rootshed.com’s 2012 Year in Film Review – Part III
15) Best New Talent:
Jorge Carreon MediaJor: Kelly Reilly in Robert Zemekcis’ Flight. Reilly proved a moving counterpoint to Denzel Washington’s superbly flawed turn in this riveting drama. These two make the movie, well, fly.
Chris Sawin Houston Movie Examiner: Steven Chbosky. It’ll be interesting to see if he continues directing or if The Perks of Being a Wallflower was just a labor of love.
Tom Clocker Baltimore Movie Examiner: Gotta pick 2 again here and neither is really new this year, but both are fairly new and had a big year First up is Noomi Rapace. I absolutely loved her in the Swedish versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo films. She sort of broke into American cinema with Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, where she was about the only thing I liked. But, now she may have put herself on the map with a big role in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Second is Jennifer Lawrence. When I saw her in Winter’s Bone a couple years ago I knew she would be a star. With both The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook this year she has locked that in for sure. I look forward to great careers from both of these ladies.
Tom Santilli Detroit Movie Examiner: See all of the child actors I listed a bit earlier, but for me, the revelation was Samantha Barks in Les Miserables. A small role but almost equally as powerful as Anne Hathaway’s performance. Commercially, how about Gina Carano in Haywire? I think she could be a very popular, female action star of the future.
David Wangberg Chico Movie Examiner: Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild. She is just incredible.
Joe Belcastro Tampa Bay Movie Examiner: Not sure how new he is, but Denis Lavant’s versatile work in the foreign flick Holy Motors should put him on the map similar to how Christoph Waltz became a mainstream name after Inglourious Basterds.
Brian Zitzelman Seattle Movie Examiner: For acting, it’s Thomas Doret as the titular boy in The Kid with a Bike. His turmoil over an uninterested father is potent and lacks the cloying nature and overt-specificity of nearly all child performances. If we’re talking director, David France springs to mind with his bold AIDS activism documentary How to Survive a Plague.
Glenn Percival Playstation Nation: Ted. Even though I’m a pretty big fan of Seth MacFarlane’s work, I went into the theater with pretty low expectations. Imagine my delight though, when I witness a brilliant comedy that really strays from the common funny movie mold. The comedy is raunchy and unapologetic, and once again a complete guilty pleasure for anyone that grew up in the 80’s. Also, the entire element involving Giovanni Ribisi’s character was sheer brilliance, mainly because of his performance. Ted was a fantastically refreshing comedy with some genuine heart in key moments. There’s so much about this movie that I truly love, and now that I have it on Blu Ray, I’ve watched it a few more times already.
Tim Hall Seattle PI People’s Critic: Jennifer Lawrence by a mile. Between The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook, she’s on a pretty hot streak. It helps that she’s the kind of hot that guys like and women won’t hate you for it.
Jason Roestel National Movie Examiner: Has anyone ever had a first feature film as impressive and as genuinely funny as Drew Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods? First time up to bat and Wonder-Boy belts it out of the ballpark. And if I were any actress in Hollywood hoping to take home a gold trophy this year from Oscar, I’d be terrified of Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhane Wallis.
16) Favorite Scene in a Film in 2012:
Jorge Carreon MediaJor: For anyone who has ever had a memorable heart to heart, thank you Logan Lerman for telling Emma Watson, “We accept the love we think we deserve” in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Expect to see that scene on Facebook pages for life.
Chris Sawin Houston Movie Examiner: The ending to The Cabin in the Woods is still a favorite. The fried chicken scene in Killer Joe. That thirty second after-credits scene in The Grey still has people talking. The way Takeshi Kaneshiro sees Donnie Yen’s fight scene from earlier on in Dragon is brilliant. The night dream sequence in Life of Pi. Oscar seemingly dying next to himself after being stabbed in the neck in Holy Motors. I can’t choose just one. I suck.
Tom Clocker Baltimore Movie Examiner: The Bane vs. Batman fight scene in The Dark Knight Rises. That fight was so visceral, brutal and real that you almost felt every punch sitting in the theater. No phantom punches covered up by a big “KAPOW” graphic in that Batman!
Tom Santilli Detroit Movie Examiner: Django Unchained, the whole “hood” scene. When you see the movie, you’ll know. It’s fall-out-of-your chair funny. If Jerry Seinfeld, Quentin Tarantino and Mel Brooks ever got together and wrote a scene, this would be it.
David Wangberg Chico Movie Examiner: Many of the ocean scenes in Life of Pi were just breathtaking, but I also have to give a shout out to Lincoln. The scene where they vote on the 13th Amendment is astonishing.
Joe Belcastro Tampa Bay Movie Examiner: The airplane debacle in Flight. If they gave out an Oscar for best sequence, that would earn a gold statue.
Brian Zitzelman Seattle Movie Examiner: The “Processing” scene in The Master is two gargantuan acting talents facing off; an expository scene working succinctly with the fleshing out of two characters. The intensity of it all never waivers, even when PTA zigs when you expect the zag.
Glenn Percival Playstation Nation: The Dark Knight Rises. When Bruce and Miranda snuck into Wayne Manor. A small hint was revealed and I caught it, and I figured out right then, that she was Talia Al Ghul. At that moment, shivers went up and down my spine, and from the silence in the theater, I was pretty sure that I was the only person there that did so. As a complete Batman fanatic, that meant so much to me and just made as giddy as a schoolboy. I grabbed my buddy’s arm and just giggled!
Tim Hall Seattle PI People’s Critic: The hallway fight scene in Raid: The Redemption. I watch it on YouTube from time-to-time when I want to feel badass. The way he takes on the group and ends the young mans life on the broken door is awesome. If I could fight like that I’d walk around with my shirt off 24/7.
Jason Roestel National Movie Examiner: I totally, totally, totally loved the intermission sequence in Holy Motors. Who knew that the French were so badass? But for my money there just wasn’t anything more solid than Sam Rockwell’s Act III reading of his Seven Psychopaths screenplay for Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths. The final shoot-out in the cemetery was so over-the-top funny, it made the actual finale feel antiquated and sort of redundant. Not that I minded, feel free to write as many endings as you want McDonagh. I’ll still love your movies.
17) Favorite Quote from a Film in 2012:
Jorge Carreon MediaJor: “Every year I get half as pretty and twice as drunk.” — Helena Bonham Carter in Dark Shadows. And, she doesn’t know the half.
Chris Sawin Houston Movie Examiner: “My friend, Thomas Jefferson is an American saint. Because he wrote the words “all men are created equal,” words he clearly didn’t believe since he allowed his now children to live in slavery. He’s a rich wine snob who’s sick of paying taxes to the Brits. So, yeah, he writes some lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went and died for those words while he sat back and drank his wine and f***ed his slave girl. This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community? Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America you’re on your own. America’s not a country. It’s just a business. Now f***in’ pay me.” – Jackie in Killing Them Softly.
Tom Clocker Baltimore Movie Examiner: “The perps were…uncooperative.” – Judge Dredd, Dredd 3D.
Tom Santilli Detroit Movie Examiner: “No matter how big a splash you make in this world, whether you’re Corey Feldman, Frankie Muniz, Justin Bieber or a talking teddy bear, eventually, nobody gives a sh*t.“ – The Narrator (Patrick Stewart) in Ted.
David Wangberg Chico Movie Examiner: “You insult me again, and I’ll cut your face off and wear it over my own.” – Joe in Killer Joe.
Joe Belcastro Tampa Bay Movie Examiner: Nothing specifically comes to mind, but Christopher and Jonathan Nolan wrote some hefty and resonating dialogue in The Dark Knight Rises. As for something witty, I remember frequently laughing my ass off during Think Like A Man and This Means War. So there must have been something in those two, cause I’m quite stoic.
Brian Zitzelman Seattle Movie Examiner: After the first act of Lincoln, it’s clear the Great Emancipator is a man prone to monologue-ing. They’ve all been winning too. Right at the point when Honest Abe’s natural tendencies threaten to become overbearing to the audience, Tony Kushner’s script lets out a knowing wink when one of Lincoln’s cohorts mourns, “You’re going to tell one of your stories! I can’t stand to hear another one of your stories!” This clever turn allows the film and the man it’s centered around to be shown bare in its techniques, as wondrous as they are.
Glenn Percival Playstation Nation: “When you hear the sound of thunder, Don’t you get too scared. Just grab your thunder buddy and say these magic words: “F*** you, thunder! You can suck my d***! You can’t get me thunder ‘Cause you’re just God’s farts!” – Ted and John in Ted.
Tim Hall Seattle PI People’s Critic: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” Charlie – Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Jason Roestel National Movie Examiner: “I have orgasms, he has wargasms.” – “O” (Blake Lively) in Savages. Thanks for the sweet, stanky turd Oliver Stone. Now that we got the worst quote ever written and spoken out of the way… my favorite was: “Because my evil… is big.” – Big Evil in End of Watch.
18) What Were They Thinking?
Jorge Carreon MediaJor: The Watch was smarmy film marketing at its worst. Lazy, stupid and unfunny, it will make you storm the executive suites at the studio responsible and demand they get fired. And for the record, if you’re going to make an R-rated comedy, look at Ted and Bridesmaids to see how it is done and not The Hangover 2.
Chris Sawin Houston Movie Examiner: Why the hell would anyone want to remake Total Recall and then spend the entire time ripping off Blade Runner and every other Phillip K. Dick adaptation and recreating the same fight scene over and over again? I have never walked out of a theater so angry than after I saw the Total Recall remake. I wanted to get my ass to Mars just to get the bad taste out of my mouth.
Tom Clocker Baltimore Movie Examiner: Will Smith in Men in Black 3. After Hancock and Seven Pounds you take a 4-year break, a good idea after those films, and then your comeback movie is a third ‘MIB‘? Sigh…
Tom Santilli Detroit Movie Examiner: Enough with the re-makes and unnecessary sequels! Yes I’m talking to you, Total Recall, Men in Black 3, Step Up Revolution, Taken 2 and The Bourne Legacy. And Christ, David Cronenberg, if you even so much as think of making another pretentious piece of crap like Cosmopolis ever again, may you be relegated to a production assistant on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo for your remaining years.
David Wangberg Chico Movie Examiner: The whole “Why would they remake this?” question is pointless to ask at this time in our lives – anything is possible these days. But my biggest beef is why the Red Dawn filmmakers would think North Korea was such a major threat to the United States? The original Red Dawn had the Soviet Union invade America. While it’s not a great film, it played along with the fear of the time and it worked. The 2012 remake edited out the original villains (the Chinese) and put North Koreans in their place. Before anyone decides to make North Koreans the villain of a story, look into their failed background when it comes to trying to attack the U.S. Another question not worth asking anymore is “Why does Tyler Perry still make movies?” If it’s an easy buck, the studios will green light it. But I’m confused as to why anyone would think to cast him as Alex Cross. Then again, I don’t work in Hollywood.
Joe Belcastro Tampa Bay Movie Examiner: Cloud Atlas…Stop trying to be so greedy smart Wachowskis!
Brian Zitzelman Seattle Movie Examiner: Red Dawn was far from good. That Subway advert in the middle of it was just strange.
Glenn Percival Playstation Nation: A remake of Red Dawn? Seriously?
Tim Hall Seattle PI People’s Critic: John Carter. I’m sure a few people got fired behind that toilet bowl of a movie.
Jason Roestel National Movie Examiner: Anyone who beat up on Total Recall – especially Chris Sawin and Tom Santilli. Also… James Bond. (SPOILER ALERT!) For taking M to the vacant game preserve of his Scottish boyhood home with nothing but a few shotgun shells and a vintage Astin Martin to protect her with. Did it work? No. Did it create a situation where he had to get creative, look cool, and go Jason Bourne all over Javier Bardem’s ass…? Sure it did.
19) Favorite Film of 2012:
Jorge Carreon MediaJor: A tough one to call, but I’m going to go with The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It hit both my nostalgia for John Hughes AND the reality that when it comes to matters of the heart, we never grow up in how it affects us all. Stellar performances and a beautifully adapted script directed by the novel’s talented author, Stephen Chbosky, this is the film of the year for me.
Chris Sawin Houston Movie Examiner: This has gone back and forth for me so much. It was originally The Avengers as it’s the only film from 2012 that I saw in theaters more than once. Then it was Killer Joe. I’ve never seen anything like Killer Joe and the ending is just insane. After that it was The Master. I understand why people wouldn’t like a film like that, but damn man. I loved it and Joaquin Phoenix’s performance was just astounding. It was Wreck-It-Ralph for a short time since it seemed to satisfy every video game and animated film urge that I had. Most recently it was The Impossible. The film is just so devastating and Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor are exceptional. And now, it’s Django Unchained. I was a bit disappointed with Inglourious Basterds. I wanted more Tarantino over the top action, which it seemed to purposely hold back on. Django really let the blood fly and it’s so damn funny. I’ve never laughed this hard at a Tarantino picture. So while it may not be the best Tarantino film out there, it’s certainly the most entertaining. Holy Motors is a contender, as well. It’s just so different and gets your brain to go in directions it hasn’t gone in for so long. I love it immensely.
Tom Clocker Baltimore Movie Examiner: My least favorite question every year. I usually do a Top 10 and do NOT rank them in any particular order. But, I’ll play by the rules and go with Lincoln. Every aspect of that film is near perfect. The cast is terrific. The focus on one part of Lincoln’s life was the right way to go. The character interaction is fantastic. The film is also a superb period piece. Steven Spielberg does it again. I also really liked The Dark Knight Rises, but it is another comic book movie and another sequel, so I’ll stick with Lincoln. I didn’t write a full review of Lincoln, but if I had it would have received my only 10 out of 10 this year. I usually give out a few, but this year didn’t get that many…or maybe I just didn’t see all the good ones.
Tom Santilli Detroit Movie Examiner:I stand by my love for Cloud Atlas. It was a marvelous achievement in film-making. It worked on several levels and was as ambitious a film as I have ever seen. It was like directors Tykwer and the Wachowski Siblings threw up 30 balls in the air simultaneously and managed to juggle them all successfully for nearly three hours. Yes I said it, they have balls. Even you Lana Wachowski. I’m still thinking about the film and unraveling layers and layers. It’s a thinking man’s film but can also be enjoyed by the popcorn cavemen of the world. You try to pull off the sheer massiveness of this film.
David Wangberg Chico Movie Examiner: I’m going to say The Master. I know it irritated a lot of people, but I thought the performances were fantastic and P.T. Anderson’s direction was flawless. Now, excuse me while I go duck from all the tomatoes and other items that my fellow Examiners will throw at me.
Joe Belcastro Tampa Bay Movie Examiner: Chronicle came out in early February and stuck around on the top of my Best Of list all year. I just felt that someone was able to tell a crisp, blockbuster-level story using the scaled-down found-footage gimmick. The intelligent filmmakers elevated this genre and actually articulated an emotionally rewarding tale.
Brian Zitzelman Seattle Movie Examiner: For my money, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne have few equals working today. Their 2012 release The Kid with a Bike is amongst their best, a parable about the extent a real home can mean to a person, in this case a young boy (Thomas Doret) taken in by a stranger (Cecile de France) after the boy’s father shuns him from his life. Quiet and elegant.
Glenn Percival Playstation Nation: Call me a fanboy, but it’s definitely The Dark Knight Rises. The culmination of this brilliant trilogy had me giddy from beginning to end. To see the Lazarus Pit realized in Nolan’s vision was just so brilliantly executed, and brought such a smile to my face. Like I said above, haters are going to hate, but for me, even with a couple of questionable and convenient decisions, there’s so much right in this film. I absolutely loved what Christopher Nolan did with my favorite character from the comics. Sure, there were a couple of issues, the biggest being the Rachel Dawes character, but his notion to keep everything grounded in “reality” completely paid-off, and I can’t be appreciative enough for how Christopher Nolan handled Batman and the universe surrounding him. I do have to say though, Django Unchained is a STRONG runner-up. I haven’t seen a Quentin Tarantino movie that I didn’t like, and what he’s done with the Spaghetti Western is a true masterpiece. He even allowed me to enjoy performances by actors that I’m really not fond of. The story is fantastic, as is the style and script. I can’t say enough about this movie though, as it’s just excellent in every way. If you’re not a Batman fan, then this is the movie that you must see.
Tim Hall Seattle PI People’s Critic: Avengers. I’ve seen it 5 times and will watch it a few more. It wasn’t the best movie of the year, but easily the most fun I had in a theater all year.
Jason Roestel National Movie Examiner: The Grey. Still can’t believe I saw this for the first time a year ago. I just watched it again last week – in preparation for my annual Top 10 Films of 2012 list – and wasn’t surprised at all that even after 16 different viewings I still find myself emotionally invested in Joe Carnahan’s mortality movie. I’m interested how far we’ll go into 2013 – or 2014 even – before I see something that I like as much as The Grey. My money’s on Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
20) Most Wanted Movie in 2013:
Jorge Carreon MediaJor: Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Yes, it is more of the Luhrmann penchant for artifice as art. But that second trailer kills it. Can he humanize the most selfish, egocentric narrative in modern American literature? I may have already answered my own question.
Chris Sawin Houston Movie Examiner: It’s a three-way tie for me; Pacific Rim, Elysium, and Only God Forgives. I adore Guillermo del Toro, Kaiju, and giant robots, District 9 was one of my favorite movies of 2009 and I’ve been anticipating Neil Blomkamp’s next project, and you can never really go wrong with Nicholas Winding Refn. I also just realized Terry Gilliam has a new film called The Zero Theorem coming out next year sometime and just finished shooting according to Gilliam’s official Twitter feed. So that’s skyrocketed up my list, as well. Oh man and Riddick comes out next year and that’s a franchise I’ve always had a soft spot for. So much to look forward to.
Tom Clocker Baltimore Movie Examiner: Who wouldn’t be excited for a new Die Hard set in Russia that releases on Valentine’s Day (which is A Good Day to Die Hard)? Ok, not your thing? How about Fast and Furious 6…yes…6. Seriously, 2013 is looking to be a lousy year at the theater. But, I am looking forward to a few: World War Z, the ‘fast zombie’ movie with Brad Pitt, The Lone Ranger, and I am interested to see what Chris Pine will do with Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in…Jack Ryan And, the one comic franchise that still has my attention, Iron Man 3 drops next year.
Tom Santilli Detroit Movie Examiner: I’m still waiting for the Jason Roestel documentary, The Critic Who Knew Too Much. But until then, I’m anticipating, in no particular order: The delayed Gangster Squad, Stand Up Guys with Al Pacino, the Wentworth Miller thriller Stoker, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Man of Steel (please don’t suck), Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and a film featuring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, Saving Mr. Banks. But most of all, I am literally frothing at the mouth in anticipation of Star Trek Into Darkness. Admittedly my mouth froth may be due to lack of sleep. Good night.
David Wangberg Chico Movie Examiner: Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder. The one thing that concerns me is that he didn’t take seven years between that and his previous film (The Tree of Life). /sarcasm. I’m also glad we get to finally see Gangster Squad, but the January release date has me worried.
Joe Belcastro Tampa Bay Movie Examiner: Since I never watch trailers and do not believe in preview pieces, I can honestly say I have no clue what is showing up in 2013 aside from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and A Haunted House (both early January release I received screening invites for). And, it’s none of your business.
Brian Zitzelman Seattle Movie Examiner: I almost put The Grandmasters by Wong Kar Wai, which was originally a 2012 releases and was my choice here last year in this slot. I’m sneaking away, not out of concern, but out of the buzz I’m hearing for Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity and the fact that he’s also one of the exciting guys working today.
Glenn Percival Playstation Nation: Wow, this is a tough one. There are 6 on my “must-see” list for 2013, but I’ll have to choose Iron Man 3 as number 1. Ben Kingsley as ‘The Mandarin’, with Shane Black writing/directing, and Robert Downey Jr. owning the role as he always does, it’s just too good to be true. Others that just have to see are Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, JJ Abrams’ Star Trek: Into Darkness, Thor: The Dark World, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, and Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful. There are a few others already, but these are really the core of what’s on my radar for now.
Tim Hall Seattle PI People’s Critic: Man of Steel. If this doesn’t work, the Justice League movie is dead in the water.
Jason Roestel National Movie Examiner: Who are we kidding…? Even if I had to swear off all other movies next year just to see this movie, it’s easily Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness. My plan is to take Tom Santilli to the Seattle premiere at the Cinerama while the film crew following me is shooting The Critic Who Knew Too Much. Then he can explain to the public what he really meant by saying that he’s had a crush on me for the last two years – as well as why he’s sporting a blonde beehive hairstyle and is wearing Yeoman Rand’s Starfleet issue miniskirt. Other than Star Trek..? I’m all about Mad Max 4 with Tom Hardy. Yes George Miller, I’m anxious as hell to finally head down Fury Road….
rootshed.com’S 2012 YEAR IN FILM REVIEW: PART I – PART II