The hits and the shits
With 2012 soundly behind us, and 2013 off to an ambling start already, it’s finally time to take a look at the best and worst of film in the year that the world was supposed to have ended. Pass your Mayan friend the popcorn, and be thankful you’re still alive to enjoy (and hate) these films of some distinction. The films are in no particular order, so don’t get your shit in a knot over an imaginary hierarchy. Without further ado:
THE BEST FILMS OF 2012
1) Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson’s latest piece of quirky auteurism was without a doubt one of the finest looking films of 2012. Visually stunning, and often laugh-out-loud funny, and starred Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray and Frances McDormand as a police captain, a socially awkward scout master and two yuppie attorneys. If none of that sounded appealing, you have no soul.
Turns out, the horrifying apple doesn’t fall far from the cerebral horror tree. Brandon Cronenberg, son of David, released Antiviral on an unsuspecting population on Nov. 30. The film was simultaneously a mockery of the North American obsession with celebrity culture and a torturous look at the body-horror that’s done Brandon’s father so well over his forty-year career.
3) To Boldly Flee
Now, this one might not technically count, only because so few people actually saw it. To Boldly Flee was the latest film produced by That Guy With the Glasses, the online army of comedy reviewers led by Doug Walker aka the Nostalgia Critic. The film blended meta, black, and self-referential humor with sci-fi storytelling conventions to produce a low-budget, three hour sci-fi odyssey. It also marked the retirement of the Nostalgia Critic character. This film proved that you don’t need an unlimited pocketbook to craft a masterpiece.
4) Seven Psychopaths
It’s hard to explain why most of the best films on the list are comedies of some stripe, but that’s how the chips fall, sometimes. Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken steal Woody Harrelson’s beloved Shi Tzu. Hilarity ensues. Martin McDonagh’s third film watches incredibly similarly to his 2008 film In Bruges. This is not a bad thing at all.
5) The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Often considered the quintessential novel about teenaged awkwardness, this modern-day classic finally received the film treatment in 2012, and the results were nothing short of spectacular. The novel’s author Stephen Chbosky directed the screen adaptation, thankfully therefore, the film never lost sight of its source material. Anyone who was ever a teenager is able to relate to something in this film, and for being so universally human, this was easily one of 2012’s best.
THE WORST FILMS OF 2012
1) Marvel’s The Avengers
Being the only person who didn’t like the Avengers is a bit of a lonely existence. Strip away the national-debt sized budget, and the Avengers was nothing more than a weak ensemble movie with shitty characters, no focus, and a lacklustre story arc. The only redeeming thing about the Avengers was that as little as a decade ago, this movie would have been impossible to film. Thanks Herr Mickey, for monopolizing all of entertainment and making dreams almost come true.
2) The Dark Knight Rises
What’s the only rational way to end the greatest trilogy of superhero movies of the 21st Century? Satirize the gist of the recent occupy movements with a completely unintelligible villain, and try to make screwing in Europe for the rest of your life seem like a sad ending. Also, is it a good idea to set off a bat-shaped pyrotechnic right above a ten tonne nuclear bomb?
3) Anything in 3-D
I don’t know that I’ve given 3-D enough shit yet or not. This overpriced fad is ruining what would ordinarily be sufficient films. If I wanted a headache, I would go headbutt a brick wall, and I wouldn’t have to wear a stupid pair of fucking hipster glasses to do it.
4) That’s My Boy
By this point, if Adam Sandler were a dog, and were this dog for sale in a pet store, I think your best offer would be a shotgun and a barn behind which you could “take care of business.” That’s My Boy was the perfect storm of unfunny acting, writing, and situations. It’s films like this that’s driving people to Netflix in droves.
5) Anything Johnny Depp was in
21 Jump Street, Dark Shadows, and an episode of Family Guy: 2012 has not been kind to Johnny Depp. There was a time where Depp could have crapped on a strip of celluloid, and it would have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars overnight. Now’s a bit of a different story. Next year’s Lone Ranger remake already looks like a turnaround from this year. Let’s hope so.
Photo courtesy of collider.com