My 7 Favorite Movies of 2012 (so far)

The holiday season is upon us! This is a busy time at work and in that spirit, I thought I’d present to you my favorite movies of the year so far. Some are still in theatres, but most aren’t. And I still haven’t seen Lincoln yet, but I’ve heard amazing things about it. So many great movies begin coming out around this time of year…here’s the stuff I’ve really liked.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The holiday season is upon us! This is a busy time at work and in that spirit, I thought I’d present to you my favorite movies of the year so far. Some are still in theatres, but most aren’t. And I still haven’t seen Lincoln yet, but I’ve heard amazing things about it. So many great movies begin coming out around this time of year…here’s the stuff I’ve really liked (in no particular order):

Ruby Sparks

Zoe Kazan’s wonderful little movie about an author whose writer’s block leads him to manifest a character from his writings into real life. Paul Dano and Kazan (who date in real life, I believe) have terrific chemistry and Chris Messina provides terrific support as Dano’s brother.

Ruby Sparks is out on DVD and Blu-Ray

Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph posterI’m a sucker for good animated movies. They’re accessible to all ages and have more flexibility to be creative than most traditional films. Wreck-It Ralph fits that mold completely, telling the story of a “bad guy” from the video game Fix-It Felix, Jr., who decides he doesn’t want to be bad anymore. The adventure leads him to “game jump” trying to prove all of the people of his game wrong. Released by Disney Animation under the tutelage of John Lassiter, who was one of the co-creators of Pixar, this movie has all the things that we love about Pixar movies: originality, comedy and heart. The voice characterization of the main characters by John C. Reilly (Ralph) and Sarah Silverman (Vanellope von Schweetz) is nothing short of perfect. I loved this movie. And I haven’t talked to a single person yet who hasn’t felt the same way. Bonus points for the short film that precedes it, Paper Man. Just trust me on that one.

Wreck-It Ralph is in theatres now

The Dark Knight Rises

There is no doubt that Christopher Nolan revolutionized not just the Batman franchise, but the approach of comic book movies into the future. Batman Begins was the reboot that all of these other comic book reboots have been based on and The Dark Knight Rises is the wonderful conclusion to his epic trilogy.

The Dark Knight Rises is out on DVD and Blu-Ray December 4


Argo posterBen Affleck has become one of the most talented and sought-after directors in Hollywood. So far, he hasn’t missed a step. Last year’s The Town was one of the best films of the year and should have garnered him his first Academy Award nomination since Good Will Hunting. This year, Affleck tackled a historical film about a CIA mission to get out several embassy workers from Iran in the late 1970’s. Affleck both stars and directs in this taut thriller that keeps you at the edge of your seat the whole movie long. He stays very faithful to the era and gets wonderful supporting performances from John Goodman and Alan Arkin.

Argo is in theatres now

Moonrise Kingdom

Most people either love or hate Wes Anderson movies. He has a very specific style that people either like or dislike. There isn’t a lot in between. I actually kind of fall in between though. I’ve never been a huge fan (for example, I think Rushmore is extremely overrated), but he has his moments. This year’s Moonrise Kingdom was, to me, his best work to date. Creative and quirky, Moonrise Kingdom follows two kids who fall in love during a summer on an island off the coast of New England. The kids who play the main characters are perfectly weird and play their roles well and the adults provide a backdrop that shows people don’t stop being screwed up even into their adult years.

Moonrise Kingdom is out on Blu-Ray and DVD

The Perks of Being a Walflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower posterI read this book way back in 2005. When I heard about the movie adaptation, I was nervous. I really loved the book and I thought it might be difficult to translate to screen. I was comforted by the fact that Stephen Chbosky, who wrote the book, was writing the screenplay and directing. I was not disappointed. Telling the story of a confused teenager named Charlie, Chbosky explores some pretty heavy subject material for teenagers, but gets a wonderful assist from his talented cast, led by Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. This movie really succeeds in staying true to the challenging nature of the book, but keeping it accessible to many audiences.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is still out in some theatres

The Avengers

It’s difficult for me to write a best-of list without the biggest blockbuster of the year, Marvel’s The Avengers. Anchored by the return of everyone’s favorite billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark, played by the always terrific Robert Downey, Jr., The Avengers was arguably one of the biggest movies of the year, bringing together the last few years of work that Marvel has done with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Hulk. What results is a really big, fun, entertaining ride that pits good vs. evil for the fate of the planet. When it comes to entertainment, I don’t know if there was another movie this year that could eclipse The Avengers.

The Avengers is out on Blu-Ray and DVD now

There’s still a lot of great stuff yet to come this year. I’m looking forward to seeing Lincoln, Life of Pi, The Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, The Hobbit, The Impossible and Promised Land.

So what have your favorite movies of the year been? And what are you most looking forward to seeing this holiday season?

A Post for 2012

I’ve spent the last 10 days on vacation. A much needed one. When you’re dealing with agencies on a large-scale project that requires virtually all of your time, it’s good to take a break when they do.

So I spent my Christmas vacation sleeping, catching up on movies and generally laying about while I wasn’t eating.

And man, did I ever eat. Three amazing dinners to celebrate my birthday — one at Trezo Vino, one at J. Gilbert and one at Blanc Burger. Great meals all, but my waistline is definitely worse for the wear.

My birthday and Christmas were terrific: I got everything I really wanted (except more storage for my computer…I’ll just buy that myself), including two new rad pair of sneakers and a new leather messenger bag for work (it makes me feel totally grown up).

And now, it’s officially 2012. Resolutions suck, but it’s a great time to start anew and set new goals for the year. So here are mine:

  • I’m getting back onto Weight Watchers for real. We had some great success with it last year, but I stopped counting points and really lost my way. No more messing around. I’ve got 50 pounds to get to my goal weight. I’m aiming for getting there by the end of the year. Ideally, I’d like to be there by summer, but I want to be realistic too.
  • I’ve got two big website launches this year. I want them both to go well.
  • I want to find some sense of purpose for this site. Whether it’s WordPress or Tumblr or whatever…I want to post more and have more clarity in my posts.
  • I obviously want to improve my work/life balance…whatever that might mean.
  • I want to go on another adventure with Alli. It’s been too long since our Italian adventure. It’s time for another.
  • Drink more water.
  • I’d like to take another crack at reading 25 books this year. It’s been 5 years since I last did it. Look for an upcoming post with the books I intend to read this year.
  • Keep being awesome.

Now that they’re written down, I have to stick to them, right? Isn’t that the point of stuff like this? What do you plan to do this year?

On April Fools

I played a prank for April Fool’s Day.

I rarely do that, but I was in the mood because I was having some fun with the holiday at work today on Twitter (sidebar, our Twitter account hit the Top Tweets on Twitter’s home page today). So I played an obvious one on Facebook, proclaiming in a status that Alli and I were expecting our first child, which is maybe one of the most obvious pranks possible.

50+ comments and likes. People are cuckoo for babies on Facebook.

And really gullible.

My Favorite Christmas Songs Right Now

I love this time of year. I love the cold. I love the holidays and I love the snow.

I also really love Christmas music. Every year, I try to find something new. I haven’t been able to accomplish that just this year, but the songs that are on repeat on my iPad are two relatively new indie-artist songs that fall right into my wheelhouse of music that I like all year round.

From The Hotel Cafe’s collection “Winter Songs” is Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson’s Winter Song. So melancholy and gorgeous and just captures the wintertime feeling so well. Love this song. The video is pretty great too.

This next one is a song I’ve had for a year, but only really fell in love with this season. Indie folk dude Sufjan Stevens released a 5-disc collection last year called “Songs for Christmas”. I adore this collection. There are some traditional Christmas hymns, some updated carols and a collection of new songs. This is one of my favorites. There’s no official video, but this is a pretty good piece.

What are your favorite Christmas tunes this year?

Merry Christmas!

It’s been an amazing 3 days.

We started on the 23rd, my birthday, by taking care of our nieces (and by “we” I mean Alli) for much of the day and having both our families over for some birthday festivities, Oklahoma Joe’s and funfetti cookies. I got a bunch of great presents…really good stuff.

Christmas Eve we spent with Alli’s family at Tyson and her sister’s house. More great stuff and lots of eating.

Yesterday morning, I got the present that I wanted all season: a white Christmas. So much snow! The family got up and did some shoveling — not just our driveway, but two others (and my back is paying for it today). We headed out and braved the roads to hang out with my family for lunch, more presents and really great times. Laughing with my family is one of my favorite things to do.

I made out like a bandit this year, scoring great presents from everyone and still having a wonderful white Christmas.

I hope everyone’s Christmas season has been as good as mine. A couple more movies this weekend and it will be complete!