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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Best of 2012...So Far

I have now seen about two dozen 2012 film releases.  There are quite a few ones that are very good, not great, but few that are "must-sees".  I hope that this year picks up with the release of The Dark Knight Rises and other late summer, early fall films.  I will first start with a few recommended films, not must-sees, but ones to definitely view.

The Raid: Redemption
The Cabin in the Woods

The following are the few must-sees, all of which are either out in theaters or will be released within the next few weeks.

 20th Century Fox
3. Prometheus (Dir. Ridley Scott) - Ridley Scott is back in action with this epic sci-fi film about a group of people who travel to the edge of the universe to find humanity's origins.  What they find there...well, I won't spoil it.  The acting is top-notch (unusual for a sci-fi film), the effects are very realistic, and the story is gripping.  This is a great piece of sci-fi that will be sure to entertain both intellectuals and non-intellectuals alike. (my review)

Focus Features
(Tie)  1. Moonrise Kingdom (Dir. Wes Anderson) - Moonrise Kingdom is a beautiful film that is about two pre-teens who are madly in love and escape their small island town in 1965 and cause everyone to chase after them.  The story is not as simple as it sounds as it is a meditation on the joy and heartbreak of childhood and has some allusions to Peter Pan thrown in too.  Moonrise Kingdom has a very "Wes Anderson" artificial and dreamlike look to it that makes it seem all the more enchanting.  (my review)

Fox Searchlight 
(Tie) 1. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dir. Benh Zeitlin) - Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Camera d'Or (Best First Feature) Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, this film is as unique and haunting as they come.  The film follows a young girl, Hushpuppy, who tries to survive when her southern Louisiana community, The Bathtub, is threatened by a hurricane and prehistoric beasts.  The acting, particularly by then-six-year-old Quvenzhan√© Wallis, is heartfelt and powerful.  The score is stirring and the cinematography is rich.  In terms of filmmaking, this movie is as good as they get.  I have not found a more emotionally satisfying and beautiful film this year. (my review)

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