Friday, June 29, 2012

Half-Way Report for 2012

Best Film

01. The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard)
This movie was so fucked up on so many levels, I have no idea where to even begin. The film balances dark humor and horror as well as Scream, albeit in a less self-referential way. But the real kicker is that finale which throws everything at the wall. It probably shouldn't work so well, but I found myself endlessly fascinated (and simultaneously horrified) by the spectacle.

02. The Hunger Games (Gary Ross)
03. 21 Jump Street (Phil Lord & Chris Miller)

Best Performance

01. Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games
Like Crazy is the film that turned me into a J. Law fan. The Hunger Games is what turned that love into an obsession. We all knew she could do tough, extremely focused characters--a prerequisite for Katniss Everdeen that no other young actress in Hollywood can even come close to matching Lawrence in--but The Hunger Games shows different facets of J. Law's personality that we've really only seen from her on the promotion trail. In a few moments, usually opposite Josh Hutcherson (also perfectly cast: a kid actor playing an eager-to-please contestant who knows how to get people to like him), she showed a charm and comic timing usually only seen from her on talk shows. And the flaming dress she wears while riding into the Capitol matches the fire bomb sexpot we saw at the 2010 Oscars when she wore that va-va-va voom red Baywatch dress. If we hadn't already seen it before, The Hunger Games proves that Jennifer Lawrence is the already the best actress of her generation.

02. Channing Tatum, 21 Jump Street
03. Armie Hammer, Mirror Mirror

Best Rental

01. History is Made at Night (Frank Borzage)
Married to a neurotic, possessive millionaire, Jean Arthur flees and falls in love with a charming Charles Boyer. Borzage, a well-kept secret of the studio era, keeps what could have been a farfetched, hand-ringing melodrama subtle and low-key, while Arthur, best known today for her Capra comedies, proves that she was as versatile an actress as any of her more well regarded contemporaries.

02. Metropolitan (Whit Stillman)
03. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski)
04. When Harry Met Sally... (Rob Reiner)
05. Sadie Thompson (Raoul Walsh)

Best Song

01. Lana Del Rey "Off to the Races"
Any initial skepticism I had about Ms. Del Rey was quickly erased after hearing this song. Lush, incredibly rich, and emotionally devastating, "Off to the Races" is five minutes of beautiful catharsis.

02. Nicki Minaj "Starships"
03. Dragonette "Let It Go"
04. Demi Lovato "Give Your Heart a Break"
05. Avicii "Levels"

Best Album

01. Justin Bieber, Believe
The teen sensation wisely matures while keeping an eye on the young fans who got him where he is. Easily the best teen pop album since Miley's Can't Be Tamed (and a perfect counterpoint on how to grow up from your teenage fandom without completely alienating them at the same time).
02. Madonna, MDNA
03. Kris Allen, Thank You Camellia
04. Lana Del Rey, Born to Die
05. fun., Some Nights

Best Music Video

01. One Direction "One Thing"
With music video budgets, especially those of young, up-and-coming artists, continuously getting slashed, artists have to be creative with the little money they have. None of One Direction's video have been what you'd call "big budget," but with "One Thing," they have finally found the perfect outlet to display their massive personalities. Punctuated with tiny, adorable moments (the choreographed "dance", Zayn's adorable head bob behind Louis), the "One Thing" video succinctly shows the One Direction boys as the adorable, ridiculous fellas we know them as.

02. Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe"
03. Foster the People "Color on the Walls (Don't Stop)"
04. Madonna "Girl Gone Wild"
05. Madonna featuring M.I.A. & Nicki Minaj "Give Me All Your Luvin'"

Hottest (New) Guys

01. The Teen Wolf Boys
There's a reason "Have sex with all of the Teen Wolf boys" is number three on my bucket list.

02. Drake
03. Cody Rhodes
04. Jeremy Irvine
05. Clint Mauro

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