Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Top 5 Films of 2012

Hope Springs is the number one movie of the year because it’s about working on a relationship and in the end this is what life is truly about. Best film of the year!

This film was a surprise that came out of left field. The dark, deep, and honest emotions build truly hard and damaged characters. This film literally comes to life.

A wonderful movie that highlights the universal connection of things while downplays the hardships. A movie for the dreamers.

This movie just plain rocks! Did you ever play the game when you were a kid? Ha ha, now aliens are in the mix… did you see that twist coming?

You have to love this film. Its so ridiculous and hilarious with a good message at the end.

I also wanted to give some credit to the runners up.

These films get honorable mention because they really make for wonderful Cinema. I wanted to support their efforts in bring us compelling storylines and pure entertainment.

Surprisingly powerful

Emotionally Moving

Cinematically dazzling…

Powerfully soft

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Written By Mark Boal
Directed By Kathryn Bigelow
Starring Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt

Have you seen The Hurt Locker yet? Really… if you haven’t seen it, then your bound to like this film. Everything about this film flies in the face of Bigelow’s last great success. The Hurt Locker was an experience to be had, something you wouldn’t forget. When you compare these two films they are as polarized as night and day.

For starters this film almost comes off as supportive of the war on Terror. The audience is energized after watching this film even with its honest and brutal portrayal of war. After watching The Hurt Locker no one wants to be apart of war. These films are both honest and human stories about war in the Middle East and the conflicts they illuminate in every human heart.

What this film does vary well is give us a face of the men and women who put themselves in harms way. These people are real and for the most part average everyday people. We can respect those men and women who fight for our safety even though we don’t agree or support the conflict.

The story revolves around the special mission of finding and eliminating the leader of the terrorist movement. This films discusses the importance of results. The questions lingers in the background “do the Ends justify the means?” For some they do and in this film the answer is a little ambivalent.

No Rating. If you haven’t seen the hurt locker then I recommend seeing this one first. If you have seen The Hurt Locker, don’t bother with this one. 

Skyfall (2012)

Written By Neal Pursi, Robert Wade
Directed By Sam Mendes
Starring Daniel Craig

007 has lost a step in this one. He’s a bit older and angry at his commanding officer M. for a controversial order.  He doesn’t have that old excitement he once did as the international spy in the most impossible of situations. Now he's looking for the path of least resistance and the working smarter not harder.

For most of the film they keep you guessing. Does he still have what it takes or doesn’t he? You almost want to see him give up and a certain point. The honesty of an aging agent is that the rules still apply. The greatest agent gets by on his smarts not his muscles.

Craig does a great job of making and aging character dealing with aches and pains look good. He still has all the swagger of his younger days. The rest of the cast bolster him up well and bond always gets the girl. Judi Dench plays M. and she is always a wonderful character and hold such honesty on screen. Her face has so much to convey as her voice lingers in the air. Javier Bardem is a wonder to behold because his character is stranger and crazier then most horror film villains.

The best part of the film is when Bond sits down at the bar with his love interest and the bar tender shakes a martini. As the bartender poor bond a drink he says, “that’s just the way I like it!”

No rating. Its Bond… James Bond. You know what your getting. 

Les Misérables (2012)

Written by William Nicholson, Claude-Michel Schonberg
Directed by Tom Hooper
Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway & Samantha Barks

Les Mis is a difficult movie to Review. Never in history has there been such story so eloquently told in such a moving and powerful way. This review will not be on the voices of the actors or the songs of the musical. This is a review of the story itself.

Victor Hugo wrote a novel and published it in 1862. This novel basically summed up what the current political psyche has been for the past 300 years. What was compelling to victor Hugo in the Mid 17th century is still compelling today. Consequently most notable critiques gave poor reviews of his book despite its public popularity. “A book for the people” one might say. This film is an adaptation of that story mixed with other adaptations that have permeated down through the generations.

Why do we tell old stories? The answer is simply put because they are powerful. A truly good story is hard to find. And once you find it its hard to keep with you. Humanity is plagued with forgetfulness and stories help us remember. What do we need to remember? One thing the common man is prone to forget is our own humanity and compassion for ‘The Miserable’ and beaten down.

Hugh Jackman plays Jean Valjean with a wonderful olive oil voice. Russell Crowe as Javert sings beautifully. Anne Hathaway will bring tears to your eyes while she weeps. Samatha Barks might just steal the show.

The point of this story is spoken aloud in one of the final songs. Simply “Remember the truth that once was spoken: To love another person, is to see the face of God” This story brings that sentiment out through every facet of life from politics to personal relationships. And it is nothing if it doesn’t move you.

Top Five. 

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Written By: David O. Russell & Matthew Quick
Directed By David O. Russell
Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro & Chris Tucker

I loved this movie even though it was basically the same old story of high school kids play out every day. What you get when you see this film is not a swanky teen drama that borders on pornographic. You get deep, three-dimensional character that are not clean or square. Each scene bumps up on the last and everything is muddled and dark. The film is somewhat of a comedy… Although the euphemism “if we didn’t laugh, we’d cry” comes to mind. Dark it may be, though often films that try to mimic life fall into this category.

Cooper brings a wonderfully rich character with brooding emotion and confused motivation. His depth as an actor is felt throughout this film. Lawrence does an amazing job of pairing her character with his. She gives in when she has to but she takes as much as she takes on as much as she can in each moment. De Niro also plays a loveable father figure that truly cares for his son but doesn’t quite know how to show it.

The movie crescendos into a dance off Cooper and Lawrence have been practicing, while also confronting their dirty past. It’s hard to understand what’s going on, interestingly enough. No one knows how one feels about the other or what he or she should be doing about it. Its as if everything is up in the air… including Lawrence in the dance number.

The meaning of this film was so pure it almost hurt to say it out loud. The truth is in life we are all just little teenagers running around acting like adults. One day we realize those adults we imitate were just as childish as we are. But its good to keep up appearances and the show must go on. Absolutely brilliant.

Top Five. Go see this one.