Welcome to the second annual Bitch Awards, celebrating the best and worst films and TV shows of the year. Stick around for the next two weeks as we raise a glass to our favourite works from 2012 (and duck as we unceremoniously throw the remote at our least favourites).
Click through for our #5 pick for best and worst films…
Let’s begin by explaining the selection process for our film picks.
- We readily admit that we have not seen all the films that were released in 2012. Our lists are comprised of films that we did see, but we will make mention of those that, for one reason or another, we were unable to see. (You’ll see that list when we get to #1 on Friday!)
- Some of the films on our list may have been released in limited release in 2011, but went into wide release in 2012.
- We do dissect the films, so if we’re going to blow the ending or a crucial scene, we will put up a SPOILER warning. Considered yourself warned if you haven’t seen a film or TV show on the list.
Bear in mind that our purpose here is not to be definitive; we simply want to encourage you to seek out some new films (and avoid others at all costs). And so, without further ado, we give you our top 5 best and worst films of the year!
Today kicks off a week focusing on the peaks and the valleys of the film spectrum. Read on for our #5 picks.
TVAngie: The Dark Knight Rises (Nolan, 2012)
In putting this film on my worst list (yes, worst) I fully acknowledge that I will shortly have an army of fanboys at my doorstep with pitchforks in hand. But sorry folks, I did not like this film. The direction, I grant you, is excellent: Nolan’s talent is undeniable, but unfortunately I couldn’t shake off the laundry list of plot holes throughout the film that threw me into a tizzy of confusion, annoyance and, at times, anger (Note to Bruce Wayne: There are other women out there!) There’s a plethora of viral videos floating around that hilariously identify those plot holes, so rather than spoil the film for the two people out there who haven’t yet watched it, I’ll leave it to the experts.
When it came time to create my ‘Worst Of’ list, I simply couldn’t overlook the idiocy of many of the characters, nor buy into the magically convenient things that seemed to happen (did you know you could heal a broken back in three short months without any medical assistance?) I also don’t think there is a single character I care about which is never good news for any film. Furthermore, the dialogue is just laughable at times. Just count the number of times Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is scolded for being a “hot head” – it’s a drinking game in the making. Additionally, the almost three hour run time does little to help make this an enjoyable theatrical experience. I’m a fan of Nolan, I’m a fan of comic book movies, but I am not a fan of this one.
cinephilactic: Magic Mike (Soderbergh, 2012)
This sprawling epic presents six simultaneous stories, spanning centuries (ranging from the mid 1800s and into the far, far distant future). It’s difficult to give a plot summary, but the themes of heroism and interconnectivity are evident throughout. The ultimate “message” of the film isn’t particularly profound, but I appreciate how the film is unafraid to throw many, many balls in the air. It’s extremely impressive that in the end, the film works as a harmonious whole.
The film features an all-star cast who portray characters of differing ages, genders and races throughout the stories. At times the makeup and prosthetics used to achieve this are breathtaking, but unfortunately at other times, it’s distracting, simply feeling like an exercise showcasing the artistry at the expense of the narrative. Even so, it does have a purpose. The choice to jump from story to story can be confusing to follow but ultimately, the common actors (even with the makeup) help not only to unify the disparate stories, but also to orient the viewers. It also helps that the acting is absolutely stellar. Often times I was amazed at how easily the actors were able to inhabit such diverse and differing roles (Hugh Grant in particular is excellent in each of the roles he portrays).
Additionally, Cloud Atlas features two very unique directorial styles in Tykwer and the Wachowskis. Stylistically, the directors manage to maintain their distinct signatures, yet the film still works as a cohesive whole. Achieving this while juggling six concurrent stories seems like a herculean task, but surprisingly, it works.
The Neo-Tokyo storyline is particularly strong, almost worthy of its own film. I was so compelled by it that it’s the primary reason this film makes my best list. Cloud Atlas is far from a perfect film, but it makes my list because it is interesting. And in a year where many of the films I saw were simply mediocre, finding a film that’s interesting is no small feat. This one will definitely have you talking and – more importantly – thinking, long after you’ve seen it.
cinephilactic: Cabin In The Woods (Godard, 2012)
One of my most anticipated films of 2012 was a film that was filmed long ago and then sat on the shelf. When it was released, Cabin In The Woods proved to be both everything that I was hoping for…as well as everything that I had never anticipated. I knew going into the film that it was written by Drew Godard and Joss Whedon (both are writers whose work I follow) and that its purpose was to deconstruct slasher film tropes. As I discussed in my original review earlier this year, it’s a lot more than that: it’s both a conventional horror film (albeit not a particularly scary one) as well as a reflexive gory laugh-fest meant to explain why those ridiculous horror film conventions exist at all. The third act reveal that SPOILERS horror films are actually sacrifices made to appease angry gods END SPOILERS is either ridiculous or a complete mind-f*ck that makes the film even more memorable. It’s easily one of the two most polarizing films I saw this year (the other is Prometheus), but unlike the Ridley Scott genre flick, this one has stewed and simmered in my head for the duration of the year. Featuring a breakout by Dollhouse‘s Fran Kanz (finally!) and featuring some hilariously over the top violence in its epic third act, the film is a treasure trove of easter eggs for film lovers and destined to become a cult film nearly from its inception. The sheer audacity of what Godard and Whedon attempt is what earns it a spot on my Bitch list.
What did you think of our fifth place picks? Any one care to agree/disagree or fire up Netflix? Hit up the comments and let us know and be sure to visit us tomorrow to see which films made number 4 on our lists.