‘Hobbit’ makes 2012 a ‘Great year for movies’

The word “great” is thrown around too loosely, so let’s begin by explaining that a “Great Movie” is not only fantastic the first time you watch the film, but holds up over time and is “re-watchable” for repeat screenings.

2012 Movie collageFor example, the 1993 film “Philadelphia” is a great film with great acting, tackling a difficult and challenging topic well before the mainstream films of its day. Unfortunately, the stereotypical bigotry and dark topic keeps the film on the sidelines and doesn’t see the light of a DVD player in recent years.

Not every film has been screened at this time, so 2012 also offered “Lincoln,” “Django Unchained,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Rise of the Guardians” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” which all appear worthy of some discussion and possible placement in some historic perspective.


Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” opens in the shadows of “The Lords of the Rings” trilogy and has received some subpar reviews portraying the film as inferior to “Two Towers” and “Return of the King.” The appropriate judgment is that the “An Unexpected Journey” shares more in common with “Fellowship of the Ring” and will be more widely received with the subsequent chapters.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is great film with marginal defects in CGI and a lack of humans to grace the cover of GQ Magazines.

The Tolkien Franchise will likely be more justified to join the “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” discussions of “The Greatest Franchises of All-Time.”

Best Quote from “Hobbit”:

I just need to sit quietly for a moment.- Bilbo Baggins

You’ve been sitting quietly for far too long! – Gandalf

Warner Bros

Warner Bros

Best Film of 2012 – ARGO

“Argo” may not be uniformly praised by critics as director Ben Affleck’s depiction of Iran, the storm on the embassy and the hatred of America make factions of the US uneasy. Affleck’s brash portrayal of the bundling White House and intelligence agencies reveals how inept America was during the Middle East hostage crisis.

History is a challenge to adapt in a fast-paced, entertaining way, but Affleck’s “Argo” excels across the board with an all-star cast and amazing visuals.

Like 2005’s “Munich,” Affleck’s cat-and-mouse hostage rescue will be a fun and somewhat educational film to capture the event onscreen, provoking both conversation and research.

Best “Popcorn Movie” of All-Time – THE AVENGERS

Chris Evans as Captain America in "The Avengers" photo Marvel Studios

Chris Evans as Captain America in “The Avengers” photo Marvel Studios

From start to finish Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers” never stopped and never ceased to impress.

Comic book fans were concerned that juggling the multitude of characters of Marvel’s superteam would never adapt well to the big screen. Positive reviews, box office records and $1.5 billion later, there was a ton of surprises from the “Avengers.”

There doesn’t seem to be any Oscars on the horizon for this blockbuster, but the Blu-ray players will be screening this film for many years to come with another generation of kids also saying: “Hulk Smash!”

Best Movie Lines of 2012 – CAPTAIN AMERICA TO BLACK WIDOW:

“There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”

Best Conclusion to a Superhero Trilogy – THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Christopher Nolan couldn’t live up to the expectations…could he?

Search the Internet for about 30 seconds and you will find a huddle of Batman fans with an arm length list of problems, issues, plot holes and defects in “Rises.”

Check the scoreboard and realize that this is still a SUPERHERO movie and you will discover that the Nolan Trilogy will sit atop the “Best of…” lists for years to come.

What X-Men and Spider-Man couldn’t do, Batman did. The film didn’t embarrass the franchise as “X-Men: Last Stand” and “Spider-Man 3” did.

“Rises” couldn’t surprise fans with all of the coverage and Internet leaks, could it?


Best James Bond Movie “Ever”? – SKYFALL

(Well, atleast in the last forty years)

“Skyfall” likely surprised everyone by successfully delivering an action movie with the humanity established in “Casino Royale” and still managing to pay homage to previous films.

Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig’s film coincided with the 50th anniversary of the franchise and delivered one of the best Bond villains in history with Javier Bardem’s Silva, who was creepy, deceptive and a wicked foil for 007.

There are so many twists, turns, pleasant surprises that it wouldn’t be right to risk spoiling any of those here.

Best Adaptation of the Year – THE HUNGER GAMES

“The Hunger Games” paints a vivid picture of stark contrast – poverty and wealth, oppression and freedom, fear and hope. – Digital Spy

There is no better synopsis of the Jennifer Lawrence led adaptation of the Suzanne Collins novel, which surprised critics and broke Spring time box office records.

Photo/20th Century FOX

Photo/20th Century FOX

Fans of the novels were pessimistic that anyone could bring Katniss Everdeen to the screen, but the Lawrence portrayl satisfied in a way similar to Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint dominance in the Harry Potter series.

Best Return to a Franchise – PROMETHEUS

Oh Ridley Scott made a lot of fans, angered even more with his visually appealing yet Alien-free prequel to his “Alien” franchise.

Praised only as “Visually spectacular” by most critics, “Prometheus” proved that Scott is NOT a Hollywood sellout making a brainless, chest bursting film to appease the bosses. Scott’s prequel creates a back story much more complicated and convoluted that fans every expected, dealing with the origins of life and the internal corruption of humanity.

“But you don’t understand. You don’t know. This place isn’t what we thought it was. They aren’t what we thought they were. I was wrong. We were so wrong.” – Elizabeth Shaw

The character echoed what many fans were feeling, this isn’t what they expected.

The musical score and visuals made “Prometheus” mesmerizing while Michael Fassbender’s android David captured creepy and engaging. Too many fans left disgruntled that acidity spit and face huggers took a backseat to the atmosphere and complex storyline.

Those same fans will likely value the movie once subsequent chapter(s) some into the fold.

October baby photoBest Christian Film of the Year – October Baby

A polarizing film on abortion which polarized critics.

“It makes no sense, but then little does here. October Baby doesn’t even meet the standards of decent propaganda. It is, in fact, indecent propaganda,” writes one critic panning the film’s lack of  subtlety in dealing with the consequences of abortion.

The low budget independent film does a great job of conveying the perpetual cycle of cause and effects.

Jasmine Guy as Nurse Mary, John Schneider as a battered father torn-up with secrets and the lead actress, Rachel Hendrix, all do a fine job of capturing some of the painful outcomes associated with abortion.

The overuse of musical montages and mediocre cinematography only fuels negativity from many viewers who deplore the message of the film, but most of the attacks are silly in comparison to the praise that is heaped upon left-leaning agenda films which have huge Hollywood budgets.

Christians will no longer have an excuse to avoid a pro-life discussion or avoid abortion sermons, “October Baby” gets right to the heart of the matter.

A pleasant surprise – CHRONICLE

Superpowered teens are nothing new to film, but the documentary style Josh Trank film proved to be a huge success. The dark, twisted spin on newly acquired powers wasn’t particularly new either, but Dane DeHaan became the disturbed teenager commonplace in dramas or horror flicks, but seldom stealing the show in a superhero flick.

DeHaan is headed to the “Amazing Spider-Man” sequel, Trank will be tackling a “Fantastic Four” reboot, so the hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

Liam Neeson Taken 2 photo

Liam Neeson Taken 2 photo

2012 Notables

Brave – Pixar succeeds again. Now, if we could get them to stop making “Cars” movies, we’d be a happier audience

The Amazing Spider-Man – A great film with a much better cast than the Raimi version. The biggest problem was that the film was exactly the same film as the 2002 film with Willem DaFoe played by Rhys Ifans.

Wreck-It Ralph – An entertaining flick, designed to really amuse the youngest in the audience. A little more video game nostalgia and less Candyland would have held the adults’ attention a bit longer.

The Bourne Legacy – Drugs? One of the biggest disappointments of the year was NOT Jeremy Renner replacing Matt Damon, it was the creators deciding that the “government conditioning” needed to be replaced with “government experimentation” as the backdrop to the Bourne franchise.

Taken 2 and Wrath of the Titans – Not as bad as fans expected them to be, but they just weren’t good, were they?

One For the Money – Just horrible…

There couldn’t be enough bad things that could be said about this film. Certainly there are worse films that were released in 2012, but the Janet Evanovich source material is so widely successful, it was difficult to believe such an unentertaining and cliche film could suffice as the franchise’s big break to the big screen.

Talking with Stephanie Plum fans it’s hard to find positives: the casting is horrible, witty New York banter is lost from the book and the plot just plods along in contrast to the page turning novels that inspired the movie.


No one expected it to be good, but it was so bad that the only moment it was truly entertaining was when they made reference to the actual boardgame rules.

Some fans may even want their Redbox money back after sitting through this one.

About the Author

Brandon Jones started blogging before it was called blogging back on Crazed Fanboy’s Pop Culture website before transitioning to several writing duties on Examiner.com. Comic Books, Superheros, Movies and all things Pop Culture are covered her on The Splash Page.


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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