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The 2012 Movie Rankings: Michael Jackson and LCD Soundsystem docs impress; More indies barge in


The 2012 Movie Rankings: Michael Jackson and LCD Soundsystem docs impress; More indies barge in

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***

A bunch of documentaries, most of them very good, found their way into the rankings. Two that standout revolve around music in Bad 25 an Shut Up and Play the Hits. As for the other new entries, it was all about struggling relationships. So yeah, quite an interesting viewing roller-coaster for yours truly the last two days.

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

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


Without a talented cast willing you through this tale about coming-of-age later in life – after being kicked in the ass again – this would have been a bore up until the last few conversations in the final act. So while many people preach, story, story, story; this time around, it’s all about the performances of Melanie Lynskey, Blythe Danner, John Rubinstein, and Christopher Abbot; that lift this to levels it had no busy flirting with. It’s simple and mechanically fundamental (barely), but its respective point manages to get across and somewhat resonate.


A hybrid of a documentary and concert flick, this follows LCD Soundsystem’s lead singer, James Murphy, as he is about to play the band’s final show at MSG; to which many believe is a premature retirement. The cinematography tells a story just as well, if not better, than the interview with Murphy; which is spliced in with full-song performances at the band’s sold-out swan song. And that (cinematography) is noticed due to the fact that Murphy’s answers are not balanced out with the performance footage; which is why you get a sense that the whole story wasn’t captured.


The second half of this forbidden romance, that takes place in a late 19th century rural countryside, is when this starts firing on all cylinders and becomes compelling thanks to some decent performances. But the tedious and uneventful first half of this 129 minute mild tragedy could induce one into a coma. The set-up is necessary (maybe), but it’s just delivered in loose and unintelligent manner when considering the racially sensitive topics its subtly introducing. Kind of a drag but a worthwhile showcase in the final act saves this.


It’s based on a play and you can tell keeping that theatre ambiance was a priority through the lens. An issue that arises with that though, in this World War II era love triangle drama, is the screenplay has a jagged delivery and takes away from the sound performances of Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, and Simon Russell Beale. With that being said, when the script takes time, and allows for candid and brutally honest conversations between the three leads, you’ll be emotionally roped in. It’s just a shame the transitioning to get to these engaging convo sequences is misguided and could have one tuning out.


For anyone, at any age, who is an athlete…watch this! Former college football player and WWE wrestler Christopher Nowinski, thoroughly explores the seriousness of concussions in sports. All levels of football, hockey, soccer, and even lacrosse, are explored by former players, medical professionals and astute journalists. Although Nowinski and his colleagues at Boston University think that even more attention needs be given to this deadly issue, they themselves provide the all-important counter-argument; specifically admitting, that the science hasn’t reached the level of the modern-day media coverage.

BAD 25

Director Spike Lee revisits the creation of Michael Jackson’s 1987 Bad album. Testimony from everyone who was involved, including a candid interview with the King of Pop himself, in the creation of this five-year writing process, is woven together in a fluid manner by Lee. Its ability to stay on task, yet also pull back the curtain even further on the polarizing entertainer, is near masterful. Footage of videos and live-concert footage are timely injected as an assortment of people close to Jackson reflect upon the album and the man behind it.

Shut Up And Play The Hits

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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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