With the first snowfall of 2013 well on its way all across the UK, the Golden Globes awarded a few days ago, and the films from last year already collecting dust on the shop-shelves (except, not for long in HMV. Is it too early to make jokes? Sorry), I think it’s the perfect time to take a look at our favourite movie moments from 2012!
So to start off, we had Joss Wheddon’s The Avengers, a combination of Marvel’s Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and The Hulk. Pure Hollywood Spectacle at its finest, the film achieved the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time! It had a lot of narrative to tell, but considering how much story was covered (full-on fans with the transmedia of the comics and back-stories, or curious cinema-goers alike can watch), it did the job brilliantly, with just enough special-effects and “Look at me, I can do this” moments from the genius’ behind the screen.
Black Widow is given a refreshing “female power” scene played excellently by Scarlett Johansson, and she kicks enemy’s ass whilst being tied to a chair, all whilst being on hold, of course. With many inspirational moments like these throughout the film, it could be said that the Hollywood blockbuster has been truly defined all over again.
And as if the superhero-fans out there weren’t satisfied enough, we had The Amazing Spider-Man. Deeply reminscent of one of my favourite movie-quotes of all time (I don’t know about you, but there’s something awesome about watching Uncle Ben’s morals running deeply throughout all of Peter’s choices) “With great power comes great responsibility”, we have this scene:
“He believed that…that if you could do good things for other people, you had a moral obligation to do those things. That’s what at stake here. Not a choice, responsibility.” It’s moments like these that we realise that there’s not just a hero behind the red and black spider mask, but a person behind the hero. Eagerly awaiting 2014.
Another, from personally the director amongst one of the only living “auteurs” today – Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, intensely re-watchable, with too many favourite moments throughout the film to choose from. I don’t think I’ve felt such awe-stricken sentiment for a superhero film since, well, The Incredibles, and I was nine (we’re all nine, when we watch The Incredibles). Notwithstanding to a lot of poor critical acclaim from the more dedicated Batman fans concerning plot, it’s hard to argue with this moment, and the impact that befell Gotham City because of a certain Tom Hardy.
But less about saving the world, let’s crack on with some comedies! There are a few that stand out, but one film that stands remarkably alone in its feat of being laugh-out-loud hilarious every single time is of course 21 Jump Street. The silliness of the two cops torn between acting like the stoned, experimental teenagers they are undercover as, and uncovering the drugs themselves, is foreshadowed early on. We catch a mere glimpse of their mischief when Channing Tatum stumbles over the Miranda Rights, quickly followed by the line: “…You DO have a right to be an attorney, sir.”
As for other comedies, the best moment in American Pie: The Reunion? Well, the mere fact that most of the people that headed to the cinemas years ago to watch one of the typical American teenage guy’s most cringe-worthy moments of all time, the unforgettable pie incident, are now probably grown-up and married now. This therefore is the perfect audience who’ll relate to this, and the nostalgic shudder they’ll get in this scene, when we see a repeat with a sock, and I don’t think I’m grown-up (or married, either), but I was definitely between laughter and looking away in disgust.
And here’s for our middle-fingers up to the material world of Hollywood; discontent with the adaptation of The Hunger Games grossing $155 million during its opening weekend and the endless critical reception it recieved, comments were made about Katniss Everdeen’s ‘weight’ (what weight?) were made. Personally I felt enlightened by the very fact that a Hermione Granger type has returned to the screen, naturally beautiful, with intelligence and personality, and here, where we see her bravely look up at her adventure to come is one of my anticipation and a brave disregard for the material society she’s about to enter (something we all need):
And horror-film wise, there is one film: The Woman in Black. Crazy horror fans all over delighted in its multi-plotted storyline, excellent cinematography, brilliant acting from Daniel Radcliffe and the general suspense engineered by the lingering shots of marshland and creepy old house. Anti-horror fans (me) delighted in being petrified all the way through, whilst enjoying the intelligent script and eerie lighting, but pretending not to. Secretly thinking “No, no, no” when I opened my eyes at any point, I unfortunately had the spectacularly chilling luck to squint at this one, and to be honest, you know a scary film is brilliant when you’re going to delete the movie still from your Downloads as soon as possible.
Sometimes, some of the best films are understated and underrated, I was certainly surprised and refreshed by Salmon Fishing In the Yemen. Cute, sweet and sentimental at points, with the underlying silent warning underneath all the noise our environment is making, this film was beautifully made, and a contrast against the backdrop of Hollywood, a breather from all of the blockbusters released.
And to finish off, some films are so bad that they are good. From the inspirational cinematography that astounded many in The Cabin in the Woods by not even slightly disguising the disappointing, formulaic tale of a group of teens venturing out to, well, a cabin in the woods, to the lack of chemistry between characters… A “no” from me. I understand that the cliches amounted to a perhaps more intelligent and conclusive ending, but really, a film should be like a book, I think, good from the beginning, with some spectacular parts.
A close second is Battleship, which I tried to enjoy despite Rihanna’s appearance, but her being cast was in fact a novelty, and I enjoyed her floating around the screen as if in her own music video. This was because I had mainly been asleep.
But there you go! 2012! Hopefully, 2013 will be just as awesome! (Apologies for not including The Hobbit,as sadly I haven’t found anybody to see it with yet!)