Okay, around this time last year – I had seen 47 films. This year, taking into consideration my introduction into film journalism, my grand total for 2012 (so far) is…..69. I think. It’s kinda weak, but it just sets a target for next year 🙂
Making more of an effort to catch-up on classics like The Third Man, Brief Encounter and Black Narcissus, the films this year have ranged from world cinema to the now-compulsory comic book movies. Some of this year’s offerings are easily forgettable (Cosmopolis, Lockout) and others failed to impress (The Bourne Legacy, Prometheus, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). Now, as we are in the year where everyone reflects on another fine cinematic year, here is my Top 10 Films of 2012.
So, in no particular order:
1. The Raid
As a martial arts fangirl, I was almost getting a bit fed-up of wuxia dominating the Asian martial arts scene and needed some good old-fashioned relentless action. Even though this was made in 2011, thank God for a dude in Wales, a simple plot and rising star Iko Uwais to put together a martial arts film so brilliant, it has been remade in Play-Doh.
This simply redeems Ben Affleck for Daredevil. Smart, tense yet witty when needed, great cast and most importantly, the attention to (historical) detail are all ticks in my book.
3. Moonrise Kingdom
It probably isn’t the best word to describe this film, but this is such a…cute film. Well, it is. Something about its nostalgic tones, sweet love story and whimsical yet memorable soundtrack (it has been months and I am still loving Le Temps d’Amour by Françoise Hardy) just makes me smile.
4. The Avengers (<— note, No ‘Assemble’ needed)
If there was time to geek out, it would be during this film. One of the most anticipated films of 2012, you have your Marvel heroes in one tidy package including a new and improved Hulk in the shape of Mark Ruffalo, geek culture icon Whedon at the helm and the best way to stop a villainous monologue. Comic book writers are quaking in their boots.
This film really came out of nowhere – and it almost breaks my heart that I haven’t seen many people featuring it in their Top 10 films of the year. One of the very few found-footage films that is not in the horror genre, you have great special effects, script, characters…it is quite brilliant. I would actually like to see this as a graphic novel and see what the creators could do it. Fingers crossed that the sequel is as good.
As a long-time Bond fan, it was quite upsetting when there was a slight possibility that Bond films would be no more. But as MGM was saved from bankruptcy, Bond was brought back to life. The result? A slightly overlong but thoroughly enjoyable Bond film, with Daniel Craig being on top form. The nods to the classic Bond era are a great touch (I actually cheered when I saw the classic Aston Martin…!) .
7. The Dark Knight Rises
Ahhh, the follow-up to the sequel that changed the game. Putting aside the obvious comparisons to The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan created a fitting and almost poignant end to one of the most consistent superhero trilogies in recent years. Will this mean that Christian Bale has to talk like a Welshman now? 😛
8. Chasing Ice
Due to a technical fault at Sundance London, I almost didn’t see this fabulous documentary. Showing the effects of global warming on glaciers worldwide using time lapse footage, Chasing Ice is a simple and astoundingly jaw-dropping film that is just stunning in every sense of the word.
9. Searching for Sugarman
Another documentary to make the Top 10, it is like a musical urban myth. The tale of the cult success of American folk singer Jesus ‘Sixto’ Rodriguez after his supposed death is fascinating to say the least and its easy-to-listen soundtrack, featuring tracks from Rodriguez, just wafts through your ears.
After The Artist at the beginning of this year, I hadn’t seen any other film that gave me that warm fuzzy feeling. But then this came along. I don’t know why there are critics gave this the thumbs down by choosing to focus on the plot elements that are just that important; hilarious, touching and witty, it is just very watchable. Part of me though wants me to call the France Benefit Office to see if he is right though…;)
Now, there are loads of films I wish I could have seen…so, I’m aiming to see the following by this time next year:
- The Master
- 21 Jump Street
- Silver Linings Playbook
- The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Now, for the films that were good but not great…
Cabin in The Woods
Smart, sharp and innovative, this is another film that spread purely from fan anticipation and word of mouth. There is just something I can’t put my finger on that denies a place in the Top 10.
Matthew McConaughey has had a good year. After years of dismal rom-coms, it takes him stripping off in light drama (could I call it that?) Magic Mike and his stellar performance in this thriller to reaffirm that he can act. He is brilliant in this film but his actions with fried chicken are just seared in my mind.
End of Watch
A brill cop drama, great performances, fantastic chemistry between the two male leads…unfortunately, the buddy-cop film has been done before and there isn’t enough here to make it stand out from the crowd.