GregHorrorShow: The Films Of 2012

Losers

I think 2012 has been one of my more prolific film watching years in recent times – granted 99% of these were on DVD but I still got to see some great stuff. Here’s what I’d recommend seeing:

  • Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
  • District 9
  • Star Trek
  • Thor
  • The Road
  • The Losers
  • Moon
  • Seven Psychopaths
  • The Avengers
  • 13 Assassins
  • The Town
  • Total Recall (1987)
  • The Artist
  • Drive
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Let me start with my favourite film of 2012, which will probably come as no surprise to anyone who read the review, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble (or just The Avengers as I like to call it 😆 ). I’m not a comic book guy although I had seen the films based around these characters (Thor also made the list – really enjoyed that) but I am a big Joss Whedon fan and I was glad to see him deliver in such style. I can’t wait to check this out again soon.

AvengersFOTY

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World was a film I wished I’d seen in the cinema but just never got around to it. Very quirky and definitely one for the geeks 😆

I thought District 9 raised some really good points about segregation and class issues, while also being a thoroughly entertaining sci-fi flick. I’ve never been a Star Trek fan but I liked the ‘reboot’ and the highlight for me was Karl Urban as ‘Bones’ – great casting and a spot on performance.

I was prepared for The Road as I had read the book and it was as depressing and bleak as I expected. Wonderful acting from Viggo Mortensen – he’s become one of those actors I trust, I’ll always give the film a chance if he’s involved, a talented actor.

Moon

A big surprise for me was The Losers which was one my favourite films of the last few years – it’s how I imagine a Battlefield: Bad Company film would be. Funny with larger than life characters and some huge explosions. Very cool.

Another actor I’ve grown to trust is Sam Rockwell, who I rate as one of the best in his generation. Moon cements this and Rockwell is outstanding. This is a great film that is both sad and moving. Really recommended. Rockwell was also in Seven Psychopaths, alongside Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken and Colin Farrell. I thought that was a great film as well. Very funny in places with some memorable performances.

13 Assassins was a crazy movie that took bloodshed to a new level. With some great swordplay and interesting characters this was one foreign language film that really delivered. Ben Affleck seems to be getting better and better behind the camera. The Town was a well crafted and nicely shot heist flick that was full of great acting. I liked the sense of tension and sinister undercurrent that ran throughout.

As a blast from the past I watched Total Recall (1987), which I’d previously only seen on VHS (yep that long). I barely remembered any of it to be honest so it was fun to check it out and discuss the various theories on the film with LeftyFlip.

Drive

I finally got round to seeing The Artist, which I thought was good – maybe not quite as great as everyone said but definitely worth watching. Another big film of last year that I caught up with was Drive, which I thought was fantastic. I think the ‘more-style-than-substance’ arguments I’d seen are valid but it’s still a cool, if violent, crime flick.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol lived up to it’s blockbuster billing and I really enjoyed the chemistry between the characters – I hope they bring them back together for another one.

So there you go, those are the films I watched this year that I think you should check out. Any I missed? I do have a backlog (including True Grit, which I *really* must watch soon) but any suggestions are most welcome.

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Captain America: The First Avenger – Review (Film)

I am very excited about the upcoming Avengers movie. Joss Whedon is one of my favourite creative people in the industry and the fact he is helming such a huge blockbuster fills me with confidence.

Having only seen the first Iron Man film I figured I should start making my way through some of the other Avengers character films, starting with Captain America: The First Avenger.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Captain America, having had a toy figure of him when I was kid as part of a Marvel playset. Still, I have no idea what his story is or where he comes from.

Fortunately for me Chris Evans is on hand to relive Captain America’s genesis story. He plays Steve Rogers, a scrawny kid who is desperate to join the army and fight for his country. Unfortunately he’s too small and has lots of illnesses which prevent him from doing so.

Eventually his persistence pays off and they accept him… but only as part of a top secret government project that involves trying to create a ‘super-soldier.’

The film has just the right balance of comedy and action – even after Evan’s transformation the film doesn’t immediate follow the path you would presume it would take, which was a refreshing change.

And that transformation is seriously well done – the CGI making Evans appear smaller than he really is had me impressed and it makes a huge difference than if they had just had him go from normal to having super muscles.

Unfortunately I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that this film was just a set up to the franchise and that Captain America’s real adventures will begin in his next film (as well as being a part of The Avengers).

A lot of the battle/action sequences felt like ‘action-by-numbers’ and I didn’t feel that the story was anything special – although the filmmakers have to go by the story that exists so you can’t complain too much I suppose. The ending was great though and is a cool set up for them to take the character forward.

Overall Captain America is an average, if enjoyable, action romp that has some decent character CGI and does a nice job of setting up the franchise. Worth a watch but there is nothing ground-breaking here.

Rating: 6/10

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