Jan 2, 2013

2012: A Summary of a Year

Another year over. It was a good one. I think I say that every year, but never mind. When it comes to films, and getting excited about them, 2012 was actually hands down better than 2011, for me.

Here's what you will find in this post: three films from 2011 that I have to mention now, because had I seen them last year instead of this year they would've been in my top films in 2011; an honorable mention, because I didn't blog and thus give away top spots in 1997; TV shows that I was hooked on; some people, both real and fictional, that I liked this year; seven films that I liked the most in 2012.

(The picture above is from Lust, Caution, which I actually saw in 2011. I wanted a picture to reflect something of my 2012 in total, just like I chose such pictures to the equivalent posts of 2010 and 2011 (Chaplin, and The Wizard of Oz). I needed a very Chinese picture, because that's what my year was. I remember really liking Lust, Caution, so there I got my necessary Chinese picture.)

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The Rest of 2011

Crazy Stupid Love.

I'm always excited when there is a romcom that ends up being exactly what it promises: romantic and funny. Crazy Stupid Love is one of those few movies. Steve Carrell is crazy funny, Emma Stone is crazy awesome and Ryan Gosling is crazy hot, to mention a few merits.

The Flowers of War

Before and after spending the summer is China, my plan was to watch loads of movies both made and set in the country. I ended up watching Mulan and the Kung Fu Pandas a couple of times, and one or two really crappy flicks (like Shanghai Knights; they hardly even go to friggin' Shanghai!), and then I got bored, and watched Mulan again. The Flowers of War, however, had a big impact on me. It's one of the most moving movies I've seen this year. Visually, it looks so good. And I adore Chinese women in old-fashioned clothes. Just ask my travel buddies or my chopstick collection; it's a bit of an obsession.

We Need to Talk about Kevin

Now this movie... It's perhaps the most disturbing one I saw this year. I have a twisted fascination on this kind of horidness. The themes the film explores really provoke your mind and kind of make your heart ache. I'm looking for the time to really get started on the book.

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One of my absolute all-time favorites returned to cinemas this year, and seeing it on big screen was like seeing it, if not for the first time, then maybe for the tenth time, instead of the millionth time, which was actually the case. It's insane how good and moving and goosebump-worthy the story is, every single time.

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TV shows that I liked

The Office

I already mentioned that Steve Carrell is crazy funny, but so are so many other people on this show. I know I'm a bit uncool for liking the US version instead of the original one, but it's not my fault I got introduced to this one, and so when I tried to watch the UK one it just seemed boring, as if it was all copied from the US one, even though it's other way around. But there's no Dwight Schrute in the UK one. So. U-S-A! U-S-A!


 No, I was never addicted to Friends before this year. Yes, I know it's weird. I'd seen episodes, because I coincidentally do not live on the Moon, but I never systematically watched the show, episode to episode. Now I did, and I found out that I actually do like Rachel, and Monica is actually one of my favorites, and Chandler is actually the best character. Also, Ross is sometimes incredibly annoying, and Pheobe and Joey show their best qualities when put in the same room alone together. And Brad Pitt is crazy funny. (I don't know why I keep repeating that expression, 'crazy funny'.)


Matt LeBlanc playing "Matt LeBlanc". It's as awesome as it sounds. I love how they make fun of Hollywood. And Matt LeBlanc.

Breaking Bad

 Meet my most recent addiction. I waited a long time before I gave this show a try, because it sounded like I wouldn't like it at all. How wrong was I? Very. There is that less attractive 'violence & drug lords & guns & brutal masculinity' aspect in the show, but more importantly, there are the characters, and what goes down among them and within them. Yo, this show is the bomb, bitch. It's so good.


Me and Glee. Unconditional love and endless devotion since 2009.

아름다운 그대에게 (To the Beautiful You)

You can't really talk about an addiction here, but I have to mention this, because not every year I get an idea to watch Korean drama. Haha. This very stupidly translated show is about a girl who goes to an all-boys school. I don't remember why, but that's not the point. It's actually very funny. And it feels really refreshing to watch a TV show that wasn't made in the US, every once in a while. R-O-K! R-O-K! (Republic of Korea, that is.)

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Some of My Favorite People in 2012

(They are all young and beautiful, which makes me feel a bit guilty, but oh well.)

Jennifer Lawrence
She's just lovely. So pretty, so talented, so funny, so dorky. So Katniss Everdeen.

I was watching the Eurovision Song Contest and then I saw an interview and then spend some weeks giggling over the wonderful insanity of this pair of twins.

Dianna Agron
With that face, one wouldn't expect someone to be as sweet and wise and awesome as Dianna actually seems to be. I didn't like Quinn, her character on Glee. Then I read this. That was around the time when I suddenly started kind of liking Quinn.

Klaine is not a person, but two people, so this isn't really fair. But screw fair! Klaine is the light of Glee, so that makes Klaine the light of my life. Now that sounded really sane. I'll take that back and just say that I am a big fan of this particular couple on Glee. Even though they are not together all the time. (Boo!)

Chandler Bing
Because that's what would happen if Chandler was a real person.

Captain America 
 How to be really cheesy and corny and a disgustingly good human being, without being the least bit annoying? Just try being Captain America. Remember to also posses Chris Evans's flawless physique.

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Finally, my top seven for 2012. Which I won't call a top seven, because I can't afford to be that official. Also, I might need to apologize all true movie fanatics in advance: I don't have any Batman films on my list. But, to compensate, I do have some male strippers.

7 Films I'll Remember from 2012 (aka not a Top Seven)

Magic Mike

"You are the husband they never had! You are the dreamboat guy that never came along!"

I swear it's not just the excess of semi-nude males. There's something about taking an unexpected topic and turning it into a surprisingly good story about something you wouldn't expect of the unexpected topic. Though I really did enjoy Channing Tatum's 99,9%-naked dancing, too. Duh. And I think Matthew McConaghey gave a heck of a performance. Not anyone could make love to a mirror like that, getting so into it without a single trace of embarrassment.

21 Jump Street

"We're reviving a canceled undercover project from the 80's and revamping it for modern times. The people behind this lack creativity and they've run out of ideas, so what they do now is just recycle shit from the past and hope that nobody will notice."

The biggest laughs of the year came from an unexpected address. Pun intended. I never thought I'd had so much Channing Tatum on my top list, just like I never thought he could be this funny. But, what do you know, team him up with Jonah Hill and make him say ridiculous things and act really stupidly, and there you go. It's funny. Once or twice the jokes might drop way too below the waistline, but I'll take it. My favorite part is when Tatum's character blames Glee for the drastic change that has happened in the high school world in seven years. Hahaha. And I love the explosions that may or may not occur. This movie is so ridiculous.


"I am Merida, and I'll be shooting for my own hand."

If I gave away prizes for the best hair of the year, there would be no doubt about the winner. The film wasn't maybe quite as magnificent as I hoped it to be, but the female energy, the mother-daughter relationship, and the lack of a love story get a thumbs-up from me. And the animation is gorgeous.

Puhdistus (The Purge)

"Älä jätä enää yksin tai piiloudun niin syvälle, etten löydä enää ulos."

The best Finnish movie since... ever. Damn me, for not writing my thoughts down then I went to see this. I remember being very impressed and affected by the film. It really is a pretty depressing and horrifying story, and I rarely like stories that are too depressing, but screw happy endings, this film is so, so good! The haunting atmosphere from Sofi Oksanen's original novel is definitely there, in the camera work, editing, soundscape, and the actors' performances. For me the star of the film was Laura Birn as the young Aliide. This will be the third Finnish film after Menolippu Mombasaan and Hulluna Saraan that I will get on DVD. What an honor!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

"I'm going on an adventure!"

This list was originally a Top Five '5 Films I'll Remember from 2012'. Somehow I forgot about The Hobbit, and didn't remember to include it until after I saw it; it was always a given that it would be one of my favorites of the year. But somehow it slipped my mind. (And then 21 Jump Street somehow tricked its way in, too.) And actually, guess what I just remembered! When I wrote this post in the beginning of 2012, listing the movies I was most looking forward to, I first forgot all about The Hobbit, and hastily added it later, a bit ashamed, after I'd already published the post. Now what's up with all that? Why the minimal amount of conscious hype? I don't know, but I guess being so pathetically dismissive about the movie ended up the reason why I enjoyed it so much: no unrealistic expectations. Just pure, joyful nostalgia.

The Avengers 

"I understood that reference."

The unarguable entertainment and male beauty bomb of 2012! Saying anything else would be repeating myself, so I'll keep my mouth shut about how much I love Captain America's flying monkey comment, Mark Ruffalo's Banner, RDJ, the little diva that Loki is, Jeremy Renner with a bow, Chris Hemsworth's arms, all the big personalities interacting, clashing and finally getting along, Hulk (smashing), and, basically, just all the awesome superheros doing awesome superhero-like things. Oops, I guess I repeated myself a little after all.

The Hunger Games

"They just want a good show, that's all they want."

There can be no arguments here: The Hunger Games is my favorite film of 2012, and I will say that, even though this is not a Top Seven. THG as an experience was unbeatable: I'd been looking forward to it forever. I jumped up an down on my seat at the cinema, while waiting for it to start. I enjoyed every moment, got lost in the world of it, and was left extremely satisfied, and perhaps even more excited. I spend days, weeks, obsessing over it, and analyzing every little detail of what was wrong in the screen version of Peeta. I read the books again, I watched the film again, and then again. I actually feel like watching it again right now. The Hunger Games ruled my 2012. We shall see if the odds are on Catching Fire's favor in 2013.

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