It's literally the last day of the year, so let's fit one more discussion about film in.
I felt as if 2012 was not a great year for film. There was a LOT of trash. A LOT of uninteresting sequels. A LOT of superheros who quite frankly were not all that super in my opinion.
There were a few diamonds in the rough though, and I wanted to share them with you. Here's my Top 10 Movies of 2012 with a note why.
#10 - Prometheus: The supposed Alien prequel was disappointing in the way that it was very vague as to what was actually going on. I wasn't all that impressed on my first screening, until my mind started asking questions about how this futuristic sci-fi flick was woven together. The more I thought about it, the more i liked it. (Sign of a good movie)
#9 - Goon: Some might say this was a foul mouthed, comically violent film that only a hockey fan could appreciate. Well. I am that hockey fan. This film marks the best performace I've ver seen from the typically low-brow Sean Williams Scott. It has heart.
#8 - Marley: I am a sucker for films about music. I love the music of Bob Marley, so this was a natural fit.
#7 - Bernie: Jack Black gets honors for doing that magic film trick, where the character transforms from the person you expect into an all new character. (another sign of a good movie) A plucky Shirley MacLaine helped this funny, quirky and mostly true tale stick out amongst the rest.
#6 - Sleepwalk With Me: Comedian Mike Birbiglia brought this psuedo-documentary to life about his own trials and tribulations about sleepwalking. He's a funny man and he makes a funny movie.
#5 - The Cabin In The Woods: Watching this one about a group of unsuspecting teens retreating to a remote cabin was like eating candy for this and just about any sci-fi/horror film fan. So many layers of witty, smart and gory goodness.
#4 - Looper: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis tie together the best use of science fiction in 2012.
#3 - Silver Linings Playbook: Bradley Cooper plays a recently released patient dealing with his own mental issues, while coming to terms with the consequences of his actions. Jennifer Lawrence continues to grow as an actress with this performance. Cooper is likeable once again following his crude sequel to The Hangover.
#2 - Skyfall: Much like 2008's The Dark Knight was a brilliant action-drama-thriller, which happened to include superheroes, Skyfall is a masterful action-thriller that just happens to be a James Bond movie too.
#1 - Moonrise Kingdom: I fell in love with this quirky Wes Anderson film early in the year and this tale of young love on the run simply set the bar too high for anyone to top.
Still on the list to see are: Les Miserable, Zero Dark Thirty and The Impossible.
Honorable mention: Life of Pi, Django Unchained and Total Recall (2012) which only gets a mention because i watched it in a theater in Harrogate, UK where the local folk were so kind, they offered to share their popcorn, candy and soda with me. Quite proper!
Some sad Hollywood news over the holiday, when I heard that we lost Jack Klugman.
In my generation, I feel like I never truly appreciated his work. I was too young for The Odd Couple and while it was on, I wasn't interested in medical drama's like Quincy MD.
It wasn't until I developed my love of movies and started watching the classics that I came across 1957's . A brilliant ensemble cast including Peter Fonda, Jack Klugman, EG Marshall, and Martin Balsam. It's genius is it's simplicity, taking place mosly in one room12 Angry Men, where 12 jurors decide the fate of a man, and let thier biases and good sense run wild.
Jack Klugman was one of the reasons it was such a monumental film and it was also the catalyst in fueling my interest in more of his film catalog. He was able to handle drama and comedy and that makes him one of the greats. RIP.
Interesting fact about Mr. Klugman: He was believed to have been involved in a long and bitter feud with actor Norman Fell (The Graduate and Mr Roper from Three's Company) that lasted over 40 years. However, it was later revealed by Klugman that he and Fell got along fine and the feud was nothing more than a friendly rivalry.
Everyone knows Santa relies on the magic of Christmas to deliver presents to every kid in the world in one night. But what if he didn't?
How big would Santa's organization need to be, to still get everything delivered on Christmas Eve? Representatives from FedEx and UPS actually crunched the numbers, and according to them, he'd need 12 MILLION employees. Here's how it breaks down.
There are 760 million children worldwide who would assumedly recieve gitfs from Santa, and Santa has to hit them all in 24 hours . . . about 9,000 deliveries a second. That's about 760 million pounds of cargo . . . enough for three hundred 747's.
He'd need 46 international distribution centers, with 400,000 elves just loading the sleigh, and another 832,000 in logistics, support, and HR.
He'd also need 40,000 elves to deal with customs regulations in all the different countries . . . 67,000 to secure flyover rights, and schedule and optimize his flight plan . . . and 100 meteorologists.
That still leaves about 10 million elves getting presents to distribution centers, and doing "general assignment."
All so each kid can get one present each, weighing a pound. Yowza!
The Mayans didn't really say the world was going to end tomorrow . . . that's just how people have misinterpreted them. So I feel totally, 100% confident in saying the world is NOT going to end tomorrow.
BUT IF IT DOES . . . here's how it's going to go. According to scientists, the most likely way the world could suddenly end (say in just one day) would be from something called a DARK COMET. That's a massive comet that's not covered in ice and snow like regular comets, which makes it WAY more difficult for us to spot them in space.
A dark comet hitting us would only immediately destroy everything in the impact zone. BUT . . . it would send so much dust into the atmosphere that it would block the sun, and cause all the crops worldwide to fail. Kind of like what was predicted in the cheeseball disaster movies Deep Impact, Armageddon, and their 1979 predecessor Meteor.
So we'd all die slowly and painfully from a global famine. Have a great Thursday!
If a dark comet isn't the end, the second-most likely scenario would be an underground volcano erupting. That would have the same effect of shooting dust into the atmosphere. See Dante's Peek or ask any surviving relatives of Pompeii about that one.
In any case, let us remind ourselves that these sci fi distractions are for entertainment purposes only. See you on Friday.
Sweet treats can be slow-cooked as well as savory ones so here is a delicious dessert offering from my Slow Cooker Bible!
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1/4 cup apple juice
3 tbsp dried cranberries
1-1/2 tsp quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 pears, cored and cut into halves
1/4 cup granola with almonds
Combine pineapple with juice, apple juice, cranberries, tapioca and vanilla in slow cooker; mix well. Place pears, cut side down, over pineapple mixture.
Cover; cook on low 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours. Arrange pear halves on serving plates. Spoon pineapple mixture over pear halves and top with granola.