By April/May each year virtually all of the films that were released in the previous year are now available for the general public to purchase on Blu-ray/DVD, Netflix, Redbox, OnDemand or a combination of these. That is why I have waited until now to give you my reviews on all of the films I saw from 2012. Now, when you are trying to decide which movie to pick up on a rainy night you can check my little guide here to see which films you should avoid and which films you should definitely NOT pass up on. I saw 40 films that were released in 2012, so I will be breaking this guide into four parts. This first part will discuss the films that I ranked #40-#32, ie, those films that I deemed were less than three stars out of five. In other words, I’d save your time and money and avoid these films in favor of the films that will be listed in the final three sections of this Year in Movies guide.
So, without further ado, let us begin our journey through 2012, the Year in Movies!
#40. Taken 2
If ever there was a movie that should not have received a sequel, it was Taken! I understand the premise this time around of having everyone’s roles flip flopped but the execution of this movie and the actual screenplay was horrendous. It was like watching grown adults play a game of tag in a foreign country. Liam Neeson was his usual bad ass self no doubt about it, but that alone could not save this disaster of a film. My advice for fans of the original would be to stay as just that, fans of the original and avoid tainting the memory of Taken with this film which honestly should never have been made.
So, let me get this straight…you are going to make a movie based off a classic board game…and then throw in aliens?! The concept behind this movie lead to one of the most confusing promotional campaigns in movie history. I would say that 90% of the people who heard about this movie or saw a preview were left scratching their heads with no idea if the movie was actually based off of the board game or not. Granted I did think it was cool when they did try to make some tie-ins with the actual board game throughout the movie but this movie just failed on so many levels.
#38. Snow White & The Huntsman
Snow White & The Huntsman was one of the two most disappointing movies I saw in 2012. I had high hopes for this film going into the year. It succeeded on being visually stunning and a beautiful film to watch. However, it doesn’t matter how breathtaking a film is if in the end the actual story and execution are terrible. I love the idea of making modern, epic, live action versions of classic stories as they have done with Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, and a handful of others but perhaps they are spending too much time trying to make it ‘look good’ and not quite enough time developing the actual story. They did have some clever and unique ideas that they added to the classic tale but too many things were never fully developed or explained.
#37. Wrath of the Titans
I am a sucker for Greek mythology or any movie set back in the fantastical periods of the past. I also am a glutton for punishment and sometimes don’t learn from my previous mistakes. Clash of the Titans was an awful film in just about any way you sliced it. Given that, there was virtually no chance that this one could be any worse. Thankfully, it wasn’t. This film was an improvement when it came to characters, an improvement when it came to acting, and a VAST improvement when it came to the 3-D effects. Clash of Titans should have never been able to be released in 3-D and may go down in history as one of the worst movies of all-time when it comes to use of the 3-D effects. Thankfully Wrath was much better in that department. A prime example of why making something in 3-D and making something 3-D are very different things. In the end though, this movie still comes up short in many areas not mentioned above. If you are a huge lover of Greek mythology or this genre of film then it possibly is worth a watch, but all others should probably steer clear here.
#36. Project X
I went to this movie solely because there was nothing else playing at the time. I also went into this movie with absolutely no expectations. I take that back, I went into expecting it to be a disaster. Thankfully it wasn’t as much of a disaster as I thought it might be. The way the movie was filmed and the way it plays to an audience is pretty remarkable. The problem with this movie is that even with every camera trick in the book, it never once comes across as even remotely believable. I realize it is a comedy but I still need a few ounces of believability even in my comedies. Not to mention that it was painfully obvious that this was simply a group of people trying to make a ‘Hangover for teens’ film. So, it may not have been as bad as I expected it to be…but it was still bad.
#35. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
I mentioned before that I was very disappointed with Snow White & the Huntsman but there was NO movie in 2012 that I was more disappointed in than Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Steve Carell had hit home runs, no, grand slams, two straight years with Crazy, Stupid, Love and Date Night and I was fully anticipating that he would complete the hat trick in 2012. The previews for this movie were hilarious and although I missed it in the theaters I made sure to catch it immediately when it became available OnDemand. In the end I was left wondering if that wasn’t 101 minutes that could have been spent doing something more productive. There were funny moments, I don’t want it to seem like there weren’t. They were just outnumbered by the more odd and awkward moments that made this movie completely disconnected for me. Not to mention one of the weirdest choices ever when it came to the decision on how to end the movie. I could care less about happy endings and usually applaud those people who can think outside of the box but I could have easily come up with two or three ideas for how to end this movie that would have been far less off putting than what Lorene Scafaria decided on.
Let me start off by saying, I did not hate this movie nor find as many flaws in it as I did with all of the other movies in this post. This was just one of those movies that didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, it just didn’t do anything right either. For those fans that like a straight action flick and who prefer not to use the few brain cells they have left…(yes I’m talking about the same people that like the Fast & Furious movies) this movie would be an excellent fit. This is just your typical heist film which we have seen numerous times over the years with a few feeble attempts by the director to make it seem unique. If you like Wahlberg or like this genre then I would suggest checking this out. If you want to see a good movie though, I’d select something else.
#33. The Raven
I have mixed feelings on The Raven. I’m a huge Cusack fan but I’m not sure if I completely buy into him as Edgar Allan Poe. I wasn’t sure which direction exactly this movie was going in but the more I think about it the more I can’t help but label it as a poor mans’ Sherlock Holmes. It is witty and clever for sure. It captures your attention and then makes you turn away with a few scenes that were far too gory for this moviegoer. In the end though it lacked those remarkable traits that Sherlock Holmes has become known for. Decent idea and decent attempt here, in the end though it just narrowly misses the mark overall.
Brave was one of only two animated films that I saw this year. I know a lot of people are big on modern animated films and laud the work done by Pixar, Dreamworks and Disney as of late. I’m not one of those people. Outside of the Despicable Me franchise and a few other films here and there I am still waiting for the day when Animated films can once again reach the stature achieved back in the late 80s/early 90s. There was some decent voice acting here and like most modern day animated films it was pretty to look at but for as much promotion that this movie received I simply expected more. Instead, I got just another film to add to the pile of sub-par unrecognizable drivel that we have been getting over and over again for the last decade.