June 2012

The Ten Best Movies of 2012 (So Far)

by Alan Rapp on June 30, 2012

in Top Tens & Lists

Super-heroes, aliens, character studies, parents and their children, time travel, the Scottish Highlands, young love, monsters, and the end of the world. Halfway through the year we take a look back at the ten best movies from the first-half of 2012.

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Safety Not Guaranteed

by Alan Rapp on June 30, 2012

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Safety Not Guaranteed
  • IMDB: link

safety-not-guaranteed-posterTime travel stories are tricky and the number of movies that intelligently discuss the topic are outnumbered by hundreds that don’t (for proof look no further than the pathetic likes of The Time Machine, Timeline, Black Knight, Freejack, and the truly awful adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder). Thankfully, director Colin Trevorrow‘s Safety Not Guaranteed doesn’t fall into this category. Instead, it produces one of the year’s most unexpected and memorable films.

Seattle Magazine reporter (Jake M. Johnson) sells his editor (Mary Lynn Rajskub) on the idea of doing a puff piece on a man  (Mark Duplass) who posted a classified ad looking for a companion for time travel. Roping in two interns (Aubrey PlazaKaran Soni) to do the actual work, Jeff heads to the coast for his real purpose of a paid vacation and reconnecting with his teenage girlfriend (Jenica Bergere), but the story the threesome uncover turns out to be far more interesting than they expected.

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Moonrise Kingdom

by Alan Rapp on June 29, 2012

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Moonrise Kingdom
  • IMDB: link

moonrise-kingdom-posterThere is never a doubt that Moonrise Kingdom is a Wes Anderson film. From the opening credit sequence to the final shot the writer/director’s latest is filled with his voice and style. I haven’t always been Anderson’s biggest fan, as at times I think he sacrifices substance for style (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and to a lesser extent Rushmore), but I enjoyeed The Darjeeling Limited and appreciated The Fantastic Mr. Fox enough to include it on a list of my the Best Films of 2009.

Anderson’s latest is a bit of a departure as it focuses on a pair of 12 year-old characters (rather than his usual choice of an ensemble of thoroughly damaged and eccentric adults). Sam (Jared Gilman) is an orphaned Khaki Scout marooned on a small New England island with no paved roads and a group of unfriendly companions. Suzy (Kara Hayward) is the problem child of a pair of lawyers (Frances McDormandBill Murray) more comfortable discussing legal briefs than feelings.

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Futurama – Decision 3012

by Alan Rapp on June 28, 2012

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Futurama – Decision 3012
  • tv.com: link

The latest episode of Futurama tackles politics (and time travel) in a odd mix the Birther movement against of Barack Obama‘s election as President and The Terminator. When Richard Nixon (Billy West) runs for re-election as President of Earth Leela (Katey Sagal) decides to help a honest Senator with good ideas win the election.

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Nightwing #10

by Alan Rapp on June 28, 2012

in Comics

nightwing-new-52-10-coverWith the “Night of Owls” crossovers now official done Nightwing moves forward with a new arc as Dick Grayson makes several important decisions about his future. We also get our first look at the army of vigilantes dressed up as knights and led by another New 52 villain – Paragon.

Nightwing, at least for the forseeable future, seems to be staying in Gotham and so is the Haly’s Circus as Dick comes up with a new plan to fix up Gotham’s run down amusement park Amusement Mile perhaps with the help of Tony Zucco‘s daughter Sonia. We also finally get back to the story of Nightwing being framed for murder (remember that?).

The issue finally fills in some information about the corrupt cop Detective Nie who tried to pin a murder wrap on Batman by planting evidence looks to be the man behind Nightwing’s stick showing up at a recent murder as well. This story works better for me than Paragon (although I’m betting the two are related). This was a make-or-break issue for Nightwing for me, and although it’s not great there’s enough here to bring me back for another month. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

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