It’s December 31, which means that 2012 has come to a close. Despite a few different choices for the apocalypse, the world did not end — or if it did, nobody noticed. Every indication is that the world will continue to exist next year as well, so before we head into 2013, it’s time for a look back on 2012, as viewed through Morgan on Media.
My blog celebrated its first anniversary back in September, and it’s certainly grown since both this time last year and even since its anniversary. At this time last year, I had reviewed 68 films — including theatrical releases, TV movies, direct-to-video releases, and short films. This year, I nearly tripled that number, reviewing 202 films for a total of 270 since the blog’s inception. 15 of those were Favorite Films reviews — the rest (barring an occasional exception, such as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians) were films I had not seen before. The year began with Cool Hand Luke and ended with Heathers, so while there were definite ups and downs in the middle, it started and ended on strong notes. Overall, I made 328 new posts, roughly six a week — though in truth it was more that after the mid-point of the year I started writing seven days a week, while before it was a little more haphazard. As of this writing, the blog has had exactly 46,000 page views in 2012 (it’ll go up a bit since the year isn’t quite over yet.) Over 10,000 of those were in December alone — though I do expect a bit of a drop-off in January, it’s still nice to compare that to last year, when all four active months combined only added up to 2800 views. But enough of the general stats. Onward for the best and worst of 2012.
Most Popular Post: It can be hard to figure this, since there can be a discrepancy between the number of people who look at a post and the number of people who actually comment on it. Since I’m more interested in fostering discussion rather than just having people stare blankly at what I wrote and stealing the images, my feeling is that the comments are the biggest part. And this year, my most popular post came in near the end, as my Top 12 Least Favorite Christmas Tunes garnered 47 comments. Coming in close behind were Devil’s Advocate: I Hate Anime at 45 and Top 15 Franchises I’ve Overlooked at 43.
Most Inexplicably Popular Post: And here’s the other side of things; those posts that get looked at a lot more than they get commented on. In this case, the most popular post actually came from last year — my Favorite Films review of Christmas Vacation. It brought in massive search traffic, 3200 hits, most of which was in the last month. I assume they’re grabbing pictures of Cousin Eddie. For point of comparison, the Least Favorite Christmas Tunes post only has 95 views. Says a lot about the relative worth of page views and comments. The most viewed post that’s actually from 2012 is my post-mortem on Chuck. Again, pretty sure people are just snagging images.
Going to need to empty that.
Personal Favorite Post: I suspected this would get difficult with a full year behind it, and it did. While I enjoyed talking like a pirate (again!) for my Favorite Films review of Pirates of the Caribbean, and giving an April Fool’s Day review of Hercules in New York, my favorite post may be the Top 10 Warning Signs of a Bad Comedy.
Favorite Film of 2012: I saw 11 films that made their debut this year. Some of them I saw in the theatre, some at home. 11 isn’t very much — and indeed I had hoped to watch several more this year, and to do some catching up this past month, but circumstances didn’t allow it. Even so, I did manage to see several enjoyable movies, and I gave favorable reviews to everything I saw in the theatre, which is always good. Hate to spend money on a bad movie, after all. So what was my favorite? It’s a little hard to say. Part of me is inclined to say The Avengers, but in the end I think I have to give the nod to Wreck-It Ralph, which was every bit as fun and stands on its own a bit better than The Avengers does.
Least Favorite Film of 2012: Last year, my explicit reason for titling this “award” as “Least Favorite” instead of “Worst” was that my least favorite film of 2011 (at that point) wasn’t actually all that bad. As noted above, I avoided paying money for any bad films. However, in my attempts to broaden my range of 2012 films, I did indeed stumble across a truly terrible one: Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, an absolutely wretched film that had me worried every minute that someone would walk in and see me watching it, and then I’d have to explain why (the reason being this blog, of course, but it’s amazing how unsatisfying an answer that is to someone who doesn’t read the blog). There is no doubt in my mind on this one winning the prize. In fact, if I see any “worst films list” that doesn’t have this film, and they have any of the films I’ve seen — or truthfully most of the ones I haven’t — I’m going to have to wonder if they’ve seen this film. There are around 2000 films released in 2012, worldwide, and I have a suspicion this film really is worse than all of them.
Most Regretted Omission of 2012: As noted, there were a lot of films I wanted to see in 2012 that I didn’t get to. What did I most regret not seeing? Considering it was my most anticipated film of the year, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey may be the most expected choice, but as it was a late December release, I actually wasn’t all that surprised that I didn’t get around to it. I’m hoping that I catch it in the next month or two (though I said that about The Adventures of Tintin last year and still haven’t seen it….) No, while there’s some fierce competition from Looper and The Amazing Spider-Man and a few other things, I think I’m going to have to say The Hunger Games. That looks like one where I’m going to want to get caught up on it soon.
Most Anticipated Film of 2013: This is difficult for a different reason. There are certainly a lot of potentially exciting films in 2013, but I find myself strangely unenthused about a lot of the ones that should have me excited. Sometimes it’s simply because it’s a sequel to something I’ll need to watch first, but other times even though I want to watch the film, there’s something that’s making me a little hesitant about it. Man of Steel should, by all rights, have me excited — but the trailers have looked absolutely abysmal to me. They don’t feel like Superman to me, and we really don’t need another bad Superman film. I’m hoping that it’s just more WB bad marketing (I wasn’t thrilled with the promos for any of the “Dark Knight” trilogy either), but I don’t know. And some other things which are coming out in 2013 haven’t really started their marketing blitzes yet. So although I wouldn’t have expected it, the film I’m most looking forward to at this moment is Oz: The Great and Powerful, which has had some really fantastic promotion. It could be a real winner.
Favorite Retro Film: The blog’s lifeblood is reviewing older movies that are new to me. This year, I gave 5-star ratings to 23 retro films, including the first film of the year, Cool Hand Luke. But which was my favorite? Well, “Luke’s” certainly up there, but I think the film I’m most likely to re-watch is probably Inception. But there’s a lot of steep competition.
Least Favorite Retro Film: This one I had pegged since June, however. Though I gave 12 retro films a 1-star rating in 2012, there was never really any doubt which of them would take the crown. Not Another Not Another Movie is easily the worst of the worst when it comes to non-2012 movies that I watched this year. In fact, up until Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, I was certain that it would be the worst movie I saw this year, period. This is why you don’t get your hopes up for anything, folks; even when you’re only hoping you’ve seen the bottom of the barrel, you can still be disappointed.
Favorite TV Show: Last year, this went to Fringe. This year, Fringe has been good, but not up to the same level (both seasons 4 and 5 were largely in 2012, and I thought season 4 had some definite issues). In truth, I’m not watching as much television as I did before, though I do still usually watch two or three shows a week. My favorite right now, though? Burn Notice, which is still going strong long after it had any realistic expectation of doing so. It appears to be gearing up for a final season in 2013, and despite heavily teasing it, they didn’t go through with killing off a character that would have killed my enjoyment of the show.
Least Favorite TV Show: As before, this comes with the caveat that I had to have tried to watch it, at least for one episode. And as before, it’s not much of a challenge when it comes to that — there are only a few series I stopped watching this year, and usually it was just lack of interest rather than the show being truly bad. Also like last year, my least favorite show was from NBC: Revolution. Bad writing and bad acting combined to make this an unenjoyable experience for me… of course, like last year’s selection of Grimm, it seems to be doing fairly well. So, you know, I have to give NBC some backhanded praise for slowly climbing up from fourth place with shows I dislike.
Favorite Book: Most of this year’s reading was dedicated to slogging through The Wheel of Time, but there’s still enough reading even from that to pick a favorite book this year. However, my favorite book I read this year wasn’t part of that series, or by that author. It was Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse, which was a very well-written apocalyptic thriller with an unusually-informed look at Osage Indian culture to boot. Please, Spielberg, don’t screw this up when you adapt it.
And that’s it for the best and worst of 2012. Once again I didn’t review enough albums to include them in the sum up — in fact, it looks like I only reviewed one this year at all, and it was in January. Yeesh. Part of that’s because I just didn’t buy many albums this year, and part of it’s because those I did were fairly old. I’ve had a tentative policy of only reviewing newer albums here, but I may loosen that up to at least include albums that are from 2010 or later, maybe even just open it wide up. Let me know what you think, or if it’s of any interest to you at all.
And finally, I want to thank all of you who come here and visit and comment and share in the discussion of these movies, shows, and everything else. Your participation is what makes this fun. Here’s looking forward to a good 2013.