My anxiety and The Perks of Being a Wallflower

My anxiety and The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Hi all, I thought I would divert from my usual film reviews for a post. I wanted to share a column piece I wrote for my college newspaper, the Algonquin Times, last semester about my anxieties in high school and how the film The Perks of Being a Wallflower  (review) helped me get through it.

I also just wanted to share what I’ve been doing in school, too, so here’s my author page for the publication if you wanted to check out any of the other articles.

Anyway, here’s the article which originally appeared here

During my high school senior year, I was looking for a sense of belonging.

I was searching through the hallways or, frankly, anywhere I could find it.

Finding that belonging has never been easy for me. Those lonely lunch hours led me to going home for lunch a lot, my main comfort zone.

I’ve had anxiety for some time. The source for it has been my fear of judgment, a need of acceptance and lack of confidence. Another source of my anxiety was my inability of feeling like I could be myself in a group of people where I felt uncomfortable with one person. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling.

Alas, anxiety is a part life.

The_Perks_of_Being_a_Wall_172
Emma Watson in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Source)

I wasn’t able to truly pinpoint these feelings until October 2012 when I saw the film The Perks of Being a Wallflower, adapted from a novel of the same name by Stephen Chbosky. It was a film that changed my life.

The film dealt with a wallflower, an introvert, who found friendship during his teenage years. The narrative showed there’s no shame in being yourself, and that none of us are alone. Its content was deeply resonant at that point in my life, and I felt like I was taking the journey with the characters. I laughed and cried, and had a lump in my throat throughout.

Even like one’s basic anxiety medication, The Perks of Being a Wallflower didn’t make me invincible. I still had my fair share of problems and took a year off after high school until my anxiety had weakened and my heart wouldn’t beat like a speeding drum, like it did on the first day of college.

The film brought me a better understanding of myself. It helped me feel more visible. It, and my program, has drawn me out of my gradually expanding comfort zone. It’s helped show me that I really can do anything I aspire to do.

Since this current level of the journalism program has less than 35 students, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be the same person if it were a larger program. Our tight-knit community brought me confidence, and it help me to find a group of like-minded people.

When I met with a friend from high school, I asked him if he noticed anything different about me, expecting no deep answer. “You laugh more,” he said.

I can attribute that to finding a sense of belonging. I am no longer that vulnerable boy walking down a hallway looking for a friend.

Product review: Samsung 32″ Class LED Smart HDTV

S222-3253-CA_chiclet01_ac_mn_7847210This is my first product review, so I hope I get my thoughts across as well as I can. This is a review of a Samsung 32″ Class LED Smart HDTV, which I got the other month on this cool site called Argos. Oh, and the direct link to their TVs page is this. It looks like they have some good deals on there. I got mine on sale for a decent price, and the TV has a lot of functions so it’s pretty awesome, and I’ve got my money’s worth. Apparently it can have two devices plugged in at the back, so that’s pretty cool.

It hasn’t given me a lot of trouble, but the only complaints I have is that the Smart Hub function is arbitrary on when it works or not. And it’s been making me do constant updates. Though, when it does work, the apps that come with it are awesome. I haven’t dabbled too much with that yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so. I only noticed it the other day. It’s kinda awesome how you can browse the internet while you watch TV. I mean, I’m usually on the computer anyway, but it’s fun to know that it has that capability. I want to try out the capability where one can plug in a jump drive and watch a video off of the jump drive. If I just download a movie off the computer I can watch the film on the TV, so that sounds great. This TV has a lot more capability than regular TVs it seems, but a technologically challenged person can still easily use this – it’s not the biggest challenge to plug in. I can also access Netflix without plugging in my Blu-Ray player so that’s cool; and I can watch YouTube videos on it, which I think is a great feature, as well. If there’s nothing good on TV, I can just go on YouTube, and I think I’ll watch more videos that way. With a regular TV, I’m sure I would have discovered all of its capabilities by now, but it seems like I’m finding something new each day.

The gaming experience on it is awesome, it seems like the noises are a bit more hollow if that makes sense. I mean, I was playing “GTA 5” the other day for the first time on it and the gun shots sounded a bit more of a thud, and the car crashes sounded different, too. It’s a cooler experience on a smart TV, though, I really like the compact screen – and the image looks much nicer. It at least is nicer when I got the brightness just right, it’s best on natural lighting, I find. Movie’s pretty good, but standard is way too dark. It’s good to dabble with the settings to find the right picture, and it’s a good image when it’s just right. One thing I’m impressed by is how the sound is. I can hear my TV quite well with the volume at 20/100, at least when I’m watching a movie; and the volume’s good at mid-30s when I’m watching regular television. It’s a good experience overall. I just hope I never lose my controller, because it doesn’t seem like there are any manual controls on the television. So, I’m screwed if I lose it. The joke would be on me, then, I guess. One more thought: The TV’s actually lighter than a regular TV, which is great for when I have to move it around.

If I had to give it a score, I’d give this a out of 5.

One Year of Daniel’s Film Reviews!

Blogaversary

 

I’ve been at this blogging thing for a year now! I also just hit 21,000 views, so I’m proud of that. Is that good for the first year? I’m not really sure. I’d like to thank all the people who visit and leave all the great comments. I look forward to growing the Daniel’s Film Reviews community even more and getting to know all of you better. And I’ll make sure to visit all the blogs I want to a lot more! I’ll make a list.

Here are the Top 5 commenters: 1. Tim the Film Guy with 122 comments; second place to CMrok93 with 57 comments; third place goes to mistylane with 30 comments; fourth place to Sir Phobos with 23 comments; and fifth place to Foogos with 18 comments.

Here’s to another year of blogging, and many more to come!

Sandlerthon Update

I don’t think I can watch all of Sandler’s movies that I said I’d watch. When I was trying to sleep the other night, I couldn’t think of an answer to why I’m having this marathon. I mean, it just doesn’t seem worth it because so many of Sandler’s movies are just mediocre. And I should do it with a comedian I love, like Will Ferrell or Jim Carrey. On the second day, when I was watching “Shakes the Clown” and then “Going Overboard,” I was thinking, “Okay, I can’t do it, man!” And I found the low-point of Sandler’s career with “Overboard,” so that’s not bad. But one can’t really write many funny reviews with just mediocre comedies.

These are all the ones I said I’d watch: Anger Management, The Animal, Bedtime Stories, Big Daddy, Bulletproof, Click, Coneheads, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo, Dirty Work, Eight Crazy Nights, Funny People, Going Overboard, Happy Gilmore, Hotel Transylvania, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Just Go With It, Little Nicky, The Longest Yard, Mr. Deeds, Mixed Nuts, Pauly Shore is Dead, Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, Shakes the Clown, Spanglish, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Zookeeper.

I’m only going to be watching the remaining ones I’m looking forward to. I mean, I like most of them, but I’d rather not tire of the movies of his that I like. I’ll review You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Mr. Deeds, Bedtime Stories from memory. (I like one of those three.)

These are the reviews you guys will be getting: Anger Management, The Animal, Bedtime Stories (short review), The Benchwarmers, Big Daddy, Click, Eight Crazy Nights, Going Overboard, Happy Gilmore, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Just Go With It, Little Nicky, The Longest Yard, Mr. Deeds (short review), Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, Shakes the Clown, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (short review).

I’ll start posting the reviews on August 15th!

Announcement for Sandlerthon

Adam Sandler 11I’ve decided to have an Adam Sandler marathon. I think I’ve been a little harsh on the guy lately (but he deserves it, amirite?), so I’ve decided to go through his whole filmography to show that I do like some of his movies. I’ll be watching twenty-nine of his movies throughout the first two weeks of August, and posting the reviews throughout the second half of August. (Maybe earlier.) I am going to still be wathcing as many other movies as I can muster, but I’ll get through the twenty-eight. The eight movies I’ve reviewed out of his filmography, I won’t be reviewing again. Out of those eight movies, I like four of them (“50 First Dates,” “Billy Madison,” “Grown Ups,”   “The Hot Chick“). And I can’t stand to watch the other four ever again (“Airheads,” “Grown Ups 2,” “Jack and Jill” and “That’s My Boy“). A good amount of the movies I’ll be reviewing I’ve seen before (20 out of 29, but I only remember 14 out of those), so that might seem a little strange, but I’ll review it as both a re-watch and a new experience, if that makes sense. I just want to watch all of his movies so I can say I’ve made it through his torturous flicks and his best. Hopefully I don’t get too tired of the egg-headed comedian! I’m also a fan of his early career. So here’s what I’ll be watching on each day:

Day 1: The Wedding Singer, Just Go With It. (Romantic Sandler.)
Day 2: Going Overboard, Shakes the Clown. (Early Career.)
Day 3: The Animal, Pauly Shore is Dead, Dirty Work. (Non-starring roles.)
Day 4: Little Nicky, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. (Distinctive Characters.)
Day 5: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo, Zookeeper. (Non-starring roles.)
Day 6: The Longest Yard, Mr. Deeds. (Inferior Remakes.)
Day 7: Click, Bedtime Stories. (Family-friendly Sandler.)
Day 8: Happy Gilmore, Anger Management. (Angry Sandler.)
Day 9: Coneheads, Mixed Nuts. (Non-starring roles.)
Day 10: Bulletproof, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. (Random.)
Day 11: Eight Crazy Nights, Hotel Transylvania. (Animated Sandler.)
Day 12: Spanglish, Funny People. (Non-Happy Madison Productions.)
Day 13: Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me. (Critically Acclaimed Sandler.)
Day 14: Big Daddy, The Waterboy. (Legitimately Funny Sandler.)

Adam Sandler

DVD Court: The Master, Chasing Mavericks, Twilight

See which films being released this week are worth the watch!

Committed to Celluloid

Hello, dear followers! It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time for DVD Court!

dvd court

DVD Court takes place over at The Cinematic Katzenjammer and this is what we do on a weekly basis:

As The Jury, we recommend what should happen to a particular DVD released today. Voting Burn It, Skip It, Rent It, or Buy It, we come together to deliver a verdict and hope to help you decide what to watch or avoid.

So, if you’d like to see us deliberate on The Master, Chasing Mavericks and Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, go here.

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2013 Oscar Predictions

2013 Oscar Predictions of Nominees

The film in bold is the one that I think will win. Also, I haven’t predicted a category where I haven’t seen at least one of the films.

Best Picture
Amour (2012)
Argo (2012)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
Django Unchained (2012)
Les Misérables (2012)
Life of Pi (2012)
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

I think Argo will win because it’s just all-around superb. It’s intense, surprisingly funny, smart, never boring and it actually makes me tap my feet in anticipation of the outcome. Director Ben Affleck was snubbed of a nomination for Best Achievement in Directing, so it would be great to see this come out with Best Picture, even if, on most occasions, Best Picture and Director go hand in hand (the last time it didn’t was with 2005’s Best Picture Winner Crash, with Ang Lee winning Best Director for Brokeback Mountain; and Lee might repeat history for a second time). It’s a bold choice, but it’s a great film. My favourite Best Picture nominee, however, is Django Unchained. No matter how much I dislike saying this, I can’t imagine it winning.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln (2012)
Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables (2012)
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master (2012)
Denzel Washington for Flight (2012/I)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva for Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts for The Imposible

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin for Argo
Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln
Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams for The Master
Sally Field for Lincoln
Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables
Helen Hunt for The Sessions
Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook

Best Achievement in Directing
Michael Haneke for Amour (2012)
Ang Lee for Life of Pi (2012)
David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln (2012)
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Amour (2012): Michael Haneke
Django Unchained (2012): Quentin Tarantino
Flight (2012/I): John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom (2012): Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty (2012): Mark Boal

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Argo (2012): Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012): Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi (2012): David Magee
Lincoln (2012): Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook (2012): David O. Russell

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Brave (2012): Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Frankenweenie (2012): Tim Burton
ParaNorman (2012): Sam Fell, Chris Butler
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012): Peter Lord
Wreck-It Ralph (2012): Rich Moore

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Anna Karenina (2012/I): Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained (2012): Robert Richardson
Life of Pi (2012): Claudio Miranda
Lincoln (2012): Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall (2012): Roger Deakins

Best Achievement in Editing
Argo (2012): William Goldenberg
Life of Pi (2012): Tim Squyres
Lincoln (2012): Michael Kahn
Silver Linings Playbook (2012): Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers
Zero Dark Thirty (2012): William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor

Best Achievement in Production Design
Anna Karenina (2012/I): Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012): Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, Simon Bright
Les Misérables (2012): Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson
Life of Pi (2012): David Gropman, Anna Pinnock
Lincoln (2012): Rick Carter, Jim Erickson

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Anna Karenina (2012/I): Jacqueline Durran
Les Misérables (2012): Paco Delgado
Lincoln (2012): Joanna Johnston
Mirror Mirror (2012/I): Eiko Ishioka
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012): Colleen Atwood

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
Hitchcock (2012): Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, Martin Samuel
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012): Peter King, Rick Findlater, Tami Lane
Les Misérables (2012): Lisa Westcott, Julie Dartnell

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Anna Karenina (2012/I): Dario Marianelli
Argo (2012): Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi (2012): Mychael Danna
Lincoln (2012): John Williams
Skyfall (2012): Thomas Newman

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Chasing Ice (2012): J. Ralph(“Before My Time”)
Les Misérables (2012): Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer(“Suddenly”)
Life of Pi (2012): Mychael Danna, Bombay Jayshree(“Pi’s Lullaby”)
Skyfall (2012): Adele, Paul Epworth (“Skyfall”)
Ted (2012): Walter Murphy, Seth MacFarlane(“Everybody Needs a Best Friend”)

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Argo (2012): John T. Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, José Antonio García
Les Misérables (2012): Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Simon Hayes
Life of Pi (2012): Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Drew Kunin
Lincoln (2012): Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, Ron Judkins
Skyfall (2012): Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, Stuart Wilson

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Argo (2012): Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van der Ryn
Django Unchained (2012): Wylie Stateman
Life of Pi (2012): Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton
Skyfall (2012): Per Hallberg, Karen M. Baker
Zero Dark Thirty (2012): Paul N.J. Ottosson

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
The Avengers
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Prometheus
Snow White and the Huntsman

Best Documentary, Features

Best Documentary, Short Subjects

Best Short Film, Animated
Adam and Dog (2011): Minkyu Lee
Fresh Guacamole (2012): PES
Head Over Heels (2012): Timothy Reckart, Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
Paperman (2012): John Kahrs
The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare (2012): David Silverman

Best Short Film, Live Action

My Top 25 Films of 2012

2012 saw some great films, and some real stinkers. I have seen 68 of them. These are my top 25 favourite films of 2012, and also the ten worst.

Oh and, some of these films don’t have the highest scores, but they’re higher up on the list. This is because some films (like The Hobbit) have grown on me a lot since I’ve seen them. Click on the title in the caption to get to review (and the titles in the ‘worst of’ list). Anyway, here’s the list, starting with #25:

#25 - Pitch Perfect
#25 – Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect is a fairly original (at least in cinema) and entertaining Glee-inspired musical comedy that may be predictable, but it’s a toe-tapping experience that has a fine plot, great music, some strange characters (most notably Lilly, a character who looks like that creepy big-eyed girl from Frankenweenie), show-stealing performers (like Bridesmaids‘ Rebel Wilson who portrays Fat Amy) and a memorable ensemble cast.

#24 - This is 40
#24 – This is 40

This is 40 is not quite as good as Knocked Up, but it’s a satisfying sort-of sequel. This is sometimes over-dramatic because of the numerous conflicts, but it is driven by fresh, laugh-out-loud comedy that helps Apatow get the message, of overcoming family differences and a mid-life crisis, across very well. Laughs, conflict, and advertisements for iPhones, Apple products, TV’s Lost, and a good role for Megan Fox are all present.

#23 - Ted
#23 – Ted

Ted‘s screenplay may be crowded but we must understand that MacFarlane’s comfort zone is a mere 22-minute slot, while this is a whole 112-minute feature. The end product turns out to be better than anyone would think a buddy comedy between a talking teddy bear and an immature man could be, and Wahlberg and Ted’s chemistry help make this one of the best buddy comedies of the year. I’m excited to see what else first-time director MacFarlane has in store for the silver screen, and I say bring on the sequel.

#22 - The Hunger Games
#22 – The Hunger Games

The film starts out fairly slow, but once the games come around the bend, it instantly becomes intensely engaging and entertaining. The screenplay maintains the fascinating theme of propaganda [and how corrupt the government may become], but doesn’t capture the extreme violence that we fans handled in the novel itself, and there isn’t quite enough bonding time with select characters. The adaptation is nonetheless great, and since it was not followed to a tee, there is room for surprise. Anyone who is willing to accept this fresh experience will enjoy it, as it is a promising beginning to a new teen franchise.

#21 - Rise of the Guardians
#21 – Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians is a slightly flawed, but wildly inventive, animated adventure that may have some deeply thematic material and action sequences that could be midly scary for small children. The main flaw is the disorganized beginning – but it finds its pace soon enough. The concept is a sort of edgy animated feature, but is a great end product. This is one of the most original animated features of the year, mainly because of the alterations to the beloved Guardians, like making Santa Claus look like a Russian biker, are very fresh. This is a great message to teach the kids this holiday season – don’t only believe in Santa around his season, also believe in all the other heroes, at least when their time comes around the bend.

#20 - The Grey
#20 – The Grey

The dialogue of this film allows characters to be thoroughly developed and compelling concepts to arise. When the characters aren’t talking, it gets engaging and thoroughly thrilling. The anti-climactic ending says Carnahan has learned to resist throwing full-throttle action at us, and he instead resists the urge and keeps the astounding and exciting survival film as tame as could be. The mostly unknown actors make the spotlight shine directly on the star: Liam Neeson.

#19 - Lincoln
#19 – Lincoln

Spielberg seems like, at this point in his career, is interested in making ambitious biopics instead of blockbusters like Jaws. The intelligent monologue-filled feature intricately throws information at you, and at times it can be quite a bit to absorb, but it is usually engaging. The cast of Lincoln is impressive, most notably Daniel Day-Lewis, who delivers a kind-hearted, endlessly charming performance that adds layers to one of the greatest figures in American history. Day-Lewis captures Lincoln’s will to get things done, and his genuine and kind self.

#18 - Killing Them Softly
#18 – Killing Them Softly

Killing Them Softly is a clever mafia tale of violence and despair with a great leading performance from Brad Pitt; with his mysterious character delivering us plenty of violence to keep us happy. This tale is also a social commentary on the local criminal economy in 2008, before Obama stepped into office – the concepts are complex, but there are not difficult to comprehend. The not-so-subtle message may be annoying to some, but the story is very engaging. It is a thought-provoking film brought to life by Andrew Dominik’s stylish and artistic direction.

#17 - End of Watch
#17 – End of Watch

The abrupt ending keeps this from being flawless, but this is a stellar crime story with intelligent writing by writer/director David Ayer (who previously wrote Training Day) with some of the best chemistry I have seen all year. End of Watch does for the real lives of cops what Ladder 49 did for fire fighters, but it’s about twenty-six times better.

#16 - Chronicle
#16 – Chronicle

Chronicle is one of the most surprisingly amazing features of 2012. The rushed pace is its main flaw, but it is an awesome experience for the 84 minutes it stays around. It obtains must-see status because of its thoroughly thematic and disturbing content. It is the most must-see found-footage feature of 2012, perhaps of all-time.

#15 - Seven Psychopaths
#15 – Seven Psychopaths

Seven Psychopaths has a clever screenplay and is a fantastic second feature from writer/directer Martin McDonagh. It is equal parts brutal, brilliant and hysterical. It is extremely memorable and has great characters and a superb ensemble cast. It is one of the most original screenplays of the year, and it’s another comedy that proves 2012 is one of the best for that genre.

#14 - Les Misérables
#14 – Les Misérables

The story may have ideas crammed in the feature, it undeniably has a very emotional core. If the actors weren’t singing the vast majority of their dialogue, the film wouldn’t be quite as exciting or engaging. This combines a great period piece with a profound musical, and it makes this one of the best features of the year.

#13 - 21 Jump Street
#13 – 21 Jump Street

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum create a superb chemistry, and this is one of the finest comedy ensembles of the year. The comedy is always funny, and this is the best action-comedy of the year. The real bite about this is that no one expected it to be very good, and yet, it is a hilarious and exciting ride.

#12 - The Dark Knight Rises
#12 – The Dark Knight Rises

Writer/director Christopher Nolan delivers us an impressive and atmospheric piece of cinema that has incredible thrills, great plot execution and great direction, character development that has room for improvement and a slow build-up that leads to an incredible climax. It is also a thoroughly impressive end to a great trilogy, it’s a slight step-down from the high standards set by The Dark Knight, but it is better than Batman Begins.

#11 - Skyfall
#11 – Skyfall

Skyfall is a compelling experience with great pacing, a great story and great humour. Javier Bardem is simply astounding. His presence is really worth the wait. He is one of the greatest criminal masterminds of recent memory, comparable to both Heath Ledger’s The Joker and Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter. He is the second best villain of the year, right behind Leonardo DiCaprio’s Calvin Candie in Django Unchained.

#10 - Looper
#10 – Looper

Looper offers an entertaining and memorable action experience with a great story and characters, making it a film that should be cherished. Looper is slightly flawed because of a sometimes crowded screenplay and numerous antagonists, but it has a complex story that’s surprisingly easy to follow, with great characters like Jeff Daniels’ nice-guy-ruthless-when-he-wants-to-be crime boss.

#9 - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
#9 – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a thoroughly satisfying start to a new Middle Earth trilogy. Its usually silly undertone may frustrate some, but to most, like myself, it makes for a great experience. The many expendable dwarfs may get a lot of the attention, but it is very much Bilbo Baggins’ show. That is until the show-stealing Gollum shows up for one of the best scenes of the feature. I cannot wait to see what the trilogy looks like when all of the films are released.

#8 - Life of Pi
#8 – Life of Pi

Life of Pi is interesting because it is not afraid to bring in concepts of faith and religion. It is also visually beautiful, sometimes funny, thought-provoking, magnificent, terrifying and saddening. There is also a  great story, great direction, wonderful cinematography, great conflicts and relationships present. The actors bring it all to the table, and a short list of performers carries the film very well. This is one of the best films of the year that will be a large Oscar contender. If you’re going to see this, see it in its full 3D glory.

#7 - Flight
#7 – Flight

The drama is solid and the overall film if profoundly enjoyable, compelling, emotional, sometimes funny and often gripping. The suspenseful scene at the beginning is the only action scene in the feature, and it soon turns into a character study, with fascinating concepts of addiction. Those who find the concept of addiction fascinating will enjoy this even more.

#6 - The Cabin in the Woods
#6 – The Cabin in the Woods

Many may think it is simply just another teen slasher, but what gets thrown at you is surprising, extremely fresh and endlessly entertaining. This is one of the most original horror films of all time, with signature bites of comedy from Joss Whedon.

#5 - Wreck-It Ralph
#5 – Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph is the finest animated feature of 2012 and is generally one hell of a nostalgic and enjoyable film. This is like the Toy Story for a new generation. Disney has delivered us a great film yet again, and mashed two generally loved things together: their acclaimed animation, and video games. I had high expectations for this film, and this really rocked my world.

#4 - Argo
#4 – Argo

One of the most captivating things about the nerve-racking Argo is the boiling suspense of the situation, and the viewer can just feel it build throughout. Argo plays out like an assassin giving you his first choke-hold, he’s inexperienced and you may feel the grip loosening from time to time, but then it strengthens again and doesn’t let go until the very end.

#3 - Silver Linings Playbook
#3 – Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook is hilarious, beautiful, meaningful, sad, emotional, and very dramatic at times. It is a truly magnificent blend. One thing that helps the film is the impeccable writing by David O. Russell, and Matthew Quick who originally wrote the novel. The viewer may not be able to relate to the exact situation of these characters, but they could fully understand their motivations – and most may have felt similar emotions that these characters express on a daily basis.

#2 - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
#2 – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The profound analysis of teenage angst is accurate, brilliantly touching, and heartbreakingly poignant. The performances are great, the story is awesome, and the atmosphere it offers is perfect. This is a film that I’d like to watch over and over. That’s one heck of a definition for an enjoyable experience.  It’s a fine, under-seen classic of 2012 that can define a generation as well as John Hughes could.  If it comes to your town, get off the couch, grab a few friends – but if you don’t have any, it’s okay to be a wallflower – and go see this movie!

#1 - Django Unchained
#1 – Django Unchained

Django Unchained is a modern masterpiece, and is Tarantino’s finest film yet (even if I’m the only one to think so). It’s a great story about survival and it has great themes of racism and slavery, that Tarantino explores expertly. The performances, the writing, the soundtrack the direction and the themes are all immaculate. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the best villain of the year.

The ten worst of 2012:

10. The Watch

9. Chernobyl Diaries

8. Silent House

7. ATM

6. Red Dawn 

5. Dark Shadows

4. Mirror Mirror

3. Project X

2. The Lucky One

And the true test of patience…

#1 - That's My Boy
#1 – That’s My Boy

Well, there you have it. Hopefully you agree with some of my picks, like them, dislike them, or even detest them. Feel free to leave comments!

What do you guys want to see from my blog this year?

The title says it all, really. What do you all want to see from Daniel’s Film Reviews this year? I’m open to any suggestions on how to make it better… I’m going to look to see if there are any themes I like better than the one I’m using. I’d like a new font, too.

I’ve also been working on a sort of movie game that I hope to post this month or next. I think it’s intriguing, but that’s just me. I hope you all like it once I post it. I just want to do a few more things with it, to make it better. I’ve also been getting some help from the generous Tyson Carter over at Head in a Vice (thanks buddy!! And you all should check out his blog here).

Regarding my box office predictions, my goal is to stay under $1 billion for my first complete year…

Anyway, I’m open to whatever suggestions you all may have! 🙂 And Happy New Year!!

DVD Court: December 11

Nick over at The Cinematic Katzenjammer holds a cool little feature called ‘DVD Court’ every Tuesday. A jury made up of twelve film bloggers, including myself, deliver a verdict on the week’s releases. The verdict delivered could either be ‘Buy It’, ‘Rent It’, ‘Skip It’, or ‘Burn It’.

You can see this week’s verdicts by clicking here.

This week’s releases are: TedThe Bourne Legacy and Ice Age 4. If you don’t know whether to buy or rent a new release, DVD Court is the place to go!