The 2012 Movie Rankings: The Watch, Step Up Revolution and [Rec]3 all scream direct-to-DVD

ByJoe Belcastro

Jul 30, 2012 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Talk about players that didn’t apply themselves. Granted, Step Up Revolution showed some hustle, but The Watch barely went through the motions and [Rec]3 basically sold-out and forgot what brought the franchise to greatness. An argument can be made that these borderline bottom-feeders never should have step foot on the big stage.

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. The Avengers
6. Red Tails
7. The Grey
8. Game Change
9. The Secret World of Arrietty
10. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
11. Friends with Kids
12. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
13. The Raid: Redemption
14. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
15. Big Miracle
16. Think Like a Man
17. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
18. Brake
19. Rock of Ages
20. HeadHunters
21. Hemingway and Gellhorn
22. Mirror Mirror
23. People Like Us
24. Magic Mike
25. Ted
26. 21 Jump Street
27. Snow White and the Huntsman
28. This Means War
29. God Bless America
30. The Three Stooges
31. Gone
32. The Amazing Spider-Man
33. Blue Like Jazz
34. American Reunion
35. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
36. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
37. Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
38. Katy Perry: Part of Me
39. Ice Age: Continental Drift
40. Juan of the Dead
41. Prometheus
42. Hysteria
43. The Dictator
44. Safe
45. Searching for Sonny
46. Brave
47. The Hunger Games
48. John Carter
49. Wrath of the Titans
50. Dead Dad
51. Underworld: Awakening
52. The Devil Inside
53. Livid
54. The Five-Year Engagement
55. Downtown Express
56. Savages
57. Sound of My Voice
58. Project X
59. Men in Black 3
60. Piranha 3DD
61. Dark Shadows
62. The Raven
63. [Rec]3 Genesis
64. Silent House
65. That’s My Boy
66. Darling Companion
67. Bully
68. The Watch
69. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
70. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
71. Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding
72. Lockout
73. The Woman in Black
74. The Vow
75. Man on a Ledge
76. Step Up Revolution
77. Extraterrestrial
78. The Lucky One
79. Contraband
80. The Samaritan
81. Act of Valor
82. 4:44 Last Day on Earth
83. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
84. Safe House
85. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
86. To Rome with Love
87. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
88. Kill List
89. Chernobyl Diaries
90. Haywire
91. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection
92. A Thousand Words
93. Joyful Noise
94. Battleship
95. Wanderlust

Not Screened: One for the Money, Casa De Mi Padre, Chimpanzee, High School, Beasts of the Southern Wild

REVIEWS (click on title for full write-up)

The Watch

As the four vastly different personalities form a neighborhood watch group after a local murder occurs in a Costco store under the management of Stiller, thoughts of similar products that dance with this concept such as Ghostbusters, The ‘Burbs, and Evolution, gives one a slight hope that the script written by funnymen Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jared Stern could be a gut-buster. Sadly it’s a watch-checker.

Step Up Revolution

Here’s a warning for parents bringing their young ones into this flashy show-piece: some of the dance numbers could be considered soft porn in certain parts of the world (Midwest for sure). Many of the early gyrating moments, comprised of an agile cast wearing vibrant clothing, represents what would occur if a monster bag of Jolly Ranchers exploded in a strip club. Suggestive dancing coupled with an underlying theme of “Break the rules” may not be the best thing for impressionable minds to see and hear. And for the record, if you have listened to my radio show, you’ll know that this guy is definitely not conservative.

[Rec]3 Genesis (Full disclosure: This was my favorite horror property based on parts 1 & 2).

The third installment in the POV horror franchise from Spain, which revolves around a deadly outbreak in an apartment building, tries to do something vastly different…And it fails miserably. What a letdown! The engaging story and tone found in its predecessors, is erased in favor of a more-or-less campy zombie survival flick. Plus, they nearly ditch all the POV – one of the few products that knew how to handle this aesthetic, and execute traditional cinematography more times than not. For whatever reason, writer/director Paco Plaza went in a direction that tarnishes the solid work he did in [Rec]; and therefore, how he evolved the story in [Rec]2 – all while keeping the elements that worked in the first installment present. [Rec]3 is nothing more than a polished Tales from the Crypt movie. If it was called something else, it might be considered an average horror jaunt (hence why it didn’t plummet further down in the rankings).

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REC 3

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By Joe Belcastro

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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