Welcome to my final Weekly Watch of the year. I hope you all had a good Christmas and have a happy new year to come!
Continuing my 2012 movie trend, I saw new releases in Wreck-It Ralph, The Hobbit, Life of Pi and Flight. I also caught up on some animations I’ve missed in The Secret World of Arrietty and Frankenweenie. Golden Globe nominated foreign film Kon-Tiki was also a highlight.
A few older movies too – Gangs of New York did little for me, Bad Boys was great but not as fantastic as I remember and I finally saw Groundhog Day which was probably the best movie I saw over the last week or so.
Life of Pi (2012) – I talked about this briefly in my blog post last week. It’s a film that looks so beautiful and I found the first half to be pretty magical. For me it didn’t hold that level throughout and while some liked the ending, I really didn’t which left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. C+
The Secret World or Arrietty (2012) – The first Studio Ghibli film I have ever seen, I am now definitely keen on checking out some of their past work. This imaginative tale looks at Arrietty, who is part of a four-inch-tall family living secretly in a human’s house. The English dub of Arrietty (UK version) is voiced by the lovely Saoirse Ronan and I found her to be adorable. A very cute, creative film. B+
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) – Firstly, I liked the Lord of the Rings but I definitely wasn’t a massive fan. I had no real expectations for The Hobbit or 48fps and overall both were lacklustre in my eyes. Put simply, the movie was too padded out and long. I feel if it had been split into two parts instead of three, it wouldn’t have been so pointless at times. The first hour was excruciating but it did improve from there, including a key scene with Gollum that was great. The 48fps was extremely different, it’s hugely noticeable and detracts from the movie at the start, but you slowly get used to it as it goes on. I was tempted to give this a C+ but I enjoyed and appreciated enough of it for it to just tick over to a B-
Gangs of New York (2002) – The acting was super in thus 1863 gang movie set in New York City. With a big cast of DiCaprio, Diaz and Day-Lewis all shining, I was still relatively bored for the most part. It did little for me, and the 167 minutes were long. Fans of any of the main leads may find it worthwhile but I would avoid, plenty of better films to catch up on. C+
Frankenweenie (2012) – Another stellar animation I missed, Tim Burton’s dark comedy/horror is well worth a look. It’s unique and different, with the whole film in Black + White. I had a couple of logic faults with it but I would recommend it pretty quickly and it’s probably my favourite animation of the year. B+
Groundhog Day (1993) – I had heard of the premise of this film before I had seen it, where a weatherman (Bill Murray) finds himself living the same day over and over. I love the concept and it’s one I love to think about. Murray is outstanding and I also liked Andie MacDowell as Rita. I think this film has a slow middle but I am a big fan of endings and it finishes sublimely, with a strong message that I’ve taken to fondly. I’ve been in a happy, extra-friendly mood all week and I think this film is one of those reasons! A-
Bad Boys (1995) – I recently looked at my Grade 6 time capsule, where I had listed my favourite movies as Bad Boys and American Pie. I hadn’t seen Bad Boys or the sequel since I was young so I had to give it another watch as an adult. Martin Lawrence and Will Smith have such perfect chemistry and I had a lot of laughs with this film. It’s nowhere near as good as I remember but I remember Bad Boys II being the better of the two so hopefully that impresses more. B+
Flight (2012) – Denzel Washington‘s performance has been lauded as he plays an alcoholic pilot, and the praise is well deserved. The film has some slow parts in it, in fact, the first hour is truly magnificent before it slows down greatly, however it concludes well enough that I can forgive the slow second half. It also looks at denial and addiction in a strong way. B
Wreck-It Ralph (2012) – My most anticipated animation of the year by a decent length, I was pretty disappointed overall. The idea of the video game characters being real and moving around from game to game is so perfect and it’s executed quite well too. I’m a casual gamer but still related to majority of the characters and jokes. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t find the humour very funny and I don’t think most of the cinema I was with did either. I found Sarah Silverman‘s voice was quite annoying personally and while I like John C Reilly I’m just not sure his character grew on me at all. The ending was a bit touching which was a saving grace and while I didn’t like the film that much overall, it’s a hard film to hate. B-
Kon-Tiki (2012) – Based on the true story of Thor Heyerdal’s epic 4,300 miles crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947, this film was captivating and had me glued to the screen. Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen was fantastic as Heyerdal (he looks a lot like Ryan Gosling too) and will be one I will keep an eye on for the future. I cared about the quest the crew went on and the story itself is incredible. It also had a lot of ‘Life of Pi’ moments interestingly. This was recently nominated for Best Foreign film at the Golden Globes and I am certain it will not only be nominated at the Oscar’s, but has a chance to knock off Amour. A-
I only have a few films I need to see before my Top 50 of 2012, which will definitely be up sometime next month. They include: Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained and Jack Reacher.
Thanks for visiting the site throughout it’s first year, it’s truly appreciated