Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Film List

Here are the 10 best films, in my opinion, released in 2012. For me it's been a bit of a lean year for films but then again there is a lot that I haven't caught in the cinema  It should also be noted that I have not yet seen The Master and I'm sure that will walk into the top ten once I see it later this week.

Honourable Mentions

The Shining - Not making the top ten because it's a re-release but this year saw a UK cinema showing of the US version of The Shining, a whopping twenty odd minutes longer than the previously released UK version. To be honest I didn't really notice 20 minutes of extra stuff but who cares because I got to see The Shining on a big screen! I don't need to tell anyone how brilliant this film is.

John Carter - Came in for a lot of stick but I really enjoyed my trip to watch this. Obviously a lot of the story has been pillaged  by many other big sci-fi films that made it to the big screen first (Star Wars a prime example) so large parts of this felt familiar but it didn't dampen it for me personally. Shit looked pretty on a big ass screen too.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Mel Gibson is a horrible, racist c*nt but he does have a lot of great films on his CV. How I Spent... is an absolutely insane actioner set in a Mexican prison and featuring Gibson at his dickish best. An absurd movie that requires no thinking whatsoever, just good fun.

Top Ten

You can't not admire this man
10) Bill Cunningham, New York - As recommended by Paul Iannacchino on these here pages, this film is about an extremely likable 80-something fashion photographer for the New York Times.  It's an inspiring and heart-warming film that documents Bill's passion for what he does, a man who truly lives for his art.

His head is on fire!
9) Ghost Rider 2 -  I told you it was a lean year, not actually a great film but it was damn good fun. Nic Cage was yelling and his head kept going on fire there are times that I don't need much more than that. Not something I'm every likely to watch again but for the duration of the run-time I laughed and that can't be a bad thing.
Surprisingly heart-warming
8) Goon - Another movie that isn't exactly a classic but I've included it because of how unexpectedly good it was. My friend and I rented this on account of us having spent way too long in the video store without choosing something so we grabbed what was to hand. We were expecting a low key, gross out, not very funny comedy and yet we got a sweet, slapsticky, warm hearted tale of a stupid bouncer trying to find his place in the world. A very deceiving marketing campaign really didn't do this film any justice.
Got his Bruce Willis face on there
7) Looper - Sci-fi done well and with added Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis. It doesn't get bogged down with explaining the how of the time travel in the film and just gets on with the actual story, which I appreciated. It's an interesting take on the future and whilst it isn't perfect it's nice to have an intelligently made film that is so unashamedly sci-fi.
Greatest poster ever
6) Manborg - From Astron 6, the creative geniuses behind the amazing Father's Day and the epically brilliant Lazer Ghosts 2: Return to Laser Cove comes the story of a dead soldier brought back to life as a cyborg to battle hell on Earth and to defeat the evil Draculon! Low budget film making at it's best what it lacks in production value it more than makes up for with laugh out loud funny, and straight up passion. Check the trailer below and buy the DVD these guys deserve all of your money.

A classic tale told well
5) Undefeated - I should point out that I love a good sports movie from We Are Marshall to Hard Ball and everything in between, I'll watch any of them. We all know how every single one of them ends but there is so much natural drama in sports that films about sport prove to be an easy watch it also helps that so often the films are so feel good. This documentary tells the standard story of an underfunded, underprivileged, perennial loser high school football team as they undergo a reversal of fortunes. Inspiring stuff and I'm not gonna lie the things that happen with Money damn near made me well up.
This man can do sinister
4) Killer Joe - Wickedly funny and extremely dark tale of son's attempt to have his mother offed by Matthew McConaughey's insane killer for hire. Contains one of the most disturbing scenes in recent history. It's nice to see McConaughey reminding everyone what he is capable of when he isn't picking up chick flick cheques. The rest of the cast is superb too and it's nice to see Billy Friedkin nailing it again.

3) The Imposter - Bart Layton's amazing documentary (I know that's three and I'm not trying to be all high brow it's just that this year was a good year for documentaries) about the disappearance of a 13 year old boy from Texas and his subsequent reappearance in Spain. Very cinematic for a documentary, it leaves you with questions in the same way Capturing The Friedmans did and really covers all angles in a truly astonishing story. I won't go into too much detail about it as much like the equally brilliant shockumentary Catfish it really needs to be seen to be believed.

"There, there Affleck we can't all have glorious white beards!"
2) Argo - God bless Affleck, talented son of a bitch that he is. See previous review for more info but know that this shit is incredible just like a hirsute Ben Affleck.
Does what it says on the poster
1) The Raid - This was the best film of the year for me, downright incredible. Police are going into an derelict apartment block in order to bring a ruthless criminal to justice unfortunately he lives on the top floor and all previous floors are occupied by nails criminals, living rent free, that protect the boss. 100 odd minutes of dudes getting smashed hard in the face and being smacked into walls.

Iko Uwais plays the rookie cop hero of the piece and that man knows how belt people around. I'd only previously seen Iko in the very entertaining Merantau Warrior (from the same director) but he's certainly one to watch as far as martial arts go. The film is so fast and action packed that you hardly get a break from the moment the police enter the building and the fight choreography is out of this world. Iko, as per Merantau Warrior, has such a painful looking style. He's a blur of elbows and knees and seems to revel in using the environment as a weapon. The real star of the show though is Yayan Ruhian as the big boss' loyal enforcer Mad Dog. His style is so rugged it's unreal, the rawness of him reminded me a lot of the nomad bad guy from Donnie Yen's Ip Man, every move he throws just looks brutal and like it would hurt an awful lot. The Mad Dog vs 2 fight in particular is absolutely astounding and the three styles from all involved are so contrasting and yet perfectly complementary to each other that I can only say thank to the director for filming it, I am forever in your debt sir.
Brutal, just brutal
The rest of the cast are superb too with a great turn from Ray Sahetapy as the boss Tama who plays his role perfectly with an unnerving laid-back, almost passive attitude for such a evil and ruthless individual. Joe Taslim who plays Jaka is worth mentioning too as his fighting style is so crisp and clean, almost effortless in his execution he's a damn good watch.

The other great thing about this film is that the director is Welsh! Now it would be my number one choice regardless of the director's nationality but the fact that a fellow countryman has gone out and made this brilliant film is the icing on the cake. We don't get too many chances to be proud of our country, hell not many know we're even here, but we can definitely be proud of Gareth Evans. All credit to him for opening up peoples eyes to Indonesian cinema and getting a subtitled film to be such a huge hit. No question about it, easily my film of the year.

Please go out and buy/rent these films and support the talented individuals that made them. The more you support the more these guys can make.

So those are my films of the years, just my opinion and that doesn't count for a great deal. If you agree or disagree then let me know in the comments section or feel free to tell me whatever I've missed out although I should mention that I did see Avengers and Dark Knight Rises and neither lived up to the hype for me so I wouldn't bother trying to change my mind on those two.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my Albums of The Year that will be up at some point tomorrow evening.



No comments:

Post a Comment