Oh hey, so since the year is ending and I've seen less than five 2012 movies (okay, that's a lie, but seriously, I haven't even seen Argo), I thought I may as well still do list the films I loved and loathed from the small selection I've seen. As I explained last night, these are films that had their American release date (or in the case of one of them, will probably not have an American release date so it is the NZ release date) this year, because I've already cleaned up 2011. First, let's look at the five worst films I've seen this year.
5. Rock of Ages
I really liked Adam Shankman's last musical, Hairspray. All I wanted was a nice, groovy musical with toe-tapping, feel good, sing-along songs. I got auto-tune piled upon more auto-tune. Gee thanks, Glee.
Tom Cruise was at least okay and really seemed to be in his element as filthy rocker Stacee Jaxx, but the rest were just people singing and dancing like they'd been boosted up on energy drinks. In other words, nothing was very good at all.
Forgive me when I say that I didn't have very high expectations for this film, based on the board game. And those expectations were met: there were a lot of explosions for two hours, accompanied by a lot of slow-mo, and not much else. Oh Liam Neeson, what were you thinking when you decided to be in this movie for five minutes? You too, Alexander Skarsgard. I practically watched it just to see you being hot and you got killed off so I had to spend the remaining five hours with Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna. Yay.
3. Iron Sky
The fact that some great indie films like, I don't know, Margaret, struggle to get made and then we get a movie about Nazis coming back to Earth from the moon straight away. There's probably a place for this movie but I'm not entirely sure of where that is.
2. Project X
Aside from Magic Mike and Ted, this movie has been the most popular one to hit Dannevirke teendom this year. I'm fairly sure everyone has seen it, which is a little depressing because as much as I love films and all, this movie is literally a piece of dog poo wrapped up in even more poo. Just poo poo poo is what I'm saying. I mean, wipdeedoo, you're a group of dumb teenagers who think the only way to be popular is to throw a huge party which destroys literally everything. I'd probably like this movie a little more if I was at all into drinking (which I'm not, unlike everyone else my age). But as it stands, I am greatly offended that this is what people think of teenagers as.
1. That's My Boy
Just the most offensive, unfunny and over-the-top thing that Adam Sandler has ever graced us with. It is so terrible that I want to gouge my eyes out every time I see the cover of it.
Now we have all of that negativity out of the way, here are my unofficial ten best...
10. The Most Fun You Can Have Dying
I honestly can't believe how well-made this NZ film was. It was just so different to what I'm used to seeing for this country - a film that is in touch with just about everything, and is so beautifully shot, ringing back to the days of the French New Wave movement. Heralded by a great central performance by Matt Whelan and an interesting supporting performance from Roxane Mesquida, The Most Fun You Can Have Dying will likely only get an audience from NZ (and Australia, as it showed at one of their film festivals), but it deserves so much more than that.
9. 21 Jump Street
Honestly, I just love this movie because it is so damn funny. I don't even like either Jonah Hill or Channing Tatum all that much but they're just so damn funny. And Brie Larson is so adorable. I don't really have much else to say other than I laughed and laughed and laughed at this movie, and even on my fourth watch I still had plenty to laugh at.
Richard Linklater is a much better filmmaker than I think people give him credit for. He has one of the most strangely intricate filmographies out there - he doesn't have a distinctive style or genre, but is films are consistently good. Bernie is no exception. It tells the bizarre true story of Bernie Tiede, a do-gooder who kills his partner, an elderly widow, after he's had enough of her manipulative ways. Filmed in a documentary style way, even featuring interviews with some of the people who knew Tiede and his story, Bernie is a rather interesting project that was certainly a lot more different than I had expected. Jack Black, Shirley Maclaine and Matthew McConaughey are all so great in their roles, too.
7. The Raid: Redemption
A film where the actions speak louder than words, and it is all so awesome to watch. People just beat the crap out of each other and somehow, this makes for some of the most visceral, entertaining scenes of the year. It is just endlessly fantastic.
6. Your Sister's Sister
I didn't have a clue of what this film was about when I started watching it, but that didn't matter - the less you know about it, the more surprised you'll be by it. This film is driven by conversation and a couple of acts which end up meaning a lot more than you thought they would, and this is all driven home by stunning performances from Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass and Rosemarie DeWitt.
5. The Avengers
I can honestly say that I haven't had a better time at the movies than I did with The Avengers. It was just so fun and entertaining, with plenty of stellar comedic punches and great action sequences to match. I can't really say that it is the best superhero movie ever, but I had a damn good time watching it, which is all I could really ask for.
This film has stayed with me since I first saw it in June, mainly because I find it to have one of the best messages for the younger generation to surface in quite some time. It is a simple film, and it gets its message across simply - and we have to remember that that's what kids movies are supposed to be like. This isn't a Pixar failure. Sure, Toy Story 3 is a masterpiece, but I'm fairly sure that worked better for an older audience. Brave hits all the right notes, particularly because of the unique heroine, Princess Merida.
What is so amazing about Looper is that it has all of the blockbuster trimmings, but it is made like a true indie. It sometimes feels as if it is in a league of its own, being both glossy and rustic at the same time. It is a stunning vision of the future, without delving into the dream-like fantasies that most people use when trying to imagine the future. Plus, it features one of Bruce Willis' best performances in years.
2. Killer Joe
I don't even know where to begin with this film. It is so batshit insane that I had to watch most of it through my fingers, but still, it is strangely comic and terrifying and...just everything. The film needs to be praised first for Matthew McConaughey, then by the work of its brilliant cast, and then by the fact that it is so brave and it doesn't shy away from ANYTHING. The only thing I'm worried about is the fact that one day, Matty M's kids (apparently his wife had another child today, congrats!) will see this film, and then he'll have a lot of explaining to do. I'm not even related to him and I honestly can't handle how amazing he was in this film.
1. The Dark Knight Rises
I'm kinda over explaining why I love this film so much, but I will say that this time last year I knew that this would top my list, and I wasn't disappointed. Everything about this film, apart from maybe Marion Cotillard before her reveal and her death scene, is just so magnificent. That is all.
What do you think of my selections? What are your favourite and least favourite films of 2012?