The Best Movies of 2012

I thought I would do a little round-up of what I consider to be the greatest releases of 2012. Let me know what you think of my choices! Here we go, in no particular order.

 

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The Hunger Games

I absolutely loved this adaptation of Suzanne Collins book. Jennifer Lawrence was perfect as Katniss and I felt that the film stuck true to the book. In a quick summary: In the country of Panem, a boy and a girl aged 12-18 from each of the twelve districts must enter The Hunger Games- an arena in which they battle to the death and there can only be one victor. I would have liked there to have been more violence, as like the book, but that’s what happens when it’s made a 12A. I think the pacing was great but I didn’t think the concept was explained very well to new people. I would recommend reading the books first.

 

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Avengers

I had been waiting for this movie for so long and it was amazing. Okay, it may not be a “great” but it was such an enjoyable blockbuster that it deserves a mention. I love the superhero genre so a film where they combine is perfect. Basically, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Iron Man join forces to kick Loki’s butt before he opens some porthole and lets evil stuff get into Earth. It just gives way to brilliant dialogue and it is so funny. The action and the CGI are top notch too. A must-see if you like your Marvel stuff.

 

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The Dark Knight Rises 

Well, this is a given if you are into the Batman series like me. This ends the trilogy so well- everything is tied up nicely and you leave the franchise feeling satisfied. The cast in this are fab- particularly Tom Hardy as the uber villian, Bane. The action and the plot are superb and the dialogue is such so smart. Christopher Nolan has done such a brilliant job and who can doubt the cast- Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway.

 

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Lawless

Another quality film that I recommend everybody watches! Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf star as two of the Bondurant brothers, who run a liquor business in the Prohibition era- so obviously they could get done over by the police. The cops have been turning a blind eye until Rakes (Guy Pearce) comes to town and makes life very difficult. This is extremely violent but it is a great story set in an interesting period of time. Guy Pearce is fantastic as the sinister and corrupt cop.

 

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Skyfall 

I was surprised by how much I liked this. I don’t usually love Bond films and this is certainly my favourite Daniel Craig one. I liked it because it was so different to the usual- Bond wasn’t as fit as before and that was openly acknowledged. He was questioning his loyalty to M and the villain was the psychological kind rather than physical. It also felt like a turning point in the franchise as well because certain characters returned such as Q and others left-but I don’t want to spoil anything.  It has a stellar cast too- Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and the foxy Bérénice Marlohe as the Bond girl.

 

Ben Affleck in Argo

Argo 

Ben Affleck should be so proud of his directing effort. It is just a clever and compelling film based on a true story. In 1970s, the US Embassy in Iran is under siege and some of the staff are taken hostage. Tony Mendez (Affleck) is in charge of getting them out- but tensions are so fraught with Iran that no cover story would be plausible, so they come up with a crazy plan. They tell the Iranian authorities they are location scouting for a sci-fi movie and hope to smuggle the hostages out as crew later on. It sounds bizarre but it really is interesting and smart. It is also very tense at times, funny in others- just brilliant. I highly recommend.

Avengers Assemble: Review

Wow! What a film! Amazing is the only way to describe this movie and you would be hard pushed to find someone who disagrees. I think this film could be enjoyed by anybody (as the box office stats show!). Obviously it helps to have seen the other superhero movies- Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and Thor- but I reckon that anybody new to the Marvel universe would enjoy it as well (perhaps not as much as superhero movie fans but that’s because they don’t understand the characters/story fully). But damn, lovers of comic adaptations are going nuts over this and it isn’t surprising.

The movie brings together superheroes from the aforementioned films- Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Bruce Banner/ Hulk (now with Mark Ruffalo at the helm). Supporting characters from these movies are also included in all-star line-up. Loki (Thor’s evil adopted brother) is the villain who steals the Tesseract, an energy force so big that it could wipe out Earth in the wrong hands. And obviously, Loki’s hands are the wrong hands. He also uses the energy to open a portal so that alien creatures can attack Earth.

The mastermind of S.H.I.E.L.D, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) wants to set up a programme called The Avengers Initiative, where are the superheroes join force to become unbeatable. Loki’s possession of the Tesseract puts the plan in motion. Agents Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) round-up the heroes and get the operation going. This is led by newly introduced Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), who is Fury’s second-in-command. Jeremy Renner finishes the lead team as an agent Clint Barton/Hawkeye who is comprised by Loki so the operatives try to bring him back on their side. It’s certainly a lot of names to keep up with but most of them are familiar by now so it isn’t too hard to grasp.

Everything about this film is brilliant, especially the dialogue, the effects and the humour. The great thing about this is the interaction between the superheroes- the banter between them is where the humour lies. They constantly ridicule each other and let their egos do the talking before they finally realise they need to work as a team. Stark’s character has always been good for quips so you can naturally expect them from him but serious characters like Steve Rogers and Thor also pulls some funnies out the bag. Don’t disregard the Hulk either- he is hilarious in this movie and like you’ve never seen him before.

The acting is brilliant. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is a fantastic villain because he is so different from what you would expect- suave, articulate and always flashing a perfect smile. You wouldn’t think he was a villain until you see the evil glint in his eye. He is an evil genius- what he gets up to in this movie is remarkable. When I first read that he was the baddie, I didn’t really think it would work because he would have to be mega-bad to be a challenge for The Avengers but I was convinced.

The casting is perfect. I couldn’t imagine anybody else in those roles (not just because most have been played previously either!) I thought casting Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner was an odd choice at first but it completely works. He is also the first actor to “play” The Hulk and you tell if you look at the green CGI creature. The Hulk was a surprise for me actually because I always considered the movies the weakest of them all and I thought I would disregard him as a supporting hero. However, I think director Joss Whedon and newbie Mark Ruffalo showed the character in a new light and it worked very well.

The plot is a bit thin on the ground but you can forget about that when everything else is spot-on. The casting, acting, dialogue, action, pacing, effects, characterisation and screen-time of each character were perfect. You can’t get better than that. There is a reason it has taken the biggest box office opening ever- it is brilliant.

Avengers Assemble European Premiere: The Pictures

Well, from my previous description that I posted this morning, you know what the atmosphere was like and who showed up so I’ll just crack on with the pictures. If not, please check the below post.

Chris Hemsworth (Thor)

And with wife Elsa Pataky: 

Robert Downey Jr.  (Iron Man)

Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow)

Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye)

Mark Ruffalo (Hulk)

Cobie Smulders (Agent Hill)

Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson)

Full cast shot 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a decent photo of Tom Hiddelston (Loki) because he didn’t sign near my area and he always had his back to me. That was same of other celebrities who arrived such as Emily Head (from The Inbetweeners), actors James Purefoy and Colin Salmon plus bands Stooshe and Rizzle Kicks.

I would like to apologise for the quality of my photos- I know they aren’t the best. I was quite far away and my zoom isn’t the most advanced. But rather poor photos than none at all, right? At least you get the feel of the premiere rather than the standard pap shots you see everywhere else.

For you to understand the layout of the premiere and it’s epic scale, below are a couple of photos I took of the event before it all kicked off.