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Silver Linings Playbook, Your Sister's Sister, Haywire, Robot and Frank, Django Unchained, Dark Horse, The Impossible, Compliance, This Is Not a Movie, The Kid With a Bike
Movies I had to scrape off
the bottom of my shoe:
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2, That's My Boy, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, The Odd Life Of Timothy Green, Red Dawn, Alex Cross, Dark Shadows, Hit And Run, A Thousand Words, This Means War, Won't Back Down, ... Anything with Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington, Bette Midler or Queen Latifah.
Corey Hall and Jeff Meyers review films for MT. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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