Friday, January 11, 2013

Best Films of 2012

It’s that time of the year again where we write up our “best of” lists. Before we go on I have to tell you guys that no matter how hard any film buff might try, they just aren’t going to be able to see everything, so there’s always one or two films that slip by me when I write these ‘best of the year ’ lists. For example, I haven’t seen Ana Karenina, Zero Dark Thirty, The Master, Argo, or Paranorman. But fear not, I will surely see them in the coming months and review them for your reading pleasure.

It isn’t easy coming up with these lists because there are lots of good films during a year and it’s kind of difficult seeing them all, even for a Film Connoisseur such as myself. Still, I tried to cut down the fat and truly come up with the best of the best of what I have seen. So without further ado I leave you with The Film Connoisseur’s Best Films of 2012, enjoy!

Thoughts: So this movie exploded onto screens last summer and ended up being the ultimate super hero movie, audiences couldn’t have enough of this superhero potpourri, so much so that audiences where going to see it more than once; it went on to become the biggest money maker of 2012 along with Skyfall. It had everything and anything we always wanted to see in an Avengers movie. Great effects, explosive action, funny dialog, and good performance; also, a good representation of every character that appears on the screen, each hero was given its moment to shine. This was a thrill ride of a movie, reminding us what a good summer blockbuster is all about. 

Quote:  “Superheroes in New York? Gimme a break!”

Thoughts: I might not be much of a “believer”, but I still enjoyed the hell out of Life of Pi despite its preachy nature. Far be it from me to reject a beautiful looking film simply because it preaches a bit. Everything else that comes with the film is amazing, particularly the visuals that director Ang Lee conjures up, so much color, such beauty and depth. And you know what, even though it preaches a bit about believing in God, it also asks many questions about God through the character of Pi. Plus, Pi displays a certain love and wonderment for nature and the universe that I immediately warmed up to the character because of this. This is a film that’s best enjoyed in 3-D, so if you still have a chance to see it that way don’t let it slip you by, this movie is as good as 3-D gets. It’s kind of like Avatar in that it pushes what can be done with 3-D to its limits.  

Quote:  “Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it has been tested”

Title: Looper (2012)

Thoughts:  Looper was the surprise hit of the year, like some of the best films, it came out of nowhere and critics and audience raved alike, this was a rare thing: an original sci-fi flick with brains! It wasn’t based on no books, it wasn’t a sequel, it wasn’t a remake it was just original and I dug that about it. Sure it's got similarities to Back to the Future and The Terminator, but it has enough originality in it that it becomes its own thing. This time travel movie concerns a group of individuals who call themselves Loopers, they kill people sent to them from the future by their employers. Who are these people they kill? And why are they killing them? Loopers don't care, they just want to get paid. This film comes to us from director Ryan Johnson, the guy responsible for Brick (2005) and The Brothers Bloom (2008), two films I didn’t particularly care much for, but if you ask me he completely redeemed himself with Looper, this movie rocked! Joseph Gordon Hewitt is on a roll! I caught hints of a possible sequel; could this be the first film in a series? It certainly felt like it, with all those unanswered questions and possibilities. Judging by Looper’s phenomenal Box Office intake, I think we’ll be seeing a sequel soon. 
Quote:  “The rule is, never let a target escape, even if that target is you”

Thoughts: There are few movies out there that distill genuine magic to them and Beasts of Southern Wild is one of them. A very strong willed little girl by the name of Hushpuppy is the character that whisks us away to her own magical world, ala The Wizard of Oz (1939) or Pans Labyrinth (2006), this is a film about a little girl who escapes the harshness of the real world by escaping to a fantasy world of her own creation. Though I gotta hand it to Hushpuppy, she might see fantastical creatures that are not real roaming her world, but she has no problems facing the real world as well; she has a fierceness to her that is admirable, she might be extremely young, but she faces this world head on, no matter how bad things can get. No matter how ugly the storm up ahead looks. This is a very beautiful film; director Benh Zeitlin does an admirable job of creating some truly beautiful images and pulling an amazing performance from an endearing little actress, Quvenzhane Wallis, in the role of Hushpuppy. This is a film filled with hope and love in the midst of a world being trampled by evil.  

Quote:  “The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right”

Title:  Chronicle(2012)

Thoughts: Now here’s the most underrated film of 2012, Chronicle. It came out of left field for me, but when I finally got to check it out, little did I know how awesome a movie I was in for. I’m a sucker for a well made telekinesis movie, and this is one of the best ones I’ve seen in a long while. Add to that the fact that the film is heavily influenced by one of my favorite animated films ever AKIRA (1988) and you’ve got yourselves a winner. The film is told from the perspective of video cameras that the kids manipulate with the power of their mind and cameras found around the city where the events take place in; so at one given moment we get images from security cameras and so forth. The ending of the film is a full blast telekinesis fight the likes of which you have never seen. It makes you wonder what an Akira movie might end up looking like and why they are finding it so impossible to make. Highly recommend this underrated film!

Quote:  “A lion does not feel guilty when it eats a gazelle, you do not feel guilty when you squash a fly,  I think that means something”

Title: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Thoughts:  Yet another underrated one in my opinion. I actually didn’t even bother with this one, because for some reason mixing Abraham Lincoln with zombies wasn’t all that appealing to me. But then I actually aw the movie and damn, it blew me away. I should’ve known better, it comes to use from Russian director Timur Bekmambetov, a.k.a. the guy who directed Nightwatch (2004), Daywatch (2006) and Wanted (2008). Though I’m not a huge of Nightwatch or Daywatch , Wanted was awesome in my book. There’s no denying this director has a knack for interesting camera angles, interesting use of computer effects and stylish visuals. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter excels in these departments, one jaw dropping scene involves Abe Lincoln chasing a vampire through a stampede of horses; wow, that scene is really something, made me wish I’d seen it 3-D. There’s an awesome climax, but I’m not gonna spoil it for you, my advice is go rent/buy this one, If you like your movies filled with style and atmosphere, I doubt you’ll be disappointed. Without a doubt, to me this was the best horror film of 2012. Plus, seeing Lincoln chopping off vampires heads in slow mo is just a completely nutty visual, so off the wall it’s entertaining.  

Quote:  “History remembers the battle, but forgets the blood. However history remembers me before I was President, it shall only remember a fraction of the truth…”

Thoughts: Wes Anderson films all have this similar look and feel to them. One look at a Wes Anderson film and you’ll immediately identify it as such. It’s something about the colors, the art direction and the way characters talk and behave that achieve this signature Anderson feel, so in that sense, if you’ve seen The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) or Rushmore (1998), with Moonrise Kingdom you’ll feel like your revisiting Andersons unique cinematic universe. On Moonrise Kingdom we meet Sam and Suzy, two twelve year olds who’ve fallen madly in love. Neither one of them loves society all that much, so they run away to a secluded beach and share things they enjoy, like their favorite music, their favorite books and a kiss or two. Problem is that their disappearance causes uproar in their home town and so their parents and the local police and boy scout camp go on a search for them. Meanwhile, they are happy as can be sharing their admiration for each other and just chilling the hell out. The film is populated by an amazing cast of characters, we get some Wes Anderson regulars like Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, and a whole bunch of actors that have never worked with Anderson like Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel, Frances McDormand  and Tilda Swinton. I thought it was so interesting that the young actors who play Sam and Suzy (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) are two complete newcomers to the film industry who added freshness to the proceedings with their great performances. Highly recommend this sweet coming of age film where young love arises and decides to give their back to the crazy world they live in.  

Quote:  “We’re in love; we just want to be together, what’s wrong with that?”

Thoughts:  Watching The Hobbit is like going right back to that Middle Earth that Peter Jackson brought through life with his first three Lord of the Rings films. On this first installment of the new trilogy, we meet a younger Bilbo Baggins as he embarks on an adventure with 13 dwarves and the wizard Gandalf. Their goal is to free the Kingdom of Erebor from the deadly, fire breathing dragon called ‘Smaug.’ Along their travels through Middle Earth they meet all manner of creatures and characters. The production values for this film are of the highest caliber, make up effects, wardrobe, and visual effects are all top notch stuff, you will truly be transported to Middle Earth for two and a half hours. That’s right, the film is long, but if you’re a lover of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien or fantasy in general, you won’t even feel them.  

Quote:  “Home is now behind you, the world is ahead!”

Thoughts: You guys might not know it, but I love musicals! And this particular one based on Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is an event of a musical. It’s not just some silly happy go lucky musical you might forget as soon as you leave the theater (like Rock of Ages for example) nope, Les Miserables is one epic sized musical with fantastic production values and an amazing cast who by the way truly did sing every song right there on the set, none of the songs where pre-recorded. In other words, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway are not dubbing their songs, when they sing, that’s how it really sounded when they were acting the scenes in front of the camera; as a result all the little nuances of their performances shine through more intensely. Anne Hathaway in particular sings a song that really got to me, it’s a song about poverty and how sad life is during harsh, poverty filled days. I literally heard the whole theater weeping after she was finished with her sad song. And the whole musical is this way, it’s a very touching film that makes you feel empathy for the less fortunate, it’s a film that truly explores the sadness of poverty and how it angers a nation, but it also speaks of new beginnings and the art of reinventing ourselves. If you love films like Annie (1982) or Oliver! (1968), two films that are also about orphans who are rescued by a do gooder from the clutches of evil adoptive parents, then you’ll love Les Miserables which has a little bit of these themes in them but also adds romance and revolution into the mix. This is an epic musical not to be missed.   

Quote: “I had a dream, my life would be so different from this hell I’m living in..”

Thoughts: Out of all the films made this year, this one is at the top for me because it’s a film with lots of depth to it and a commercial film that explores philosophical views as it entertains us is not something we see a lot of  these days. I liked Prometheus so much I went and wrote a special “In Depth Analysis” of it in which I explored the different themes that the film touches upon. This my friends is a film that addresses many of the big questions we often end up asking ourselves like  “Where do we come from?” and  “Who made us?” and if someone did in deed make us, then why did they abandon us? It explores death, and our desire to live forever a theme that Ridley Scott explored previously in Blade Runner (1984) as well. But aside from exploring these philosophical views, the film is an extremely well put together science fiction film, the visual effects are amazing; this is probably the reason why it got an Oscar nod for best visual effects. Personally, I just love how director Ridley Scott uses all these filmmaking techniques to create an intricate and complex world. And I love how while the film touches upon all of these heavy themes, it still doesn’t forget to entertain and wow us. I’m of the mind that it didn’t even need to be connected to the Aliens universe, this is a film that could have stood alone without any connections to the Alien franchise, but I’m guessing this choice was made in the name of money. Still, the fact remains that this is a spectacle of a film and without a doubt, one of the best of 2012. Here’s hoping that sequel comes along!  

Quote:  “Every king has his day, then he dies. It’s inevitable, that is the natural order of things.”

Thoughts: The Dark Knight Rises was a special film for me because it is a film that speaks a about problems that society suffers from right now. The rich become richer and the poor stay poor, there’s more poverty in the world. The wealth is unevenly spread and as a result, the less fortunate are suffering because of this, the cost of living is getting to high, education has reached prohibitive prices, gas prices are sky rocketing every day and the question inevitably arises “when will this ever end?”. Taking that in consideration, in The Dark Knight Rises Bane, the main villain of the film attacks the bankers of Gotham in order to bring the city to its knees, similarities to Sept 11th 2001 didn’t escape me. Bane takes the city hostage in order to “give it back to the people of Gotham”. Of course, he’s just another schmoe taking advantage of the pain of the people in order to fulfill his own agenda. Which of course lets us know that when the masses are in pain and angry, they are vulnerable and can easily be taken advantage of by opportunists.  It’s a film that addresses classist issues through all of its characters, for example Bruce Wayne is stripped of his riches and is now a poor man, I loved that about it. Wayne, the multimillionaire is suddenly left on the streets, now, Mr. Wayne feels firsthand what it means to suffer poverty. Also in this film, Catwoman is a woman who struggles to survive and warns Wayne that “a storm is coming” and that when the poor decide to revolt, shit is going to hit the fan. Alluding to the idea that the economical chaos in the world can only bring forth more chaos. A brilliant film that speaks about many of the ailments that society is suffering from now an important film in my book, much like the The Dark Knight (2008) which did a similar thing, these are super hero films with a social conscience. Mr. Nolan, my hats down to you for speaking about such relevant issues with your films, and giving us a spectacle at the same time.

Quote: “There’s a storm coming Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all going to wonder  how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us”

Thoughts: Turning Bond into a vulnerable spy as opposed to the indestructible cartoon he’d been for such a long time is something that has been attempted (in my opinion) from Die Another Day (2002) onward, but it is Skyfall that truly achieved it. They’ve gone and stripped Bond down, he is no longer in tip-top shape, he isn’t even fit to be an agent anymore! This film takes Bonds famous gadgets and vehicles and throws them out the windows. For this mission he only gets a gun, and a radio, that’s it! On this film his car doesn’t turn invisible, it’s a 1968 Aston Martin! So basically, Bond is stripped of everything that made him indestructible. This story isn’t about a villain hell bent on world domination, nope, on this one we got a villain with a more personal agenda and by the way, this is a villain wonderfully portrayed by the amazing Javier Bardem. But at the same time, what makes this one of the best Bond films ever is that it gets very personal with Bond himself, this villain goes for the jugular, for Bonds mother figure: M. It asks questions like is Bond too old to be Bond? Is M too old to direct MI-6? The answer is, old people can still kick your ass! And if that isn’t enough, everything is new in this film, a new MI-6, a new ‘Q’ a new ‘M’, this my friends is a Bond film that re-invents Bond and repackages him for a new generation.

Quote:  “Dignity? To hell with dignity! I’ll retire when my goddamn job is done!”

Title:  Django (2012)

Thoughts: Django Unchained is Tarantino finally making a Western, though if you ask him he’ll tell you he’s made a ‘Southern’ because the film actually takes place in the south of the united states as opposed to the west. That’s right ladies and gents this here tale takes place in Mississippi, during the time of slavery, the ku kux klan, plantations and ‘Mandingo fighting’. Django Unchained is the story of Dr. King Schultz, a bounty hunter who partners up with a slave named Django so he can capture a trio of murderers. After doing so, Schultz decides to help Django save his wife from the clutches of a slaver known as Calvin Candie, played by none other than Leonardo DiCaprio who by the way turns in a very entertaining performance as the main villain. Interesting how the Academy chose to ignore DiCaprio’s performance this year. Django Unchained was nominated for various awards but nothing for DiCaprio whose performance in Django stands out for its charisma and intensity, but whatever, who understands the Academy right? Still, this Tarantino outing garnered five Academy Award Nominations for best film of the year, best supporting actor, best original screenplay, best cinematography and sound. I’m glad that at least Christophe Waltz’s performance was noticed because his character is a true delight. This film, as are many of Tarantino’s films is a fun time at the movies, it’s bloody, it’s filled with entertaining characters, it has that special brand of Tarantino dialog which is a delight to listen to, it has an amazing cast who turn in equally amazing performances and it aims its guns at racism, what’s not to like? It gets my vote for film of the year, go see it!  

Quote:  “Django, the ‘D’ is silent”


Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

An excellent overview of your top (lucky 13?) films for 2013, Francisco! I don’t understand how you have yet to get a single comment on this post. I too have had similar problems of late with a lack of comments at Guardians of the Genre and I personally find it very frustrating not to get any feedback (positive or negative) on my reviews. In that spirit, here are my quick thoughts on your list.

I too haven’t seen Ana Karenina, Zero Dark Thirty, The Master, Argo, or Paranorman. Of those five, Ana Karenina is the only one I’ll definitely skip; but I must admit that Zero Dark Thirty and The Master will be very low-priority films on my to watch list. Of your top 13, I have not seen Life of Pi, Beasts of Southern Wild, Moonrise Kingdom, Les Miserables and Django Unchained.

Despite it visual splendor, Life of Pi will not place very high on my to watch list. I just don’t have much interest in the metaphysical mumbo jumbo it has to offer. I’m sure, as you say, Beasts of Southern Wild ”is a film filled with hope and love in the midst of a world being trampled by evil”, but I don’t derive much enjoyment from the tone of films like these. I have yet to watch a Wes Anderson film, but they say Moonrise Kingdom is one his most accessible films, so I just may try it; also the time period of the children reminds me of my childhood. Unlike you, I am not a fan of musicals and have watched very few of them. The last one I watched was Chicago (2002) and I mostly enjoyed it for the sexy dance numbers. Still, watching Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway belt out songs amidst the lovely scenery may get me to try it out. I have a love/hate relationship with Quentin Tarantino: I love his adoration for the B movies that I too adore. Unfortunately, I find his filmmaking quirks often irritating. Still, I love westerns, love Tarantino’s bold subjects he tackles and I have no doubt I’ll be watching Django Unchained as I have watched every other film that Tarantino has written/directed.

I’ll get back to you with my comments on the films I have seen (The Avengers, Looper, Chronicle, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises & Skyfall) when I have the time to do them justice.

Keep up the great opinions, Francisco!

Franco Macabro said...

Yeah, lack of comments doesn't worry me so much because from Google stats I know people read from all parts of the world, I guess not all of them feel inclined to comment, but I will admit, I wish they did comment, it's always good getting feed back from my readers. But what you gonna do you know? Do a special post asking for more comments?

LIfe of Pi was on my list because of its visuals, some of them where damn awe inspiring in my book, and I did enjoy a lot of the themes it touched upon, like asking questions about God, and that spiritual connection we all feel at some time towards the magnificence of nature. But the effects work? Damn good stuff, couldnt leave it out.

Beasts of Southern Wild was just so beautiful to me, I mean it's a strange film, it's uplifting yet dark as well. The young actress, Willis, she was magnificent and that Oscar nod for best actress is so very well deserved.

I like watching all manner of films because sometimes, watching horror and sci-fi all the time can be dull, I like to shake things up and see films that make me feel and think about things that horror or sci-fi don't, sometimes I want something a bit more real, something a bit closer to our lives. I'm not putting down these genres, because as you very well know, I love sci-fi and horror, I'm just saying I like to shake things up in terms of mood and themes.

Moonrise Kingdom was awesome, if you've yet to experience a Wes Anderson film, I'd say that Rushmore is an excellent place to start, if you don't find enjoyment in that one, don't bother with the rest.

Les Miserables is a sad film, but the production is epic, the performances astounding...I thought it was truly great. But people who don't love musicals might find it a tough watch, they sing practically every single word, dialog is minimal.

Looking forward to your thoughts on Django!

Thanks for commenting Fritz, much appreciated!

RVChris said...

Nice round-up Francisco. I also wrote about 2012 movies recently but didn't get to see as many as I should have. I also really enjoyed Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, Looper, and Prometheus. I still need to see Django, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Skyfall, and others.

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

I’m sorry it took time getting back to you on the rest of your “Best Of…” list, but at least I’ll make an attempt here to let you know where we agree or disagree with the remaining films that I have seen on your list.

The Avengers: Only a genre snob would leave this film off their best films of 2012 list and I know you are definitely not one of those, Francisco. This film was my favorite film of the year. I graded it a 98, which would be a 5 on your scale. While The Avengers won’t win any dramatic film critic awards or Academy awards, it is the most entertaining film I have seen since Star Wars: A New Hope, back when it was just known as Star Wars.

Skyfall: Because it is technically not a Horror, SF, or Fantasy film, I did not review or grade it on GOTG, but if I had, it would have been my second favorite film of 2012, with a grade of 96. This was James Bond at his most vulnerable (at least since On Her Majesty's Secret Service) and I dare say Daniel Craig is a more nuanced actor than George Lazenby, so that makes it one of the best… if not the best James Bond film ever.

Prometheus: I knew you liked this film and I hoped it would make your best of list. While Prometheus is not without its flaws, Prometheus’ strengths more than make up for some of its seeming inconsistencies. This was my forth favorite film of the year, with a grade of 95.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Another flawed film, but being the first film in a trilogy, that was to be expected. Peter Jackson did as good a job as could be expected trying to fuse The Hobbit into the world of the Lord of the Rings films, without detracting too much from the more lighthearted nature of the original novel. I rated it – although I’m ashamed to say I didn’t get around to reviewing it – a 92

Looper: This film was so original in its execution, if not in its concept, that it was easy to give it a higher rating than it really merited. Still, a is very solid science fiction thriller that I graded a 91.

The Dark Knight Rises: I am not a big admirer of Nolan’s Batman films, but I must admit that he did a very good job of executing his vision of it. This film does such a good job tying up most of the plot threads of the previous two Batman films, that I had to give it a grade of 90.

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

Here is where you and I differ in our top films of 2012, Francisco. I ranked both The Cabin in the Woods and John Carter as my second/third favorite films of 2012. I gave them both a grade of 96. Both films created fully immersive cinema worlds, with characters that I cared for. I know you gave John Carter a 4 of 5, I assume that you felt it was just a little too shallow to rank in your best of? I’ll take entertainment over depth and complexity 9 out of 10 times and both The Cabin in the Woods and John Carter had more of these two things than many would give them credit for.

Chronicle: I only rated this film an 82. While it was entertaining – surprisingly so given my predilection for loathing “found footage” films – I think it suffered from character clichés and plot contrivances. Still, it did add a nice twist to the whole super-powers genre; although technically it was alien-induced psychic powers and not super-powers in the superhero sense.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: I really liked the first third of this film, but then it just seemed to get bogged down in endless fight-flight sequences. A little more plot/characterization would have gone a long way to make this from being a fair film to a great one. I only rated this a 79.

Three additional films would have made my top ten/best of list for 2012. Total Recall: I rated a 91. Men In Black 3: I rated a 90. Iron Sky: I rated a 90. I’m surprised that Men In Black 3 didn’t make your best list, as I know you rated that a 4 of 5. I just watched MIB3 and I must admit that I got a little choked up at the end… again. I’ll defend Total Recall to the end of days! This film was a far superior science fiction film to the 1990 joke-fest. It is not without its flaws, but it is still a solid well-acted sci-fi action drama. Iron Sky was a dark satire that I admit may not be to many people’s taste. However, if you like films like Dark A Clockwork Orange (1971), Star (1974) or A Boy and His Dog (1975), than you just might dig Iron Sky. I know I did.

I too watch many non-genre films, Francisco, but certainly more than fifty-percent of the movies I watch fall into the Horror, SF, or Fantasy categories. Straight drama (historical or otherwise) just doesn’t interest me much – especially if it’s a subject I know a lot about or lived through. That is why many films that are on critics top ten lists I never see. It will be some time before you get my thoughts on Django though, because I’ll only get to see it when I can rent it from Netflix; which I assume is many months away.

It is always a pleasure talking films with you, Francisco!

Franco Macabro said...

I see we preatty much agree on which were some of the best of 2012, I wanted to do this segment where I would put "honorable mentions" and both John Carter and Cabin in the Woods would have been on that list. I would have also included Total Recall and Dredd 3D both of which I also enjoyed.I'm right there with you, I think Total Recall rocked the house, I'm posting my review for that one next week.

MIB III was fun times all the way, I really dug it. The visual effects were extremely well achieved, loved all those scenes on the moon, I love Barry Levinsons camera angles and movements, his style of direction marks his films, gives them his stamp. And MIB III had all that plus some character development, we finally get to know a bit more about Will Smith's character.

Iron Sky was a bit of a dissapointment for me, I was really hyped about it, liked the concept and the ideas, but the film itself ended up being boring for me. I got what it was trying to say, but it was just not all that entertaining, It was missing something, it was like a comedy, only not done by comedians? It just feels like it could have been way funnier then what it is.I guess that they just weren't good story tellers. It reminded me of The Martial Chronicles in a way, its sci-fi that does nothing for me because it's just not well developed, stories are not well told.

A lot of people seem to enjoy Chronicle, I know I did, they really played around with the idea of Telekenisis, love when they do that. The films director, Josh Trank is now working on a Fantastic Four reboot, producers say its gonna be unlike anything we've ever seen and all I'm hopefull about that one. Let's hope he finally gives us that great FF movie we have yet to see.

Abraham Lincoln had something about it that just wowed me, I will be reviewing this film next week, thanks for your awesome comments Fritz, always a pleasure too!

Kev D. said...

Excellent list! Moonrise is my number one... although I never saw the most recent Woody Allen film, so that might top it (I am a bizarrely huge Woody Allen fan for a guy that loves trashy zombie films as much as I do).

Kev D. said...

Also, I wanted to mention, I had no idea about similarities between CHronicle and Akira. I should definitely see that now.

Also I should watch AKira again. It's been years.

Franco Macabro said...

Yeah, Moonrise was pure joy to watch, I love me a good Anderson film, it makes sense, usually a fan of Anderson will be a fan of Woody Allen by default, they both exist in a similar cinematic universe and by that I mean intellectual and artsy.

Chronicle and Akira are extremely similar, especially towards the last scenes, you'll see what I mean, even the main character looks a lot like Tetsuo at one given point, hope you enjoy Chronicle!

venoms5 said...

Great list, Fran. I've only seen two on here that being PROMETHEUS and DARK KNIGHT RISES.

The latter interested me the most of the two, although I wouldn't say the film is an indictment against the rich, but against the current regime that's ruining the economy over here. The creators of some of these characters -- Bane in particular -- are Conservatives. I'll save my own political POV for when I finally decide to write my own review. Been meaning to, and just not done so as I want to see the movie again. There's so much going on in it to take in with just a single viewing.

I do plan to see THE AVENGERS at some point or other. Not seen CAPT AMERICA yet, either. I'm currently trying to catch up with everybody's blogs and I see you've been busy lately, so I have much to catch up with.

Franco Macabro said...

Agree with you on The Dark Knight Rises, it has a lot of meat to it, it has a lot to say about society.

Though I disagree with you, I do think they are indicting the rich and powerful. The film continously mentions how much the poor suffer, how a "storm is coming" in terms of economy, in terms of class war which is basically what happens at the end of the film. I think the films strongest comment is the anger felt by the less fortunate.

Yet I do agree with you in that the film is commenting on the way the economy is being run in the United States, there is a distinctive hatred in display towards bankers and places like Wall Street. This all has to do with how the "rich and powerful" are running the country.

Just the fact that they made Bruce Wayne loose all his riches and become a common folk points a finger at what the film is trying to say. Wayne himself is an ultra rich guy in the film who at one point use to give money to an orphanage, but has forgotten to pay attention to these small details....these small details being the orphan kids of gotham who need, who depend on hsi patronage as one of the rich and powerful of Gotham City.Looking forward to your review of The Dark Knight Rises!

If you like your comic book movies, you should have an absolute blast with The Avengers, it's tons of fun all the way.

venoms5 said...

Many of the reviews on the film noted the Right Wing, or Conservative slant the film takes. Some leftist news sites decried this, of course, in an effort to nullify and ridicule capitalism. There is no demonization in Conservativism where riches are involved. Conservatism is about individuality and success through effort -- attributes this dictatorial regime is totally against.

Oh, Bama and the Occupy leeches are representatives of the Bane character and everything he stands for. Some of the dialog uttered by the Bane character are similar to sentiments spoken by the "president" himself. The film is also extremely prophetic of where this country is headed should this man pretending to be president continue to have his way; which he will with the leftist media covering up his scandals and numerous lies that I've now lost count of.

Also, if I remember right, Wayne lost his wealth via manipulation from the Bane character in the film. I'd have to see it again for these details, but I doubt a second viewing is going to make me think the film has a pro-leftist agenda, if I am reading your assertion correctly, Fran.

The only people keeping the poor poor, are the poor themselves. How can you take something from somebody who has nothing? They certainly can take away from somebody who does, though. I personally know a few folks on welfare -- who are clearly able to work -- who live far better than I do now. My taxes went up, the value of my house is less than what I am paying for it, and my pay check just got lesser to go to a government that is spending America into oblivion. We're nearing, or passed 50% unemployment in this country now, rising debt, closing businesses, escalating taxes and less take home pay; and more is coming. I'm not sure how this equates to a good thing. This sort of socio-economic destruction is akin to what the VILLAINS purposely put into action in the movie, not the big evil rich guys. I suppose if I ever get wealthy, I'm instantly evil then, too. My uncle is wealthy and he got his wealth through hard work and determination and he's soon to be paying over HALF his pay to the government, the self-proclaimed "heroes of the middle class".

Again, these destructive policies are only making it worse for the middle class. There's been over four years to accomplish something, and it's worse now than it ever was. It's not fair that those who've been successful, and those that are not, but make their own way should have to support a bunch of lazy people who are essentially slaves to entitlements promised them by a Community Organizer whose mentors are all Communists, Marxists and Socialists.

In my view, anyways, DKR is a near perfect example of the results of anarchy and corruption; and the intentions of a regime that hates America as founded, with the plan of turning it into a third world country, stripped of its wealth and no longer a super power.

Good banter with you just the same though, Fran. Not sure when I'll have my own take on the film up, like I said, I will need to see it again before I do.

Franco Macabro said...

I also thought DKR was displaying how a nation is vulnerable when it is weak and economically unstable, anyone can come and take advantage of that situation promising one thing while really interested in obtaining others, like Bane, who promised people the liberation of Gotham, when all he wanted was to destroy it and fulfill Ras Al Ghul's original plans to destroy the city in order to rebuild a new society.

In my opinion, Bane represents any form of government, any polititian no matter what ideology they represent. Polititians always promise and never fulfill. They always have a hidden agenda, the agenda of increasing their bank accounts. Create a war so your buddy can sell their guns and tanks and uniforms, create a decease so your pharmacists buddies can make a bundle selling "hand sanitizers" and so on...

I'm with you Brian, I do not support lazy people who want the government to solve all of their economical problems, we all should work for our money. We all get what we put in. And those poor people who are leeches to society, when they should be contributing are despicable in my book.

I don't hate the rich man, and I don't think all rich people are evil, I'm talking about the rich and powerful, those big companies who lie to the masses, who control the media, who create histeria where there is none...those who violate our human and civil rights, who abuse the population. Those who see the poor as less then them, when we are all humans, we should all be helping each other instead of enforcing these classist differences.

I'd love to be wealthy, but education is out of reach for the poor, the poor cannot pay for the extravagant prices that colleges are asking for. I know, I have tried (going to film school is damn near impossible for poor people!) and the prices for tuition are ridiculous. It's either get into debt for life or don't go to college. That is one of the roots of all evil, the high price of higher education. Education should be more accesible to all, not just those who can pay for it. And getting higher education is one of the first steps one can take to go up the ladder.

I personally don't subscribe to any form of government because I have yet to see an honest form of government that truly cares for its people, if this ever happened, I'd be supporting it, but it just hasn't happened in my life time. All I see are dictators mascaraded as liberals and conservatives alike. Obama, Bush, liberals or conservatives, it don't matter whose up there, they'll find a way to take more out of us, the people whom they should be watching over.

I too felt Obama's bite on my pay check!

By the way, I have noticed how 'Clean enery' is a huge theme in movies recently. Have you noticed this? The talk about this theme in John Carter, in Dark Knight Rises and in The Avengers. In all three films, clean energy is represented as a big secret that governments are keeping from the people, because it's safer, cheaper and it's not gasoline. It's as if ways to get clean energy exist, they just don't want to implement them because of their precious gasoline which makes them so much money. In TDKR, they are afraid to use clean energy because it could also be used for evil purposes, like blowing up Gotham. This is apparently yet another important issue that is being ignored in media and news, but not by the film industries writers and filmmakers. What say you about that?

As always Brian, great conversation!

venoms5 said...

I'm not for this clean energy nonsense, personally. Nor such myths as global warming; the reality of which has been debunked, but it doesn't stop the media or the "president" from talking about it.

If you go back and read up on past decades, the same issues were being discussed and the same leftist leaning theories were being bandied about and the same result came from it... nothing. Remember that crying Indian from that classic 70s commercial? I should change that to the Italian American pretending to be an Indian to get an agenda across. If leftists didn't constantly propagandize, or keep angry sentiment going, there'd be no need for that party to exist.

These days, at least here, the media controls everything and has become more and more vocal about their intent to prop up this administration and cover up their actions and scandals. One need only look at the lies Hillary Clinton has spewed about the Benghazi scandal. Had this been a Republican, they would have been impeached well before now.

This is also one reason why I feel Deodato's CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is a bloody brilliant movie that's just as potent now, even more so probably than when it was made.

And you made a fascinating point right here Fran:

"They always have a hidden agenda, the agenda of increasing their bank accounts. Create a war so your buddy can sell their guns and tanks and uniforms, create a decease so your pharmacists buddies can make a bundle selling "hand sanitizers" and so on..."

What you said falls squarely into the Fast & Furious scandal that the media tried to cover up. There's still people here who don't know what that is, outside of the movie series. Same goes for Benghazi.

The US government allowing guns to be walked across the Mexican border for use by the drug cartels in an effort to nullify and eradicate the second amendment. When it was discovered the Mexican government didn't know about it (unlike the similar Bush Era operation that was in CONJUNCTION with the Mexican government) and some of the public became aware of it, Oh, Bama did multiple things -- he used Executive Order to protect himself and Eric Holder and also, like everything else he's done these last four years, he blamed Bush for that, too.

I'll have to post the rest in a separate comment, Fran, it's too long. Lol.

venoms5 said...

Going back to Benghazi, this administration tried to blame that 9/11 terrorist attack on a youtube video (the director was arrested, by the way) that had been live for months, despite knowing ahead of time it was terrorists and even denying assistance to save those people.

Considering Bama and his followers spent the entire DNC proclaiming "Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama Bin Laden is dead!" you can't have the news of an Al Qaeda terrorist attack on a US embassy get out to tarnish your re-election campaign. The next day, Bama goes to Vegas and everybody else says they knew nothing about it?!?!?! Either Oh, Bama and his cabinet are the most incompetent officials in the history of this country, or it was an intentional coverup. Considering the level of lies that have transpired, the latter is the obvious choice.

What I am getting at is that they created this scenario that a filmmakers video caused an attack on an Embassy when that was not the case. And that filmmaker is still in jail, by the way.

School tuition's are going to keep going up here. This too is because of the government. Oh, Bama's destructive policies are, and will continue to wreck havoc on this country. Wherever Democrats are in control, through office or their legislature, you will find states in poor shape financially. The loss of state revenues has to be made up somewhere or other and tuition is one of those areas. My property taxes went up, for example.

The housing market is in the toilet right now, yet property taxes have went up. Logically, that makes no sense, but the loss of revenues has to be made up from somewhere. The lowering of school costs was one of Bama's big problems to be solved. He's been in office over 4 years now and nothing has changed, it's just gotten worse.

His numerous speeches haven't changed either. In fact, I wish somebody would give him some crackers because the parrot keeps on repeating the same shit he's said for four years running and hope has become hopelessness and the only change we have is the amount of change in our pockets.

Reagan inherited a far worse mess than anything Oh, Bama got and he had it cleaned up in three years. The difference between the two men are their political ideologies. We need another Reagan.

Going back to DKR, I did notice there was lesser action in this third film, but I felt it made up for it with its fascinating parallels to society today, such as the notations you yourself have made, Fran.


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