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The 2012 Movie Rankings: Premium Rush hustles; Dark Knight Rises gets another look

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The 2012 Movie Rankings: Premium Rush hustles; Dark Knight Rises gets another look

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.

Everyone who tried to impress the coaching staff (me) this week showed some audacious moves, respectively. Premium Rush, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Hit and Run, and even The Apparition, all had something unique about them. Issue that arose though, only one of them really knew how to execute their clever style of play.

Also, The Dark Knight Rises was given another shot to dethrone the long reigning Chronicle as the best of 2012.

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. ParaNorman
6. The Avengers
7. Red Tails
8. The Grey
9. Game Change
10. The Secret World of Arrietty
11. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
12. Friends with Kids
13. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
14. The Raid: Redemption
15. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
16. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
17. Big Miracle
18. Think Like a Man
19. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
20. Brake
21. Robot and Frank
22. Hope Springs
23. Rock of Ages
24. HeadHunters
25. Hemingway and Gellhorn
26. Mirror Mirror
27. People Like Us
28. Magic Mike
29. Total Recall (2012)
30. The Campaign
31. Ted
32. Celeste and Jesse Forever
33. 21 Jump Street
34. Snow White and the Huntsman
35. This Means War
36. God Bless America
37. The Three Stooges
38. Gone
39. The Amazing Spider-Man
40. Blue Like Jazz
41. Ruby Sparks
42. American Reunion
43. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
44. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
45. Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
46. Katy Perry: Part of Me
47. The Expendables 2
48. Ice Age: Continental Drift
49. Juan of the Dead
50. Prometheus
51. Hysteria
52. The Dictator
53. Safe
54. Searching for Sonny
55. Brave
56. The Hunger Games
57. John Carter
58. Wrath of the Titans
59. Dead Dad
60. Underworld: Awakening
61. The Devil Inside
62. Premium Rush
63. Livid
64. The Five-Year Engagement
65. Downtown Express
66. Sparkle
67. Savages
68. Sound of My Voice
69. Project X
70. Men in Black 3
71. Hit and Run
72. Piranha 3DD
73. Dark Shadows
74. The Raven
75. The Bourne Legacy
76. [Rec] 3 Genesis
77. Silent House
78. That’s My Boy
79. Darling Companion
80. Bully
81. The Watch
82. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
83. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
84. Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding
85. Lockout
86. The Woman in Black
87. The Vow
88. Man on a Ledge
89. Step Up Revolution
90. Extraterrestrial
91. The Lucky One
92. Contraband
93. The Samaritan
94. Act of Valor
95. 4:44 Last Day on Earth
96. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
97. Safe House
98. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
99. To Rome with Love
100. The Apparition
101. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
102. Why Stop Now
103. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
104. Kill List
105. Chernobyl Diaries
106. Haywire
107. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection
108. A Thousand Words
109. Joyful Noise
110. Battleship
111. Wanderlust

Not Screened: One for the Money, Casa De Mi Padre, Chimpanzee, High School, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Nitro Circus 3D, Cosmopolis

REVIEWS (click on title for full write-up)

Briefly on The Dark Knight Rises: Technically, it’s a 4-star movie. But a 5-star movie-going experience.

THE APPARITION

The sad thing about this flick, which sees a young couple (Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan) dealing with strange happenings (furniture moves, house deteriorates, lights go out) in their new valley house, is that the intended scare sequences are not half bad. Hell, they’re actually quite suspenseful. What is piss-poor is everything between those said scenes. Hence, the Final Destination reference, and hence why those quick-punching sequences are negated by a haunting bad script.

PREMIUM RUSH

for those that never saw Quicksilver (never thought I’d ever talk about that film so much in my career), this does provide a unique visual vehicle to tell a familiar rundown story. And the acting from Gordon-Levitt, Shannon, and Jamie Lung – whose character is the catalyst for this unique, and silly, chase, is more than serviceable. A few “think cloud” techniques freshens this erratic moving screenplay up, but again, they rarely ever take a much-need breath to ensure everything is sharply addressed. In recent memory, the only film that has been able to properly execute a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants tale and come away without any real “dings” was 2007’s Shoot ‘Em Up. This isn’t far off from that, but it did have its share of mechanical miscues.

HIT AND RUN

In what looks to be a hybrid of 1994’s The Chase meets 2011’s Drive, the screenplay is seemingly stuck in neutral. Even with the additions of Tom Arnold acting all paranoid and Bradley Cooper trying to be a caricature antagonist, they just never find the right gear to amp this journey up. And then there’s the assortment of cameos that also amount to zilch. It just seems that Dax grabbed his girlfriend and Hollywood friends and shot a backyard movie (literally and figuratively). And that’s admirable in some respects. But it doesn’t mean it works as an entertaining cinematic product.

CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER

The first thing that stands out about this modern relationship dramedy, that really tries to avoid clichés, is the performance of Rashida Jones. Depending on what comes out the rest of the year, she could be a sleeper for award consideration. All that said, the storytelling, though rough at times, gives the genre a refreshing jolt of life even though the levels remain fairly dry. It’s unforgiving, crude, and brutally real. The relatively young cast does well, but at times, the story along with their portrayal can seem like their forcing the issue as opposed to having that natural and/or authentic feel. With that being said, you’ll be thoroughly engrossed to see how this all turns out.

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The 2012 Movie Rankings: Premium Rush hustles

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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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