AN EMPIRE OF WORDS

My Top Films From 2012

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I realise this should have been posted before the end of 2012, but oh well. I was going to go see Life of Pi on New Year’s Eve, but I ended up working and what not, so unfortunately it will not be included.

It was a good year for films, with the beginning of The Hobbit being unveiled, to the continuation of the James Bond saga and the capping off the Christopher Nolan trilogy. Of course, actually choosing my favourite film from the past year is difficult. For one, I cannot remember all the new films that I have seen, and also many great films did come out. There were many great films that came out, but I thought I could narrow it down to a top five.

Number 5: 21 Jump Street

For me, 21 Jump Street was good. I enjoyed it. Coming from knowing no knowledge about the original television series, so I cannot tell whether or not it was anything reminiscent of the old series, all I know is that Johnny Depp, who was in the original series, cameos in this film. The enjoyment came from the laughs provided, in particular the chicken lorry that blows up, after a series of gas trucks and other stuff not exploding. It was refreshing seeing Channing Tatum appear in a comedy role and not be a pretty boy that he appears to do, Magic Mike, need I say more? Either way, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum make that classic role, the brains and the beauty. And they do it really well, becoming brothers, in more ways than one. If you like films that have those funny consequences, then this film is one for you, the two out of favour, rookie cops are sent undercover to a high school to break up a drug ring. You expect laughs and consequences and that’s precisely what you get. Can’t fault it, aside from the ending as it opens up on to a possible sequel, which I believe wouldn’t work, or would just be terrible.

Number 4: Moonrise Kingdom

I found it tough to place this film fourth, as I’m a huge Wes Anderson fan and have loved every single one of his films. For some reason, when I watch his films, I know what to expect, but I don’t know what to expect at the same time. Moonrise Kingdom includes an all star cast of Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Bill Murray to name a few! It’s just an excellent film, that I thoroughly enjoyed, in which we experience two children who decide to run away after falling for each other. Of course it being a Wes Anderson film is has a very nostalgic feel generally, as well as being set in the 1960s of course, coupled with the acting abilities of this cast, it makes one excellent film for 2012, and would definitely be in my top 5. It could be one of my favourite Wes Anderson films.

Number 3: Prometheus

Prometheus, visually, was the superior film for me. Some of the shots that were included astounded me. It was simply immersing me in a whole new world. Michael Fassbender was fantastic in this film as David. However, the story progression left many frustrated as ‘answers’ so to speak are not given. But if it gives Ridley Scott the chance to leave us in awe at this whole new world, I would enjoy that. A lot. Set as a prequel to the Alien series, two doctors find a constellation in which a moon could be hospitable. They believe this could be our origin and go searching for it funded by Weyland Coorporation, they find something, but obviously I don’t want to ruin it. For the visual spectacle that has made the sci-fi genre stronger recently, this film is top dog. Unfortunately the only thing making this film a top five for me is the visual spectacle put on show. Only David (Fassbender) stand out massively in an acting role for me as he is brilliant. He perfects the role of being a robot that is meant to be a human, but obviously as you can tell there is something peculiar about David throughout the film.

Number 2: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Being a massive Lord of the Rings fan, this film was always going to be in here somewhere, but I decided not to have it top, even though this film is absolutely fantastic. Only due to reading the book before hand did I pick up a few errors, but then again I cannot be too critical as there this is the usual case. For one, I loved the ending of the The Hobbit and thought it fantastic. Freeman was also fantastic as Bilbo. I am certainly excited to see the next part, however I can only imagine a few areas will be left out due to the amount of the story they have to cover within the second film. Alas, I believe that Lord of the Rings fans will only be able to bear with The Hobbit, as it is long and in some parts slow and I can imagine if you didn’t like Lord of the Rings trilogy, you wouldn’t like The Hobbit. The sequence in which the dwarfs are singing about Erebor sent shivers down my spine as that was just a fantastic scene as well as the scene with The Pale Orc and the tree. The second part has been nicely set up and I cannot wait for it.

Number 1: The Dark Knight Rises

Someone asked me what my top film was, and it was between The Hobbit and The Dark Knight Rises. When they said I could only watch one, I have to choose The Dark Knight rises as I will never tire of the brilliant sequences and Bane’s terrifying character. It is the end of the trilogy by Christopher Nolan and it is a spectacular one. Admittedly, it’s not the greatest ending and neither is it to the trilogy as majority of people will say The Dark Knight is a better film. I am impartial as I really enjoy all three films for their different aspects. The opening scene in The Dark Knight Rises however is one of the greatest things I have seen. Of course, there are some annoyances but that is of course natural to the films. My big annoyance was Bane being killed off so simply and there was no reference to him afterwards. Granted it was Talia’s grand scheme of things, but still, he was really badass. The ending was not brilliant due to the open questions left in place, such as how did Bruce Wayne really survive, will Joesph Gordon Levitt take over as Batman, or become Nightwing? What will happen to Gotham now? It was quite frustrating to say the least, but the most well-rounded film I believe after the great visual displays, exciting action scenes, a shock – albeit not a great one, but a shock nonetheless – and great acting displays by Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Gary Oldman and also Anne Hathaway.

Well, they are my top films. I’ve made a kind of pact with myself to see as many films as I can that come out this forthcoming year, although I’ve already got my heart set on few, such as Lincoln, Life of Pi (I know it came out last year, but I’ve got to see that), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Gangster Squad, Only God Forgives and Man of Steel – This list is near endless. So I’m going to try and get a post out for every one of them. I can see a different take on Fairy Tales can be a theme for next year, as Jack The Giant Killer has popped up and Snow White and the Huntsman last year. We shall see on that one.

A mention for The Avengers, as many people enjoyed it and what not. I did not. I just found it a reason to make money as Superheroes were making money at the box office at the time. The last half hour of The Avengers and Dark of the Moon were very similar and it just annoyed me as they are two totally different films. For me, it just lacked on a whole massively and could have been improved in various degrees.

Thank you for reading, I would love to know what you think of my selections and whether you agree, or disagree with them. All feedback is welcomed!

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Author: Nathan Harris

Currently studying Film & Television studies and Media Writing at Derby University. Hopefully wanting to become a film critic/journalist.

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