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Summer 2012: Let’s Wrap It Up!

2012 is a year that will be remember for a long time to come.  We got some terrific films out of it, but unfortunately the town of Aurora got a horrible surprise.  The moviegoing experience is meant to be exciting and stress-free, yet it was tainted by one young soul.  The magic of cinema is pure and it is a shame when anyone attempts to ruin it.  I feel the deepest sympathy for the victims of the shootings and hope that all their family and friends will be able to recover from this tragic incident.

Onto a lighter note!  Well believe it or not, this summer is coming to an end!  We were jam-packed with movies during these hot summer months so you probably didn’t get a chance to see every movie you wanted.  You might still have a chance if you rush to the theater before August is up, yet for now just stick around for my wrap up of this summer’s movies.

Plenty of big movies hit theaters so it can a little overwhelming to figure out what you saw/still need to see.  Not to worry!  This is why I am here.  So without further adieu, let me wrap up the best and the worst of summer 2012.

Here we go:

Biggest Breakout

While it may not have reached of Midnight in Paris, Moonrise Kingdom achieved the indie dream: connecting with its core while finding commercial success and reaching moviegoers it normally wouldn’t find.  This film was near and dear to Wes Anderson for many years and it seems his careful attention and patience with the project paid off!  Moonrise Kingdom is a beautiful film and quite possibly the best of this summer.

Biggest Letdown

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter could have been cinematic gold!  The premise offers so many opportunities for campy, classic ridiculousness, but alas it is serious and silly in all the wrong places.  I’m very sorry, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, you deserve much better than this.

Best Surprise

Ridley Scott delving into the depths of creationism!  Who’da thunk it?  Prometheus had its flaws but you must forgive it and remember its ambition instead.  Bringing up the question, “Where did we come from?”, is pretty ballsy in art as it and then to bring it up in a summer blockbuster?  Now that takes major cojones!  While the question was never directly answered, we may find out in Prometheus 2 (that is if the project gets the green light).  Here’s to hoping!

Biggest Bad A$$

This title is ALL WOMAN!  The boys may look cool, but it’s the women who brought the real kick this summer.  Even Scarlett Johansson, who had some slick moves to one-up the boys in The Avengers, can barely keep up with the Charlize Theron and Anne Hathaway.  The latter redefined Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises and made the iconic character all her own.  Still figuring out if Michelle Pfeiffer or Hathaway did a better job of it, but one thing is for sure: they both rocked that catsuit!  Then there is Charlize Theron.  The South African knockout was an ice queen in both Prometheus and Snow White & the Huntsman.  In the retelling of the classic Grimm fairy tale Theron really got to shine and proved to be a major scene stealer.  Sorry K-Stew, but you’d be hard pressed to top this:

 

Best Cast

And Moonrise Kingdom makes another appearance on the rundown!  When you add Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, and Tilda Swinton you have to get some recognition.  Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray, Anderson trademarks, hit their marks perfectly, but it is Bruce Willis and Frances McDormand that fit so well into the Anderson universe that it is shocking that they had not made an appearance before then.  Although ensemble pieces can be difficult, Anderson worked his magic and even introduced filmgoers to Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman, the two young lovers.

Dishonorable mention:

Tim Burton could take a lesson or two from Wes Anderson.  Dark Shadows boasted one of the most promising casts of the year yet squandered it with sloppy writing and poor direction.

Battle of the Superheroes

Every summer is stacked with superhero film, yet none up to this poin-t have compared to the magnitude that we received this summer.  The Avengers kicked off the summer movie season in May and set the bar high for every film to follow it.  Then in July The Amazing Spider-Man gave us a new look at Spidey and used both Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone perfectly!  Soon after the king of superheroes made his return to the big screen.  The Dark Knight Rises hit theaters and proved once again why Batman is the ultimate superhero.  The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man are both respectable films, but they look like child’s play when compared to Nolan’s Batman trilogy.  While The Dark Knight Rises may not have made as much money as The Avengers, it is still the superior film in almost every way.

Oscar Hopefuls?

This one is a toughie!  While you can expect Brave to show up on the nominees list for Best Animated Feature and for The Avengers to be nominated for countless technical awards, it is doubtful that any film from this summer will show up in the major categories.  Back in 2008 The Dark Knight caused a major controversy when it did not receive a Best Picture nomination so the Academy may be looking to avoid an uproar again.  However, after a meek response at a Dark Knight Rises screening for the Academy a Best Picture nod may be absent yet again.  The only other Best Picture hopefuls from this summer would have to be the two indie powerhouses, Moonrise Kingdom and Beasts of the Southern Wild.  Yet considering the Academy’s lack of love for Anderson films, Moonrise Kingdom may have to settle for a Best Original Screenplay.  Beasts of the Southern Wild has high hopes and with critics and audiences on its side, it could become the Winter’s Bone of 2012.  Yet this is all speculation so let’s check back in on this race in a few months.

Well I hoped you all had a splendid summer!  And remember, don’t be sad that it is over because there is plenty to look forward in the next couple of months at the big screen!

Happy Moviegoing!

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