dniezby_film_strip203While many of my film blogger-y type peers have already put out a Top Ten of 2012 and a Worst 10 of 2012, I chose to hold off mostly until the start of the New Year. I was debating whether or not to put it in posts up at Movie Snitch, but chances are I’ll probably do so…after I see Lincoln and Les Miserables.  So it may change. But it’s still a tough choice on a “final” top ten. There were a surprisingly abundance of great films this past year. I also believe that there were less rotten duds that hogged the spotlight away from the gems. But there was one film, above any other that audiences seemed to skip on the basis on bad press and bad marketing alone..John Carter, which wasn’t a bad film at all. It’s just too bad it had a long time to finally get made and the results was more or less D.O.A. I think time will be kinder to the film, and it will get some appreciation in the years to come., That said, the star of that film was Taylor Kitsch,
who was also the lead in one of the worst films of the year, Battleship and that’s cause for alarm. Why? Because Taylor’s a lot like James Franco. Talented actor, can really nail a performance…and always winds up leading clunkers. Franco redeemed himself with the Apes film, but he won’t be back for the sequel (for story reasons). But Kitsch doesn’t have anything right now. We’ll find out what brings the actor this new year, but 2012 was not kind to him.

moonrisekingdom

There used to be a time when us film geeks would drool over a Wes Anderson film. Yet, when many of my blogging peers went over a top ten, even honorable mentions, Moonrise Kingdom was nowhere in sight. Was it the period piece? The scouting jokes? Has something or someone been falling out of favor? No–like I said before, there were many great 2012 films. I’m an optimist and say it got lost in the shuffle somewhere. I personally found the film to be witty, cute and Harvey Keitel’s uncredited performance as Commander Pierce. I’m actuall hoping he gets a supporting actor nomination for it. Make no mistake though – young actors Jered Gilman and Kara Hayward and their characters coming of age romantic getaway (so to speak) are the real charms of the comedy.

Comic book related films for the most part had a good showing in 2012, with two films being standouts. Of course I’m talking about The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises both of which knocked it out of the park and then some. These two films are interesting in the geekspheres, not just due to the characters roots, but the response that is received. Let me put it this way: The Avengers as great as a popcorn film as can be, was named The most mistake filled film of 2012 yet, a few alleged “plot holes/continuity errors” made The Dark Knight Rises less deserving to be in a Top Ten. And some wonder why I get a little peeved at my film/comic geek peers. I’ll get more into this ‘alleged’ plot holes in Dark Knight Rises in a few days in a in-depth revisit.
But let’s just say, there were expectations for each, and those expectations delivered. On the other side of the coin, one of my favorite Marvel Comics heroes got shafted in a sequel, and even though I got to see it for free (I won passes) Ghost Rider Spirit Of Vengeance made me convinced that Neveldine/Taylor are overrated one hit wonders. For that matter, I’ll never “get” the popularity of the Crank films and most likely never will. That said, the directing team does know how to stretch a dollar, and get crazy hyper-kinetic shots with their red cameras. The 3D aspect doesn’t work, and neither does a hard edged character pissing fire in the wind. The previous film I liked enough, but the retconning and the handling of the film bothered me. It made money though. If there’s a Ghost Rider 3, hopefully they will do better next time. Dredd was good, but not good enough to be in my top ten. I haven’t seen Men In Black III yet. Come to think of it…did anyone?

I am going to catch a little heat for two of my subjective “worst”, so lets get them out of the way. I don’t know why…but my geek peers went crazy over The Raid Redemption and Expendables 2. I didn’t mind the great martiasl arts display in Raid…but it got way over the top for me halfway in, and I felt it was just , forgive the pun, overkill. I got bored with it actually. Expendables, despite Jean Claude Van Damme and Sly’s fight scene, was a waste of time.

Here’s the rest of my lists, and where they place:

BEST TEN FILMS

10 – John Carter

9 – Bully

8 – The Grey

7 – Salmon Fishing In The Yemen

6 – Skyfall

5 – Moonrise Kingdom

4 – Ted

3 – The Avengers

2 – Argo

1- The Dark Knight Rises

Honorable Mention: The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey, Dredd, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Prometheus, Looper

WORST TEN 2012

10 – Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

9 – Wonderlust

8 – Resident Evil : Retribution

7- Underworld Awakening

6 – The Expendables 2

5 – The Raid : Redemption

4 – This Means War

3- Ghost Rider : Spirit Of Vengeance

2- Wrath Of The Titans

1- Battleshit. I mean, Battleship.

Dishonorable Mention: The Amazing Spider-Man.

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