So with this being a mostly film orientated film stuff blog it is only right that I do the mandatory thing and whack my top 10 films of the year on here. It’s been a pretty bitchin year to be honest both in terms of both the explosive multiplex pictures and the smaller independent screens putting out some top quality cinema. Before I start drivelling I have to mention that this is a personal list, not what I factually regard as the best film making of 2012, just what film making moved me personally, not critically. Also it is based around films that were theatrically released in the UK during 2012, so there is one of two that fall into 2011 US box office and some that are missing that you’ll see on loads of critic’s lists purely because they haven’t come out here yet. I feel it only right to give these films a wee mention because I’m sure they would have been in my toppers, films like Django unchained, Cloud Atlas, and Zero Dark Thirty would top the list but alas I am still waiting for them. Smashed and Much Ado about Nothing are also missed as they have yet to get decent distribution over here waaah.
One last disclaimer before the list is also these are the films I just blatantly didn’t get the time to see that I wanted to see so that explains their absence from the list!
Films I haven’t seen: holy motors, safety not guaranteed, silver linings play book, killing them softly, on the road, sightseers.
10. The Raid: Redemption
Anyone who has seen the raid doesn’t need any introduction. It was by far the most bad ass film of the year. It has a simple premise of cops vs. criminals in a locked tower block plus a bunch of the most ridiculously rad kung fu I have seen in years. It resulted in what was me audible reacting to just how bad ass it was for the whole two hours.
When I was a child I loved James Bond, my granddad had all of them on VHS and I clamoured over them every visit, even pretending to ring 007 on the phone for chats about national security. With Brosnans latter days the campiness couldn’t serious stand its ground with other blockbusters and with Daniel Craig’s first two outings we got the gritty ball bashing opposite. Now with skyfall we have a truly contemporary bond, cinematically cracking wise with just the perfect amount of grounding in modern society to recreate the giddiness for 22 year old Greg that his 7 year old counter part felt back in the day.
8. The Master
Walking into a P.T Anderson film is never a disappointed experience; before even handing over my ticket I knew I’d be smothered in lush cinematography, amazing performances and a superbly directed emotionally affecting film. That’s exactly what I got. The master somewhat builds upon the themes of American values in there will be blood by exploring the post war psyche with Freddie Quell and his journey with cult leader Lancaster Dogg to which Phillip Seymour Hoffman boasts one of my favourite performances of the year.
7. Argo (fuck yerself)
Argo was criminally my first foray into Ben Afflecks film making career, man had I been missing out. Argo kept the back of my seat super vacant for the majority of the film, portraying the real life declassified story of American embassy workers trapped in Iran and Affleck’s mission to extract them by posing as a film producer for a fake film. I am a sucker for any film that is about the film industry in anyway but the main political flavourings of the film made it all the more a pretty amazing film.
6. Cabin in the Woods
Now to the uninitiated Cabin sounded the generic horror film, which makes people like me who detest the horror genre due to its predictability sigh. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard slyly crafted a horror film would appear to be your typical mash up of jocks, promiscuity and the all too predictable Latin induced bloodshed, all up until Whedon slaps you violently in the face with a genius meta deconstruction of a genre pulverised to death in recent years. The heresy which follows telling people just what makes cabin so fresh has been one of the biggest dilemmas of the year as it goes far beyond the typical ‘he was dead all along twist’ All I will tell you is Fran Kranz plays one of my favourite stoners in history and its Joss here guys, as if you should need any more persuading than that.
5. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Andersons latest was one of the more charming films of the year among its gritty company. In true Wes tradition Moonrise was one of the most fun and beautiful films of the year. The film focuses around two loved up kids and how their love sends a whole community pretty bonkers; With Wes-land newcomers Ed Norton and Bruce Willis excellently leading the madness.
Anyone who has seen brick or the brother’s bloom knows Rian Johnson is one of the next great American directors. Looper did not disprove this. One of the best science fictional films of the past few years, Looper tells a fast paced time travel story without getting bogged down with continuum’s as demonstrated in the genius diner scene which I think is one of the best of 2012. The film continues the same visual integrity that Rian Johnson has set up in his previous films and also boasts amazing performances by Emily blunt, Jeff Daniels, Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt as Bruce Willis. I cannot wait to see what Rian Johnson does next now he’s has prove his bigger budget credentials.
3. Beasts of the Southern Wild
Benh Zeitlins debut indie flick was moving, magical and one of the best cinematic experiences of 2012. The film is seen through the eyes of a little girl and her life in the swampy land named the bathtub. This is one of the best debut features I have seen in it, the directing, cinematography and over its general indie spirit are top notch. The greatest and most surprising thing of beast of the southern wild is Quvenzhané Wallis’s first ever acting performance in which she perfectly portrays hush puppies vulnerability, imagination and charm. A beautiful film and massive academy contender if the world is just.
This is a weird one to place so high. Hardly anyone I know has heard of it and in all honesty I was only drawn to it because of its cast; which consists of people such as Adrien Brody, Bryan Cranston & Christina Hendricks who all feature in my favourite stuffs. Whilst I was drawn in blind simply by the allure of the cast I was amazing at Tony Kayes (American History X) Emotionally desolating portrayal of life within the modern American school system. I rarely get overly emotional during films cause I always to some extent have my critical hat on, however detachment well and truly drop kicked me in the chest. Nowhere near the happiest of uplifting film of the year, quite the opposite, but nonetheless one of my favourites so give it a watch and spread the world.
1. The Avengers.
So yeah The Avengers was fucking awesome. That is the sole reason it is number one on this list, it isn’t groundbreaking film making, it wont get near the Oscars or anything like this, its because it was fun, enjoyable and just fucking rad. Whilst there was the fact it took the genius of Joss Whedon to take 4 huge iconic film properties and combine them I think Joss’s biggest achievement and the reason it resonated so much and went on to become almost the biggest film in history was that of hope, heroism and fun. The avengers threw out the movie exec notion of ‘THE KIDS WANT GRIT IN THEIR EYES GODAMMIT, MAKE IT DARKER’ and harked back to the days of Indiana Jones and Star Wars by delivering a fun two hours filled with iconic visual moments, memorable heroes and a hulk. These films of the past portrayed hope and heroism that is vacant in the majority of blockbuster films nowadays which seek to remind movie goers just how terrible the world is. Joss delivered the definite comic book motion picture and bet your arse I’ll be first in line for his sequel in 2015.
Honourable mentions: The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, Ruby Sparks, Jeff Who Lives at Home, Life of Pi, The Hunger Games.