Jan 03, 2013 04:47 PM EST
FlickDirect Defies Moviegoers and Names Avengers Top Film of 2012
The movie year 2012 has been questionable for quality film releases even with it's nearly $11 billion dollar box-office take. Struggling to choose the best films for my readers I came up with the following list of 10 films (and three comedies I love from 2012). Those followers that read my film critiques on a regular basis and give feedback like most all genres from action to romance, fantasy to comedy and anywhere in between. My reviews of the films can be found in the archives of this website and relate accordingly to my top 10 choices for the audiences to which they are targeted. Please do not hesitate to comment for leave me your picks of what you feel were the best in 2012. Thank you for following me on Twitter, Facebook and this website and I wish everyone a Happy New Year and an enjoyable movie going 2013.
Here are the top ten films that I enjoyed, are the most creative and provided the best entertainment for the masses that are my readers.
Number 1. THE AVENGERS: This fantasy made up of top tier Marvel Comics action heroes not only put millions of moviegoers in theater seats, but created a buzz that should deliver episodes of each of the characters for many years to come. Placing all the chips on the table, Marvel Studios brought an amazing film filled with action, intriguing storyline, comedic relief and excellent characterization to make the story work bringing in over $1.5 billion at the box-office. The Avengers is one of the few 3D movies in 2012 that used the special effect correctly adding the wow factor. The Avengers is now available on Blu-ray.
Number 2. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES- Although I may get some flack with this comment, I feel that this attempt at bringing a darker Batman character to the screen almost outdoes The Dark Knight with a smart plot and non-stop action. While all the characters depicted are not faultless, the film brings a perfect storm to moviegoers that ties up loose ends, adds dimension to the continuing story and opens the door to another character's adventures. This episode of the franchise brought in over $1 billion worldwide representing millions of movie theater viewers most of which are loyal followers. The Dark Knight Rises is now available on Blu-ray.
Number 3- ARGO- Bringing Argo to the screen in the face of the recent murder of an American Ambassador abroad in Benghazi, Libya was not expected for the filmmakers yet adds realism to the film's presence in today's conflicted world. Ben Affleck directs and stars in this intricate attempt to create an escape plan for USA Embassy workers out of Tehran, Iran during the uprising leading to 1980's Iranian Revolution. Based on the real event the movie gets so tense at times, especially when Affleck's character has to walk the escaping group around the city as a rouse to convince the government that they are part of a film crew. It was so fearful that it had me white knuckling my theater arm rests. Acting all around should be commended on the fine production that should be in the list of Oscar Nominees for Best Film. Argo will be available on Blu-ray February 19, 2013
Number 4- DJANGO UNCHAINED- Quentin Tarantino pulls off another one of his up in your face films with no holds barred. Much like his Inglourous Basterds where he offers up a heap of whoop ass on the Nazis in World War II, Tarantino puts slavery in his dubious spotlight with a movie that grabs you where it hurts, twists them till their blue and chews the subject matter a new…. Well you get the idea. Being one of Tarantino's ardent fans helps as I'm a believer that there's not a filmmaker like him, except for possibly Sam Peckinpah. Taking in a modest $70 million since Christmas, the film should make it into the top 20 before it goes to video sometime in March or April 2013.
Number 5- SKYFALL- Probably the best James Bond in the series, Skyfall shows what a filmmaker can do with an excellent cast, an exciting storyline and the proper film crew. The movie takes off with an action sequence that equals the excitement of Fast Five's ‘safe swap' scene and works its way though some tight encounters up to its very creative final conflict. The third largest moneymaker worldwide in 2012, this film guarantees a continuation of a franchise that almost collapsed. Skyfall will be available on Blu-ray February 18, 2013
Number 6- THE SESSIONS- Although it didn't have major distribution, this inspirational film involving a polio victim who wants to have sex for the first time, delivers amazing performances in the well written The Sessions. Both John Hawkes as debilitated poet Mark O'Brien and Helen Hunt as Cheryl his surrogate sex partner are moving, sensual together and incredibly believable in their roles. Based on a true story, the film delves into the intricate life of O'Brien and his inspiring persistence to accomplish a goal that jumpstarts his life including his lifelong dream of marriage. The Sessions, an adult film, is available on Blu-ray.
Number 7- BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD- The film with a big heart takes place in Louisiana in an area called The Bathtub starting a day before and two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit the area with a devastating blow. Living with her ailing father in a flooded area of the Bayou 6-year-old Hushpuppy has to deal with what has been handed to her, a life wrought in toil and an insurmountable apprehension of a dismal future. I am amazed at the fine acting by the unknown cast, especially 5-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis in the lead role. But, the star of the film is really writer/director Benh Zeitlin who's first attempt at a full feature film turns out to be an award worthy piece that didn't fall through the cracks. His ability to get star worthy performances from amateur talent, create an atmosphere of heart wrenching disarray, and show the results of a catastrophe far more shocking than most of us want to believe, certainly stands head and shoulders above most of the 2012 releases. The film is now available from Red Box.
Number 8- ZERO DARK THIRTY- This step-by-step insight into how the CIA found Osama Bin Laden and then blew him away is nicely produced, directed and acted. I found the film involving, intriguing and then startling, playing out like a news story happening before your eyes. Even though you know the story from the media, you will be shocked with the finale of this nearly 3-hour suspense filled movie. It's definitely worthy of being an Oscar contender with accolades in writing and direction. The film opens in theaters January 4, 2012 and then wider on January 11, 2012. It's the only way you will be able to see Zero Dark Thirty before the Academy Awards (and the BEST way to see it without distraction).
Number 9. THE HOBBIT- This film turned out to be a guilty pleasure for me since Lord of the Rings tops my all time favorite trilogy. An excellent piece of filmmaking, this beginning of a trilogy is exciting, intriguing, mesmerizing and memorable. With fresh characters, creative plot sequences and thrilling combat the movie entertains adventure and fantasy lovers. Adding the dimension of 48 frames per second combined with excellent use of 3D worked magic for the film raising the production to another level. With its recent release in December 2012 the film has already reached over $700 million worldwide. Still in theaters there has been no date set for its release on Blu-ray.
Number 10 (Tie)- BRAVE- Pixar, like no other CGI Animation Film Studio, has been consistent in releasing topnotch family entertainment that has generations reliving their exciting tales. With Brave, they have released a perfect family film that not only provides adventure, but inspirational value as well. There are excellent lessons to be learned and a whole lot more as Merida rides her stallion into the forest to an experience where she will make challenging decisions that will change her life forever. Gorgeous 3D animation, excellent voice acting and a fine soundtrack helped to drive the film to the highest USA box-office for an animated film in 2012. The film is now available on Blu-ray.
Number 10 (Tie)- THE HUNGER GAMES- Teens flocked to see this action adventure that associates with their fantasy of social diversity and intrinsic excitement. The film's heroine Katniss played by Jennifer Lawrence made the character a superhero in the eyes of a huge female audience much like Bella in The Twilight Saga. Although, only a taste of what's promised in the future, The Hunger Games should be a lasting franchise due to the popularity of both the first movie and the book series. The Hunger Games was third in this year's box-office nearly doubling Breaking Dawn Part 2. The film also has been received well worldwide for a planet total of nearly $700 million. The Hunger Games is now available on Blu-ray
THREE EXCELLENT COMEDIES: TED, THE CAMPAIGN, WRECK-IT RALPH. I just couldn't resist lauding my three Best comedies for 2012. If you were able to see these in the theater you probably laughed as much as I did. With the very hotly contested Presidential race taking up all the television time, the three very funny films were a nice respite from all the debates, speeches, mudslinging, and political rhetoric. The two best pals, John and Ted (John's teddy bear come to life) are inseparable and as John grows up he throws caution to the winds taking advice from his wild and crazy bear. In The Campaign we find Cam Brady and Marty Huggins going at it in a parody on elections with some of the most outlandish scenes ever on the screen. The animated film Wreck-It Ralph takes a stroll down memory lane where the games come alive each night after the arcade shuts down. Ted and The Campaign are available on Blu-ray and Red Box, but Wreck-It Ralph won't be out on Blu-ray until March 5th, 2013.
* Editor's note -- Titles refers to LA Times article written about how movie audiences view Avengers as the most overrated movie of 2012 (link)
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