Surprises aren’t always a good thing; you never know if the gift box is hiding an iPhone 5 or a Nikki Minaj album. This isn’t my top movies of 2012. These are the movies that surprised me the most by exceeding or defiling my expectations, so movies that I knew would be good (Avengers), mediocre (The Amazing Spider-Man, Hunger Games) or bad (Twilight) aren’t included.
1. Les Miserables- To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the soundtrack as much as I did. In case my blogs have fooled you, I’m not the most cultured guy in the coffee shop. Musicals in particular (or operettas, for all you hipsters) have had as much impact on my life as a steak does for a vegan. That said, I LIKED the songs. I almost even bought some. So there you go. Good Surprise.
2. The Grey-So in case you didn’t see the trailer for The Grey, it looked like Taken, but with wolves instead. Get ready as a team of men crash a plane, band together and fight wolves in an epic tale of survival! And Liam Neeson punches wolves! A lot! Ok. First, this is like the opposite of a survival movie (spoilers). Second, it wasn’t a wolf-punching fun-fest either, and they showed the last scene in the trailer. I maybe could have enjoyed this depressing, thoughtful movie if it hadn’t been advertised so differently. Bad Surprise.
3. Dark Knight Rises-So, my review of this movie is pretty biased, as I’m both a Nolan and Batman fanboy at heart, but at the same time the movie was nothing like I thought it would be. I was expecting Dark Knight 2, but what we got had more of the Batman Begins feel with a disaster/war movie feel instead of Dark Knight‘s crime noir inspiration. Some people may have been turned off, but I loved how it ended the trilogy on such an epic scale, even if the second one’s still my favorite (yeah, it’s Joker). Good Surprise.
4. Skyfall-The trailer was pretty slick, but I’ve never been a mega-fan of Bond movies (sorry, England). It turns out I really enjoyed the ride this time, including everything from the interesting locations to the psycho villain. Good Surprise.
5.Prometheus-Prometheus is like a stylish, self-inflated person who claims to tell you everything, but midway though his explanation you realize he knew less than you did. And then he shuts the car door on his hand. This movie wanted to be so ground-breaking and smart, but as I already pointed out, it consisted mostly of smoke and mirrors and added more questions. And had characters dying in the dumbest way possible, like running away from a falling ship the longest way possible. Bad Surprise.
6. Lockout-This movie looked like a fun, dumb movie, with at least an interesting premise (prison break in space). However, it was actually just a dumb movie. Period. I walked out of the theater and counted all the better things I could have done with all that wasted time, like build a pirate-themed ant farm. Bad Surprise.
7. The expendables 2-Sure, it was loud and dumb and starred aging action stars, but we knew that, right? What I didn’t know was how hard I would laugh at the overblown hilarity, with a Chuck Norris joke summing up the whole movie. Good Surprise.
8. Wreck-it Ralph- This was the most Pixar-quality animated move of the year, and it didn’t come from Pixar. It even tried to pull my heart strings, but I held it off like a man. Good Surprise.
9. The Hobbit- Immaculately reproduced sets that made me want to have second breakfast while re-watching the original trilogy? Good Surprise. Annoying CGI Goblin King? Bad Surprise.