This Year in Movies – Five Things We Learned

Dark Knight Movie

  • This was a hell of a year to be a movie fan.

There are good movies that come out every year, and perhaps this statement is redundant, but living in the present, I truly believe that this past year in film was fantastic.  The entire Oscar lineup was unreal, which is enough to be pleased about already.  Even when you exclude all nine nominees, there were still some big hits that really made a dent on me.  Any year that manages to land two blockbusters like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises is already a lucky year.  Those movies were supposed to be hits, and they were.  Then there were the surprises, some unique and creative efforts, like the highly undervalued movie, Looper.  (How about the make-up job on Joseph Gordon Levitt?).  Movies like Lawless gave us high entertainment value mixed with acting quality.  We also saw the best Bond movie in many, many years with Skyfall.  On top of all this we saw some amazing acting performances from seasoned veterans like Daniel Day Lewis, and the emergence of young stars like Jennifer Lawrence.

Be thankful movie fans.  If I’m honest, 2013 will find it difficult to one-up 2012

  • Certain movies only come around once in a lifetime – enjoy them while you can.

This was the year that Christopher Nolan finally gave us the much anticipated conclusion to his Dark Knight trilogy.  With the success of The Dark Knight, there were such high hopes for Batman’s final movie and matching these hopes was a near impossible task.  Nolan just so happened to be up to the job, and what he created was arguably better than its predecessor and quite possibly the perfect end to a perfect trilogy.  With a MONSTER cast, including Tom Hardy’s fantastic turn as Bane, breathtaking special effects and a plot that twisted and turned like all good Nolan films do, the film was truly special.  The problem is, when it’s over and you let it sink in for a while, you realize – you can never get that experience back.  Sure you can re-watch the trilogy, and probably love it almost just as much the second and third times through.  Almost.  The true measure of an great movie, is that once you’ve seen it you wish you never had, so that you could sit down and enjoy that thrill again.

  • Jennifer Lawrence.   Wow.

I don’t really have much content here.  Jennifer Lawrence.  I already knew she was a fantastic young actress when I saw Winter’s Bone, but when she began appearing in films like X-Men First Class and The Hunger Games I was a little skeptical that she had that mass appeal.  Part of me hoped I was right.  Well, then I saw Silver Linings Playbook.  I left that movie theater a changed man.  The girl can act, that’s for sure.  But like I said, I knew that already.  The best way I can sum it up is, when you watch a film like that, and you see Bradley Cooper dancing around with Jennifer in her studio, it makes you ask yourself, “Why didn’t I go into acting?”

Jennifer Lawrence

  • My Jessica Chastain suspicions are confirmed.

Last year when I watched Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” I immediately fell in love with Jessica Chastain.  Then I was able to watch “Take Shelter” one of my favorite films in the past decade.  She was even better there.  She is one of those actresses that has the unique ability to seem like a “real person” on screen at all times.  Despite being unbelievably beautiful and a flawless actress, she has the ability to transfer her own reality into her characters, to the point that they are completely believable.  She did vulnerable, quiet strength in Take Shelter and Tree of Life.  She showed us her funnier side in The Help.  In The Debt she gave us fear, tension and suspense.  This year she took it to another level.  She was fierce and driven in her Oscar nominated role in Zero Dark Thirty and she even showed us that she could be sexy, beside Tom Hardy in Lawless.  I can’t wait to see what she does in 2013.

  •   People just won’t get tired of Tarantino.

Django Unchained.  A fantastic film.  It was thrilling, hilarious, disturbing, sad, eye opening and surprising all at the same time.  The dialogue was sharp, as always.  The humor was outlandish, borderline ridiculous and often out of nowhere, but somehow the film doesn’t lose its credibility as a REAL movie despite this.  Tarantino has a knack for that.  When you really stop and think about it though, he basically just took Inglorious Basterds, moved it to a different era and plugged it in.  It’s like the man has a template that you can insert any ingredients or components into, and it just spits out a great film.  He uses the same formula over and over, and we always love it.  At least I do.  Apparently the Academy does too.  Want to know who else loves it.  Christoph Waltz.  That guy REALLY loves it.

Django Unchained Movie


Thoughts on the next 12 months to follow….

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