My Movie Diary 2012
15 7.2 7.1116. The Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989)
324 7.4 7.6115. The Raid: Redemption (2011)
The most violent cop movie ever made.
735 6.5 6.8114. The Expendables 2 (2012)
Putting that much star power in one movie could've exploded with such magnitude that could've ended the world. Luckily for us, Chuck Norris must've prevented it. Expendables 2 is brainless action fare inserted with familiar quotes made it fun to watch. These dino action men resurface like they were 10 years younger armed to the teeth and remain invulnerable. Willis and Schwarzenneger were a dynamite duo, Van Damme showed his improved acting, and Norris in the best cameo ever. This has cult written all over it.
Jason Statham's trip to the wax museum was quite memorable.
60 5.9 5.6113. Fire with Fire (2012)
A straight, do-gooder (a firefighter none the less) becomes the lone witness to a gang execution and must then go around the law to protect the woman he loves from reprisal. We've seen this many times before. Ho-hum.
580 6.3 6.7112. The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Let's not waste time arguing. Nobody replaces Matt Damon as the titular hero. That is already a given. But Jeremy Renner, one of the more exciting, intense and gratifyingly convincing actor breathes new life (and probably hope) to this franchise that is still several layers deep in storyline. Bourne Legacy tries to pick up where the past movies left off though not leaving explosions behind, it does promises of more things to come, of course,with Renner in it.
1704 7.9 8.1111. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
We've waited so long for this and all of us fans of Peter Jackson's fantasy saga have nothing else to do than sit back and let Tolkien's primary book unfold. Long, stretched of the book's pages but who cares? Holm, McKellen and the rest hang on to their characters and when everything have been made and done, they'd be as unforgettable as anything we've ever seen on film.
After filling themselves with much ale, some of the dwarves are finding Bilbo Baggins quite attractive...
1066 7.4 7.6110. Looper (2012)
Rian Johnson can make interesting, original stories but doesn't make it often. Nah, in fact, he only have a couple (including teen-mafia fan favorite "Brick"). Is "Looper" the best sci-fi flick of the year, or is Joseph Gordon Levitt just that good? "Looper" has flaws, of course, like Johnson's movies before it, but its damn irresistible to watch. Maybe Gordon-Levitt is that good.
648 5.8 5.6109. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 (2012)
So the world didn't end and everything seems clearer now. The world is either divided as such: Die-hard Twilight fans or those who think its worse than cancer. But there's another group: those who need to watch it in spite of--the Completist fool.
The final movie whose subtitle probably is "Thank God," is directed by none other than Bill Condon, a reputable filmmaker and evident of his art reflects on the opening sequence. TSBDPart2 ends the saga with a great battle and a great twist. I use "great" here because I was completely taken by surprise by the twist having not really read the books (I struggled with the first book, nearly wiped all mentalfaculties).
I liked the final battle, that I can admit. But yes, a sigh of relief its all over.
675 7 7.2108. War Horse (2011)
So epic and grand is this Spielberg movie that it didn't win Best Picture. Why? Because its best moments get drowned due to its length. Still "War Horse" is a visual work of art and a film study piece.
1134 7.5 7.8107. Skyfall (2012)
It's like watching James Bond for the first time---as they intend it to be, maybe (the franchise is now 50 years old). A bit revisionist (most modern Bond?) but with a feel of the old classic (the hero, the villain--clear cut). Sam Mendes' handling this made it romantic and melancholy; drama rather than explosive action. The bit part by Albert Finney gave it class, Ralph Fiennes bearing the torch gave it a future, the Bond girls are less pin-up girls since the focal woman in the story was M--the real Bond girl. Overall, Skyfall is a good reboot.
377 6.2 6.6106. Man on a Ledge (2012)
The movie started as drama, bleakly a man with life issues wanted to kill himself by jumping off a building. And because its Sam Worthington, it was quite believable. Then the true object is revealed: its a heist movie with Jamie Bell and that f@#$%! hot latina. Okay, so I was expecting more of the drama but then the action suspense was pretty much okay, too. Thanks to those wonderful co-stars that made the story run the clock well.
206 6 6.1105. Red Lights (2012)
At this point in his career, DeNiro has few surprises left. "Red Lights" as a mindboggling supernatural horror movie leaves much to be boggled by. The twist ending is not that impressive.
1409 6.3 6.3104. Dark Shadows (2012)
557 6 5.9103. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
The book was great. The movie...well, its okay. Reading and watching them both...pretty nice. All in all, how can you not like seeing Honest Abe slaughter vampires.
137 5.2 4.5102. The Grudge 3 (2009)
It comes to a point that something that scary will seem ridiculous: pale-skinned spirit noticeably appears whenever the dialogues disappear, and the ghastly burping now seem irritating.
126 6.4 6.7101. Arbitrage (2012)
488 5.7 6.1100. Man of the Year (2006)
276 6.4 6.599. Safe (2012)
1 2 5.198. Valley of the Dragons (1961)
902 6.7 6.997. Men in Black 3 (2012)
1341 6.9 7.296. Prometheus (2012)
Some wrong turns and the movie's promise of being the next 2001: Space Odyssey/Aliens came crashing down. The cast is golden, an assembly of enigmatic coolness: Fassbender, Rapace, Theron, Elba, Pearce. The story paces itself quite well, there's just something lacking in its entirety. Like real madness, or the sort that could've made it feel classic.
145 5.2 4.895. The Cold Light of Day (2012)
In "The Cold Light of Day", the characters are just badly written, their motives questionable, their acts dumb. Its a cat and mouse chase movie with very low I.Q.
893 7.1 7.194. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
Say Kevin Williamson and Darren Aronofsky get together for a heavy binge, and woke up later "Hangover"-style to discover they had written a horror movie. "Cabin in the Woods", the most original horror tribute movie since "Scream" scores high for director and "Cloverfield" penner Drew Goddard.
59 7.4 793. The Fountainhead (1949)
Ayn Rand's thick tome about an architect way ahead of his time is given screen life by Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal.
489 5.7 5.592. Mirror Mirror (2012)
The dwarves are cute, okay?
129 5.7 5.191. The Three Stooges (2012)
584 6.1 6.390. Total Recall (2012)
Its been years since I last saw the original movie by Verhoeven that starred Schwarzennegger and still considered as a revisionist sci-fi, not only because of its memory/amnesia theme but also of its action-per-minute ratio--a popcorn sci-fi movie that isn't corny.
12 long years later and Len Weisman of "Underground" fame remakes the film with few complaints. Why? The same reason a lot of us couldn't really recall the original film to memory (except for quite memorable scenes like the exploding head)---it needed to be upgraded. Here, the action shots are explosive, the set designs enormous, the total feeling is sci-fi heaven.
697 6.8 788. Chronicle (2012)
It didn't take long before someone thought of doing a superhero quasi-documentary/found footage film and it actually worked. Three young college buddies stumble upon a mysterious alien construct buried in a hole and gain enormous super powers that blew their minds. Never mind some of the ridiculous stuff that happens in the story,"Chronicle" is one for the imagination and fills our fantasy what-ifs. That's actually great camera work.
9 5.2 6.387. Female on the Beach (1955)
There's not much into the story, but the affair between Joan Crawford and Jeff Chandler sizzles even in the dark, cold, windy beach.
168 6.2 6.186. Coriolanus (2011)
Ralph Fiennes channels Kenneth Branagh as both director and star in this modern retelling of Will Shakespeare's war tragedy. Modern setting with the words of Shakespeare collide with brutality in the performances that their anguished saliva seems to spew right at you. Gerard Butler held his own but this is Fiennes' movie all the way.
13 3.5 4.285. When Time Ran Out... (1980)
There was a slew of disaster movies during the late 70s and early 80s, mostly headlined by an all-star cast. Paul Newman and William Holden (who also starred opposite each other in “The Towering Inferno”) have similar roles in this movie involving a suddenly active volcano terrorizing a small Hawaiian vacation island. Newman, whose mere presence and blue eyes make any movie a must watch, leads a group of people through the mountainside and out of reach of hellfire and lava (of course, with a couple of casualties along the way) while romancing the elegantly beautiful Jacqueline Bissette. Special Effects is of its time but its generally admissible to the story, the build up however, is slow as usual (again, of its time) and scenes sometimes dragged on like how it took the group 30 minutes of screen time just to cross a dilapidated bridge. Overall, it has Newman and what have you got to lose.
11 6.3 6.784. The Burglar (1957)
Dan Duryea portrays an over cautious burglar caught between two cohorts losing their patience and protecting his female, bombshell of a ward from danger. What I couldn’t quite get is, why does he need partners when he could’ve done the crime all by himself. But the movie has a certain kind of moody blue that makes it rather interesting, the musical scoring added some touch.
1631 7.1 7.282. The Hunger Games (2012)
676 5.7 6.481. The Dictator (2012)
No screen comedian is more controversial right now than Sacha Baron Cohen. "Borat" remains Cohen's best movie, but "The Dictator" has its own brilliance.
283 6 6.180. Lockout (2012)
Guy Pearce’s “Snow” takes the cake as one of the best smart-quipping, who-the-hell-cares, gung-ho characters on film. Addictive and lovable too. Presented by Luc Besson (co-writer), “Lockout” is a sci-fi popcorn movie with dazzling visual effects set in space and action scenes overdosing with creative style. Its got an old-fashioned chemistry between bad guys (there’s an unforgettable nutcase) and a lone hero protecting who else, but a damsel in distress. What I was hoping for that didn’t quite came through was a huge finale—I wanted more than just a big explosion in the sky, but nonetheless, it was sure as hell entertaining.
Some actors cut from Guy Ritchie movies found their way here.
22 7.8 7.679. Brian's Song (1971)
Sports movies aren’t supposed to make men cry but “Brian’s Song” the great movie that it is, leaves uncontrollable tears of joy and sadness in telling the story of NFL stars Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo. Billy Dee Williams and James Caan deliver such humanity in their roles that their best moments really his you right in the chest. As both a sports movie and drama, this one is an open field touchdown.
12 5.7 5.978. Chain Lightning (1950)
Humphrey Bogart stars as a veteran pilot who after WW2, suits up again to test experimental jetplanes. It’s a “dawn of the jetplane” kind of deal with interesting tech stuff and features some good action sequences with a dependable story arc and clear characterizations. Bogart along with Raymond Massey and the beautiful Eleanor Parker, make this a worthwhile classic.
4 5 6.577. A Cold Wind in August (1961)
This Lola Albright is one forgotten hot chick. Based on a novel by Burton Wohl, "A Cold Wind in August" is steaming.
1070 7.9 876. The Artist (2011)
389 4.5 4.475. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)
43 6.6 6.474. Cinema Verite (2011)
Halfway into the movie and I was still waiting for something exciting to happen and my patience was running low. The movie's only interesting spot is trivia: its based on a TV show from the 70s that is regarded as the first reality show made.
2 7 6.973. No Man Is an Island (1962)
Based on the WW2 experience of an American G.I. In the Pacific, Jeffrey Hunter gave an outstanding performance in a emotional story of survival and human kindness. The Filipino actors were really good.
3 8.3 7.472. Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story (2005)
During his championship reign in the early sixties, Emile Griffith endured a lot: his sexuality, his nationality and his conscience after his brutal, ring punishment of his foremost rival "Kid" Parel that resulted in death. One of the most interesting boxing movies you'll ever see.
26 6.3 5.571. This Movie Is Broken (2010)
161 5.8 5.870. The Divide (2011)
Brutal opening sequence of a nuclear attack will have you sitting tight. "The Divide" follows the incarceration via a building basement turned nuclear shelter of a group of survivors and their slow descent into madness (well, what else?). Michael Biehn returns to wild screen form.
2262 8 8.669. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Nolan's epic trilogy concludes with "The Dark Knight Rises" and started a new internet trend--that of Banemania. But the story isn't a real concluding of things since new threats seem to be the "in" thing in Gotham, did so in completing Nolan's run as the definitive Batman director. The movie dwells ever so darkly, some kids really would get turned off, deaths in the movie is so catastrophic, the scenes should have its own ratings board.
There's quite an over storytelling but understandable given that its almost three hours and the need to be climactic is paramount. "The Dark Knight" is by far, the best of the Nolan lot, its almost not a superhero movie, its mesmerizing in many parts, orchestrally beautiful in some ways and that Bane is just so fuckin awesome.
188 6.5 768. Get the Gringo (2012)
Got no war with Mel. "Get the Gringo" sees him in the usual form, physically and mentally doing his best at pissing people and getting pissed.
612 6.4 6.667. J. Edgar (2011)
Perhaps, the biggest revelation for the less informed is that J.Edgar for all his tough G-Man qualities, is gay. Clint Eastwood's biopic of one of 20th Century's most popular real and fictionalized person didn't leave any stone unturned---quite. The Chicago gangland, the Lindbergh kidnapping, JFK--J Edgar's shining moments told with glamour.
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