Wednesday, 2 January 2013

End of the Movie

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is the year 2012.

The Jubilee, the Olympics, that cold the Queen had... 2012 is the year that turned the UK into a bunch of sycophantic idiots, and I'm glad it's over. In fact, if the Queen getting a cold is such a big deal, is giving her part of Antarctica really the best idea? They should just try to use the state poverty fund to heat Buckingham palace. Again. Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Westminster used his Christmas message to attack gay marriage. Ho ho homophobic fucking cunt.

That's why I spent the year in the relative sanity of the cinema. In 2012, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and those other ones finally all assembled (Oh I understand that stupid name now), Peter Jackson showed us the true magic of cinema by tricking people into thinking they'd seen a proper film, and Tom Hardy did a voice. But here are my best and worst films of 2012:


5. ParaNorman

There were a few horror-themed family films this year; Hotel Transylvania was decent enough considering it starred Adam Sandler, and I didn't see Frankenweenie because I've not forgiven Tim Burton for this:

That's the scariest thing Tim Burton will ever do. But if you're after a stop-motion, family-friendly horror film made by people who aren't friends with David Cameron, look no further than the wonderful ParaNorman, which I reviewed here. It's lovingly crafted and tells us that horror films don't have to be nasty and cruel, but are actually rooted in compassion. Take note, Citadel (in cinemas 2013).

4. Headhunters

Adapted from a Jo Nesbø novel, this Norwegian thriller is smartly plotted and nicely designed, much like this year's other fantastic Jo Nesbø adaptation Jackpot. But don't just take my word for it; Mark Wahlberg described Headhunters as "awesome". Hence why he's remaking it. Because in Hollywood, when you see something you like, you change it. 

3. The Cabin in the Woods

Making a good double-bill with ParaNorman, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard provide a clever deconstruction of the modern horror movie that's as joyously fun as it is seriously scathing. The Cabin in the Woods, like the other great postmodern horror film Scream, has its cake and eats it too, playfully toying with all the tropes that it's targeting. Call me crazy, but I reckon that Joss Whedon is going places...

2. The Raid

Hollywood action films were predictably disappointing this year (2012 will forever be remembered as the year that The Expendables 2 and The Grey were both infinitely better than the new Bourne movie), so let's look instead to Indonesia. The Raid features the most bone-crackingly stunning martial arts choreography I've ever seen, and lots of it. It was also the first of a slew of movies this year to be set in tower blocks; the 3D Dredd suffered in comparison while the aptly titled Tower Block was a very neat British thriller. 

1. Sightseers

My favourite film of 2012 was the magnificent Sightseers, thanks to its impressive direction by Ben Wheatley and hilarious writing and performances from Alice Lowe and Steve Oram. Darkly funny, often brutal and weirdly sweet, Sightseers is Guts in May. Plus there's a great dog death, which helps.


5. Piranha 3DD

Loud, boring, sexist... but enough about Boris Johnson. Piranha 3DD is a film whose fucking awful title may actually be its strongest aspect, though as Alex points out, they should have just called it Fish 'N' Tits. It's stupid, it hates its audience and it even steals from other horror films. ParaNorman and The Cabin in the Woods reference other horror films. Piranha 3DD steals from them. 

4. For a Good Time, Call...

If any film could benefit from having all its characters killed off one by one by mutant piranhas, it's this.

3. Sinister

Ok so Sinister doesn't actually deserve to be on this list. I'm just including it because it actually features the immortal line: "Wait, we didn't move into a house two doors down from a murder scene again, did we?"

2. Chernobyl Diaries

Every horror movie cliché that The Cabin in the Woods so skilfully sent up can be found, without a trace of irony, in Chernobyl Diaries. Oren Peli, of Paranormal Activity fame, is credited with the "story", which explains everything.

1. Project X

My worst film of 2012 is also probably the worst film I've ever seen. Project X is a hateful mess of found footage and bullying. It hates gay people, women, animals, you, your mum, everyone. Its message is that it doesn't matter how much of a cunt you are, as long as you're popular. Thank fuck for ParaNorman. 

So that was 2012, what do we have to look forward to in 2013? Well I saw Quartet earlier, and based on that 2013 will be the worst year for films ever. It seems that Dustin Hoffman can act brilliantly but can't direct for shit; he's the anti-Ben Affleck. 

Then there's Tom Hooper's screen version of Les Misérables, though I'm personally holding out for Tobe Hooper's version. Speaking of which, 2013 will give us a load more horror remakes such as Carrie, and infinite unwelcome sequels like The Hangover III. Oh well, at least Arnie's coming back, to resurrect the world of cinema that he played such a large part in destroying.

Thanks for reading, I'll leave you with the Cake song that this blog is named after. Enjoy!