If you’re not laughing out loud and often, you are simply not paying attention. This is a movie that’s “politically incorrect” in every way, but oh, it’s just so funny. And yeah, I know Melissa McCarthy is basically playing the role she often plays, the slightly over-sexed and out-of-control loony but she plays it better – and bigger – here. And while Sandra Bullock seems to be overacting a bit especially in the beginning, as soon as you recognize that’s coming from the two-by-four she’s jammed up her rear end so she can get promoted, you just go with the flow.
World War Z is Contagion recast as a family story with the plague causing zombies. The story is predicable, but still there are tension, suspense and some of the best editing and most frightening crowd-replication effects I’ve ever seen.
For seventy years, the Lone Ranger has been about “…a fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver…” Here, it’s about mugging for the camera, massive special effects, and a meandering story that features Tonto more prominently than his trusted companion, Kemo Sabe.
It’s been such a very long day. In the eighteen years from Before Sunrise to Before Midnight, Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) have been talking about themselves, their lives, their problems. They’ve been having sex, falling in love, having children. They’ve gone from Vienna through Paris and now they’re in Greece. Have they made any progress?
The budget for this film was $225 million. I wonder if any of it was spent on the script? The trailers had convinced me it would be my favorite super-hero movie of the summer – a bit dark, introspective, with the right combination of visual effects and human emotion. The trailers lied.
There’s a whole college catalog of life lessons in this movie, but those lessons are pronounced rather than being tucked carefully into the story. Monsters University is more colorful than creative, fast-paced but a bit formulaic without being surprisingly funny.
If you’re not a ‘car guy’ – and I’m definitely not a ‘car guy’ – this is a really long and very repetitious movie. But it’s not a disappointing one because what you get is exactly what you expect – a movie that downshifts past an incomprehensible storyline, upshifts through poor acting, powers its way through massive plot holes, and slides around a total lack of suspense of any kind.
Despite the long odds against them, the low budgets, the uncertainty about commercial success, independent filmmakers consistently deliver movies that are compelling and entertaining. The stories are unique and personal, and the acting from new and established actors alike is often better that what you normally see at the cineplex. Yet too few people have the chance to enjoy these films. Here are what I thought were the twelve best independent movies of 2012.