Friday, December 28, 2012

Movies 2012

Brenda Segal put a review of her 2012 movie going on her Facebook the other day and it got me thinking.  First it got me thinking about what movies I actually saw.  That got me thinking if there was an app or site that could help determine that list.

I didn't find one.

It does turn out that IMDB and Wikipedia both have pages for 2012 releases.  So I slogged through the whole list and pulled out the films I could remember.  Here's the 2012 David film list:

  • The Avengers
  • Brave
  • The Campaign
  • Cloud Atlas
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Hunger Games
  • Lincoln
  • The Lorax
  • Madagascar 3
  • Men In Black 3
  • Prometheus
  • The Secret World of Arrietty
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Skyfall
Those are all 2012 releases.  I am pretty sure I also saw The Decedents this year, but it came out last year.  I also saw Lockout and Act of Valor this year online, so I guess those don't really count either.

Truth be told I thought there would be more.  I am pretty amazed at some of the films that are,'t on the list.  There was a Spiderman, and Looper, and The Master and those are just the ones I can think of sitting without the full list in front of me.

The Down Side
Looking back at the list if I think there are any of the fims that I could (in retrospect) have missed, or been just as satisfied catching on cable I think the Lorax, The Campaign, and Madagascar all meet that description.  I have to think real hard to remember any details from any of those films.  Truly I have to think hard to remember anything about Brave too, but as a Pixar film I am sure the theatre experience was worth it.  We only just saw Silver Linings, so it is fairly fresh in my mind.  I imagine that after a few months that might not be the case.

The Up Side
I am not sure why, but it has become real difficult to impress me at the movies.  In some cases we've elevated the experience ourselves, giving films even more of a chance by seeing them on a large format IMAX when they are filmed in that format.  Even with that very high standard I think these films stepped up:
Avengers, Cloud Atlas, Dark Knight Rises, and Prometheus.

In some ways I think all four of those films had no hope of actually delivering on the hype that preceded them, and in all four cases I thought (IMHO) that they did incredibly well.  Of the four I guess the biggest disappointment would be Prometheus.  Not because what was on the screen wasn't good, but because of all of what I thought it could have been.  After the second film I think Dark Knight had an impossibly high bar to reach, and even with all the Pittsburgh connections playing in its favor... I just keep seeing that semi trailer flipping over in my head.  The whole Avengers franchise has been handled very well, and the Avengers film would have been worth it just for those few seconds with the Hulk slamming Loki like a rag doll (I have since heard that working out the physics so that CGI came off looking as good as it did was a significant hurdle). 

Since I'd not read the Cloud Atlas book, my only expectations were through the filmmakers and I think they delivered hugely.  Sure I left the theatre with tons of questions about the significance of the casting decisions, and yes, some of the makeup was conspicuous, but overall I really think the film was outstanding.  If I had to pick one of the four to be the overall best I almost certainly would pick Cloud Atlas.

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