Seems I’m filing this later and later, year by year. Can’t recall doing it in June before. But yes, I still collect toys! Like, maybe, four toys a year! Some of them are pricey though, and some of them are cheap and I take them with me into the bath. See if you can guess which ones, from the best I bought in 2012:
#1: Captain Jack Sparrow, Hot Toys DX 06 - On Stranger Tides
Pretty much the only good thing that came out of that godawful monstrosity of a movie was the chance to update my Jack Sparrow figure. The At World’s End line was what brought me into collecting Hot Toys in the first place - Elizabeth Swann, blurry on the left up there, was my first, but their initial Jack Sparrow left a lot to be desired in the visual personality department. All that and more has been amended for the DX edition, which still doesn’t quite read “perfect” to my eye, but is a damn sight better, regardless, and packed up the yinyang with every high-class collectible oddity one could hope for, up to and including the real suede boots. (Yes, my dollie has real suede boots!) Really my only major beef with the item was where the fuck to put the Black Pearl’s steering wheel that comes with - cuz what?!Read more
I guess we’re both suckers
In the argument I had with my brother at Christmas about whether or not the ending of The Dark Knight Rises was good, I of course shouted “BECAUSE IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE SOMETHING DISAPPEAR - YOU HAVE TO BRING IT… BACK”
Now available in gif.
With my Best of the Year list still in draft, let’s get the smaller categories out of the way.
Best shot: above. So let’s go ahead and give Best Cinematography to Roger Deakins.
Best original score: Thomas Newman’s Skyfall. Like the film itself, the score is lush, exact, and thrilling. It was a bit startling to do the reverse math on this: I called it the best Bond score since The Living Daylights; then I realized that with the franchise 50 years old, that makes Skyfall the best score in the series’ back half, and the best score since John Barry retired. Hearty company. Honourable mention to Harry Gregson-Williams’ vastly under-credited theme from Prometheus, which is, as a single piece of music, a flawless expression of everything that film is about - and is not even written by the main credited composer for the movie, Marc Streitenfeld.
But best track: “Sab Than Pursues the Princess,” John Carter. If Giacchino hits anything this good for Star Trek Into Darkness I am going to die in my seat.
Best bet to be running the industry someday: Channing Tatum, who not only delivered Magic Mike, but apparently single-handedly rewired G.I. Joe 2
Best actor: Matthew McConnaughey - Killer Joe and Magic Mike
Best actress: Anne Hathaway - who stole The Dark Knight Rises but gave the year’s single best screen performance in just two minutes of Les Miserables
Best Tom Hanks Performance: Present-day Tom Hanks in Cloud Atlas
Best Keira Knightley performance: A Dangerous Method
Best Snow White: Kristen Stewart?!
Best Hitchcock: Toby Jones
Toby Jones is Creepy: Imagine Toby Jones as Hitchcock wrestling Toby Jones as Berberian Sound Studio in a plastic wading pool full of rancid pudding
Now imagine: Dobby is the referee… and he’s nude
Best blu-ray: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I expected it to be Prometheus, but while that disk is great, it can’t benefit from the hindsight that went into The Alien Anthology, so it isn’t as crunchy. Dragon Tattoo, on the other hand, is pretty much wall-to-wall perfect. The technical presentation is obviously excellent, but the piece-by-piece coverage of setting up the film project, most specifically revolving around the casting and performance of Rooney Mara, make the disk really memorable and enjoyable.
Best Criterion release: The blu-ray of A Night to Remember is fucking amaaaaazing.
Best film from a previous year: Same.
And: Fanny & Alexander
And holy fuck: Stalker
Best offscreen sex scene: The kids in Here Comes The Devil
Best implied/metaphorical sex scene: The kids in Moonrise Kingdom
So really: Kids were killing it this year, sexually speaking
Best documentary: Room 237
Best 3-D: Dredd
The ecstasy of visual cinema: The moon shot, Kon-Tiki
Best film festival: Ebertfest, though 2012 was an embarrassment of riches in that regard. Nonetheless, Ebertfest produced the best Mamo material overall, I think - I’m incredibly proud of that trio of shows. Passes for Ebertfest 2013 are on sale now and well worth the investment.
Most Fun I Had All Year, Critically Speaking: From A to Bond
Honourable Mention, Previous Category: My Week With Alien
Best kiss: Emma Watson vs. Logan Lehrman in The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Best kiss involving the batsuit: This one:
Best anything involving the batsuit: The Bat. Like, seriously, I had a dream about piloting the Bat. The last time I had a dream about a gizmo from a movie, I was thirteen years old. And it was also from Batman.
Best anything not involving the batsuit: Berenice Marlohe’s backless dress
The Malcolm Tucker Award for Ultimate Maximum Malcom Tuckerness: Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It, Season 4
Best TV series: Well, it had everyone and their mother quacking like ducks for the first three or four episodes and then the whole planet caught on to the fact that Lena Dunham’s Girls is sort of the height of the art form right now. Yes, that means I’m putting it above Breaking Bad 5.1.
But really: I watched all of Breaking Bad for the first time this year.
Because: Breaking Bad is the best television show of the decade.
Best trend: Girl cinema! From The Hunger Games onward, 2012 was an embarrassment of riches in terms of teen and adult heroines who were genuinely, credibly strong. When not one, but two Snow White projects revise the character to kick ass and save the world, something’s in the wind; and if they’re the weakest products in a long, rich frame, it’s a damned good year.
Proof that anything is possible: Thirty seconds of shawarma
My top ten list for 2012 drops Monday…
I endorse this
Batman #383, the first issue I ever read. In which Batman really just wants to take a nice long nap.
(No really: that’s the plot. Batman is tired after a long night of crimefighting and returns to Wayne Manor, only to be continuously foiled in his efforts to get to bed by various trivial distractions, including a parent-teacher conference.)
And here’s a short documentary that Rajo put together this summer: What’s So Great About Batman?