With the holidays here, the end of the year is in sight and with that there are very few movies left to be released in 2012. So I present to you: my favourite movies of 2012 (in no particular order).
Oh what fun I had with this film, the sound track alone never fails to cheer me up. Jason Segel and James Bobin revitalised one of the worlds greatest franchises with such aplomb, that even the Oscars couldn’t ignore it. Winning the oscar for best original song with Brett McKenzie’s, (you have seen The Flight of the Conchords, right?) Am I a Man or Muppet? Cameos from Hollywood’s biggest stars, excellent and well timed nods to to past Muppet capers, and all our favourite Muppets made for one of the most entertaining movies of the year.
Life of Pi
I’ve already waxed lyrical about Life of Pi and I think it belongs on this list for giving us such a visual treat and a completely unforgettable journey. A brilliant performance for newcomer Suraj Sharma, and a return to form for Director Ang Lee. It’s engaging, beautiful and even brutal at times.
Wes Anderson returns with a romantic comedy packed full with his trademark quirkiness. Plenty of Anderson checkboxes are ticked here: Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, a vintage look, yellow, knitted hats and dead dogs. An excellent coming of age movie; with some great performances from the two lead children (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) as well as the movie’s Hollywood a-listers: Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, and Jason Schwartzman culminating in a melancholic romp which may just be Anderson’s finest to date.
Silver Linings Playbook
I wasn’t expecting Silver Linings Playbook to make an appearance in this list, but here it is. Silver Linings is director David O. Russell’s follow up to the 2010 hit: The Fighter and it’s another hit. The story in itself is one of the most memorable for me but what really makes this movie shine is the performances. Bradley cooper does an excellent job playing the odd, funny, honest and dysfunctional Pat. Robert DeNiro as Pat’s American football obsessed, OCD, and superstitious father. Then there’s Jennifer Lawrence, (She’s had a good year hasn’t she?) who plays the equally odd, funny, and very dysfunctional Tiffany. Lawrence really comes into her own when facing off with De Niro. One of the most heartfelt stories of the year, full of emotion and sharp words. Not one to forget.
Perks of being a Wallflower
There’s no way I can write this list without mentioning Perks, in fact it may even be my favourite movie of the year. Stephen Chbosky wrote the original novel and chose to write and direct for the big screen so he could ensure ever message he wrote is portrayed as he intended, and for me it worked beautifully. A coming of age story that hits every single emotion: sadness, elation, loneliness, belonging. The performances all round were excellent, Logan Lerman pulls off awkward, out of place, and lonely, Emma Watson shakes off the shackles of Hermione Granger to become the beautiful and charming yet attention yearning Sam, and Ezra Miller’s performance steals every scene he’s in. Considering the dark themes and subject matter, it’s handled extremely well ensuring that the story, characters, soundtrack and numerous quotes will stay with me for a long, long time.
From possibly my favourite up and coming director: Rian Johnson we have Looper. A Sci-fi time travel movie with a difference: the protagonist is chasing himself, this is something we were told before the film was even released. Johnson’s somewhat Dystopian future is one of the most realistic I’ve seen for a while. Joseph Gorden-Levitt pulls off an impressive Bruce Willis, taking on some of his trademark mannerisms without flat out mimicking him. But the standout performance goes to Five year old Pierce Gagnon, equally adorable and creepy. It’s not a perfect movie but it does more than most to explain, or avoid plotholes that can weigh down such intelligent Sci-fi plots. I’ve made no bones about my love for Looper, and thankfully it lived up to my expectations: Intelligent, cool, and deliberate. A masterful film from Rian Johnson.
Ben Affleck’s directorial trifecta, I’m going to go ahead and say I wasn’t a big fan of Affleck’s two previous movies (Gone, baby, gone and the town) but after Argo I think I may need to revisit them. The premise of the movie is pretty out there and the fact that it’s based on a true event makes it even more so for me. Affleck kept me on the edge of my seat from start to end, it’s a truly gripping film. The tension builds in layers, going between Iran, the CIA headquarters and Hollywood; with every scene looking impeccably authentic. It all culminates in a heart-pounding finale, there’s no doubt that Argo will be winning come awards season.
The Cabin in the Woods
A horror story like no other, from the minds like no other: Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon (someone else who’s had a stellar year) of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. The script has Whedon’s wit all over it, it’s pure joy to watch Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford on screen together – they steal every scene they’re in and the kids play up to their genre roles very well. But the biggest reason this movie is on this list? It is so much fun – the twists and turns, the nods to the horror genre, there’s even a brilliant cameo to expect. So. Much. Fun.
I couldn’t ignore one of the biggest blockbusters of the year, or the chance to include more Whedon. It’s no easy feat balancing a movie with this many characters, or even devising a villain that can match each of them, and yet The Avengers Pulls this off and nails it with incredible confidence. It’s action packed, visually spectacular, well timed, and full with humour. We get Whedon’s trademark humour and his trademark one take long shots: one signifies how the group struggle to work together and another that shows how brilliantly they can work together. Many have called it a cliché, and played out, but for me it was the most fun I’ve had in the cinema in 2012.
The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan’s final instalment to his epic Batman trilogy didn’t disappoint. Although Bane doesn’t live up to the mastery of The Joker in The Dark Knight, he is a formidable villain – the opening airplane sequence in the Dark Knight Rises is breathtaking and sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Tom Hardy makes for a seriously terrifying opponent to Bale’s excellent as ever Batman, with Joseph Godon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard playing John Blake, Selina Kyle and ‘Miranda Tate’ respectively, this movie has some seriously good talent involved. Indeed it’s not perfect; there are plot holes, but for a movie that’s almost 3 hours long there’s never a dull moment.
The Hunger Games
21 Jump Street
The Amazing Spider-Man