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RE: Top 10 Films of 2012

 
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RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 13/3/2012 7:21:47 PM   
Groovy Mule

 

Posts: 1098
Joined: 26/11/2005
It may still be worth a watch EB particularly if you like John Cusack as it really is his film.  I took against it for a number of reasons, mostly for the dialogue which is atrocious and wooden acting from the support, particularly Alice Eve.  Having said that Kermode made it his film of the week (admittedly in a pretty lacklustre week). 

I highly recommend Trishna (Michael Winterbottom, 8/10) though if it's playing anywhere near you.  The reworking of the Tess story by Thomas Hardy into modern day India works really well and despite the odd mis-step it swept me along with it.  I don't always get on with Michael Winterbottom's approach to filmmaking but this all felt very natural.  It is far and away Freida Pinto's best performance in my opinion and I though Riz Ahmed was good as well although some of the character plotting for his character goes a little off piste towards the end of the film.

It would make an interesting double bill with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 61
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 14/3/2012 5:31:32 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8751
Joined: 13/4/2006
Good stuff, if have to look for that at my local picturehouse

(in reply to Groovy Mule)
Post #: 62
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 14/3/2012 8:35:14 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh

quote:

ORIGINAL: Groovy Mule

The Raven 2/10

Worst film of the year so far ... Alice Eve is atrocious as Poe's love interest not helped by the script. Cusack is weighed by playing a thoroughly unlikeable character and there is a generally clunky feel resulting, I think, from the fact that Cusack's supporting cast are all Brits playing Americans. Some of the set pieces are suitably gruesome but fail to sufficiently enliven a leaden film.



That bad??? Worse than the Darkest Hour? Surely not!

I've that & safe house pencilled in for tomorrow, will get my thoughts up regarding those two as well as Marigold Hotel & Michael very soon.

_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to Groovy Mule)
Post #: 63
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 15/3/2012 12:11:26 AM   
Groovy Mule

 

Posts: 1098
Joined: 26/11/2005
Ah, now Michael I saw at the London Film Festival last year. I liked it (as much as you can like a film like this, perhaps appreciated it would be a better phrase) and I'd like to see it again. I took issue with the ending which I won't discuss here but the performance of the young boy is astonishing. There was a Q&A with the director Markus Schleinzer where he talked about how he approached the subject matter with the child and his family which was really interesting.

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 64
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 15/3/2012 7:35:12 AM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
Without giving too much away in my review, all the way through I was thinking "you know, this is very Michael Haneke" and what do you know, not only does his name pop up in the thanks credits at the end, I then learn in an interview I read afterwards that Schleinzer was his casting director for around a decade.

Even though it felt a bit Haneke-lite, I did like it - but as you said more in an admiring sort of way.

_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to Groovy Mule)
Post #: 65
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 21/3/2012 11:58:03 AM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
Better update this before I give myself too much to do.

MICHAEL

It's curious that Markus Schleiner worked as casting director on the three Haneke films The Piano Teacher, The Time Of The Wolf & The White Ribbon, as his directorial debut owes a great deal to various works by the Austrian auteur - specifically in the cold, clinical & occasionally ambiguous style Michael practices in. For a film dealing with paedophilia (or possibly child-kidnapping with a man-child angle?), it's impressively restrained in its approach - painting a non sensationalist portrayal of a reserved man living a relatively banal existence with the darkest of personal secrets. Anyone familiar with the very best Haneke however will find its ambiguity very predictable, whilst in the grand scheme of things it really amounts to little more than a mundane look at the life of a possible paedophile - something which has been relatively well covered before in the films of Todd Solondz amongst others. There is also a decent chunk of the film dedicated to a hospital which is probably there to bridge the closing stages, yet feels largely unnecessary - something that's not exactly positive for a 90 minute film. Admirable & uncomfortable viewing, yet overall lacks a distinctive voice of its own. The performances from the two leads however are excellent.
6/10

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL


Tiptoes on the edge of tedium throughout, yet the performances from the very able cast keep it together. The stories involving Dench, Nighy, Wilton & Wilkinson work quite well and had Marigold Hotel focussed on them alone, a much more successful & affecting feature would have been the case. It is however bogged down by the plot lines of the elderly singletons, an unconvincing character transformation for Maggie Smith and Patel's entire piece almost feels like sub-standard Slumdog. Perfectly fine for its demographic, but no more than that.
5/10

THE RAVEN


A distinctly average murder mystery thriller lacking in any actual mystery or thrills to jangle the nerves. Cusack makes a decent Poe, but bar the odd witty line is given very little to do that could be considered interesting. Evans and Eve offer lacklustre support (it's never a good sign when you're more pre-occupied by her two front teeth rather than her coffin-based predicament), whilst Gleeson's talents are wasted on a father figure characterised in cliche. The end credit sequences also look like they belong in a Fincher serial killer film, rather than an extremely ordinary one set in 19th century Baltimore.
3.5/10


IN DARKNESS


There are a number of things to appreciate about this Polish-set WWII feature. It's interesting to see that the main protagonist's act of Schindler-esque decency is initially motivated by the prospect of his pockets being filled rather than anything humanitarian. It's admirable that in order to raise the stakes of his inner conflict, the jewish people he opts to help are largely painted as selfish, greedy & ungrateful individuals whom most people would struggle to get out of bed for - never mind shield them from Nazi occupation. In a visual sense, the contrast between the darkness of the sewers compared to the brightness of the outdoors is also very impressive - adding a lot to the claustrophobic feeling of what it would be like to be trapped underground for fourteen months or the liberating feeling of simply coming up from below. Even the small things such as the children's near playful approach to dealing with rats subtly displays the adjustment the characters have made to their dank surroundings. Where it falters comes from its running time (it's around 30 minutes too long), its success in projecting the lapses of time (we tend to rely on dialogue rather than anything else in order to get a sense that months have passed between scenes) and the fact that there are four different sex scenes - all of which are completely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things (although perhaps there's an argument that in doing so it shows how their circumstance have reduced the hiding Jews to their most primitive form of desire, whilst one plot thread does emerge from an act of intimacy). Baggy overall, but absolutely not without merit.
6.5/10

BEL-AMI


Despite having a decent cast & attempting to be a film about the trappings of social climbing in the turn of 20th century France, this is a desperately shambolic work that's badly directed, poorly written, inconsistently performed and horribly edited. Pattison (a guy who has the potential to go onto good things) really struggles here in convincing as a man eager to start making a name for himself in the Parisian social hierarchy after being chewed up by colonial war and fails to carry the film. The supporting cast try their hardest (Kristen Scott Thomas the pick of the bunch) but are let down by some very poor decision making made both from the directors chair (two of which to be precise) and the editing room. The structure of the plot is completely devoid of coherency as well, resulting in all of the beats feeling extremely unnatural. Much like Patinson's character, this is a film that has aspirations of being something profound, yet ultimately is hindered by delusions of grandeur instead. Rubbish.
2.5/10


WE BOUGHT A ZOO

Anyone familiar with bland ITV African drama Wild At Heart will see a lot of similarities with Cameron Crowe's latest. Yet, Crowe has always been a director that just manages to get away with overwhelming sentiment without resorting the viewer into grabbing the sick bucket. In this case, he largely has Damon (an actor who can play both the every man and the action man in his sleep)to thank for that - who delivers a performance that'll make you care for the overall fates of those involved and gives the odd bit of clunky dialogue more gravitas that it actually deserves. Safe, inoffensive and light family entertainment with some pretty animals and is perfectly pleasant, yet is by no means one of Crowe's better works.
5.5/10

So yeah, March hasn't been a particularly great month for new releases. Hopefully The Kid With A Bike, The Hunger Games & Once Upon A Time In Anatolia will change that. Also likely to check out buddy cop thingy 21 Jump Street and box office disaster John Carter as well.

After getting past my initial reservations, The Muppets is bumped up to a 7.5 on a second viewing - laughed more the 2nd time and the songs are just absolutely wonderful (some of the very best from any Muppet film). I could also probably watch Amy Adams do absolutely anything, yet remain completely besotted by her as well.

_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 66
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 22/3/2012 8:28:15 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8751
Joined: 13/4/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

Better update this before I give myself too much to do.

MICHAEL

It's curious that Markus Schleiner worked as casting director on the three Haneke films The Piano Teacher, The Time Of The Wolf & The White Ribbon, as his directorial debut owes a great deal to various works by the Austrian auteur - specifically in the cold, clinical & occasionally ambiguous style Michael practices in. For a film dealing with paedophilia (or possibly child-kidnapping with a man-child angle?), it's impressively restrained in its approach - painting a non sensationalist portrayal of a reserved man living a relatively banal existence with the darkest of personal secrets. Anyone familiar with the very best Haneke however will find its ambiguity very predictable, whilst in the grand scheme of things it really amounts to little more than a mundane look at the life of a possible paedophile - something which has been relatively well covered before in the films of Todd Solondz amongst others. There is also a decent chunk of the film dedicated to a hospital which is probably there to bridge the closing stages, yet feels largely unnecessary - something that's not exactly positive for a 90 minute film. Admirable & uncomfortable viewing, yet overall lacks a distinctive voice of its own. The performances from the two leads however are excellent.
6/10

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL


Tiptoes on the edge of tedium throughout, yet the performances from the very able cast keep it together. The stories involving Dench, Nighy, Wilton & Wilkinson work quite well and had Marigold Hotel focussed on them alone, a much more successful & affecting feature would have been the case. It is however bogged down by the plot lines of the elderly singletons, an unconvincing character transformation for Maggie Smith and Patel's entire piece almost feels like sub-standard Slumdog. Perfectly fine for its demographic, but no more than that.
5/10

THE RAVEN


A distinctly average murder mystery thriller lacking in any actual mystery or thrills to jangle the nerves. Cusack makes a decent Poe, but bar the odd witty line is given very little to do that could be considered interesting. Evans and Eve offer lacklustre support (it's never a good sign when you're more pre-occupied by her two front teeth rather than her coffin-based predicament), whilst Gleeson's talents are wasted on a father figure characterised in cliche. The end credit sequences also look like they belong in a Fincher serial killer film, rather than an extremely ordinary one set in 19th century Baltimore.
3.5/10


IN DARKNESS


There are a number of things to appreciate about this Polish-set WWII feature. It's interesting to see that the main protagonist's act of Schindler-esque decency is initially motivated by the prospect of his pockets being filled rather than anything humanitarian. It's admirable that in order to raise the stakes of his inner conflict, the jewish people he opts to help are largely painted as selfish, greedy & ungrateful individuals whom most people would struggle to get out of bed for - never mind shield them from Nazi occupation. In a visual sense, the contrast between the darkness of the sewers compared to the brightness of the outdoors is also very impressive - adding a lot to the claustrophobic feeling of what it would be like to be trapped underground for fourteen months or the liberating feeling of simply coming up from below. Even the small things such as the children's near playful approach to dealing with rats subtly displays the adjustment the characters have made to their dank surroundings. Where it falters comes from its running time (it's around 30 minutes too long), its success in projecting the lapses of time (we tend to rely on dialogue rather than anything else in order to get a sense that months have passed between scenes) and the fact that there are four different sex scenes - all of which are completely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things (although perhaps there's an argument that in doing so it shows how their circumstance have reduced the hiding Jews to their most primitive form of desire, whilst one plot thread does emerge from an act of intimacy). Baggy overall, but absolutely not without merit.
6.5/10

BEL-AMI


Despite having a decent cast & attempting to be a film about the trappings of social climbing in the turn of 20th century France, this is a desperately shambolic work that's badly directed, poorly written, inconsistently performed and horribly edited. Pattison (a guy who has the potential to go onto good things) really struggles here in convincing as a man eager to start making a name for himself in the Parisian social hierarchy after being chewed up by colonial war and fails to carry the film. The supporting cast try their hardest (Kristen Scott Thomas the pick of the bunch) but are let down by some very poor decision making made both from the directors chair (two of which to be precise) and the editing room. The structure of the plot is completely devoid of coherency as well, resulting in all of the beats feeling extremely unnatural. Much like Patinson's character, this is a film that has aspirations of being something profound, yet ultimately is hindered by delusions of grandeur instead. Rubbish.
2.5/10


WE BOUGHT A ZOO

Anyone familiar with bland ITV African drama Wild At Heart will see a lot of similarities with Cameron Crowe's latest. Yet, Crowe has always been a director that just manages to get away with overwhelming sentiment without resorting the viewer into grabbing the sick bucket. In this case, he largely has Damon (an actor who can play both the every man and the action man in his sleep)to thank for that - who delivers a performance that'll make you care for the overall fates of those involved and gives the odd bit of clunky dialogue more gravitas that it actually deserves. Safe, inoffensive and light family entertainment with some pretty animals and is perfectly pleasant, yet is by no means one of Crowe's better works.
5.5/10

So yeah, March hasn't been a particularly great month for new releases. Hopefully The Kid With A Bike, The Hunger Games & Once Upon A Time In Anatolia will change that. Also likely to check out buddy cop thingy 21 Jump Street and box office disaster John Carter as well.

After getting past my initial reservations, The Muppets is bumped up to a 7.5 on a second viewing - laughed more the 2nd time and the songs are just absolutely wonderful (some of the very best from any Muppet film). I could also probably watch Amy Adams do absolutely anything, yet remain completely besotted by her as well.

Yeah! Well done on seeing sense at last!

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 67
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 24/3/2012 7:13:51 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005
Qwerthy, good to read you share my love/lust for Amy Adams?

THE RAVEN
The stories of Edgar Allan Poe have been a fertile source of inspiration for movie makers for many decades, most notably the Roger Corman-produced series in the late 1950s and 60s usually starring Vincent Price, but it has now been a while, and few major productions have tackled his work, despite the richness of his undoubtedly grim and doom-laden but incredibly compelling tales. Well, now we have The Raven, which by the way is nothing to do with either the 1935 nor the 1963 movies of that name. Instead of adapting a Poe story, we have the character of Poe himself placed into the rather familiar Tenebrae/Basic Instinct gimmick of a murderer using methods from a writer’s stories to kill his/ her victims. This allows the filmmakers to stage variations on famous moments from Poe tales, from The Tell-Tale Heart to The Masque Of The Red Death to an especially gory version of The Pit And The Pendulum, though as with a few other scenes the silly CG blood negatives against any full effectiveness. Despite working in the odd moment from Poe’s life though, such as how he died, there is little feeling of his work and the film proceeds for the most part like a perfectly okay but unremarkable serial killer thriller. John Cusack appears to be channelling Robert Downey Jnr’s Sherlock Holmes, while overall the movie is very reminiscent of From Hell in look and feel. Generally it’s solid fare, certainly an enjoyable couple of hours and better than most reviews would have you believe [do critics seem to have it in for James McTeigue's enjoyable films or what?], but in the end rather forgettable, unlike any one of Poe’s wonderful tales which will remain stuck in the brain and haunt you weeks after you’ve read them.
6.5/10

THE DEVIL INSIDE
Just when you think the Found Footage subgenre has ran out of steam, every now and again a good one comes along like Chronicle, which uses the basic idea well and does new things with it. So now we have The Devil Inside, which, following The Last Exorcism, is actually the second Found Footage movie to be based on demonic possession. Its has a rather bad reception, and I don’t really see why; the early scenes are ominous and create strong tension and the lengthy exorcism sequences are some of the most intense put on screen, aided immensely by the acting by the cast members involved, but then the acting overall is pretty strong. Of course the Shaky Cam gets rather excessive – why is it the folk doing the recording in these movies are such bad cameramen – but the movie works for the most part in making you believe what you are watching, though it’s not quite as scary as the trailer made out. Which brings me to the ending, which seems to have aroused most people’s anger, and I just don’t understand it. It’s a Found Footage film folks, it is the sort of ending you would expect! You could maybe say that it should have been given more build up; some have also complained about the lack of a third act, and, while I would disagree with that too, the third act we have is a little weak compared with what has come before. Overall though, a rather underrated and underappreciated film, if in the end nothing special.
7/10

WE BOUGHT A ZOO
Review in Review thread, but in short, the first Cameron Crowe film I have really liked, its odd mixture of downbeat realism and schmaltzy Hollywood fantasy really working well and resulting in a quite uplifting movie, even if in the end there's nothing remarkable about it.
8/10




< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 24/3/2012 7:20:36 PM >


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 68
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 25/3/2012 1:40:53 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
The Descendants- 9
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel- 8
A Monster in Paris- 7.5

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 69
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 1/4/2012 11:20:50 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8751
Joined: 13/4/2006
The Descendants (Alexander Payne, 115 Mins) 8/10
Clooney gives a tender awards worthy performance, and there are some nicely judged supporting parts, the cinematopaghy and music is lightly effecting, in classic Payne fashion the comedy is broad at times pitched between straight and something darker, the script effectively shifts between the two. The real key to the film is that it has that emotionally pay off, as the relationship between the characters is nicely built up throughout the film, so that when you get the sadder moments at the end, you really buy them. Maybe not as great as Sideways, but its a close second.

Like Crazy (Drake Doremus, 90 Mins) 7/10
A well crafted romantic drama, with two very strong leads, it also benefits from its low key tone and naturalistic feel, as the events unfold in a very raw, relastic way. The issues I had with it was that I didn't find the central couple very likeable, they were very imanture and over the top, therefore I didn't really want them to end up together, also by the end the plot does tie itself into a few too many knots as the film struggles to find an ending. The end itself proved nicely ambigius however.

Carnage (Roman Polanski, 80 Mins) 7.5/10
One of those cases where a great cast of modern actors have gotten together in a tight space, and have a blast of a time, feeding off one another and it has resulted in a some great ripe fun. The device of these stuffy modern class characters slowly combusting within a apartment is an effective concerpt. The tension is slowly built up, and the set pieces very sharp, all four performances are great, but I epsically enjoyed Waltz and Reily's turns. The material is a bit limited, but cast and director skillfully work within those limations.

A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg, 100 Mins) 5.5/10(
A lot has been made of Knightly's malodramatic performance and unconvincing acent, but the truth is that there are far greater flaws to here. Firstly it never gets over the fact that it came from a stage, and does lack a certain cinematic life to it, also unless you have a great knowledge of the subject matter then you might struggle to understand much of it, and film does not do a great deal to make it accessible to those who do not. At times the whole thing does feel rather too flat. A rare mis-fire from Cronenberg.

Coming up I should be seeing Rampart, Woman in the Fifth, BEMH and Hunger Games.

(in reply to chambanzi)
Post #: 70
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 2/4/2012 2:24:36 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
quote:

ORIGINAL: ElephantBoy



A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg, 100 Mins) 5.5/10(
A lot has been made of Knightly's malodramatic performance and unconvincing acent, but the truth is that there are far greater flaws to here. Firstly it never gets over the fact that it came from a stage, and does lack a certain cinematic life to it, also unless you have a great knowledge of the subject matter then you might struggle to understand much of it, and film does not do a great deal to make it accessible to those who do not. At times the whole thing does feel rather too flat. A rare mis-fire from Cronenberg.



Indeed, perhaps just a little too much 'letter' action.

Quick reviews coming up, including some heavy hitters...and...

JOHN CARTER

Don't let the sympathisers fool you. It's rubbish. Not hateful or heartless rubbish, but long, boring & needlessly expensive rubbish. It may originate from the grandaddy of space opera, but the fact it took nearly or around 100 years for an adaptation to materialise is a problem as there is nothing in JC that offers a thrill or a surprise that hasn't been displayed in Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Star Wars, Avatar or various other similar efforts. On the evidence displayed, there is also absolutely no justification for the huge budget (bigger than Cameron's Dances With Smurfs & even the last Transformers film) and aside from the green alien thingys the likes of Willem Dafoe & Samantha Morton voice, you'll struggle to figure out where that 250 million production budget went. It certainly didn't go to the cast anyway, as the likes of Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West & James Purefoy look like they're paying with their lives to appear - all fixating a constant look of terrified embarrassment throughout. Tyler Kitsch does a good job of sucking the life out of the screen at every given moment, Lynn Collins can certainly wear a space princess dress very well, whilst dial-a-baddie Mark Strong is the best thing in it without even having to try. As for Andrew "I wouldn't know what to do with $5 million" Stanton, he better get used to smaller budgets. As his cavalier approach in using a huge level of finance for a disengaging, incoherent & long winded "adventure" is not only in no way merited, it has now made it even less likely for an expensive vehicle to be anything other than a new instalment in a well-worn money making franchise. That said, Disney did him no favours by executing a horrendous marketing plan (the lack of "of Mars" in the title is massively bewildering) and at least the green alien thingys look nicely rendered...
3/10


BOMBAY BEACH

Interesting little documentary about an impoverished seaside town inhabited by social misfits seeking either refuge or redemption from a troubled back story, although it’s curious that it’s “dream-like” quality seems to have somehow become a euphemism for being shot out of focus – suggesting that there’s an inherent bias amongst some critics for certain fare compared to others. I was prepared to let this go though as the footage captured throughout feels incredibly genuine and didn’t at any moment feel staged - that is however until the very end, which includes a flight of fancy set piece involving a fire engine that’s in clear defiance of all the authenticity it’s managed to build in the previous ninety minutes and feels needlessly added on to its already music video-esque nature.
6/10

THE KID WITH A BIKE
Once again a fairly innocuous title results in an absolute riveting piece by the Dardenne Brothers that’s up there with their very best. Despite containing a couple of plot incidents that don’t quite ring true compared to the rest of the scenes (asking Cecile de France to stay with her on weekends, “it’s him or me”), TKWAB is compensated by an incredibly authentic performance from the young lad who leads the film brilliantly – evoking fury, vulnerability & believability in every moment he inhabits the screen (which is virtually every scene). The comparisons with Kes are certainly valid, yet TKWAB offers more optimism than Loach’s piece (signified by the transformation in Doret’s character which is beautifully handled) and is far more cinematic. A favourite from the 2011 festival circuit can now be considered as one the best releases of 2012.
8/10


THE HUNGER GAMES

Contrary to some media hyperbole, it is certainly not the best science fiction film since The Matrix (I would argue that there have been better fare since the Wachowski’s first anyway), but to dismiss The Hunger Games as Battle Royale-lite would still be doing it a massive disservice - as it's a film more about the ills of disposable celebrity culture than children forced to massacre one another . The design of the nightmarish Vivian Westwood-like future might not fully convince, but thanks to Jennifer Lawrence the predicament of Katniss Everdeen absolutely does - carrying the film wonderfully on her relatively young shoulders and ensuring that a new and successful teenage franchise is born. Hugely entertaining despite its running time, immensely unsettling despite its aimed demographic and already I’m looking forward immeasurably to Catching Fire. The best mainstream film of 2012 so far.
7.5/10

INTO THE ABYSS: A TALE OF DEATH, A TALE OF LIFE

A deeply moving documentary based around the events of a terrible crime, death row and capital punishment itself which again displays Herzog as a master of tackling big universal themes by focusing on a small personal story. Unlike a number of his previous documentaries, his choice to refrain from using his own narration and allow both the interviewees and the images to speak for themselves is a wise one, as it ensures objectivity dominates rather than his own agreeable yet ultimately subjective point of view. Whilst it may also be a work constructed around little more a series of talking heads, the subjects’ vivid recollections of specific scenarios are immensely powerful, unmistakably tragic and genuinely upsetting in places – yet as Herzog discovered himself, is as much about a celebration of the fragility of life as it is about the inevitability of death. A film that absolutely lives up to its title, is Herzog’s best since Grizzly Man and also ranks proudly amongst his very best work - magnificent.
9/10


Over the next week, I'll be checking out Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists, 21 Jump Street & Le Harve.

< Message edited by Qwerty Norris -- 2/4/2012 4:40:17 PM >


_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 71
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 4/4/2012 5:38:28 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005
Longer reviews of the second and third films elsewhere.

WRATH OF THE TITANS

Though certainly not great, I found this is a significant improvement on the dreary first movie, [not to mention the horrid Immortals]. This one seems to remember to actually be fun and, while the script has its problems, the action and effects are pretty spectacular, especially the climactic Kronos scenes which are CGT spectacle at it's very best. Once again though, as with so many films at the moment, it is severly let down by the horrible way in which lots of the action is shot. God forbid we should be able to actually SEE what is going on!

6/10



PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS

Though the usual Aardman attention to detail is present and you cannot help but admire the craftmanship, this is something of a disappointment. The story degenerates into mediocrity and worst of all, the majority of the humour just falls flat, with most of the supposed laughs either not working at all or just raising a chuckle. Some wonderful moments of surrealism do come along, and you've never seen Quen Victoria portrayed like this, but I wonder if people, especially critics, are praising this to the skies just because it's Aardman?

6.5/10



THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

And another disappointment. A kind of critique of the modern horror genre, it begins very well and is undoubtably fun throughout, but loses its way as it gets supposedly more and more 'clever'. It is increasingly hard to tell what the writers are trying to say and, though there is a real sense of terror at times in the first half, it degenerates into cheap laughs and weak use of a premise that has just not been thought through. Certainly entertaining while you watch it, and for some that will be enough, but afterwards?.....

6.5/10


< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 4/4/2012 5:39:48 PM >


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 72
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 8/4/2012 6:13:10 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera


PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS

Though the usual Aardman attention to detail is present and you cannot help but admire the craftmanship, this is something of a disappointment. The story degenerates into mediocrity and worst of all, the majority of the humour just falls flat, with most of the supposed laughs either not working at all or just raising a chuckle. Some wonderful moments of surrealism do come along, and you've never seen Quen Victoria portrayed like this, but I wonder if people, especially critics, are praising this to the skies just because it's Aardman?

6.5/10



It's a fair point, as I've always found the narrative & characterisation of aardman works secondary to their design & detail (that for me explains why their stop-motion stuff is far better than their CGI-based examples). Then again, it's the design & detail of theirs that I adore. So....

THE PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS

Slight narrative & characterisation compensated by glorious animation & attention to detail (has there ever been a better name for an ammuntion shop than 'Napoleon Blownapart'? ). Even modest Aardman is better than most animation or children's fare.


FOUR ARRRS!

or...7/10


ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA

A slow-paced (yet never dull) take on the crime epic that is minimal in incident yet rich in subtext. Not just a depiction of the stone-cold reality of searching for a half-buried corpse in the middle of nowhere on the darkest of nights. OUATIA is just as much about the depictions & contrasting characteristics between urban & rural Turkish life, the absurdities of police procedure, the prejudices between the ethnicities, the rapport between the accused & the accuser and the absence of female influence - all of which is anchored by precise direction, stunning photography & beautifully measured performances. The lack of conventional narrative motifs will inevitably make it difficult for some to engage with, but that is ultimately their problem. A fine introduction to the work of Nuri Bilge Ceylan & a superb example of Turkish cinema.
8.5/10

Over the next week or so, I'll be checking out average looking thriller with the new superman The Cold Light Of Day, Paul Sorrentino's latest This Must Be The Place, relatively poor-looking Snow White adaptation Mirror Mirror, French effort Le Havre, board game adaptation in the guise of more alien nonsense in Battleship, buddy cop thingy 21 Jump Street & Scandinavian thriller Headhunters.

_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 73
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 12/4/2012 5:13:07 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8751
Joined: 13/4/2006
The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 143 Mins) 7/10
Given that I knew very little about this coming in, and didn't know what to expect I would have to conclude that it exceeded my expections. I was pleased to see that rather than dumb it down for a main stream audience, they stayed true to the novels dark, disturbing vision. For the most part this was an intense, visually intertesting slice of entertainment, with some sharp obseravetions on reality TV/celebrity culture, and very strong cast from top to bottom. Jennifer Lawerence gave another confident, gritty performance which really made you care about her character and the story, and Woody Harrelson was a blast as the sly, yet sinister trainer. It was far from perfect, but I have two main complaints, firstly it was a bit too long, or at least certain scenes in the first half of the movie either needed to be cut out or were a bit too long and needed to be shortened, some of the build up to the games, just felt like back story which didn't add a lot, in novel form it maybe works than on film, the overall effect is that by the you reach the games, you already feel like you have been watching a long film, so the impact isn't quite as great. Also at times it was a little too sentimental and prechy which maybe took the sting out of it. Overall very impressive and like QN I really look forward to part two.

Woman in the Fifth (Pawel Pawlikowski, 83 Mins) 4.5/10
Really naff euro thriller with ambitions of being like Frantic, but lacking in that films atmosphere or plot. Ethan Hawke is totally miscast in the lead role as the american writer struggling with inner-demons and Kristin Scott Thomas is wasted in a clitched femme fatale role as his lover. The story starts of silly, and just gets worse from there, with unbelievable plot devolpments and lame twists. I never believed in the central character or cared about what he was going, the pacing was all off and worse of all there was little or no supense. Poor.

Coming up I should be seeing Coriolanus, Cabin in the Woods, Trishna and I will do my best to catch up with the likes of Rampart, The Raven and Martha, Marcy and May Marlene.

(in reply to Groovy Mule)
Post #: 74
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 12/4/2012 9:21:52 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh

quote:

ORIGINAL: ElephantBoy

Coming up I should be seeing Coriolanus, Cabin in the Woods, Trishna and I will do my best to catch up with the likes of Rampart, The Raven and Martha, Marcy and May Marlene.


Believe me, you really don't need to.

Disappointed to hear The Woman In The Fifth is poor, as I liked Pawlikowski's previous (My Summer Of Love) & would have given it a chance on that basis.

THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY (Mabrouk El Mechri)

bland (Adjective):

1. Lacking strong features or characteristics and therefore uninteresting.
2. (of food or drink) Mild or insipid.
3. Henry Cavill
2.5/10


21 JUMP STREET (Phil Lord & Chris Miller)

Very dumb but perfectly reasonable mainstream comedy with a handful of laughs - of which Channing Tatum gets them all. The drugs scene in particular is an inspired practice in buffoonery,
5.5/10


HEADHUNTERS (Morten Tyldum)

Very decent nuts & bolts thriller that again shows Hollywood how they should be making heavily contrived but always entertaining films of this kind. Nice to see the Kings Slayer pop up in it, whilst the tractor scene is surprisingly hilarious.
6.5/10

Tomorrow, I along with my sister & my other unlimited card cronies will be going on a bit of a marathon - with Battleship, Mirror Mirror, This Must Be The Place & The Cabin In The Woods all on the agenda.

It could be a very testing day!


_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 75
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 19/4/2012 9:37:26 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
73. MIRROR MIRROR (2012, Tarsem Singh)

An elaborately dressed pantomime of a film.

Hammer is great for comedic relief, Roberts is tedious as she dominates the screen far too much, whilst Collins is on a hiding to nothing in a wishy-washy role.

Still, it isn't offensive & it sort of passes the time, all being in an uninspiring & mediocre kind of way.

The cameo at the end is almost worth the cinema ticket alone however, as his incredulous look in both his scenes are laugh out loud funny - particularly during the genuinely awful Bollywood-esque song & dance number at the end,

4.5/10

74. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2011, Drew Goddard)

Is it funny? Often. Is it entertaining? Certainly. Is it scary? Not a jot. Does it work? Yes & no.

There are honourable intentions in TCITW, and clearly the likes of Goddard & Whedon are well versed in the horror clichés to which they have exploited to the max for humourous effect.

Yet what we're left with really is half a film, with one side failing to support the other. The comedic element works a treat, yet it makes the "scares" in the other side of things completely redundant. The claim that it doesn't matter whether its scary or not is untrue, as like it or not, Goddard & Whedon have intended it to be just as frightening as it is funny. It is the only reason why the revelations towards the end exists and why we've bothered to invest any time in the stereotypes at all. If they didn't, why bother with them at all?

Clearly there are good ideas within TCITW and it certainly cannot be accused of being boring. But it's an incoherent mess of a film - all being a very entertaining one.

If you want funny & frightening in the same film, you're best sticking to Evil Dead 2.

6/10


75. BATTLESHIP (2012, Peter Berg)

With Battleship, Peter Berg has taken us to depths of boredom I never knew existed.

An opening 10 minutes suggest we could be in for riotous fun, yet once the football match gets under way we are stuck with po-faced sincerity in the face of the completely absurd, up until Thunderstruck by AC/DC starts booming over the soundtrack - but by then it's already too late.

There is literally a scene halfway through when the protagonist ship pretty much starts to play the board game this folly is based on. At this moment, I'm in absolute no doubt that like me, the voices in many, many MANY peoples heads in multiplexes all across the world will be thinking "Is this actually happening? Bugger it is. What a terrible idea for a film. And yet, here I am dedicating my time to it. WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I DONE?!?"

To those with the subsequent troubling inner monologue, what we have done is collectively encouraged the studios to make more fun-filled pop corn flicks with....

*Zero character development,

*A plot that is the polar opposite of compelling,

*Rubbish aliens with no personality or set agenda and look like beaten up versions of the Master Chief with a hedgehog cello-taped to their chins.

* Uninspiring & regurgitated action sequences of the same firing & exploding set-up over & over & OVER AGAIN.

*Cast actors with gravitas like Liam Neeson & do absolutely nothing with them.

*Cast pop stars in meaningless roles for no reason other than an economical one.

This feeble argument along the lines of "it's a film with aliens and robots and blahdeblahdeblah, what are you expecting?" cannot be accepted as justification any more. I'm sorry it just can't. It's just not good enough. THIS is just not good enough. Mainstream doesn't always have to be intelligent, but it should never be atrociously boring. Box office history has proven that, and this continuous bastardisation of the films of Michael Bay in populist cinema has got to stop.

But on that note, even things as hateful as Revenge Of The Fallen & Dark Of The Moon are masterful pieces of escapist entertainment compared to this. Thanks to Battleship, I have now perfected the art of resting my head comfortably on the side of a cinema seat & closing my eyes for a much needed snooze, despite the decibel levels reverberating around the auditorium & ringing in the ears of the audience yawning in unison.

Sink this!

2/10


Will be checking out Marley & Ecstasy tomorrow, probably Lockout & Gone later in the week.

_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 76
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 28/4/2012 1:34:38 PM   
chrismart83


Posts: 364
Joined: 14/1/2007
Not seen to many so far this year, but il update and rank through-out 2012.

The Woman in Black 7/10
Best Laid plans 5/10
Cabin in the Woods 5/10
The Devil Inside 4/10
Ghost Rider : Spirit of Vengeance 4/10
American Pie Reunion 7/10
TED 7/10
Project X 6/10
I am Bruce Lee 6/10
The Dictator 7/10
The Avengers 7/10
The Campaign 7/10
21 Jump Street 7/10
The Dark Knight Rises 7/10
The Amazing Spiderman 6/10
Looper 7/10
The Perks of being a Wallflower 7/10
Argo 7/10
The Ghoul 5/10
The Man with the Iron fists 5/10

< Message edited by chrismart83 -- 10/1/2013 12:36:03 AM >


_____________________________

''You'll Never Walk Alone''

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 77
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 2/5/2012 8:48:53 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005
Been busy of late and reviewed all four of these elsewhere, but summing up:

BATTLESHIP
A distinct improvement on other recent alien invasion films, and the running time flies by, but becomes very repetitive and increasingly idiotic as it goes along. 5.5/10

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE
A blockbuster that is as done about as well as it could have been, fantastic entertainment from start to finish. The action is superb and this is also the funniest film so far this year, but you never stop caring about the characters. 9/10

SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
Burdened with an awful title and not seeming like the most interesting of films, this is actually a very sweet and rather uplifting movie with the wonderful Emily Blunt shining yet again. 7.5/10

MIRROR MIRROR
This somewhat muddled version of Snow White doesn't quite find the right tone and borrows more from other sources, but it is enjoyable fun, is sometimes inventive and looks great as usual from a Tarsim Singh movie. 6/10

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to chrismart83)
Post #: 78
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 7/5/2012 1:32:35 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8751
Joined: 13/4/2006
The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 92 Mins) 8/10
A fresh and super smart friday night film, which works on a number of different levels. It brillianly panders to its target audience while also sending up some of the clitches of the modern horror and playing with them delightfully, however at the same time it still provides some great entertainment for the less in the know movie going. There are some unexpected twists, great effects a twisted sense of humour and some nice comic performances. Horror/comedies don't get much better than this.

Corionlanus (Ralph Fiennes, 122 Mins) 6.5/10
A full blooded and novel twist on Shakespere with a commited cast, but in the end it felt too stagey and malodramatic to me, with not a lot to draw in a non-shakespereian crowd.

Gone (Heitor Dhalia, 94 Mins) 5.5/10
Totally predictable and forgettable run of the mill made for TV thriller. If you understand the genre and go with there are some entertaining moments, at times it is so naff it is actually quite good, but the problem is that it builds to a twist which isn't really a twist. The ending is very flat.

The Kid with a Bike (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 87 Mins) 8/10
Deeping moving drama, with a finely paced script and two engaging leads. It is a joy vasually and totally believeable, painting a vivid picture of a poventy ridden france and a frangile young mind. The only slight off note was the ending I didn't see the point in it myself, besides that it will surely be one of the best films of the year.

Coming up for me should be The Avengers, Pirates, This Must Be The Place and Into the Abyss.

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 79
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 7/5/2012 8:10:24 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
Woop! Some much needed activity on this thread again!

I'll follow suit then...

40. LOCKOUT (James Mather & Stephen St. Leger)

Kinda crap, but I kinda enjoyed it.

It may look like everything you've seen before, but there's an enjoyment to be had in watching Guy Pearce play an gruff action hero that tends to get repeatedly punched in the face and observing a pair of psychotic weegies running amok in outer space. A guilty pleasure.
5/10


41. MARLEY (2012, Kevin McDonald)

An A to B to C documentary about the err...legend. Doesn't bring a lot new to the table for anyone familiar with his story and in many ways functions like a televsion-based documentary. Yet ultimately it succeeds because of its subject matter, the anecdotes of the interviewees and the songs that go along with it. The inclusion of his daughter & some brief comments over his womanising tendencies also give McDonald's documentary some much needed objectivity & stop it from becoming a full-on Bob Marley love-in.
7/10



42. IRVINE WELSH'S ECSTASY (Rob Heyden)

Just awful in nearly every conceivable way. If Trainspotting was the cool brother of his time, then Ecstasy is the embarrassing uncle clinging on to his youth twenty years too late. It tries desperately hard to share the same universe with Danny Boyle's mid nineties effort, yet fails because of a lack of directorial panache (the constant speeding up of Edinburgh or Amsterdam night life becomes tedious after a couple of times, yet happens at least ten times - including in a cringe-worthy sex scene), a fairly mediocre cast (step forward Morris from 24 & all the Canadians or non-scots attempting some very ropey Scottish accents) & a story that is crap, phoney & irrelevant to the drugs scene it's trying to portray & dissect in the first place, which is needlessly full of clichéd gangster crap that is more comical than compelling. The only form of authenticity it succeeds in is creating that feeling of irritation a sober person will experience in the company of those on pills - even if the ones on display here are as far away from real & believable people as possible (and a complete bunch of twats to boot). It also makes the fairy-tale fantastical feel of Human Traffic seem like gritty realism in comparison (although I still quite like that film). Superficial, dated nonsense.
2.5/10


43. GONE (Heitor Dhalia)

A fairly poor kidnap thriller made up of Amanda Seyfried being led from one person with "vital information" to another with a phone number, a vehicle description & so forth - with the occasional threat of the police trying to arrest her (although it has to be said, not very hard). In the end though, the conclusion suggests that all of this could have been wrapped up in about 15 minutes. Resembles a mediocre RPG computer game that makes little sense in the grand scheme of things. Instantly forgettable.
4/10


44. THE AVENGERS (None of this Assemble nonsense) (Joss Whedon)

Comments are posted elsewhere, but in summary, a fairly clunky first two acts make way for a gloriously fun third. A real popcorn munching treat full of escapist entertainment - and Ruffalo is great.
7.5/10



Over the next week, I'll probably check out Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, American Pie:Reunion, Safe & Dark Shadows. Not particularly excited for any of them though...

_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 80
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 14/5/2012 2:05:37 PM   
st3veebee


Posts: 2353
Joined: 3/9/2006
From: 9303 Lyon Drive
So far my Top Films are:


1. The Artist *****

2. The Avengers ****

3. The Descendants ****

4. The Woman in Black ****

5. The Hunger Games ****



_____________________________

Latest Films:

Two days in New York: 4/5

Prometheus: 3.5/5

Abe Lincoln: VH 3/5

Twin Peaks: FWWM 3.5/5

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 81
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 15/5/2012 9:39:03 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005
Reviews of all elsewhere.


PIRANHA 3DD
A reasonable rehash of the first movie until the bloody Hoff turns up, making the film nosedive considerably. A few strong moments, and it moves at a great lick, but overall it seems like not much effort was made and it's not as funny as it thinks it is.
5/10

SAFE
The Stath plays the Stath yet again in an okay actioner that seems like it's trying to break out of the 'Stath vehicle' straitjacket and become a really interesting drama. It doesn't really succeed, but it's fun.
6/10

SILENT HOUSE
I haven't seen the original movie, but this horror entry in the small group of films pretending to be shot in one take, is enjoyable, if coventional, scary stuff, and works quite well until the final quarter, with yet another 'twist' that falls flat.
6/10

GONE
A passable thriller with the odd well done scene, but with nothing to distinguish itself from acres on similar TV fare, and it ends up being far less interesting like it seems it's going to be.
4.5/10

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to st3veebee)
Post #: 82
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 22/5/2012 8:25:54 AM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
New entries that take me up to a half century for the year.


45. SAFE (Boaz Yakin)

Belongs in the straight-faced Stath stable as opposed to the over the top one. Does a good job of portraying the baddies as complete bastards & despite his ropey American accent, the Stathmaster continues to impress in the bone-crunching role. Gets progressively stupid though as it goes on & overly complicates a relatively straight forward plot. Perfectly decent action flick though.
5.5/10


46. DARK SHADOWS (Tim Burton)

It might be a return to the less formulaic Burton, but it's still disappointing, & another example of a trailer pretty containing all the best bits. Despite Depp / Green being on good form & the gothic production design being top notch, it's severely let down by a sporadic plot that introduces threads, then chooses to forget all about them, or it introduces ones completely out of the blue late on (Mortez's reveal for example). Not terrible & I'd rather have this than the likes of Alice In Wonderland, but it's still light years away from the likes of Beetlejuice & Edward Scissorhands.
4.5/10


47. THE DICTATOR (Larry Charles)

Speaking of films with all the best bits in the trailer, here's another one! Despite having a couple of good gags (I liked how Aladeem ends up in a restaurant full of people he sentenced to death for example), it's just far too dumb, gross-out & repetitive when it needed to be more satirical & smart. Many of the jokes as well either fall flat (all of John C Reilly's moments) , don't really make any kind of sense (the one involving Megan Fox) or are just cringe-worthy (the pregnancy scene). Could have a right larf, yet is pretty disappointing given the talent involved.
4/10


48. AMERICAN REUNION (2012, Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg)

More of the same really, yet has a slight nostalgic quality to it if you remember watching the first couple as a teenager & it's interesting that after all four films - Stifler is the most endearing & interesting character (Sean William Scott genuinely deserves better fare than he tends to receive). It isn't particularly funny though, is full of a number of quite tiresome set pieces & it's ridiculous the number of compromising situations that occur simultaneously. Tara Reid looks dreadful as well.
4.5/10


49. THE RAID (2011, Gareth Huw Evans)

Slight plot & characterisation, yet that really doesn't matter as they're facilitated purely for some breath-taking violence to occur that whilst gruesome, is never sadistic. A genuinely exciting experience that's brilliantly choreographed & directed, contains some proper badass antagonists (Mad Dog) and is far & away the best action film of 2012 so far. Immensely unhappy to hear it's getting the American remake treatment though.
8/10


50. TWO DAYS IN NEW YORK (2011, Julie Delpy)

Perfectly well made, written & performed I guess, yet it annoyed the hell out of me due to the insufferable French family who I all wanted to die horribly & painfully. Who also would have thought Chris Rock would end up being the most sympathetic character? I can see why people like it (particularly if you're a fan of Woody Allen or Two Days In Paris - which I'll admit I haven't seen), but it just did my head in. The scene involving a cameo by a famously difficult actor musing over the soul not only came across to me as immensely pretentious, but was done far better in a Simpsons episode over a decade ago. Will certainly work for a specific audience, but it did absolutely nothing for me (aside from making my blood boil).
4.5/10

Over the next week, going to try & catch Cafe de Flore, Jeff Who Lives At Home, Even The Rain, Moonrise Kingdom & probably Men In Black 3 as well.

_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 83
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 22/5/2012 8:41:37 AM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
And to commemorate reaching 50, here's my list of 2012 so far - from best to worst.

1. Into The Abyss: A Tale Of Death, A Tale Of Life (USA/UK/Germany, Werner Herzog, 15) - 8.5/10
2. Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Turkey, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 15) - 8.5/10
3. The Kid With A Bike (Belgium, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 12A) - 8/10
4. Shame (USA/UK, Steve McQueen, 18) - 8/10
5. The Raid (Indonesia, Gareth Huw Edwards, 18) - 8/10
6. Martha Marcy May Marlene (USA, Sean Durkin, 15) -8/10
7. The Muppets (USA, James Boban, U) -7.5/10
8. The Hunger Games (USA, Gary Ross, 12A) - 7.5/10
9. The Avengers (USA, Joss Whedon, 12A) - 7.5/10
10. The Descendants (USA, Alexander Payne, 15) -7.5/10

11. Coriolanus (UK, Ralph Fiennes, 15) - 7.5/10
12. Margin Call (USA,J.C. Chandor,15) - 7.5/10
13. The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (UK/USA, Peter Lord & Jeff Newitt, U) - 7/10
14. Marley (USA/UK, Kevin McDonald, 15) - 7/10
15. The Grey (USA, Joe Carnahan, 15) -7/10
16. Young Adult (USA, Jason Reitman, 15) -7/10
17. Headhunters (Norway, Morten Tyldum, 15) - 6.5/10
18. In Darkness (Poland, Agnieszka Holland, 15) - 6.5/10
19. Chronicle(USA, Josh Trank,12A) - 6.5/10
20. Carnage (France/Germany/Poland/Spain, Roman Polanski, 15) -6.5/10

21. The Cabin In The Woods (USA, Drew Goddard, 15) - 6/10
22. The Woman In Black (UK, James Watkins, 12A) -6/10
23. Michael (Austria, Markus Schleinzer, 18) - 6/10
24. Bombay Beach (USA, Alma Har'el, 15) - 6/10
25. War Horse (UK/USA, Steven Spielberg, 12A) - 6/10
26. 21 Jump Street (USA, Phil Lord & Chris Miller, 15) - 5.5/10
27. Haywire (USA/Ireland, Steven Soderbergh, 15) - 5.5/10
28. Safe (USA, Boaz Yakin, 15) - 5.5/10
29. We Bought A Zoo (USA, Cameron Crowe, PG) - 5.5/10
30. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (UK, John Madden, 12A) - 5/10

31. Lockout (USA/France, James Mather & Stephen St. Leger, 15) - 5/10
32. A Dangerous Method (Canada/UK, David Cronenberg, 15) -4.5/10
33. Two Days In New York (USA/France, Julie Delpy, 15) - 4.5/10
34. J. Edgar (USA, Clint Eastwood, 15) - 4.5/10
35. Dark Shadows (USA, Tim Burton, 15) - 4.5/10
36. American Reunion (USA, Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg, 15) - 4.5/10
37. Mirror Mirror (USA, Tarsem Singh, PG) - 4.5/10
38. Goon (USA/Canada, Michael Dowse, 12A) - 4.5/10
39. The Dictator (USA, Larry Charles, 15) - 4/10
40. The Iron Lady (UK, Phyllida Lloyd, 12A) - 4/10

41. The Sitter (USA, David Gordon Green, 15) - 4/10
42. Gone (USA, Heitor Dhalia, 15) - 4/10
43. The Raven (USA,James McTeugie, 15) - 3.5/10
44. John Carter (USA,Andrew Stanton, 12A) - 3/10
45. The Cold Light Of Day (USA, Mabrouk El Mechri, 15) - 2.5/10
46. Bel-Ami (UK/France/Italy, Declan Donnellan & Nick Ormerod, 15) - 2.5/10
47. Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy (Canada/UK, Rob Heyden, 18) - 2.5/10
48. Battleship (USA, Peter Berg, PG) - 2/10
49. The Darkest Hour (USA/Russia, Chris Gorak, 12A) - 1/10
50. Jack & Jill (USA, Dennis Dugan, PG) -0.5/10



< Message edited by Qwerty Norris -- 22/5/2012 8:44:38 AM >


_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 84
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 23/5/2012 6:14:16 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8751
Joined: 13/4/2006
Sorry to hear your thoughts on Two Days in NY I was a fan of the first film, and it seems like this one is going to offer something slightly different, we will see through.

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 85
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 25/5/2012 5:59:19 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8751
Joined: 13/4/2006
Avengers Assemble (Joss Whedon, 143 Mins) 7.5/10
Skillfully crafted, with gripping action sequences and greats effects. It also has beautiful depth of characters and that classic Whedon trademark of sharp, ironic humour which make the usuallly blend superheros much more engaging. The standout performances are Dowery Jr, Johansson and a special mention for Mark Ruffolo who really gets a handle on the Hulk. The wink links are Captian America and Thor.

The Pirantes! In an Adventure with Scientists! (Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt, 88 Mins) 6.5/10
Not a lot more to say on this, basically I have the same problems with it than most the people who found it a bit of a let down. The script and jokes are just not consistant or interesting enough. The idea at the start looking at the role of the screen Pirate in modern movies is a good one, but they don't really go anyway with it. Also the script fails to quite get the right balance between kids humour and the more subtle adult jokes. The storyline about Science is just a little too advance and references to films like the Elephant Man just feel out of place. However it is a fun filled romp for the most part, it moves at a good pace and is a visual master class.

This Must be the Place (Paolo Sorrentino, 112 Mins) 5.5/10
Sorrentino has really dropped the ball with this bonkers, oddball road movie. It is that awful example of an art movie showing off, with references to Will Oldham and random scenes involving David Byine. The tone is all over the place, narretive rambling and Sean Penn gives a mostly self-indulgent turn. I was also sure of the darker turn it took later on, but that isn't to say there are not exciting moments and visually flashes and moments black comedy which don't make it all worth while, but when you try to add it all up, it is all very bafferling.

Into the Abyss (Werner Herzog, 107 Mins) 8/10
Slow burning, but thrilling documentary, with very impressive and honest interviews covering the backgrounds of both the famlies of the victims and the history of the killers themselves. It also neatly traces the contrasting stories of the two guys involved in the killing. The film takes a broad scatter shot look at religion, life and death, as well as the sociolization of kids who on to kill. It also has an haunting chill all the way through.

Headhunters (Morten Tyldum, 98 Mins) 7/10
Stylish and twisted thriller, with an impressive lead performance from Lars Gudmestad. At times the plot does feel a little flimsy, but theres true tension and some nice twists to keep things cooking nicely.

La Havre (Aki Kaurismaki, 93 Mins) 8/10
Charmy little slice of magic realistic cinema, the simplistic storytelling, lightness of touch, picturesque cinematography and powerful music make this spellbounding and touchy experience throughout.

Coming up for me should be The Raid, Marley, Damsels In Distress and Men in Black 3.

(in reply to Groovy Mule)
Post #: 86
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 31/5/2012 5:54:36 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005
THE DICTATOR
Sacha Baron Cohen, perhaps the funniest man on the planet, does it again with this combination of political satire and side-splitting comedy, proving that he doesn’t need the interview aspect once and for all. There are times when I wondered what he was trying to say, but for the most part I was too busy laughing. I doubt they’ll be a funnier film this year. 9/10

MEN IN BLACK 3
Far, far better than it has a right to be, this belated sequel successfully melds the expected humour, science fiction and buddy movie elements with a Back To The Future time travel story. A fun ride that even ends up a bit touching, though Barry Sonnenfeld’s obsession with keeping the lengths of his films down means that some elements feel rushed. 7.5/10

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

Another film that is far, far better than it has a right to be, this easily blows Mirror Mirror out of the water. A pretty good fantasy adventure, quite dark but actually in keeping with the original story, which is mostly sticks to until half way through, and there is plenty of light too. Rupert Sanders does a great job considering this his first film. Kristen Stewart still cannot act though. 7.5/10

DARK SHADOWS
After Alice In Wonderland, another major disappointment from Tim Burton, feeling for the most part like he’s running on autopilot. There’s the odd interesting scene and it looks great, but it's just a mess, concentrating so much on some things and so little on others I wondered if producer Johnny Depp locked his mate out of the editing suite. 5/10

THE RAID

Rather overrated – unlike all the great martial arts films it lacks variety in its fights and the editing ranges from superb to dreadful, while there has been plenty of stuff like this done in Asia for decades. It remains breathlessly exciting though, mostly avoiding Hollywood clichés and just concentrating on giving the viewer a non-stop adrenalin rush. 7.5/10


< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 31/5/2012 6:04:02 PM >


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 87
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 3/6/2012 4:54:17 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
What I've always liked about you Doc, is that you never fail to justify a well argued opinion that I completely disagree with.



51. MOONRISE KINGDOM (Wes Anderson)

It's interesting that in following an adaptation of a celebrated children's book that was anything but a film for kids (despite the presence of stop-motion animals scoffing vast quantities of food), Wes Anderson has ironically created something that in many ways could be considered his closest thing to a children's film - all being with his obligatory stylisation, musing over fairly non-childlike interests(the records of Francoise Hardy) & his trademark offbeat tone. The reason being that the film is not only successfully anchored by the two child leads, but it also deals with themes very real to childhood on the cusp of adolescence (loneliness, absent family structure, social exclusion from your peers) and consequently, it has an emotional centre to it that by in large, hasn't been this well carried-out in an Anderson film since Tenenbaums. Furthermore, it has a sweeping, intricately-beautiful style that's designed to within an inch of its life - leading to some rather marvellous tracking shots of the sets (the foster home, the scout camp) that hark back to the Belafonte interior shots of The Life Aquatic. The performances from the adults are also strong, with Willis arguably delivering his best showing since M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable. Yet despite the talent of the seniors, it is the kids that remain in the centre of Moonrise Kingdom and overall, that is what makes it work.
7.5/10



52. MEN IN BLACK 3 (Barry Sonnenfield)

Kermode got it spot on in his review by describing MIB 3 as a series of contract obligations rather than a solid piece of blockbuster entertainment. Despite the presence of an excellent Michael Stuhlberg, a good gag involving Andy Warhol & Josh Brolin nailing an impersonation of a younger Tommy Lee Jones, everything feels rather flat. Jermaine Clement (inspired in Flight Of The Conchords & even in the dreamworks animation Rio) is wasted in a largely empty villainous role, whilst even Smith is largely subdued in his trademark crowd-pleasing role. It's also a film remarkably full of modernised product placement despite the predominantly 1969 setting - a setting that it also fails to exploit in comparing past attitudes to ones in the present (i.e. Back To The Future or other better time travelling fare). In a season full of big-budgeted fare, this will probably be the one fewer people will remember fondly. The special effects are also completely rubbish.
4/10



53. THE ANGELS' SHARE (Ken Loach)

A real crowd-pleaser of a film which despite suffering from the odd plot contrivance (our protagonist is spared the prospect of a ned ambush thanks to a conveniently timed vehicle intervention by his other half's father), it ultimately succeeds because of Loach's masterful quality in delivering characters & performances you completely believe in & emphasise with. In some ways, it shares a lot with the Dardennes' The Kid With A Bike in the sense of a troubled young individual being dragged back from the clutches of society's edge thanks to the guidance of the right people, yet it also carries a comedic tone that few films designed for belly laughs have managed to achieve this year. The moments of light relief though are earned because of the grounding of social realism that the legendary Brit film-maker does so well in all his films time & time again - with the backdrop of disaffected youth & the lack of prosperity in post credit crunch Britain being the most overwhelming factor. It also never attempts to soften the hard-edges of our main protagonist's past despite his journey towards redemption (of sorts), which in particular is expertly realised in a harrowing scene involving a chilling recollection of one of his previous crimes by the unfortunate victim. A funny, emotional & uplifting drama that is probably one of the more satisfying pieces with a Scottish setting in recent years. It's also Loach's most commercially accessible film in quite some time.
7.5/10



54. SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN (Rupert Sanders)

After the elaborate pantomime that was Mirror Mirror, the story of Snow White seems to be going more in the Game Of Thrones,-esque sword-battling direction here - and all the better for it. The well-known story is still very much here, all being with a grimier, sweatier exterior. And despite achieving OTT moments in the shouting department, Theron does very well in the villainous role of the queen & for the second time this year, successfully portrays a character with few sympathetic tendencies in reasonably sympathetic light (the first time being Jason Reitman's Young Adult). Hemsworth, irrespective of projecting an immensely dodgy Scottish accent, builds on his muscular hero persona with a charismatic turn as the Huntsman, whereas Stewart (an actress on a hiding to nothing with the thankless task of portraying the endlessly-wet Bella in the Twilight films) does a good job here as well - and in particular, pulls off the Joan of Arc-like rallying call scene extremely well. It does however lack experienced directorial precision (some set-pieces & scenes feel a little baggy), whilst the talented actors portraying the dwarfs are largely wasted & feel lost in the effort made to super-impose them onto smaller bodies. Overall though, comfortably the better of the two Snow White films this year.
5.5/10



55. PROMETHEUS (Ridley Scott)

Many folk on the forum have pretty much covered the main issues, as has Ian Nathan's Empire review. But anyway....(SPOILERS!)

There is little doubt that by using the Alien universe, Scott is attempting to address themes & ideas that are not too dissimilar to his best work in the shape of Blade Runner, as well as the biggest questions of all for humanity (who created us & what is our purpose to exist?).
Unfortunately though, the musings over android or human existentialism are clumsily presented by a largely-appalling script, both in terms of plotting and in terms of dialogue. This shouldn't however be a great surprise given its creators. Damon Lindelof, co-creator of television series Lost, is well versed in devising pieces of intrigue that seldom amount to anything entirely satisfying, whereas Jon Spaihts was largely responsible for one of the worst films of 2012 (The Darkest Hour - an utterly dreadful Moscow-set alien invasion piece). Because of this problem, Prometheus never really gets out of first gear and despite a number of talented performers trying their very best, there are virtually no characters within it to care about , root for or believe in (with the sole exception of Fassbender's David - the only developed & properly realised creation on display).
As a result, despite the ultimate questions of life being posed, the stakes never feel particularly high and we're left with a number of scenes that carry very little dramatic weight or the required level of suspense that the excellent trailers suggested (except one involving an operating table). In addition, the inclusion of a miscast Guy Pearce in dreadful-ageing make-up (reminiscent of Armie Hammer's unfortunate predicament in Eastwood's J Edgar) is another bewildering decision in a film unfortunately full of them.
Undoubtedly, we have a scope and a production design that is frequently breath-taking to observe and the vision of both Scott & his concept artists have to some extent be applauded for making a decent film from such a hackneyed piece of writing. Overall though, given the origins of its universe, the themes of the piece, the track-record of the director and the hype surrounding the film, one cannot help feeling that Prometheus is something that promised so much, yet has ultimately failed to deliver. An experience with high ambition, yet lacks the coherency, the characterisation & the memorable set-pieces to make it anything other than just decent - which is a disappointment in itself.
6/10

A pretty quiet week ahead I reckon, but I'm still going to try & check out Bela Tarr's The Turin Horse & possibly Red Tails.

_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 88
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 14/6/2012 10:08:39 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005
Thanks.

As usual, detailed reviews on review threads


PROMETHEUS
A reasonable first hour gives way to increasing rubbish, a random collection of scenes and [unoriginal] ideas that seems little more than a cynical set up for a series rather than a film in its own right, and it doesn't even look that great, with the 3D in particular a total and utter waste of time. I was actually really pissed off with this film, and actually want to rate it lower! 4/10

THE PACT
Solid chiller which never gets as scary as it seems like it's going to get but is nonetheless a fine directorial debut for Nicholas McCarthy, elegantly shot, extremely atmospheric and with even a good performance by Casper Van Dien 7/10

RED TAILS
Not as bad as all that. Some weak performances, awful dialogue and messy story telling, while the dogfights show that the filmmakers know sod all about aeriel warfare, but the action is still excitng and I liked it's old fashioned feel and tone 5.5/10

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 89
RE: Top 10 Films of 2012 - 21/6/2012 2:49:51 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 4005
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
A fairly quiet fortnight, largely thanks to Euro 2012. But anyhow....

56. IRON SKY (Timo Vuorensola)

Unfortunately, not quite the nazis on the moon film you were hoping for.

Despite the sheer lunacy of it all, there are some smart (if a tad blunt) attempts of satire (I did like the idea of The Great Dictator being turned into a short film which celebrates national socialism for example) & given its modest budget, it does manage to go a fair distance in terms of visuals, which is admirable.

Yet, this doesn't really compensate for a poorly conceived plot outline. For a film about nazis on the moon, it really takes a bloody age to get going.

Naturally rubbish, yet has enough wit & admirable qualities to be considered better than a lot of sub-standard fare from this year.

Lovingly made, but not made particularly well.

4.5/10


Two weeks later.....


57. COSMOPOLIS (David Cronenberg)

Just came out of this tonight (first thing I've seen in a fortnight thanks to the football) & to echo the words of others in the review thread, this was probably the thing I've sat through with the most ever walkouts (comfortably eclipsing the likes of Antichrist ). Despite my prejudice over people leaving a film early, I really don't blame them either.

It's all very well for a film to talk profoundly about the ills of capitalism, the concept of greed, the idea that a man with so much wealth & power can become extremely isolated from the wider world & even detached from the immediate reality of his own existence as a result etc. However, if you don't have a strategy to condense these themes into a dramatically engaging piece, there is no point - to ANY of it.

Frustrating really is the best word to describe Cosmopolis. Despite a very good Pattison performance (in fairness, the cast are all pretty good - even Jay Burchuel!), it's consumed by its own nonsense. You will drown in dialogue that constantly ventures off in multiple directions. You'll be introduced to a bunch of people with a spiel to churn out, before disappearing shortly after, never to appear again. You will yearn for some visual storytelling, yet you will get none. They'll keep talking...and talking...and talking...and talking...and talking some more, before reaching the scene with Paul Giamatti with near delirium (perhaps that's why it was my favourite scene in the film?)

Perhaps it works as a novel, it probably could work as a stageplay (as long as they cut it down to an hour in length), but it does not work as a narrative film whatsoever. Yet, no doubt there will be the odd critic or pseudo-intellectual who will leap to its defence for its "profound observations on our consumerist culture" - failing to mention that their mind probably wondered a fair bit when they realised they have some nectar points to use up.

Come on David, two disengaging films in the space of only a few months - you're much better than this!

3.5/10


Will hopefully check out Red Lights & some fare at the Edinburgh Film Festival over the next week or so - the one I'm most looking forward to being Berberian Sound Studio.

_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 90
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