Archive | December, 2012

What a Year for a New Year

31 Dec


It’s finally here: New Year’s Eve.

Break out the bubbly and let’s all thank God.

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What Were My Top 12 Blog Posts of 2012?

27 Dec

12-ballThe interwebs is a funny place — especially when you’re a blogger.

You write all kinds of posts, hoping people will read and enjoy (and share) them.

And you make them as optimized as possible, with great headlines and plenty of cross-linking, so search engines will put them at the top of the page when people go looking for related topics.

And then, when the dust settles, you look back and see which posts actually got traffic and which ones didn’t. The results are often surprising.

Such is the case for me in 2012. Continue reading

Don’t Get Carried Away with Your Retribution

24 Dec

django-unchained-posterThe D is silent, but not much else about Quentin Tarantino’s new film is.

Django Unchained is the gleefully violent story of a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) who teams up with a German bounty hunter named Schultz (Christoph Waltz) to track down and kill some slave owners and other bad men, then convinces Schultz to help him find and free his wife, Broomhilda von Shaft (Kerry Washington, and yes, that’s really her character’s name), from plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

It’s the funny, bold, bloody, and oh so very cool revenge fantasy that Inglorious Basterds should have been — with a killer soundtrack to boot.

It’s also QT’s best film in years, and one of the best of 2012.

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Should You Take Your Mama Out to See These Movies?

23 Dec

It sounds like a double feature from hell.

Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Barbra Streisand starring in two movies with similar plot lines: Older Jewish parents have a hard time connecting with the younger generation.

Both films are aimed squarely at a mainstream crowd, and are being released within days of each other.

Should you see them as a double feature, is one of them enough, or should you skip them both altogether?

Here are my reviews.

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2012 Was a Masterful Year for the Movies

21 Dec

You know it’s been a good year when creating a list of your favorite movies can’t be limited to just 10 — and two films jockey back and forth for the top spot right up until I hit “publish.”

And yet, rules are rules are rules, and tough decisions have to be made.

So without further ado, and with the full knowledge that Jeff Wells may call me a “beefalo,” here’s my list of the 10 best and most enjoyable movies I saw this year — as well as some honorable mentions and the 10 worst ones too. For my full reviews, click on each of the movie titles.

(Note: At the time of this blog post, not all the films have been officially released in Boston. I’ll add links when those reviews are published.)

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Whatever Happened to the Old Me?

20 Dec

thisis40-posterYou’ve heard me say this before, but it’s so much better to be 38 than it is to be 40.

That’s exactly how Debbie (Leslie Mann) feels in Judd Apatow’s new film, This Is 40.

On her 40th birthday, she has her husband, Pete (Paul Rudd), put 38 on her birthday cake, and she puts the wrong birthdate down when she goes to the doctor.

When Pete takes Viagra so he can please her on her birthday without pressure, she freaks out: “We are young people! We don’t need medication to have sex.”

Nope, turning 40 is not easy.

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Yes, I Hear the People Sing. Please Make Them Stop

19 Dec

les_miserables_french_posterI had a dream Les Miz would be … so much better than the movie it is.

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but despite all the hype that would lead you to believe the big-screen adaptation of the beloved musical Les Misérables is the best thing since sliced bread, the movie left me feeling lukewarm.

And I don’t say that lightly. Like so many others who grew up in New York, Les Misérables played a significant role during my formative years. I first saw it in 1987, in London, on a trip with my grandparents. I also saw the show on Broadway, and I heard songs like “On My Own” over and over in talent shows at summer camp and in school, and at other performances where young girls got up to sing.

So suffice it to say, I had a bit of history going into this one, and expectations were high.

Oh well.

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