FEATURE: Ror's Best & Worst Of 2012 Part 1
5) THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
We'll start with the best. Many of my favorite movies of 2012 weren't comic book movies or covered here on CBM, but a few were, so what follows are my top 5. Click on to see if you agree/disagree, and sound off in the usual place..
Disappointing? maybe a little - if you were expecting another Fellowship Of The Ring, but the first part of Peter Jackson's new Middle Earth trilogy was always going to be a different beast from a narrative and tonal standpoint. It's a simpler, lighter story yes, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. The humor works well, and all of the performances are spot on. If you're not a fan, this won't make you one, but a few problems aside The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - much like its diminutive hero - comes shining through in the end.
Two of the biggest money-spinners in Hollywood today are the found footage and Superhero movies, so I guess it was only a matter of time before someone saw the sense in combining the two and making a packet. Luckily for us, that someone was Josh Trank, for while it might have been easy to be cynical, I think Chronicle turned out top be a Hell of a lot better than anyone thought it would be. I had a few minor quibbles with the last act, but overall the movie juggles a lot of elements brilliantly, and manages to be smart, funny, exciting and tragic without ever overdoing it or pandering to our emotions. I can't wait to see what Trank has in store for us next.
Rian Johnson's masterful third film easily earns a place in the top five. It may have been slightly overpraised by some critics, who labelled it as almost the second coming of sci-fi. It isn't - but it is is a brilliantly acted, directed, and exciting movie with a great - and mercifully, no sequel bait - ending. Looper may not be a "game changer", but not everything needs to be. It's still one of the best sci-fi movies we have had in a very long time.
2) THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Okay, so my top 2 won't come as a surprise to most but I wan't excluding them or changing the order just because it was predictable - both deserve the tops spots and that's that. What else can I say about Christopher Nolan's final Batman movie that hasn't already been said in two separate (theatrical release and Blu-ray) reviews. The movie most definitely has its critics - some fair, some not - and while I do have some issues with the movie myself, none are big enough to tarnish what I believe to be a flawed masterpiece. Nolan was under a lot of pressure to deliver after the critical and commercial juggernaut that was The Dark Knight, and he has succeeded. Is it better? I really don't know, but the point is it is a worthy follow up, and a more than satisfying ending to the trilogy. I will echo a few other reviews by saying whoever reboots Batman - whether they deliver a more faithful interpretation or not - is going to have their work cut out.
1) THE AVENGERS
I struggled with the order to put these final 2 in, as I honestly don't prefer one over the other. Yes they are both comic book films, but as far as I'm concerned it's like comparing Star Wars and Fight Club - I love them both but for very different reasons. But in the end Marvel's superhero team-up flick takes the top spot for sheer entertainment value and the spectacle of not just seeing all of these characters on screen together, but seeing them brought together so damn brilliantly by a man who clearly knows and loves his comic books. Did it live up to expectations? Well considering most fans were expecting a frackin religious experience I'm not really sure anything ever could, but it genuinely comes pretty close.
Honorable mentions: Skyfall, The Hunger Games, DREDD, Cabin In The Woods. Tune in tomorrow for my 5 worst.
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