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The 2012 Movie Rankings: The Hobbit, Amour, and Holy Motors

Posted by Joe Belcastro On December - 15 - 2012 0 Comment

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.

The 2012 movie season was hoping to save some of the best entries for last, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was destined to be one of them. Or is it? Also coming over to play stateside, are Best Foreign Pic hopefuls Amour and Holy Motors. And a few other indie flicks found their way into the coveted rankings as well.

***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***

The new releases for the respective week will have a capsule review at the end of the column. An updated list comes out every Tuesday and Friday. Here’s how things are shaking up so far in 2012:

1. Chronicle
2. The Dark Knight Rises
3. Moonrise Kingdom
4. Side by Side
5. The Cabin in the Woods
6. ParaNorman
7. Lincoln
8. Argo
9. Looper
10. Game Change
11. Skyfall
12. Zero Dark Thirty
13. The Intouchables
14. The Imposter
15. Red Hook Summer
16. The Avengers
17. The Secret World of Arriety
18. The Grey
19. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
20. Friends with Kids
21. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
22. The Raid: Redemption
23. Hitchcock
24. Holy Motors
25. Flight
26. Arbitrage
27. Samsara
28. Bad 25
29. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
30. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
31. 28 Hotel Rooms
32. Red Tails
33. Big Miracle
34. Think Like a Man
35. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
36. Brake
37. This Must Be the Place
38. Robot and Frank
39. Amour
40. Hope Springs
41. Rock of Ages
42. The Sessions
43. A Late Quartet
44. Wreck-It Ralph
45. Silver Linings Playbook
46. HeadHunters
47. Hemingway and Gellhorn
48. Mirror Mirror
49. Head Games
50. People Like Us
51. The Invisible War
52. Rise of the Guardians
53. Magic Mike
54. Total Recall (2012)
55. House of Ghosts
56. Quartet
57. The Campaign
58. Ted
59. Celeste and Jesse Forever
60. V/H/S
61. Pitch Perfect
62. Snow White and the Huntsman
63. Shut Up and Play the Hits
64. The Words
65. Smashed
66. Safety Not Guaranteed
67. 21 Jump Street
68. The Master
69. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
70. This Is 40
71. Les Miserables
72. The House I Live In
73. The Central Park Five
74. Playing for Keeps
75. Sinister
76. This Means War
77. Citadel
78. Life of Pi
79. Lay the Favorite
80. Beasts of the Southern Wild
81. God Bless America
82. The Three Stooges
83. Gone
84. Dino Time
85. Ginger & Rosa
86. Resident Evil: Retribution
87. The Queen of Versailles
88. The Amazing Spider-Man
89. Blue Like Jazz
90. For a Good Time, Call…
91. Frankenweenie
92. Ruby Sparks
93. American Reunion
94. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
95. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
96. Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
97. Katy Perry: Part of Me
98. Let Fury Have the Hour
99. Butter
100. Price Check
101. The Expendables 2
102. Let the Bullets Fly
103. Ice Age: Continental Drift
104. Juan of the Dead
105. Prometheus
106. Hysteria
107. Cloud Atlas
108. The Dictator
109. Chasing Mavericks
110. Hello I Must Be Going Now
111. The Deep Blue Sea
112. Safe
113. Searching for Sonny
114. Only the Young
115. The Man with the Iron Fists
116. End of Watch
117. Brave
118. Lawless
119. The Hunger Games
120. John Carter
121. Hyde Park on Hudson
122. Wrath of the Titans
123. Dead Dad
124. Ingenious
125. Underworld: Awakening
126. The Devil Inside
127. The Possession
128. The Collection
129. Wuthering Heights
130. The Other Son
131. Dredd 3D
132. Seven Psychopaths
133. Premium Rush
134. Deadfall
135. Father’s Day
136. Livid
137. The Five-Year Engagement
138. Downtown Express
139. Dragon
140. Sparkle
141. Savages
142. Sound of My Voice
143. Project X
144. Men in Black 3
145. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
146. Anna Karenina
147. Paranormal Activity 4
148. The Tall Man
149. Hit and Run
150. Hotel Transylvania
151. Piranha 3DD
152. Dark Shadows
153. The Raven
154. The Bourne Legacy
155. [Rec] 3 Genesis
156. Silent House
157. LUV
158. Won’t Back Down
159. That’s My Boy
160. Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie
161. Darling Companion
162. Bully
163. Union Square
164. Here Comes the Boom
165. The Watch
166. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
167. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
168. Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding
169. Trouble with the Curve
170. Lockout
171. Fun Size
172. The Woman in Black
173. Little Red Wagon
174. The Vow
175. Man on a Ledge
176. Step Up Revolution
177. Extraterrestrial
178. The Lucky One
179. Red Dawn (2012)
180. Contraband
181. The Samaritan
182. Act of Valor
183. 4:44 Last Day on Earth
184. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
185. Safe House
186. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
187. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
188. To Rome with Love
189. The Apparition
190. House at the End of the Street
191. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
192. Taken 2
193. Why Stop Now
194. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
195. Kill List
196. Chernobyl Diaries
197. Haywire
198. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection
199. A Thousand Words
200. Tchoupitoulas
201. Alex Cross
202. Joyful Noise
203. Battleship
204. Wanderlust
205. 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, Killing Them Softly, Save the Date, Bernie, Killer Joe, and a stack of Magnolia Pictures screeners

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

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

The 169 minute excursion follows the same screenplay pattern as The Fellowship of the Ring – all the way down to the places visited in Middle Earth – but with a childish/Chronicles of Narnia feel to it. Plus, this 48fps nonsense (standard movies are displayed at 24 frames/sec.) isn’t quite there yet. But, with the 3D, certain sequences – mainly the action – are a sight to behold. Two words: Mountain behemoths.

SAMSARA

It’s visual montage of places visited by the filmmakers (25 countries over 5 years). The majority of it is comprised of still shots; and the rare times they do have actual people from all walks-of-life, they come across frozen in time, save for a few artistic movements that were more-or-less “scripted.” The cinematography, though relatively basic, is quite breathtaking; and you never find yourself getting bored despite not having one word of dialogue. Perhaps an easier way to put it is just imagine what the quiet teenager from American Beauty would film, and there you have it. It’s fairly unique, and the old adage, less is more, rings true.

LET THE BULLETS FLY

If, say, Tarantino, made a satire martial arts movie, with Godzilla sound dubbing, this is it. Plays very similar to an Ocean’s Eleven screenplay, except this is set in 1920 Asian countryside, and isn’t afraid to spray some blood around as guns are a-blazing.

AMOUR

It chronicles the life of a well-off elderly couple, as one of them (Emmanuelle Riva) becomes severely incapacitated after a stroke. Her husband (Jean-Louis Trintignant) respectfully tends to her needs in their spacious loft in Paris, France. As she deteriorates, he begins to methodically struggle in dealing with his true love fading away in a painful manner. While it can drag, Emmanuelle Riva’s versatile performance is a wonder to behold. The only knock is that it may be to steady in its approach, but it can get one emotionally invested in certain sequences.

HOLY MOTORS

Truth be told, I still have no clue what this flick is definitely about. That said, I was so into what was happening, as you follow a guy named, Mr. Oscar (Denis Lavant doing some top-notch work), who dresses up as a host of eclectic characters and does an assortment of “jobs” (ranging from hit-man like duties to artistic fetishes) for a mysterious company. He is chauffeured around in a limo that carries all of his gear as he transforms into a host of personas. It kind of feels like 1997’s The Game with Michael Douglas, yet this French flick, which takes place throughout Paris, has a more existential feel to it.

the hobbit1 The 2012 Movie Rankings: The Hobbit, Amour, and Holy Motors

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