Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 – The Highlights (lionsroar)

Best Films of 2012
In no particular order:

In some ways, this was a pleasant surprise. The five films leading up to this had been uneven. Iron Man was great, but Iron Man 2 had problems. Captain America was up, Thor was a bit down, though the film has grown on me since I first saw it. And I don’t have to say what a disappointment the previous Hulk films had been, of which, The Incredible Hulk was canon for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But this film brought the good and bad together and came up with not only perhaps the best comic book movie ever, but also maybe the best film of 2012. There is action and humor mixed together and while the subject matter might be “light” the overall film is great.

Okay, so technically this is a film from 1927, but since it was once considered lost and I saw it in a theatrical setting, I’m going to count Wings for 2012. One of the things that sets this film apart are the action sequences, which are as real as a film can get. The actors in the airplanes are actually the actors in airplanes flying them. Throw in Clara Bow at her cutest and a bit part for Gary Cooper and you’ve got a movie to remember and one that may be 85 years old, but can still take your breath away.

Finally, a video game movie that doesn’t suck. A spin on the Toy Story formula, we find out what video games do when the arcade is closed. Turns out the villains are more like us than the heroes. They have doubts about their worth, they seek out friendship and they long to break from the rut they find themselves in.

Biggest Film Disappointments of 2012
In no particular order:

I’m sorry to say that it seems Pixar’s best days may be behind it. The sequels seem to be having diminishing returns, see Cars 2 and Toy Story 3, and the new films aren’t as fresh as the first group the studio put out. Pixar in some ways is like a rock band that puts out all their best stuff, the projects they worked on and honed before anyone knew who they were. But now that they’ve played all those songs, their new batch isn’t quite as good as their original hits.
Brave isn’t a bad film, it just isn’t as good as I used to expect from Pixar. But now I guess I’ll learn to expect less and to accept less from Pixar in future.

This is not a film I would normally pick to watch, but after The Avengers (Joss Whedon co-wrote and produced CABIN) and the hype I heard about the movie, I thought I’d give it a chance. The humor is a little too dark for my tastes and the satire goes a little too far.  And a blood bath is still a blood bath, even if you’re supposed to be laughing about it.

Hollywood makes films for all sorts of reasons. In the case of The Amazing Spider-Man, Sony made this film in order to keep the franchise. After the original run of the first three films, it is no surprise they would hope for the same success with the reboot. But there are so many problems with the movie that I don’t want to spend the space rehashing my original review. Suffice to say Andrew Garfield is no Tobey Maguire and Marc Webb is no Sam Raimi. No doubt there will be an Amazing 2; let’s hope it gets better from here.

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