The movie awards for 2012 had a number of fantastic candidates, both for greatness and ineptness. Many of the candidates were sequels or reboots, and while these are great movies, some acclaim must be given to original ideas, something that has unfortunately continued its decline in cinema. For last year, the winners are:
Best Movie: Django Unchained
Full disclosure: I am a huge Tarantino fan and have enjoyed basically everything he’s done. I realize that his style can sometimes be polarizing, so some patrons might not have the some appreciation for his style. That said, this is quite possibly his best work to date. Tarantino continues to develop into a masterful storyteller this time with a “spaghetti western” set in the pre-civil war slavery-ridden south. Jamie Foxx stars in the film as a freed slave bounty hunter looking to find and save his wife. Oscar worthy performances by Christopher Waltz (who is quickly developing into on of my favorite actors), Leonardo DiCaprio (the villain slave owner who owns Django’s wife), Samuel L. Jackson (who is the antagonistic house slave to DiCaprio’s character). The films continually develops and in true Tarantino style has well-defined acts that divide the film. It may be a bit long and violent for some people’s taste, but was easily the best movie I saw in 2012 and ended the year on great note for cinema.
Runner-up: Seven Psychopaths
A film I had wanted to see, but hardly at the top of my list, Seven Psychopaths turned out to be one of my favorite movies of 2012. A roller-coaster storyline that winds through thrilling action but has a comedic backdrop that provides a number of laughs from a phenomenal cast. Colin Farrell stars as a writer who is intertwining was seems to initially be fiction and reality. As the movie progresses the line between the two slowly disappears. The Tarantino-esque violence fits nicely into and Rockwell, Walken, and Farrell shine. Harrelson provides a great nemesis in a film you are not really sure who you are rooting for.
3. The Dark Knight Rises
5. Life of Pi
One the best reviews I heard of this movie before I saw it ended up being the most accurate. Our contributor John told me that once you see this movie, whenever you picture Abraham Lincoln in your head going forward, it will be Daniel Day-Lewis. While I’m not sure the movie overall was the best ever, I do agree that Day-Lewis put on a fantastic performance and deservedly won an Oscar for it. The film itself was a great snapshot of a portion of Lincoln’s presidency.
2. Christopher Waltz – Django Unchained
3. Denzel Washington – Flight
4. Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
5. Edward Norton – Moonrise Kingdom
Worst Movie: That’s My Boy
It’s pretty safe to say that if Adam Sandler is doing a voice for his character, the movie is going to suck. After gems like Jack & Jill and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, I suppose our expectations shouldn’t be so high. Yet again, Sandler disappoints. It takes a lot to make Andy Samberg look like a talented actor, but in comparison, he was Robert DeNiro. Sadly, the most talented person in the film is Vanilla Ice. It has a predictable plot with the only comedy coming when you are laughing the movie, not with it.
3. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Most Anticipated: Man of Steel
In the same mold that the Batman dynasty was reborn, the new Superman series looks to take a more realistic view of the son of Jor-El. Man of Steel has most moviegoers riveted to see this first installment that partners Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) with Christopher Nolan (Batman Trilogy). The new story takes a new look at the introduction of Superman to Earth and focuses more on his human characteristics than his alien powers. In fact, there is no kryptonite in the film.
2. Star Trek: Into Darkness