Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 in Review The Film Finds

Every year I do a list of Finds. For those who don't know these are the films or bits of films or what ever that were so good I feel that they have to be remembered at the end of the year. Some are almost on the Best of the Year list,  some never came close, but all had something about them that made them stand out. As always they are not all from 2012 but what I saw in 2012

REDLINE- Wild Sci Fi Madness from Madhouse about a car race across planet.  It doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense but the OH WOW factor is in high gear.

THE MUPPETS- Pure nostalgic joy. It made me smile and tear up and just feel so damn good.

The music and look in PRINCE OF THE HIMALAYAS were amazing. I just wish this retelling of Hamlet was more interesting...or involving.

WE BOUGHT A ZOO Not really what happened, hell they moved the story from England to America but what fun to watch a family come back to life.

A SEPARATION-The Oscar winner for Best Foreign film really is one of the best films I saw in 2012 but for some reason here at the end of the year I can't put it there. I think the fact that I had been battling with it since the 2011 NYFF had something to do with it. I'm just tired of talking about it.

FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL wonderful WTF martial arts film that I stumbled up

THE MAN WHO WAS SUPERMAN- Believe and it will be so . This live action Korean film is the perfect co-feature for Iron Giant.  I only discovered it on a whim- the all in Korean box cover looked good. Happy accident doesn't begin to describe it.

UNBEATEN 28 More WTF martial arts madness

SMUGGLERS SONG- A great film about a rogue and a writer that feels almost as if it was shot at the time it takes place. Its only flaw was that it falters at the end

7/7 RIPPLE EFFECT Flawed look at the London  subway bombings was made by a crazy man and has had most of its points explained away but it raises some interesting questions about some of what happened and forces you to dig deeper about the incident and more importantly how we percieve things.

LUMINARIS- you can stop motion with the sun? Apparently

THE RAID- I'm blown away by this film. I've seen it several times now in theaters and on DVD and as mind blowingly wonderful it is it just misses being on my best of the year list despite being on my list of greatest action films ever. (I know that makes no sense)

BLACK MOON- Jack Holt Faye Ray in a creepy voodoo thriller that I only discovered because BAM ran it as part of a double feature. I thought I knew all the old horror films, apparently not.

10+10 20 films about China.The most amazing thing about it is all work are good and worth seeing. That never happened with any anthology until now.

NASI LEMAK 2.0 Smile producing fun about food.

THE GREY More meditation than action film, I know some people HATE this film, especially the ending, on the other hand other people,myself included, it love it.

CARDBOARD VILLAGE- A church, some refugees and a priest. It's that simple. This film has moments that remind me why I love movies

DIRTY HANDS- DAVID CHOI- Artist as Madman. As crazed and frantic as his art this film had me going out and buying the DVD

LET FURY HAVE THE HOUR- artistic response to the coming of Ronald Regan and the neo-cons is a look at how art, in all its forms, can change the world.

WORLD BEFORE HER amazing look at the path that some women take in order to find their place in a restrictive society

WAR WITCH This film about a kidnapped girl who can see the dead and her life with the rebels that kidnapped her hit me out of left field. I know this film has slowly been building a word of mouth following, but it's so much more. I suspect that this should be on the best of the year list but I'll have to see it again.

RUSSIAN WINTER Look at John Forte's trip to Russia. Amazing amazing amazing. I went out of the film and raced to You Tube to find more clips from the trip and concerts and then started buy the music of the artists.  It's like opening a dooor to a musical wonderland.

SEXY BABY- Sexuality and the teen girl. Food for thought and then some

LOVE PARADE Witty adult musical from 1930.  And we think we only started acting this randy recently.

BLOODY FIGHT IN IRON ROCK VALLEY - I'm still battling whether to put this on the best of the year list or not. Certainly it's one of the best westerns of the last 10 years despite being set in modern day Korea. An amazing film I need to see again simply to see if its as good as I think it is.(actually thats what I say publicly, privately it's just a damn great action film .

HONEY PUPU Mind blowing science fiction meditation cum relationship film cum I don't know what. Brilliant film is simply unlike anything you've ever seen. And I do mean EVER.

REVENERANT- brilliant undead action film about life and death and friendship. I know some people hated this film, but damn this sucker is a kick in the ass with twists and turns that surprise and characters who break your heart.

AMOUR- A Michael Haneke film that I really like. I was rapturous when I saw it and was certain it was one of the best films of the year.While I've cooled on it it's still worthy of note and if it wins an Oscar or two so much the better.

THE THIEVES Wonderful Korean caper film is what the Ocean 11 movies might have been if they had a bit more weight and people got hurt and died. I can't wait for the DVD so I can share this with everyone unlucky enough not to have seen it in theaters.

JOURNEY TO PLANET X - Wonderful look at the joy of filmmaking and the need to create.a last minute deletion  from my best of the year list, this is a stunning film that actually staddles both lists and can ultimately be considered to be on that list which appears tomorrow..

FLYING GUILLOTINE 2 was a blast. Great action, characters you care about and fear for, and an ending that leaves no wiggle room for a sequel. It builds from the first film logically deepening what went before. The rare sequel that deserves to exist and is better than the original (Look for a review during Chinese New Year)

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING is a mean and nasty action horror film that is closer to Beyond the Black Rainbow or an early David Cronenberg film than the ones in the series. It's not so much an action film but a trip into the heart of darkness of reality.

GANGS OF WASSEYPUR bridges years. It was my last film of 2012 and the first of 2013. It's an epic Indian crime saga that is worthy of standing next to the Godfather and Once Upon a Time in America or any other great crime film.  It's playing Sundance and is a must see. I need to see it again (and not at 3AM) before I decide whether or not to make it part of my Best of 2013 list. ( A preliminary review will run a few days before it screens at Sundance)

1 comment:

  1. What, there are people out there who didn't like the ending of The Grey? Who?!? They ought to be rounded up and put on some kind of watch list!

    Seriously though, that movie was a pleasant discovery for me too. Having not read anything beforehand, didn't know what to expect and i thought it was the best platform for Liam Neeson that i have come across.