Monday, February 25, 2013

My Best 12 Movies of 2012 Part 2 #9-7 Jan 04, 2013 11:34PM PST

9. The Raid: Redemption

This is possibly the best straightforward action movie I've seen in years. It has roughly the same plotline as Dredd, with a group of cops raiding a towering building run by a drug lord (list spoilers: Dredd didn't quite get on mine, though it is also a good movie).


Anyway, oh my LORD, seriously??!

Ok.. ok. We're good now. *Phew*. Anyway, the difference is that where Dredd is a 3D slo-mo fest, Raid is a movie where the action is quick, brutal and over-the-top through the whole movie. There's tons of gun violence, but way more stunning fight choregraphy, which gets ridiculous, but never gets to Crouching Tiger  level or anything, and provides one of the greatest mano a mano climaxes I think I've ever seen on film, not to mention some of the most inventive movie deaths in general.

I don't remember much about the plot, aside from what I already said about Dredd,  and some reveal about the main character cop's brother, so you'll have to do with me telling you that this is one of the most badass movies ever made, and every fan of action, kung fu, or gritty/violent film should see it.

Aboboisdaman, I don't know if you saw this one, but I think if you did, this would hbe the point you could start relating to my list, as you strike me as the type to like action (and 80s) movies.

My id: Things go boom, people get bloody, kung fu is fucking awesome (if that is the martial arts style they're using, I actually don't know; it's a Korean film if that helps anyone knowledgeable on the subject).

8. Moonrise Kingdom

This is more proof that Bill Murray is trying very hard to win an Oscar, and I say, give him one already! His portrayal of an aloof father, combined with Bruce Willis and Ed Norton's portrayal of the most bumbling cop and Boy Scout Leader team ever provided some of the best laughs I had this year, and from some of the best actors doing the dumbest things.

I thought that since this is an under-the-radar movie by some eccentric director critics love (name escapes me), I was going to find this annoying and pretentious. Not even close.

It's the story of two misfit kids that escape their unnapreciative, even coldly indifferent and cruel parents and peers, to go missing somehwere in the woods while their parents and a bumblimg search crew go looking for them. And reading what I just wrote, maybe that's pretentious, but I found it charming and hilarious.

Granted, some of the things these kids encounter are just cruel and wrong, but I was rooting for them and even the search crew of dipshits the whole time, because where a lot of these characters lack in brains, there's a whole lot of heart to both them and this movie. And a whle bunch of laughs.

Ok, this review might not be helping the pretentious air around this movie, but I assure you, it's quirky, but it's FUN TO WATCH. This is not one of those independent films where we're all supposed to feel miserable cause some junkie threw his life away, and "oh isn't this so sad? Give us an award!" No, this movie deserves an award mind you, but because it will put you in a GOOD mood after watching it, I promise.

My id: It has Bruce Willis playing a cop... while his pants are flooding and he's an incompetent goofball. All I have to say to you is: C'mon... C'moooon! You know you want to see this.

7. The Amazing Spider-Man

When trailers for this hit, all I could think to myself was "why?" (I also thought that first person crap looked like Mirror's Edge, as in obviously fake and CGI) Why was this necessary? I wasn't mad about it, despite the fact I at least liked every one of the original Raimi trilogy. I mean sure 3 handled Venom in a way that downright made me mad at how much they missed the mark, sure a lot of the special effects looked fake despite its record-breaking budget, sure emo Parker punching a woman had me laughing out loud for all the wrong reasons, but I liked Sandman's character and the movie's scope, and still managed to enjoy myself.I mean I liked 3 and I didn't mind that this movie was being made, I just had no interest in revisiting the origin story.

Then it got closer to the movie's release and critics seemed to like it, so I actually got excited. And you know what? It might not have had the wow factor the original Raimi film did for me when I was I think 11 (assuming it was 2001.. right?), but it was a pretty good movie, and I liked what they did with the property.

Now keep in mind, some of this has to do with the way they matured the female leads as I've matured. In the originals, Mary Jane was a love interest for Spider-Man cause she was pretty, and she was a good damsel in distress I guess. This went along with my real life scenario in which I had a long standing crush on a girl cause... she was pretty.

In this movie, Gwen Stacey is actually a character, and Peter Parker likes her cause she genuinely stands up for her and seems to like him. She's also of a similar intelligence to Parker, so unlike him and Jane in the old ones, you buy that they'd have thinks to talk about with each other. Similarly, I put a lot more emphasis on how much I like a girl's personality than her looks than I did in my younger puppy love stage. It's nice that a movie franchise has matured with me. I mean looks still matter, and Emma Stone is still hot, but I've matured to the point where her gigantic bug eyes looking like that creepy girfriend meme wouldn't bother me if she had a good personality.



Ok, look, she's hot, and Google Images only has pictures of her eyes looking thinner, but you all know what I'm talking about

I will admit though, the first time I saw this movie, the beginning was slow, and I feel like the darker tone it took (lots of gun violence this movie, and most of it takes place at night or in one of the most depressingly lit high schools ever) was a bit unnecessary, as Spider-Man seemed like the last superhero that wasn't geared exclusively toward adults. Seriously, can someone make one for kids again, cause for Batman this makes sense, but maybe can we have these goofy men-in-tights stories not make parents question if it's ok for their kids?

The darker tone, you have to see for yourself, but the beginning was slow because we all know the story, plus some of the origin scenes here make Spider-Man look like a douche (I hope that poor guy Spidey stole the ID from gets to complete his rightful internship tour of OSCORP) and the way Uncle Ben dies didn't need to involve someone being flat out dumb (seriously, clerk, even Dante and Randal would keep their eyes on a guy that just threw beer at them!).

And in some ways, Spider-Man is less a nerd than an emo, skateboarding brat that happens to have family tragedy and smarts, at least enough to build himself a web shooter (I preferred how Raimi made it biological, why not just let him have all the powers when he gets bit? I don't care what the comics say, it just makes more sense, and the one way they could make a self-made one more interesting by having him run out? Not in this movie). Also, Aunt May doesn't look old enough.

Now, at this point, you're wondering why Spidey is this high on my list, and maybe even wondering why this isn't on a worst of list from me. Well, because of what I said about Gwen's character, and because I went in thinking this would be pointless, and came out entertained by some beautiful cinematography and action, and there were enough changes to make me excited for where this goes.

Some of that even comes from my complaints: sure, I think kids should have superhero movies that are a little less serious, but the way Spider-Man gets beat up and bloody really engrossed me in his struggles, and I prefer action scenes to take place at night, so I thought the movie looked good. Hey, look, I'M not a kid, I can enjoy a darker movie.

I also liked the continuing theme of Spider-Man villains being sympathetic people whose crime is really to be over-ambitious in their scientific field. I like the depth to Lizard's character, even if I wanted more shredded labcoat.

Oh, and I should mention how funny and engaging Denis Leary is as Gwen's hardass cop father. His smirk and shotgun provide some of the movie's best moments.

Did I love this movie? No. Why is it so high on my list? It made me understand why you'd reboot this franchise, and especially after the ending dialogue between Parker and Stacey, I'm excited to see where they take this. And, I found this movie to be pretty entertaining through multiple sittings.

My id: I don't care what anybody says, even if it's Hurricane Sandy, you get everyone to line up their cranes, no matter who's directing him or how totally unrealistic it is!

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