Monday, December 17, 2012
Compiling a list of my favorite movies of the year took some time but it was cathartic for me. It was a good way to reflect on my year in movies. I saw some of these movies during their film festival run so you can look forward to them when they will be released in 2013. I count them as 2012 releases because I was lucky enough to watch them on the big screen.
Overall, I feel 2012 was a really strong year in movies. It seemed like every month, we had at least one good movie in theaters. Even during the early winter months like January and February we had movies like "The Grey" and "Chronicle" in theaters. The summer was a bit disappointing but after the release of "The Avengers," how could you follow up an act like that? The fall movie season was fantastic with movies like "The Master" and "Amour." And honestly, I found it to be a much harder time to figure out my 10 worst of the year list than my best list. The New York Film Festival was exceptional this year with a good mix of mainstream Hollywood releases, foreign fair, and indie movies. Although I will suggest, New York Film Festival programmers should take a more edgy and hip approach to compiling indie films. I'd much rather watch a film like "Girl Walk // All Day" on the wonderful movie screen at the Walter Reade Theater than on my small MacBook. Ending the year, we saw really long movies that clocked in well over two and a half hours long but for the most part movies like "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Django Unchained" made the time in the theater pleasant (if pleasant is a word to use to describe movies like "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Django Unchained." I will look forward to next year's movies. Hopefully, the movies of 2013 will be as strong as 2012.
If you didn't catch my 10 worst movies of 2012 or my disappointing and surprising movies lists, please check them out. Now on to the list...
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Gladly in 2012, I watched more good movies (well, middling and mediocre movies) than out right bad ones. But there were a fair share of horrendous films that made me wonder, "what the hell were they thinking?” I sat through these movies so you didn't have to (it's the downside of the job) but there were plenty times that I wish I didn't. At least one of these movies is interesting failure but I still consider them a bad time at the movie theater. Consider this list as a "stay away from these movies" list. If you missed it, check out my most disappointing and surprising movies of 2012. Now onto the list...
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
What is there to say about Judd Apatow's "This Is 40?" The follow-up to his 2009 film "Funny People," it seems like Apatow is on a fast track for a decline in quality as "This Is 40" plummets down to zero. Starting off his career with such great promise with "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" in 2005 could be a double-edge sword for consistent success in Hollywood. Having a background on TV, Apatow proved that his films centered on the characters and keen character moments and interactions. So what happened with "This Is 40?" First off, it's devoid of interesting characters making it really easy to disengage with this film. "This Is Objectionable."
Monday, December 10, 2012
Now that 2012 is quickly coming to a close, let's take a look back at which movies disappointed or surprised me throughout the year. I've never in my life watched more movies than in 2012. So you can believe me when I say that I've watched a lot of mediocre films. Some of them were movies I had high expectations for, namely because of the filmmakers involved or the subject matter. And there were some movies that completely surprised me with their quality or just memorable scenes and moments. So here are my top five disappointing and surprising movies of 2012. First the surprises...
Sunday, December 9, 2012
What is there to say about Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey?" The film, now a series, has been in the works since 2009 after Jackson's "The Lovely Bones" bombed at the box office and was panned by critics and audiences alike. After the disappointment of his 2005 film "King Kong," Jackson saw fit to go back to the well and return to Middle Earth. After a brief flirtation with Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, Jackson decided to direct the film, now films, himself. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is great for the New Zealand economy, but bad for "Lord of the Rings" fans (like me).
Thursday, November 15, 2012
David O. Russell's sixth film since his 1994 film "Spanking The Monkey," "Silver Linings Playbook" is a refined version of Russell's family-centric comedy/dramatic oeuvre. Despite the Academy Award nominations, Russell's work had taken a dip in quality with his last effort "The Fighter" in 2010 but with "Silver Linings Playbook" Russell announces his return to lighter romantic comedy fair with a pension for the dysfunctional family drama. The film is a keen look at mental health as it's willing to laugh at itself from time to time.
Friday, November 2, 2012
The video game fan's plea for a good video game movie has fallen on deaf ears for almost 20 years since the release of the horrendous "Super Mario Bros." in 1993. There's something strange about adapting a video game to the big screen that gets lost in translation. Most of the time story is sacrificed for pleasing fans. That approach will always be considered dubious to the general moviegoing public. Well, video game fans rejoice! "Wreck-It Ralph" is one of the first great video game movies.
Friday, October 26, 2012
A good video game movie is the golden goose of modern cinema. The sequel to the video game adaptation "Silent Hill" in 2006, "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" embarks on a strange journey into the mind and soul of its characters and viewers. Not much as changed with the idea that video game to film adaptations are never a good idea, "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" ensures that trend, and while it's dazzling at times, it will leave an audience hungry for a better movie and experience.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Creative force Tyler Perry is known for being a director, writer, actor, producer, and playwright but in his latest film he's just merely an actor. In the film adaptation of James Patterson’s widely popular book series "Alex Cross" finds the media Mogul in the lead role and giving audiences a big surprise.... Perry can kick ass! It goes to show you how you can remove yourself from the roles you traditionally put yourself in and thrive. While being very broad, the film "Alex Cross" is a lot like the character Alex Cross, troubled, smart (at times), and overall has a sense of humor about itself.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Robert Zemeckis' return to live-action moviemaking has been long in the works. Since 2004, Zemeckis has been dealing with the parallels and pitfalls of motion capture with "The Polar Express," "Beowulf," and "A Christmas Carol." Zemeckis is a director driven by strong characters with hearty emotional catharsis but with these motion capture films Zemeckis seemed more driven by control. It's interesting because control is a big theme in his new film "Flight." The movie explores notions of control in a chaotic world where the only way to make sense of it is by feeding into what makes us human, our weaknesses.