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My movie review for 2012

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

RA’s Top 10 movies of 2012


My favourite movie of 2012

1) The Cabin in the Woods. It’s no doubt that this is the best movie of the year for me on many levels. I’ve never seen the trailer prior either and that perhaps made that extra edge to my high level of satisfaction. I won’t spare much details here because I could easily reveal some spoilers. I don’t even know if this is considered a horror flick either. If you watch the first half of the movie, you would have thought it is so but wow!! the final third of the movie was something that caught me off guard and to edge of my seat. I would categorized this as a mystery more than a horror perhaps. It has been a while since I’ve seen a movie that will take me by surprise and I’m always a sucker for this.

The castings were great too with Chris Hemsworth as one of the lead actors. Another reason why I love this movie was the presence and influence of Joss Whedon, who co-produced and co-wrote the movie and I’m pretty sure you know he was also behind Marvel’s The Avengers. The plot was awesome and I’m proud owner of the Blu-Ray edition which I have watched it a couple of times to date. I highly recommend you to catch this movie and most of my friends also appreciate its uniqueness of the movie as we watched it over the New Year’s Eve. For me, this deconstruction of a horror movie is no doubt my number 1 movie of the year. Rotten Tomatoes score 91%

2) The Raid: Redemption. I heard many rave reviews of this movie and I was happy that it was shown in Singapore during my short visit. For your info, this is an Indonesian movie directed by Gareth Evans, another young director. I have to say this was the best action movie I caught in 2012 and you will some silat action too which was choreographed to its best. If you watch Dredd, the plot is pretty similar. It basically about a SWAT team trying to capture the leader of the drug dealers in a worn down apartment and they were all trapped as the building went on lockdown. Yea, the plot may not be as witty but stunts and the camera shots really made up for it. I was surprised that when Brunei released it in the cinemas, the voices were dubbed instead of having subtitles. A great popcorn movie nonetheless. Rotten Tomatoes score 84%

3) A Werewolf Boy. This is perhaps the movie which is similar to You’re the Apple of My Eye. This was another movie that caught me by surprise and it was showing then in Singapore. I’m a huge fan of Korean movies though I was disappointed with Korean’s biggest box office The Thieves. A Werewolf Boy is about a relationship between a wolf boy and a lady and the struggle the wolf boy had to go through to be part of a normal civilisation. This put Twilight series to shame because the chemistry between the two was very warm and I could feel the romance too. A tear jerky movie and I was hoping this would make to our local cinemas. It’s very unlikely though. Rotten Tomatoes score unknown.

4) Pitch Perfect. Believe it or not, I ended up catching this movie twice on the big screen. I’m not really into chick flicks but this is an exception and plus I love music too. It has humour, some high level of lameness and the flow was just nice. I’m now waiting for my Blu-ray order and do expect some high replay value once I get hold of this. I believe tons of my female friends gave rave reviews too. I’m not surprised it also has a good score on Rotten Tomatoes 80%

5) Marvel’s The Avengers. Joss Whedon is a genius. How did he pull off with seven characters (including Loki) to play around within 2 and a half hours? I mean, the chemistry and the character were almost spot on and I really had a blast watching this super hero flick. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning because I was afraid there will be less focus on their characters’ development. Boy, I was wrong.. You get to see the human side of these super heroes and the set pieces were just awesome especially the finale. I apparently loved the Hulk here than the other two movies he was in. I also have this in my Blu-ray collection. Great entertainment value. Rotten Tomatoes score 92%.

Ted is crude and hilarious

6) Ted. The best comedy for me this year. Come to think of it, there weren’t many great comedy movies in 2012. Nothing that comes into my mind. Ok, I remember doing this review a few months back and wooowwww!! I had a ball, laughing my butt off. Yes, a comedy high in profanity and a few sexual preferences which made it difficult to be released in Brunei so I managed to watch this in Singapore. Awesome flick and it’s good to see Mark Wahlberg back on the screen. I’m predicting a sequel for this too. A funny “bromance” flick of the year. Rotten Tomatoes 69%

7) Argo. Isn’t Ben Affleck such a talented individual? He directed and acted in The Town and this time he did the same for Argo which to my surprise is based on real events. This was another great movie from Ben and this is one of the movies that made it close to the edge of my seat. It was a story about six American from the U.S. Embassy in Iran escaping from the Iranian protesters and they harboured themselves secretly in the Canadian Embassy back in 1979. Though it’s a tense movie, it still manages to bring some laugh through its dark humour. Another movie that I caught in Singapore. Woww.. Now I realised a few of my top 10 movies can’t be seen in Brunei. Rotten Tomatoes 96%

8) Wreck-it Ralph. Surprise, surprise.. Only one animation made it to my top 10 list and this deserved to be up there. I admire its creativity and the characters were well thought of too. It’s difficult now to have an animation that can please both kids and adults but Wreck-it Ralph is an exception. It has been tough for Disney to bring back their mojo especially in animation. It will take a couple of “Wreck-it Ralph” type of entertainment value to boost up the credentials of Disney in this generation. I almost watched this for the 2nd time. Rotten Tomatoes 88%

9) Skyfall. This is the biggest James Bond movie in terms of revenue as it passed the $1 billion mark to make it the 1st James Bond to do so worldwide. Amazing!!! The difference among JB’s past movies is the introduction of Sam Mendes the director for Skyfall. His style was so different and yet he managed to maintain the charismatic presence of James Bond played by Daniel Craig. People were complaining there weren’t much gadgets being showcased. But honestly, do you think that mattered when you have an awesome story and script with an intimidating villain played by Javier Bardem? I was so drawn that I cared less about the gadgets. Skyfall is sleek, dark and well executed. I couldn’t ask for more. Rotten Tomatoes 92%

10) The Hunger Games. I kept warning my friends.. Please do not tell what you have read on Hunger Games *lol* I never enjoy spoilers for movies I have yet to watch. This was one of the earlier movies that I enjoyed and my love for Jennifer Lawrence grew. I love it from the start to finish and now I can’t wait for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which will be out in November. I actually watched Battle Royale (Japanse) but I still prefer THG. The thrill is intense and yes, there are some disturbing scenes and it’s not something little children would like to see because of the violence. It was great pacing as well by Gary Ross the director. So Jennifer, bring it on for the next one.. Rotten Tomatoes 85%

Honourable mentions. 21 Jump Street. Magic Mike. The Amazing Spider-Man. The Grey. Paranorman. Jack Reacher. Chronicle (2012). Moonrise Kingdom. Looper. Les Miserables. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. The Dark Knight Rises. Katy Perry: Part of Me. Dredd. Titanic 3D. Safe House.

Oh my, the French lady in CZ 2012 was totally annoying

Disappointments. Wow!!! I have to say there are tons of movies that I want to list here and even spend some time talking about it. Perhaps the worst movie of the year of 2012 is a close call between CZ 2012 and Silent Hill: Revelation. Both movies were simply plain messy to start of with and I had this restless feeling that I had to endure and I’m not the type that would leave the cinema regardless how bad the show is. CZ 2012 had one of the worst CGIs and what’s with the “Pirates” scene at the island? Furthermore, the French lady was simply unbearable. The jokes were flat and I was laughing at how they made a fool of themselves. Don’t mind me as I used to enjoy Jackie Chan’s movies especially the early days. Now it’s gone downhill and let’s hope this is his last movie though he is still part of the casting for The Expendables 3. I was still surprise that some of my peers kinda like CZ 2012 though my friends who watched with me shared the same sentiment. 

I would have listed The Dark Knight Rises here as well because of the obvious flaws it have and I have high expectations on Christopher Nolan. I just felt the final trilogy was slightly underwhelming and it could have been better. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was another disappointment and I found the feeling that I had with The Lord of the Rings series a little mismatch with The Hobbit. It even scored a distant 65% on RT (no surprises there) and I hope Peter Jackson do take this seriously for the next instalment of The Hobbit. 

Other list are such as John Carter, Battleship, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Paranormal Activity 4 and Wrath of the Titans…. and ooh, The Bourne Legacy too. As for animation wise, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and Ice Age: Continental Drift were movies I had some level of expectations and they failed miserably though they performed well in the box office. They should just buried the Ice Age already. I love the first two but the last two have turned into mediocre levels (of Shrek series).

Man of Steel directed by Zach Synder and produced by Christopher Nolan 😀

Movies that I can’t wait to watch.

1) Pacific Rim. Watch trailer here. Looks freaking awesome!!
2) Man of Steel. June release.
3) Django Unchained. Most likely released mid March.
4) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. November release.
5) Iron Man 3. April release.
6) Star Trek Into Darkness.
7) Monsters University. Sequel to Monsters Inc. June release.
8) Despicable Me 2. July release.
9) Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp. July release.
10) Fast & Furious 6. May release.


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