During this time of year every publication, every news station, etc. are releasing best of lists. They can get annoying but I love to read them. Be it movies, music, television shows, or books, I love seeing what makes everybody’s best of lists so I can see what I missed throughout the year. My best of list consists of books and movies that still put a smile on my face when I think of them. I hope they will do the same for you.
Chronicle-I love superhero movies. The Avengers was good popcorn fun. But Chronicle was unlike any superhero movie I have ever seen. It felt like the most realistic a superhero film could get. It is the tale of three teenage boys who gain super human abilities and how they deal with it. Dane DeHaan is Andrew Detmer and he puts his heart and all the pain he is feeling out there with such voracity that it is hard not to be touched. His gaze still haunts me.
End of Watch-Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play cops patrolling the dangerous Los Angeles streets. It is funny, it is sad, and it digs deep with these men and what they deal with on a daily basis.
The Loved Ones-An Australian horror movie that will keep you a ball of tension in it’s entirety, The Loved Ones tells the story of a teenage boy who is still mourning the death of his Dad a year after it happened. When he is approached by classmate Lola Stone and she asks him to Prom, he has no idea the consequences when he turns her down. It is down right horrifying and not for the faint of heart. You will never look at a drill the same again.
Paranorman-I try and take my kids to every cartoon that comes out just to have an excuse to go to the movies. Curls refused Paranorman but my Red was down and I am so glad he was. It is a zombie movie, a movie about loneliness and being misunderstood, and a movie about the Salem witch trials. It might sound confusing but it is probably the darkest cartoon for kids I have seen but still maintains it’s innocence.
Safety Not Guaranteed-A small film that you probably have never heard of. It popped up on about two or three best of lists I found and decided it was worth checking out. It is a story about three news reporters who follow a story about a man who places an ad for a time travel companion. I won’t say more than that but it will definitely put a smile on your place.
Take Shelter-This movie could stand alone just with the performances from Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon but then it has a story that will continue to surprise you. I love that in a film.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
There are so many things that I want to say that by the time I was done, you wouldn’t need to read this life changing book by John Green. And that would be a shame. This story is about two teenagers who meet and fall in love. And they both also happen to be battling cancer. They meet at a support group for people who are living with cancer. This book has become a part of me in a way that I look at life differently. It is a book not just for the casual reader but also for those of us who always have to have a book in hand.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This story about a circus set in the early twentieth century is the most beautiful book I have ever read. I felt like I was in the best dream imaginable from page one.
The World We Live In Series by Susan Beth Pfeffer
This trilogy is a young adult series that covers what would happen if the moon descended upon earth. There are catastrophic effects and the Evans are a normal family struggling to survive the events. When I was done with this series I wanted two things: To read more of this tale and to check my cupboard to make sure I had enough canned goods. I have never appreciated having food in my refrigerator more.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I am a huge Hunger Games fan. They are my favorite books of all time and I can still remember walking in a haze for weeks after I was finished with them. Ever since I have been looking for another series that is similar. The closest I have come is the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. It has a female character (Tris) in a dystopian society that divides its’ population by character traits (Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite). When you are 16 you are expected to pick the faction/character trait that you most identify with. Most stay with the faction that their parents are. So when Tris goes against her faction and picks Dauntless, or the brave, her world is forever changed. Insurgent is the sequel to Divergent and what happens after the government tries to take over the factions through mind control. It is one of the first sequels that I have read that I loved more than the first book. If you are a Hunger Games fan, this should do nicely.
Is there anything you saw or read in 2012 that you loved?? I would love to hear about it.