If screenings of clips from Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6 weren’t cool enough, we still had two days worth of studio presentations (Disney, Sony, 20th Century Fox, and Lionsgate) at CinemaCon 2013. Generally the presentations went two ways: either the presenters would briefly mention a bunch of projects but not show anything from them and then show more extensive clips from a few select projects, OR they would show brief clips (or trailers) for many different projects.
2012 was a terrific year at the movies. 2010 and 2011 both felt a little underwhelming at the time. There was some good work, to be sure, but the amount of work that felt new or exciting was less and less. However, this last year felt like an embarrassment of riches at times. Good stuff was coming out every week, and a lot of it had real merit. Below is my list of top 10 films for 2012.
The MacGuffin joins forces with The Backroom for a bonus roundtable discussion on The Amazing Spider-Man, from director Marc Webb and starring Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone. Featuring special guest Brandon Jerwa (Pop Culture Zoo, BJ Shea’s Geek Nation).
As long as Sony rwants to hold on to the rights of Spider-Man, we’re probably going to continue getting a new film every few years. As successful as the previous iterations were, it was unsustainable in the long term due to the cost, though despite the failure of the third movie, I was still a fan of the series. Upon the initial news announcing the production of The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as through most of the advertising leading up to the release, I have been fairly skeptical about it. Thankfully the advertising didn’t live up to the reality.
If I had a time machine, I would go back and find 10-year-old me. I would be easy to find, probably in my bedroom reading comic books. I would tell myself that in the future, comic book movies have finally become cool. Of course, 10-year-old me wouldn’t believe me; I was always a glass-half-empty kid.
In the middle of this summer season of blockbusters at the theater, it seemed like a good midway checkpoint to see how 3D is faring. In a previous article I wrote in response to the tacit dismissal of 3D as being worthwhile (you can see that article here), I stated how the idea of watching some of the coming summer delights would be more fun with Hal Jordan’s power ring shooting beams into the audience or Thor’s hammer flying over our heads. Now that we’ve seen a goodly amount of these big popcorn flicks, I wanted to take a look at how value-added the 3D was at this point.
I didn’t get off on the best foot with Daredevil. I went to see it over the Valentine’s Day weekend of 2003. I thought two things: firstly that it would be good film, and secondly, that it would be seen as a suitable romantic gesture. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m going to use the theatrical release as the basis for this article, as it’s the version most people will have seen. There’s a lot of comment that the director’s cut is far superior, but since I’m going to focus on characterisation I think most points will be applicable to both anyway. Daredevil has a pretty big cast and suffers like a lot of other superhero comic adaptations that overpopulate the narrative so that the producers can say they stayed faithful to the source material. Because of this, I’m going to just focus on the hero Daredevil, and the main villain, The Kingpin, because really in these types of films they’re the only characters that are completely integral—especially the villain. Take Die Hard. Imagine if Hans Gruber didn’t attempt to take over Nakatomi towers, and think how shit that film would be, as just John McClane making awkward small talk with his wife’s co-workers for an hour and a half. In these kind of films, the villain rules the roost; it’s their actions that bring the narrative and the film to life. But before I move onto The Kingpin, I’m going to give a brief overview of the comic in general.
Let’s break this down, shall we?
On the big screen
What have I been watching in theaters lately? (I mean, besides Bridesmaids, of course.) Because I couldn’t seem to get it together to see it in a timely fashion, I haven’t yet talked about Source Code here on the site, but I did see that movie, and liked it very much—and not just because of my well-documented girl crush on Michelle Monaghan (I was once within three feet of her and kept my composure!) or my more-traditional-for-a-straight-woman crush on Jake Gyllenhaal. Let me say: if the conceit is fun enough, the actors have enough chemistry, and the execution works, I am never going to be the person who gets stuck on logic details of a sci-fi film. For example, if you start talking to me about time travel paradoxes or some such in relation to, say, Back to the Future, I will zone out. As long as the momentum works, I just do not care. And it really does work here. So eight minutes of one dude’s memory should not a whole detailed world make? So the way information travels from one track of the story to another probably doesn’t make much sense if you think about it? So what? Tension! Banter! Explosions! Pretty people! Enjoy the ride.