weird thoughts from the hopelessly insane
Born of a wolf, under a dead bloody sun, on a hilarious night of exorcism gone a bit stupid. Perhaps a beast made of rotten strawberries, the rest of this pathetically unclean information should not be asked.
Friday, 21 December 2012
BEST OF 2012
& A Dangerous Method – Two great Cronenberg films in
one year. Cosmopolis is a wonderful, twisted tale of a man slowly drifting away
from his life, conversing with people who he slowly loses interest in as they
talk. It has an obsessiveness that’s fascinating, of a man who can no longer to
connect with life, has quirks and complexities to suggest there’s a lot more
going on than meets the eye. A Dangerous Method is about Jung and his
development of his own form of psychotherapy theories of treatment, of the
confusion, self-torment and difficulty of such a life. Two films where the
protagonists seem ready to crawl out their own skins.
In Distress & Killer Joe – Two tales of
romance, with different outcomes. One is a kind-hearted story of people
over-coming their private traps, pretensions and insanities, for a earned
heart-warming (and old-movie style) conclusion. The other has masses of nudity
within dialogue, family members murdering each other in the most primal way
imaginable, a teen marrying a murderous cop, and a sour outlook on life. Everyday
life is somewhere in the middle but these were terrific films.
Adventures Of Tintin & Moonrise Kingdom – Two
child-like tales with different styles. Tintin was Spielberg’s best film in
years, a tale of a young man going on adventures around the world, having a
sense of excitement about the world, it’s odd characters, and the fantastical
possibilities that is infectious. Moonrise Kingdom was about the damage of
isolated worlds, having the actions of rebellious, unconventional children
making life slightly more bearable.
Cabin In The Woods & Chronicle – Kids. What can you
do with them? In these two films the answer is obvious. Kill ‘em all. The Cabin
In The Woods is a self-knowing parody of the genre that works as its good on
character and cheekily doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s based in the
1980’s horror, its set-up Sam Raimi, its ending pure 80’s John Carpenter.
Chronicle is based on the idea of kids getting superpowers and then acting like
kids rather than noble icons, which leads to murderous intent and the world
hating them. These were genre films done properly.
Muppets & The Pirates – Two films that are simply fun,
which is an ignored area of pretentious and highly dubious lists such as these.
The Muppets was a simple get the muppets together again for a silly movie. It
was charming, had decent musical numbers and lots of Fozzie Bear. What more can
you ask. The Pirates was a wicked and ridiculous take on pirates, monarchy, clichés
of sea-bound tales, with gag after gag that landed. That’s more difficult than
Dark Knight Rises & The Avengers – Two excellent,
flawed comic book movies that succeed due to their strengths of scope over minor debatable decisions. The Dark Knight Rises had some plot flaws yet its
ambition, to cover the fall and rise of an entire city, and the evolution of a
modern myth gave it weight. The Avengers may not have had the most complex plot
or action but worked like a 1930’s comedy once the characters began to interact
and smart-arse lines and swift character beats were brought up, developed and
solved with a satisfying swiftness.
Hobbit – This film lacks passion, wit, purpose, and
intelligence. Is there any more damning comments that can be made of it.
– Outside of Suckerpunch, the worst film of the decade so far. Stupidly
militaristic, unimaginative design, dull action, terrible acting by all, and a
plot that took about 10 minutes to write and three seconds to read. Everyone
involved should be ashamed.
Completely stupid but not in a fun way. Goes on forever with dull/stupid set-up
scene after set-up scene, then ends suddenly with a few deaths. Just a rip-off
of audience goodwill, without the decency to put in any real effort. Lasts just
over an hour.
The Barbarian- Stupid remake of a John Milius film.
The action has no sense of staging, pacing, geography, wit, style, or shot to
shot progression. The lighting is lots of lights or nothing. The framing is
always awful. The actors are left behind by the director and writers so can’t
really be blamed for anything.
Reacher – A twisted knowing genre movie that gets round
potential clichés by clever human touches and dark humour. While the plot is
fantastical, everything is based upon bad decisions made by weak, greedy
people. Has a good lead character, a great car chase, brutal fights and a great
set of villains.
– A revenge tale that engaged quickly and efficiently. It had kick, never
wasted time, was brutal in its action, as it wound its way around a serious of
victims. A top-tier b-movie.
– Jason Statham’s best film, where he defends a little girl that various
underworld types want for her knowledge, all of whom have police ties. It has
the usual Statham action but also a plot jumping back and forth in time, that takes
time to reveal its character motivations. Far superior to what people would
Works very well as a classic Bond film, as well as developing the character, and
is a lot of fun with it going into the classic Bond characters. Not as good as Casino Royale, with some dubious
plotting, but it doesn’t matter ultimately, once the film kicks into gear. The
last few minutes are terrific.
– A SWAT team goes into a building and have to fight their way out. That’s the
simple premise, and it doesn’t deviate from that base yet the action is
terrifically brutal, and there’s some good but simple plot and character
mechanics, as well as a cynical view of the police politics that drive the
– Direct to DVD film of the year, with Scott Adkins as Boyka, mad Russian
prisoner, who has to go into an international prison fight tournament, as he
goes round after round, against an array of eccentric madmen, as he pummels his
way to get a chance at freedom. This works as it embraces the melodrama and
inherent absurdities. A great little b-movie.
FLAWED BUT INTERESTING
Tails – Old-fashioned in character, plotting and
dialogue, terrific in the sky. Yet it works as a throwback as it doesn’t try to
be hip, and is very under-rated.
– Another throw-back, this time from John Carpenter. A horror film set in a
mental asylum that puts Shutter Island to shame. It’s old-school
characterisation and detail that carry this one as an enjoyable b-movie.
– This film can be very stupid, hackneyed, irritating, but it also has a sense
of wonder about the universe, and sci-fi in general, that it’s difficult to put
it down too much. It needed more script work, and a better ending.
– A Shakespeare adaptation that’s a mess for the first 20 minutes before settling
down and becoming interesting in its unlikable monstrous central character who
can’t win, no matter which side he takes. It has terrific moments and confused
beats but it’s always interesting to watch.
Thick Of It Series 4 –A great conclusion to a wonderful,
cynical, sharp, sad, exasperated show, that makes most other political dramas
look naive and rather dumb.
Season 3 – The end of the Dan Harmon era on the show had ken
Burns parodies, a dreamatorium, kidnapping, madness, an episode inside a video
game and a musical. That and continually well-written and acted, unique
Rock Seasons 5 & 6 – Continual insanity and
brilliance on this show, especially Baldwin’s couches and his speech on
American workers and Frank’s romance.
Series 2 –Had a great opening that it, a good middle and
solid closing, it was another terrific year. Not quite as clever as series 1
but with better characterisations. It’s still a wonderful series.
Who Series 7.1 – Not quite as solid as series 5 &
6, it had great Dalek and Weeping Angels stories, and the other stories were
enjoyable. Is only halfway through but its peaks have been terrific.
Season 5 – A good ending to a terrific escapist series. The
shortness of the season meant a few plot developments moved too fast but it
still delivered a terrific, ambiguous ending and great moments for all its
Season 5 –Not quite yet back to series 3 form, the series
has terrific moments and character beats that most comedies wouldn’t dare
BEST FILMS SEEN RELEASED FROM PREVIOUS YEARS
- Films made with obvious pretensions to something greater.
Structure Of Crystal, Vengeance Is Mine, The Illusionist, Melancholia, Schizopolis,
Head, The Long Goodbye, The Rum Diary, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Client
9: The Rise And Fall Of Elliot Spintzer, A Cock And Bull Story, Primer, Vahalla
– Films made with a solid genre base.
Ishtar, Repo Chick, Contagion, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Captain America:
The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class, Dragonslayer, A Christmas Carol, Drive, Johnny
Handsome, Warrior, Behind The Mask- The Rise Of Leslie Vernon.
seen from previous year
Series 2, Mad Men Season 4 Game Of Thrones Series 1, Breaking Bad Season 3, Sons
of Anarchy Seasons 2 & 3, The Shield (all), Chappelle’s Show (all), The
Blue Planet, Ken Burn’s The War.