Best Movies of 2012

Movies I know. And I’ve seen a lot of them this year, more so than games I’ve played. And like my reviews of games, it doesn’t make much sense to force a 12-month period for judgement. We don’t look back and think, “What was my favorite film of 1995?” I can’t even remember what films came out in ‘95. But we still force arbitrary lists of our favorite films or games and then organize them in a way where a recent favorite tops the list. There was a stupid article I read once which compared the top 10 sci-fi and fantasy movies of the past 25 years. Why 25? I don’t know, probably because it allowed the writer to dismiss the golden age of science fiction between 1975 and 1985. For some reason Spiderman 2 found itself on the list. The whole reason for the article was because the author felt it necessary to place the newly aired Battlestar Gallactica at #1 and the NBC show Heroes at #2. Because that made sense. Car magazines are the worst, like the top ten best cars under $30,000, and you know the top spot will be reserved for the latest new car that just slots under that price.

That being said, the best movie of 2012 was Cloud Atlas.

But that’s only because it’s the only film released this year which would earn itself a spot in my top films of all time, slotting alongside masterpieces like Seven, Alien, and 2010 (yeah, 2010). The Avengers is a great popcorn film. It’s also riddled with plot holes, goofy moments, and a final minute twist I saw more logically handled in The Phantom Menace. There were other great movies, but none of them earned such a high place compared to Cloud Atlas. And many of the films out this year had great moments, but only a few earn a place with me in a time capsule. Only a few films every year earn a place. Gareth Edward’s Monsters was such a film, as was Duncan Jones’ Moon.

As for films in the past year, The Grey had the best ending, while John Carter was greatly underappreciated (you didn’t see it in the theater and you should feel bad). Ted was hilarious while The Dark Knight Rises provided an satisfactory close to a brilliant trilogy. Total Recall looked awesome while The Expendables 2 gave us reason to once again cheer for R-rated ultra violence. Skyfall was the best Bond movie period, and I’ve seen them all—yeah, even The Man with the Golden Gun.

But surely, I hadn’t seen Django? Yes, indeed, I saw it only last week, and it’s good. It’s real good, probably the best Tarantino film since Kill Bill, which I only elevate to a slightly higher echelon due to the anime sequence. This may upset some readers that will swear Pulp Fiction or Inglorious Basterds is better, but I disagree. Django is utterly brilliant…but still not the best film of the year. Am I opinionated? Everyone is. I don’t even try to conceal it. Growing up, I didn’t care about a film unless it was set in space, set in a futuristic city, had aliens, or had something that couldn’t fly developing the ability to do so. So in account of that, Cloud Atlas pulls away from Django, which admittedly stands apart from the rest below. That’s right; I wouldn’t even put The Avengers at #2, not even #3 for that matter. Skyfall earns that. In the end if comes down to staying power. I could even equate it with radioactive half-life—how long before said film loses value after the initial watching. For me, most Michael Bay films last about five minutes after I walk away. Now that the year is over, I look back and realize certain films didn’t hold their value over time. Looper and The Avengers were such victims, and as such, have fallen below the likes of Total Recall and John Carter. How can I make such presumptions comparing unsuccessful films with blockbusters? Simple, the answer is exactly 166 words prior.


Chris Dias

Chris Tavares Dias is the literary equivalent of that crusty burnt cheese at the bottom of the fondue pot. Some people claim he looks like Mathew Perry. He would like that to be true. It's not. In 2010, Chris co-wrote and created Amethyst Foundations, a 4th Edition setting based on the previous version under 3.5. It has received critical acclaim for integrating science fiction into classical fantasy. In August of this year, Chris was last seen staring at a dead raven that had fallen beside his car. Two months later, his watch and notepad were found in the stomach of a basking shark that had washed ashore off the coast of Florida.