Tag Archives: Argo

My Year in Movies 2012 (Finally!)

Right before I saw The Muppets in November of 2011, I commented to my closest movie allies that starting with this Kermit and friends’ return to cinematic form from Disney, the next 12-14 months could be the best year (or a little over a year) of cinema that I have ever experienced.  After The Muppets, there was a new Mission Impossible opening in December of 2011 (Ghost Protocol ended up as my favorite movie of 2011), and then 2012 was to feature a new historical drama from Steven Spielberg starring the great Daniel Day-Lewis, a new Bond, two new Marvel movies, a new Bourne, lots of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a prequel to Alien from Ridley Scott, a movie version of one of my all-time favorite musicals, a promising new Pixar outing, Peter Jackson’s return to Middle-Earth, and of course, the final installment in Christopher Nolan’s groundbreaking Batman series.  Now, on the eve (or for many, morning) of the Oscars and the unofficial culmination of the 2012 year in cinema, despite some unfortunate disappointments (Middle-Earth did not feel so good in 2012), 2012 was as close to movie heaven as I could ask for.

What follows are my rankings, my designations, my Oscar votes (if I had them) in the six major categories, and some new awards that I have cooked up for 2012, an epic year of cinema:

2012 motion pictures: Lincoln

2012 movies that could have been motion pictures: The Dark Knight Rises, Zero Dark ThirtyThe Master

The best acting performance of 2012: Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

Marvel movie that is probably a little bit overrated: The Avengers

Marvel movie that is probably a little bit underrated: The Amazing Spider-Man

5 most memorable sequences/scenes: The opening of The Dark Knight Rises, Silva’s single shot first scene in Skyfall, the hood scene from Django Unchainedthe tsunami attack in The Impossible, Georges’ pigeon pursuit in Amour

Best footage to be used in an acting master class: The entire performance of Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s interview scene with Joaquin Phoenix in The Master

Most unexpected narrative turn of events: The use of bears in The Brave

Ranking the Joseph Gordon-Levitt performances: 1. John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises  2. Playing a young Bruce Willis in Looper  3. Bike messenger in Premium Rush  4. A forgettable Robert Lincoln in Lincoln

Best performance by an animal: Richard Parker in Life of Pi

Worst performance by an animal: The wolves in The Grey

The movies that made me think the most after viewing: The Master, Looper, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, The Dark Knight Rises

The movies that made me think the least after viewing: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Flight, Savages

The most emotional movie experiences: The Impossible, Lincoln

The least emotional movie experiences: The Grey, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I just don’t get why people liked it: The Hunger Games, The Grey, Deep Blue Sea, 21 Jump Street

I just don’t get why people don’t like it more: The Bourne Legacy, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Impossible

Movies that could have been longer: The Dark Knight Rises, Lincoln, The Impossible

Movies that should have been shorter: The Master, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Django Unchained

Performances that needed to be longer to make more sense: Gloria Reuben in Lincoln, Marion Cotillard in The Dark Knight Rises

Best use of television actors from favorite TV shows in movies: Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) in Argo, Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) in Argo, Jared Harris (Mad Men) in Lincoln, Victor Garber (Alias) in ArgoBradley Cooper (Alias) in Silver Linings Playbook, Martin Freeman (Sherlock, The Office) in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Aidan Gillen (The Wire, Game of Thrones) in The Dark Knight Rises

Most distracting use of television actors from favorite TV shows in movies: Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) in Zero Dark Thirty, James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) in Zero Dark Thirty, Harold Perrineau (Lost) in Zero Dark Thirty

Movies that I saw because I like the actor, but the movie was not very good: Deep Blue Sea (Rachel Weisz), The Grey (Liam Neeson), Premium Rush (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

Best use of Jeremy Renner: The Bourne Legacy

Worst use of Jeremy Renner: The Avengers

Nominees for the “welcome back to the cinema” award: Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, after the challenge that was War Horse – Steven Spielberg, Batman, James Bond, a Pixar movie not featuring cars

Movies where death is a struggle to watch: The Impossible, Amour

Movies where death seems too easy to watch: Django Unchained, Skyfall

Accents that worked the best: Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, John Hawkes in The Sessions

Accents that struggled the most: Helen Hunt in The Sessions, Halle Berry in Cloud Atlas

Best adaptation of a book into a movie: Lincoln (Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin)

Worst adaptation of a book into a movie: Cloud AtlasThe Hunger Games

Directors I am interested to see more from: Rian Johnson (Looper), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Directors I have seen enough from: Tom Hooper (Les Miserables)

When AFI picks the best movies of the 21st Century, the likely nominees from 2012 are: Lincoln, Argo

Best use of a one word title: Brave, Argo, Amour

Worst use of a one word title: FlightSavages

The “I want to see that again” award: The Dark Knight Rises, Looper, Argo

The No Country For Old Men “I liked it, but I never want to see that movie again” award: The Impossible, Amour

The “a great movie to take a nap in” award: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Grey

My biggest disappointment: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

My most pleasant surprise: The Bourne Legacy, Django Unchained

Movies with the greatest number of moments that I had to turn away or close my eyes because it was so difficult to watch: Django Unchained, Amour, Prometheus

Movies with the greatest number of moments that I did turn away because I didn’t care and looking up IMDB facts on my phone was more interesting: Flight, The Grey, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

After 2012, actors that I want to see more of: Jessica Chastain, Christoph Waltz, Quevenzhané Wallis, Daniel Day-Lewis

After 2012, actors I want to see less of: Halle Berry, Helen Hunt, Wes Bentley

The award for “highest quality funeral guest list”: Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Dark Knight Rises

Movie that would have been great on stage: Lincoln

Movie that should have remained on stage: Les Misérables

My 5 least favorite movies of 2012: Deep Blue Sea, Savages, The Grey, 21 Jump Street, The Hunger Games

My 5 favorite movies 2012: The Dark Knight Rises, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, The Bourne Legacy

My favorite movie of 2012: The Dark Knight Rises

The best movie of 2012: Lincoln

 

Finally, if I had an Oscar vote, here are my selections in the six major categories (in order of voting):

BEST PICTURE:

Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, Django Unchained, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings PlaybookLes Misérables, Life of Pi

BEST ACTOR:

Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables), Denzel Washington (Flight)

BEST ACTRESS:

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Naomi Watts (The Impossible), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook), Alan Arkin (Argo)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

BEST DIRECTOR:

Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Michael Haneke (Amour), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

ENJOY THE OSCARS!

David J. Bloom can be reached on twitter @davidbloom7 and writes about pop culture and the NBA for Bishop and Company.  For more in depth opinions on movies, check out the “5 Things You Need To Know” page.

 

 

5 Things You Need To Know: ARGO

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When I see a movie in theaters, I will write the five things you need to know about it.

5 Things You Need to Know About… 

ARGO

1. Argo will be adorned with many Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Director.

2. Ben Affleck just took THE LEAP as a filmmaker.  After the two Boston/crime-centered definite successes of Gone Baby Gone (slightly underrated) and The Town (it may be slightly overrated), Argo is a high caliber movie that delivers in every scene, every detail, every performance, every nuance, every beat, every 1980s period hair piece and costume, and every shot of original Kenner Star Wars figures.  My fast-becoming go to film purveyor (and rightly self-professed movie cinematrician) Zach Baron, chronicles a career comeback for Mr. Affleck who has been to the bottom of a fiery pit (GigliDaredevil) and has come out as a filmmaker of skill, artistry, and unquestionable talent.  Argo is a crowning achievement and, unlike the distance that Paul Thomas Anderson creates between most viewers and The MasterAffleck gives the masses a front row seat to a movie of both unquestionable weight and brilliant execution. 

3. There are a staggering number of great film and television actors in small supporting roles in this movie that amount to consistent scene stealing and unheard of structural support.  The list includes Victor Garber (Alias as Mr. Affleck’s beautiful wife’s television dad), Bryan Cranston (the breath of this man’s ability ceases to amaze), Titus Welliver (who I remember fondly as the Man in Black on Lost), Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor is a television icon), Zeljko Ivanek (always good for some intense power sneering), Chris Messina (a scene stealer from Fox’s ready for primetime new comedy, The Mindy Project), John Goodman (having a blast), Alan Arkin (having even more of a blast), Christopher Stanley (freed from the marital hell that is Betty Draper), and Bob Gunton (the warden from Shawshank who I have yet to have forgiven).

4. When a movie is “based on a true story” that is both actually worth telling and not so ubiquitous that it feels fresh, I am elated.  Argo is an incredible tale that fits the cinematic medium oh so well.  Declassified by President Clinton in 1997 almost twenty years after the actual events, this lost CIA triumph resonates in 2012 with vitality and ease.  It works for those who lived through the 444 day Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979-1981, or, if you are like me and were not yet born during the late Carter administration, Argo is a most effective way to experience this essential modern American history.

5. Argo is a movie (disguised as a film), but, if the Academy Awards bring more than just nominations for this “based on a true story” work of genius, Argo could become a motion picture by February/March of 2013.

David J. Bloom can be reached on twitter @davidbloom7 and writes about pop culture and the NBA for Bishop and Company.  His weekly X Factor column appears on the Afterblog at Afterbuzztv.com.