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?

Back to the Grind

It’s back to the old grind today.

Since I used up all my vacation galavanting around Italy and France this summer with my lovely wife, I am working this week.

It should be a relatively slow week. We closed out a couple huge projects last week and I’m getting ready to ramp up some new ones for Q1.

I got some great presents for my birthday and Christmas from my whole fam. Lots of fun books and DVDs, gift cards, clothes…all good times. I’ve been wanting to get a MacBook for a while now and am now chomping at the bit since I have some money burning a hole in my pocket, but after running down to the Apple Store on the Plaza today, I’ve decided to wait until after MacWorld in January before I purchase anything…that way I’ll be in on the latest and greatest.

Did you get anything fun for Christmas?

Buy Me Stuff!

I’m not sure how many of you know, but my 31st birthday is a short NINE days away. Christmas is only 2 days after that. I know that my readers are wanting to buy me stuff. In order to help facilitate the gift-buying process, I’m going to provide you with this handy-dandy gift-buying guide as well as a nice fat link to my wish list.

Highlights of the things I want this year include (but are not reserved to):

The Old Standbys

  • DVDs (TV Shows like Alias, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, and The Office)
  • Comic Books (there are tons on my list, especially Pearls Before Swine collections – great “library” material!)
  • Regular Books (I’m especially interested in the one called “The 4-hour Work Week” – who wouldn’t want that?)

Big Ticket Items

  • Macbook
  • Bose QC2 Noise Cancelling Headphones
  • Complete Harry Potter Set
  • Complete Calvin and Hobbes

I’m not very imaginative when it comes to gifts, although there’s plenty to choose from. Please feel free to buy me a present! I also like Starbucks gift cards and will be more than willing to accept gift cards to any major retailer. You also can just send me money on PayPal if you’d like. If you’re looking to buy a gift for someone else, might I suggest my Cafe Press store? That way, everyone wins.

Still here

I’m still here.

I’ve been at my new job almost two weeks and I’m still getting acclimated, although I’m much more comfortable now than I was a week ago. With the holiday season, there’s a lot going on. Lots to talk about, just haven’t had the time yet.

I’ll hopefully get to a “How My First Two Weeks Have Been” post this weekend.

I know that all 5 of you are on the edge of your seats.