Movie Monday: My Top 5 Movies Of 2012

I have seen some very good movies this year, and some very bad ones too, but lets not focus on those but let’s look at what was good.  Some of these movies may not have been released this year, but if I say the movie for the first time this year then it is eligible.

I’m going to start at the top;

  1. The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble here in the U.K.):  This is by a long stretch my favourite movie of the year.  It had everything, action, drama, plot, great characters, humour, breath-taking CGI.  Joss Whedon put an amazing movie together here and I’d go as far to say this is close to being my favourite movie of all time.
  2. The Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan’s epic conclusion to this Batman Trilogy was not perfect, but it was close.  It felt rushed in places and some of it felt a little strained but that is easily forgotten as the drama and the enormity of the plot gains pace.
  3. Dredd: I have a dirty confession here, I actually quite like the Stallone version but I can see the cheese factor of the movie.  This version felt a lot more raw and I loved the fact that it was a simple storyline and not Dredd trying to save the world. I’ve never read the comics that the film is based on, but I doubt that each episode has Dredd saving the world or something as grand.  It was just two cops trying to solve a crime, and stop a wider crime wave.
  4. The Hunger Games: I have just started reading the book, but I saw the movie when it first came out and it did really impress me. The changes that I have noticed have not bothered me and I’m looking forward to the next movie, although I am disappointed that Director Gary Ross will not be returning to direct the second film. Dredd only just pipped it to the 3rd place.
  5. Rise OF The Guardians: This is a late comer to the list as it only came out a few weeks ago and gets in by the spirit the movie had. It’s a really great family film which I think deserves its place here.

I’ve got a couple of honorary mentions here.  The first is The Rocky Horror Picture show, Dead Silence, Sinister, Ted and The Women In Black.  All good movies which I wanted to mention as they left a lasting impression on me.

The Christmas Period 2012

I hope that you have all had an amazing Christmas? I know that I have had my best Christmas since childhood, by a long way if I’m honest.   It was pretty relaxed and there was a lot of fun had 🙂 I managed to knock out about sixty pages of The Hunger Games Christmas Day. It was nice to be able to just sit down and read without thinking about having one of a dozen other things to do. I did get Stephen King’s The Dark Tower books for Christmas as well so I want to get started on them as soon as I can.

I’ve watched a few good movies (Ted, The Avengers (Avengers Assemble here in the UK) The Dark Knight Rises and The Rocky Horror Picture Show), had a Nerf gun fight, ate some really good food.  Spent time with my nearest and dearest and all in all it was a really good couple of days 🙂

There’s little time to rest though as I’ve been back at work today and for just a few days things will be back to normal, till New Years Eve at least. This is always an odd time of the year. Unless you’re lucky enough to have the entire Christmas and New Year period off then the days feel odd.  Like today for example it has felt like monday all day.  Weird.  I do love this time of year but I hate how it knocks me off my mental calendar.

Before New Year I’ve got a few days of work and I’m hoping to get down to Owen’s because he has a few notes for Project Apollo which in turn are a few notes for The Space Watch (Project Apollo). I’ll let you all know how that goes.

Movie Monday

I want to use this week’s Movie Monday to give a couple of quick thoughts on a few films that I have seen this year that I have not mentioned here.  Firstly The Amazing Spider-Man. I kind of expected this film to as it was, predictable.  My favourite part of it was the chemistry between Martin Sheen and Sally Field.  Andrew Garfield is a far better Peter Parker/Spider-Man then Toby Maguire was.  Emma Stone is also very good as Gwen Stacy, although both her and Garfield look far too old to be high school students.  Rhys Ifans is not really convincing as Dr. Curt Connors.  It was nice seeing a little bit about Parker’s parents though but most of that was clearly in place for any sequel that may be in the pipeline.

The story was not too bad, but the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies are still too fresh in our memories for it to really make a mark on me.  I would have been tempted  to have carried on from the end of the third Raimi film, but with a new cast and director and so forth. Doing a re-boot though opens all the doors that Raimi closed.  The writers, producers and director(s) of a new series of films can pull almost anything they want from the Spider-Man universe.

Another Re-booted movie that was out this summer was Total Recall.  I’m a little unsure of this one, I think I’d like to see it again before really giving a strong opinion on it.  The cast is pretty good, although I’m still to see a film where Jessica Biel really pushes herself as an actress.  Kate Beckinsale is good in it, nice to see her playing a different role to what she normally seems to do.  I do generally like Len Wiseman as a director as well.  If I had to voice an opinion of the film though I would say that it’s not got the edge of the original, and although I do like Wiseman I couldn’t help but think that someone like Duncan Jones or Christopher Nolan would have been able to bring something a bit more to it.  Both of those directors have made films which challenge the viewers interpretation of the world.

I hate writing blog posts like this because it feels like a really negative post and I have no doubt that many of the people involved in these films worked incredibly hard to put them together.  They were not the films that I had hoped that they would be.  We are in a stage in our (movie) culture where Hollywood is recycling so many movies it’s kind of hard to get really excited about some of these re-boots.  I know I list The Dark Knight Rises as one of the best movies of the year so far, and yes that is a re-boot but it is an impressive re-boot.  There’s not been many other re-boots that have been as impressive or better, well aside from Dredd that is 😀

Movie Monday

I love movies, I mean I absoluetly love movies and if you have been reading my blog for a while you’ll have noticed that I talk about movies quite often so (hopefully) each Monday I’ll be putting up  a post about the movies that I really want to see or am about to watch, or have just watched.

Resident Evil:Retribution


I saw this one when it came out and have been thinking about it here and there.  It’s not bad, but it’s not anywhere near as good the previous four films.  It left me feeling a little unsatisfied if I’m honest.  Nothing was tidied up from the last film, no answers were given to questions from the last film, or how Jill Valentine ended up where she was.  The best part of the film was the ending because it set up the next film.  Although it did create a lot of questions but hopefully the producers will answer them in the next film.




I saw this one when it came out and found that I was annoyed at how it’s meant to be an Alien prequel, but they had better technology.  If there was no Alien element to it then it would not have made any difference to the movie.  It’s the simple thing of technology though.  In this film the technology the crew have is far superior to that of the original film, but I’ll see how it plays out when I watch it sometime this week.


And has anyone seen the images of the new Robocop? is it my imagination that it looks like a cheap knock off of Iron Man? I’m thinking that it might have been an idea for the producers to have kept it under wraps for a while because a still picture never shows how it will look in a movie.


Top three movies of the year so far:

  1. The Avengers (Avengers Assemble)
  2. The Hunger Games
  3. The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

I went into this film with a very high expectation of this not just being another summer blockbuster but one that is of an epic conclusion to a trilogy that director Christopher Nolan has created.  For me the first two films were two of the best films that I have seen in a long time.  They were nicely put together with a very strong cast, and so was this one.  Do not worry, I will not be putting in any spoilers here.

This really was a good film which did have that epic feel I was looking for.  The cast is brought back and with the additions of Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway.  Christian Bale is very good as both Batman and Bruce Wayne and we see a side of him that I personally havent seen before.  I am a big comic book movie fan but I have never read any of the actual comics.  A friend once said to me that I’m one of those comic book geeks that never read comic books! He has a point 😀  So I do not really know much of the histories of the characters.  For example all I knew of Bane was what I saw of him in the earlier Batman film and in that he seemed like a mindless, clumsy clown.  Not even very menacing in my opinion.  In The Dark Knight Rises Bane was not just muscle but a calculating muscle.  He knew his strengths and that there were few that could match his strength and speed, he was not as sinister as Heath Ledger’s Joker but I think any actor would struggle to match what Ledger did with the joker.  Tom Hardy plays Bane in this movie and he had his mouth and half his face covered for the majority of the movie and he still pulled off a very impressive performance shows his talent and the directors ability as well.  Anne Hathaway as Catwomen does not fail to disappoint either.

There are two things that bothered me about this movie, one of which is a fair bit of it felt rushed.  There are large periods of the movie where I NEEDED to know more about what was happening but so much was, I’m reluctant to say ignored but I think cut out because otherwise this would have been a five-hour movie (why not do it in two parts?) and the other thing that bothered me is something that came across all three movies and that is Gotham city looked different in each film.  In the first film it looked like it was loosely based on New York but it had its own, kind of gothic feel to it.  Wayne Tower especially looked amazing.  In the second film it is quite clearly set in Chicago and Wayne Tower just looks like another skyscraper and not the heart of Gotham.  In the third movie it looks like New York once more but a tidied up New York that no longer has a criminal element eating away at its underbelly.  It’s a continuity failure which does not ruin the film, but it’s noticeable.  Aside from that it is a cracking movie which gives the viewer the epic film that I mentioned.  There is the odd surprise in it and bearing in mind both director and lead actor have said this is their last Batman film, well see for yourself 😉

I just want to say quickly that for me Heath Ledger was the most sinister movie villain I have seen.  When I first heard that he had been cast I was sceptical, not because I disliked him.  I think he was a once in a generation talent and I thought that before he died.  I was sceptical because I only knew the Joker from the old TV series and the Tim Burton movie where Jack Nickleson played him, but Ledger was born to play the Joker.  He took a character who was a little slapstick and made him sinister.  He took the character and made it the nightmare that we needed to see.  Not once during The Dark Knight did I look at the Joker and see Heath Ledger, all I saw was Batman’s deadliest foe.