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Best movies of 2012
By Bert Ehrmann
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Fort Wayne Reader
I can't quite believe it myself, but this year I only went twice to a movie theater. Not that I didn't see a lot of new movies, but in 2012 I saw the vast majority of them in the comfort of my own home, on-demand, via digital download like iTunes or on Blu-ray. And, honestly, I don't feel like I was missing anything skipping the theater “experience” since new movies transition from theater to home in just a few months and at no time did I have to pay extra to see anything in 3D.
The best film of 2012 was the sorely underrated and critically maligned director Ridley Scott's return to the Alien franchise Prometheus.
In Prometheus, the crew of the ship of the same name set down on a far off planet that might contain the remnants of an alien species that had a hand in seeding life on the Earth. But, instead of finding benevolent god-creators, what the crew finds is a planet filled with unimaginable horrors that if released would threaten all life everywhere.
If the early reviews for Prometheus would have been a bit kinder, I'm sure I would have seen three movies in the theater this year rather than two. I really was excited about Prometheus, but it seemed as if the critics and audiences had a grand dislike for it to the point that all the negative buzz kept me away. Reviewers complained of multiple story plot-holes and some went as far as to call the movie pretentious.
While I did notice a few plot holes in Prometheus I didn't think they spoiled the movie. Besides, the first two Alien films of with Prometheus is a prequel to, Alien and Aliens, had their share of holes too. Like in Alien how does the title creature grow from something the size of a lobster to something man-sized in just a few hours without eating anything? And in Aliens, how does the drop-ship, well, drop out of a much larger ship in the weightless vacuum of space where there's no gravity to make it fall?
Regardless of whatever problems other reviewers had with Prometheus, I though that it was a great film, have seen it three times myself and can't wait to watch it again.
The Avengers: The Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon had a tough act to follow. What he had to do with The Avengers was create a movie with some of the world's most popular movie comic book characters, namely Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, keep the characters true to their roots from previous films, retain everyone's distinctive voices from good-hearted Steve Rogers to caustic Tony Stark while at the same time telling a unique and compelling story in a little over two hours time. Which is no easy task as big ensemble films like The Avengers can easily go astray. (See X-Men: The Last Stand, both Fantastic Four flicks, Batman and Robin…actually, DON'T see those movies.)
Somehow Whedon pulled all this off with The Avengers that is not only one of the best movies of the year, it's one of the very best comic book movies of all time.
Haywire: I'm sure I'm in the minority of critics in placing Haywire on my “best of” list. Heck, I'd guess that I'm in the minority of people who've even seen Haywire!
Sleepwalk with Me: As a person who sleepwalks himself, I can totally relate with comedian Mike Birbiglia's never ending battle with getting a good night's sleep. Here, Birbiglia's stress of trying to become a professional stand-up comedian manifests at night via weird dreams where Birbiglia finds himself taking part in the Dustbuster Olympics or running from incoming missiles. Unfortunately for Birbiglia, his condition means that while asleep he acts these dreams out at night be it climbing up bookcases to accept the silver in Dusbustering or literally leaping from windows to avoid said missiles.
Sleepwalk with Me is a nice mix of both hilarious and sad, as we see Birbiglia's career take off, his relationships crumble while his sleepwalking gets worse and worse.
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