Perhaps for some people they can always say that they saw all the movies they wanted to see in a given year, and sometimes that’s been me, but for the past few years it hasn’t. This year particularly, although it just means something left over for another year. (That means you, Django Unchained.)
Here, then, is a look back at what I did get to see in 2012:
In February I saw This Means War, a romantic action comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, Tomy Hardy and Chris Pine. While I was certainly entertained, I wouldn’t call it essential viewing. (Also, to amend my original review, I am aware that Reese has won an Oscar. But she could earn another acting like she does here.)
In March I saw John Carter, which soon became known as one of the biggest flops of the year. I liked it well enough, though, even the parts that were obviously director Andrew Stanton struggling with his first live action work.
In April I saw Mirror Mirror, Tarsem’s contribution to the Snow White phenomenon of 2012. Perhaps because I am a fan of Tarsem’s talent (best seen in The Fall), I could enjoy the charms on display here.
In May I saw The Avengers along with everyone else and was amused by superheroes coming together, having a good time, fighting epic battles. I also saw Men in Black 3, and enjoyed Josh Brolin playing Tommy Lee Jones.
In June I saw Prometheus, and because I appreciated Ridley Scott’s idea to revisit the big ideas of the original Alien and not just the horror elements, I was pretty satisfied.
In July I saw my favorite film, The Dark Knight Rises, which saw Christopher Nolan bring his Batman saga full-circle. Although not quite the sensation that was Heath Ledger’s Joker, Tom Hardy Bane’s was also quite memorable.
In August I saw Total Recall, and as a fan of Colin Farrell enjoyed it as something other than a movie with the same title as one that starred the Governator twenty years ago. I also finally saw The Hunger Games, which was a pretty faithful spectacle, and The Amazing Spider-Man, which is at least amazing in its first half.
In September I saw Lawless, another film starring Tom Hardy, as well as Jessica Chastain and Shia LaBeouf. It’s an amusing look at Prohibition on a human scale, and Hardy is once again a standout as a man who apparently cannot be killed.
In October I watched a bunch of movies, including Argo, Seven Psychopaths, Looper, and End of Watch, each of which had its particular selling points. Remarkably, Argo found a wide audience, though Psychopaths is probably going to be looking for its cult in home release. Looper had not just Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Bruce Willis, but Emily Blunt, who shines in everything, even curious stories about time travel. End of Watch may yet emerge as an awards season favorite.
In December I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which seems to have brought Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films a bit back to earth.
Sure, I wish I’d seen more, and I will, eventually. Still a pretty good year.