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Thread: Michael Moran\'s Top 5 Films Of 2012

  1. #1
    Robot for Front Page Blog Posts
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    Default Michael Moran\'s Top 5 Films Of 2012

    Like any list of favourite movies, my Top 5 Movies of 2012 is subjective, unnecessary, and subject to whimsical change.

    This list is flawed from the outset because I haven?t seen everything ? I?m itching to see Lawless for example, and Life Of Pi too. But I missed the former at cinemas and the latter hasn?t come my way yet.

    The list is flawed too because it?s a Top 5. Is, say, Killer Joe a weaker film than the movies that made the cut? That?s debatable. And on another day Matthew McConaughey?s uncharacteristically shirted performance might have edged it.

    But right now I?d say?

    5: Dredd 3D

    Karl Urban delivers a cartoonish, one-dimensional performance as Judge Joe Dredd, which is precisely what the character requires. If you want nuance, get thee to an arthouse. Dredd 3D is almost non-stop zarjaz action.

    Dredd 3D had some of its thunder stolen by The Raid ? which by coincidence had an almost identical premise. But only Dredd had Dredd. The slo-mo ?3D showcase? scenes are pretty, but not pivotal enough to prevent the film being an enjoyable watch on your home system. If you missed Dredd at the cinemas, do please rent or buy it as soon as the market allows. It's scrotnig.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqqgrUna28w[/youtube]

    4: Chronicle

    Found footage, as a framing device, is more or less played out post-Cloverfield. But I?d make an exception for this clever little superhero movie ? more Misfits than Mystery Men ? that explored the darker side of superpowers.

    It?s a superhero flick that doesn?t splash CGI effects all over the screen, but when you need them, they?re there and they work well.

    The two questions most often posed by superhero flicks are ?what if superheroes were real?? and ?if I had superpowers, what would I do with them??. Chronicle answers them better than most.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkngycnIVBQ[/youtube]

    3: End Of Watch

    Things I like about movies include; [1] A plot you can?t predict from the first five minutes. [2] Characters I care about. [3] Strong men in tights punching lumps out of one another.End Of Watch has at least two of those.

    It has that same soapy police procedural magic that made Hill Street Blues one of the must-watch TV shows of the Eighties but it?s shot through with a dirty realism that even The Bill couldn?t match.

    I?m joking of course.

    David Ayer?s film is another one that flirts with the ?found footage? conceit. It would be just as good a movie without that though. What End Of Watch has, more than any other movie on my list, is heart.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf2K9GzgiF0[/youtube]

    2: The Dark Knight Rises

    I?ve seen a lot of people pointing out plot holes. I?ve seen a lot of people saying it isn?t true to the Batman of the comics. I honestly don?t care.

    There are a couple of moments where improbable things happen to keep the movie going ? but this is a superhero story we?re talking about. I?m not sure that we?ve ever seen a superhero movie without one or two of those.

    And true to the comics? The comics aren?t true to the comics. Besides, all the Batman movies should probably be considered as Elseworlds tales. They certainly aren?t in any continuity with the dozen or so Batman series currently in stores.

    The point is that as long as you?re watching The Dark Knight Rises it?s great,pulsequickening entertainment. Sure, when you?re on the bus home you might start thinking ?but how?? - and...who..??. That isn?t the point. The Dark Knight Rises isfun. Slightly pretentious po-faced fun, but that?s the kind of fun I like to have.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8evyE9TuYk[/youtube]

    1: Marvel's Avengers Assemble

    A predictable choice for Number One I?m afraid. Anything else would be perverse. Joss Whedon delivered a warm, funny, and satisfyingly action-packed finale to Marvel?s Phase One cycle of superhero flicks. As I said when the film was released:
    The byplay between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts is pure screwball comedy, Some of Cap?s reactions to the 21st Century are priceless. Hulk delivers a sight-gag that I?m still chuckling about. Even Thor gets a terrific one-liner. And all this is seamlessly woven into the middle of an epic superhero fight that never once descends into that regrettable CGI phenomenon I like to call ?Action Figure Smackdown??
    For my money ? and looking at the box office charts for most other people?s money too ? The Avengers is film of the year.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPoHPNeU9fc[/youtube]

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    Bleeding Cool Fysh's Avatar
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    I wouldn't hold my breath about Lawless, to be honest. It was bloated and poorly paced, with some bad decisions in the script. Some good performances in it, but like most big films this year it should have been half an hour shorter and probably needed another iteration of script rewriting.

    I don't share the general fetish for Avengers that so many people seem to have, but i'm not sure what i'd choose as a pop-culture "best film of 2012". Probably The Raid, for being the most enjoyable action film I've seen at the cinema in years. Looper was a great sci-fi action film, Prometheus was visually lush but seriously flawed at a script level, Killer Joe was astonishingly good, as was Berberian Sound Studio. Seven Psychopaths and Sightseers were both good but disappointingly short of their potential given their creative pedigrees. The Hunger Games was ultimately meh, given that it was basically a PG-13 american-casted version of Battle Royale with added shakycam.

    Overall, 2012 was the year where big film studios locked their editors in the basement and released numerous films in need of at least a 30 minute trim. My guess is that they think that, given rising cinema ticket costs, the perceived value of a ticket is higher for longer films.
    Last edited by Fysh; 01-01-2013 at 08:39 AM.
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    Dean of Cool University MWEDMER's Avatar
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    Lets put a nail into this once and for all.
    Chronicle, was not, in any way, shape, or form, a Superhero film.
    It had nothing to do with Superheroes. There was nothing heroic about it. If you think it was, then you know nothing about the motivation of Superheroes.
    Chronicle was a Horror/Sci-Fi film that more closely resembled a marriage between CARRIE and Scanners. But mainly Carrie.
    The main character was put upon at home. He did not fit in at school and his only real friend was his Cousin and his Cousin's friend who accepted him. He gets powers and begins to go after those who treated him badly.
    That is the Description for the film CARRIE, except that I removed the "S" from -she and made it -He.

    Watched Looper last night. That should also be on your list. Very well done film. No plotholes in it which is tough for Time Travel films.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MWEDMER View Post
    Lets put a nail into this once and for all.
    Chronicle, was not, in any way, shape, or form, a Superhero film.
    It had nothing to do with Superheroes. There was nothing heroic about it. If you think it was, then you know nothing about the motivation of Superheroes.
    Chronicle was a Horror/Sci-Fi film that more closely resembled a marriage between CARRIE and Scanners. But mainly Carrie.
    The main character was put upon at home. He did not fit in at school and his only real friend was his Cousin and his Cousin's friend who accepted him. He gets powers and begins to go after those who treated him badly.
    That is the Description for the film CARRIE, except that I removed the "S" from -she and made it -He.

    Watched Looper last night. That should also be on your list. Very well done film. No plotholes in it which is tough for Time Travel films.
    watched looper when it came out so it's not so fresh in my memory but i vaguely remember a few minor plot holes such as they send people to the past so they can get away with murders in a future where it is impossible but they had no problam killing his wife etc... and i find the fact you say there weren't any plot holes with such confidence pretentious not to mention that the whole movie is based on the fact that they kill the loopers with no apparent reason...

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    "The Dark Knight Rises is fun."

    No, it isn't. And that's the problem. It's a boring movie.

  6. #6
    Wrote the Book on Cool hammerstein's Avatar
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    Nup, can't get behind End of Watch...didn't hate it..it was trying...but ultimately it's a lumpy and overcooked melodrama.
    The end scene where they evade a hail of bullets despite being 'fish in a barrel' is so ludicrous that it completely deflates the movie
    ...you're left with just very soapy air bubbles and a lot of man love.

    Dredd though is a triumph of creativity over budget and the best looking comic book movie to date. It'll be a tragedy if they don't
    get a chance to return with a bigger budget sequel...also curiously a movie which turned out well despite some major production turmoil.

    Also agree with Fysh's comments on Lawless, it is a poorly paced, bloated script and has some very distracting music. Their worst film to date.

    Someone who told me Prometheus (which i loved warts and all) 'sucked balls' evangelized about the brilliance of TDKR which i promptly went and saw in true IMAX.
    If you can give TDKR a free kick with it's meteor sized holes and uneven pace, and can't for Prometheus, you have an inflated sense of your own opinion.
    TDKR was a deeply flawed, but mostly an entertaining inferior sequel...definitely not 'fun'. Fun movies don't make me look at my watch as Hans Zimmer strikes up yet another tribal rhythm for another montage.

    Tried Berbian Sound Studio but that shit is glacial...like compared to french slow!

    Loved Killer Joe - a nice reminder of the kind of shocks Lynch used to dole out with glee without ever feeling like a homage.
    Last edited by hammerstein; 01-01-2013 at 02:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MWEDMER View Post
    Chronicle, was not, in any way, shape, or form, a Superhero film.
    It had nothing to do with Superheroes. There was nothing heroic about it. If you think it was, then you know nothing about the motivation of Superheroes.
    Superheroes have only one motivation? I'm sure there are many people for whom that will come as a surprise.

  8. #8
    Bleeding Cool Cavemold's Avatar
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    For me
    Batman dark Knight Rises
    Django Unchained
    Avengers
    James Bond Skyfall
    The Hobbit

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    Thinking back on the year, my top films are in flux and keeps changing, but, somehow, THE GREY is on it in every incarnation.

    ~R

  10. #10
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    No "Looper" or "Argo"?

    気持ち悪い

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