1. Your Sister's Sister - Even with the implausible plot, the movie is successful in many ways. The acting is superb (however, I am still not a fan of Mark Duplass as an actor). The three main actors, Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie Dewitt, are credited as "Creative Consultants" on the film and that can be heavily seen in the movie. There was a natural connection between them, the playful banter flowed beautifully, and if I didn't know better, I would believe that Emily and Rosemarie are sisters in real life. The movie also has some really funny moments ("I'm emotionally allergic to butter." ). I have seen this movie on several "Best of 2012" lists, but I don't think the genuineness (is that a word?) of the movie is enough to make it great. There are several plot issues that surrounds this love triangle story. *spoilers ahead* First, as soon as they introduce the male and female as "best friends", I knew it would turn into a love story between them (so frustrating). Second, what is so great about this guy that he has two of the most stunning women after him (one is just using him for his sperm - but seriously, why do you want his sperm?). The film fails to make him special - he isn't funny, attractive, witty, honest or pleasant to be around. He just mopes around with his Justin Bieber hair cut; he actually reminds me of Jimmy Fallon's Bieber impression. Third, if you are a lesbian who is desperately trying to have a baby, but you don't want to have a relationship with a male (and you don't want him to have a relationship with the baby), then why would you pick your sister's best friend? Fourth, why poke holes in a condom??? There are less manipulative ways to have a baby. Last, "AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" That was just me releasing my frustration with manipulative female characters.
2. Magic Mike - I really, really, really, really, really did not want to watch this movie. Absolutely dreaded it. It wasn't as bad as I imagined, but it wasn't a good movie by any stretch of the word. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I like Channing Tatum. I don't think he is as "sexy" as most women think, but I think he seems like a good guy, he is a decent actor and an extremely talented dancer (as can be seen in the "My Pony" scene. Damn.). However, I hate Alex Pettyfor. HATE. The rumor that he is abusive to women is not the only reason for this hate - especially since it is all just a "rumor" (however, my instincts usually speak the truth). Judging on his acting, he is incredibly bland (does anyone even remember I am Number Four?). He is bland here as well, considering that he had a major role in the movie, his character is mostly forgettable. The girl in the movie is also incredibly lifeless (not Olivia Munn, of course, the other one). She just seemed like the most miserable, uptight, judgemental bitch alive. Her jaw was clenched through the whole movie and even when she laughed, it was the fakest laugh in the whole world. I didn't root for any character, especially Mike (Tatum) after he says the line "look at what she is wearing. She wants to be bothered.". Unacceptable. The rest of the dialogue consisted of a lot of "bro's"and "dude's" (I counted 3 "bro's" and 2 "dude's" within a one minutes scene). The film is typical for a "stripper" movie, with Mike saving his money to follow his dreams - proving that he is more than just a "stripper". It does differ greatly in that it portrays male stripping as a profession that is fun and lucrative (which is very different then how female stripping is portrayed). I'm not a huge Soderbergh fan, but this isn't his worst film.
3. 2 Days in New York - I adored 2 Days in Paris. It was very Woody Allen-esque (which usually I hate, unless it is actually Woody Allen), but from a female perspective. Julie Delpy has a very clear voice as a filmmaker, a knack for humor and language, and she is gorgeous. My real reason for loving 2 Days in Paris, though, was mostly because of Adam Goldberg. He does the whole miserable, whiny, complain-about-everything type character really well (and by "well", I mean that even though he is annoying as fuck, he is still really funny and entertaining to watch). Even though the movie was about a couple who endlessly bickered, you still wanted to root for them. 2 Days in New York does not work as well, mostly because of Chris Rock. I hate to blame the entire failure of the movie on him.....but, well, I can't think of any other reason as to why it doesn't work. He just doesn't have that lovable quirky presence, instead he's just kind of an asshole. There were parts of the film that bordered on genius; like the underlying racism from the sister's French boyfriend; he asks Mingus (Chris Rock, and yes, that is his characters actual name. Mingus.) if he likes Salt-N-Pepa and tells his sister that she looks like Beyonce (she doesn't). The culture clash with her French family started to border on absurd (there is a difference between miscommunication and downright bat-shit crazy), but it was still pretty entertaining. The most genius part of the whole movie is when the buyer of the soul is revealed. I won't ruin it for anyone, but it is sublime casting.
4. Killer Joe - The film is described as a "twisted, redneck trailer park murder story" and for personal reasons, I have a hard time watching something like that. Since I heard so many good things about Killer Joe, I couldn't ignore it. All the good things are true. Matthew McConaughey is the best he's been since A Time to Kill. William Friedkin created another film that is not only bold, but a tense, shiver-inducing, claustrophobic nightmare. Gina Gershon acted her ass off (I honestly didn't know she could act). She was definitely aided by the excessive eye make-up during "the scene" (and I laughed out loud with "Sharla, your mascara is running"), but she really impressed me. The whole KFC thing was a bit overblown, in my opinion. Let's just say, it could have been worse, and leave it at that. It won't make my top 10 list
this year, but I can definitely see why others have included it in theirs.
5. ParaNorman - The beginning is quite cute, funny and entertaining. I found myself smiling through the first 1/2 hour. "That statue just pissed at us!" I laughed so hard, still laughing. Ah, but soon the laughs ended and it became difficult to pay attention to. The animation was cool, and it probably would have been a blast in 3D (for people who like 3D. I'm told these people exist, although I've never met any of them). It wasn't a bad movie, I'm sure kids will be entertained by it, but I just can't see remembering anything about it a few weeks from now.