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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to 2012 Movies

Robert Manni - Friday, December 07, 2012

Sorry, our list does not include films about vampires, zombies, the end of the world, or Katy Perry. 

I consider that a good start. The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to 2012’s Movies focuses on a select five films with relevancy for men and in particular, Guy’s Guys. Throughout the year we’ve been inundated with monsters and aliens, rom-coms, sequels, prequels, remakes, animated features, and adaptations of popular television shows. There have been hundreds of new movies released. Many of these films cost a fortune in CGI and production yet show little in fresh or profound storytelling. Sure, almost every Hollywood feature follows a proven story template, but when a story moves from paper to celluloid, all hell can break loose. Plus, you’ve got the clout an A-list star commands that puts him in every frame of the movie. That’s how it works, so we take the bitter with the sweet and hope for the best when we pluck down our $14 per ticket.

Our criteria is based on storytelling, freshness, and my subjective Guy’s Guy opinion.  So here they are in no particular order. You can decide for yourself if these flicks make the grade. I’m not going deep into the directors and actors. Let’s just talk amongst ourselves.

The Intouchables

This is a French movie about an aging, wealthy, Caucasian quadriplegic and the inner city caretaker that he hires. It’s rich, funny, original and thought provoking. Before his accident, the quadriplegic was a handsome scoundrel and a real Guy’s Guy. Now he’s in a wheel chair and he’s bored. Damn bored. He interviews a bunch of dweebs to take care of him, but they are all about themselves so decides to hire a struggling brother from the hood who has a confident attitude, but limited qualifications for the job. Soon, the fun ensues. Hookers, bubble baths, and even sky gliding create a bond between these two unlikely companions both living within the walls of their own personal prisons. Brilliant, emotional, and well done.

Cloud Atlas

Over the course of what feels like thousand years, Tom Hanks plays a half-dozen incarnations of a Guy’s Guy. Sometimes he is well-intended and other times he’s a douche. But, he is on a path to learning and manifesting a higher frequency. His usual partner throughout time is Hale Berry, so he is also a lucky Guy’s Guy. As usual, her persona evolves more quickly than her male counterpart. There is a ton of money thrown into this production so the movie looks really cool. Besides the Hanks arc, there is another interesting story featuring a hot Korean chick doing what she can to free her people from another version of that humorless tyranny that we’ve seen so often on films set in the future. The story is based on a novel and it is well intended. We’re talking Karma here, peeps. And it’s got eye-candy, too.


I disagree with Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers’ listing this as the fifth best Bond movie out of the twenty-four. However, now we’ve got a Guy’s Guy James Bond and I’m digging his feral qualities. He runs, he fights, he loves the ladies. Cool. The story is more internal than other Bond flicks and at times, that’s good. The idea that Bond is getting on and needs to shake off the ring rust is a new, but the dreadfully lone third act suddenly takes us to Bond’s childhood retreat where he decides to take on the baddies with only the dowdy M and some old codger who has been managing the neglected property. But, the film delivers all of the thrills, chills, and spills that we’ve come to expect from our man, James. Worth seeing.

The Master

This one’s pretty heavy duty and not everyone is going to run out and buy the soundtrack and relive the story. It’s about broken men and their search for meaning in the modern world. This is big brain Guy’s Guy stuff so we have to give the moviemakers creative license to tell their complicated tale they way they want. It features riveting performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. And it is supposedly loosely based on the origins of Scientology, a misunderstood and overly dissected ideology. No yucks in this one, but expansive.

Silver Linings Playbook

This has already become one of my all-time favorite Guy’s Guy movies. It takes that mind-numbing rom-com story template (boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl) and stands it on its knucklehead. Thank you, Matthew Quick, for writing the novel. The film also showcases a wonderful cast with unparalleled chemistry. But what nailed it for me was how director David O. Russell quietly set an emotional hook that reeled the audience in midway during the third act.  Heck, I even teared up at the end. Brilliant, amigo. I also dug all the Guy’s Guy stuff about middle class suburban Philly, football, and people who learn how to stop judging and start loving. This is one of the best Guy’s Guy movies of all time, and women will love it. See it.

Well, that’s my lineup of flicks for 2012. What were your favorite movies this year?

Our Guy’s Guy of the Week is Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook for his Oscar-worthy portrayal of a bipolar dude who keeps the faith and sees his own silver lining.

Image courtesy of The Weinstein Company.

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