Best Movies of 2012: Part 2
Writer: Cinema Online
So you've seen Part 1 of the Best Movies of 2012 and you may or may not agree with it, but hang in there as not all hope is lost. To bring all the best of 2012 under one roof, we have another 10 movies that truly made the cinematic world have its most bountiful year yet! Check them out!
Life Of Pi
Breathtaking cinematic effects dominates the movie touted as 'unfilmable' by those who are familiar with the book. But Ang Lee has achieved the impossible, bringing Piscine Molitor Patel's (Suraj Sharma), otherwise known as Pi (pronounced 'Pie'), 227 days of drifting at sea to life. Centering on his relationship with Richard Parker, the tiger, Pi and his unlikely 'friend' strive to survive on the sea and from each other. Visually spectacular as well as intellectually stimulating, the movie leaves audiences contemplating the truth behind Pi's adventure. It is of national pride to note as well that part of the effects had been done by the Kuala Lumpur division of Rhythm and Hues Studio (R&H). The after just two weeks of playing in Malaysia, "Life Of Pi" had grossed over RM6 million and had managed to take the top spot from "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" at the local box office charts.
A story made with love and exudes such powerful, positive emotions, "Barfi!" has proven to be a huge success by being one of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all time in India. Starring India's very own version of Ryan Gosling; Ranbir Kapoor along with Priyanka Chopra, it's no surprise that the film has been selected as India's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film nomination for the upcoming Oscars in February 2013.
Time traveling: a concept that's overly discussed among scientists and common people alike, but never outdated. Combining a line of good casts, good actions and simply a good, refreshing plot, "Looper" has it all to make a good memorable thriller. Touted as a cheaper budgeted version of "Inception", it also marks some of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's best performance throughout his acting career, as the lad adopted Bruce Willis' mannerisms without that trying-too-hard mimicry.
The Dark Knight Rises
Ah, one of the most anticipated films of the year, the most awaited closure of the Batman trilogy! Who in their right mind would refuse one of the most sensational superheroes in history, especially when the piece is artfully done by Christopher Nolan? While many would prefer the second due to Ledger's legendary, lunatic Joker, the writer personally finds this movie as the best of all three for its sombre mood and stark reflection of what the real world has become. Plus, Anne Hathaway made quite the astonishing, mesmerizing performance as the feline lady, Catwoman. And not to forget, there's Joseph Gordon Levitt, too, who's rumoured to turn up somewhere in the not too distant future as Robin. Could that be true? You decide.
This year was a good year for animation. From "ParaNorman" to "Wreck-It Ralph", surprisingly "Brave" distributed by Walt Disney Pictures was amongst the most praiseworthy animation of 2012 raking in close to RM4 million at our local box office. Sure "Madagascar 3" had done better than "Brave", but that was a sequel while the original story of the latter makes this Pixar animation the best yet, unhindered by its thick Scottish accent which is paired so beautifully with lush green landscapes giving it a magical Celtic feel.
Without a doubt, "Les Misérables" is the best musical of 2012, unless of course you count the "Glee" carbon-copy; "Pitch Perfect" for which we would feel obliged to hunt you down ala Liam Neeson "Taken" style and give you a Musical 101 lecture. Although "Les Misérables" (pronounced: Lay Meez-ah-rub-hl) has only been released a few days ago, the movie's already receiving rave glassy eyed reviews especially from the stellar performances of Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. Heck, even watching the trailer so tragically accompanied by Hathaway singing "I Dreamed A Dreamed" gives one goosebumps, so what more with the movie?
The most artistic Malaysian film with heart since the much-loved Yasmin Ahmad films, is Dain Said's "Bunohan". Selected as Malaysia's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film nominations list for the upcoming Academy Awards, the movie didn't make it to the final cut, but its accomplishment of being the second film to make it at the Academy Awards since "Puteri Gunung Ledang" in 2004 sure speaks volumes. Although the movie had a lukewarm reception in our homeland, perhaps due to the zombification of our local cinemagoers who are accustomed to watching local films that are either horror or comedy or even horror-comedy, this action drama film starring Faizal Hussein, Zahiril Adzim and Pekin Ibrahim was well received overseas. "Bunohan" is a recepient of the Netpac Award at the acclaimed Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival as well as multiple awards from the Kuala Lumpur Film Critics Society and Malaysian Screen Award.
Istanbul Aku Datang
Produced by Grand Brilliance and Red Films, this Bernard Chauly film is another one of his best and has obvious tones reminiscence of his other films "Gold & Gincu" and "Pisau Cukur". This modern love story was shot over two weeks in Istanbul and has all the usual attributes of a local film of the same genre. But this time, the movie has one of the best cinematography in our industry making it a tad better than the rest. Starring big names like Lisa Surihani, Beto Kusyairy, Tomok and Aizat Amdan why would you say no to watch it?
Grossing at RM4.9 million at the local box office, legendary sci-fi director Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" did not perform great in numbers as well as other Fox's releases like Ang Lee's recent hit "Life Of Pi", "Ice Age 4: Continental Drift", "Taken 2" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". Nevertheless, the "Alien" franchise fans was pretty delighted with Scott and writer Jon Spaihts, also Damon Lindelof's remarkable effort in taking us for a harrowing dark journey to find the origins of mankind in the year of 2089, way before Ellen Ripley and her team faced the traumatic attacks from the disgusting extra-terrestrial race in Scott's 1979 classic "Alien". In "Prometheus", we can still see how Scott and his team appreciates the female form when it comes to battling aliens and surviving under the mysterious findings by placing Noomi Rapace, who plays archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw (reminiscence of Sigourney Weaver's portrayal of Ripley) in a tough position of discovering the reason the Engineers created humanity and destroyed them at the end. Of course, we cannot forget the exciting visual experience of watching the "Alien" universe and marvellous sets like the Dettifoss waterfall, a place where the Engineer created life at the beginning of the film with amazing 3D effects, something that Scott had never tried before in his illustrious directorial career.
First-time directing duo Longman Leung and Sunny Luk are not only opening champagne for their debut "Cold War" in China as the movie officially became the highest-grossing wholly Hong Kong-produced piece to date, but their film that focused on a police-hostage crisis leading to a struggling and intense fight between Rival Deputy Commissioners Sean Lau and Waise Lee, two main roles that handled by our Asian dancing king and two-time Golden Horse Award Aaron Kwok and three-time Hong Kong Film Award winner Tony Leung Ka Fai respectively, had also top this year's list of highest grossing Hong Kong-made movie in Malaysia with RM6.5 million. Apart from the enormous box office numbers, we are lucky in the sense that the filmmakers are finally moving out from the "Infernal Affairs" or the so-called police and triad type of stories that audiences are already exhausted with. As a Malaysian moviegoer, we may not care so much on how "Cold War" promotes Hong Kong as the safest city in the world, but we are glad that the once glorious genre in the Hong Kong film industry has overcome some of its biggest highs and lows in the Asian movie scene and is now back on track to "wow" us again.
Don't agree with this list? Calm down! Did you see Part 1 of this feature yet? No? Then click here! Best Movies of 2012: Part 1
Cinema Online, 27 December 2012