Top 5 Films of 2012
The two that almost made it: Avengers Assemble and Argo
5. Indie Game the Movie
This totally counts. It came out in 2012 and it is a movie, it's even got movie in the title! Though saying that, there was that game 'Street Fighter the Movie' and 'Joe Danger 2- The Movie' came out last year... Hell I even have the game 'The Movies' on my shelf. So apparently in games movie can mean game also. But in this very specific instance, this is an actual movie. It's a real good movie to, you could point out its perhaps pretentious artsyness with its panning shots of buildings or whatever, but I'm not going to. The core of this movie was some enlightening interviews with a variety of Indie Devs (Team Meat, Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish) that chronicled stages in the life of their games. Whether it was release period, post-release reception or just pure development, it was all really interesting. It gave a seemingly very open and honest look into the world and by letting the developers speak for themselves it didn't artificially colour your opinion of them but let you form your own. It wasn't look at these great guys that make games, and it wasn't wholly the whining of people that make games for a living. You wouldn't sympathise with some people, but you would be totally won over by some, but most importantly every aspect they looked into was fascinating. I'm not going to beat around the bush; I love video games (as I'm sure most of you do) so I have a vested interest in hearing about this subject. I also particularly love Super Meat Boy, Braid and Fez, so a documentary on the three is my kind of thing. That being the case I still think this is a great film somewhat independently of my bias. It shows another side to game development that some people don't realise exists. Specifically it goes against what some of the stereotype for a game developer is and shows them as ambitious, but relatively normal people. I would recommend it to anybody, though partly to show others how interesting games can be. Maybe it is just that it is about Indie games I like, but hey, still my number five film of the year. Go buy it. And then watch it, obviously.
No surprise here, I mean everybody loved this movie right? Wait... What?! Say it ain't so! Well I love it. I was so surprised this film got so much bad press. Like all of you I was fully on the Prometheus hype train, watched the trailer countless times, shouted the trailer noise at housemates, re-watched the two films in my Alien box set that matter (you know the ones), and got generally giddy. A friend visited me in Uni just before it came out and me, him and some of my housemates all booked tickets for the very first screening, at midnight. And I was blown away, it was a universe I just wanted to stay in. World building on a fantastic scale from a beloved director, stunning cinematography, thought provoking themes and open ended elements. Some good old fashioned nasty bits also, it fit the bill for me. It had me interested on a philosophical level whilst also just enjoying the whole sci-finess of it all. It could be a bit on the nose at times and certain characters didn't stand out or perhaps annoyed (and Guy Pierce's casting just seemed a bit pointless, if you want an old guy... Hire an old guy), but the whole was far greater than the sum of its parts. I'm the guy who usually complains when a movie is too long, and Prometheus didn't feel long at all even though it hit the two-hour mark. I wanted more but I didn't feel unsatisfied, I felt I knew enough and couldn't wait to see where he took the series next. Was it an Alien movie? Technically yes, but to all intents and purposes no. On a filmic level, it's not the same kind of movie, and I fear people went in expecting that and came out disappointing. I got an engrossing and intelligent sci-fi movie, and was totally taken aback when other people started to go see it and took against it. I went to see it again, still really liked it, and now I have it on Blu-Ray waiting to be watched again.
So I'm a massive James Bond fan. Glad we got that out of the way. I liked a James Bond film... Surprised? Well I kind of was, especially after the terrible Quantum of Solace (or 'Question of Sport' to Wittertainment fans) and MGMs financial woes, Bond dropped off for me. I still loved the old stuff, but the new stuff was not good and Bond seemed dead. But then Skyfall information started to pour out and I was back on board, I loved Casino Royale and had great faith in Craig (who I still view as one of the better Bonds). Of course I was still cautiously optimistic, I mean it was an anniversary year, they had big boots to fill and they could easily mess it all up. Thankfully they made a frankly excellent film. Just excellent. In a year where I thought I was done with overt action movies because video games give me that but better (the all action Expendables 2 trailer was dull without a controller in hand and the action in the Dark Knight somehow failed to excite me at all),but Skyfall was genuinely thrilling. My jaw dropped on occasions, mostly metaphorically, and I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the next piece of superbly choreographed action. Beyond that, I really liked the story stuff and the down time. The cinematography was superb, certain scenes (like Bon's arrival by boat in Hong Kong) were simply beautiful to watch. Though when you have director of photography like Roger Deakins(known to me for his work with the Coen brothers (my favourite directors)) you are bound to get one good looking movie. Couple that with American Beauty director Sam Mendes and Javier Bardem playing the villain. You have quite the recipe the Mr Bond. I especially liked how they seemingly caught JavierBardemas he walked off the set of No Country for Old men and said, "that thing you just did, can you do it again, but with a touch more... Bond villain". Well he delivered on that account. So the film was great, it balanced homage and foray into new territory perfectly, and managed to capture Bond whilst recognising Bond doesn't quite fit in toady's world. In my mind it was a triumph, and a true return to form for a beloved franchise.
2. The Cabin in the Woods
I'm a huge Evil Dead fan, I'm also a massive Joss Whedon fan (did my user icon give it away?). You tell me you have Joss Whedon producing an Evil Dead inspired horror movie, well I am onboard. You tell me it's a highly intelligent piece of genre commentary that is also supremely entertaining. I am more onboard! You then tell me one of the LOST producers is also a producer (Drew Goddard), and then tell me that Drew was also a LOST writer and him and Whedon are also writing Cabin in the Woods. Firstly, why are you telling me things in this elongated fashion, out with it I say, secondly... Did I mention I also love LOST? Well I'm so onboard now I may actually be singing sea shanties in the captains quarters. What are you telling me now? Drew Goddard wrote another movie... Pray tell me what movie it was. Cloverfield you say? I hated that movie you say? Why yes I did. Well I'm slightly less onboard now, but still onboard. Maybe I'm just by the mast. But naval analogies aside, I was pretty excited for Cabin in the Woods. Turns out I was right to be excited. This movie was amazing. Brilliantly funny, full of great gore and it actually managed to be an intelligent horror movie. Maybe it's not really a horror movie, but it is clearly inspired by the, and largely about them. Horror is a genre I enjoy, but it's usually so mindless and so cliché heavy. This film took the clichés and... Well watch it. It's the kind of movie you don't want to say much about, maybe I said too much already. Well you should have seen it (if you were able to). It was fantastic, the second best movie of 2012 in fact!
1. The Master
Seeing as this blog seems to be one of my admitting I love things, it's time to admit I love Paul Thomas Anderson movies. If you love Paul Thomas Anderson movies, then you will love the master. If his previous films haven't done it for you, you will probably hate this one. The Master is a film that I thought was nothing short of incredible, though weirdly I can see why people wouldn't like it. It is a film which has no conventional narrative, it doesn't tell a story which starts some place and definitively ends in another. It just meanders around the intertwined lives of two characters. The strength of the film was just how brilliant those characters were and how enthralling it was to be in their presence. If there is any justice in the world, and I am pretty sure there is some, Hoffman and Phoenix should walk away from this Oscar winners in lead and supporting actor categories. It should also get best film and best director, and Amy Adams should get something, she was excellent. It probably won't get all this, but I don't overly mind because I know it's the best film of 2012. The atmosphere is perfectly judged, and though it lacks a real structure the film doesn't drag or lack direction. It keeps going and you keep wanting to watch it. PTA is a man that puts out long movies, but this has never been an issue with me. Boogie Nights and Magnolia may have been about three hours long each, but they engrossed me throughout in a way some ninety minute movies can't. The Master was another movie that I could have spent so much more time with, but I didn't feel like I was short-changed. I got a glimpse into the fascinating and disturbing lives of two sublime characters, and am thankful for it. Also I need to mention Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, who once again delivered a superb score that matched the unconventionality of the rest of the movie. The bottom line on this one is that if you want a flawlessly directed and beautifully shot period piece that may or may not be directly based on the origins of scientology (or at least it's early days) then you should see the master. Even if you ignore scientology connections it still paints a superb picture of why such organisations can be so seductive, and it doesn't just damn them but shows a potential benefit to them while not shying away from their downfalls. Ultimately of course it's a somewhat negative look on the whole thing, but it isn't just a movie of frauds, this means something to these people the problem is just how far things get. It's fascinating and it's something you won't forget. Dare I say it? I'm going to say it. The Master is quite simply, masterful... Apologies for the pun...
Interesting list, Nice to see love for Skyfall and Cabin in the Woods. I really enjoyed The Master but for me it needed a plot, it felt a little artificial, everything about it was really well put together but let me feeling a little cold.
Glad you enjoyed Prometheus but that film did nothing for me personally, but I will still take it over a million Michael Bay movies!
Argo is well worth a mention that film was outstanding, Affleck is turning into a fine director.
@Kyrylo Your eyes do not deceive you. I apologise for my differing opinion.
Nice list, all good movies.
best movies i liked on 2012 though were;
The Dark knight rises
Perks of being a wallflower
@Flamingpostman Django isn't out yet in the UK. I didn't get round to seeing the Hobbit. It came out when I was on holiday and I wasn't overly motivated to go and see it.
Mine would have to be (in no particular order):
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Dark Knight Rises
21 jump street
"The film doesn't drag or lack direction." Sorry, but, for me, The Master's main problem was a lack of direction. There was no message. No theme that carried throughout. Anderson forgot what he was doing half way through and decided to just roll with it. I appreciate that you liked it and I'm difinitely no trying to say that you're wrong, it's just that I disagree. I went in really hoping that I would love it as much as I loved There Will Be Blood but it just didn't happen.
@SimonSiThornton I totally understand what you're saying. Totally realise it's a movie that is inherently polarising. For me the direction was the characters, and I loved the places they went and how they developed together. Also for me the thematic interest was trying to find your place in the world and how things can get out of hand even with good intentions. The corrupting influence of any amount of power or sway over people. But still, totally get what you are saying.
I watched Cabin in the Woods the other day and it was a real thinker. I still can't get my chops around it but that's a good thing. I am still waiting for IG:TM to be released over here. Boo.
hard to remember what all came out in 2012, but for what i've seen, top 5 or so are:(in no particular order)
Snow White & the Huntsman
Dark Knight Rises
@Poodger Having issues with the reply button on my phone so I'm replying here. In your attempt to make a smartass comment you actually sounded dumb yourself. First off all the movie has 58 on Metacritic, he,and apparently you as well, is leaving in denial of the fact that unlike the original trilogy The Hobbit was far from great, it's not just my biased opinion, it's the general one. Second of all I didn't say that I think the movie was bad, all I meant was that it's not worthy of a top 5 best movie list. And finally, it's ironic you are calling me dumb because I said he's in denial when the very person you are defending commented a similar thing about the writer of this list. Think before you "speak".
My personal fav. was Looper. Proof you can turn an unoriginal premise (in this case time traveling) into an original story.
Prometheus was also great. I feel skyfall was a bit of a let down, still good, but I saw casino royal for the first time soon after, and enjoyed that more.
@Yoshi9000 Casino Royale is a better movie, but in a weird way Skyfall is a better Bond movie. It's more akin to the bond I grew up watching, but once again Casino Royale as a movie is better.
In my opinion the best films of 2012 were no doubt:
The Dark Knight Rises
and last but not least, The Master..
Just my opinion but had to share it.
PS: The Dark Knight is my first and one of the best ive ever seen along with shawshank redemption and pulp fiction eheh
@Desthromath Dear lord! The dark knight rises does not even belong in the same sentence as shawshank or pulp fiction. TDKR was the worst in the trilogy
And now that I saw Django I have to say that if it was possible to include it on this list I would, almost near the top. And that one would belong being next to shawshank or pulp eheh
Every time I see a best movie list of 2012, I hope Skyfall doesn't make it.
It's a horrible way of thinking for sure, but my goodness, was that movie a bore.
@Blabadon Well I apologise for letting you down, I will try harder in future.
That movie wasn't just a bore, it was insultingly bad. Let's say since I was 13, to give a good range of about ten years here, I have never slept through a movie no matter how God awful it was. Skyfall broke me. I fell asleep and the only thing that would wake me was when the girl behind me would be shocked at something. And I'd be awake for 15 minutes and see a Joker wannabe, a Bond who tries to be a Bruce Wayne but comes up short and a Home Alone-esque action finale that had me laughing at how bad it was. My friends told me I fell asleep a total of five times in that movie and even then I can tell you that it's the most insulting combination of two fantastic movies ever made in their respective genres.
Skyfall is a terrible movie. I sat through garbage in my years. I thought it was bad when I kept checking my watch for Terminator Salvation and Bruno, but at least those were panned as bad movies. Skyfall was praised as a great movie. It was so bad. Never watching a Bond movie again.
But I agree on a lot of other fronts. It had a decent villain who was on screen too less and who didn't actually do anything that seemed terrible except that one train thing; otherwise, it was just a few simple murders and tech stuff that took away from relatively great acting.
Also, Bond girls have come a long way, and after Casino Royale, they're held to a new standard. Skyfall has some of the worst plotlines with the Bond girls, it was so terrible.
Characters in the entire story were just useless. The aforementioned Bond girls, the extra focus on M, Q (who was honestly just an idiot), Mallory, etc.
So yeah, I agree with most of what you said, except the ending. That was at least something interesting, even if Bond wins in such a dumb, cliche manner.
I only saw Cabin from your list...I honestly don't remember seeing any movies that blew me away, really.
@themovi3nut From the nominations, seems very possible. No best picture nom is a travesty.
Tim Dirks, editor of AMC's filmsite.org, has written of the Academy Awards,
Unfortunately, the critical worth, artistic vision, cultural influence, and innovative qualities of many films are not given the same voting weight. Especially since the 1980s, moneymaking "formula-made" blockbusters with glossy production values have often been crowd-pleasing titans (and Best Picture winners), but they haven't necessarily been great films with depth or critical acclaim by any measure.
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Seems you forgot one of best movies of 2012, Lincoln. Daniel Day-Lewis is at his best and Spielberg's vision is always emotionally enlightening!
@TomJimJack Sadly I didn't see that yet, that powers that be have not decided to release it in the country I live in.
@yogibbear I am ashamed to say I did not get round to seeing any of those films. Especially in regard to Moonrise Kingdom! In my defence I had a very busy year.