Friday, December 14, 2012

The Best and Worst in Film 2012

Of course there has to be a 2012 review! I skipped a couple of years there, but it's practically a Geek's Guide Tradition. I have loaded up on sarcasm, and what I hope is aplomb, so I may describe ever so colorfully the films which I was able to catch (a total of 58 movies this year).

If you're rock punk indie, or hate any film that's been advertised to more than 10 people, then I am sorry to say I haven't had a chance to catch a lot of them this year. I love 'em, and perhaps will do more snobbish reviews for them in the future.

I also have a huge gaping hole where Filipino movies are supposed to be, but I honestly only watched a couple this year, and I don't feel I am a legit critic to any of them because of my lack of expertise. This list is mainstream Hollywood cinema 2012, just like the Oscars without the statues and the painfully awkward opening salvos.

Here's 5 of the Best and Worst of this year's film du jour, and some special awards I just couldn't help but throw in.

Top 5 Awesome Movies of 2012 (or the Faith in Humanity Restored)

5. (Tied) Beasts of the Southern Wild and Moonrise Kingdom - The first had no famous faces in it. The second had popular actors not acting, but inhaling their very roles. Each has unique, tight storytelling and compelling acting. My biggest compliment? Watching them felt like reading a book. :D

4. Looper - I have a soft spot for the balding, aging Bruce Willis. I have an equally soft spot for the canny-faced Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And it helps they are both good actors. Name one bad movie of these 2 artists, and that's the best Taylor Lautner could ever hope for. As for the movie, I like the sci-fi-ish theme which didn't involve aliens or flying ships. Just us humans making hell out of each others' lives.

3. Argo - the unexpected surprise of the year for me. I mean, Ben Affleck has a pretty spotty record (think Gigli and Daredevil) in the past which made me underestimate his directing prowess. But then, I remembered Good Will Hunting and now I know he wasn't just freeloading on Matt Damon back then.

2. (Tied) Hunger Games and The Dark Knight - It was soooo hard deciding between these two. Batman fans would feel insulted that I have leveled their hero extraordinaire with a movie based on a kid's book. But I am a very recent Batman fan, and I think those wall climbing scenes in the last movie can never be justified and I hate they turned Albert into an old sappy fogey. So it brings them down a notch to the level of my favorite book and movie this year. Battle Royale for the Hollywood Pretties. Don't get me wrong - Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss is spot on. But Liam Hemsworth? Hmmm... I still need to be convinced.

1. The Avengers - I have watched this movie 5 times this year. It. Just. Never. Gets. Old. Individually, the characters in their own solo movies are great, but could get a bit arid. I thought Thor was overacted by the other Hemsworth brother, previous Hulks were just to weepy for my taste, and Captain America? Too pretty in tights. Ironman, of course, as always, is perfect, but his arrogance without counterbalance of the other Avengers could get annoying. But together --- flawless. And I hope they keep this Hulk.

Runners-up: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Damsels in Distress, Skyfall, Men in Black 3

Top 5 God-Awful Movies of 2012 (or the Too Bad the End of the World is Near):

5. One for the Money - starring Katherine Heigl. Haven't read the series, but this movie didn't help win any more fans. Good thing Janet Evanovich (the author of the series) could survive the loss.

4. Project X - dude, this was like number 1 in the US for so many weeks. Give me a dime so I could buy a f***.

3. The Lorax - I KNOW it's supposed to be adorable, and has a really really cool eco-message. But it was total crap. Only sat through half of it before my mind started fizzing out.

2. Abduction - starring Taylor Lautner's very talented abs. I guess the scriptwriters were thinking no one would pay attention to the story anyway, not with those abs hogging the screen time.

and the Number 1 worst movie of 2012 is... No surprises...

1. Breaking Dawn Part 2 - I mean, c'mon. That CGI baby was totally awesome -- in 1968. It had 10 minutes of good action-packed war scene, but we had to sit through more than an hour and a half of sap and goo to get there. And the video montage playing to what happened to be my favorite song before Kristen Stewart totally ruined it for me -- unforgivable.

Runners-up: New York I Love You, What to Expect When Expecting, Ghost Rider 2, The Vow, Magic Mike, Battleship, Rock of Ages

Special Awards:

Best CGI... Not : Breaking Dawn Part 2
Best CGI... Really: Avengers, Amazing Spiderman

Best Animated Movies: The Secret World of Arriety, Hotel Transylvania, Rise of the Guardians

Guilty Pleasure Awards: (You Like 'Em, You Just Can't Own Up You Do)
Pitch Perfect, People Like Us, Dark Shadows, Underworld Awakening

Regrets I Made (was not able to catch in theaters):
Wreck it Ralph, Paranorman, To Rome With Love, Ruby Sparks, Rouruni Kenshiin

Looking forward to: The Hobbit, Les Mis, Ender's Game