I'm back! I know that it's been awhile, but I've been trying to see all of the "holiday" movies so that I can review them for you guys (except for Django Unchained -- Tarantino is overrated in my book), plus work and school have hindered my progress. Alas, 2012 has passed, and with it, a collection of fantastic and diverse films. So without further ado, here are my blurb reviews for Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miserables, Lincoln, and The Impossible -- I'll try and keep them each as short and concise as possible.
Zero Dark Thirty:
Zero Dark Thirty, directed by Katheryn Bigelow (the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director for The Hurt Locker in 2010), is pretty much the perfect example of an unexpected triumph. The movie manages to blend some really phenomenal, subtle acting with a lot of exposition yet it still brings some entertainment to the screen. There was not a single moment when I wasn't riveted; the story I thought I knew took some unexpected turns, and the pacing of the almost 2 hour 40 minute film couldn't have been better. Jessica Chastain is the highlight of the experience, giving a subdued performance that is definitely worthy of an Academy Award-- I'll be rooting for her come Oscar night. I give Zero Dark Thity a 9.3/10.
I was in misery myself. This horribly overrated film has overstayed its welcome with its campy acting and really close-up shots of depressed people belting out repetitive ballads about their nonexistent issues. The entire cast, with the exception of Anne Hathaway, is trying uncomfortably too hard. And did I mention that nearly 95% of the lines in the film are SUNG? It gets to be incredibly annoying even after the first 30 minutes, and the movie is 2 & 1/2 hours long! The only worthwhile aspects of the film are Hathaway's performance and the production design; however not even Catwoman herself could save this film. Les Miserables was one of the worst, most agonizing and pretentious wastes of time I've had to sit through all year, so therefore I give it a 2/10.
This historical drama, directed by Stephen Spielberg, is a well-crafted yet slightly drudging and over-long affair. Let me first say that Daniel Day-Lewis was absolutely flawless as Abraham Lincoln, and he should definitely win the Academy Award for Best Actor this year. In fact, the entire cast is the best part of the film-- Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (aka JGL) are all terrific. I would say that my problem with the film is that it feels too much like a historical story than an intimate, human story, almost as if the whole thing is one really great reenactment you would see on a History Channel special. It's endearing entertainment, but I won't be re-watching it again any time soon. I give Lincoln an 8.0/10.
The Impossible, a film that follows the survival of a separated family after the Southeast Asian tsunami that hit in late 2004, is emotionally satisfying and extremely hard to watch. What I love most about the movie are the performances, particularly Naomi Watts and Tom Holland. The film dives into great emotional depth and affliction, providing one of the most heart-wrenching experiences of the year. The Impossible won't make my top 10, but it definitely should be seen; its nothing special, but there are enough moments of complete emotional truth that keep the slower parts from feeling to dull. If anything will blow your mind, it's the scene of the tsunami hitting the family's resort -- simultaneously thrilling and terrifying, the breathtaking combination of performances and visuals make for one of the most heart-pounding 10 minutes I've experienced in a theater all year. I give The Impossible an 8.5/10.
There we are, my final reviews of 2012. Soon I will post an article detailing my best of 2012, including my top ten favorite performances and films.