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The Films Of 2012 – Why I Saw So Few But Loved The Few I Saw

By Z.S. Roe

Once upon a time I saw a ton of movies:  all the big blockbusters, all the big Oscar contenders, and all the geek movies that film nerds go crazy for.  Hell, at one point I was even reviewing movies on a weekly basis for a university newspaper.

But those days are long gone.  Simply put, I just can’t afford to go to the movies all that often.  I know, I know – first world problems and all that.

In any event, I do still love movies, and wish I’d been able to see more this year.  The folks over at JoBlo.com have compiled a pretty fantastic year-in-review mash up for 2012 that just tickles me pink and makes me long to see all the great movies that I wasn’t able to catch in theatres.  Do yourself a favour and check it out:

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see a great many of these films, such as The Master, Lincoln, and Life of Pi.  A few others haven’t yet been released, like Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty – but I’m hoping to see them if I can.  Of the movies I have seen this year, my three favourites are:

The Grey:  the promos for The Grey did the film a serious disservice.  No, this is not a movie about Liam Neeson fighting wolves, but you wouldn’t know it by watching the trailer.  What this movie is really about is our struggle to accept and come to terms with death.  That the film centres on a poem is pretty damn cool, too.  And with a rather haunting performance from Neeson and an ending that goes for something more thematically resonant than the typical Hollywood film, there’s a lot to like here.  (View the trailer )

Looper:  A time travel movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing young Bruce Willis?  You’re damn right.  It also doesn’t hurt that writer and director Rian Johnson (Brick) brings some real freshness and style to the genre.  I thought I’d like the movie; I ended up loving it.  (View the trailer)

Seven Psychopaths:  This dark, British comedy from the director of In Bruges is a strange fish, but a delightful one.  From the trailers alone, it appears to be a movie about two dognappers (played by Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken) who’ve stolen a big crime boss’ beloved shih tzu.  But Seven Psychopaths is actually about a screenwriter struggling to finish his screenplay for a movie called … well, Seven Psychopaths.  The people involved in the dognapping story become inspiration for that screenplay.  It’s very meta and had some truly weird moments … and then there was that moment about the Buddhist monk that damn near blew my mind.  All in all, it’s a hell of a good movie.  (View the trailer)

I’m sure you noticed that none of the above films were excessively popular, although Looper did fare well at the box office.  Truth is, I tend to like the smaller films.  As for this year’s bigger movies, most of them felt a little uninspired, especially The Dark Knight Rises.  And I’ve noticed that the best films seem to receive increasingly smaller releases, and this is too bad.  But what can you do when the studios are afraid of taking risks with original content?

Now let’s turn it over to you:  what were your favourite movies of 2012?

Opinion is a weekly(ish) column of just that, my opinion. While opinions are like noses and everyone has one, mine are especially snotty. Please leave a comment or question—all opinions are welcome, and all contributions are greatly appreciated. If you like what you read here, please subscribe.


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