Best movies of 2012!
Most of us (well, approaching 60%) have gotten used to the whole idea of changing the fourth digit when we write our dates. At the same time, not all of 2012′s films are on DVD and not all of its events have yet faded away, and so before the year officially dips below the black horizon to rise in the hazy Moscow of memory, let’s celebrate the best objects of culture that it had to offer.
Well, movies specifically. Readers must rely on some other contributor to tell them what the best book, show, game, or album of the year happened to be, as I don’t keep up with all that. I prefer books and games from the halcyon days of whenever, and I don’t watch TV. As for modern music – I don’t know, I’m staying in my shell until I can be sure I’ll never hear “Gangham Style” ever again.
Before I get started on the Top 5, I first need a List of Shame, or, alternatively, the Top 5 Trailers for Movies Made in 2012. These are movies that look absolutely amazing but are inaccessible to me due to my low funds, my lack of initiative or the movie’s general obscurity.
Number 5: Django Unchained
I’m kind of timid about anything done by Tarantino beyond Jackie Brown, but I would love to watch this. And yet I haven’t, and I probably won’t – at least not until it comes out on DVD.
Number 4: The Master
This movie – I heard about it, and I got real excited for it, and it came and went without a whisper. I didn’t hear anything about it. I think it’s been released already – I know it’s classified as a 2012 movie. Some strange kind of mystery.
Number 3: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Actually, looking at the trailer again, I don’t know why I was so excited for this movie. It was showing at the Charles in Baltimore for a little while, but I had insufficient zeal to drag my parents down to the theater for an hour and a half. Soon it’ll come out on DVD, and I’ll get a hold of it. Until then, regards.
Number 2: Seven Psychopaths
This movie wasn’t in theaters long enough for me to see it. It left within three weeks. Now it’s on DVD, and I was thinking about delaying this list another week just so I could rent it, but I decided I couldn’t delay forever. It wouldn’t have made the list anyway.
Number 1: Nick – A Day In the Life of America’s Favorite Sweetheart
(Note: The trailer is from 2011, but the movie itself was released on January 6, 2012, so it gets to be on this list.)
Herein lies the tragedy in not owning a Google Wallet. This little gem – about an amateur filmmaker who grows obsessed with a guy named Nick and decides to film an entire day in his life - is available on Youtube for $4.00. I could pay that price, but I have – no – way – to. The movie will remain forever concealed to me. Someone needs to give this man a budget, a flat in Hollywood, a good review, anything, so he can make movies the public can find.
And now, for the actual list:
Number 5: The Hobbit
(To remove any chance of a lawsuit, I’m absconding movie stills, clips, posters etc. and just painting the movies’ titles non-copyright colors. Hobbit is olive green. Like it?)
Well, all right, this movie is long, and it’s not always captivating, and it has a hard time reconciling Tolkien’s fairy-tale style with Peter Jackson’s need for scope, and it’s not always faithful to the book. Yes. Fine. Whatever. But it has the same gorgeous scenery as in Lord of the Rings, except on a grander and gorgeous-er scale – New Zealand is a lot bigger than it appears on the globe, what with enough craggy fields, sweeping grassscapes and giant mountains burning up in the sunrise to fund 3 LOTR movies and (apparently) 3 Hobbit ones. Despite all its flaws, Hobbit deserves a place on this list.
Number 4: The Hunger Games
This movie did something that I didn’t think possible with a YA-novel adaptation: it grabbed for controversy and became a topic of discussion. TV is tapping into our love for youth and death to keep the populace distracted from actual issues? Heavy, man. What’s most impressive is that the movie is giving this message to the teens and tweens of America, who are usually regarded as exploitable idiots by Hollywood moguls.
I also love the faux quality of the romance between Katniss and Peeta. I have a theory which says that was intentional: in the book they start out pretending their love and that leads them to fall for each other for real, but in the movie they were conning the cameras the whole time. They just wanted donations. And the “Romeo and Juliet”-style ending? That wasn’t for love. That was just to annoy the government.
Number 3: Skyfall
I haven’t seen a boatload of James Bond movies, a fact I touched upon a while ago with my You Only Live Twice review. But this one above all of them stands up as an ordinary movie. There’s good action, a few good surprises, and just enough over-the-top stunts to let you call it Bond. The villain isn’t as deranged as his predecessors, but he’s still fear-inducing (as played by the ever-awesome Javier Bardem).
Number 2: Lincoln
(You can’t even tell what color that is, can you? Kind of brownish, kind of reddish. I give you the highest service.)
Even if you hate every Spielberg film previous to this, you’ll find something to love in Lincoln. That’s all I really need to say on the subject.
Number 1: Moonrise Kingdom
Well. Yeah. Incredible writing, incredible-looking. Great scenery and plenty of drama fitting into just 90 minutes (just about every other release this year was over 2 hours – I have no idea why). The characters, plot etc. were just fantastic, but those you can just look up – the real reason to watch the movie is the spectacular wilderness setting. The forests, the rocky gorges descending into the river, the dozens of animal faces crowding the church building, the misty beaches.
And I ought to wrap up now as my post has hit the gregarious length of 1000+ words. Seven hundred words over and a month too late – which is my writing style, in a nutshell. I should do a Top 20 Movies of 1967 list sometime just to trip you all up.