Saturday, January 26, 2013

The 20 Best Movies I Haven't Seen in 2012

While every cinephile and moviegoer are busy having to spend money on all the films they watched in theatres last year, I was very busy. It was my final year in high school and while everybody regarded it as the most important year of your life, I might agree. Psychologically, it was devastating for me and the rest of the year to leave out everything and study for your final exams in which we call the HSC. Then it was calculated into a huge anomaly called an ATAR (the Australian Tertiary Admission rank) to which I will never understand how it would calculated and despite that, I still got into a university and the preferred course I wanted to do (suck on that!). Though what I'm against is the amount of ecstasy coming off from finishing your formal education is the amount of freedom which turns out pretty empty when you're trying to plan for the future.

That is why I didn't get a lot of time to see the movies I wanted to see and those films are based on a little thing called word of mouth.

So here are my list of the best movies in alphabetical order I haven't got around watching but will try and catch up. I haven't included Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook because they will be out by the end of the month. Some of these movies may make it into my "Best of" list which you may not see until midway through the year.

I was pretty unfamilar with this film until I heard it made it into some critic's list of the best films of the year including Roger Ebert. I don't know if I actually like Richard Gere, but hearing that this film delivered the best performance in years playing a corporate owner down on his luck really interest me. Plus the parallels between this and another notable movie about stock trading Wall Street made me curious to see this.

I haven't got around to watch most of Richard Linklater's filmmography (never seen Dazed and Confused or the Before Sunset and Sunrise series, though I try to) but at least I've seen School of Rock and A Scanner Darkly. Speaking of School of Rock, Jack Black is in Bernie and from what I heard that this is his best performance of his entire career playing a small town's most likeable funeral director. And it's not the only big highlight I heard from, but perhaps the production of the film that plays out like a documentary. Might want to check this one out.

Maybe the reason why I didn't went and watch Chronicle is because I have never been a fan of found footage. Not because I have anything against it... yet, but because I haven't watch so many of the genre. The only experience was for Project X and Cloverfield, in which the latter is actually a good movie. But given the huge word of mouth about this film mixing found footage with the superhero genre had grabbed my interest. Though to its discredit, the fact that it's responsible for reviving the genre means we're gonna have more cheaply produced films under the same name.

Cloud Atlas
Possibly my most anticipated film on the list since it's not out yet here. But it's only due to the divisive and complex nature it had on critics and audiences alike. I heard overwhelmingly positive word of mouth from festivals including at TIFF and Fantastic Fest saying it's one of the most powerful and ballsy movies of the century, while I heard negative stuff coming from the fact that it is confusing, the makeup on the wholly white cast playing Koreans are offensive and that the only people who'll enjoy this will be stoners. The latter being just distasteful.

Hearing about the very controversial and hard-to-watch nature of this Sundance hit actually had me interested. I really like movies with such high moral complexity without having to evolve into ambiguity while putting the audience in intense situations with certain characters and scenarios. The premise of a fast food chain whose staff goes into a moral downward spiral from a prank caller seems incredibly intense so I might give this a try.

I've only heard mixed buzz about the film. From when the time it was released at Cannes to when the movie was out in theatres. But that doesn't stop me from retaining my interest in the film simply because it's David Cronenberg and as much as I don't get enthused from trailers, the trailer really got me interested to watch. This might be Robert Pattinson's big turn in his career although I've heard that he played the same character here as Edward Cullen from Twilight. Let's hope this thriller is null of thrills and I hope most of all that this movie does not suck.


Upon making this list, I absolutely know nothing about this film until the name "Edgar Wright" shows up. I've always been a massive fan for Wright's ability to combine certain genres and reincorporate them into a crazy yet entertaining story. The film which is about a serial killer targeting a high school, seems like an average high school horror flick does seem to bring my interest only a bit and I think I've heard of the director Joseph Kahn who has made many music videos for Mariah Carey, Chris Brown and many other pop singers in my head.

I have to admit that the one thing that deterred me from the film is the trailer Lionsgate had delivered given how it mirrors The Raid action sequences and that movie occurred way before this movie was out. The studio has a long history of terrible marketing in their films unless it's The Hunger Games or The Expendables only because they're franchises. But the reception for this film is surprisingly overwhelming in the fact that it's entertaining though it's pretty gory. I haven't got around watching the original Judge Dredd film with Sylvester Stallone, but this may be a rare occassion in which I watch the remake before the original.

End Of Watch
This was out a week before I actually finished my "final" final exam, and so far it has a very tealented cast consisting the likes of Jake Gyllenhall, Michael Pena and Anna Kendrick. It's called the best cop movie in years by Roger Ebert, which he put on the list of the best films of 2012 and so did Brad Brevet of, who I really trust in knowing what movies to watch. I haven't heard anything about this film yet, even though some of my friends saw it the other day and thought it was refreshing to watch. I'll give this a shot.

When mainstream audiences hear the words "Steven Soderbergh" without any warning of what's his next film will shake up to be, I don't really blame them. Like with Linklater, Soderbergh was a filmmaker that I didn't went around watching his catalog though I did watched the Oceans Series. The guy knows how to direct actors with limited range whether it'd be A-list or B-list or even no experience in acting prior. Hearing the buzz about Gina Caruno's performance is one factor but so is a cast of Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum. I was thinking about putting this or Soderbergh's other film Magic Mike on the list, but since the latter's premise didn't really interest me in the slightest, I might give Haywire a try.

It's Such a Beautiful Day
This is certainly the most obscure film on the list since I know nothing about this film, but I've heard absolutely positive things about this little flick coming from Tom Clift, an Australian movie reviewer that I look into in terms of writing film reviews. Clift placed this film as his best film of 2012 beating the likes of Looper, Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers and Cloud Atlas stating of the brilliance in depicting an animated stick figure who wonders around the human condition. I may want to check this out.

Killer Joe
Haven't heard much of but a lot of people had me with "never going to hear 'chicken-lickin' the same way again" upon watching this film. Also it's nice to hear that this cemented Matthew McConoghey's credibility as an actor playing the crazy titular character.

Killing Them Softly

The fact that poor word-of-mouth coming from the dreaded F Cinemascore (seriously, who takes that for granted) doesn't deter my anticipation of Killing Them Softly. I was very impressed with Andrew Dominik's film The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford and while I haven't seen Chopper considered an Australian masterpiece, I'm still looking forward into watching this. I've didn't watched this film because it was in the middle of my preparation for the HSC.

Liberal Arts
It was in my local theatre for one week only and yet I only heard good to great things about this indie flick directed by Josh Radnor, the lead man in How I Met Your Mother. For a film that's about a man who's in his mid 30s, down on his luck going back to his alma mater, developing feelings for a younger student the same intellect as him, played by Elizabeth Olsen, this will either be a good movie or a typical indie flick starring that unbearable Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Pitch Perfect
OK. This is my least anticipated film of the year, but it doesn't mean I'm not at all interested in watching it. I heard some good things about Rebel Wilson's comedic performance and Anna Kendrick's singing. It is described as Bring it On meets Glee. I'm not a fan of Glee, but I used to watch Bring it On many times as a kid. So hopefully it should actually be a good movie.

Rust and Bone
I am looking forward to this film because of many factors. One was that it was directed by Jacque Auidiard who last film A Prophet was one of the best films of 2009, two: he performances from Marion Cotillard and Mathia Schoenoerts have been hugely buzzed. And three: the story in which a handicapped whale trainer and an unemployed father falls in love together is incredibly cathartic to me.

Safety Not Guaranteed
Again, it's one of the biggest hits at Sundance last year; given how it's based on a meme, this hooked my interest into an indie film about time travel. What's next? Bad Luck Brian: The Film?

I actually want to watch this film purely due to the fact that the film is written by C. Robert Cargill who is well known as Carlyle, one of the former main reviewers of, whose reviews of films are informative, down to eartth and most importantly entertaining. Sinister is considered the one only refreshing horror film produced by a studio and had got pretty much good word to mouth.

The Grey
I'm ashamed that I didn't see this film and I heard a variety of things about this film which happens to be about Liam Neeson and wolves. Some thought it was a poetic masterpiece, others thought it was it was a waste of time because of the ending.

The Master
Finally and not least the movie that had been placed in several end-of-year lists is Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film The Master. Coming from the fact that Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams deliver electric performances that earned several accolades seems legit. 70mm or not, I will check this one out as soon as I can.

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