|Posted on January 7, 2013 at 1:15 AM|
I do hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. I am back and in full force, kind of, after taking a break and getting a lot of personal things off my plate. I did have time to do some thinking and pondering, though, on the movies of 2012 and we'll be diving in all week on them, so here's the first set:
Most Overlooked Movie
These are movies that, I feel, would have found an audience or received more acclaim most other years. But 2012 was a strong year, and there were a lot of really good little films that just didn't get seen.
A very simple and straightforward movie, but incredibly sweet and well told. Do yourself a favor and check it out on DVD when it hits, it's a funny and nice little movie.
With a top notch performance by Richard Gere, I'm surprised this one didn't get a little more buzz. They tried to push Gere for some awards, but this movie is too far back in the minds of voters and viewers to make it happen, I think.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Talk about something that came and went, I think this was in theaters for one weekend. Too bad, because it's a brave little movie and dark comedy that only end-of-the-world scenarios can bring.
This has one of the best sets of actors doing acting you'll see this year, it's also one of the most darkly comedic movies as well. Jack Black gives his performance of a lifetime and it's one of my favorites of 2012. I believe it's currently streaming on Netflix so go and check it out.
End of Watch
This one is probably by number one most overlooked movie of the year. It has everything that a "typical" audience would enjoy. Lots of violence, good action, convincing realism, but it seemed to have been swept aside for the most part. If you haven't seen it, check it out.
Others: Your Sister's Sister, Ruby Sparks, Smashed, Holy Motors, Safety Not Guaranteed, Rise of the Guardians, The Loneliest Planet, Dredd 3D, Casa de mi Padre
These movies I wouldn't say are "bad" movies, but they do kind of drop the ball, miss out on their potential or are just messy flicks to see.
The Expendables 2
Well, despite some better-executed action, The Expendables 2 still suffered from what hurt the first film (and moreso): more concerned about putting in cameos and nods than making a good movie. For every step forward (funnier, better directed sequences) it took two steps back (messy script). It can still be a fun film, but it could have been a great fun film too.
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man was working with some great ideas, both story-wise for the Spider-Man world and technical-wise in presenting it. But at the end of the day, this is a film that didn't know what it wanted to be.
Though I liked Prometheus, I know there's a better version of this film out there (ahem...director's cut please). Visually, it's absolutely there. It's a hell of a good looking movie. The script, much like the previous two entries, wasn't sure where to go, however. The deletion of scenes probably contributed to that.
Men in Black 3
It was one of those movies that could have gone either way. It went the wrong way. The Men in Black films have now shown diminishing returns with the third, which is neither worse nor better than the second film (which wasn't horrible, but certainly not good either). It's officially a "meh" franchise now, which is too bad considering the world it could work within.
To Rome With Love
And lastly, Woody Allen gives it a shot and misfires. If you're a fan of his work, you might like it. It still has his style and schtick, but it's also incredibly unfocused and hard to get involved with any of the characters. It's also one of his least grounded movies as it feels aloof in its style and presentation as though he's just intentionally "winging it."
Others that could have been better: Hitchcock, This is 40, Chernobyl Diaries, The Five Year Engagement, Dark Shadows
Movies I just couldn't find myself caring about
Sometimes, movies show up and you just are completely apathetic towards them. They come, sit around a while, then leave and you feel like you didn't miss much. In other cases, maybe you sit to watch one and it's exactly what you expect to the point where you just. don't. care. Here's mine:
On the Road
How many times did I try to watch this thing? At least four, I think. I get in for about an hour, then just stop caring. I will say it does capture the era and the voice of the book nicely, but maybe that's why I didn't care all that much. It's exactly what you expect it to be and it's exactly what you've already read. Eventually I did finish it, but I can't remember much of it either.
Perhaps its the mixed reviews combined with the fact we've seen Les Mis dozens of times now that just caused my lack of interest. Yes, it looks good. Yes, it's big in production values. But it's still Les Mis, and it's nothing particularly new. Then again, I'm not big in to musicals adapted from the stage to begin with. There's a few exceptions, this isn't one of them.
Though I'll give this one props in another category, Joe Wright shows he's damn good at doing things that have been done to death. Gorgeous to look at, but for some reason it felt cold and empty to me; like a nice paint job over old wood.
Trouble With the Curve
I like Clint. Hell, it's got a nice cast. Yet, I found myself trying and trying again to get in to this movie and really couldn't. I did watch the whole thing, but it was one of those movies I kept looking at my phone during. It's not horrible, just not engaging.
Most Unnecessary Movie
John Carter or Total Recall. I don't think either are absolutely horrible, but neither really instills passion in their presentation either. I think, considering the style and imagination that both could have been, that not living up to that potential is far worse than having bland action or actors. Despite all the effects and budget, when it's over you aren't happy, nor mad...just asking "why did I bother to watch this?"
The Amazing Spider-Man as well. Though I didn't hate the thing, it certainly was a movie that we really didn't need right now and it feels as rushed and pieced together as you'd expect a movie only made to hold on to the property rights would feel.
The Worst Movies of 2012
As I saw each year, I don't really seek out to watch the bad movies I pretty much expect to be bad. So no Adam Sandler movies or A Thousand Words or Here Comes the Boom or anything of that nature. Just movies I go in to thinking they might just be good and they end up damn bad.
Is there a worse film this year? Good lord, I couldn't watch more than 30 minutes of this utterly awful movie. I couldn't even write a review because I hadn't seen it all, I had to stop the pain. I rarely, if ever, stop watching a movie. Even if it's bad, like the rest of this list, I always finish it. This is the first in a long while that I never could.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Remember this one? Nobody does. Either because nobody saw it or those that did have blocked it from their memory. I did, until I started to really think hard of what I really didn't like this year. This and The Watch are my numbers one and two pretty solidly. With some of the worst acting and even worse script, even the inventive camera usage can't help this one.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
It had all the makings of something, at the very least, entertaining. But it's not. It looks great, yet it's a ponderous, slog of a movie that seems to have great ideas but never knows how to put the pieces together to make it work.
As if it's a surprise, I'm sure. Even when this thing hit, people said "no." It's still the best Transformers movie you'll probably see, good action you can follow, but it's as mindless of a movie as they come.
The Bourne Legacy
Initially I was just going to put this in disappointing, but no...it's just a bad movie up and down. What the hell happened? The scriptwriter is the same, he should know how to pace out a movie and put in action sequences, but this is a movie that, save for one great action scene at the end, is a forgettable flick that shows this franchise just needs to go away.
This Means War
Good lord, this is one I completely forgot about until I saw it on another list. How does McG still get work? What this misses on completely is the fact that neither lead character, Pine and Hardy, are all that likable. They just mug for the camera and show sloppy action.
Other horrible things: The Raven, Nature Calls, Piranha 3DD (I guess you get what you pay for on that one), Alex Cross, Snow White and the Huntsman
Up next: The genre categories.