The Place For Everything Movies
Believe it or not, we are already halfway through 2012 which means it is the perfect time to countdown the best films of 2012 (so far). We’ve been letdown with some major disappointments in the form of Dark Shadows, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and John Carter, but there were plenty of surprise hits this year that make up for these stinkers. So before I get into a ramble, here are my choices for the Best Films of 2012 (so far). This list is only based on the movies I have seen so it is up for debate.
Here we go:
This one had a lot going against it. First it was released during February, the studio dumping ground for B-movies, and secondly, it is part of the slowly declining sub-genre of “found footage”. This sub-genre was first introduced back in 1999 with the groundbreaking The Blair Witch Project, but since then it has suffered tremendously. Yet despite all this, Chronicle succeeds and proves that it is not about the quality of the idea, but rather how that idea is executed.
Best Moment: When the protagonists/antagonists begin to learn the true strength of their powers.
I had been waiting quite some time for this intriguing film, but after ho-hum reviews I became a little hesitant. Thankfully I still went out to see it and this has now become my favorite rom-com since (500) Days of Summer. Yes this film has it flaws, (SPOILERS!) but if you did not get teary-eyed during Penny’s phone call with her family or in the final scene where Dodge and Penny wait for the end of the world, then you might want to get your heart checked to see if its functionally properly. This Carell-Knightley pic hits its mark and I enjoyed it immensely from start to finish.
Best Moment: Seeing how people spend their final days during Penny and Dodge’s journey, particularly the sex crazed staff at Friendly’s.
I may get some eye rolls with this one but I could not help but be enthralled with this. It may suffer from pacing issues but you can expect these kinds of things from a directorial debut. The best part about this film is that it takes itself completely seriously (no tongue-in-cheek humor here like in Mirror, Mirror), which is exactly what all of the Grimm Brother fairy tales do. Plus, Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen is pitch perfect. Then for all those Kirsten Stewart haters out there, give her a chance in this one. She is still average but her acting is a cut above her work in Twilight.
Best Moment: Any scene with Charlize Theron.
A film that I enjoyed in spite of myself. I went in with a bad attitude and came out with an aching belly and sore cheeks. At first I thought this could not be that funny, but I am glad that I was proved wrong. Like The Addams Family, Charlie’s Angels, and Monty Python before it, 21 Jump Street successfully transferred itself from the small screen to the big screen while pleasing fans of the original TV show and attracting new fans. The funniest film (so far) this year.
Best Moment: The Kid Gang fight at the house party.
Brave marked a number of firsts for Pixar, including the first time a Pixar film didn’t take a risk. The film feels a little too safe and Disney-esque, yet its unbelievably large heart makes up for it and then some. The animation is top notch in this one (possibly their best) alongside beautiful music and a touching story. The kids may enjoy this one a little more, but like the rest of Pixar, this film is for moviegoers of all ages.
Best Moment: The opening sequence that introduces us to the wild spirit of Merida.
Never underestimate the entertainment power of a superhero. Sure, Iron Man was very good and Thor and Captain America were okay, however they definitely did not predict the level of excellence that The Avengers had. The sum was much greater than its parts. Everyone brought their A-game on this one from Joss Whedon on his direction/writing to Seamus McGarvey on his unbelievably spectacular cinematography to the top notch cast that brought Marvel’s greatest superheroes to the big screen. Future blockbusters must learn from this one and if they do, summer entertainment will change for the better.
Best Moment: The final battle.
Ridley Scott dabbled in the sci-fi and gave us classics with Alien and Blade Runner, so after leaving the genre for more than 20 years you would expect his return to be epic. Oh, well epic it was! Prometheus is a film that takes summer entertainment to a new level. Many have made the argument that this film tells no story but rather rides on its ambiguity, but that fact that the question of “Where do we come from?” is being explored in a summer blockbuster is a feat in and of itself. Then beyond that it could be the most beautiful sic-fi movie ever filmed. Every shot is stunning and captivating in a uniquely eerie manner. So as the ending set Prometheus up for a sequel, all I can say is: “One for Prometheus 2!”
Best Moment: Elizabeth Shaw needing urgent surgery for “something” in her stomach.
Let me start by saying thank you, Hunger Games! At last we have some quality teen entertainment coming out of the US. After Harry Potter ended last summer, the future of teen entertainment looked grim, but now we have found our savior. The Hunger Games has everything a blockbuster should. There is a thrilling premise, compelling action, and a likable, relatable protagonist. We now have hope again and can be rest assured of quality entertainment for the next few years.
Best Moment: Katniss’s short lived alliance with Rue.
This sure is Joss Whedon’s year! The Avengers has smashed nearly every box office record, but it sure can’t top Cabin in the Woods backstory. After being shot in 2009, the film sat on the shelf for years and was threatened by the horrific straight-to-DVD release. Fortunately for horror fans everywhere the film got picked up for a 2012 release and went on to become one of the best reviewed films of 2012, a modern horror classic, and my runner-up for the best film of 2012 (so far). Now that, my friends, is sure better than being placed on the straight-to-DVD pile.
Best moment: Waiting for what evils would come out of the elevator.
It is whimsical. It is quirky. It is beautiful. Moonrise Kingdom is all this and so much more. The film has an earnest innocence that is heartwarming and laugh worthy at the same. This is Wes Anderson’s masterpiece. Please see this film! Hurry!
Best Moment: The young lovers dancing to Francoise Hardy’s “Le Temps De L’amour” on the beach.
Little side-note: As of right now this film has a firm hold on my #1 position, but we shall see how it will hold against The Dark Knight Rises, The Great Gatsby, Anna Karenina, and the many other promising movies set for release later this year.
So far 2012 is treating us loads better than 2011. There are some great movies out right now, which means you better make a trip to your local theatre. I cannot wait to see what the second half of the year brings us! Happy moviegoing!