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2012 Year in Review: Movies

Top Ten

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1. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012)
Artistically and thematically brilliant, Nolan’s final Batman film is a triumph of superhero storytelling: ambitious, thought-provoking, emotional, and redemptive. A spectacular achievement on every level. When I say the trilogy couldn’t have ended any better, I mean the trilogy could not have ended any better. I could go on and on about how amazing it all is, but ultimately, my verdict can be summed up as follows: not only is this the biggest, boldest, and best Batman movie of them all, it’s the most magnificent superhero film I have ever seen. Simple as that.
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2. LOOPER (2012)
A carefully constructed sci-fi action-puzzler that runs as smoothly as clockwork. Thrilling? Yes. Action-packed? Yes. But look beneath the guns and gadgets and you’ll see something even better: a thinking brain and a beating heart. Bravo, director Johnson. Bravo. You’ve given us a sci-fi film for the ages.
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3. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012)
It’s good to be back in Middle Earth again. There are a few minor technical missteps – and some (understandable) liberties are taken with the original material – but the overall result is so sumptuous, so exciting, and so impressive that any flaws are easily forgiven or forgotten. This is epic fantasy filmmaking at its very, very finest. Jackson has laid a terrific foundation for the rest of the trilogy, and I’m looking forward to Part II.
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4. THE AVENGERS (2012)
The finest film Marvel has yet produced. Flawless casting, spectacular set pieces, thrilling action, clever writing, and an enthralling story – all revolving around superheroes that are truly super. Forget big, dumb fun. This is big, smart fun. Big, smart, explosive fun.
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5. THE MAN FROM NOWHERE (2010)
Not for the weak of heart (or stomach), but a powerful film nonetheless. The story itself isn’t new or incredibly original, but it gains a lot of emotional heft from the bond between the two lead characters: a thing of beauty amidst so much ugliness. The performances of Bon Win and Sae-Ron Kim are understated yet wonderful, and the action is brilliantly done, making most Hollywood stunts look silly by comparison.
Continue reading 2012 Year in Review: Movies

The Dark Knight Rises

A breathtaking finale for the first truly great superhero saga in the history of film. Terrific casting. Pulse-pounding action. Powerful storytelling. And an epic score from music-maestro Hans Zimmer. The Dark Knight Rises is the greatest thing to hit theaters so far this year – and I doubt anything will surpass it. Viva la Nolan!

“We will destroy Gotham and then, Mr. Wayne, when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die.”

(I’ll be posting a more in-depth review
on my movie blog Reel Quick)

Soundtrack Review: The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises
(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Composer: Hans Zimmer
Running Time: 50 min.
Released: 2012
Opinion Stars: ★★★★★

I’ve been a Zimmer fan boy for years now, and if you ask me why, I might just punch you in the face; because contrary to popular opinion, there is such a thing as a stupid question, and that is one. Now, moving on… To say that I eagerly awaited the release of this score would be an understatement of staggering proportions. I was counting down the weeks, the days, the hours and the minutes. Well, the waiting is over now. It’s finally here. Finally. No more waiting. The score for The Dark Knight Rises has been unleashed on the world – and it’s bigger, bolder, and better than I could ever have imagined. Let’s see if I still know how to spell masterpiece

A Storm Is Coming starts the album off in a suitably ominous fashion, and is followed shortly by Gotham’s Reckoning, a track dominated by driving percussion, dissonant strings, and chanting choir – Bane’s theme, I’m guessing, and a memorable one at that. The Fire Rises is an explosive action queue with a heavy layer of electronica toward the end, hearkening back to Zimmer’s work on InceptionWhy Do We Fall? is purely stunning, a magnificent crescendo of strings and drums that culminates in a stirring rendition of the Batman theme. Then there’s Imagine the Fire, which is so dang epic it defies description. It is, without a doubt, one of the best pieces of action music I’ve ever heard. Ever. The seven-minute Rise ends the score on a heroic, but undeniably tragic note. Feel free to let your imagination run wild as you consider what that means for the conclusion of Nolan’s film.

Buy the MP3 album on iTunes or Amazon.com.