2012 Best and Worst

2012 will be remembered as the year independently minded film-makers finally took over Hollywood.  With some of the year’s most successful films guided by those steadfastly thinking outside the cinematic square, they delivered crowd-pleasing productions with genuine depth.  Their success was an interesting counter-point against the usual array of commercial movies failing to set the box-office alight.  Hopefully 2013 sees further gains with traditional block-busters having some intelligence.  Elsewhere independent cinema continued to flourish with some works delivered by exciting new talents.


So to this year’s best and worst – which ones made the grade and which need another spell in the naughty corner…




10.          Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy


9.            The Artist


8.            My Week with Marilyn


7.            The Avengers


6.            Lawless


5.            Argo


4.            The Descendants


3.            Magic Mike


2.            Hugo


1.            The Dark Knight Rises


What I said then: “It is sad thinking this is the end of Nolan’s take on the caped crusader but we should be thankful for the respect he’s shown the character.  He’s made a high calibre superhero movie series which will be difficult to top from the many imitators it will influence in years to come.”


What I say now:  Christopher Nolan’s amazing finish to a fantastic trilogy delivered what fans wanted while having something to say about today’s society.  Full of action, excitement, drama – this one had it all and was the most memorable commercial block-buster of the year.


Honourable mentions: The Muppets, Hope Springs, Skyfall, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.






10.          Journey 2: The Mysterious Island


9.            The Lucky One


8.            A Few Best Men


7.            Mental


6.            Paranormal Activity 4


5.            John Carter


4.            The Dictator


3.            Killer Elite


2.            Gone


1.            Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2


What I said then: “With news the series may live on after this ‘final’ chapter, one should heed this cinematic threat.  Its producers seem more than happy to milk this cash-cow for all its worth although hopefully its maligned stars can rest in peace even if this franchise doesn’t.”


What I say now:  Choosing to make a fast dollar than something of substance, the Twilight franchise will be remembered as a typical example of Hollywood’s ability to make a series out of truly nothing.


Dishonourable mentions:  Red Dawn, Any Questions for Ben?, 21 Jump Street, Rock of Ages.



That’s it for another movie-going year.  May everyone enjoy a safe and happy Christmas and may 2013 be a lucky one for you all.  Until next time – thanks for reading!






The Perks of being a Wallflower

Based on Director Stephen Chbosky’s novel, ‘Wallflower’ is another addition to the teenage angst genre.  Since James Dean shocked 1950’s America with his rebellious ways, there have been many movies exploring teenage tribulations.  Luckily for script-writers such personality traits have been easily adaptable for comedy, drama and even science-fiction.  ‘Wallflower’ is a mix of humorous pathos as it explores some adolescent’s troubled journey into adulthood.


Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a school student desperately trying to fit in.  Unwelcome in any of the ‘cool crowds’ he finds the loneliness difficult.  When he meets fellow school students Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), he discovers a whole new world.  Becoming firm friends, each learn something about the other.  With various pitfalls testing their bond, their lives take interesting turns as they navigate teenage life.


‘Wallflower’ succeeds due to its authenticity.  Whilst packing much into its year-long timeframe, the situations feel genuine.  Everyone has either known or has been on the outer at some point in life, with Charlie’s awkward social skills relatable.  In Sam and Patrick he finds kindred spirits rebelling against isolation and conformity.  Their personalities draw him out of his introverted ways allowing him to enjoy life on his own terms.


Chbosky’s direction draws the best from his performers who handle the film’s occasionally dark themes with skill.  Lerman in particular conveys the painful trauma his character experiences with effectiveness and is more than matched by Watson and Miller.  There’s little of the patronising nature some teen based movies have with no easy answers given to issues arising.  The way issues are interwoven with the humour and drama makes it consistently watchable.


‘Wallflower’ is a strong production making good use of its fine cast.  Teenage based movies will always endure with future endeavours hopefully as satisfying as this engaging movie.


Rating out of 10:  8