Inspired by the many lists I've seen peppered around the interwebs, I've decided to make my own short list of films I enjoyed the most in 2012. They're in no particular order because I thought sorting them that way would be unfair as one or two of my choices might be a bit biast. Obviously not everyone will agree with these choices, so bear in mind these are the films I enjoyed the most.
Cabin in the woods
In my opinion, one of the most original films of 2012, I loved the concept and was thoroughly entertained. I loved the satirical tone, and the dialogue was so snappy, as with almost anything where Joss Whedon is concerned. Despite having an odd sort of end to tie the story up, I think right off the bat I knew this was going to be a film I'd enjoy, despite enjoying it more for the comedy than the 'horror'.
This film charmed my pants off. It was sweet, the humour was subtle and I just generally really loved the whole feel of it...if that makes sense? I thought it was incredibly detailed, if a little stylized, but it had a quirkiness about it that I enjoyed, although I guess the quirkiness can be expected off a Wes Anderson film. Still, its made the list...and now I really feel like watching it again!
Now here's a film I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did. I thought it was ambitious and exciting, despite managing to stay more grounded in reality. The story kept me hooked, and I appreciated that it could without over the top special effects or a myriad of explosions. The ending was good, if a little underdeveloped, and the characters were believable and their motives understandable. I think Looper managed to bring something fresh to the time travel concept and kept a good pace, leaving me pleasantly surprised.
Silver Linings Playbook
What initially drew me to Silver Linings was not only that it seemed like an interesting mix of drama and comedy, but because on top of that it was dealing with themes of mental illness, which is easily miscontsrued and distorted when represented on the big screen. Its something that is easy to use flippantly as a throw away plot device, or to present it in a bad light. However, having seen Silver Linings I was impressed by how respectfully it presents it. This film had me laughing out loud one minute, and on the verge of tears the next. As a film it presents you with a mixed bag of emotions, with as many ups and downs as you see the two main characters experiencing. Quirky and fun, and at times quite emotional, Silver Linings is definitely one of the most under rated films of 2012, with great performances from the two leads, with special mention for DeNiro as Pat's superstitious, football loving father.
Life of Pi
I think I almost covered all the reasons why I loved this film in my earlier review, however I may have forgotten to mention what a fantastic break-out performance this was by Suraj Sharma in the role of Pi. I guess in a way it was kind of fitting too, to have an actor debut in the role of a character so young and naive that quite literally gets flung into a situation he's never been in before, just as Pi discovers more about himself, this role most likely gave Sharma the chance to discover himself as an actor too. I'm not sure how well I managed to articulate that...but yeah, the general gist is there. I saw this again recently in 2D actually, and found it just as immersive an experience, perhaps more so as I didn't have to deal with the constant ear-chaffing of the 3D glasses, or the urge to peek out from behind them to see how much more vibrant the the picture was despite all the fuzziness...weird habit of mine.
The Hobbit: An unexpected journey
Saw it again in 2D and 24fps. Loved it again. Except more, because I didn't feel iffy about the frame rate the whole time. However, upon second viewing it was more obvious which scenes should have been cut and left for the extended edition...but mainly I didn't care, because I loved it. My most obviously biast choice. Had to be included, and here it is.