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12 Movie Moments of 2012: “… it has its moments…” (Men in Black 3)

As well as counting down the top twelve films, I’m also going to count down my top twelve movie related “moments” of 2012. The term “moment” is elastic, so expect some crazy nonsense here. And, as usual, I accept that my taste is completely absurd, so I fully expect you to disagree. With that in mind, this is #4

Wait, this game doesn’t happen until October.

Oh, it’s always October and November and March. So many futures and they’re all real, just don’t know which one will coalesce. Until then, they’re all happening, like this one. It’s my favorite moment in human history. All the things that had to converge for the Mets to win The World Series. They were in last place every single season until they won it all.

You said you had a gift for us…

That baseball for instance, thrown for the last hour of the game, manufactured in 1962 by the Spalding Factory at Chicopee Massachusetts, was aerodynamically flawed. Due to the horsehide being improperly tanned because Sheila, the tanners wife, left him for a Puerto Rican Golf pro that Sunday…

– J, Griffin and K discuss the Mets

Sometimes great scenes pop up in the most unlikely of places. I enjoyed each of three Men in Black films, even if I’d be reluctant to rank them as among the finest films of their given years, or to consider all three among great cinematic trilogies. I’d be lying if I said that I had been eagerly anticipating the release of Men in Black 3 this year, which turned out to be a solid and reliable popcorn film in a year featuring films that so often went to one extreme or the other. It won’t be a surprise entry on my top films of the year, but it does what it sets out to do, and is often charming doing so.

However, it’s always incredibly satisfying to find one striking or memorable scene in a film that is fairly easy to dismiss as “merely” entertaining. Men in Black 3 has one such scene, featuring the superb Michael Stuhlbarg as the alien Griffin, who has the unique ability to see throw time, weighing and considering probabilities and possibilities. With the capacity to see any moment in history, Griffin uses his gift… to watch the Mets. Somehow, that makes all the wondrous “wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey” stuff seem even more magical.

Men-in-Black-3-Griffin

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Boardwalk Empire: Season I

Well, I quite enjoyed that.

Better Nuck on wood the show stays this good...

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Holding Out For an Anti-Hero: The Rise of the Morally Ambiguous Protagonist…

Sure, comedies have a long history of featuring genuinely unlikable characters as leads, but I think the last number of years have seen an explosion in the number of morally ambiguous (and sometimes downright villainous) protagonists, both on the big and small screens. Of course, the entire film noir movement was based upon the idea of a compromised hero, in recent times we’ve found ourselves increasingly cheering for the bad guy.

A serial charmer...

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Boardwalk Empire

I don’t think any television show has been quite as anticipated as Boardwalk Empire. The entire digital television channel Sky Atlantic HD seems to be be marketed around the lush period drama, and well it might be. Sure, there are plenty of things to look forward to on HBO’s British channel, but nothing has the big name appeal of a period gangster television show starring Steve Buscemi and directed by Martin Scorsese. That combination was influential enough to secure the show a place on the family’s television planner, a huge vote of confidence if ever there was one – we like to watch stuff together, but a television show takes a lot of commitment (simply because it means getting everybody in the same room roughly once a week). Did Boardwalk Empire live up to the promise it offered? I think it’s too early break open the proverbial Champagne, but all indications so far are good.

Tonight we're going to party like it's 1920...

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