A Year In Review: The Best of 2012

Posted: December 29, 2012 in Movie News

Here we are at the end of another year, and what a year it has been! Cinematically speaking, 2012 was simply a downright-fantastic year. Probably, this was the greatest year since 2003, (since Return of the King, right?) It could actually be dubbed the year of the superhero. Indeed, Batman, Spider-Man, and the Avengers stole most of the thunder, and not because Thor is the God of Thunder. 2012 saw the long-awaited climax of the Batman trilogy, the equally-anticipated culmination of five years of Marvel films and—-even more exciting than the rest—-the first of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.

#5 The Amazing Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man

Let’s face it, remakes are generally received with much negativity, and Spider-Man was no exception. I, however, truly enjoyed the new and revised Spider-Man and believe that Mark Webb’s version was quite equal to, in fact superior to, the Sam Raimi versions (see “The Mark of a True Hero”).

This movie created real depth and passion for the character, and made us care about the kid behind the mask even more than before. Even though many may disagree, Amazing Spider-Man really was amazing, and I cannot wait for the next one.

#4 Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

Those who argue that the great Steven Spielberg’s style of film making has decreased in past years must see Lincoln and be astounded. I was an avid supporter of last year’s War Horse and am just as supportive of this year’s film. In a few ways, I would say it surpassed War Horse. In every way possible, it is a magnificent film that seeks to teach and to stimulate without resorting to unnecessary methods of keeping the audience engaged. The awe and spectacle—-not to mention brilliance—-of the film and the superb level of acting alone keep you engaged and completely absorbed.

Though some have condemned this film as “boring” and “devoid of any substance”, to them I would say “sad, foolish Americans.” In fact, of all the films of 2012, I would say that Lincoln is pure academy award-winning material.

#3 The Avengers

Avengers Unite

Need I say how unprecedented—-and truly spectacular—-The Avengers was? Now when I say “spectacular” I don’t mean to undermine great works of art like Lincoln or Lawrence of Arabia. What I mean is that, for its kind, it really is marvelous: the first of its kind, even. And considering how utterly simple it would have been to mess it up, Joss Whedon is a wizard of cinematography and storytelling.

It employs every means possible to create an epic thriller filled with fun, action, conflict, meaningful drama, and with a fantastic cast. Truly, the greatest superhero movie ever created. Others must have thought so as well, because it was the biggest weekend opener OF ALL TIME and ended its super run with $1.5 billion in revenue, the third-highest ever!

#2 The Dark Knight Rises

Christian Bale in DKR

By now, Christopher Nolan has proved himself to be a masterful film maker, one who can create a fresh, electrifying, spectacular film of incredible magnitude with each swing. With Batman Begins and The Dark Knight the great successes that they were, fan expectations were unbelievably high; so high, in fact, that many believed the final Batman epic would never be able to top the last.

I was exceptionally pleased, however, to see Chris Nolan deliver an astonishingly-clever grand finale to the Batman trilogy that, yes, surpasses even The Dark Knight. Exceptionally fresh, extraordinarily stunning, and ever-compelling, The Dark Knight Rises was all an ardent Batman fan could ask for. More please, Mr. Nolan. No? Bummer.

#1 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Road Goes Ever On and On

Though some might disagree as to the placement of this film on the chart, many would have to agree that The Hobbit really was a monumental achievement—-despite its microscopic flaws. Personally, however, this film was my favorite simply because the book is my favorite, and I am a firm Peter Jackson devotee. Call me biased, but I honestly think that this was the best any director could have done.

What I enjoyed most about The Hobbit was its whimsical nature, just the way Tolkien intended it to be. Some of the scenes were faithfully executed word-for-word, and that which was not from the book was carefully selected by other works of J.R.R. Tolkien. So, in effect, even though some of it was not faithful to the book, it actually was faithful to the Tolkien lore.

To those who claim that The Hobbit is not up to par with The Lord of the Rings, to that I would say “it’s not supposed to be.” As I stated in my review, the intentions were not to compete with the predecessors, but to compliment them. Therefore, (and I say this with the utmost respect towards the classics,) The Hobbit was cleverly and masterfully done. Fiscally speaking, the box office very much appreciates The Hobbit. Currently, its expectations are for it to rise to the $700 million mark.

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 So hear me now, people, when I say that for the rest of your life you will have the great privilege of saying that you lived through one of the greatest years in cinematic history . . . and that the Mayans were actually wrong.

Have a very happy New Year!

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