About Film Quest ’12 – For each of the past three years, I set a goal for the number of films I wanted to see in that year which I had never seen before and do reviews for them. 2012 is no different, and while I’ve been tracking the films I’ve watched, this is my first set of reviews. After deliberation, I’ve decided to review them six at a time, regardless of how long it takes me to get through six.

Two other side-goals I have for this quest:

– see plenty of films which were nominated for Best Picture for either the Academy Awards or the Golden Globes. The more I learn about it, I’m considering doing the analysis for the Screen Actors Guild Awards… but you get the idea

– catch films which were released more than 20 years ago

If you wonder about my movie choice options or wonder why certain chick flicks are being reviewed for a GUYS site, just realize that in the course of your life, a woman might ask you to watch one of those films, and now you’ll know what you’re in store for. Even if that’s not going to be the case for you, then either skip those reviews or commiserate with me.

Enough of the setup, let’s talk about the limitless, cooking desperadobots.

1 – JULIE & JULIA – The fact that I enjoy cooking (it helps with the ladies and helps ensure meals aren’t terrible) AND Amy Adams made this film a decent option for me. The fact that it was nominated for Best Picture helped encourage its viewing even more. I’m not typically a Meryl Streep fan, but her portrayal of the strong-willed and quirky Julia Child was entertaining enough. Amy Adams was a likeable “Julie”, a disappointed-with-life-and-seeking-escape-through-hobby woman who didn’t suffer from a lot of the chick-flick heroine personality traits that cause male eye-rolling. The hair/makeup/wardrobe department didn’t do Ms Adams any favors in this one, though there are two scenes where men (and women) who appreciate her good looks will have that to look forward to. I do an end of the year awards, and while I’m sure one of the two female leads will be picked for that, I won’t try to guess now. Neither were overwhelmingly good.

2 – RANGO – I didn’t seek out this animated film, but when I saw it in the guide on my DVR, I hit record because of the good reviews I had heard. I went in with mild expectations and while I wouldn’t say I was blown away, it was close. The story’s intriguing, there are plenty of references to other movies that are sure to get at least a small laugh in response, and while it’s safe for younger audiences it doesn’t totally dumb things down like a lot of Disney (and some PIXAR) films do. Unless you hate animated films, I’d recommend checking this one out.

3 – TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON – By far the best Transformers film available. The plot works, Shia LeBouf isn’t annoying in it, the eye-rolling inducing ‘bots from the second one are gone and the special effects are top notch. If you enjoyed the first one at all, give this one a look. For the female content, I’d say that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is almost on par with what Megan Fox brought to the original.

4 – LIMITLESS – I really don’t like Bradley Cooper very much as an actor, and for most of the characters he has portrayed over the past 10 years, I’m sure many people hold that same opinion. The concept of this movie, combined with Robert DeNiro’s presence, were enough for me to check this out through Netflix Instant, and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s premise is well executed and Bradley Cooper’s performance wasn’t a detractor. If you’ve got Netflix Instant and can’t find anything else to watch, it’s worth checking out.

5 – DESPERADO – I had seen parts of this movie, but never the entire film until now. It’s a much deeper film than I originally thought it would be, though certainly not an intellectual pursuit. Stylistically it was fun to watch, though there weren’t as many action scenes as I was expecting.

6 – SUPER 8 – Had I the chance, I would’ve seen this film in the theater and I wouldn’t have been disappointed. Though there were eye-roll inducing moments towards the end, the majority of the movie was brilliantly crafted like I was expecting from Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams, and at times it was visually stunning. As a kid who grew up wanting to make movies, that part of the storyline really drew me into the plot. As a fan of Friday Night Lights, it was fun to watch Kyle Chandler in a different type of fatherly role.

End Of Year Award Nominees

Best Supporting Actress – Elle Fanning – SUPER 8

Best Actor – Joel Courtney – SUPER 8

Best Supporting Actor – Riley Griffiths – SUPER 8

Best Director – Gore Verbinski – RANGO

Best Director – J.J. Abrahms – SUPER 8

Best Picture Nominee – SUPER 8

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