Film Review: Bandwagon Jumping 2012 Reflection
Film Review: Bandwagon Jumping 2012 Reflection
If 2011 was named ‘The Shitty Year Everyone Wanted Over’, and for the sake of this review I’m saying it was, then I’m dubbing 2012 ‘The Year They Didn’t Mess Up’. The Olympics went well, even if its legacy is one of column inches and golden post-boxes given to people who ran quite ‘fast’ (ignoring the existence of anything motorised up to and including lawnmowers) rather than human rights lawyers or campaigners across the world who risked their lives for democracy. The coalition government took enough of a pasting to think twice about some of it’s more divisive taxes (though their war with the disabled goes on) and a genius or madman or possibly both managed to survive the stupidest yet greatest feat I’ve seen in years and sky dive from space. It’s not been a perfect year of course, it turns out television personalities can’t do whatever they want to or be trusted around vulnerable teenage girls and South Africa are miles above everyone else at cricket and shooting miners who want a fair wage. Overall though, I’d say 2012’s been a decent year and a lot better than I thought it was going to be after the debacles of 2010 and 2011, but at the same time I’m glad those punk Mayans (and a guy I know called Scott) were wrong and I’ll get to see a hopefully better 2013, funnily enough that’s exactly the same way I feel about film’s performance in 2012.
Ignoring the end of 2012 where film once again found itself lumped with eccentric cousin videogame in the’ best scapegoat for a mass shooting’ category (along with liberalism, the media and a lack of guns in schools), it’s not been a bad year cinema wise…….. well I don’t think anyone will be leaving Clint Eastwood next to an empty chair anytime soon, but despite that gun toting dinosaurs (also a pretty decent director) best efforts film has definitely been a part of ‘The Year They Didn’t Mess Up’.
It’s actually quite an achievement that ‘they’ didn’t mess up. If ‘they’ were taken to mean The Big Studios then there’s been ample opportunity for a hack and slash on a franchise or two, yet somehow everything’s come out unscathed……………..mostly. True there’s been a few dick moves, Prometheus attempted to add abortion to the Alien backstory, The Avengers (one day I’ll review it, but not yet minions, not yet) basically ignored their own established endings to Thor and Hulk Edward Norton version without explanation, The Dark Knight Rises fixed the problem with Bane’s voice only to give him and (spoiler alert) Talia Al Ghul a plan that’s so hard to figured out, you get locked up in an insane asylum if you do, and a friend of mine whose an expert in all things Bond told me Daniel Craig’s getting a bit too dark, but these things aside, they were all decent films. The real surprise though was The Amazing Spiderman, respectful to the canon, not too flashy or over the top, just about made sense and took care to tell a proper character based story. It should have been lost in the shuffle, instead (for a wannabe indie filmmaker like me at least) it stood out, kudos Marvel and Marc Webb, kudos.
If alternatively ‘They’ is taken to refer to subtitled films, then clearly there’s a price to be paid for watching so many studio films, and I can’t help but feel if ‘they’ were to mean the foreign markets then there’s a sense ‘they’ or maybe I have lost their/my way a bit. Sure there was Monsieur Lazhar but that French-Canadian slice of realism aside there wasn’t really much to buzz in about. Haneke’s Amour got a lot of hype I suppose and maybe The Raid was a decent watch, I’ve also heard some good stuff about the Intouchables, but 2012 was far from the greatest year in subtitled history.
[Where ‘They’ is taken as reference to British cinema] British cinema likewise continues its puberty pains as it moves from Film Council funded government love-child into, well I have no idea what it’s turning into to be honest but for all the adversity there’s been a decent showing in 2012. Ken Loach stepped up (as he always does in times of crisis, he’s sort of like British cinema’s Batman) with The Angel’s Share, Sightseers was a nice way to end the year, and there’s some good stuff to look forward to in 2013, be nice if the government stopped dicking us about and just admitted they hate cinema though.
HFP wise, we filmed our first feature Modern Toss (total 12 days shooting) which should be edited and released as a commercial and artistic flop sometime next year, also Damien Mortimer’s The Eschatrilogy (a film no doubt helped enormously by my single day filming background shots and then dicking off to never be seen again, intimidated as I was by the macho atmosphere) got released (a hell of an achievement) and no doubt that Mousy Pheasant Josh Fowler continues his work on Two Gunned Saint or whatever he’s calling Sunset in a Berettas Eye these days.
Arbitrary awards coming up, but first the rules,
Only films actually released in 2012 and reviewed by my wannabe indie yet good self are eligible for these ‘awards’, so that limits this exercise to 8 titles, The Hunger Games, Battleship, Prometheus, Moonrise Kingdom, Monsieur Lazhar, The Amazing Spiderman, The Master, Sightseers……………………………….. see how easy it is when you don’t have an editor or deadlines and can just write/review whatever the fuck you want, die poor and happy kids, that’s the lesson right there.
Biggest Surprise Of 2012
Happily this year it’s a good surprise, the award goes to Battleship, yes Battleship. The Amazing Spiderman was a surprise, but it had a lot of weight behind it, Battleship had no right to be even watchable and yet somehow managed to be dumb, fun and full of cu………………………….watchable moments
Lived Up To The Hype 2012
This is where limiting yourself to the film’s you’ve actually made the effort to review comes into its own, I don’t have to worry about The Hobbit (yet), or questions like was Dark Knight Rises as good as people expected? Instead I can quickly and efficiently slice through the entire subject with The Master. It could have gone so wrong, instead it lived up to everything it promised, lucky us.
Unnecessarily Discriminatory 2012
The Hunger Games, a book entirely about class struggle between the rich and poor became a film where everyone black is relegated to single ‘all-black’ colony, absolutely pointless move that did nothing for the story except lazily play upon the expectations of white suburban America, enough said.
Film You Need to See to Prove You’re Not A Dick 2012
From the moment I watched it, there was only ever going to be one winner for whatever the fuck I named this category; Moonrise Kingdom, absolutely sublime from start to finish and just an all-round great, great great gem of a film. One my Brothers who likes studying people’s thoughts during sex bought it me for fake Jewish Christmas, thankfully I live around people with taste and have watched it twice since then, it holds up. The only negative is it’s probably the worst review I wrote all year, lucky no one reads them eh!
Happy New Year everyone, except that guy
Written By Sam ‘Phoned it in in February and won’t stop till next April’ McKinstrie
Unnecessarily on twitter as McKinstHFP
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