This is a list of all the movies released in 2012 that I have seen. Basically, I go to the movies or watch them at home and do a small text with my opinion about it.
To Rome with Love
The lives of some visitors and residents of Rome and the romances, adventures and predicaments they get into. (112 mins.)
“ This is Woody Allen's 45th film. First and foremost, I really like his style as a director and I had a blast in the beginning of the movie. Rome is great and it has that peculiar Woody Allen charm. It tells the story in four separate vignettes. All of them are about appearances. The problem is that two of them - the singing funeral director and the instant celebrity - are funny at first but go on way too long; another one - the married couple on their honeymoon - also starts out funny but it doesn't go anywhere and would be a total waste if not for Penelope Cruz; and the best one, with Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page could have been properly developed if not for the other three. This all converges in an underwhelming ending.
I think this is a consequence of Woody Allen's production schedule. He should have taken his time with this movie. Some stories never take off because they're just a funny / interesting idea he had and have nothing further. With more time, some would be cut, remodeled or developed. It's a pity because there's a really great film in here. It's just not this one.
3/5 ” - Ricardo
The Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death. (142 mins.)
“ "The Hunger Games" is a great example of an adaptation well done. I confess, it's not as powerful as the book (a key moment when a character dies almost made me cry in the book and had not nearly the same effect in the movie), the Peeta storyline it's a bit tricky and the ending it's not as beautiful. Still, it's a great movie. The universe was captured perfectly, the characters are well drawn and developed and Jennifer Lawrence is perfect for the main role. She is an incredible versatile actress but she has a magnetism that holds you to the screen, and to her character, the same both Peeta and Gale said Katniss had in the books.
4/5 ” - Ricardo
Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity. (143 mins.)
“ First, I must say that I'm getting really tired of the super-hero genre and how the movie always has to end with a big battle between good and evil in some kind of end of the world scenario. I went to see "The Avengers" mainly because I'm an huge Joss Whedon's fan so I watched it not as a super-hero movie but as a Joss Whedon film. Having said that, I think he did a great job even if the movie succumbs to the limitations of the super-hero genre. I also think it could use a tighter script. He opted for a light approach and, if the movie's not that deep, it sure is fun and, above all, well written. The dialog is a delight and made me laugh more than many so-called comedies. Not a classic but a good film nonetheless. I'm much more interested to see what Joss can do with a shoestring budget and the Shakespeare prose in "Much Ado About Nothing".
3.5/5 ” - Ricardo
21 Jump Street
A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring. (109 mins.)
“ The expectations were low. The reception was great so I watched it and... I just didn't like it. There are some moments where it works, but the theme, the cliched story and the characters are just not that good. It's one of those movies that could benefit from being a bit more grounded. When you are always being crazy, the next time you do something crazy, it's expected. After a bit, it becomes boring.
1.0/5 ” - Ricardo
A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them. (94 mins.)
“ This is a quirky little love story about two misfit kids who run away together. It has a nice cast of supporting players who round up the cast perfectly but the best thing about the movie is the developing relationship between Sam and Suzy. Because of that, it's a pity Wes Anderson, in the final act of the movie, traded the nuances of that relationships for the hijinks of their escape. Still a great movie.
4/5 ” - Ricardo
Whilst attending a party, three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides. (84 mins.)
“ Imagine a super-hero movie. Now forget it. "Chronicle" is a story about three boys that gain super-powers but it's as far from a super-hero movie as you can imagine. It's almost realistic. If people gained super-powers in real life, this would be it. The movie is filmed with an hand-held camera (like "Cloverfield") and, even if you're tired of that trope, they use it in very inventive ways. A breath of fresh air in the genre. You may or may not like the end of the movie (I, personally, think I didn't but have to watch it again), but it's a film well worth seeing.
4/5 ” - Ricardo
A car accident puts Paige in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo works to win her heart again. (104 mins.)
“ I really liked the idea for this movie and wanted to see what they did with it. Unfortunately, and despite decent performances from the leads, it turned out to be just an harmless rom-com that never exploited the potential of its premise.
2/5 ” - Ricardo
Snow White and the Huntsman
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen. (127 mins.)
“ This is just a bad movie. I liked the idea of a darker version of Snow White (a la "Lord of the Rings") but this movie lacks spirit. It's just a by the numbers version of the story, the characters never come alive and it needed so much more to be believable. I mean, Snow White's development is, not just rushed, but almost instantaneous. You never feel immersed in its world and, frankly, it's just boring.
1.0/5 ” - Ricardo
Following clues to the origin of mankind a team journey across the universe and find a structure on a distant planet containing a monolithic statue of a humanoid head and stone cylinders of alien blood but they soon find they are not alone. (124 mins.)
“ A ridiculous film that makes no sense and has more plot holes than minutes. There's no character development and both Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron are wasted. Michael Fassbender gives an interesting performance but his character only exists to move the plot forward and it's never explained what makes him tick. The only reason I don't give it a flat out zero, it's because, when you stopped thinking why these outrageous things were happening in the second half of the movie and just tried to enjoy it, all that craziness became mildly entertaining.
1.5/5 ” - Ricardo
The Cabin in the Woods
Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods. (95 mins.)
“ It's different alright! People say this movie is full of surprises and twists. One in every corner. It's really not like that. It's just a very different and interesting take on the horror movie genre. It really pays off if you are a fan of horror movies (I, particularly, am not).
I like Joss Whedon's work very much ("Buffy: The Vampire Slayer", "Firefly" & "Serenity", "Dr. Horrible") so I had to see this. He wrote it with Drew Goddard, who also directed, and it's full of that tongue in cheek dialog Whedon is known for. The story it's really not about the characters, but they are good anyway. The build-up is well done and when it starts to drag a little bit (never boring), the last half-hour comes and it is as crazy as it is fantastic.
The only problem I had with this, which is not really a problem, it's that it is not THE movie, something I came to expect from Whedon. I think it could be longer and should get us more involved in this world with its characters. Still a great film though. A great one to watch with friends and one that I'll definitely watch again.
4/5 ” - Ricardo
After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attends an intense, week-long counseling session to work on their relationship. (100 mins.)
“ This is really not my kind of movie. A rom-com with sexagenarians? No, thank you. But then I saw a review, and though the score was not the highest, the way they talked about the movie made it seem like an interesting, intelligent adult drama. (The review that I'm talking about, by the way, was done by "What The Flick!" in YouTube.) Then I went, saw the movie and was severely disappointed. The premise is nice, but the movie never has the guts to go there. The scenes with the therapist, played by Steve Carrel who gives a subtle yet fantastic performance, are great and the best thing in the movie. Yet there are so many moments when I found myself getting bored. The music score is also unbearable with loud and unnecessary music getting in the way. Let the drama speak, not the music. Unfortunately, adding it all up, this ends up being a formulaic, predictable rom-com with some great scenes that wastes a good premise and an interesting subject.
1.5/5 ” - Ricardo
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan. (101 mins.)
“ *Mild, vague and predictable spoilers.*
Now *this* is my kind of movie. Except... I didn't like it that much. It's a pity because I really wanted to like it and I really did enjoy parts of it. The big problem I had was that I never bought Steve Carrel and Keira Knightley as a romantic pairing. And I'm not talking about age, appearance or anything like that. It's about chemistry. And I'm not saying they are not good in it either: they are. Carrel is fantastic and Knightley acted the hell out of a scene and was good all around. Maybe the problem was with the script. By the end, it was to on the nose and definitely corny. The thing is: if they were just two friends like the title says, I would be okay with it. But they were a suppose to be a couple, that's the direction the film takes and I was just not on board with that. If they treated the relationship or presented it in a different way or used a different set of actors, maybe I would love it. Like this? There are really great things in it but the center is flawed.
3/5 ” - Ricardo
John Bennett, a man whose childhood wish of bringing his teddy bear to life came true, now must decide between keeping the relationship with the bear or his girlfriend, Lori. (106 mins.)
“ Before talking about Ted, I probably should mention that I don't really like Seth MacFarlane's comedies, especially Family Guy. That's probably because I hate fart jokes and don't find vomit especially funny. Now I'm gonna make a bold statement: Ted could be a great movie if not for it's desire to have a plot. Now, at least let me explain: I'm not, in any way or form, against plot. That would be stupid. But in the first part of the movie, when it's just Mark Wahlberg and Ted goofing around and dealing with life, the movie was great and really, really, really funny. When it drops that vibe to have a plot that you will see miles away with a story so generic it could be written by a computer program, it all goes to sh*t (just so you know, I'm not being rude here, just making a reference to the movie). So, a movie that was interesting, charming and funny becomes generic and boring. Oh, what a waste of a great premise, Wahlberg, Kunis and a teddy bear voiced by Seth MacFarlane. I'm not gonna watch this one again, but I hope Ted 2 doesn't make the same mistakes as it's predecessor because it could be a really great movie.
2.5/5 ” - Ricardo
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980. (120 mins.)
“ "Argo" is, plain and simple, a good story well told. It's a period piece in the 70s about a group of hostages in Iran that need to be rescued by a CIA operative called Tony Mendez played by Ben Affleck who also directs. It's based on real events, which is a good thing because it's so unbelievable that you wouldn't buy it if it wasn't true. "Argo" is effective, educative and takes what could have been an history lesson and turns it into a funny, entertaining and thrilling movie.
The setup is fantastic but the fact that you already know the outcome makes the payoff a bit predictable and, at least for me, some beats used to maximize the tension didn't ring completely true at the end. The cast is impressive with some great actors around Affleck's stoic hero: Alan Arkin and John Goodman are very good but Bryan Cranston was amazing, especially in an awesome scene during the climax of the movie.
In the end, Affleck makes it seem easy, balancing the tone in what could have been a mess of a movie (a comedy about Hollywood, a spy thriller and a personal story about the hostages) but it all adds up beautifully. Great movie.
4/5 ” - Ricardo
A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money. (110 mins.)
“ The first thing you need to know about "Magic Mike" is this: "Magic Mike" is not a stripper movie, it is a Steven Soderbergh movie about strippers. I am not saying it doesn't have the obligatory scenes in which the hot guys strip in an elaborately choreographed dance, it does. But it's ambitions are different. It tries to say something about this people, this place and this life. It eventually commits the crime of predictability and cannot overcome its cliched storyline, but it tries. The characters could also be deeper and some plotlines needed more time to develop (the relationship between Magic Mike and the Kid's sister was interesting and could have used some of the time in which the guys took their clothes off). That's to say that "Magic Mike" is a flawed movie, but not necessarily a bad one.
3/5 ” - Ricardo
“ "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is a movie that hits too close to home. I've only seen it once and the only thing I'm sure of is that I have to watch it again
I was in love with the book (though it's not without its flaws), so comparisons are inevitable. For the most part, I think the movie did a great job of trimming down the plot and capturing the spirit of the book. It even goes around the problematic ending the book has for me. One thing I noticed though is that the movie is notoriously lighter than the book, the characters don't smoke, don't do drugs and some scenes are very toned down. It's not as shocking. That doesn't come in the way of the plot, but I would rather see the raw version.
For those who haven't seen it - nor read it - it's its own thing. The book came out in 1999 before being hipster became mainstream so if you think this movie is not original or it's copying some other movie, it's actually the other way around. It's an indie movie about outsiders. It's quirky and has no shame in it. It acts like being a teenager is the most difficult thing in the world and sells it. It makes you feel. It's hard as hell to describe. I think the phrase that most accurately describes it is actually the slogan taken right from the pages of the book: "We are infinite". Though the movie flies by.
4.5/5 ” - Ricardo
Killing Them Softly
Jackie Cogan is an enforcer hired to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. (97 mins.)
“ "Killing Them Softly" is a movie with a message, and it wants to make sure you get it. The plot is simple, the movie has a good sense of tone, good actors and good dialog. Some scenes are great. I even loved the various bits of dark comedy splattered throughout. But, as a whole, it means nothing. It has to hammer its point home and doesn't make a very good case for it. The constant discourses from various presidents didn't help. The plot is some kind of metaphor that doesn't make sense. I only got it when the main character played by Brad Pitt spelled it out right from his lips. It could be a great movie if it wasn't so worried with its message and more with exploring what seemed to be a very interesting character.
2.5/5 ” - Ricardo
Damsels in Distress
A trio of girls set out to change the male-dominated environment of the Seven Oaks college campus, and to rescue their fellow students from depression, grunge and low standards of every kind. (99 mins.)
“ Now, *this* is a strange movie. And it's not even strange in the common sense like, for example, "The Cabin in the Woods". I can't say that I liked it, but I can't say that I hated it either. I can either discard it completely or watch it again. I'm inclined to do the latter.
It's just not what I expected it to be. But more than that: I can't figure it out. The motivations of the characters, especially the main character, Violet, played flawlessly by Greta Gerwig, are especially hard to understand. Structurally, it doesn't follow any sort of rules.
Let's try to make more sense: the dialogue is exquisite, it's not realistic and it's not trying to be, it wants you to think (I hope, otherwise I'm spending way too much time thinking about a movie that's just weird for the sake of it) and I especially liked the arc of the relationship between Violet and Lily. Oh, and it's really, really funny, in a deadpan humor / black comedy kind of way.
This is either gonna be a really good cult film or a waste of time. One thing is true though: if you're looking for a normal romantic comedy or a by-the-books indie movie, this is not it. ” - Ricardo
Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school's all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition. (112 mins.)
“ "Pitch Perfect" is about as formulaic as you can get and that's my biggest complaint about it. Some girls in the a capella group are very interesting characters but both the story, the characters and the relationships needed more depth. It barely scratched the surface. Anna Kendrick already proved she can act (watch "Up in the Air") and in here proved to be capable of headlining a movie. She can sing and brings such an effortless charm to her character that almost makes you forget the so-so writing. It's a lot of fun though and the music is fantastic.
3/5 ” - Ricardo
The Amazing Spider-Man
After Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains newfound, spider-like powers and ventures out to solve the mystery of his parent's mysterious death. (136 mins.)
“ Spider-Man is, by far, my favorite super-hero. He's not all-powerful, knows how to use his brain, deals with real world problems and struggles to do the right thing. Much of that, of course, has to do with Peter Parker being insanely more interesting than any other alter-ego.
Having said that, I'm lukewarm about this new iteration of the web-slinger. The retelling of the origin story, with the Raimi movies still in recent memory, just didn't feel fresh. The stuff with Peter's parents was ridiculous, though I give them props for tying it up well in the end. And I don't know what good comes of having Sally Field as your Aunt May if you barely give her anything to do.
They do get some things right. Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, although a bit too brooding for my taste, is fantastic and Spider-Man is finally written as the wisecracking badass he is (the greatest flaw of the Raimi movies). The best about the movie is the relationship between Peter and Gween Stacy, played wonderfully by Emma Stone. I wanted more of that but aren't they a bit too old to be in high school?
My main complain about the movie is basically the same as every other super-hero movie. Saving the world (or NY, whatever) is not enough. You need stakes. The vilain didn't help. They should've spent less time in fight sequences and more time establishing the relationship between Peter and Dr. Curt Connors, a very interesting and way more complex character in the comics that had so much potential. The Captain Stacy hardass bit didn't work too, same with the revenge plotline.
"The Amazing Spider-Man" does some things right, but it drags. It could've used less fights, less action, less dumb storylines and more Peter Parker, more Gwen Stacy, more Aunt May and more character development because the little bits that we got were actually kind of good.
2.5/5 ” - Ricardo
Life of Pi
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger. (127 mins.)
“ "Life of Pi" has has a story to tell and tells it with confidence. It's a pity then that it just didn't grab me the way it should. I didn't feel immersed by it. There was a barrier. I never really got into it. I think it could have used more editing in the middle because I found myself restless in some points. The ending is very smart and I would advise anyone that wants something different to watch this movie. You may not love it, I didn't, but maybe you will. And if not, at least the tiger is cool.
3/5 ” - Ricardo
An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. (172 mins.)
“ After seeing it, there's one thing I can say for sure: "Cloud Atlas" is the most ambitious movie of the year. And, contrary to what may appear, it's not an action adventure movie. It's epic not because of the battles, the effects or the explosions but because it tells epic human stories. It tells six stories over the span of centuries. They do not intersect but are all connected. They are not vignettes. The most impressive thing about the film is that you can't say that you would prefer the movie to be about one or the other. The editing in "Cloud Atlas" is so good that all the stories benefit from being told beside each other.
Some will dismiss it as a movie with a simple message about love, fight the power or we're all connected. It's definitely not perfect, but it swings for the fences and hits it most of the time. The art, the script, the editing, the performances, the sceneries, the structure are so good you wouldn't believe how the movie got so much right. Three hours you say? Make it six because you'll want to watch it again.
4.5/5 ” - Ricardo
A Royal Affair
A young queen, who is married to an insane king, falls secretly in love with her physician - and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever. (137 mins.)
“ "A Royal Affair" is a danish period film about a King, a Queen and the Royal Physician in a pretty bad period in Denmark's history. It's well acted and directed and the production design is really good. I liked the movie and I give it points for avoiding what could have been a cliched storyline though I have to confess it gets very grim and joyless sometimes.
3.5/5 ” - Ricardo
A reporter returns to his Florida home-town to investigate a case involving a death row inmate. (107 mins.)
“ "The Paperboy" is not the funny, campy, sunny, southern movie I expected it to be. It's funny sometimes, but it takes a very dark turn halfway through both in tone and in story. It's not your average movie and it's not entertaining in the popcorn sense of the word.
It's unnecessarily confusing in the beginning and the overall narration is terrible and detracting to the experience. The vintage feel is palpable thanks to the fantastic cinematography, the way it's filmed and the incredible soundtrack. Nicole Kidman's performance is nothing short of amazing.
Not a movie I'd recommend without reservations, I'll probably won't watch it again but I don't regret seeing it either. The final act is very good. And if you watch it with friends you'll have a lot of material for the next conversations.
3/5 ” - Ricardo
A restless retired woman teams up with her deceased neighbor's maid to seek out a man who has a secret connection to her past life as a farm owner at the foothill of Mount Tabu in Africa. (118 mins.)
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik's vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible. (107 mins.)
“ I saw "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" a long time ago so forgive me if I don't seem very insightful talking about it. I wanted to talk about it though because I remember really enjoying it. It's a pretty good film about an unlikely subject matter, it's charming, funny and has pretty good performances from leads Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. Unfortunately, a few plot contrivances by the end forbid me to love this movie unreservedly. Very good film nonetheless.
3.5/5 ” - Ricardo
Silver Linings Playbook
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own. (122 mins.)
“ "Silver Linings Playbook" is, plot and structurally speaking, a romantic comedy. But it's so much more than that. It's a well written, superbly shot, funny, touching movie about overcoming the adversities of life. It has fantastic performances by both Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (it probably helps that I have an huge crush on her). I would have to watch it again, just to make sure, but we may be witnessing a classic in the making.
4.5/5 ” - Ricardo
Zero Dark Thirty
A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden
after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011. (157 mins.)
With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. (165 mins.)
Safety Not Guaranteed
Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel. (86 mins.)
In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever. (158 mins.)
As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves. (150 mins.)
When 30-something Jesse returns to his alma mater for a professor's retirement party, he falls for Zibby, a college student, and is faced with a powerful attraction that springs up between them. (97 mins.)
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. (93 mins.)
A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader. (144 mins.)
Take This Waltz
A happily married woman falls for the artist who lives across the street. (116 mins.)