Monday, 7 January 2013

The Top Ten Best and Worst of 2012

 I'm hoping my top ten list for 2012 will prompt me to do more posts this year, prolonged absence has been due to work reasons.

This has been the hardest year to sort this list out.  There were so many films I wanted to include for both the best and the worst, but 10 is my limit and I've made myself stick to it.  There are some films which may or may not be on each list which you may have expected to be included, but I actually haven't managed to see every film this year.

The hardest decision in all was to bump The Muppets off The Best list, even though it was released in 2011 in the US, it was a 2012 in the UK, however there just wasn't room for it on the list so sadly it had to go.  Also Wreck it Ralph and Les Miserables haven't been released here yet, so they may make it to next years list.

So without further ado, here they are.  In reverse order of course.

The Best

10.  The Expendables 2
I really liked the first Expendables movie, but this was a fairly epic movie experience.  Van Damme owned this movie.  I was so impressed with his performance, I would have been happy with just 90 minutes of him, but as it was I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and now I'm really looking forward to the next Die Hard film.

9.  21 Jump Street
This was the first surprise movie for me on this list.  I wasn't at all familiar with the original TV series other than the fact that Johnny Depp was in it.  I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, I genuinely was.  I'm not generally a fan of Jonah Hill, but damn, good for him for losing all that weight, you have to admire that kind of ethic because it takes a lot of work, but he managed it so good for him.

This year there were so many movies I enjoyed, I was trying to judge them in terms of enjoyment and this really had it's moments so it earned it's place on the list.

8.  The Hobbit
I know this movie is getting a lot of hate at the moment because it's not Lord of the Rings.  I wasn't going in expecting it to be Lord of the Rings, but I was carrying a certain amount of worry that it would be a major disappointment, but I enjoyed it largely.  

I did feel that the CGI was completely sub par and there was a lot of unnecessary CGI in there, (ORCS, seriously?!), but that aside, I'm looking forward to the extended DVD release with hopefully another 40 minutes plus of footage - shards of narsil that were in the trailer for example - and hopefully the next movie will feature the Cumberdragon.

7.  Ted
Just thinking about this movie puts a smile on my face, the thunder buddies song was my ringtone for a while.  Also it featured Flash Gordon, which was awesome because Flash Gordon was awesome.  

6.  Iron Sky
This was the second surprise for me on the list.  

When my friend suggested watching the DVD I was like, "seriously, space nazis, seriously?!"  Then we put it on and it turned into probably the biggest surprise of the year for me.  

It's hard to talk about without including spoilers, but I found it very enjoyable and funny and it had impressive effects for being so low-budget, it reminded me somewhat of a low-budget Starship Troopers with the satire it put into affect.

5.  Dredd
What I wasn't expecting from this movie was how beautiful it was.  The slow-mo scenes were just breath taking.

I saw this movie with a friend who utterly hated it, but I loved every second.  It wholly reminded me of the days of early 90's action movies because there were plenty of really icky moments.  I thought Cersei, Lena Headey was great as Mawmaw and I desperately wanted more of her character.

Though the Stallone movie still holds some nostalgic charm for me, but this film really embodied the Dredd of the comic books.  I hope that they make a sequel, though I think I may be seeing it without my friend.

4.  Red Lights

So, this was the third surprise for me on the list.  I saw it because I'm a fan of Cillian Murphy, whom I believe to be one of the great underrated actors of our time.  I seriously wish he was in more movies because I've enjoyed 99% of the things I've seen him in.

I wasn't expecting much from the movie, but I really enjoyed it, the characters were enjoyable and the story was interesting.  I haven't seen much like it in recent years, there's been a lot of possession movies but very few psychic investigation movies so it was something very different. 

3.  The Amazing Spider-man
So, I'm a big comic book nerd, as the previous years list may have revealed.  I got my start in comic books from reading Spider-man comics and, no exaggeration, I was waiting for the Sam Raimi Spider-man movie to come out for ten years.  

I hated the Sam Raimi movies.  

They got the origin story right enough, J. Jonah Jameson was completely perfect, but Spidey, just wasn't Spidey.  He wasn't cocky or sarcastic and although I thought the second movie was an improvement, the third one killed any like that I might have gained for the series over the years.  

I went into this one chanting, "it only has to be better than the Nicholas Hammond movie to be good" over and over.  I didn't have any high hopes for it at all, I was prepared for bitter disappointment.  

However, I completely loved this version of Spider-man.  Finally I was given the Spidey from the comic books that I'd known and loved since I was 7 years old.  I honestly don't care if everyone else in the world hated this movie, I finally got the Spidey movie I always wanted and it made me so very happy to have that. 

2.  The Woman in Black
Ladies and gentlemen, Hammer Horror has returned.  

When I was growing up my parents wouldn't let me watch horror movies like Freddy and Jason, but let me watch Hammer Horror movies because they were old and not very scary.  What came from this was that I grew up with a love of the old Hammer Horror movies.  Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were the guys I most associated with vampire movies, (until I was old enough to see more modern movies and when I was a teenager, finally got to see the Lost Boys).  

When I heard Hammer Horror was back I was incredibly excited, more excited than anyone else could possibly know, unless they too grew up loving these movies.  

The Woman in Black was a great return for Hammer Horror, it was everything and more that the old movies were.  I've been to see a lot of horror movies and I've never seen an audience jump out of their seats more than at this movie.  Literally the entire movie had the audience jumping scared and it was a fantastic thing to behold.  

I can't wait for the next movie from them to come out.

1.  Avengers Assemble

For last years list, Thor was No.5 overall for the best movie and Captain America was No.2.  This movie, without question, was always going to be my No.1.  

I went to the cinema to see this 9 times.  I'm totally serious.  9 times.  

I was talking along with the movie by the 3rd showing.  

I loved this movie so much that I gave it a spot in my top ten of all time list after seeing it, a list that hasn't much changed for many, many, years, I was forced to admit it to my number 5 favourite movie of all time.  

Everything about this movie was perfect.  I actually see no need to explain everything that was perfect about it because more eloquent persons than me have spoken about it before now.  I will however say that it doesn't matter to me now if every following Marvel movie is a complete fuck up, they got every movie in the run up right and this movie topped it off with a cherry of perfection that means for years to come I will be able to enjoy a series of excellent comic book movies.  

Also Loki.  

How cool is Loki?  I mean seriously.  I wish I could be as cool as Tom Hiddleston because man that guy freaking owned this movie.  It's the hair.  It's got to be the hair.  I know he had fans from Thor, but after this movie, the guy is just living it up from fangirl heaven.  I'm sure if Loki decides to attack the Earth again, he should screw Thanos and just summon the armies of ladies (and plenty of fellas) who fell in love with him after seeing this film, because I think if commanded to they would be able to take the Hulk down, no problem.

The Worst

(If I could have tied the top 3 in the No.1 position, I would have, awful, awful, movies)

10.  Frankenweenie
 Dear, Tim Burton, I count many of your movies amongst my favourite movies of all time.  This is not one of them.  I get it.  You have seen a lot of old horror movies, you are not the only person to have done so, get over it, don't torture me with this crap again, that is all.

9.  Battleship
Oh man, bad movie.

The first half, had potential to be one of those, 'so bad it's good' kind of movies, then it just descended into a pitfall of utter nonsense and crap.  It did have its moments, but honestly it wasn't worth sitting through the whole movie to see them.

8.  What to Expect When You're Expecting
Oh my god this was a bad movie.  It might have been better if it just followed one couples story, but there's been this trend through the past few years to try and shoe-horn 5 to 6 barely connected stories into one movie.  Some movies have done it well like 'Love Actually' and 'He's just not that into you', (yes I see a lot of chick flicks) and most do it badly like 'New Years Eve' (my 6th worst movie of 2011.)  This also did it badly.

Hollywood, please stop making these movies.

7.  That's My Boy
Good things about this movie:  Vanilla Ice is the man.

Bad things about this movie: Every second of footage which does not involve Vanilla Ice.

6.  Paranormal Activity 4
The previous movie of this "franchise" was my 8th worst movie of the year for 2011, this one managed to climb a little higher on the list.

Aren't we done with this series yet?  I mean the first one had an interesting concept, but with every movie they seem to retcon more and more.  For this one the original protagonist returned with possibly the biggest plot hole in movie history.  Namely how the baby she stole from her sister ended up with another family and who the hell the kid she had with her was if he wasn't the stolen baby.

*sigh* I'm sure one we get to 'Paranormal Activity 9 - 3D' even the studios will be bored of this franchise.

5.  Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
I made a list of complaints about this movie when it came out, intending to write up a proper review, but I ended up not doing it because of apathy and lack of time.

Some of the minor complaints were things like, it was a very dusty film, every scene seemed to have obvious dust flying about everywhere.  Poor use of the 3d.  Very poor CGI horses.  Bad make up effects.  Criminal underuse of Alan Tudyk.  

Then things get bigger.  

The political parts were incredibly boring, there were some very strange casting choices, I felt that Yorgi from XXX (the vad guy from Triple X, the first vamp to show up) was completely phoning it in.  

The worst offences of this movie were, *Beware spoilers* showing at the start of the movie that Dominic Cooper's character not only survives, but is much younger than Abe.  The obvious and extremely heavy handed use of the Speed character.  The blatantly obvious plot twists.  The general lack of vampires in a movie about vampires.  

My biggest complaint was that I kept feeling my lack of knowledge about the American Civil War was a big hindrance.   Throughout I kept feeling that stuff going on would have made more sense if I was an expert in the American civil war.  They don't teach this stuff in British schools, though because I am a huge fan of both the book and movie of Gone with the Wind, I know more about it than my friends, I still just felt lost throughout this movie.

4.  The Bourne Legacy
I need to confess something.  I haven't seen the entirety of this movie.

The reason for this is that this is the first movie, in my entire life, that I have walked out in the middle of.

I went to see it with a friend and at first I thought, 'it's just taking a while to get going, something will happen soon', and soon never came.  I kept telling myself that in five more minutes something interesting would happen, but nothing interesting did.

At just over the half way point I asked my friend if he wanted to leave and he said "God, yes" and so we got up and walked out.

So you may wonder why this is so far down the list when it's the only movie I walked out of, well it's because I could the next three technically as equally as crap as each other, so technically speaking it's number 2, but for the sake of proper numbering, it's as high as I could get it.

3.  Magic Mike
So, why would I go and see a movie about male strippers?  Well, have you seen The Full Monty?

From this trailers, this movie was trying to be the American version of The Full Monty.  So we went to see it and from watching it, it was like it was trying to be the male version of Showgirls, except Showgirls was awesome in a bad way, this movie couldn't make up it's mind what side of the street it wanted to be.

So it failed in all respects.

Not too far in to this bizarre film, it just got weird, I took a look at my friend and then all the very disappointed looks on the faces of the ladies in the audience and what they had expected to be a fun movie about strippers had suddenly turned into this frankly quite bizarre movie about drug use and micro-pigs.

I think the only reason people weren't storming out of this piece of crap was that we were all too shocked by the crap-storm to summon the effort to rise from our seats.

2.  Piranha 3DD
So, aside from The Hoff, who was fantastically hilarious every second he was on screen, this movie was a huge piece of shit and if Prometheus hadn't come out would have been the biggest disappointment of the year.

I really loved Piranha 3D, but good god was this a terrible movie.

What was brilliant about the first movie was that it knew what kind of movie it was and decided to own it.  This movie just didn't.

Nothing made sense.  They broke the sequel rules, the sequel is always supposed to go bigger, but they downsized from a lake to a water park and then didn't even bother to properly utilise the sense of entrapment they could have made from that setting.  They reused shots from the first movie with the piranhas, they didn't bother to use practical effects when they could have to improve the look of the film and the idea of someone being decapitated by a flag string was so offensive I would have walked out had the movie not almost been over.

I'm actually struggling to put into words everything that was wrong with this movie because of how much it pissed me off, let's just say that it was a real piece of crap and leave it at that.

1.  Prometheus
I honestly hated this movie so much I cannot be bothered to retype all the reasons I hated it, so if you're curious I did a post about it at the time: here.


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