So many fellow movie bloggers love doing a Top 10 list of their favorite movies at the end of the year. I’m no different. I love looking back at the all of the movies I saw and putting together my favorites. But before I put out my Top 10 of the year I thought it would be fun to throw out some random accolades for achievements and in some cases underachievements for the 2012 movie year.
BIGGEST SURPRISE OF 2012 – “Beasts of the Southern Wild“
No movie caught me by surprise like “Beasts of the Southern Wild”. This amazing and powerful little film featured a first time director and two memorable first time performances. I had several opportunities to see this film but kept putting it off due to lack of interest. What a mistake. This was a tremendous movie that completely caught me by surprise.
BIGGEST LETDOWN OF 2012 – “Total Recall“
“Total Recall” should have been a can’t miss movie. The original film had a fun sci-fi story and a modern remake with a nice new shiny coat of CGI paint could have been really good. Well that certainly wasn’t the case. This clunky remake looks fantastic and it even starts promising. But it becomes a tedious and repetitive mess of a movie. Truly dissappointing.
BEST ANIMATED FILM OF 2012 – “Frankenweenie“
This could have also qualified as biggest surprise of the year. What a wonderful film. Tim Burton gets back to form with this heartfelt homage to the classic horror movies. I loved this movie and I had a blast picking out all the little tips of the hat to the horror genre. This is a fun variation of the Frankenstein story and one of the real treats of 2012.
BEST FIGHT OF 2012 – Thor vs. Hulk (“The Avengers“)
There are several great fights in “The Avengers” but none are better than the showdown between the god of thunder Thor and the incredible Hulk. Before joining forces the two lock horns onboard the S.H.E.I.L.D. helicarrier. They slam through decks, toss jet airplane wings, and pound each other senseless. Talk about one cool throwdown!
BEST VILLAIN OF 2012- Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce from “Lawless“)
Talk about a detestible villain. Guy Pearce, fully armed with a wide hair part, shaved eye brows, and a tendency towards violence is truly menacing from his first moment on screen. He intimidates through terror and you can tell early on that he’s a little unhinged. You can’t help but hate Rakes and you truly want him to get his comeupins.
MOST UNFAIRLY MALIGNED FILM OF 2012 – “John Carter“
Those who follow my page know that I’ve defended “John Carter” quite a bit. Even though it’s not one of my favorite films of the year I really liked it and I can’t understand why it has received such harsh criticism from so many folks. “John Carter” is a cool science fiction adventure whose few flaws are easily overshadowed by it’s sheer fun factor. You could do a lot worse.
MOST UNDULY EXALTED FILM OF 2012 – “The Master“
I’ve already seen “The Master” top the ‘Best of’ lists of several critics. I liked “The Master” and think the performances are simply incredible. But it’s far from a perfect movie and it isn’t nearly as smart and layered as some credit it to be. It’s performance driven and it features amazing cinematography, but for me it’s receiving more high praise than it deserves.
BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS OF 2012 – “Prometheus“
Ridley Scott’s much anticipated “Prometheus” was the subject of much debate from moviegoers. But whether you liked the story or not, no one can deny that it is a visual feast . The special effects are spectacular from the futuristic technologies to the large scale action shots. Personally I loved “Prometheus” and the great visuals were one reason why.
BEST CAR CHASE OF 2012 – “Jack Reacher“
“Jack Reacher” has a car chase that’s not only the best of 2012 but it’s one of the best I’ve seen in years. It’s beautifully staged and beautifully shot. But what really makes it stand out is the perspective. The camera trickery stays focused on the actors faces placing them in these speeding, sliding, and crashing cars. It’s fantastic!
WACKIEST CHARACTER OF 2012 – Bernie Tiede (Jack Black from “Bernie“)
I’m no fan of Jack Black. In fact he’s one of my least favorite actors. But I loved him as the wacky small town funeral director Bernie Tiede. Everything about Bernie is just plain wacky and even though he was based on a real life character who did some pretty bad things, he is laugh out loud hilarious. You just can’t get much wackier that Bernie.
BEST IMAX FILM of 2012 – “The Dark Knight Rises“
Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” is a great movie but it was even greater in IMAX. Nolan knows how to shoot action sequences and he knows how to utilize the strengths of the technology. There are several ultra cool moments in the movie that are simply jawdropping in IMAX and if you missed it you really missed out.
BEST OPENING OF 2012 – “Argo“
I didn’t see any opening sequence all year that matched the nail-biting intensity of Ben Affleck’s “Argo”. The movie begins by setting up the incredibly tense situation surrounding the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Everything from the storming of the U.S. embassy to the scrambling of the U.S. intelligence had me on the edge of my seat. Brilliant start to a great movie.
BEST ROMANTIC COMEDY OF 2012 – “Delicacy“
It’s not like there’s a lot of competition. The romantic comedy genre is in shambles. But the delightful French film “Delicacy” is not only a really good romantic comedy, but it’s one of the year’s best movies. It features a clever script and fine performances but it also steers clear of the usual shallowness that plaques these films today. “Delicacy” is such a treat.
DUMBEST NON-COMEDY MOVIE MOMENT OF 2012 – “Taken 2“
“Taken 2” was one of the bigger disappointments of the 2012 movie year. It also featured several of the dumbest moments of the year. None were dumber that Liam Neeson ordering Maggie Grace to throw live grenades into the busy Istanbul streets just so he can pinpoint her location via the explosions from blocks away. Not sure what’s dumber, the scene or the filmmakers for expecting us to buy it.
WORST MOVIE OF 2012 – “The Vow“
If it weren’t for a trans-atlantic flight I would have never been victimized by this crapfest. “The Vow” is an uninteresting and cliched waste of time featuring boring cardboard characters and a love story that’s all sap and no substance. This thing lacks any originality and I found myself laughing at many of it’s unintentionally funny scenes. Poor from start to finish.
What a way to end it right? But no worries! The 2012 wrap up continues and my Top 10 Movies of 2012 is right around the corner.