Wilson Post Blogs
'Avengers' best movie of 2012 so far
By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
Labor Day weekend is considered the end of the summer season for the film, and here is a look back and handing out some awards for this year’s movies that have come out so far, based on wholly subjective criteria.
Unfortunately, I’m going to start with this year’s Worst Movie, which would be “Battleship” hands down, although “Dark Shadows” and “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” sure gave the board-game-based film a run for its money.
Directed by Peter Berg, “Battleship” is the story of some international sailors left to defend against an alien invasion. It is loud and there are explosions galore, but they aren’t exciting at all, which is a shame. For a film that tried to follow in the footsteps of “Transformers” it did succeed in being pretty awful, like most of those films.
Star Taylor Kitsch is uninteresting as are all the characters, save for Col. Gregory D. Gadson, a double amputee U.S. Army veteran who played double-amputee Lt. Col. Mick Canales. Out of all of this year’s movies coming out on DVD soon or already out, I’d avoid “Battleship” at all costs.
This year’s Biggest Bust was Disney’s “John Carter” which I surprisingly enjoyed, but will admit was horribly marketed and just not well-received by most audiences. Also, unfortunately, starring Kitsch, “Carter” had a production budget of more than $250 million and managed to earn a pathetic $282 million worldwide.
Kitsch played Civil War veteran Carter who was teleported to Mars and becomes the saving grace for that planet’s two warring societies. It was a huge investment by Disney and is based on a popular series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
While I thought it had enough redeeming qualities to make it enjoyable to watch at least once, it’s pretty clear very few others felt it was worth watching at all. I’d say watch it once and make your own decision. Regardless, it was a massive failure for Disney and ensured there will be no other movies about Carter in the future. (Probably)
On a more positive note, before getting to the Best Movie so far this year, the Best Acting performance this year goes to Michael Fassbender in a laughably easy decision. Fassbender played enigmatic android David in Ridley Scott’s film “Prometheus.”
David was more complex and fascinating than any of that film’s human characters and he was playing a robot. The most iconic artificial intelligence in film history is still HAL 9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but Fassbender delivered one outstanding performance.
The robot David was everything you expect from a good sci-fi robot and Fassbender gave him more weight and gravitas than any CGI or motion capture trickery could manage. “Prometheus” is worth seeing for Fassbender alone.
Also, the Best Acting performance by an actress so far this year goes to Jennifer Lawrence for playing Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games.” In that film, she’s a refreshing female role model to younger audiences and thankfully more interesting than that other female character in young-adult films (Bella in “Twilight”).
Lawrence anchored “Games” that very well could have been a fairly lackluster film without her ability to show the various dimensions of the character. With other “Games” movies on the way (it is based on a trilogy of books) you can bet Lawrence will be catapulted into more limelight if she delivers in the impending sequels.
The movie with the Best Screenplay so far goes to “Chronicle” which came out early this year and managed to tell an incredibly fascinating tale of high school friends who gain some amazing mental powers.
Written by Max Landis and directed by Josh Trank, the characters were so well written and developed it totally managed to gloss over the awful “found footage” style. “Chronicle” lacked some decent dialogue earlier on but once reaching the meat of the story, really excelled in its characterization.
But the Best Movie of the year so far is held by “The Avengers” at least for the next few weeks as it has dominated the box office and was a huge gamble that paid off in spades.
Tying together all the previous films produced by Marvel Comics’ own production studio, “Avengers” managed to surpass expectations and expand and improve many of the films leading into it. Directed and written by Joss Whedon, “Avengers” brought together a star-studded cast and characters known the world-over in a spectacular fashion.
It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in a movie theater and had enough action, laughs and serious moments to make it a well-balanced summer blockbuster. Whedon proved that with the right people behind the lens, even a team-up of costumed egos can succeed.
Of course, when the more serious films start hitting theaters later this month, everything changes.