It’s that time of the year where I’m frantically catching up on 2012 releases I haven’t seen in anticipation for my Top 50 of 2012, which will probably be released towards the end of next month. I watched 11 2012 films including some older releases in Katy Perry: Part of Me, The Sapphires, The Bourne Legacy, Burning Man, Undefeated and Robot & Frank.
As for brand new releases, I saw Liberal Arts which is now out in Australian cinemas, as well as Oscar favourite Les Misérables. I also caught This is 40 and The Impossible which both come out next month in Australia. Finally, I saw Cloud Atlas as well. Read on for my thoughts!
This is 40 (2012) <<< Click here for my review. I’m a bit shocked some people seem to have liked this film which was very average. C
Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012) – I’m by no means a big Katy Perry fan, but I do enjoy a few of her songs and seemed to recognize most that were played in this interesting documentary. We see how Katy has gotten to where she is today and the highs and lows along the way. The doco actually follows her on tour for a year, right around the time she marries Russell Brand. It’s not groundbreaking but there are some good twists and turns along the way. B-
Liberal Arts (2012) – Elizabeth Olsen oozes youth in this love story which has some deep life messages. I found Jesse’s (Josh Radnor) decisions + the final act frustrating though. Out in Australian cinemas now. B-
The Sapphires (2012) – Set in 1968, this is an Aussie film about an Aboriginal girl group who travel to Vietnam to entertain US troops. Chris O’Dowd plays a key role as the group’s manager and some of the singing is great, especially from Jessica Mauboy who’s a great artist in her own right in Australia. I found the movie to be rather average though, with the characters really unlikable early on, which made it hard to care from the get go. C+
Robot & Frank (2012) – Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team. Many found Frank to be hard to like as a bitter old man, but I related to a lot of his feelings and thought he was fine. It’s really a beautiful story overall, with the final 15 minutes showcasing some of life’s tough realities but in the best way possible. B+
The Impossible (2012) – Naomi Watts and Ewan Mcgregor are both great in a devastating movie based on the true events of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. There is a lot to like about this movie, the scenes are reconstructed so well, it feels as if they really were filmed during the disaster itself. Some of the sounds sound so realistic they make you cringe, with sticks digging into legs with brutal force. One scene too tested out my gag reflex. The fact it’s based on a true story really aids to the story and it’s re-enacted superbly. B+
Les Misérables (2012) <<< Click here for my review of this highly anticipated film adaption of the popular musical. B
Burning Man (2011) – With the recent AACTA nominations, I ticked off one of the remaining two films nominated for Best Feature that I hadn’t seen. The first half of this film is incredible, it kind of reminded me of both Memento and Shame with it’s style and shots. The less you know about it the better but Matthew Goode was great as a chef trying to put his life back together with his restaraunt on Bondi Beach. The second half isn’t as good but I still enjoyed it. B
The Bourne Legacy (2012) – I had heard a lot of negativity about the newest Bourne movie, which while it utilises the title of the previous 3 great Bourne films, isn’t largely related. Jeremy Renner is no Matt Damon, but he does decently enough in his own way. I found the film to not be that bad at all, sure it’s no Bourne movie and shouldn’t even be considered part of the series, but it had an ok story with some great chase scenes. I’m happy enough to give it a B.
Undefeated (2011) – We have been waiting a while for this 2011 Oscar winning documentary in Australia, which didn’t actually get a cinema release. It is available on iTunes though and I was keen to finally check it out. Extremely uplifting, it tells the story of a high school NFL team that was always the whipping boy until Coach Bill Courtney takes over. I felt a lot of emotion in this one, more than deserving of it’s Oscar win. A-
Cloud Atlas (2012) – An extremely unique film, at times I felt it was visionary and revolutionary as it looks at six different eras and the lives of characters in them and how they all relate to each other. The make up is phenomenal, and while I felt the 172 minute runtime, it was at least interesting and the pace kept moving the whole time. I think it is a must see film, although I didn’t love it. B-
The Raid (2012) – I gave my #3 film of the year a rewatch to certify that it was as deserving of praise as I gave it and it most certainly was. While it doesn’t match the packed cinema experience which was simply amazing, the home experience is still great and it really picks up as it goes. Some of the best fighting scenes I’ve ever seen. A
A few more films to see this week, including Life of Pi tonight. I’ll also have a review of The Hobbit up before it’s December 26 release in Australia.
What did you guys get up to this week? Agree or disagree on any of these films?