Alright guys. Time for the individual awards. As you should expect (if you've been following my awards [which you totally should be]), we've got my… unique categories. Which are the categories you should care about.
Basically, what sucks. These movies are not so-bad-they're-good, but are so-bad-they're-worse.
A movie so heavy handed with its message the story barely gets told.
Rock of Ages
Great soundtrack! Too bad everything else sucks.
Winner: The Watch
This movie's main redeeming quality is Richard Ayoade. Sadly, he's not enough of a factor to save this lousymovie that had so much potential but just crashed and burned right out the gate.
Baddonkey of the Year
Every good action movie's got him. You can throw an army and the kitchen sink at him, and he still prevails. And for that, he is awesome.
Abraham Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The 16th President uses a silver axe to kill vampires. That is all.
Judge Dredd, Dredd
Karl Urban's chin has never looked quite so manly and intimidating.
Black Widow, The Avengers
Proof that a Baddonkey doesn't have to be pure muscle or a man, Natascha Romanov earns her nomination due to fighting not just smart but hard too.
Winner: James Bond, Skyfall
James Bond really shines in this reconstruction of the James Bond mythos.
Is it stilted or awkward or does it roll of the tongue?
Joss Whedon. 'nuff said.
But if not, here's more: Y'see, Joss Whedon is a fantastically economical writer. He uses dialogue to quickly establish exposition without it ever seeming outright and can also establish characters with just a few lines. It's impressive (and something I am very jealous of). Then of course his dialogue is just brimming with wit. This man is one of the best writers of dialogue today.
Did it make you laugh? And more importantly, did it make you laugh well?
It's a foulmouthed teddy bear. if that's not your cup of humor, fine. But if it is you'll spend the movie's duration laughing incessantly. The humor's twisted and dark (due in no small part to, again, the incongruity of a foulmouthed teddy bear). It's hilarious, and you'll text your friend the thunder buddy song when it rains.
Music carries a film. Duh. Here's the best:
Rock of Ages
Lousy movie, epic 80's music.
This soundtrack is epic. Leaving the BluRay's menu on while getting ready to watch it yields the most epic walks down a hallway. You want a soundtrack that captures the heroism of this movie? Alan Silvestri delivered.
Why? Because mixing Rap/HipHop into a Western about a black man is awesome.
Just listen to Christophe Beck's score for this and try to disagree with me.
This is the movie that makes you think "Holy snap that's frickin' awesome"
This movie gets an oddly bad rap despite being a slick, really really cool piece of science fiction.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
It's a relatively historically accurate biography of the 16th president except he hunts vampires. And. It. Is. Awesome.
It's James Bond being James Bond, only better.
Winner: The Avengers
It's Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye on screen together fighting Loki. What more do you want?!
Who needs character/plot development when you've got booms?
The Expendables 2
Sure, it's not as beautifully gruesome as the first, but it's still a wonderful action movie.
It's not quite as mindless as my usual nominees for this category, but the slomo action scenes are just gorgeous. Who knew a skull exploding could be so beautiful?
This is the movie that did something new, something cool, or just special.
It played with 3D and slow motion, using it as a narrative device as much as for spectacle
Proved that a superhero team-up not only works, but can be amazing.
Blue Like Jazz
Wait, a movie by Christians about a Christian that's not hawking dogma? Impossible!
Winner: Cloud Atlas
No, it's not an amazing movie, but it tried something new and kinda pulled it off. So props to them.
Best Special Effects
If I need to explain this, then, well, stop reading.
The bear, man. Of special note is the fight between Mark Wahlberg and Ted. That's all around impressive.
Life of Pi
No bear, but the composite work with the animals deserves a mention.
Winner: The Avengers
ILM made a CGI model of a chunk of Manhattan. That alone would be enough for a spot on the list, but the Hulk just notches them up here.
Daniel Day-Lewis, Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln
I get the feeling this is the image of Lincoln everyone will think of from now on out (which is a shame; I wish everyone thought of him hunting vampires). But Day-Lewis' performance is so amazing no one else can even enter this list.
Jennifer Lawrence, Tiffany Maxwell, Silver Linings Playbook
For the record, she was my pick before the Oscars. She was fantastic in 2011's X-Men: First Class and really took off in The Hunger Games, but it's in Silver Linings Playbook where we really see her shine.
Movies That I Really Like For Reasons That I'm Not Quite Sure
These aren't the best movies of 2012, but they're up there.
Blue Like Jazz
It's not the most amazing movie, but it gets points for its honesty and dedication to telling the story it wants to tell.
The Cabin In The Woods
I'm a big fan of deconstruction and post-modern storytelling. This film takes that and applies it to a genre I usually avoid and creates masterful results.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Yes, I liked this one more than the old ones. Maybe it's casting Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Martin Sheen, maybe it's the closer focus on telling a story about Peter Parker, maybe it's because freakin' Marc Webb's directing, or maybe it's because Till Kingdom Come is in it.
Probably all of the above.
There's just so much going for this masterpiece of a movie. It's a reconstruction that serves as a brilliant, fun movie that's able to capture both highs and lows.
Silver Lining's Playbook
I don't even know where to begin with this movie, just that I really really loved it.
Best Animated Film:
This is probably my favorite non-Pixar piece of animation Disney's produced since Tangled (and before that, The Lion King). It's magical, something that suddenly makes the world outside the animation seem more real. Coupled with the phenomenal soundtrack and, it's beautiful. Just beautiful.
Best Moving Picture:
Look, you knew this was coming. I wrote too many Essays, Not Rants about it, but let me list the reasons why this is unquestionably the best movie of 2012:
- Incredibly deft screenplay that balances exposition and action
- The team dynamic hits the appropriate speed bumps
- Every main character has an arc
- Joss Whedon's banter is in full effect
- Fantastic action that never loses the characters
- Great special effects
- That one long shot of each of the six during the final battle
- It paid off on the last four years of hype