Sunday, 30 December 2012

My Top 5 Films Of 2012

2012 was a bumper year for movie-nuts with there being a little of something for everyone; bombastic superhero blockbuster, high tension Cold War dramas, zany coming-of-age tales all feature in my personal Top 5 Films of 2012.

5) Skyfall 


Daniel Craig as 007
James Bond was back in a big way this year; kicking off celebrating 50 years of films by making a surprise cameo at the Olympics, Bond's 23rd screen outing in Skyfall blew everyone away by being, let's face it, pretty damn good.

After a mission in Turkey goes pear-shaped for Bond (Daniel Craig) and Eve (Naomi Harris), Bond is faced with getting himself back in the game and stopping the villianous Silva (Javier Bardem) from killing M (Judi Dench) and destroying MI6.

Skyfall shook away the lingering doubts that surrounded Craig's second outing as Bond (2008's Quantum of Solace) and put himself right back on track with heaps of exciting action, sultry sirens and sleek sports cars.

You can read my original review of Skyfall by clicking on this link: Film Review: Skyfall


4) The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Logan Lerman and Emma Watson in
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a charming and honest look at the sometimes horrible experiences of being an adolescent in high school.

Charlie (Lerman) is a shy and introverted highschool freshman who is taken under the wing of two seniors; Sam (Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller).

Together the trio come to terms with growing up, leaving behind loved ones and moving onto college. Between them, the three leads develop a brilliant on-screen chemistry that makes their friendship look, feel and sound real. A killer soundtrack also enriches the high school and house party atmosphere.

It is however, the raw and tender moments between Charlie and Sam (as well as those that explore Charlie's troubled and damaged past) that sets this otherwise unassuming coming-of-age drama aside from the rest.


3) Looper


Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in
Looper
Put the pyrotechnics down people, Looper is here to show you how science-fiction should be done. Proving that all you need to put together some killer science-fiction is an intelligent script, a clever concept and a stellar cast, 2012 was the year that director Rian Johnson blew us all away with Looper.

Set in 2042, Looper centres on the simple premise of time-travel orientated assassination; a 'looper' is someone who kills targets that are sent from the future to their present, dumping the bodies and eradicating said target entirely.

With Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt all putting in some great performances, Looper impressed on every level; it was well written, it was well-acted and it had some striking visuals when the action ramped up in the final third.

Cast aside your Battleships' and your John Carter's; Looper is how proper science-fiction should be done. Don't miss out.

You can read my original review of Looper by clicking on this link: Film Review: Looper


2) The Avengers


"Take away the suit of armour and what are you?"
Putting together the ultimate super-hero film was no mean feat for Joss Whedon, but somehow he pulled it off; bringing together Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) into the one film for the first time could have ended in disaster.

Instead, the Avengers was a rip-roaring success, the combined forces of Marvel's greatest hitting the bullseye in terms of what we have come to expect from the characters. Interweaving numerous franchises and their subsequent back stories, Whedon gave each member of the team their due.

The real winner here however was the script; The Avengers is not just a contender for biggest action film of the year (the final third of the film tears New York a new one) but also the funniest. The verbal banter between Earth's Mightiest Hero's had me in stitches, the zinging one-liners racing across the screen with ferocious speed. Not just that, but Whedon spent the time focusing on the protagonist's mortality and humanity, not making them seem invincible or unbeatable.

You can read my original review of The Avengers by clicking on this link: Film Review: The Avengers


1) Argo


Bryan Cranston and Ben Affleck in Argo
Set in a Revolutionary 1970's Iran, Argo tells the story of six American's fleeing from certain death at the hands of an Iranian public baying for their blood. Cut off from the outside world, their only hope of escape comes in the form of Ben Affleck's CIA agent and 'Argo'; a zany scheme that sees the CIA team up with Hollywood producers to forge the ultimate cover story. Under the pretence of filming a B-grade science fiction movie in the deserts of Iran, Mendez (Affleck) must outmanoeuvre the police and stay one step ahead if he is going to get the Americans' out of Iran alive. 

Based on a true story, Argo was gripping from start to finish. It managed to maintain finger-nail biting tension throughout, the final third of the film keeping the audience practically gnawing at their knuckles. Each and every member of the film's cast acts their part down to a tee, from Alan Arkin's grouchy movie producer to Bryan Cranston's stressed CIA executive, the cast doesn't miss a beat.

The absurdity and implausibility of such a plan being pulled off however also sees the film veer into some side-splitting introspective satire that sends up the inner-workings of Hollywood, something that perfectly counterbalances the drama with levity.

You can read my original review of Argo by clicking on this link: Film Review: Argo


Honorary Mentions

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, The Woman in Black, Brave, The Amazing Spider-man, Rise of the Guardians.

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