Best of the Rest: Ranking Everything Else I Saw in 2012

Having already counted down my favorite and most despised films released last year, I thought I'd give some love (and hate) to all the other films I managed to watch in 2012, made a thousand times easier since I kept track. In total I saw 374 films, 245 for the first time. Out of that 245, only 47 were 2012 releases, so they won't be included. I'm also not including the 2011 spill over I caught up with at the beginning of the year. Still, I was left with nearly 200 films to dig through and simplify into a spot on a list.

10. Underworld 3 - Since Kate Beckinsale wouldn't come back for another sequel (at the time), they thought a prequel with an annoying Rhona Mitra would be a good alternative. It wasn't. Everything we learned in snippets of flashback from the first films was more than plenty to fill in the backstory of the war between the vampires and the lycans, but for some reason they felt it necessary to stretch that out into 90 lazy minutes of dull action and night shots. As much as I love Nighy and Sheen, this was just painful to endure.

9. Dream House - When I first saw the trailer for this "haunted house" story, I figured there had to be more to it since it seemed to give away a BIG reveal. Nope. The trailer more or less blatantly spoils the entire film, which was not intriguing or scary, but just dull. If Craig and Weisz's marriage came together as a result of this film, that's worse than a shotgun wedding, folks.

8. Sweet November - A failed attempt of a manic-pixie-dreamgirl, Charlize Theron tries to save Keanu Reeves and his "whoa" style of acting by spending just one month together with zero commitment. A horrifically sappy story that just wouldn't end. The only entertaining bit was Jason Issacs in drag.

7. The Hot Chick - Rachel McAdams switches bodies with Rob Schneider. Do I really need to go any further with this explanation?

6. Funny Face - One of the most painfully sexist films I've seen and a horrible musical to boot. Some of the set design and costuming were nice, but unfortunately all the other crap got in the way because Lord knows all us girls want is to be fashion models romanced by a photographer 30 years our senior. [/sarcasm]

5. Swordfish - A shamelessly trashy action film about computer hacking. John Travolta has bad hair and Halle Berry is needlessly topless. Hugh Jackman looks kind of good, but that's about it.

4. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - Everyone kept telling me this was a good Will Ferrell movie, so I took a chance and realized I can't trust people. It's the same shtick as all his other films.

3. Catwoman - No Gotham. No Selina Kyle. Just Halle being more or less possessed by a cat spirit, so she can become a burglar and stop an evil Sharon Stone from making face cream. No...really.

2. Bad Boys 2 - It's twice the one-liners. It's twice the explosions. It's twice the Bay. Uggghhh. Ohh, and there's actual rat sex. Where do you get your clever ideas, Michael?

1. Troll 2 and Birdemic - It's not really fair to pick on these two due to their notoriety as poorly made films that have turned into cult sensations, but I'm going to anyway. But unlike the rest of this worst list, I don't regret watching them because they're actually fun in the shameless awfulness.

10. Enduring Love - Not a fantastic film, but one that sticks out in my memory as having an intriguing story and very good performances. And the first 5 minutes are simply stunning.

9. The Burning Plain - A young Jennifer Lawrence tearing up the screen before any of us knew who she was. And a nice mystery spanning three separate story lines that come together in a heartbreaking way.

8. The Girl in the Cafe - Tragic romance on a very small scale because love and politics simply don't mix. Bill Nighy and Kelly McDonald are stunning together.

7. The Savages - This was such a great look at the "epidemic" of old age and how it can affect an entire family. The story and characters were written with an honesty rarely seen.

6. Gosford Park - Once I pushed through the first 30 minutes of character introductions, I really enjoyed this sort of murder mystery that boasted a who's who of British actors, mixed with some serious drama and witty comedy.

5. Vertigo - Not at all what I thought it was about. I was caught off guard by the story and a nice dark turn for Jimmy Stewart too.

4. In the Valley of Elah - A film that worked on many levels: losing a child, the state of the military, sexism. I certainly appreciated the quiet, beautiful performances from Theron and Jones.

3. Lost in Translation - Finally finished and I'm not sure why I had held out so long. Watched it twice this past year to make sure I really did like it...and I do.

2. Blue Valentine - A harsh look at a struggling marriage that makes me appreciate my own even more. Brilliant performances by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, but not great for repeat viewing too often.

1. A Clockwork Orange - It took me 11 years, but I finally finished it. I haven't liked the few other Kubrick films I've seen, but this masterpiece more than makes up for it. I almost pick up the Blu-ray anniversary special every time I visit Best Buy, but haven't made the commitment yet. It's too much awesome contained in one film.


  1. - Bah! (re: Anchorman)

    - I would definitely put Catwoman over Troll 2 and Birdemic.

    - Hell yeah to Clockwork Orange! I actually did buy the Blu-Ray anniversary version after I saw it (or I got it as a gift... I can't recall). That and The Shining are my two fave Kubrick.

    1. The only good thing I remember about Anchorman was the alley fight scene with all the cameos, but that was more out of a "who could possibly show up next" curiosity.

      I was originally just going to give Troll 2 and Birdemic "dishonorable mentions" because of the types of films they are. I had a huge selection of other bad films to put on the list, but I decided to stick with the ones most people knew. I watched a lot of bad little indie films that most people have never heard of due to our stars of the week.

      I need to see The Shining again. I watched it in high school after reading the book and was not impressed considering the source material frightened me to my core. Surely enough time has passed, but I really can't stand Shelley Duvall in that film either.

  2. Glad you caught up with Vertigo, Lost in Translation and A Clockwork Orange.

    A Clockwork Orange can be a trial to get through, and as much as I admire it, and consider it among my favorites, I'm not sure I want to own it.

    Gosford Park is the one film on your list I feel I should have seen by now. I should try to check that one out this year.

    1. Gosford Park hits you with a ton of characters and subplots at first, and it's a lot to sort through, but it all comes around to being one damn fine film. Now that I know who's who and what's what, I should really give it another go. Hope you enjoy.

  3. Those are some great movies you saw.

    First saw Clockwork Orange on a VHS that my dad recorded along with the Family movie Explorers. Seeing that movie when I was just 11 really freaked me out. Glad you were able to see it.

    I really love Lost in Translation. The making of feature on the DVD makes me love it even more. I hope Sofia and Bill team up on another movie.

    Vertigo is a classic because you will never have a story like that again. No studio would want to touch it at all.

    1. I started watching Clockwork one night in college, but my boyfriend thought I was bored and switched to Trainspotting instead, which ended up not finishing either. Now that I've finally finished Clockwork, I can definitely say it is infinitely better than Trainspotting, which I also caught up with recently (end of 2011). And I was never bored, so I don't why he thought that.

      The first time I watch Lost in Translation, I succumbed to the power of suggestion when she orders a Vodka Tonic near the beginning of the film. Several Vodka Tonics later and I was passed out on the sofa. Took me a few years to catch up with it, and stay sober long enough to do so, but glad I did.

      I have no funny stories about the first time I saw Vertigo, but was stunned because I just thought it was Jimmy Stewart being afraid of heights for 2 hours and couldn't imagine that being an interesting film.


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