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The 2012 Movie Rankings: Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2, Thanksgiving releases, and indie award contenders

Everyone waits until the year is over to compile their “Best of whatever” movie lists. This has become a mundane practice. Time for a bit of a change, kids.

***Being a voting member of one of the accredited film critic associations recognized by the studios for year-end awards, a ton of “For Your Consideration” screeners will be viewed up until Christmas time; all vying for award nods/momentum heading into the 84th Academy Awards***

There will be a steady flow of independent and studio flicks entering the rankings every week through the end of the year. So with very little time scroll down below to see where The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Red Dawn (2012), This Must Be the Place Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Dino Time, and Price Check all landed.

The new releases for the respective week will have a capsule review at the end of the column. An updated list comes out every Monday. Here’s how things are shaking up so far in 2012:
1. Chronicle
2. The Dark Knight Rises
3. The Cabin in the Woods
4. Moonrise Kingdom
5. Side by Side
6. ParaNorman
7. Argo
8. Looper
9. Game Change
10. Skyfall
11. Lincoln
12. The Avengers
13. The Secret World of Arriety
14. Red Tails
15. The Grey
16. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
17. Friends with Kids
18. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
19. The Raid: Redemption
20. Flight
21. Arbitrage
22. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
23. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
24. Big Miracle
25. Think Like a Man
26. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
27. Brake
28. This Must Be the Place
29. Robot and Frank
30. Hope Springs
31. Rock of Ages
32. The Sessions
33. A Late Quartet
34. Wreck-It Ralph
35. HeadHunters
36. Hemingway and Gellhorn
37. Mirror Mirror
38. People Like Us
39. Magic Mike
40. Total Recall (2012)
41. House of Ghosts
42. The Campaign
43. Ted
44. Celeste and Jesse Forever
45. V/H/S
46. Pitch Perfect
47. Snow White and the Huntsman
48. The Words
49. Safety Not Guaranteed
50. 21 Jump Street
51. The Master
52. Sinister
53. This Means War
54. Citadel
55. Life of Pi
56. Beasts of the Southern Wild
57. God Bless America
58. The Three Stooges
59. Gone
60. Dino Time
61. Resident Evil: Retribution
62. The Queen of Versailles
63. The Amazing Spider-Man
64. Blue Like Jazz
65. For a Good Time, Call…
66. Frankenweenie
67. Ruby Sparks
68. American Reunion
69. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
70. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
71. Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
72. Katy Perry: Part of Me
73. Butter
74. Price Check
75. The Expendables 2
76. Ice Age: Continental Drift
77. Juan of the Dead
78. Prometheus
79. Hysteria
80. Cloud Atlas
81. The Dictator
82. Chasing Mavericks
83. Safe
84. Searching for Sonny
85. The Man with the Iron Fists
86. End of Watch
87. Brave
88. Lawless
89. The Hunger Games
90. John Carter
91. Wrath of the Titans
92. Dead Dad
93. Ingenious
94. Underworld: Awakening
95. The Devil Inside
96. The Possession
97. The Other Son
98. Dredd 3D
99. Seven Psychopaths
100. Premium Rush
101. Father’s Day
102. Livid
103. The Five-Year Engagement
104. Downtown Express
105. Sparkle
106. Savages
107. Sound of My Voice
108. Project X
109. Men in Black 3
110. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
111. Anna Karenina
112. Paranormal Activity 4
113. The Tall Man
114. Hit and Run
115. Hotel Transylvania
116. Piranha 3DD
117. Dark Shadows
118. The Raven
119. The Bourne Legacy
120. [Rec] 3 Genesis
121. Silent House
122. Won’t Back Down
123. That’s My Boy
124. Darling Companion
125. Bully
126. Here Comes the Boom
127. The Watch
128. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
129. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
130. Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding
131. Trouble with the Curve
132. Lockout
133. Fun Size
134. The Woman in Black
135. Little Red Wagon
136. The Vow
137. Man on a Ledge
138. Step Up Revolution
139. Extraterrestrial
140. The Lucky One
141. Red Dawn (2012)
142. Contraband
143. The Samaritan
144. Act of Valor
145. 4:44 Last Day on Earth
146. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
147. Safe House
148. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
149. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
150. To Rome with Love
151. The Apparition
152. House at the End of the Street
153. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
154. Taken 2
155. Why Stop Now
156. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
157. Kill List
158. Chernobyl Diaries
159. Haywire
160. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection
161. A Thousand Words
162. Alex Cross
163. Joyful Noise
164. Battleship
165. Wanderlust
166. Barricade

Not Screened: One for the Money, Casa De Mi Padre, Chimpanzee, High School, Nitro Circus 3D, Cosmopolis, Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure, The Cold Light of Day

REVIEWS/NEW ARRIVALS (click on title for full write-up and/or info)


This is one of the most anti-climactic finishes to a franchise in recent memory. Aside from a mildly engaging, and kind of clever, lone battle sequence, nothing substantial occurs in this 115 minute flick. It actually felt like a 30 minute daytime drama program (or perhaps cartoon) on the USA network.


Here’s one for you: A quiet retired glam/gothic rocker, who still dresses the part every day, leaves his estate in Dublin for the United States; to fulfill his dying Jewish father’s legacy in finding the Nazi officer who tormented him during the Holocaust.

You’re interested right?


The script’s tone dances somewhere between a provocative drama such as 1994’s Disclosure and a candid comedy as seen in 1999’s Office Space. Much of the story takes place in the cubicle office setting and then transitions to the home of Pete’s family. It plays out fairly obvious in the first half, but what enables this to be mildly intriguing is the subtle doses of comedy from the supporting office co-workers and the sharp acting by both Mabius and Posey.


Let’s start out by saying the obvious; because it’s simply the best way to describe Life of Pi: If Cast Away, Avatar, and Tree of Life had a cinematic threesome, with director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) calling out positions, one would get this visually stimulating 127 minute feature. It’s has the 3D looks that kill, but the mental connection is suspect.

RED DAWN (2012)

This remake is generic as it gets. And that’s the good part in a mindless sort of way. The cinematography, pacing (especially in the first 55 minutes), and storytelling is as together as a Donald Trump speech – an incoherent rant. But for those that fantasize about living acting out a real-life Call of Duty videogame scenario, this could be your wet-dream.


Despite having gritty and thoughtful performances from the cast, you’ll wonder what the point/purpose of the rugged story is, as it’s told through young eyes of a house-broken child, in midst of a natural disaster.


A 3D animation that knows who its target audience is and stay true to form in pleasing solely them. Indirectly though, nostalgia will take over one’s heart and mind, regarding the good ole days of wholesome animation. Think of this as a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids meets a tame version of Jurassic Park.

The 2012 Movie Rankings: Thanksgiving releases, and indie award contenders

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Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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