Monday, December 31, 2012
The Films That I Saw: December 2012
Another month has end as well as the end of another year and honestly, it’s a relief. Personally, 2012 was not a very good year. I went through some health issues as well as some personal issues. Some of it affected my film-watching. Still, I’ve managed to see a good number of films as I ended the year at least on a high note. Especially as December was some serious film-viewing due to the slate of films that were coming out though there’s more 2012 releases to see for next month though I doubt I will come up with a definitive 2012 list since I still have never done lists for 2009, 2010, and 2011.
In the course of December, I saw a total of 43 films. 27 first-timers and 16 re-watches. Somewhat slightly up from last month except in first-timers though it was still considering what I saw in that month. Some of which were related to Stanley Kubrick for the Auteurs piece on him as well as various other films I came across to or had in my DVR hard drives. And some that were theatrical releases. One of which in the form of Django Unchained that had me experience one of the worst theatrical film-going experiences I had ever had.
Not since the 2006 screening of Brokeback Mountain had I experience something like this but on a very different level. What happened when I went to see Brokeback was that in the middle of the film during the scene where Ennis talks about what he had saw as a child to Jack. The sound went down. I couldn’t hear anything properly for 10-15 minutes and it ruined the movie for me. After the screening, those who had seen the film including myself got a free pass which I used for Match Point a week later. With Django Unchained, this was very different as I saw on Christmas Day in the morning with a full crowd. We were all having a good time. More than two hours into the film, something happened and the screen went blank.
It was horrible. For 20-25 minutes, nothing was happening as the theater manager revealed that the power went out and that the projector had to be rebooted. Honestly, I wondered where were the projectors who were supposed to be handling these things? It is an indication of how times have changed and not for the better. I sat in my seat waiting for the screen to come back as I was talking to fellow patrons as they were texting and such. Honestly, I frown upon texting or anything in a film theater but in this case. I made this an exception. The film finally came though everyone was saying “fast-forward” and it got to the part just before the scene that we were about to watch. Most of the people got to finish seeing the film but that incident ruined everything. At least we all got passes afterwards which I used a week later to see Les Miserables.
If anyone had experiences like this, let me know as I’m sure some of us went through something like this. Right now, here are the 10 best first-timers I saw for December 2012:
1. 12 Monkeys
2. The Passion of Joan of Arc
3. Django Unchained
4. Bound for Glory
5. Rosemary's Baby
6. Coming Home
7. The French Connection
10. Les Miserables
The documentary about famed NYC club king Peter Gatien has moments of interest about the NYC club scene in the late 80s and 1990s that was quite hot but the documentary itself was quite boring. It wasn’t engaging enough and some of the presentation in the visual effects looked very cheap. It really didn’t do enough to showcase more of why Gatien was very influential to that scene as its third act suffered too much into Gatien’s legal issues.
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie
Though it’s just a collection of outtakes from Anchorman, this spin-off is still quite entertaining as it featured more Ron Burgundy, the Channel 4 News Team including Brick Tamland, and Veronica Corningstone trying to report about a group of anarchists. It’s pretty funny as it shows more of Champ’s possible homosexuality and who actually plays the troubled son of Ed Harken. It’s something fans of the film must see.
People rag on Jennifer Aniston for good reason although she’s actually a better actress than I think some people give her credit for in films like Office Space, The Good Girl, Horrible Bosses, and Friends with Money. This film features one of those better performances as well as the fact that it’s actually pretty funny. Aniston and Paul Rudd play a couple who move from New York City to Atlanta to find work only to come across a hippie commune and stay there for a while. The scene of Aniston tripping her balls off was quite funny as well as other revelations relating to the world of hippies and such. It’s not as good as David Wain’s other films but still quite entertaining.
The Three Musketeers (2011 film)
Paul W.S. Anderson is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. Sure, he’s made a bunch of bad movies although he has made some decent films like Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon. This film is definitely the most ridiculous film he’s ever made. It’s quite idiotic at times and the action is so over the top. The acting is quite hammy and sometimes pretty bad. Yet, it doesn’t apologize for it as it is fully aware of how bad it is. I kind of admire that and I found myself strangely entertained by it. Notably the performances of Christoph Waltz and Mads Mikkelsen as well as Orlando Bloom hamming it up as the Duke of Buckingham.
People rag on this film for the fact that it beat Raging Bull and The Elephant Man for the Best Picture Oscar in 1980. Still, this is actually one of the better films that actually deserves that Oscar as it’s a very engaging and heart wrenching melodrama. Notably as it revolves around Timothy Hutton dealing with guilt as a family is being torn apart by death. The performances of Hutton, Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Judd Hirsch are brilliant as well as the realism into how people deal with death that is directed with such subtlety by Robert Redford.
1. A Clockwork Orange
2. The Tree of Life
3. Harold and Maude
4. Finding Nemo
5. We Need to Talk About Kevin
6. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
7. Eyes Wide Shut
8. Garden State
9. Shall We Dance?
Well, that will be it for December and 2012. There will be one final 2012-related post to reflect on the rest of the year. Coming in January will be a slew of reviews of films by Robert Altman, William Friedkin, and a few others as well as the first part of the 2013 Blind Spot Series and whoever is related to that. There will also be some re-watches for films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The City of Lost Children as it will both be related to the upcoming Auteurs series for its respective directors. Until then, let’s have a Happy New Year.
© thevoid99 2012