Final 2012 Film Log
This year-end list preamble is not a mere cut and paste from last year’s list preamble. While 2011 was a banner year for cinema, 2012 was its disappointing little brother. Yes, there were great films in 2012, but it was a struggle to make a list of ten. The first three films on my list are what I could call the truly great films of the year (even if one of these three films technically comes out in 2013); the other seven films on the list are good.
It’s difficult for me to look back at 2012 without thinking the passing of Tony Scott. I can’t explain why, but I took it really hard. It goes much more beyond the old Billy Wilder paraphrasing: “No more Tony Scott movies.” The last few months I’ve watched and re-watched nearly all of Scott’s films (the only two left are The Hunger and Unstoppable) and I started to feel guilty. I felt like I had taken his films for granted. So, there was a lull in my watching and enjoyment for a month.
Also, Argo sent me into a cinematic depression that took me a very long time to climb out of.
In 2013, can we please stop using or referring to Bret Easton Ellis’ Twitter feed for validation of film opinions? It’s not a good look nor do we need to give Ellis any more attention than he deserves. He wrote a good book about the 80s in the late 80s and the screenplay for a bad movie where Amber Heard took her shirt off a couple of times. Ellis is the Twitter version of the girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with it.
With that out of the way, Let’s Boogie!
- Zero Dark Thirty (Dir: Kathryn Bigelow)
- The Master (Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson)
- Side Effects (Dir: Steven Soderbergh)
- Ruby Sparks (Dir: Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris)
- Beyond The Black Rainbow (Dir: Panos Cosmatos)
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (Dir: Bill Condon)
- Alps (Dir: Giorgos Lanthimos)
- Anna Karenina (Dir: Joe Wright)
- Silver Linings Playbook (Dir: David O. Russell)
- Side By Side (Dir: Christopher Kenneally)
Five Other Good Films From 2012:
- Killing Them Softly (Dir: Andrew Dominik)
- 21 Jump Street (Dir: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
- Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dir: Benh Zeitlin)
- Looper (Dir: Rian Johnson)
- Magic Mike (Dir: Steven Soderbergh)
Special Award of Recognition & Honor:
- Celine & Julie Go Boating (Dir: Jacques Rivette) [This film was incredibly important to me]
- The Boxer’s Omen (Dir: Chih-Hung Kuei)
- Death Wish 3 (Dir: Michael Winner)
- Miss Bala (Dir: Gerardo Naranjo)
- Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
- Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
- Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
- Rooney Mara, Side Effects
- Kristen Stewart, On The Road
- Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, 21 Jump Street
- Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Denzel Washington, Flight
- Greig Fraser: Snow White & The Huntsman, Killing Them Softly, and, Zero Dark Thirty
The “I Know Casey Affleck and You’re No Casey Affleck” Award:
- Scoot McNairy, Killing Them Softly and Argo
Most Overrated/Over Praised Films of the Year:
- Argo (Dir: Ben Affleck)
- Holy Motors (Dir: Leos Carax)
Worst Films of the Year:
- Killer Joe (Dir: William Friedkin)
- The Bourne Legacy (Dir: Tony Gilroy)
- The Watch (Dir: Akiva Schaffer)
The Ubiquitous Django Unchained Mention:
- I would like to see a longer version of this film.
Most Brutal/Fucked Up Ending:
- Kill List (Dir: Ben Wheatley)
Films to Look Forward to in 2013:
- Only God Forgives (Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn)
- Gravity (Dir: Alfonso Cuaron)
- To The Wonder (Dir: Terrence Malick)
- Inside Llewyn Davis (Dir: The Coen Brothers)
- 12 Years A Slave (Dir: Steve McQueen)
- Prince Avalanche (Dir: David Gordon Green)
- Pain & Gain (Dir: MIchael Bay)
- Mad Max: Fury Road (Dir: George Miller)
- Her (Dir: Spike Jonze)
- The Evil Dead (Dir: Fede Alvarez)
- Foxcatcher (Dir: Bennet Miller)
Much to my dismay, I have to say that my 2012 film year in review will be delayed and probably be finished and posted in January 2013. There are still too many films left to be seen and I’m still a bit sad about the passing of Tony Scott to really tackle the year in review. I mean, it’s been a good year. There was a new Paul Thomas Anderson film this year. So, that’s one giant plus for 2012.
If everything goes according to my plans, I’ll finally see Zero Dark Thirty this weekend. And if I want to push myself, maybe even On The Road too. So, fingers crossed and please bare with me. There will be a best of 2012 list and odds are a film that’s going to be released in March 2013 will be in my top five of the year.
2012 Film Log - May, June, July, and, August
I know it’s been a while, but never the less, here’s the summer movie season update of the 2012 film log. What can be said about the summer movies? Some were good and most were disappointing.
Films that I loved or went absolutely gaga for: Celine & Julie Go Boating (I wish I went every night during its week long run at Cinefamily instead of twice [it’s a three hour film]), Starship Troopers (it was a special anniversary screening in 35mm!!!), Miss Bala, The Boxer’s Omen, and, Ruby Sparks.
- Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown
- Children Of Men
- The Avengers
- Shut Up, Little Man
- Starship Troopers
- Part of: Dead End Drive In
- The Dictator
- Death Wish 3
- Raiders of Atlantis
- Under Siege
- Punisher: War Zone
- Snow White and the Huntsman
- Celine & Julie Go Boating
- The Dead Zone
- Celine & Julie Go Boating
- Godzilla ('98)
- That’s My Boy!
- Safe House
- Magic Mike
- 21 Jump Street
- Used Cars
- Winnebago Man
- Part of: The Day of the Jackal
- No Holds Barred
- Miss Bala
- Duck, You Sucker!
- Beasts of Southern Wild
- Deep Blue Sea
- The Road Warrior
- Pusher 3: I’m The Angel Of Death
- The Dark Knight Rises
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
- Miami Vice (2006)
- An Education
- The Boxer’s Omen
- The Watch
- The Dark Knight Rises
- Killer Joe
- Miss Bala
- Ruby Sparks
- The Bourne Legacy
- The Bourne Ultimatum
- The Campaign
- Pineapple Express
- Step Brothers
- Wet Hot American Summer
- Expendables 2
- The Last Boy Scout
- Days of Thunder
- Top Gun
Lockout is the first film to put me to sleep without the use of sleeping pills. In other words, Lockout is a total snooze.
Killer Joe is the worst film I’ve seen so far, this year; I say this as a person who’s seen Battleship. The Bourne Legacy is complete and utter bullshit. Prometheus was a lot of bullshit, too. Savages was a waste of great Benico Del Toro and John Travolta performances.
That’s My Boy! was the best comedy of the summer. Maybe it’s just me, but a lot of the big comedies this season just felt hollow and soulless. The Watch should’ve been called The Paychecks.
The rest of the summer movies were fine. In a way, it was like getting a meal at the Cheesecake Factory. Yes, we strive to avoid eating at chain restaurants, but sometimes, you can’t help it and you’re at the Cheesecake Factory eating a giant burrito and a piece of cheesecake. It’s good, but forgetful (well some of those cheesecakes are great and memorable).
And sadly, I’m in the midst of a personal Tony Scott retrospective. It’s sad because no more Tony Scott movies, but I also feel bad that it took something like his passing to get me to watch his films again. Visually, Top Gun feels like a modern film. Tony Scott was a legend.
The Skeet On… 30
(If I was a smarter person, I would have done this before I decided to take another Tumblr break. Never the less, here it is.)
Within the last couple of weeks, the British Film Institute has revealed more information about their new 10 greatest films of all time poll. Specifically, who was selected to vote and their list of ten films with the qualifications/explanation behind their choices. I didn’t read all of the individual lists, but I have to assume a majority of these lists fell under the category of “these films helped shape my perspective,” etc., etc.
I started to wonder if I would be able to create a list of ten films that I could consider the greatest or had the most profound impact on me. Well, I tried and here’s a list of 30 films that had some sort of impact on me, influenced me , and, made me see things differently.
In order of brevity, there will be no explanation of why the film is a masterpiece or really important to me. Also, this list is a very fluid list and you could say that certain films serve merely as placeholders for my favorite directors. Without further adieu, here’s the list, in no particular order.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
There Will Be Blood
The Wild Bunch
The Holy Mountain
Celine & Julie Go Boating
Days of Heaven
I Saw The Devil
Day for Night
Dario Argento’s Opera
A Serious Man
That Obscure Object of Desire
Dumb & Dumber
Children of Men
This is Spinal Tap
John Carpenter’s Halloween
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
The Godfather Part 2
2012 Film Log - March & April 2012
As new tradition dictates (every two months), here’s the March and April additions to the 2012 film log.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains
- Jack & Jill
- John Carter
- Rock Of Age (Test Screening)
- Part of: Lady In The Water
- 21 Jump Street
- Part of: O.C. & Stigs
- Hunger Games
- Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol [Doug Benson Movie Interruption]
- When Harry Met Sally
- Wrath of the Titans
- El Bulli: Cooking In Progress
- The Raid: Redemption
- Damsels In Distress
- The Cabin In The Woods
- Sleepless Night
As it currently stands, 21 Jump Street is still my favorite film of the year. It just works so well. It’s near perfect, in my mind.
It’s hard for me to believe that a majority of the film geek/fan boy web community went nuts for The Raid, but are dropping the ball on Sleepless Night. The two films are different, but they share one giant common trait: a contained action thriller. Both films take place in one central location and Sleepless Night is really good.
Rock of Ages is a fun movie. Just think about this for a moment before dismissing it: if you were going to see a band like Poison in concert this summer, you’re going because you want to have fun with those songs and that sense of nostalgia. Rock of Ages is a lot of fun even if the male lead is a bit of drip.
Granted, 2012 is only three months old, but 21 Jump Street is my favorite film of 2012, so far. A perfect companion piece to The Other Guys and Hot Fuzz. Everything about it just feels right and succinct. It follows the very important new rule: if you can’t tell the story in 100 minutes or less, then it’s probably bullshit*.
*= Some filmmakers have the right to tell their stories in two hours or more: Malick, Paul Thomas Anderson, Fincher, Coen Brothers, Mann…
2012 Film Log - January & February
- New Years Evil
- The Stuff
- Kill List
- The Innkeepers
- Crank 2: HighVoltage
- Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie
- The Grey
- Kill List
- Death Wish 2
- Cool As Ice
- Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
- Pusher 2: With Blood On My Hands
- Birdemic: Shock & Terror
- Parts of: Heathers & Thrashin’
Favorites of the last two months: Liam Neeson in The Grey, The Pusher series, Chronicle, Nicolas Cage’s monologues in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Important, but slightly unrelated film list…Top Two Favorite Directors Currently Working:
- Paul Thomas Anderson
- Nicolas Winding Refn