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Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10 
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
By the way James, will you be posting your favorite performances from the year this year?


Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:55 pm
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
oafolay wrote:
By the way James, will you be posting your favorite performances from the year this year?


Yes I will. Oh, wait, you don't mean me

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Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:38 pm
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
JamesKunz wrote:
oafolay wrote:
By the way James, will you be posting your favorite performances from the year this year?


Yes I will. Oh, wait, you don't mean me


[Reveal] Spoiler:
Image


On topic, I do think it'll be Lincoln at 3 and ZDT at 2. To me this has been the strongest close to the movie season since 2007.


Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:26 pm
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
oafolay wrote:
By the way James, will you be posting your favorite performances from the year this year?


I'm planning to, but closer to the Oscar nomination date.


Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:26 am
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Best film of the year for me: Cloud Atlas. It is so ambitious and succeeds completely. Of course, it won't get any awards, because the people who hand those out prefer to give those to safe films.

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Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Cool list. Looking forward to see Lincoln, Amour, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty which have not been shown in Australia Yet. BTW, Tarantino already has a sort of romantic film (as a writer) True Romance but I guess you mean more as a director and probably more comedic :-)

Happy New Year James!

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Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:33 pm
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Looper, really?

If that's really the best movie of the year I think it's time for me to stop going to movies. It's not a bad movie, but it runs out of story long before the end.


Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:59 pm
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Looper is my No. 1 movie as well. I just have a bias when it comes to science fiction. A great entry in that genre usually places above all others.

And by the way, JB isn't saying it's objectively the best movie of the year. There's no way anyone can determine what that is. Lists are fun because they represent favorites of the year, the movies that worked best for that particular individual.

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Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:30 pm
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Looper has uncommonly inventive ideas and makes cinematic use of its time travel conceit. For people who like science fiction, it's a rare treat of a movie.

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Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:08 pm
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
I was excited about Looper, especially after JB's 4 star review, and being a sci-fi nerd. Perhaps my expectations were too high, because it didn't live up to them. I won't get into time travel paradoxes, because we all know about those already, and they are actually part of the fun of time travel movies and don't bother me much. The other issues, however, are not so easily overlooked since they kinda torpedo the entire premise of the film. Such as why you would rely on something as fickle as a human to take out the "targets" (e.g. why not just build a pit with spikes under the entry point (or even better yet, a furnace, so they get cremated immediately on entry) or simply force the victim to swallow a slowish acting poison before sending them back - all of which are a hell of a lot more fail-safe and would save you a boatload of silver and gold too). Why would you ever use a Looper to close their OWN loop - isn't that just asking for problems? Then the whole telekenesis X-Men style mutation made very little sense, and imo was actually ENTIRELY unnecessary plot-wise - it seemed to have been added simply because the film wasn't "sci-fi enough" or something. The nature of these powers (where does all that energy come from?) is of course never explained, which is probably just as well. These issues are not "minor contrivances", and thoughts of the above were in my head the moment they became relevant and stuck with me for the remainder.

BTW, the best movie for 2012 for me was Cabin in the Woods - the only film after seeing this year that gave me a dumb goofy grin ;) .


Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:18 pm
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Why wouldn't Bruce Wayne put his substantial fortune in the service of lobbying Congress for federal aid in cleaning up Gotham's crime problem? Why wouldn't Dorothy offer the ruby slippers in trade for the broomstick? Why wouldn't Indiana Jones just let the Nazis get their hands on the Ark, as he is clearly aware of the part of the scripture that promises death to those who look upon its contents?

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Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:12 am
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Ken wrote:
Why wouldn't Bruce Wayne put his substantial fortune in the service of lobbying Congress for federal aid in cleaning up Gotham's crime problem?

Because that is wholly ineffectual. Besides, Batman is literally a comic-book character - you don't go in expecting it all to make perfect sense given the source material.

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Why wouldn't Indiana Jones just let the Nazis get their hands on the Ark, as he is clearly aware of the part of the scripture that promises death to those who look upon its contents?

While a valid issue, the point of the Indiana Jones films are the getting there (the Ark is actually a McGuffin) - that plot point (if you even cared) wouldn't have ruined the movie until the very end. Further none of the films you cite were trying to be serious or even semi-serious sci-fi like ** I ** thought Looper was aiming for from the review (it wasn't clear that the level of sci-fi really was more like the variety seen in Star Wars (pure fantasy) than Star Trek (semi-serious sci-fi) - i.e. the telekinesis angle was pretty much like The Force (thankfully no one mentioned midichlorians). Like I said, my expectations were high, and they just weren't met. It's not a terrible movie by any means (7/10), but it just not as good as I hoped for.


Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:58 am
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
nitrium wrote:
Ken wrote:
Why wouldn't Bruce Wayne put his substantial fortune in the service of lobbying Congress for federal aid in cleaning up Gotham's crime problem?

Because that is wholly ineffectual. Besides, Batman is literally a comic-book character - you don't go in expecting it all to make perfect sense given the source material.

Quote:
Why wouldn't Indiana Jones just let the Nazis get their hands on the Ark, as he is clearly aware of the part of the scripture that promises death to those who look upon its contents?

While a valid issue, the point of the Indiana Jones films are the getting there (the Ark is actually a McGuffin) - that plot point (if you even cared) wouldn't have ruined the movie until the very end. Further none of the films you cite were trying to be serious or even semi-serious sci-fi like ** I ** thought Looper was aiming for from the review (it wasn't clear that the level of sci-fi really was more like the variety seen in Star Wars (pure fantasy) than Star Trek (semi-serious sci-fi) - i.e. the telekinesis angle was pretty much like The Force (thankfully no one mentioned midichlorians). Like I said, my expectations were high, and they just weren't met. It's not a terrible movie by any means (7/10), but it just not as good as I hoped for.
That's about the rating i'd give the film too, it was good but no masterpiece. I agree that the introduction of telekinetic powers felt out of place, in the third act the film basically turned into a sci-fi version of Carrie, and the ending did surprise initially, but the more I thought about it, the less sense it made as a whole.


Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:13 am
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
I walked out of the theater after seeing Looper with a positive impression, but also a little hesitation as to whether or not it would contend for my end-of-the-year Top 10. While passing time tonight waiting for 2013 to begin, I watched it for a second time, and it really holds up. Sure, there are the inevitable plot holes you get with movies like these, but I was impressed with just how well, thematically, it holds together. I wouldn't put it at the top of my list, but I feel like it deserves a place somewhere on it.

A nice, well-rounded list overall, moreso I think than in past years.

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Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:53 am
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Vexer wrote:
That's about the rating i'd give the film too, it was good but no masterpiece. I agree that the introduction of telekinetic powers felt out of place, in the third act the film basically turned into a sci-fi version of Carrie, and the ending did surprise initially, but the more I thought about it, the less sense it made as a whole.

Yeah, exactly. I don't want to be a petty troll and just mindlessly bash Looper for the sake of pointless nitpicking about minor details, but Looper had much bigger problems than that. The sci-fi (telekinesis) and LOGIC (the entire premise of "loopers") sides of this film just weren't handled well imo, and instead of greatness it achieved only okishness.


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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
nitrium wrote:
Vexer wrote:
That's about the rating i'd give the film too, it was good but no masterpiece. I agree that the introduction of telekinetic powers felt out of place, in the third act the film basically turned into a sci-fi version of Carrie, and the ending did surprise initially, but the more I thought about it, the less sense it made as a whole.

Yeah, exactly. I don't want to be a petty troll and just mindlessly bash Looper for the sake of pointless nitpicking about minor details, but Looper had much bigger problems than that. The sci-fi (telekinesis) and LOGIC (the entire premise of "loopers") sides of this film just weren't handled well imo, and instead of greatness it achieved only okishness.

For starters, "good but no masterpiece" is a bullshit criticism.

But to get to something Nitrium said, I would say that Looper's level of sci-fi hardness is just about precisely that of Star Trek. The science itself is half-unexplained and half-technobabble, while its purpose in the story is largely to plunge the characters into social and moral conundrums rather than to devote serious speculation to future technologies.

(In Star Wars, the "sci-fi" is almost literally just set dressing. This is not descriptive of Looper.)

I don't begrudge you your opinion. Obviously, your experience was not as favorable as mine. I do take issue with your reasoning, though. Most sci-fi stories are not hard sci-fi as I would understand it. And hard sci-fi is the only science fiction sub-genre in which the science itself, whether real or speculated, is more than just a means to an end in telling the story.

In a nutshell, the reason I liked Looper more than most of this year's new releases is that it had balls. It knew it was dealing with time travel, decided not to fight the inevitable losing battle for air-tight story logic, and instead plunged forward with one audacious sequence after another. I don't deny that it's pulpy and I don't deny that it's potboiler storytelling, but that's a big part of the appeal for me. It's an unpretentious cavalcade of the coolest time-travel ideas that the creators could throw at us.

Unlike Nolan's coldly structural talkfests, Looper accurately captures the experience of reading sci-fi/fantasy comic books written by the best writers at the hungriest, most inventive stage of their careers--the kind they write before they've gained a reputation and just want to carve themselves as deeply into the history of the book as possible before it inevitably gets passed on to someone else. This does mean that the movie feels somewhat open-ended, and maybe even a little open-fronted. But relative to everything it had going for it, I simply wasn't bothered much.

I will also note that I knew literally nothing about the movie going in except that it was a sci-fi movie that was getting a lot of word-of-mouth. I read no reviews, didn't look up the trailers, and didn't read any spoilers. This is a policy that generally serves me well, especially with movies like Looper that turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

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Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:35 am
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Ken wrote:
nitrium wrote:
Vexer wrote:
That's about the rating i'd give the film too, it was good but no masterpiece. I agree that the introduction of telekinetic powers felt out of place, in the third act the film basically turned into a sci-fi version of Carrie, and the ending did surprise initially, but the more I thought about it, the less sense it made as a whole.

Yeah, exactly. I don't want to be a petty troll and just mindlessly bash Looper for the sake of pointless nitpicking about minor details, but Looper had much bigger problems than that. The sci-fi (telekinesis) and LOGIC (the entire premise of "loopers") sides of this film just weren't handled well imo, and instead of greatness it achieved only okishness.

For starters, "good but no masterpiece" is a bullshit criticism.

But to get to something Nitrium said, I would say that Looper's level of sci-fi hardness is just about precisely that of Star Trek. The science itself is half-unexplained and half-technobabble, while its purpose in the story is largely to plunge the characters into social and moral conundrums rather than to devote serious speculation to future technologies.

(In Star Wars, the "sci-fi" is almost literally just set dressing. This is not descriptive of Looper.)

I don't begrudge you your opinion. Obviously, your experience was not as favorable as mine. I do take issue with your reasoning, though. Most sci-fi stories are not hard sci-fi as I would understand it. And hard sci-fi is the only science fiction sub-genre in which the science itself, whether real or speculated, is more than just a means to an end in telling the story.

In a nutshell, the reason I liked Looper more than most of this year's new releases is that it had balls. It knew it was dealing with time travel, decided not to fight the inevitable losing battle for air-tight story logic, and instead plunged forward with one audacious sequence after another. I don't deny that it's pulpy and I don't deny that it's potboiler storytelling, but that's a big part of the appeal for me. It's an unpretentious cavalcade of the coolest time-travel ideas that the creators could throw at us.

Unlike Nolan's coldly structural talkfests, Looper accurately captures the experience of reading sci-fi/fantasy comic books written by the best writers at the hungriest, most inventive stage of their careers--the kind they write before they've gained a reputation and just want to carve themselves as deeply into the history of the book as possible before it inevitably gets passed on to someone else. This does mean that the movie feels somewhat open-ended, and maybe even a little open-fronted. But relative to everything it had going for it, I simply wasn't bothered much.

I will also note that I knew literally nothing about the movie going in except that it was a sci-fi movie that was getting a lot of word-of-mouth. I read no reviews, didn't look up the trailers, and didn't read any spoilers. This is a policy that generally serves me well, especially with movies like Looper that turn out to be a pleasant surprise.
Well I think your opinion is bullshit :lol: Just kidding!
Anyways, I didn't really mind the time-travel related plot holes, that's the type of thing I can usually get past, and i'll definitely admit this film is far superior to Inception. But it falls short of greatness, mostly due to the third act being a bit of a letdown for me, it shifted focus away from the time-travel aspect and instead focused on the kid with telekinsesis, it just felt like a totally different film, and while I can see people liking it for that, the tonal shift just didn't really work that well, the interactions between the mother and son were very clunky, especially the kid's temper tantrum, it came across as very narmish and I nearly laughed out loud, definitely not the reaction the screenwriters were going for i'm sure.


Last edited by Vexer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:05 am
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Ken wrote:
But to get to something Nitrium said, I would say that Looper's level of sci-fi hardness is just about precisely that of Star Trek. The science itself is half-unexplained and half-technobabble, while its purpose in the story is largely to plunge the characters into social and moral conundrums rather than to devote serious speculation to future technologies.

(In Star Wars, the "sci-fi" is almost literally just set dressing. This is not descriptive of Looper.)

I don't begrudge you your opinion. Obviously, your experience was not as favorable as mine. I do take issue with your reasoning, though. Most sci-fi stories are not hard sci-fi as I would understand it. And hard sci-fi is the only science fiction sub-genre in which the science itself, whether real or speculated, is more than just a means to an end in telling the story.

In a nutshell, the reason I liked Looper more than most of this year's new releases is that it had balls. It knew it was dealing with time travel, decided not to fight the inevitable losing battle for air-tight story logic, and instead plunged forward with one audacious sequence after another. I don't deny that it's pulpy and I don't deny that it's potboiler storytelling, but that's a big part of the appeal for me. It's an unpretentious cavalcade of the coolest time-travel ideas that the creators could throw at us.

Unlike Nolan's coldly structural talkfests, Looper accurately captures the experience of reading sci-fi/fantasy comic books written by the best writers at the hungriest, most inventive stage of their careers--the kind they write before they've gained a reputation and just want to carve themselves as deeply into the history of the book as possible before it inevitably gets passed on to someone else. This does mean that the movie feels somewhat open-ended, and maybe even a little open-fronted. But relative to everything it had going for it, I simply wasn't bothered much.

I will also note that I knew literally nothing about the movie going in except that it was a sci-fi movie that was getting a lot of word-of-mouth. I read no reviews, didn't look up the trailers, and didn't read any spoilers. This is a policy that generally serves me well, especially with movies like Looper that turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

Everything you say here is well reasoned (but doesn't reflect my opinion). I don't begrudge ANYONE the enjoyment of this (or any other for that matter) film. But it is not top 10 material for me personally (let alone #1), for the reasons I tried to explain (and again, this was largely MY OWN FAULT (and JB's of course, from my perspective - this is a rare JB miss, but a big one) for setting the bar for MY EXPECTATIONS too high going in).


Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:08 am
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Vexer wrote:
But it falls short of greatness, mostly due to the third act being a bit of a letdown for me, it shifted focus away from the time-travel aspect and instead focused on the kid with telekinsesis, it just felt like a totally different film, and while I can see people liking it for that, the tonal shift just didn't really work that well

Exactly. Also, everything slowed down a lot as we were basically waiting for the inevitable. It started to feel like a particularly slow episode of the Walking Dead. (Which I gave up on early in the second season.)

Like I said, Looper isn't bad, but the storytelling is uneven.

In that respect, Cloud Atlas worked much better for me, keeping me interested all the way through, despite the fact that fundamentally, it doesn't really make that much sense. Looper on the other hand, made a lot of sense once you accept the initial assumptions. Basically, Cloud Atlas kept me wanting to know more, while Looper stopped to admire its own cleverness (which it legitimately has) too much.

I am a big science fiction fan, by the way, but most of what's sold as SF in movies and on TV is pretty bad SF. The SF part of Looper is indeed pretty good, much better than what we get to see on screen most of the time, but consistent pacing and tone are important, too.

Speaking of ridiculously over the top science fiction: am I the only one who enjoyed John Carter? James gave it 3 stars, which seems about right to me.

Then again, he also gave Prometheus 3 stars. My rating would be about 18 facepalms.


Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:10 am
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Post Re: Rewinding 2012 - The Top 10
Promoetheus was a huge letdown for me, I'm dumbfounded to the response from critics, it has crap ton of plotholes, way too many for me to ignore and really poor acting for the most part, and not much in the way of suspense or intrigue. The whole storyline got way too ridiculous for me to swallow, give me Alien 3 or Resurrection any day, hell even Event Horizon is light years better! I think Ridley should just call it quits as a director.


Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:11 pm
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