Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 in Review The Best/Favorites

These are less the best of the year and more my favorite films that I saw in 2012. yes some are the best but most are the films that I keep returning to. For example there are a few films on yesterdays Film Finds list that could easily fit here ( A Separation, Amour, Journey to Planet X and Bloody Fight in Iron Rock Valley for example)

You'll also notice that there are way more than the normal 10. I'm doing this because I saw way more than the normal mount of films this year, plus these films deserve it. Since the list consists of films from different years I've marked the actual 2012 releases. (I have also not bothered with figuring out if they are released or unreleased, I saw them in 2012 so this is where they belong)

The Cinematography in WAR HORSE is amazingly beautiful. So much so that I couldn't buy the pain and suffering of the war. Still it's great to lok at.

Patton Oswalt in YOUNG ADULT is amazing. Why he didn't get an Oscar still confounds me. That the film worked at all was thanks to him.

TT: CLOSE TO THE EDGE motorcycle racing on the Isle of Man. Who the hell needs Hollywood? This is the real thing and utterly amazing.

HIDDEN HAND- Great old mystery about an escaped mental patient doing in the relatives is everything I look for in a moldy oldie.

The opening of the Korean WHITE NIGHT that makes you sit bolt upright and go Hello!

Sigur Ros INNI and HEIMA two concert films that began my obsession with a band.

ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINE  A head trip I still can't completely grasp sent me deeper into the world of Adam Curtis as the week in September looking at most of his out put will attest.

DELICACY- Romantic comedy of mismatched lovers done real and right

MORIS LESSMORE- The magic of books in an Oscar winning short

The pooing Hippos and sky diving cows in ZARAFA (2012) are so wrong and yet so wonderfully right

JOHN CARTER OF MARS (2012) they nailed the books in tone and mood and character. If the film bombed its because it's an old school literary adventure rather than a mindless action film.

MONKEY KING 3D One of the most magical experiences of 2012 was seeing a restored 50 year old cartoon redone in 3D. Movies and movie going do not get better than this.

CHRONICLE (2012)- best found footage ever?  Oh hell yea. Best Super Hero movie? If not it's damn close

SCABBARD SAMURAI(2012) A long one joke film flips in the end to be one of the most moving films I saw in 2012. .

HEAVENLY CREATURE (2012) Centerpiece in Doomsday Book is one of the best meditations on religion and what it means to be alive ever put on film.

La TABLEAU (The Painting) (2012) artistically amazing but its story about characters in a painting trying to find their creator works on so many more levels as to boggle the mind. They actually showed this at a kids film festival ! God I love, and long live, NYICFF

INACCURATE MEMOIR(2012) Chinese action film about rebels taking on the Japanese has style to burn. And a flop or two into reality that makes it more than just flash.(Will some one realease this with ENglish subtitles please)

GIRLTALK//ALLDAY- Joy Joy and bliss. One of the happiest things I have ever seen. Easily one of my most favorite films ever- How can one film make me feel so good everytime I see it? This is my best film of the year.

THE FOX a tuly scary 15 minutes. One of the best horror films of this or any other year

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN(2012) Rodriguez need I say more? and I loved it before I got to meet him.
Fanboy gets to talk to certain singer from Detroit - Photo by Chocko
Meeting Rodriguez was one of the high points of the year, especially when he told Chocko and myself to hang around so he could talk instead of  doing interviews.  Of course his manager had other ideas  but it was still nice to have been invited.

ANY DAY NOW (2012) -Alan Cumming deserves an Oscar. So does the film. And I swear to you that most critics seeing this at Tribeca left the theater wiping tears away and blowing their noses giving excuses as to why their eyes were puffy. I know I saw them---and I tried not to let my tears show too.

GRACELAND (2012) - A thriller unlike any other. A kidnapping that goes wrong and gets worse. Mean and nasty and must be seen to be believed.

ELGUSTO (2012) the power of music to bring people together 

THE FLAT (2012) what secrets are your family hiding?

EDDIE THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL (2012) Horror comedy that is so wrong and so damn funny

SLEEPLESS NIGHT (2012) amazing action film set in a night club. All films should be this tense

XINGU (2012) true life adventure of brothers who go to map the jungle and find a calling. Indiana Jones who?

CHINESE TAKEAWAY(2012) Marvelous film with what seems like a non-sequiteur beginning is a wonderful look at a loner and how he comes back to the world. Its almost final image melted me.

ASURA (2012) The story of a feral child on the path to enlightenment is a disturbing trip but who said any trip of value is easy?

GYO (2012) Apocalyptic story of mutant zombie fish coming to take over the world. Nothing, I mean nothing can prepare you for this mind warp this film lays on you in a darkend theater. I mean none of us who saw it remembered anything that happened before it.

FAR OUT ISN'T FAR ENOUGH  THE TOMI UNGERER STORY (2012) Artist as his own man. One of my all time favorite films about one of my favorite artists of all time

SHEPARD AND DARK (2012) - one of the best meditation on friendship I've ever seen.

YOU AINT SEEN NOTHING YET (2012) While watching a tape of a play actors reenact it themselves. Movie Magic and an acting master class.

CELLULOID MAN (2012) The history of cinema in the life of one man

PUNK IN AFRICA (2012) DIY music in a DIY film about the need to express one self

Oliver Stones Q&A was a fabulous almost 90 minute talk about history and how we view it.

Like wise The Q&A during EDDIE ADAMS SAIGON 68 was how we see perceive events and often get it wrong

And the DRIVERS WANTED Q&A was just great fun

THE AVENGERS (2012) Comic book bliss

NOTHING CAN TOUCH ME(2012) Aftermath of a school shooting is a punch in the face- more troubling in the wake of recent events in Connecticut

A BRIEF HISTORY OF JOHN BALASARI (2012) one man's life in 6

Bill Murray in Hyde Park on the Hudson deserves an Oscar

CLOUD ATLAS (2012) a glorious mess that comes together. Does it really belong here? no clue but the audacity of it getting made does.

Elle Fanning in GINGER AND ROSA gives a performance for the ages, She is that good and then some. Lets hope when the film gets a regular release this year she's remembered at years end for an Oscar.

The this is a test opening of NOT FADE AWAY is the best thing in an other wise cliche movie, it's also possible the best opening two minutes of any film all year

BLANCANIEVES (2012) SadlyI only saw one film at the Spanish Cinema Now series, but when a film is as good as this quality trumps quanity. Silent re-invention of Snow White is light years superior to a certain Oscar winner. Its also a beautiful touching film, that does what it’s director wanted, it makes the audience FEEL something.  There are several sequences that have indescribable marriages of image and music that will stun you. And as for the end, it haunted me for days. Not only one of my favorites but easily one of the films that can truly be called the BEST of 2012.

The 3D in THE LIFE OF PI is so good it makes the case as to why 99% of other films should never use it.

The Subway Cinema prove yet again why they are top of the film festival heap with a last minute addition to the list, TIGER ON BEAT, my new favorite Chow Yun Fat film, It's action packed and damn funny...and better than some of the John Woo films he was doing at the same time.


  1. Some of those movies i haven't even heard, and some of them are also my favorites movies. CLOUD ATLAS is master peace, also THE AVENGERS are good.

  2. Hi,
    I believe i never watched CELLULOID MAN from (2012), also SHEPARD AND DARK is a great movie for watching with family and friends.