Latest Movie News Headlines

08.30.2012by: JimmyO

My Top 10 Favorite Movies from Summer 2012 (JimmyO)

The hype for the 2012 summer movie season was massive. Ridley Scott was returning to a world in which he helped create. The Dark Knight was about to rise and face a brand new enemy. And of course the Marvel Universe was ready to collide into one gigantic production. The excitement was almost excruciating. However as good as many of these films were, very few lived up to audiences expectations. Many were downright angry at the disappointment this blockbuster season held. Thus, the challenge of putting together a list of the ten best summer movies was much more difficult than I’d expected.

While looking back at the last few months, most of the films that I had been looking forward to failed to really stand out. SAVAGES looked like it could have been a return to form for Oliver Stone. With a strong cast and a nice concept, it had moments that were near brilliant yet it suffered from a terrible ending and unnecessary narration. Many other features were only mildly amusing including THE DICTATOR or MEN IN BLACK 3. As for horror, one of the highlights was the ho hum CHERNOBYL DIARIES - which featured another lousy ending. Mostly, this past summer left many audiences at home watching "Breaking Bad" and avoiding theatres all-together.

To be fair, there are a few flicks that might have made my best of list that I missed. The beauty of having more than one reviewer for the site is also an occasional curse in that you may miss out on some amazing flicks during their original release. KILLER JOE, MOONRISE KINGDOM and BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD escaped my theatrical viewing experience so I’ll most assuredly be playing catch-up further on down the year. Until then, the following is a list of the flicks that struck a chord with me this summer and made the movie going experience a pleasant one.

Worst of Summer 2012: BATTLESHIP

Mr. Bumbray was right on the money with this one. Believe it or not, for the first few minutes it seemed as if BATTLESHIP may become a guilty pleasure. Yet as the movie played on I realized that was simply wishful thinking. Watching this over-bloated “epic” quickly became a tedious affair. It certainly wasn’t the fault of most of the actors involved. No matter how good you are you could not possibly make the idiotic dialogue work. What could have been a mindless summer flick was really just a loud, obnoxious and empty waste of two hours. They could have at least had Liam Neeson say “You sunk my battleship!” but no, we didn’t even get that minimal pleasure. Other dishonorable mentions include the sequel without bite, PIRANHA 3DD and the unfunny THE WATCH, which sadly nobody did. And finally, I wasn't expecting much from WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING and that is what I got. What summer movies were a hit or a miss for you?

10. COSMOPOLIS

Cronenberg bitches, nuff said! Many may not find this audacious filmmakers’ recent work as tantalizing as his earlier films, yet I disagree. Watching this strangely appealing feature, I was struck with the same feeling I had watching NAKED LUNCH. It is very rare that a director can offer up so many despicable characters, yet still capture them in some sort of oddly intriguing way. Only David Cronenberg could make Robert Pattison driving around in a limo looking to get a haircut fascinating.

9. TED

Seth MacFarlane accomplishes quite a bit with his feature film debut. He extensively took what should have been a one note joke and quite ably created a very funny movie about friendship and growing up. Mark Wahlberg is an especially strong choice for a leading man in a comedy of this sort. His relationship with childhood buddy who happens to be a talking teddy bear is oftentimes hilarious yet it has a ton of heart. It also helps that Mila Kunis is the romantic lead and the chemistry between the actors is absolutely fantastic. With a funny script and a couple of brilliant cameos, this was certainly one of funniest films so far this year.

8. CRAIGSLIST JOE

There is nothing like the positivity of relying on the kindness of strangers, right? That is exactly what documentary filmmaker Joseph Garner was hoping for when he set out on a adventure with no money, no place to go, only a cameraman and a connection to the popular website Craigslist – a sort of online community center. His journey is often inspiring, especially if you feel just as shocked so many people would open their homes and hearts to him. It sure seems as if CRAIGSLIST JOE had been in serious trouble, he could have easily stopped the whole experiment, but he didn’t. This is a movie filled with hope for a generation that seemingly has lost the ability to really connect. Thankfully, Joe attempts to prove that human interaction has not disappeared in the shadow of social media.

7. THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL

You really can’t put together a better ensemble of actors than the amazing talent in this charmingly modest film. Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith among others… Are you kidding me? This was a hugely entertaining little film that came out of nowhere and left audiences feeling a whole lot of warm and fuzzy. The brilliant cast helps accentuate this heartwarming story of a group of British retirees rediscovering themselves far from home at a small hotel in India. It is hard to resist this sweetly engaging story of lost loves and the ones you leave behind.

6. THE EXPENDABLES 2

“Rip Roaring” is right! THE EXPENDABLES 2 improves on the original film in every possible way – although it still features a few moments of questionable CGI. While it might not seem like a movie destined to be on a “best of” list, there is something refreshing about a movie that accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. The first film did not. And with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris joining in the fun, you’d be hard pressed to find a bloodier and more ridiculously great time going to the movies than you would with these gruff n’ tough action heroes.

5. PROMETHEUS

I get it. Yeah, the scientists in this flick may have made some questionable judgments. And it was pretty impressive that Noomi Rapace could go through a procedure like what she did here and still kick some ass in order to save her life. However it didn’t stand in the way of my enthrallment of one of the most visually impressive films this year. It may not be the prequel to ALIEN that audiences were expecting, which subsequently helped lead to the film’s backlash. This is nevertheless a movie that is worth reinvesting in as a second viewing may be enlightening for some. Ridley Scott has officially amped up my anticipation to see where he goes from here.

4. PARANORMAN

As a fan of horror, PARANORMAN was a trick and a treat! This loving tribute to zombies, ghost, ghouls and witches manages to create an animated movie that actually manages a couple of scares. With the HALLOWEEN ringtone or the RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD references, this animated fable is loaded with genre goodness. Much like CORALINE before, the animation is fantastic and the voice actors are perfectly well chosen to bring these characters to life. It is especially appealing considering what a wonderfully positive story the film offers. This was a simply an incredible film and for me personally, this will most certainly become a regular viewing every October from here on out.

3. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Like nearly every tentpole movie this summer, there are those that seem to despise THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. After Heath Ledger’s legendary performance in THE DARK KNIGHT, it was near impossible for Christopher Nolan’s final chapter in his Dark Knight series to fully live up to its expectations. That said the final film is a fitting end to the trilogy. Christian Bale gives what is arguably his best performance as Bruce Wayne here and Michael Caine is simply mesmerizing. As far as the new characters are concerned, Anne Hathaway makes for a cat-tastic Catwoman and while I could have done without Bane’s strange “Sean Connery” inflected voice, Tom Hardy is plenty threatening as the film’s baddie.

2. LAWLESS

Ultra violent and drenched in Depression-Era atmosphere, this gangster/western is this summer’s most exciting new entry. Director John Hillcoat once again proves to be a master at moody cinematic narrative. He and his collaborator, musician Nick Cave, offer up a striking film that manages to be an action movie and an intense character drama all while adding a little humor to lighten the mood. The music here is especially addictive and gives LAWLESS authenticity along with the impressive production design. Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke are all terrific and then there is Guy Pearce who portrays a sadistic government official with a gleefully evil charm. Simply put, LAWLESS is a stunner.

1. THE AVENGERS

I had my doubts, but Joss Whedon came through yet again. One of the biggest battles this summer (that wasn’t political) was which superhero flick was the one to beat. And between this and TDKR, I have to say that THE AVENGERS may not have the deepest of meanings, but it was simply more fun. Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johannson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and especially Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk made for one hell of a team under Whedon’s direction. This massive project had it all, a clever script, a talented cast and the perfect ringleader to make it all run smoothly. And is it just me, or is Tom Hiddleston one of the most charismatic big bads around?

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

+1
11:40PM on 09/02/2012

Movie Lists

So now we're doing top ten movie lists thrice a year?
So now we're doing top ten movie lists thrice a year?
Your Reply:



5:40AM on 09/02/2012

Better than Begins.

This is my top film of the Summer. Could have been a little more, sure but as we saw with Prometheus, it becomes impossible to live up to the hype.
This achieved more than Prometheus though.
This is my top film of the Summer. Could have been a little more, sure but as we saw with Prometheus, it becomes impossible to live up to the hype.
This achieved more than Prometheus though.
Your Reply:



5:38AM on 09/02/2012

Have to look at this as a smaller part of a bigger story.

Unless there turns out not to be a sequel that explains most of it. In which case I'll be most unimpressed.
Unless there turns out not to be a sequel that explains most of it. In which case I'll be most unimpressed.
Your Reply:



+1
12:10PM on 08/31/2012
Loved it, it's my favorite of the year thus far (though that might change with the great fall that we have this year). I absolutely loved the performances and the added characters. But what made me appreciate it so much was its emotional impact on me and the conclusion it gave to my favorite comic book hero.
Loved it, it's my favorite of the year thus far (though that might change with the great fall that we have this year). I absolutely loved the performances and the added characters. But what made me appreciate it so much was its emotional impact on me and the conclusion it gave to my favorite comic book hero.
Your Reply:



+1
12:06PM on 08/31/2012
Great, amazing visually spectacle, sparked by top-notch performances from Rapace and Fassbender. I'm with you here... hell, it'd rank it higher
Great, amazing visually spectacle, sparked by top-notch performances from Rapace and Fassbender. I'm with you here... hell, it'd rank it higher
Your Reply:



11:31PM on 08/30/2012
Glad to see Avengers in the number one spot

it was probably the most entertaining film I've seen in a couple of years
Glad to see Avengers in the number one spot

it was probably the most entertaining film I've seen in a couple of years
Your Reply:



10:59PM on 08/30/2012
It was quite sad how quickly people turned on this film. The expectations were very high & to me it was still a very good sci-fi movie. I think the biggest mistake was marketing it as a prequel to Aliens. Are there similarities, ya sure somewhat, but there was no horror element or thrills like the Alien movies. Which to me is why people were disappointed. I am sure it's a film that will grow on people in the near future.
It was quite sad how quickly people turned on this film. The expectations were very high & to me it was still a very good sci-fi movie. I think the biggest mistake was marketing it as a prequel to Aliens. Are there similarities, ya sure somewhat, but there was no horror element or thrills like the Alien movies. Which to me is why people were disappointed. I am sure it's a film that will grow on people in the near future.
Your Reply:



5:28PM on 08/30/2012
i have to agree with the other comment, Cosmopolis was an awful film that just never really got going. Nothing to do with Patterson, all to do with Cronenberg (who i love usually) it was puzzelling and felt lost the entire time.
i have to agree with the other comment, Cosmopolis was an awful film that just never really got going. Nothing to do with Patterson, all to do with Cronenberg (who i love usually) it was puzzelling and felt lost the entire time.
Your Reply:



3:44PM on 08/30/2012
Can't call Cattlechip a disappointment because we all knew it was going to be a piece of shit (and it was) My biggest disappointment of summer 2012 has to be Brave, had such high hopes for that one and the story was just terrible, especially by Pixar standards.
Can't call Cattlechip a disappointment because we all knew it was going to be a piece of shit (and it was) My biggest disappointment of summer 2012 has to be Brave, had such high hopes for that one and the story was just terrible, especially by Pixar standards.
Your Reply:



2:52PM on 08/30/2012
Can't call Cattlechip a disappointment because we all knew it was going to be a piece of shit (and it was) My biggest disappointment of summer 2012 has to be Brave, had such high hopes for that one and the story was just terrible, especially by Pixar standards.
Can't call Cattlechip a disappointment because we all knew it was going to be a piece of shit (and it was) My biggest disappointment of summer 2012 has to be Brave, had such high hopes for that one and the story was just terrible, especially by Pixar standards.
Your Reply:



2:41PM on 08/30/2012
My least favorite of the trilogy but impressive nonetheless.
My least favorite of the trilogy but impressive nonetheless.
Your Reply:



2:40PM on 08/30/2012
The best animated film of the summer, easily beat Brave.
The best animated film of the summer, easily beat Brave.
Your Reply:



2:40PM on 08/30/2012
Looked great, was disappointing though.
Looked great, was disappointing though.
Your Reply:



2:33PM on 08/30/2012
The funniest movie of the year.
The funniest movie of the year.
Your Reply:



-2
12:15PM on 08/30/2012
Yes, it is visually stunning, but the story is the worst, cliched, piece of crap ever! Noomi Rapace running around half naked and bleeding: how come nobody asks her what the hell happened? This movie sucked!
Yes, it is visually stunning, but the story is the worst, cliched, piece of crap ever! Noomi Rapace running around half naked and bleeding: how come nobody asks her what the hell happened? This movie sucked!
Your Reply:



12:09PM on 08/30/2012
A very mediocre plot and some bad acting in the beginning. Sam L., Scarlett Jo, and Mark Ruffalo (only in a few scenes with Ruff) were kind of dropping the ball in the beginning. I think I'm done with all these damn comic book movies. It was an awesome popcorn flick, but not the quality everyone assured me would be present.
A very mediocre plot and some bad acting in the beginning. Sam L., Scarlett Jo, and Mark Ruffalo (only in a few scenes with Ruff) were kind of dropping the ball in the beginning. I think I'm done with all these damn comic book movies. It was an awesome popcorn flick, but not the quality everyone assured me would be present.
Your Reply:



11:45AM on 08/30/2012

*Small spoiler*

A lot of people set themselves up for this movie. I remember when this movie was first announced, it was stated that it would have little to do with Alien(s). Yet folks didn't listen and disappointment followed. I knew exactly what I was in for before watching this movie, so there was no disappointment here. I love space genre flicks and this is one of the best ones I've seen in years. Watching the "engineers" ship come crashing down and seeing Noomi and Charlize run for their lives, was such
A lot of people set themselves up for this movie. I remember when this movie was first announced, it was stated that it would have little to do with Alien(s). Yet folks didn't listen and disappointment followed. I knew exactly what I was in for before watching this movie, so there was no disappointment here. I love space genre flicks and this is one of the best ones I've seen in years. Watching the "engineers" ship come crashing down and seeing Noomi and Charlize run for their lives, was such an awesome scene. i highly enjoyed this movie.
Your Reply:



11:07AM on 08/30/2012

Bale

"Christian Bale gives what is arguably his best performance as Bruce Wayne here" ---- I agree, I think this could be the best performance of his prolific career. He's had a lot of great performances, but in TDKR, I thought he was tremendous.
"Christian Bale gives what is arguably his best performance as Bruce Wayne here" ---- I agree, I think this could be the best performance of his prolific career. He's had a lot of great performances, but in TDKR, I thought he was tremendous.
Your Reply:



10:43AM on 08/30/2012
I don't know how people can shit on this movie, but praise Transformers. At least with this movie the action is clear, as opposed to watching a blur of Transformer metal twirling around. I'm not a fan of either, but I can take them for what they're worth. Battleship had some damn good special effects and a sufficient plot to accommodate. That's basically all you need for a popcorn flick. And folks talk bad about Rihanna?... but never say anything about model Brooklyn Decker?... Really?
I don't know how people can shit on this movie, but praise Transformers. At least with this movie the action is clear, as opposed to watching a blur of Transformer metal twirling around. I'm not a fan of either, but I can take them for what they're worth. Battleship had some damn good special effects and a sufficient plot to accommodate. That's basically all you need for a popcorn flick. And folks talk bad about Rihanna?... but never say anything about model Brooklyn Decker?... Really?
Your Reply:



10:01AM on 08/30/2012
Why so many people ragging on the first one (which I thought was just as good)? Oh well, glad to see Expendables 2 getting some love. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if it makes my personal best of the year list.
Why so many people ragging on the first one (which I thought was just as good)? Oh well, glad to see Expendables 2 getting some love. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if it makes my personal best of the year list.
Your Reply:



9:29AM on 08/30/2012
"The Avengers" had the same end battle as "Transformers 3" last summer, only with different characters.
"The Avengers" had the same end battle as "Transformers 3" last summer, only with different characters.
Your Reply:



+1
9:28AM on 08/30/2012

Cosmopolis Was a Piece of Excrement

This is one of the worst movies I've ever tried to watch. Suffered through 40 mins. and finally walked out.
This is one of the worst movies I've ever tried to watch. Suffered through 40 mins. and finally walked out.
Your Reply:



8:55AM on 08/30/2012
Great list, and glad you included Paranorman and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the mix.
Great list, and glad you included Paranorman and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the mix.
Your Reply:



8:25AM on 08/30/2012

Visually enthralling?

JimmyO, I love you and your work, but I must disagree. It had impressive set designs, yes, and good CGI,but they were seriously hampered by pedestrian camerawork that was boring to look at and gave no sense of the 'epic' this so clearly wanted to be. That's the biggest reason this movie didn't work for me- take out all bajillion plot holes and the lame/ nonexistent characterizations- if this were visually compelling, I'd probably would have at least enjoyed it. Unfortunately, nothing about how
JimmyO, I love you and your work, but I must disagree. It had impressive set designs, yes, and good CGI,but they were seriously hampered by pedestrian camerawork that was boring to look at and gave no sense of the 'epic' this so clearly wanted to be. That's the biggest reason this movie didn't work for me- take out all bajillion plot holes and the lame/ nonexistent characterizations- if this were visually compelling, I'd probably would have at least enjoyed it. Unfortunately, nothing about how the movie was shot/ framed/ how the camera moved was anything less than dull.
Your Reply:



8:16AM on 08/30/2012
Is it weird that I consider this summer season far, far superior t last year's? Actually, so far, I consider this year (mostly) well above last year's offerings to date.
Is it weird that I consider this summer season far, far superior t last year's? Actually, so far, I consider this year (mostly) well above last year's offerings to date.
Your Reply:



12:03PM on 08/31/2012
agreed, it's a better summer, but what's most exciting is that fall and winter look even better
agreed, it's a better summer, but what's most exciting is that fall and winter look even better
11:01AM on 08/30/2012
I think this is the best Summer movie season we've had since 2008!
I think this is the best Summer movie season we've had since 2008!
10:03AM on 08/30/2012
completely agree good sir
completely agree good sir
8:07AM on 08/30/2012
Can somebody explain how the Avengers had "a clever script" or even a "good script"? I'm confused. You mean witty banter between characters? That hardly makes for a clever script. Good list, though. Nice to see the inclusion of some films that were not "summer blockbusters". Good job, as always.
Can somebody explain how the Avengers had "a clever script" or even a "good script"? I'm confused. You mean witty banter between characters? That hardly makes for a clever script. Good list, though. Nice to see the inclusion of some films that were not "summer blockbusters". Good job, as always.
Your Reply:



11:04AM on 08/30/2012
I think in writing The Avengers, Joss Whedon showed that he had a good handle on the characters and was able to wrangle all of them together, giving each one his or her time in the spotlight and stringing the teamup into a cohesive, sufficiently self-contained movie. That is not easy to do, and that is good writing.
I think in writing The Avengers, Joss Whedon showed that he had a good handle on the characters and was able to wrangle all of them together, giving each one his or her time in the spotlight and stringing the teamup into a cohesive, sufficiently self-contained movie. That is not easy to do, and that is good writing.
10:07AM on 08/30/2012
Well, it makes for clever dialogue, which is a huge part of the script, so... yeah.
Well, it makes for clever dialogue, which is a huge part of the script, so... yeah.
-2
7:05AM on 08/30/2012
To me, Battleship wasn't a big dissapointment as Prometheus. Prometheus promised a smart sci-fi horror film, but it lacked the smarts. Or the horror. Battleship was nothing more than what it advertised: a mindless, entertaining action movie. Sure, the dialoge was bad. but it's bad in Prometheus as well. So in a way, to ME, Battleship did its job.
To me, Battleship wasn't a big dissapointment as Prometheus. Prometheus promised a smart sci-fi horror film, but it lacked the smarts. Or the horror. Battleship was nothing more than what it advertised: a mindless, entertaining action movie. Sure, the dialoge was bad. but it's bad in Prometheus as well. So in a way, to ME, Battleship did its job.
Your Reply:



8:18AM on 08/30/2012
While I didn't like "Prometheus", I do consider "Battleship" the worse of the two films, even though yes, "Prometheus" let me down more, simply because I did have hope for it.
While I didn't like "Prometheus", I do consider "Battleship" the worse of the two films, even though yes, "Prometheus" let me down more, simply because I did have hope for it.
4:18AM on 08/30/2012

Expectations

A LOT of people had LUDICROUSLY high expectations for this film! Many failed to realize that, without another performance as iconic as Ledger's, it was virtually impossible for the third film to be at the same level as the second. For those who were actually EXPECTING a Ledger-type performance (which were admittedly few) failed to realize that an iconic performance like that is very rare. That said, it seems most people who had REALISTIC expectations for this film were quite impressed by it,
A LOT of people had LUDICROUSLY high expectations for this film! Many failed to realize that, without another performance as iconic as Ledger's, it was virtually impossible for the third film to be at the same level as the second. For those who were actually EXPECTING a Ledger-type performance (which were admittedly few) failed to realize that an iconic performance like that is very rare. That said, it seems most people who had REALISTIC expectations for this film were quite impressed by it, myself included.
Your Reply:



4:14AM on 08/30/2012

YES!

You said what I've been saying regarding Prometheus. The complaints you address here are not really a part of the main driving thrust of the film, and thus are ultimately not that big of issues, unless you have a really LOW ability to suspend disbelief (which seems to be more and more the case with fanboys and film buffs nowadays, unfortunately).
You said what I've been saying regarding Prometheus. The complaints you address here are not really a part of the main driving thrust of the film, and thus are ultimately not that big of issues, unless you have a really LOW ability to suspend disbelief (which seems to be more and more the case with fanboys and film buffs nowadays, unfortunately).
Your Reply:



10:02AM on 08/30/2012
Agreed 100%.
Agreed 100%.
+5
3:44AM on 08/30/2012
Amen to that. Nothing more to add here.
Amen to that. Nothing more to add here.
Your Reply:



2:30AM on 08/30/2012
Piranha 3DD was my biggest disappointment of the summer. I so wanted that to be good.

Oh, and is it really that sad that nobody saw THE WATCH?
Piranha 3DD was my biggest disappointment of the summer. I so wanted that to be good.

Oh, and is it really that sad that nobody saw THE WATCH?
Your Reply:



1:21AM on 08/30/2012
I'm very glad to see ParaNorman this high on your list JimmyO. I'm not even a horror movie fan but really appreciated the craftsmanship, hard work and heart that went into creating this film, and was laughing all the way - and crying buckets by the end too. It affected me quite deeply, what with the themes of being an outcast and the fantasy element of an under-appreciated kid saving his whole town with the abilities for which he was scorned. A very intelligent and mature meditation on
I'm very glad to see ParaNorman this high on your list JimmyO. I'm not even a horror movie fan but really appreciated the craftsmanship, hard work and heart that went into creating this film, and was laughing all the way - and crying buckets by the end too. It affected me quite deeply, what with the themes of being an outcast and the fantasy element of an under-appreciated kid saving his whole town with the abilities for which he was scorned. A very intelligent and mature meditation on tolerance and mortality, in addition to being a super fun haunted house roller coaster-esque ride!
Your Reply:



Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More