Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 Over

As the door closes on 2012 with a hollow clang, it's time to reflect on what I've been doing with my life for the last 12 months. The clear answer being I watched a bunch of movies. This year saw 221 visual missives flow through my irises and dance about in the cerebral cortex, many of which were excellent and many more of which weren't.
It's around this time, then, that I choose to celebrate the great and the ass with carefully thought out lists for others to vocally disagree with, and so:
10 Favourite New Films That I Saw On A Cinema Screen
I saw 89 films on the big screen this year, a number artificially swollen by film festival attendance. It's a good thing I did though, otherwise I would have struggled to get 10 decent favourites together. I also made regular pilgrimages to neighbouring cities to catch some decent Arthouse fare. When you discount these, and the festival titles, I watched 35 films in the local multiplex the majority of which weren't particularly great, usually planting themselves firmly in mediocrity, the end result being only 3 films watched locally making it into the final 10. Of course there was plenty I didn't go see such as Twilight 4, Hunger Games, Prometheus, John Carter, Battleships, Keith Lemon etc. although it's unlikely any of them would make an impact on the above statements. And that, my friends, is the ongoing slow death of cinema.
However, ignoring the agonising monetised strangulation of the rural multiplex, film is in an excellent state overall. I could easily have made a 20 favourites this year, something I wouldn't have been able to boast in the last few years, here's the final 10;
1: Maniac [2012 Remake]
An orgy of migraines, mannequins and mutilation all given the visceral jolt of being shot entirely in the first person. Never have the words "You're so beautiful" been scarier.
(Trailer/First 6 minutes)
2: The Raid [ Serbuan maut ]
A breathless flurry of flawless action sequences set to a relentless, pounding soundtrack. Bliss.
(Trailer/Claycat version)
3: The Master
An expert dissection of the human condition employing nuance, subtlety and a pair of phenomenal performances.
(Trailer/Rorschach teaser)
4: Sightseers
In which Ben Wheatley displays an incredible flair for gliding effortlessly between naturalistic comedy and psychedelic brutality.
5: John Dies At The End
A constant joyous barrage of laugh out loud invention. The best type of insanity.
6: Moonrise Kingdom
Idiosyncrasy buffed to perfection.
7: Juan Of The Dead [Juan de los Muertos]
A remarkably assured zombie love letter to Cuba, from Cuba.
8: Beasts Of The Southern Wild
A tale of pride that somehow managed to shatter the cynic within and completely devastate me.
9: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [3D]
At this point I would probably enjoy watching Peter Jackson taking a shit as long as he did it in his immaculately rendered version of Middle Earth, more so if it involved an unnecessarily complex underground bridge network.
10. Dredd 3D
In which the combination of extreme slow motion and 3D is proven to be a winning one.
5 Favourite Films I Watched On A Little Screen
A touch of arithmetic tells me that I watched 133 films on various small screens. A lot of it was hopeless trash, an addiction I'm happily struggling to kick, but some of it was brilliant. Here's 5 that deserve to be highlighted as such;
1: God Bless America
Though the targets are easy, the attack is savage perfection.
I should also give a mention to World's Greatest Dad which should probably be number 2, but an extra Goldthwaite seemed indulgent.
2: Confessions [Kokuhaku]
Remarkable vengeance study that essentially becomes a visual post-rock song.
3: Amer
A gorgeous, hallucinatory exploration of one woman's sexuality via replicated imagery culled from the finest of Italian trash cinema. Mostly dialogue free too.
4: Timecrimes [Los cronocrimenes]
The best time travel film I watched this year.
(No trailer because every one I've seen gives the entire film away, bunch of idiots)
5: Paprika [Papurika]
A bit like the crazed dream sequence in Akira, only for an entire film.
10 Shittest Films
Finally here's a bunch of bollocks to avoid;
1: After
Should the director of After happen upon the opportunity to make another film I offer these tips; a) If you must use actors get them to act. b) Don't make another totally shit film.
2: The Cat In The Hat
AKA Vigorously Pissing In The Face Of Dr Seuss.
3: Zombie 108 [Z108 qi cheng]
Vile, immature and seriously incompetent.
4: The Dictator
Sacha Baron Cohen's latest creation has all potential extinguished by locking him in a plodding, formulaic script which appears to be stolen from the eighties.
5: Top Cat [Don Gato y su pandilla]
Apparently Top Cat was very big in Mexico. I'm unsure as to why they would choose to celebrate it by farting out this cheap vulgarity. Charlotte's film of the year which, to be quite frank, is fucking ridiculous.
6: Hellraiser: Deader
By far the worst of the array of abominations casually wanked out under the Hellraiser banner.
7: Dark Shadows
Every frame is clearly exactly as Burton intended, though it's baffling why anybody would want to intentionally make stodgy, soap opera nonsense.
8: Parasomnia
Hopeless misguided bollocks featuring a serial killer who can control minds locked in a hospital next door to a girl who sleeps a lot. Fucking stupid.
9: Agnosia
Boring and retarded, a little bit like listening to the shipping forecast being read out by an X Factor finalist.
10: Paranormal Activity 2
A convincing demonstration that it does actually take a fair amount of skill to make a decent found footage movie, something that nobody involved here has.
2013? More of the same? I'd like to think so.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Parental Guidance

A sedate, non-showy sermon on parenting with a touch of over-sentimentality at the end and some piss n fart jokes thrown in for the kids.

Pitch Perfect

A bunch of pretty girls perform acapella versions of pop songs with a mash-up aesthetic, the guiltiest of pleasures and thoroughly enjoyed as such.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Jack Reacher

A pedestrian take on nineties Van Damme movies.

A Christmas Carol [1984 version]

Barely serviceable rendition of Dickens' classic, only of interest if you live in Shrewsbury because you can point at all the exterior shots and name all the buildings.

Sunday, 23 December 2012


Sample dialogue:

"I'm your fucking sister"; "Yeah and you've got fucking big tits and i'm gonna tell everyone I saw them!"
"Oral. Santa said oral."
"The elf mates with the virgin on Christmas Eve to produce the master race and it will eventually rule the world."

Laughed my ass off.
Three Kings, how festive.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Santa's Slay

In which Santa is a homicidal ex-wrestler.
Both ludicrously entertaining and total shit.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Initiation: Silent Night Deadly Night 4 [Bugs]

Adopts Halloween 3's strategy and presents a totally new tale completely unrelated to the previous movies. This one, directed by an on form Yuzna, tells of a lady reporter who accidentally gets involved with a coven of witches whilst investigating a mid-air spontaneous human combustion at Christmas time. There then follows a great deal of unsubtle drugging, crazed rituals and huge bugs until finally the reporter's hands fuse together into a giant flaming penis with which she stabs the head of the coven, played by a Bond Girl.

Sunday, 16 December 2012


A whodunit in a different container.
Comfortably the best thing Shyamalan has put his name to in the last eight years, which isn't saying much.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl 3-D [2D]

My face tended to crumple with disgust as I watched this hyper-animated whimsy about following your dreams rendered in rampant CGI psychedelia.
At the end Charlotte exclaimed "We will have to watch that again!" proving she'd just watched a very different film and hers was a lot better.

Friday, 14 December 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [3D]

People having lots of serious conversations about going on adventures and then lots of fights on gigantic underground bridge networks. Ace.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


And so Christmas film season begins with the granddaddy of them all.
It can only go downhill from here.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Life Of Pi [3D]

A mesmerising spectacle capped with a vaguely insulting ending for stupid people so they can understand what happened.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Seven Psychopaths

A disappointing Adaptation clone.

Friday, 7 December 2012


A stunning mix of horrifically brutal murder and light, unforced black comedy deftly woven around a carefully shifting power balance. Fantastic use of music too, Frankie Goes To Hollywood has never sounded better.

Monday, 3 December 2012


Boyle has an off day and shits out this cack-handed, badly acted schmaltz.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Amour [Love]

An incredibly powerful depiction of a crushing inevitability we all must face.

The First Men In The Moon


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Rise Of The Guardians [3D]

A visual feast populated with likeable characters wrapped around a hackneyed story about needing to belong which collapses under conflicted internal logic before finally drowning in saccharine mush at the end.
Par for the course as modern kids animation goes.


Three intergenerational stories that i'm convinced are probably drenched in political allegory, but I don't know enough about Hungary's history so I watched a story about wanking, a story about fat people and a story about auto-evisceration instead.