Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Year in Movies: Action & Thriller

As the year 2012 started I was excited for many movies coming out, but also very apprehensive, as I was extremely disappointed in many of the movies of 2011.  I would become excited for a movie coming out and then it would in no way be up anywhere near my expectations/ This year I was ready for a change in tide with the quality and enjoyment of the movies released and I got more then I was expecting.  I loved the year 2012 when it came to movies and I sincerely hope that 2013 keeps it up.
When I think about the overall movie year of 2012, I think of it as a year of action, adventure, and thriller movies.  There were several huge action blockbusters that were released as well as many lower key but still very good adventure stories.  When it came to the new releases I chose to see this year the majority of them where action and adventure.  When I did the math I watched forty six new released this year and of them I classified twenty nine as action, adventure, or thriller.  I say that I classified them as action, adventure, or thriller because many of them could be dual classified as comedy or drama but that they had a component of action, adventure, quest, chase, thriller, or suspense and I consider these plot characteristic to be most significant in the overall movie classification.  There were also some of the family movies that could be classified in this category but I felt that they were more family affair then the movies I placed in this category.

The Big Blockbusters (Expected Blockbusters):

The Amazing Spiderman- I really enjoyed this spiderman reboot and this is coming for someone who is not a huge spiderman fan.  It is worth seeing for anyone who likes superhero movies. I am looking forward to the next installment.

The Avengers- The big movie of the year. The bringing together of Marvels Avengers who have all been introduced in previous movies leading up to their ultimate team up.  I really enjoyed this movie, and though it may not have been the best movie of the year, it definitely lived up to my expectations and I enjoyed every minute of it.  If you have not seen this movie, go see it.

Battleship- A navy battleship has to save the day when the aliens attack. This is another movie that got bad press this year but that I though was good enough. No it was not the best ever and had a minimal plot, but it had action and excitement that kept my interest throughout.

The Dark Night Rises- The third installment of the Dark Night trilogy and I it meet expectations.  I was not sure if I would like this movie, as I really wasn't a big fan of the second.  This one met all of my action movie wants and was well acted to boot.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey- The first installment of The Hobbit which is a prequel to The Lord Of The Rings.  I liked it enough to go back and watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which I have only watched the first movie when it was originally released in theatres. I am actually looking forward to seeing the next two.

John Carter- This movie was expected to be the first big action blockbuster of the year but is overall considered to be a bad movie.  I was not as harsh on it as others and I quite enjoyed it. It was no where near as fantastic as some of the other big budget movies of the year, but I think that it was an enjoyable few hours and kept my attention throughout.  I would completely dismiss this one, and if you like movies that are action, adventure fluff, you will enjoy this movie.

Men in Black 3- I am putting this hear because I had been waiting for this movie to come out since I heard it was being filmed.  I didn't know what to expect but I really enjoyed the whole movie.  Men in Black 3 takes the standard sci-fi third installment plot idea, which has the main character going into the past to save the day.  Will Smith continues to be a wonderful Agent J and Josh Brolin is wonderful as a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones' Agent K.

Skyfall- Daniel Craig is back as 007 but is damaged.  I liked how this movie had call backs to past James Bond movies and continued to show the humanity of the Bond Character.  James Bond is definitely a modern day hero with Daniel Craig at the helm.

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2- The conclusion of The Twilight Sage.  I liked how the series was concluded even though it broke from the book.  It added action and a fight sequence to the movie. It did so in a way that had me going "they cant be doing this" at the time but thinking "that was amazing" afterward.  There were all the standard complaints that go along with the Twilight Series but it is what it is and is made for those who enjoy it.

The Sleepers and Unexpectedly Enjoyable:

Argo- I didn't know what to expect with this movie, but was hoping that it would be good, I was blown away.  This is possibly my favorite movie of the year. I was on my seat throughout the whole thing, although I knew that everything was going to work out, I kept thinking, is it really?.

The Bourne Legacy- I liked this movie and hope that the series is continued with Jeremy Renner. He was the break out action star of the year and I like him in this role. Legacy starts with those agents who are effected by the actions of the last Bourne movie and goes off with it.  This movie felt very much as a set up and I hope that I get to see the continuation.

The Hunger Games- This movie was a surprise hit but easily fits into the role of young girl obsessed series.  I was drawn into this movie and really enjoyed it, but am not really excited for the second and third installments as the first book is by far the best. This one is definitely worth a watch, even if it is just for the importance within society.

Jack Reacher- I like Tom Cruise as the action star and he was able to keep me entertained throughout this movie.  I have not read these books so I did not have a picture in my head of who Jack Reacher is, but I think that overall this movie was an enjoyable action movie.

Looper- I love sci-fi and action movies and this was those two components put together, with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gorden Levitt thrown in for extra enjoyment.  This was very much on the sci-fi end, and at times didn't really make physic sense but who cares in a great sci-fi thriller.

Premium Rush- This was one of my favorite movies this year and when it is really looked at, it is complete fluff.  It has Joseph Gorden Levitt as a characteristic lead, and keeps you movie through the entire movie.  It jumps around, gives you snippets of information, and breaks into chases.  I loved it for a few hours of movie fun.

Disappointments and Duds:

Alex Cross- Tyler Perry continues to think he is a better actor then he is and tries to fill the shoes of legitimate franchise holder.  He fails miserably.

Lockout- Guy reluctantly tasks with saving girl, who get into a mess when she is in the wrong place at the wrong time.  She is resistant and defiant but they end up realizing then need each other, yada, yada, yada.

Red Dawn- A remake that was complete crap.  It had all of the things that I tend to like but I kept thinking "why did they even make this movie." Josh Hutcherson and Chris Hemsworth couldn't even help it.

Resident Evil: Retribution- This was one of my major disappointments of the year.  I kept thinking that it was basically the first movie, with the kid thrown in (this was used is more then one sequel this year).  She was stuck in an underground complete with the infected on attack.

Snow White and the Huntsman- With two snow white movies coming out this year, I was uncertain which one I would like better, this was not the one. It drags and there are moments where I go really, you are using that symbolism.  I could have done without this movie, although it was better then some others I have seen.

Wrath of the Titans- Nothing special, ancient demi god fighting Titans to save the world and the gods. Lot of fighting and special effects.

The Rest of the Lot:

Expendables 2- Follows with the basic idea of the first movie.  Take some getting older action stars, put them in a movie, have them fight and watch the awesomeness of old action cliche.  I loved the Chuck Norris appearance.

Haywire- This movie was neither hear or there. It was nice to see a female lead take of the role as a bad ass action hero, but she did not have the charisma or movie presence to create a new franchise.

Safe- Jason Stathum is the hero who becomes the protector of a young girl caught up in a conspiracy.  Standard Stathum stuff which I always enjoy.

Safe House- Ryan Reynolds is unexpectedly thrown into the role of having to decided is the bad guy really bad and are the good guys really good scenario.  Nothing too surprising but it has Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington as the main actors. 

Savages- Action, drugs, sex, and kidnapping.  This movie follows a expected storyline but the characters worked well with each other and there was action, drugs, sex, and kidnapping.

Taken 2- Nothing special but exactly what was advertise.  Liam Neelsen kicking ass as he thrawrts kidnappers.

Total Recall- A remake which got rid of the sci-fi craziness of the originals and made it more regular people in a post destruction world.  It was enjoyable but sci-fi fluff in it essence.

Underworld: Awakening- This movie was exactly as I expected it to be, with Kate Beckinsale looking amazing in black leather shooting up werewolves after her and her daughter.  It was enjoyable and I like this franchise.  I missed seeing Michale, as I feel that a key component of the series is the relationship between Selene and Michale.

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