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The 2012 Movie Rankings: The Master and The Queen of Versailles play with Resident Evil 5


The 2012 Movie Rankings: The Master and The Queen of Versailles play with Resident Evil 5

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 Master is very similar to the Miami Heat basketball team: It has three superstars (Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson) dialed in and putting on quite a performance. Problem is, everything around them is being executed in sub-par fashion. And then there’s The Queen of Versailles: It has some flashy moves but fizzled-out due to the lack of substance and heart. Also joining the party was a veteran roster in Resident Evil: Retribution, and the high-brow thriller Arbitrage.

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

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

REVIEWS (click on title for full review)


The first 10 of the 95 minutes may have one wondering what they walked into and whether or not writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson has beaten this dead horse long enough. Yet once they get through the opening (that loyal gamers will appreciate), this delivery of the same old song and dance actually has something to it; despite some glaring continuity (why are you doing that?!?!) flaws and the story still being fragmented.


With so many metaphors and symbolic camera shots – all acting as an underlying commentary about our society, your mind will be subtly pondering a handful of situations. And when factoring in the spot-on performances from natural looking cast, this 101 minute flick can instigate political-like chats at the proverbial water-cooler. Plus, that ending shot…it speaks volumes without saying a word. Literally.


All this amounts to be is an attempt at a high-brow cult flick, which will obviously draw comparisons to alternative practices such as scientology. So while the story is numbing, and fairly pointless, the riveting conversations between Hoffman and Phoenix are worth testing one’s tolerance. And the way the filmmakers artistically shot this (using 65mm film – then printed on 70mm) provides a refreshing view point from the usual cinematic norm.


In terms of meeting all the criteria that should go into a documentary (educate, counter-arguments, not cheerleading), this product is average at best. While thorough, it’s really no different than watching The Osbournes reality show on MTV. Showing the life of real estate mogul David Siegel (owner of Westgate Resorts) is kind of interesting, but again, when his trophy-wife – who is clearly putting on a show for the cameras, monopolizes the footage, it just feels like a dramatic episode of MTV’s Cribs. With that being said, seeing how disconnected – for a lack of a better term, these two are, can maintain your attention.


The 2012 Movie Rankings: The Master and The Queen of Versailles play with Resident Evil 5

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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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