Year in Review-2012

Previously Published

It is that time of the year once again.

It is time to look back over the year that was and to list the best and the worst in the world of TV, movies, comic books, pro wrestling, and more.

Of course, if everything goes away after Dec. 21st, then none of this matters.  (Thanks a lot Mayans).

I will be making my lists of the best and worst of 2012.  I will only be including movies that I watch on the list of movies.  (That means That’s My Boy will not appear.).

I will be doing the best and worst movies after the Christmas season.  There are a few movies that I need to see before compiling the list.  So to start off, I will begin with the list for the Best Comic Books of the Year.

Now, I am a Marvel fan, so most of this list is Marvel Comics.  I have nothing against DC or any independent book out there, but I just do not read much else.  So here we go…

#6  Avengers vs. X-Men

The limited series that Marvel based the entire summer on matched its top two super hero teams against each other and brought about the return of the Phoenix force.  The series may have been a tad long, but I looked forward to each issue.  Some people disliked it.  I was not one of those.

#5 The Walking Dead

The one comic on the list that I have not collected is the one that has spawned a huge phenomenon.  The Walking Dead deserves to be on any list of the best of the year.  So I made an exception and placed it here.

#4 Amazing Spider-Man

The series will end next week with issue #700 and, apparently, with the changing of the guard.  But Amazing Spider-man has been great all year long, consistent and enjoyable, thanks mainly to Dan Slott.  I hope Superior Spider-Man is as enjoyable.

#3 Captain Marvel

The rebranding of Ms. Marvel also caused some to complain, but I liked it.  And the series itself has been original and enjoyable from the first issue.  The art has been hit and miss for me, but the continuing adventures of Carol Danvers has placed her front and center in the Marvel Universe, right where she belongs.

#2 Daredevil

Last year, Daredevil was the number one super hero of the year last year according to my lists, and the main reason was because his solo title continues to be fun, light-hearted, enjoyable and the way super hero titles should be.  Mark Waid has done wonders for the formerly depressed Man Without Fear.

And #1…

Hawkeye

No really.

This has been a revelation of a comic book.  At first, the art seemed too simplistic, but it fit the series perfectly.  And so much about this series was perfect.  The series tells the story of Clint Barton and his life when he is not being Hawkeye, member of the Avengers.  In fact, the comic features Clint out of costume.  It deals with creating a life beyond the Avengers for our favorite archer and builds up his relationships that are away from the team.  It’s brilliant.  Matt Fraction has found an amazing hit with Hawkeye, and the public seems to agree, making Hawkeye one of the surprise hits of the year.  Issue number one is already on its third printing and each story becomes more interesting.  The art makes the book different and it flows perfectly.  Marvel has a definite hit on their hands with Hawkeye.  The number one comic of 2012.

Top 5 Television Characters of the Year (OK…six actually)

#5 Captain Hook (Once Upon a Time)

Nothing better than a classic villain to spice things up in Storybrooke.  And since in season two, the Evil Queen has not been as evil and Mr. Gold has been tamed by the Beauty, then our brand new villain to join in the fun takes the prize.  And he is…Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue).  In search of the crocodile that took his hand, Captain Hook conspired with Cora, the Queen of Hearts to find his way to Storybrooke, and sparks flew with Emma.  Hook is prepared to rock the second half of the season when Once Upon a Time returns on January 6

#4 Rick Castle & Kate Beckett (Caskett)  from Castle

Finally!  After years of teasing and tantalizing…Rick Castle and Kate Beckett have finally hooked up, and Castle has never been better.  Though they have continued to keep their relationship secret (though people keep finding out), they have really shown how much they care about each other.  They have an emotional connection and a real life romance.  They have shown no signs of falling victim to the “Moonlighting curse”.  If Moonlighting had been this well written at the time, it could have survived as well.  Worry not, Caskett Fans, the show is in good hands.

#3 Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock & Elementary)

Two actors.  One character.  Two different takes on a classic detective.  Sherlock Holmes is alive and well on television.  Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller have donned the eccentricities of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic character and both have brought new life to the role.

#2  Amy Farrah Fowler (The Big Bang Theory)

Amy is one of the most original characters on television, and her relationship with Dr. Sheldon Cooper never fails to bring the laughs.  The episode where Amy pretended to be sick in order to have Sheldon pay attention to her (“The Fish Guts Displacement”) was hilarious.  “Momma needs a bath.”   Amy has brought the goods to the Big Bang Theory, and I hope she stays for years to come.  Mayim Bialik was nominated for an Emmy for the role this past year.  It was well deserved.

and #1 character on television in 2012 was…

Daryl Dixon of the Walking Dead

Who else?  Daryl is one of the best reasons to watch the Walking Dead.  In what could have been a one-note stereotypical role, Daryl Dixon has become the show’s breakout anti-hero.  One minute Daryl is shooting zombies in the head with his trust crossbow and the next he is feeding Rick’s new baby while Rick is busy talking to his dead wife on the phone.  Daryl is believable in both situations.  He has shown consistently that he has the best interest of the group in mind and that he cares about each one, no matter how strange it may be.  And with his reunion with his brother Merle in the mid-season finale, Daryl should continue to be one of the top characters on the small screen.

 

Top Ten Television Programs of 2012

TV

#10  Finding Bigfoot

Yes each episode is the same.  Yes, the “facts” that they claim are silly and impossible to justify.  But there is just something fun about watching Matt, Cliff, Ranae and Bobo wandering about in the woods, whooping, calling, knocking searching for the Squatches.  I always imagine the bigfoots in a cave somewhere laughing their hairy butts off as Bobo howls through the night.  Even still, I have enjoyed every episode.  I think the inclusion of “skeptic” Ranae really helps balance out the other three.

#9 Comic Book Men

I watched Comic Book Men last season and I was not that impressed.  The crew of the Secret Stash were entertaining enough, but the show just seemed to drag.  Then this year, they changed the format to a half hour show instead of an hour and it helped the AMC show tremendously.  And the episode guest starring Stan Lee was great.

#8 Elementary

Sherlock Holmes is huge once again.  This take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle detective is a big hit for CBS.  And it creates quite the different dynamic with Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Dr. Watson (Lucy Liu).

#7 Homeland

I am not quite as enamored over Homeland as all the other critics are, but I have to admit that it is good television. Though I cannot see it regularly (I do not have Showtime), the tense action is worth the effort.

#6 Once Upon a Time

I’ll admit I was not overly fond of the Emma and Snow are trapped in Fairy Tale Land plot, but it provided some good scenes. (Though I really wanted to smack Mulan several times).  But the best part of the season has been the character development.  From Regina, Mr. Gold, Charming, Ruby, Henry, Hook, Dr. Frankenstein… there were just great character moments.

#5 Sherlock

Too short of a season.  I want more than three episodes.  Especially with the finale of the second season…where Shelock looked like he had killed himself because of Moriarty’s influence.  Benedict Cumberbatch is fabulous as Sherlock and Bilbo Baggins himself, Martin Freeman, as Dr. Watson is perfect casting.  And the news that Sherlock’s new season will be pushed back to 2014.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

#4 The Big Bang Theory

CBS’s smash hit has been one of the highest rated shows on the air.  And it is just a hoot.  Every week, Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, Howard, Penny, Amy, and Bernadette provide laugh after laugh…and there are way too many moments to which I relate.

#3 Castle

Last years number one continues to be strong.  This season Rick and Kate have entered a relationship and it is an intelligent and fun, real-life relationship.  And it boasted one of the best episodes of the year with “Probable Cause” that saw the return of the 3XK.  TV doesn’t get that good too often.

#2 American Horror Story

I love this show.  The end of last season with the death of the Harmon family was amazing, but this season at the Asylum has been even better.  With craziness everywhere (Bloody Face, ex-Nazi scientists, Satanically possessed Nuns, crazy Santa, Aliens, monsters in the woods), the show still features brilliant performances, in particular from Jessica Lange as Sister Jude.  The show has legitimate scary images, and is also very funny.  It is a great hour of television every Wednesday.

And #1 show in 2012 is…

The Walking Dead

Season three in the Zombie Apocalypse has really found its balance.  After a season two that started slow on the farm, the show has been gangbusters ever since zombie Sophie stumbled out of Herschel’s barn.  And season three has just been amazing each and every week.  Characters we love dying everywhere, showing that the world of the zombie apocalypse is not an easy place to live.  The death of Lori during childbirth was as moving as you’ll find.  I mean, Lori is a character that I had disliked for awhile now…but the entire set up was so perfectly done that I was upset when she died.  And having Carl make sure that she didn’t turn… just heartbreaking.

Plus the additions of the Governor and Michonne have brought some much needed new blood.  And they are both really messed up characters…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And there are great moment after moment on the show.  Rick splitting the convict’s head with the machete, Herschel being bitten and having his leg chopped off by Rick, the return of Merle, the Michonne-Governor showdown over his zombie daughter Penny, Glenn going all bad ass and fighting walkers while being tied to a chair, Rick on the phone with his dead wife, Carl and his ascension to bad ass status… and I could go on.

The show looks great, is unbelievably exciting, and literally, you do not know who will survive.  It is epic television and definitely the best show of the year.

I can’t believe that I have forgotten Grimm.  That is definitely one of the top ten shows of the year.  I’ll sneak it into #6a just behind Once Upon a Time.  Grimm is awesome, and I think Monroe should have made that list of top TV characters as well.

Sorry to forget about you, Nick.  It won’t happen again.

wwe

Top 10 Professional Wrestlers of 2012

  1. Jeff Hardy
  2. Damien Sandow
  3. Bully Ray
  4. Big Show
  5. Austin Aries
  6. John Cena
  7. Sheamus
  8. Dolph Ziggler
  9. Daniel Bryan
  10. CM Punk

CM Punk has been WWE Champion the entire year and he is one of the best performers in the company.  He was a face for the first part of the year and then he embraced the hate and became the company’s top heel.  Daniel Bryan had a fantastic year, even after the 18-second loss to Sheamus at Wrestlemania.  That loss could have destroyed any other wrestler, but Bryan actually got stronger from it.  He may be the most over performer in the company (even more than Cena.)  YES YES YES!  Dolph Ziggler could be number one next year.  His time is on the way and his new love connection with AJ Lee will only make him better.  I think his future is as a face though, and I would not be surprised if he turned before 2013 ends.  Sheamus has been excellent in the ring all year, though his character is perhaps the biggest bully on the roster.  That is how many faces are booked in the WWE though.  Cena is still the face of the company, despite having what would have to be considered a down year by his standards.  Having him lose more helps his character in the long run, making things less predictable.  A heel turn would still be the biggest thing in wrestling if it were ever to happen.

 

Top Ten Television episodes of 2012

#10  “The Fish Guts Displacement”  The Big Bang Theory

Howard is pushed into a fishing trip with Bernadette’s father and Amy pretend to be sick so Sheldon would take care of her.

#9 “The Doctor”  Once Upon a Time

We discover the true identity of Dr. Whale and …I never saw it coming.  That is always a good trait.

#8 “Mockingbird Lane”

The rebooted Munsters pilot starring Jerry O’Connell that was too expensive for NBC, but was very enjoyable.  I wish NBC would have given the green light to this show.

#7 “Judge, Jury, Executioner” The Walking Dead

The season two episode where Dale spends the whole time trying to be the conscious of the group, arguing over the plan to kill their young prisoner, only to wind up as Walker chow.  I didn’t see that coming either.

#6 La Llorona  Grimm

A great ghost story on one of the most improved shows on tv.  Nick and Hank race to try to save innocent kids from the woman of the lake.

#5 “The Origins of Monstrosity”  American Horror Story: Asylum

We find out the backstory of Bloody Face as well as the debate between nature and nurture is debated in the only way that American Horror Story can.  We also find out that Nutmeg makes everything better.

#4 “The Reichenbach Fall” Sherlock

The third episode of the second season was filled with twists and tension and just an amazing ending.  Any time Sherlock and Moriarty can go at it, then you have some great tv.

#3 “Dark Cousin”  American Horror Story: Asylum

The arrival of the Angel of Death!  Who will accept the kiss from her?  And Lana escapes from Bloody Face, but that does not mean there will be good things for her.

#2  “Made to Suffer”  The Walking Dead

The midseason finale of the Walking Dead was just off the charts, with the battle between the Governor and Michonne, the  rescue of Glenn and Maggie, the reunion between the Dixon boys, and the tensions between the Briarcliff crew and the Prison gang explode.  I can’t wait until February.

#1 TIE

“Killer Within”  The Walking Dead… and

“Probable Cause” Castle.

I just could not decide which one was the best hour of television this year so… I decided to let them both be top. Killer Within featured the death of T-Dog and Lori and the birth of Lori’s baby.  And Castle is framed for murder by 3XK, and everyone believes he is guilty, except for Beckett.

Both of these episodes really featured characters over plot.  The emotional aspects of both really stood out and made me care even more for the characters involved.

 

Top Ten Matches of the Year.

And yes,it will be all WWE matches, as I do not watch much TNA or RoH.  Nothing against those two companies.  I am aware of the things they do.  I just do not watch their matches.

So…on to the list.

#10 Dolph Ziggler wins the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at Money in the Bank.

#9 Big Shot defeats Sheamus to win the World Heavyweight Championship at Hell in the Cell.

#8 Sheamus defeats Daniel Bryan to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in a 2 out of 3 falls match at Extreme Rules

#7 CM Punk and John Cena end in a draw at Night of Champions.  Cena becomes the first ever Money in the Bank winner to fail to win the title.

#6 CM Punk defeated Daniel Bryan in a No Disqualification match at Money in the Bank

#5 Two CM Punk vs Chris Jericho matches  Punk wins Wrestlemania 28 match and match at Extreme Rules

#4 The Shield defeated Ryback and Team Hell No in a Tables Ladders and Chairs match at TLC.

#3 John Cena defeated Brock Lesnar in an Extreme Rules Match at Extreme Rules

#2 The Undertaker defeated HHH in a Hell in a Cell Match called the “End of an Era” Match at Wrestlemania 28

#1 CM Punk defeated Daniel Bryan at Over the Limit.

Most people would put the Taker-HHH match ahead of Punk-Bryan, but to me, that match was the best of the year.  It was exciting, technically sound, and had a creative ending.

So CM Punk appeared in four (or five if you count the two Jericho matches as two instead of one) of the top ten matches, and Daniel Bryan also appeared in four.  Unfortunately for Daniel Bryan, he lost all four of the matches.

Other WWE awards for the year

Tag Team of the Year:  Team Hell No.  They have reinvigorated the tag team division.

Worst Tag Team:  The Great Khali and Hornswoggle.  Are you serious, bro?

Catchphrase of the year:  Yes! Yes! Yes!  No matter what the WWE wants you to think, “Feed Me More” is not bigger than the Yes chant.

Diva of the Year: Eve Torres.  Not a lot of competition for this one.  Too bad Karma is gone.  And Beth Phoenix.  Eve is good, but there is not much to go with her.

PPV of the Year:  Extreme Rules.  Just a fantastic night of wrestling. Sheamus vs. Bryan.  Punk vs. Jericho.  Cena vs. Lesnar.

Worst PPV of the Year:  Hell in the Cell.  Ryback in the main event?  Sorry, not interested.

Online Show of the Year:  Are You Serious?  Road Dogg and Josh Matthews showing the worst clips in wrestling history?  What’s not to love.  And Puppet H as well.  Sorry Zack Ryder, but this is the real true Internet sensation.

Commentator of the Year:  JBL.  I am really glad he returned to the announce booth.  The commentary truly picked up when JBL came back.

Comeback of the Year:  Jerry Lawler.  That’s an easy one.  Lawler was dead.  And now he’s back doing commentary.  Amazing.

Worst Wrestler of the Year:  Great Khali.  He can’t move at all.  And yet he appears on tv.

Worst Face/Heel turn:  The Miz.  Sorry Miz, I love you, but so far your turn as a face has been horrible.  I hope things pick up for you in 2013.

Best Face/Heel Turn:  CM Punk.  Obviously.  He is the Best in the World.  And that clotheline and GTS on the Rock announced his intentions completely.   Runner up:  The Big Show, who has been great since he turned heel.  If not for Punk, this would have been his award.

Most Overrated:  Ryback.  I really don’t like this guy.  He is boring.  Which means he’ll get pushed to the moon.

Next serious stud:  Antonio Cesaro.  This guy is awesome.  I see big things in his future.

Best DVD: CM Punk Best in the World

Best Skit/vignette:  Anger Management with Daniel Bryan and Kane.  This was absolute GOLD.

Manager of the Year:  Paul Heyman… I guess he is more of an associate…but he is a perfect fit with CM Punk.

Next NXT star:  Bray Wyatt.  He could be even greater than the Shield members.  Can’t wait for him to arrive.

Best Feud:  Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk. Two top ten matches of the year, plus a fantastic match on RAW and a great one of Smackdown.  What more do you need?

 glasses

Top 15 Geek Moments of 2012

Last year I had written the top 15 moments in its own thread and counted them down, however, I believe it fits into this thread neatly, so…here they are.

#15  Twilight ends.

Ihave never been a fan of the vampire/werewolf love triangle, emo-hit, but it would be foolish to argue that it was not a pop culture sensation.  And the Twilight series ended this year with the Part Two of Breaking Dawn.  Whether we’ve actually seen the last of Bella-Edward-Jacob is a whole other question…

#14  The Rock wins at Wrestlemania 28

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returned to where he got his start, the WWE ring, and, after a year of promtion, had a match with WWE face John Cena.  The two of them ran with their rivalry on Twitter and Facebook, and it culminated in a main event at the grandest stage of them all as over 70,000 people in Miami cheered them on.  And the Rock stood victorious.  And then he went back to making movies.

#13 Justice League movie announced

After the amazing success of the Avengers, the announcement was made this year that DC would be following suit with a long rumored Justice League movie.  Exactly who will be included is still up in the air, but a release date of 2015, sometime in the summer.  Hm…we’ll see.

#12 Jon Stewart & Bill O’Reilly:  Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium

Late night talk show host Jon Stewart and FOX News No-Spinner Bill O’Reilly had a debate, streamed live onto the Internet, and it was entertaining.  The debated about politics, about Obama and Romney, about who was taller…and if you were wondering, Stewart wiped the floor with O’Reilly…all in good natured fun.

#11  James Bond takes the Queen skydiving at the London Olympics

007 himself, Daniel Craig, and the Queen of England filmed a vignette to play during the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics… an vignette that ended with the Queen jumping out of an airplane and supposedly parachuting into the opening ceremonies.  It showed how much fun the Queen actually has with life, and it was one of the highlights of the overdone opening ceremonies.

#10 Hunger Games

The huge novel became the years first huge hit at the box office as the Hunger Games translated well on the big screen.  The Hunger Games made $155 million in its opening weekend, the biggest total ever for a movie released outside of the summer season, and ended with a total of 686 million worldwide.  And this movie series is just getting started.

#9 Neil Armstrong dies

The first man to step on the moon died this year at the age of 82.  Neil Armstrong was an inspiration to an entire generation who wondered what it might be like past the stars.  For those who gazed at the night sky and thought about what could be, Armstrong was more than just another astronaut.  He reached iconic stature.

#8 Amazing Spider-man #700

This hasn’t even happened yet, but the buzz around this issue has been massive.  When Dan Slott started dropping hints that something huge was going to happen in 700 and that he might have to go into hiding afterwards, he did not know how prophetic he was being.  The speculation that Peter Parker would no longer be Spider-man has been confirmed and now the fans are bracing themselves for the Superior Spider-Man, whomever that may be.

#7 The World Does Not End

Ha!  In your face, Mayans! December 21, 2012 was listed as the end of the Mayan calendar, and because of that, there was speculation that the Mayans believed that the world would end on that date.  There were lots of posts on Facebook and Twitter on the subject, but in the end, the day passed like all other days.  Now, we have to prepare for the next apocalypse…

#6 Marvel NOW

In response to DC’s New 52, Marvel started its own initiative this year, with a restart of multiple titles with all new creative teams.  Though not a continuity reboot like DC’s New 52, Marvel NOW featured a shake up of characters and creators.  Brian Michael Bendis left the Avengers and took over the All-New X-Men.  Rick Remender created Uncanny Avengers and brought back the Red Skull (in a specifically gruesome manner).  Following the X-Men vs. Avengers limited series, Marvel NOW has been a hit and miss, but the comic world is definitely talking Marvel.

#5 Walking Dead a ratings monster

The return of the Walking Dead in October of this year was a ratings bonanza.  The AMC hit had 10.9 million viewers at 9 p.m. and 15.2 million when factoring in the encore. It was up 50 percent compared to the Season 2 premiere.  The Walking Dead was consistently beating network shows.  The series has been renewed for a fourth season.

#4 Dark Knight Rises and a tragic day

The opening of the final installment of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy was always going to be huge, but the nation was shaken to its core when a nutjob entered a theater in Aurora, Colorado that was playing one of the midnight showings of the film and opened fire.  The tragic event scared some, but the American public ventured to the movie anyway, helping the Dark Knight Rises make $160 million that weekend.

#3 Barack Obama is re-elected President of the United States

I have always claimed that Barack Obama was our nation’s first Geek President.  I have heard him make comments about Jor-El (in reference to the comparison between himself and Superman) among other things.  And when he defeated Republican Mitt Romney in a close election (though not close in Electoral College votes), President Obama became the first Geek President to be re-elected.

#2 Marvel’s Avengers breaks records

$207 million dollars for its opening weekend.  Over 1.5 billion for its worldwide total.  The Avengers was an undeniable smash, cementing Joss Whedon as King of the Geek Gods.  The movie was also fantastic.  It was exactly how a comic book movie of such a huge scope should be made.  Whedon announced this year that he would sign on for the sequel making Geeks everywhere cheer.  Have at thee!  Avengers Assemble!

#1 Disney buys Star Wars…announces new trilogy

Who would have believed that the Avengers wouldn’t top this list.  Well, when this little news tidbit came along, the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes got pushed to #2.  George Lucas sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney for four billion dollars and the announcement of Star Wars 7 to be released in 2015 sent fanboys everywhere spinning.  Disney now owns Marvel, Star Wars, the Muppets, Pixar as well as their own creations.  Soon Disney will own everything that I love.  And I won’t mind a bit.

More television for 2012

Best ActorBenedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock).  Things are just starting to happen for our new Sherlock Holmes, including roles in the Hobbit and in Star Trek Into the Darkness.  We’ll remember where we first met him.

Best ActressJessica Lange (Sister Jude, American Horror Story: Asylum) Lange brings the goods every week and she is extremely compelling this season as the cruel nun who has had the tables turned on her.  She went from cruel sadist to heroine.  Redemption?  I doubt it.

Best Late Night ShowThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  Still the best.  Despite Colbert, Letterman, Kimmel and Fallon, Jon Stewart continues to be the best.  There is a reason he takes home the Emmy every year.

Best Daytime ShowGeneral Hospital.  What a difference a year makes.  Last year at this time, GH was ready to be cancelled.  Now it is one of the best shows on TV.  Old favorites returned, exciting storylines, and a movement away from mob violence every week have made GH so much better.

Best Couple:  Rick Castle and Kate Beckett.  This is an easy one.  They make a great pair and the show is better for it.

Biggest DropRevenge.  This season has found this show lackluster and confusing.  I had Revenge in the top ten last year as a guilty pleasure.  This season I have not been watching it.  I hope Emily Thorne can right the boat.

Best DeathLori Grimes.  How do you redeem a character that nobody likes?  Kill her, and kill her in the most dramatic and heart wrenching manner so people will forget how she turned on Rick when he revealed that he killed Shane…after she basically told Rick that he had to “do something” about Shane.

Best Animated SeriesAvengers:  Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.  I just caught up with this on Netflix.  There is just so much Marvel goodness here, including guest star Spider-man.  And Galactus.  And the Kree.  And Red Hulk…as a villain.  Too bad this has been cancelled so it can be replaced by a different Avengers series that is closer to the movie.

Worst TV News of the YearGlenn Mazzara, the showrunner of The Walking Dead, who was the driving force behind the improvements of the zombie show, is leaving the show because he and AMC have “different visions for the show.”  Are you kidding me?  Mazzara has been in charge of the best stretch of the show…ever.  This is bad news.

Looking forward to most:  ABC’s new SHIELD show produced by Joss Whedon, starring Agent Coulson.  It has a spot on the fall 2013 schedule.  Just a lot of good here.

The Save Agent Coulson AwardAgent Coulson.  He lives!

Most Improved Show of the Year:  Grimm.  I was close to stopping watching Grimm.  After one particularly bad episode last year, I was close.  The next episode was fantastic and saved me as a viewer.  Then it kept getting better each week.

Best Election Night MeltdownKarl Rove refuses to believe that Ohio has been won by President Obama, and continues to argue, even after other FOX anchors were accepting the fact.  Poor Karl.

Show that fell flat666 Park Avenue. Too bad.  Terry O’Quinn deserved better.  The high concept never developed, and ABC cancelled the show.  Now, ABC announced that they are not even showing the remaining episodes.

Best Show that I don’t watch:  Boardwalk Empire.  Pay tv channels.  Hm… Steve Buscemi looks great in this.

 

Worst Movies of the Year

Remember, this only includes those movies in which I saw.  I am sure that “That’s My Boy” would be near the top, if not at the top, if I had seen it, but I did not.  Also, reminder, the star ratings I gave do not matter when I am compiling these lists. 

Dis-Honorable Mention:  Lockout, The Dictator, Ted, 21 Jump Street, Chernobyl Diaries, Savages, Alex Cross, Act of Valor, John Carter

#10 The Watch:  Terribly unfunny movie with Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Richard Ayoade as a neighborhood watch investigating an alien invasion.  Idiots on alert.

#9  Battleship:  Ugh.  A Transformers wannabe without the Transformers plot…and that should tell you something.  This started with one of the worst opening scenes of the year ( a soccer game).  And they actually got a scene that was basically like playing the board game.

#8  Taken 2:  A major disappointment, because I so enjoyed Taken.  But Liam Neeson did everything the same, and there were really stupid people involved.  And there will certainly be a Taken 3, since this mess made millions of dollars.

#7  Paranormal Activity 4:  Another sequel that has worn out its welcome.  PA 4 was not scary, which of course is the worst thing a horror movie could be.  In fact, it was unintentionally funny.  Too bad PA 4 was so funny, because it stole some of the gusto of Haunted House coming out next month (and a definite candidate for next year’s list).  Paranormal Activity 4 just did not have anything going for it.

#6  The Apparition:  Another horror movie.  Honestly, I don’t remember much about it.  It had Sebastian Shaw in it.  I hope he does better next year as Winter Soldier.  Very forgettable.

#5  Red Dawn:  Ah Thor, I hope you have better script choices now that you are a big star.  Chris Hemsworth was the only thing good in this retread/remake.  North Koreans are invading?  Why worry… because they can’t even take care of this small group of kids.

#4 Contraband:  Mark Wahlberg starred in this movie filled with stupid bad guys.  And a stupid plot.  But at least Kate Beckinsale is hot.

#3 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance:  When a comic book movie is this high on my list, you know it is terrible.  I usually give the comic book movies every benefit of the doubt, but this one makes the original Ghost Rider look like Citizen Kane.  I certainly hope this is the last time Nic Cage tries to take on Ghost Rider.  It’s getting embarrassing.

#2 Underworld:  Awakenings:  This was going to be number one.  It had been number one on my list until late in the year.  Hey, it’s Kate Beckinsale again!  Two of the top four worst movies of the year.  Not even Taylor Kitsch can say that.  She’s still hot though.    I saw this in 3D too.  The 3D was almost nonexistent.  This was just terrible.  I started wishing I hadn’t gone to this 5 minutes in.  I was bored by the exposition at the beginning and it went downhill after that.  Terrible.  And the only reason it wasn’t number one on this list was because of…

#1 The Collection:  Another horror movie…this one one of the slasher variety…and easily the worst movie of the year.  From the producers of Saw, The Collection was a pointless butchering of disposable characters by a serial killer with absolutely no personality.  Nothing redeeming about this movie at all.  Just the worst.

Top 12 Movies of the Year

There were so many great movies this year that I just could not narrow my list to only ten, so I expanded it to twelve.  It’s my list, I can do that.

Honorable MentionThe Artist, Wreck-It Ralph, Safety Not Guaranteed, Amazing Spider-Man, Tinker Tailor Solder Spy,

#12 The Life of Pi:  This was a surprise to me.  I did not expect to like this as much as I did, but I was engrossed from the first moments.  A beautiful story and a beautiful film.

#11  7 Psychopaths:  Funny, intelligent, creative.  Filled with great performances like Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson.

#10  Django Unchained:  The most recent of the films on this list.  Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant western starring Jamie Foxx as a freed slave out to save his wife.  Christopher Waltz is amazing as the bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz.

#9  Hunger Games:  A great start to a movie series.  Hunger Games made $150 million in its opening weekend and it was well worth it.

#8  ParaNorman:  The top animated movie of the year.  Norman has to deal with a group of zombies coming back from the dead.  ParaNorman was very funny, with a lot of hidden humor that the parents would enjoy as much as the kids.  Beautiful animation.

#7  Moonrise Kingdom:  The coming of age story of two young kids whose oddball families drove them to run away and be together.  Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Edward Norton led a great ensemble cast.  Wes Anderson created a quirky and heartfelt film.

#6  Looper:  Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis starred in the time travel classic.  Levitt has to face himself as an older man (Willis) and he was supposed to kill him.  A mind bending movie.

#5  Lincoln:  Some amazing performances carried this movie.  Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field could walk away with Oscars from this movie.  A historical account of the last days of the Civil War.

#4  Skyfall:  One of the best James Bond movies of all time.  Daniel Craig recovered from the weak Quantum of Solace to feature one of the most personal Bond films ever.

#3  Argo:  Ben Affleck’s historic drama that told the “true” story of a rescue of Iranian hostages in the late 70s.  Argo is tense and exciting, particularly in the airport scene near the end.  Great performances from Alan Arkin and John Goodman as well as Affleck.

#2 Cabin in the Woods:  Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard created a horror movie that redefined the genre.  A horror movie that played with every trait of the horror movie…turning it on its ear.  One of the funniest movies of the year and a movie that you had to go into without spoilers.  Figuring out what was happening as you went along was one of the best parts of Cabin in the Woods.

#1 Marvel’s The Avengers:  What a year Josh Whedon had.  Involved in the top two movies on this list, and the director of a movie that made over 1.5 billion dollars worldwide.  And a movie that just rocked.  Avengers was what all other comic book movies should aspire to be.  Marvel worked towards this by putting out multiple movies leading up to this…and the pay off was just tremendous.  One of my favorite movies of all time, and certainly the best comic book movie ever.  Everyone involved were amazing, and yet, no one dominated over the others.  That is quite an accomplishment with a cast the size of the Avengers.  Whedon certainly struck gold here.

Best Actor in a movie

#10 Jared Gilman (Moonrise Kingdom) the young actor was the heart of this movie.  Without his performance, this movie would have flopped.

#9 Matthew McConoughey (Killer Joe) One of the year’s most depraved performances.  I can never look at a KFC drumstick the same way again.

#8 Ben Affleck (Argo)  Affleck’s performance was at center stage in this dramatic rescue film.  He was solid as both the star and the director.

#7 Dana DeHaan (Chronicle) One of the bright new stars of the year.  DeHaan portrayed a young and troubled teen who gained telekinesis, and turned to the dark side. A classic villain origin.

#6 Daniel Craig (Skyfall)  Returning to James Bond, Craig pulls off one of the best, most personal Bond movie ever.

#5 Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) An early of the year performance as a great spy who had to come out of retirement to find the leak inside MI6.  Much better performance than in Dark Knight Rises.

#4 Avengers (Marvel’s The Avengers) I couldn’t decide who to list, so I decided to link them all together. Robert Downey Jr., Mark Rufffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth in particular need to be mentioned.  Each man did a bravissimo job on their character.

#3 Jean Dujardian (The Artist) I actually saw this movie in this calendar year, so it goes on this list.  And his performance was Oscar worthy (and winning, I believe.)

#2 Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Premium Rush, Lincoln, Dark Knight Rises, Looper) He had the best overall year as he appeared in several great films.  My personal favorite is Looper, but Premium Rush is under-appreciated. His John Blake was a huge part of DKR.

#1 Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)  An amazing performance.  Day-Lewis became Lincoln. I don’t know how I can put it any more succinctly.   There is something wrong if he does not win an Oscar for this role.

Best Actresses

#9 Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables Sings like a bird!

#8  Juno Temple (Killer Joe) She played a 13 year old who went through all kinds of adult situations.  It was uncomfortable and disturbing.  She does a great job opposite Matthew McConoughey.

#7  Kara Hayward (Moonrise Kingdom) Like her co-star Jared Gilman, the movie rested on the believability of this young pair.  And they delivered big time.

#6 Charlize Theron (Prometheus) Theron does a great job in this sci-fi epic from this past year.  She wasl also the Evil Queen.  It was a good year for her.

#5 Kristen Connolly (Cabin in the Woods)  Dana survives to the end.  She even had the puppeteers rooting for her…at least for a short while.  She unleashed all kinds of Hell on them and the entire world.

#4 Emily Blunt (Looper) Her part in the film was kept pretty hush hush, but she plays a very pivotal role.  And she does it very well.

#3 Scarlett Johansson (Marvel’s The Avengers) The Black Widow kicked some major butt in this movie.  Joss Whedon always loved his female characters.  The scene where Widow is tied to the chair is one of the top scenes in the movie.

#2 Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) This movie was going to succeed or fail on the back of Katniss.  And Lawrence hit it out of the park.  She made that character come to life from the page.  And now she has years worth of sequels to look forward to.

#1 Berenice Bejo (The Aritst)  Again, this could have been on last years list, but I didn’t see it until January, so it belongs with 2013.  And her performance…without words…was outstanding.

Best Supporting Actor

And there were a lot of these performances this year.  This was probably the hardest list to narrow down.  Honorable mention should go to Bill Murray, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton (Moonrise Kingdom), Bradley Whitford and Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods), John Goodman (Argo & Flight), Denis Leary (Amazing Spider-Man), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Thomas Hayden Church (Killer Joe), Paul Dano (Looper), and Sam Rockwell (7 Psychopaths)

#10 Pierce Gagnon (Looper) The little kid is just astonishingly creepy and heartbreakingly tragic at the same time.  This child took a good movie and made it special.

#9 Michael Fassbender (Prometheus) David, the robot, is more than just a robot.  Fassbender played him with such cold emotion… that it was hard to believe that he wasn’t human after all.  Fassbender was the standout of that film.

#8 Richard Jenkins (Cabin in the Woods) One of the puppeteers behind the scenes, Jenkins showed so much humanity and humor that it was sad to see him killed…kind of.

#7 Alan Arkin (Argo)  The movie producer who was going to make a “fake hit”.  Arkin and John Goodman made the Hollywood part of Argo well worth the trip.  I expect him to be nominated for an Oscar for this role.

#6 Tom Cruise (Rock Of Ages) Not a good movie, but Cruise stood out His Axl Rose type character was quite a departure for Cruise, but he did it brilliantly.  And he can sing.  Who knew?

#5 Christopher Walken (7 Psychopaths) Christopher Walken is iconic.  And he is just remarkably funny in thi smovie as a dog napper that takes things too far.

#4 Josh Brolin (Men in Black 3) Definitely the best part of this movie.  Josh Brolin played a young Tommy Lee Jones PERFECTLY.  It was as if Tommy Lee had been de-aged for the role.  An amazing performance.

#3 Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained) Jackson is fantastic as the black servant to Leonardo DiCaprio.  He is funny with each line, but he also is a manipulator and a betrayer of his own race.  One of Jackson’s best performances ever.

#2 Andy Serkis (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) Gollum returned in the Hobbit, a prequel of sorts to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Gollum absolutely stole the movie.  Gollum and Bilbo’s interactions were the most memorable section of the movie.  What is in his pocket, indeed!

#1  Christopher Waltz (Django Unchained)  I realized that his performance was my favorite one in Django Unchained after he was killed and my attention began to waiver.  Dr. King Schultz was someone who I would have liked to know.

Best Supporting Actresses

#8  Gina Gershon (Killer Joe) She was on the other end of that KFC chicken leg.  Finger Lickin’ good?

#7 Frances McDormand (Moonrise Kingdom) The other part of the unhappy couple with Bill Murray, McDormand shows great range in the quirky character.

#6 Emma Stone (Amazing Spider-Man)  Gwen Stacy is Peter Parker’s love interest this time around, and she had amazing chemistry with Andrew Garfield.  Will Gwen have a tragic future?  We’ll see.

#5 Anne Hathaway (Dark Knight Rises) Selina Kyle (never the Catwoman) was one of the top parts of the Dark Knight Rises for me.  I would love to have had more of her and Batman and less of Bane and the rest.

#4 Helen Hunt (Sessions) A daring role, in which she plays a sex surrogate and she spends a great deal of time nude.  She was clearly unfazed by it.  Another possible Oscar contender.

#3 Judi Dench (Skyfall) M is as vital to this story as ever before, and her end is done with a great deal of respect and honor.

#2 Salma Hayek (Savages)  A terrible movie, but Salma was brilliant as the villainous Elena.  She dominated every scene and brought a tremendous credibility to a film that desperately needed it.  Her character was multi-dimensional among one dimensional ones.  A truly impressive performance.

#1 Sally Field (Lincoln)  Breathtaking.  Astonishing.  Astounding.  Her Mary Todd Lincoln was raw and emotional and downright crazy with grief over the loss of her son.  And she showed it.  Sally Field should be the favorite for the Oscar this year with this role because you just don’t see much better.

Best Villains of the Year

#5  Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) from Premium Rush

#4  Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) from Lawless

#3 Loki (Tom Hiddelson) from Marvel’s The Avengers

#2 King Candy from Wreck-It Ralph

#1 Silva (Javier Bardem) from Skyfall

Bardem was brilliant as the creepy Silva in Skyfall, and finished atop this list strongly.  King Candy was very impressive to me, as I compared him to Lotso.  Loki makes this list again, as the villain of the biggest movie of the year.

Best Animated Movie of the Year

# 6 Dark Knight Returns Part One:  Direct to video DC goodness.  Adapts the classic Frank Miller mini sereis

#5 Rise of the Guardians:  Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Jack Frost…

#4 Frankenweenie:  Tim Burton’s personal story of a boy and his undead dog.

#3 Doom:  Another DC direct to video movie.  This one features the Justice League.

#2 Wreck-It Ralph.  One of the bigger surprises as I was not looking froward to it, but I was completely entertained.

#1 ParaNorman.  Funny, Smart, Beautifully animated.  And zombies.

Not the best year for animation in the theater as even a few of these movies were average.  I found it tough to fill out htis list.

Best Cameos of the Year

#7 Tom Waits (7 Psychopaths) and his rabbits.  Waits played crazy really well.

#6  Johnny Depp (21 Jump Street) This was about the best part of this movie for me.  One of the original cast members of the tv show.

#5 Jonah Hill (Django Unchained)  Those KKK masks just are so hard to see out of…LOL

#4 Stan Lee (Amazing Spider-man) Stan’s cameo in Spider-man trumps his cameo in Avengers.  His librarian in ASM is a funny moment.

#3 LOST (This is 40) It was good to see clips of LOST once again…Jack, Sayid, John…I miss you so.

#2 Don Johnson (Django Unchained)  “Big Daddy” was one of the funnier parts of Tarantino’s latest flick.

#1 Sigourney Weaver (Cabin in the Woods) Someone with horror movie cred had to be behind the puppeteers.  And she was.

There were no cameos this year that matched Hugh Jackman’s X-Men First Class one from last year.  That is a classic.

Horror Movie of the Year

  1. The Possession
  2. Sinister
  3. Cabin in the Woods

If you were surprised by #1, you haven’t been paying attention.  Sinister and The Possession were decent films, amidst the crap that was the rest of the horror movies this year.

Top Songs

  1. Wanted Dead or Alive (Tom Cruise) from Rock of Ages.  One of the top moments in an otherwise average film.  Cruise does a remarkable job singing this.
  2. Django (Randy Roberts) from Django Unchained  The theme from Tarantino’s spaghetti western was actually from the previous Django movie.  Created a great mood immediately.

#2 I Dreamed a Dream (Anne Hathaway) from Les Miserables.  Best song in this musical. Hathaway blows it away.

#1 Skyfall (Adele) New Bond theme fits the movie perfectly.  And Adele does wonders.

Biggest Disappointments

The Dark Knight Rises.  I liked it, but it just did not reach what i was hoping for as a film.  Nowhere near as good as the Dark Knight, and as a finale, it felt as if it fell short.  Still a decent movie when compared to…

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter  I loved the book.  The movie failed in every way to bring the book to life.  They took the tongue out of the cheek  (where the book had it firmly planted) and cut it off, tossing it across the room.

Biggest Surprise

The Campaign.  A movie that I found extremely funny, and a perfect take off during a presidential campaign season.  I am not a huge fan of Will Farrell, but he worked in this film.  Laugh out loud funny.

Worst Actor

Maybe worst actor is unfair.  Let’s say, least successful.  Taylor Kitsch starred in three awful movies this year with Battleship, Savages and John Carter.  His days as a star of films may be over.

Worst Actress

Kate Beckinsale.  She starred in two of the top four worst movies of the year from my list, but…you know…at least she’s hot.

 

 

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