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2012: Year in Review

January 9, 2013

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We’re going to do something a little different this year and look back at what we thought of  last year’s movies. I thought it was a great year, but more on that when we post our Top Ten lists. I’ve asked Paul Balsom and Matt Streets to join me in running down a list of categories, some are typical year-end categories (which may give you an inclination as to which way we’re leaning come Oscar time), while others are kind of random. There’s no right answer and we didn’t consult with each other before filling out this list.  It’s definitely interesting to see how similar or different they are. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts on these categories, our answers or the movies of 2012.

 

 

BEST ACTOR:

Paul- Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”

Matt – Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master” (runner-up: Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”)

David – Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”

 
BEST ACTRESS:

Paul- Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”

Matt – Jessica Chastain , “Zero Dark Thirty”

David – Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”  & Naomi Watts in “The Impossible” (can’t….pick….one)

 

 

TheMasterLancaster

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd in “The Master”

 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Paul- Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master”; Leonardo DiCaprio & Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained”  (yes, I picked three)

Matt – Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

David – Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”

 
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Paul- Anne Hathaway in “Les Miserables”

Matt – Shirley MacLaine, “Bernie”

David – Emily Blunt, “Your Sister’s Sister”, “Looper” and “The Five-Year Engagement”  (triple threat!)

 

 

theimpossibleJuanAntonioBayona

Juan Antonio Bayona directing “The Impossible”

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR:

Paul- Kathryn Bigelow – “Zero Dark Thirty”

Matt – Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”

David – Juan Antonio Bayona, “The Impossible”

 
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE:

Paul- Ted the Teddy Bear in “Ted”

Matt – Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”

David – Tom Holland, “The Impossible”

 
IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR FOR:

Paul- The Hulk

Matt – Long movies.  In an internet soaked, rapid-fire culture that seems to reward the shortest possible attention spans, and with everyone from theater owners to Hollywood producers striving to cut running times to the bone, it was remarkable that so many major films came out this year that clocked in at over two hours.  Check it:  “Lincoln” (150 min), “Zero Dark Thirty” (157 min), “Life of Pi” (127 min), “Les Misérables” (157 min), “Django Unchained(165 min), “The Master” (144 min), “Skyfall” (143 min), and even “Argo” and “Sliver Linings Playbook” hover at just over 120 minutes.  Longer does not necessarily mean better, but it often allows filmmakers to produce a more cohesive and expansive vision.

David – Alexandre Desplat, who composed fantastic soundtracks to “Moonrise Kingdom”, “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” that were (respectfully) whimsical, suspenseful, and intense AND I got to go with actor Mark Duplas, who starred in and produced  “Safety Not Guaranteed” and  “Your Sister’s Sister”, had a small role in “Zero Dark Thirty” (to name a few) and wrote and directed “Jeff, Who Lives at Home”.

 
IT WAS A VERY BAD YEAR FOR:

Paul- Good acting roles for women – not very bad, just not a strong year at all.

Matt –  Disappointing films from usually reliable directors. “Cosmopolis” by David Cronenberg was a hot mess, “Magic Mike” by Steven Soderbergh was frustratingly average and “Prometheus” by Ridley Scott was just a wreck.

David – Taylor Kitsch. Sorry, dude. You had an abysmal triad of “John Carter”, “Battleship” and “Savages”. Were each of those movies awful? No. But, they didn’t do any favors for you either.

 

 

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Hulk smashes in “The Avengers”

 

 

BEST HERO:

Paul- The Hulk in “The Avengers”

Matt – Joel Murray as Frank in “God Bless America”

David – Bruce Banner/The Hulk, “The Avengers” (he’s learned how to control his anger!)

 
BEST VILLAIN:

Paul- Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin C. Candie in “Django Unchained”

Matt – Werner Herzog as The Zec, “Jack Reacher” (runner-up: Javier Bardem, “Skyfall”)

David – Charlize Ther0n as Ravenna, “Snow White and the Huntsman” – What? She was frightening. Beautiful on the outside and an old hag on the inside who sucked the youth out of young girls and tossed them aside like banana peels. Not to mention a weird Angelina Jolie -like relationship with her bizarre brother.

 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Paul- Roger Deakins, “Skyfall”

Matt – Claudio Miranda “Life of Pi”

David – Roger Deakins, “Skyfall”

 
BEST SCORE:

Paul- Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Matt – Mychael Danna, “Life of Pi”

David – Michael Giacchino, “John Carter”

 

 

 

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY:

Paul- “The Imposter”

Matt- “Central Park Five”

David – “The Queen of Versailles”

 
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT:

Paul –  “The Bourne Legacy”

Matt – “Prometheus”

David – Disney failing to properly market “John Carter” and audiences responding unfavorably to the pulpy sc-fi yarn. Various reasons for both, but still unfortunate.

 
BIGGEST SURPRISE:

Paul: “The Imposter”

Matt – “Life of Pi”, I was really expecting not to like this movie.  Something about the previews and my preconceived notions about the book left me completely uninterested in this film, thinking it would be boring and pretentious.  Boy was I wrong, “Life of Pi” is completely engaging throughout, a sort of philosophical adventure story with stunning special effects and fantastic acting.  There is no better experience in film going than having your expectations completely turned on their heads.

David – “Pitch Perfect” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, movies that I had no anticipation for actually turning out to be quite good and really enjoyable.

 

 

 

theImposter

“The Imposter” 

 

 

BEST OVERLOOKED FILM:

Paul – “Safety Not Guaranteed”

Matt- “Arbitrage”

David – “Dredd”

 
FILM THAT YOU’VE LOST ENTHUSIASM FOR:

Paul: “The Cabin in the Woods”

Matt – “Skyfall”

David – “Lincoln”

 

FILM THAT YOU’VE GAINED ENTHUSIASM FOR:

Paul: “The Master”

Matt – “Moonrise Kingdom”

David – “Looper”

 
BEST FILM YOU’LL PROBABLY ONLY SEE ONCE:

Paul: “Compliance”

Matt – “Zero Dark Thirty”, This movie was absolutely fantastic, maybe my favorite of the year, but was completely nerve-shattering in every way.  It will be awhile before I’m able to revisit this one I think…

David – “Compliance” & “Killer Joe” (it’s a tie!)

 

 

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“Zero Dark Thirty” 

 

 

 

 

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