If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Bit late but finally in no particular order, my top ten films of last year -
Rust and Bone
A bit of a recurring theme in my list this year is couples overcoming the odds. This well told tale of 2 dysfunctional unfortunates working things out in their own fucked up way was also very well shot, acted and thought provoking. Never goes where you think and both Marion Cotillard and Matthias Shoenaerts are great.
The Kid with a Bike
Another Couple, this time a young woman helps a foster kid who has his bike nicked. Just like the kid, I fell for the gorgeous Cecile De France. The acting and relationship develops so naturally especially the wee lad who you really feel for. It's a modest, touching film that sucked me right in.
I wasn't a huge fan of Brick, didn't really get what all the fuss was about but Brothers Bloom was good and Looper worked for me. J Levitt was superb and although there are some clunky scenes (stay away from farms!) it has some standout moments like the disappearing guy and a brilliant sit down with Willis facing off against his younger self.
This hits my list for two main reasons - It looks absolutely stunning on the big screen, like a huge pristine window in time and definitely the best looking film i saw big in 2012. and for Joaquin Pheonix's fascinating performance as the rocket fuel quaffing mental case who tries a bit of Seymour Hoffmanology on his self destructive odyssey.
Yep, yet another film about a dysfunctional couple! This time set in the A&E ward of a doomed Argentinian Hospital. A dodgy Insurance Lawyer (who touts for clients who throw themselves in front of cars) falls for Lujan, a gorgeous new doctor with a habit. Dark, Well acted, and Martina Gusman is gorgeous.
This sounded like a disaster - Action film starring a non actor, real-life lady cage fighter plus Channing Tatum! Turned out to be a very fine action film. Bone crunching fights, added Fassbender and Tatum is actually pretty good while Gina Carano aint no Meryl Streep she more than holds her own, literally kicking arses all over the shop!
I was tempted to split this one with Dredd so similar are they in quality and concept but then I remembered Mad Dog and all the staggering Martial Arts and that swung it in favor of this awesome Indonesian action extravaganza!
The big one for me after the disappointment of Prometheus. I had no clue what to expect. Would Jackson go lighter in tone? or over stuff it like King Kong... and then I witnessed it in IMAX and for 3 hours I was staggered by intense Dwarf battles and Bilbo Baggins' riddles with the amazing Gollum. Not without faults, it has too many impossible set piece escapes, but it's mostly a triumphant return to Middle Earth and I'm now fully looking forward to The Desolation of Smaug.
Before the hype and not knowing anything about it I was struck by the camera work and odd characters, very dark with a Blood Simple vibe it goes totally off the black lacquered hook by the end. William Friedkin had me staggering from the cinema laughing in shock because I had no clue how to properly process Mathew McConaughey's turn as the insane title character! twisted noir of the highest order!
Finally the last on my list and probably the most dysfunctional couple film by a country mile. I was so looking forward to Sightseers after last years amazing Kill List from director Ben Wheatley I couldn't wait to see what he'd do next and I don't want to spoil a drop of this deliciously dark and very British comedy but I can't recommend it highly enough. Nothing like Kill List and probably not everyone's cup of tea but I loved it!
Some small but perfectly formed challengers were Safety Not Guaranteed, Goon, Chronicle, Lawless, In Darkness, Another Earth, Magic Mike and Blackthorn was a top western.
Then there were the awesome big butgeters - Avengers was great fun, Dark Knight Rises was a fine conclusion and Prometheus was the best looking, confusing, mind fuck of the year.
Biggest Pieces of Crap of 2012
Annoying gurning award and final nail in the coffin of a once great director gong goes to - A Dangerous Method
Over-hyped piece of so called Horror shite goes to - The Innkeepers
But my full retard award which made me despise the medium of film for 90 minutes and cringe through the most agonizing acting of 2012 - Deviation
Best Video Game