Saturday, January 12, 2013

2012 films I still want to see

Box office revenues trended up this year, though most likely due to the weight of several tent-pole franchise movies. I still need to see a lot of films that came out in 2012 so here is my list with some brief reasons for why I want to see these movies.

All nine Best Picture nominees
I wanted to see most of these films before the Oscar nominations were announced anyway. Now I have even more of a reason to see them.

All Best Animated film nominees
Like the best picture candidates I wanted to see most of these earlier but didn't get around to it. I don't see a clear Oscar winner in this bunch which makes me even more curious about them.

The Cabin in the Woods

I like already like Joss Whedon's work and have heard good things about this apparently meta horror movie.

I loved Casino Royale and liked Quantum of Solace despite finding it a bit disappointing. Skyfall has gotten a more positive buzz so I need to get around to watching it.

I actually liked the 1995 Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd movie, perhaps because I didn't have any expectations and never read the comics. Unlike its predecessor, Dredd received good reviews so I'll have to check it out on Blu-ray sometime. Both films failed at the box office so we probably won't see a sequel to Dredd.

The Raid: Redemption
Like Dredd, The Raid is an action movie that has our main character fight his way through a giant building of enemies. The Raid: Redemption generally had a positive reception, though Roger Ebert criticized the film for having little plot and being like watching video game fights.

I'm a big David Cronenberg fan so of course I want to see his latest film. I'm curious to see how Robert Pattinson does in a non-Twilight or Harry Potter role.

The Woman in Black
Speaking of Harry Potter, I am interested in seeing Daniel Radcliffe in his first post-Potter role. The Woman in Black seems to be an old-fashioned ghost story, which is refreshing considering most horror movies these days.

Cloud Atlas
From the Wachowski Brothers comes an ambitious sci-fi film taking place in several different but connected time periods.

Moonrise Kingdom
I've never actually seen a Wes Anderson film but have heard good things and like a lot of the actors in the cast (Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Frances McDormand).

The Master
I haven't seen a Paul Thomas Anderson movie yet either. Three different actors from The Master received Oscar nominations.

Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, and Tom Hardy in a movie about Prohibition-era bootleggers? Count me in! I'm not a big fan of Shia LaBeouf but I'm sure he has better material to work with here than in the Transformers movies.

Robot & Frank
The trailer for this little sci-fi movie piqued my interest. It is about an older man (Frank Langella) who tries to pull of a heist with the help of his robot companion.

Seven Psychopaths
Here is another movie whose trailer grabbed me. Seven Psychopaths his a crim film with an awesome cast (Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits, Harry Dean Stanton) that also looks hilarious. Seven Psychopaths is only the second film from director Martin McDonagh, who has already won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film and was nominated for Best Screenplay for his first feature film, In Bruges.

I'm a fan of Alfred Hitchcock and generally enjoy movies about making movies so I want to see this film about the making of Psycho.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
I never read the books but enjoyed Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies.

I'm not a big fan of found footage movies but Chronicle seems to put a new spin on the genre with its story about teens who gain special abilities. Chronicle has also gotten good reviews and did well at the box office.

V/H/S is not only a found footage movie but also a horror anthology film. Although it has gotten a mixed reception (not unlike many anthology and found footage movies) I have to give the creators credit for the concept as I don't think this type of combination had been done before.

Safety Not Guaranteed
Safety Not Guaranteed may be the first movie based on a newspaper ad. The ad is now an old joke but asked for volunteers to go back in time who must bring their own weapons. When I originally heard about this project I thought it would be a crazy off the wall action comedy but instead the trailer looks more low-key and subdued. Still, I'm interested to see where exactly they went with this idea.

Have you seen any of these films? Are there any 2012 movies you have seen not on this list to recommend me?

Next up:  Films I am looking forward to in 2013


  1. I'm planning on picking up Dredd sometime this week. We should watch it soon.

  2. Happy New Year: I've seen 6 of the films you mention here. Moonrise Kingdom was a total delight, with an utterly charming story and cast of characters, a wonderful fable of growing up and first love. Robot and Frank was a small gem, looking at a man seeking to hold onto his dignity as dementia encroaches (with a sci-fi twist). Safety Not Guaranteed has its flaws, but has really stuck with me, illustrating the need to embrace a person's flaws and even craziness in order for love to flourish. Seven Psychopaths was a disappointment compared to the director's previous masterpiece, In Bruges. And Skyfall and Hobbit were both mostly disappointing to me.

    My Top 10 List, by the way:

    1. Beasts of the Southern Wild - romantic, cathartic portrayal of childhood and childhood loss
    2. Moonrise Kingdom
    3. Holy Motors - exhilirating; my strangest cinematic experience of the year
    4. Django Unchained - a beautiful love story, coupled with the most intense portrayal of the dehumanization of slavery I've ever seen on film
    5. Lincoln - great companion to #4; the people behind the end of slavery in the halls of power
    6. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - one of my 2 favorite rom-com's of the 2000's, along with (500) Days of Summer
    7. Margaret - profound portrayal of the inevitable narcissistic aspect of experiencing horrific trauma
    8. Secret World of Arrietty - more animated beauty courtesy of Miyazaki
    9. Robot and Frank
    10. Safety Not Guaranteed


  3. I'm like you Chris, I've missed tons this year. Apart from the first four I haven't seen any of these. Skyfall and The Raid were great action films. Cabin in the Woods for some reason didn't quite jibe with me. I felt it was a little...smug?

  4. Doug: Yeah I really want to see Dredd sometime!

    Andrew: Thanks for your top ten list and suggestions. I'll definitely have to check out those when I get the chance.

    Jack: I think I actually saw more new movies last year than this year. I'm only familiar with Joss Whedon from Firefly/Serenity and The Avengers so we'll see if Cabin in the Woods works for me. I never saw the Buffy TV show but saw the 1992 movie which I actually enjoyed though I heard its a lot different than the show.