Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 in Film: Wrap-Up

So I actually did it? Sixteen reviews in sixteen days of the sixteen films I saw in theaters in 2012. Let's do a little wrap up now!

Norwegian Wood
[E]ven if this whole world is a solipsistic nightmare where all your friends kill themselves and sex is even more traumatic and alienated than everything else and the only way out is a desperate search for love with someone who will only be immediately codependent on without anything changing, at least this isn't the only possibility for everyone, even if it is for who we see.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
And to say that there are strong parallels between Goethe’s Faust Part I and Part II, and Ghost Rider and its sequel; well that would just be stretching, wouldn’t it; totally beyond the ambit of something so lowly as a review on a stupid blog.
The Secret of Arrietty
There did seem to be something that everything was "about," a broad thematic towards which each moment of the film seemed to be referring.
John Carter
Every single aspect of the film, from its scale to its content to its production, screamed that it was going to bore the hell out of you, and I can happily report back that the mission was accomplished.
Silent House
[W]here the film works is not so much in its experience as in how it lingers, and what about it does.
21 Jump Street
fuck cops
The Hunger Games
The movie was, if nothing else, an object lesson in why you don't let people who aren't deeply and weirdly in love with monsters design or work on your monsters.
The Cabin in the Woods
The ambivalence that I felt when I first heard of Cabin in the Woods, or when I think about it as a sum of aspects like its premise, its director, its alleged reason for existing, and so on, is approaching ontological.
Safe
I am really out of my element here. I'm not even sure why I am trying to write this.
Men in Black 3
What this film does do is to treat itself as a film, which is to say that it builds its world and narrative with a sense of the visual at least as much as the thematic. For that alone it beats Looper hands down.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Every thread collapses in on itself, each apparent misstep an even more accurate portrayal of itself than a more technically accomplished or politically or psychologically robust alternative could have possibly been.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
But fuck it; you open the toychest or you don’t. It’s not like its fucking locked.
Looper
I suppose what I have to say about Looper itself is that it was fine or whatever, I guess.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
By basically not having any characters, and by treating the plot as a paranoid conspiracy/mythological structure become material, it recreates the sensation of estrangement from form that makes the games as effective as they are.
Wreck-It Ralph
[W]hile Wreck-It Ralph does offer gaudy, sugary, borderline self-parodic designs, it does so in a way that is actually much more like playing a video game than watching one, which is an achievement I don't think I've encountered in film representations of video games before.
Rise of the Guardians
The overwhelming sense I got from this movie was that it was going to ram 3D down your fucking throat and you were going to like it.

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