Poll Results: What’s your personal favorite out of Eric’s top 10 films of 2012?

We have another tie with this week’s winner(s):

Argo
The Dark Knight Rises

THE RESULTS:
– Argo: 5 votes
– The Dark Knight Rises: 5 votes
– Django Unchained: 4 votes
– The Master: 3 votes
– The Imposter: 2 votes
– Indie Game: the Movie: 2 votes
– Killer Joe: 0 votes
– Lincoln: 0 votes
– Oslo, August 31st: 0 votes
– Take This Waltz: 0 votes

Not surprised by the co-winners, but I am a little shocked that Killer Joe and Lincoln didn’t get any votes. Pretty cool to see that there are other big fans of The Imposter and Indie Game: the Movie, two fantastic documentaries.

This Week’s Poll: I don’t post video game polls very often, so I’m going to test the waters a bit with this one. What is your favorite video game from 2012? Once again I am allowing for two votes, simply because there are so many worthy options. Even if you didn’t play a lot of games last year, let’s still hear what you think!

Have a great week, folks!

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Top 10 Films From 2012

The “best of” lists have been well underway, and it’s time for me to join in on the festivities. I wanted to wait until I saw a few of the most recent heavy-hitters, and now I feel confident enough to put together my own top 10. This has been a great year for film, and I could have easily stretched this out to a top 20, or even 25. For the sake of consistency, I am sticking with a top ten.

Honorable Mentions:
The Intouchables
Zero Dark Thirty
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Beasts of the Southern Wild

Killer Joe [2011]
10) Killer Joe
“A totally twisted deep-fried Texas redneck trailer park murder story.” Yeah, it’s as great as it sounds. I will never look at fried chicken the same way again.

Take This Waltz [2011]
9) Take This Waltz
Pretty much a “love it or hate it” film, but this one struck an emotional chord within me. I can’t get enough of Michelle Williams either.

Lincoln [2012]
8) Lincoln
Daniel Day-Lewis deserves every bit of praise sent his way, and he anchors a well-rounded cast in a film about one of America’s most pivotal moments.

argo-2012
7) Argo
Dare I say Ben Affleck is a much better director than actor? This is a gripping thriller that manages to maintain suspense despite the outcome being well-known.

The Dark Knight Rises [2012]
6) The Dark Knight Rises
I can’t think of a better conclusion to one of the best trilogies in recent times. The film flies by despite its lengthy running time, and Bane is a hell of a villain.

Indie Game: The Movie [2012]
5) Indie Game: the Movie
A documentary about indie game developers? Whaaaa-? This is actually a damn good film, one that shows a dedication to a craft where no outcome is certain.

The Imposter [2012]
4) The Imposter
The perfect example of truth being stranger than fiction. My favorite documentary of the year.

Oslo, August 31st [2011]
3) Oslo, August 31st
A look at a reformed drug addict trying to fit back into society. Sounds familiar, but this film looks at addiction in a fresh new light. Joachim Trier is a director to keep an eye on.

Django Unchained [2012]
2) Django Unchained
I could watch Quentin Tarantino recreate history any time. Just as stylish as expected from the eccentric director, with an especially memorable soundtrack.

The Master [2012]
1) The Master
I’m still a bit shocked at how divisive this film has been, but no other release resonated with me this year like Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest. The trio of Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams deliver some of the best performances of the year, and the film itself will leave you thinking about it for days (or much longer).

Still need to see: Amour, Seven Psychopaths, Rust and Bone, The Impossible, Holy Motors

Any thoughts? What do you agree with? Disagree?

Top 10 Films from 2012 — So Far

Now that we’ve wrapped up the first 2/3 of the year, we’re going to be getting into the REAL good stuff for the fall/winter. Movies seem to get their best releases near the end of each year, and 2012 also fits that mold with plenty of heavyweights coming soon. Still, there have been a lot of great releases so far this year, and more than a few should hold up on the inevitable year-end lists. Here are my top 10 favorites through August:

Honorable Mentions:
The Woman in Black — Slow-paced but atmospheric horror with a great performance from Daniel Radcliffe.
The Grey — Liam Neeson as a wolf hunter. ‘Nuff said.

Haywire [2012]

10) Haywire

Sorely underrated action flick. Worth seeing just to watch Gina Carano kick Michael Fassbender’s ass.

Prometheus [2012]

9) Prometheus

The marketing campaign probably raised our expectations too high, but this was still a fun sci-fi adventure that provided endless discussions throughout the summer.

The Avengers [2012]

8) The Avengers

Can’t ask for a much better blockbuster to kick off the summer. Fans of the comics no doubt loved this even more.

The Intouchables [2011]

7) The Intouchables

Doesn’t really give us anything new, but Omar Sy provides arguably the most entertaining performance of the year.

Cabin in the Woods [2012]

6) The Cabin in the Woods

Entertaining throughout, but really kicks into gear during the final act. A real treat for horror fans.

Take This Waltz [2011]

5) Take This Waltz

Possibly this year’s most polarizing film. I really enjoyed this one, perhaps because I could relate to most of the characters.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

4) Beasts of the Southern Wild

Easily the most unique of this year’s films, and it comes from a group of veritable newcomers, no less.

Moonrise Kingdom [2012]

3) Moonrise Kingdom

Hey, maybe there’s something to this Wes Anderson guy after all. The movie that made me a fan of his work.

The Dark Knight Rises [2012]

2) The Dark Knight Rises

I can’t ask for a better conclusion to one of the greatest trilogies of all time. Epic in every sense of the word.

The Master [2012]

1) The Master

People will be talking about this for a long time. Guaranteed.

So, what do you guys think? Do you agree? Disagree? What are your favorites from this year so far?

Poll Results: Best Film of 2012 So Far + Weekend Roundup

For the first time ever, we have a tie in the poll results:

The Dark Knight Rises
Moonrise Kingdom

THE RESULTS:
– The Dark Knight Rises: 6 votes
– Moonrise Kingdom: 6 votes
– The Avengers: 4 votes
– The Intouchables: 2 votes
– The Hunger Games: 2 votes
– Beasts of the Southern Wild: 1 vote
– Brave: 1 vote
– Chronicle: 1 vote
– The Grey: 1 vote
– Prometheus: 1 vote
– The Raid: Redemption: 1 vote
– Ted: 1 vote

Wow. Love the diversity this time! So many good films were represented, and this was a pretty tight race throughout. It will be interesting to see how these results compare to the end of the year. The fall/winter lineup is looking pretty stacked, so we might not even see most of these make an appearance. Either way, it has been a fun year and it’s only going to get better.

This Week’s Poll: For the last couple weeks, the film world has been abuzz thanks to the latest results of the Sight and Sound critics’ poll. In a bit of a shocker, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo was selected as the greatest film of all time, finally dethroning the legendary Citizen Kane. My question for you is, what do you consider the better film? Do you agree with this change?

WEEKEND ROUNDUP:
I had a pretty quiet, but active, weekend. I still found time to catch a handful of movies, including a classic matinee in the theater: a new 35mm print screening of The French Connection. Here’s the rundown of what I saw:

Once Brothers: This ESPN 30 for 30 documentary is one of the best I have seen from the series. Really moving story about Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic, former NBA stars and members of the Yugoslavian national team, whose friendship was soured thanks to the war between their home countries of Serbia and Croatia, respectively. Sadly, Petrovic died at age 28 before they could reconcile. Highly recommended. 8/10

O Brother, Where Art Thou?: Part of the 50 Movies Project. Will be writing about it soon.

Singin’ in the Rain: See above. Will save my thoughts for later, but I will say this: my girlfriend loved the hell out of it.

The French Connection: Loved it, and glad I saw it on the big screen. Everyone talks about the big car chase scene, but there’s a lot more to this. Just thrilling from beginning to end, and you can’t go wrong with pairing Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider together. 9/10

A Woman is a Woman: Second Godard film I have seen. Playful and silly, this is a peculiar effort that tries many different techniques. I wasn’t a fan of some of the weird music editing, but for the most part I enjoyed this. 7/10

Actually, I’m kind of surprised that I was able to fit in five movies this weekend. That’s more than I had seen all month. All in all, a good weekend with a lot less work than usual.

How about you guys? What did you see over the weekend? Did you hit the cinema?

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises [2012]

The Dark Knight Rises [2012]

The Dark Knight Rises [2012]
Directors: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Action/Crime/Drama
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Morgan Freeman
Runtime: 164 minutes

Note: I tried to make this review as spoiler-free as possible, but you may want to tread lightly in the comments/feedback.

Eight years is a long time. After the wanton chaos and destruction in 2008’s The Dark Knight, it’s hard to imagine Gotham City remaining in a peaceful state for eight long years, especially without their legendary protector, Batman.

The man behind their hero, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), has also gone missing during this time. Now a recluse with a bum leg, Wayne spends his days locked inside Wayne Manor. It’s not until a run-in with master jewel thief Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) that Bruce musters up the will to do anything meaningful. Quickly he learns about the recent appearance of a monstrous villain, Bane (Tom Hardy), who is on a mission to destroy Gotham. Despite warnings from his loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine), Wayne once again suits up as Batman to save his beloved city.

The Dark Knight Rises [2012]

That is a summary of the plot in its most basic form, but at a sprawling 165 minutes, there is a lot to digest. Bane’s planned destruction of Gotham is at the forefront, but a number of minor characters are introduced into the chaos, all of whom are tied into this in a variety of ways. Newcomer Joseph Gordon-Levitt has an especially crucial role as rookie police officer John Blake, a clever lad who acts as a bit of an understudy to Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) while also discovering Batman’s identity on his own. Two other newcomers play important parts in this ever-encompassing saga: Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, who has a very complex relationship with Batman/Wayne, and Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), a philanthropist investor with an interest in Wayne Industries.

All of these characters, and many old favorites, are seamlessly interweaved together to create a grand feature that can holds its own against the rest of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. A strong case could be made for any of the three to be the “best” of the bunch, and right now I would put this a close second to The Dark Knight.

The Dark Knight Rises [2012] -- BANE

A big reason why this film succeeds is because of its main villain. Every good superhero movie needs a badass adversary, and Bane is one of the best yet. Menacing and physically dominating, Bane is frightening nearly every time he is on screen. As I witnessed the destruction of Gotham City first hand, I was wondering just how the hell Batman and/or the city would make it out in one piece. Bane is as intimidating as I have seen any villain in recent years, and his bizarre face mask only adds to his daunting persona. There were a few moments where his mask would make it hard to understand his dialogue, and his audio did seem unnecessarily louder than others, but these are mere nitpicks. The dude is impressive, and he is a more than worthy rival to our legendary hero.

For a film pushing three hours in length, there really isn’t a lot of “fat” here. Everything happens for a reason, and most plot devices are explained in depth for newcomers (or those who need a quick refresher). There are definitely moments in which a certain amount of suspension of disbelief will be required, including the much-discussed ending, but that is to be expected in a fictional universe like this. Taken on its merits, The Dark Knight Rises works exactly as it should.

The Dark Knight Rises [2012]

Is this a perfect film? No, not exactly. The weird audio problems with Bane are a little too noticeable, and I found occasional bits of dialogue from others that irked me the wrong way. There is one cop early in the movie, a very minor character, who has maybe three lines of dialogue total. Even though he was incredibly minute in the big picture, I winced every time he was on screen. Each line was forced and unnecessary, and it felt strangely out of place while in the middle of an epic car chase. Again, I am really nitpicking here, but that stuck with me for some reason.

Regardless, tiny complaints aside, I couldn’t ask for a better conclusion than The Dark Knight Rises. The story, the cast, the characters, Han Zimmer’s score. All top quality. This is a film that demands to be seen on the big screen, and I would be hard pressed to find a better summer blockbuster this year.

9/10

Poll Results: What major 2012 movie release are you most looking forward to seeing?

Happy Friday! I have decided to start doing these poll results every Friday, which is why I kept this one open a little longer. The wait turned out to be a good thing, as this poll had its highest participation yet! Thanks to all who voted. Your most anticipated 2012 movie is:

The Dark Knight Rises

THE RESULTS:
– The Dark Knight Rises: 7 votes
– Django Unchained: 5 votes
– The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 5 votes
– The Amazing Spider-Man: 4 votes
– Skyfall: 3 votes
– Prometheus: 3 votes
– The Avengers: 2 votes
– The Hunger Games: 2 votes
– Other: Looper: 1 vote

No surprises here. It seems EVERYONE is excited to see Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to the epic Dark Knight trilogy. Seeing as how every movie listed got a vote (plus Looper), this just shows how strong 2012’s movie lineup is. I am most looking forward to Django Unchained, simply because Tarantino movies don’t come around too often, but I will almost certainly be seeing all of these in the theater. Great voting, guys.

Speaking of Tarantino, be sure to vote in this week’s poll for your favorite Quentin Tarantino film! As always, the poll can be found on the right side of the page. Also, if you have any ideas for future polls, please share them in the comments. I am always open to new ideas.

One more thing: The Warning Sign is now on Facebook! Don’t be afraid to “Like” us and share the love.

Have a great weekend, folks!