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Script Doctor Eric

This is a submission to Great Movie Challenge of 2012.  For all of the “Best of” lists of 2012 submitted for the contest, please see the post: All the Best Movies of 2012 Lists. -Eric

The Great Movie Challenge of 2012

Patrick Short


1. The Avengers – (8/10) – A kid/comic book nerd’s dream. That’s the only way I can describe The Avengers. Five years have passed since we saw Sam Jackson in that post credit scene in Iron Man. It’s been a long wait, but it was damn sure well worth it.

2. The Grey – (8/10) – If you want to see a typical Hollywood movie, don’t see The Grey. Liam Neeson is brilliant as John Ottway. The story of survival is amazing. Rarely do I like movies that make me feel terrible after a viewing. The Grey succeeded in that.

3. The Cabin in the Woods – (8/10) – Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon flip the horror movie genre on its head with The Cabin in the Woods. To simply call it a horror movie spoof would be doing it a grave injustice. Cabin is a brilliant mash up of all the great horror movie tropes.

4. Silver Linings Playbook – (8/10) – As someone who has a bipolar stricken family member, this movie adequately portrays the trials of having to deal with such an issue. It was such a charming tale of two troubled individuals who connect deeper than either of them thought possible.

5. Zero Dark Thirty – (8/10) – Kathryn Bigelow directs this thriller about the mission to hunt Bin Laden. Even though the viewer (probably) knows the end result, the movie still manages to have that “edge of your seat” feel.

6. Django Unchained – (7/10) – Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is pretty damn good. Leonardo DiCaprio shines as Calvin Candie, and the acting all around is great. Some scenes tended to drag and there were some directorial question marks for me.

7. Skyfall– (7/10) – The first two acts are phenomenal, but the third act falls flat and doesn’t work as well as the other two. Luckily, that doesn’t detract from the overall quality of the film. Skyfall is the best Bond that I’ve seen.

8. The Dark Knight Rises – (7/10) – TDKR is visually impressive. There’s no doubt about that. The acting, minus Marion Cotillard, is superb. However, the story leaves little to be desired, andthe twist at the end was anticlimactic. Also, the lack of Chicago as Gotham took away from the movie, for me at least.

9. Lawless – (7/10) – Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, and Guy Pearce round out a fantastic cast in a pretty damn good movie. I wasn’t too big a fan of the ending, though. At this point we are just sitting here waiting for Tom Hardy to be nominated in one of the big award shows.

10. American Reunion – (7/10) – The whole original cast is back in this fourth installment (not including those straight to DVD crapfests) of the American Pie series. American Reunion is just like the originals: funny, gross, and filled with heart.

11. Chronicle – (7/10) – What happens when three teens wind up with super powers? Chronicle is what happens. Right vs Wrong, Good v. Evil, It’s all there in Chronicle. This happens to be the ONLY “found footage” movie I have ever liked. R.I.P. Steve.

12. Les Miserables– (7/10) – Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway star in this 2012 version of “the greatest musical of all time.” It was fantastic aside from Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. They completely took me out of the story and were close to ruining the entire film for me.

13. 21 Jump Street – (7/10) – The combination of Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, and Channing Tatum is just shy of comedic gold. Brie Larson and Dave Franco were awesome as the “cool” kids. The movie was just funny all around. On top of that, the cameo by Johnny Depp put it all over the top.

14. Trouble with the Curve– (7/10) – Amy Adams carries Trouble with the Curve. Clint Eastwood is as good as ever, and it’s nice to see a comeback by John Goodman recently. Justin Timberlake is steadily becoming a pretty decent actor. As a sports fan, Trouble is more than just a baseball movie. The story between Adams and Eastwood was the highlight of the film for me.

15. The Amazing Spider-Man – (7/10) – Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone shine as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, respectively. Dennis Leary is good as well. The tone of the character and the tone of the movie didn’t match very well, and there we several plot points that seem to just die off without any resolution.

16. Dredd 3D – (7/10) – Karl Urban plays the title character perfectly. Wood Harris and Lena Headey play excellent bad guys. The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that is exactly what I expected. I loved everything about this movie.

17. Safety Not Guaranteed – (7/10) – This little charming indie movie is the best time travel movie to be released this year. Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, and Aubrey Plaza are all wonderful.

18. Looper– (6/10) – I’m ashamed that I didn’t like this movie more. I went in with such high expectations, and unfortunately, they weren’t lived up to. Time travel continues to be a troublesome venture for writers. The story was good, but the film itself is filled with inconsistencies that take away from the overall quality.

19. Lockout – (6/10) – A prison is overrun by its inmates… in space! Do I really need to say more? I knew it wasn’t going to be good, but damn, this movie sure is fun. Guy Pearce’s demeanor as Marion Snow was awesome.

20. The Five-Year Engagement – (6/10) – Randall Park shines in his role as Ming. To stand out among the likes of Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Emily Blunt, Rhys Ifans, and Jason Segel is no small task. Five-Year was fun with an almost perfect blend of drama and comedy.

21. The Words – (6/10) – The trailers led me to believe that the movie was about a guy who stole a book. The film is much more than that, and not in a good way. Dennis Quaid’s character writes what I believe to be an autobiography of sorts when he writes The Words. The film asks us to care about a person who lies and cheats his way through his adult life, and I didn’t buy that.

22. This is 40 – (6/10) – There wasn’t many laughs for me in Judd Apatow’s latest flick. It almost seems as if the more Apatow works, the worse his films get. It’s a shame to see that from such a funny and talented writer and director.

23. Act of Valor – (6/10) – Is this a good movie? Not really. It had its moments; the opening drive through the busy streets and the river boat gun fight are two of my favorite scenes. I’m going to admit that this ranking is a little high, and I would feel un-American if I didn’t enjoy the movie.

24. Prometheus – (6/10) – I wanted to love this movie. The movie is basically about a man’s want to live forever and his hiring (and making) of people to help him do so. Fassbender is great as David. Idris Elba, CharlizeTheron, and NoomiRapace are great as well, but a good cast couldn’t save this movie from being just mediocre.

25. Magic Mike – (6/10) – Matthew McConaughey shines in this dramedy about a male strip club and those who dance in it. Magic Mike’s cast is full of people who can’t act. I haven’t seen a good movie from Steven Soderbergh since Ocean’s 11.

26. Project X – (6/10) – There really isn’t much to say about this movie. It was funny here and there, but it didn’t do much for me. Maybe it’s because I would never attend a party like this. Maybe it’s because my hopes were too high. I just don’t know.

27. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World – (6/10) – I can’t wrap my finger around how I feel about this movie. Movies about the end of the world are weird to me. I hardly ever feel good when they end, but this one kind of succeeded. It’s sweet and just funny enough.

28. Taken 2 – (6/10) – While remaining entertaining, Taken 2 fails at making the stakes high enough for me to ever worry for the main character and his family especially after showing just how much of a bad ass Brian Mills is in the first one.

29. Safe House – (6/10) – The two stars of the movie (Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington) are both good in their respective roles, however there wasn’t much that set this C.I.A. action movie apart from any other of its type.

30. Snow White and the Huntsman – (6/10) – A classic fairy tale with a twist is what we get from SWATH. It is the Dwarfs (and the creepy fairies) that stand out in the movie. To be honest, that’s pretty much it. It’s a fairy tale turned into a slightly better than average film.

31. Total Recall – (6/10) – Aside from the movie having (in my opinion) the two hottest females in Hollywood and tons of action, Total Recall is fairly dull.

32. The Hunger Games – (6/10) – Before I begin, I’d like to state that I have not read the book. With that said, The Hunger Games is an okay movie. There wasn’t enough of emphasis on the fact that Katniss was in a “fight to the death.” I never felt like at any time in the movie that Katniss’ life was in danger.

33. John Carter – (5/10) – I went in to the theater expecting a 6 out of 10. It didn’t disappoint. It was corny funny and had terrible dialogue at points. On the plus side, Lynn Collins wasn’t bad to look at for 2 hours.

34. Haywire – (5/10) – Despite its star studded cast, Haywire failed to impress or entertain me. The movie seemed to be sluggish at times, and it took a little long to get into the action. I caught myself checking my watch on more than one occasion. There were even times I laughed when I clearly wasn’t supposed to.

35. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – (5/10) – I’m a sucker for movies based on comic books/comic book characters. I’m also a big fan of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. With that being said, there isn’t much going for Ghost Rider. It’s still better than the first one, though.

36. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – (5/10) – When will this whole vampire craze stop? Hopefully soon. AL:VHwas slightly better than bad and slightly worse than good. The premise is nice, however. I like the idea of exploring possible alternative pasts, but this movie just didn’t do anything for me.

37. Red Dawn – (5/10) – Chris Hemsworth was the standout here. I’d be completely satisfied if Josh Peck and Adrianne Palicki were to never act again. The action was terrible, but everything else was laughable at best.

38. Battleship – (5/10) – Liam Neeson headlines an otherwise terrible cast. Unfortunately the line “You’ve sunk my Battleship,” is never said. The only positives the movie has to offer is Brooklyn Decker and a nice homage to the men who served during the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Battleship? More like Battleshit.

39. Pitch Perfect – (4/10) – Rebel Wilson is coming off of a scene stealing role in Bridesmaids. The locomotive that is her comedic talent doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In a movie full of hot women and bad music, Wilson shines, and I’m looking forward to more from her.

40. Silent House – (4/10) – Elizabeth Olsen is a breath of fresh air. She’s been nothing short of great in what I’ve seen her in. The movie wasn’t even scary. It did, however, build up the perfect amount of suspense. Then it ended, badly at that. I won’t spoil it, but the ending seemed like a cop out to me.

41. Underworld: Awakening – (4/10) – Underworld: Awakening had two things going for it before I saw it: Kate Beckinsale and the fact that I’m a fan of the series. That being said, it’s hard to find something good in this supernatural garbage heap. I would’ve liked to see a movie about the attempted cleansing of Vamps and Weres.

42. Wrath of the Titans – (4/10) – I genuinely like Greek mythology. I also genuinely disliked this movie. Same Worthington and his mullet can just go away. I’m even finding it hard to pinpoint the smallest good thing about it.

43. What to Expect When You’re Expecting – (4/10) – Not even a cast full of hot women could save this trash. It’s a pregnant version of New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, and that’s definitely not a good thing. It fails at being funny, and it fails at telling a compelling story.

I also saw Argo, but I fell asleep in the theater, thus it will not appear on this list.

 Woah, didn’t expect that diss of Argo at the end, Patrick!  Try and stay awake for the the whole thing next time – you just may like it!  -Eric

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