I haven't seen a ton of movies this year. But I figured that I would still do a review of the first half of the year anyways. This has been a pretty solid year for movies, but there were not a ton of films that blew me away. I saw a total of nine films in theaters this year, so I'm going to split the films into three categories: the great/good, the good/ok, and the bad/terrible. I'll start with the good and lead up to the bad.
1. The Avengers- The Avengers was an action packed spectacle. One of the best blockbusters in recent memory, The Avengers takes itself seriously while still having a ton of fun. All credit goes to the actors and Joss Whedon, who did a fantastic job with the script. The Hulk was played tremendously by Mark Ruffalo and The Avengers was non-stop popcorn blockbuster awesomeness.
2. The Hunger Games- I was excited for this because I loved the book and I think that it is a very cinematic book. The Hunger Games did not disappointment. In some ways, I think that it is the largest and most expensive independent film ever. The performances were good but I don't really think that this is anywhere near as good as Harry Potter. Overall, The Hunger Games was a good adaptation of the novel but I hope the action and scale is bigger in the sequels.
3. Madagascar 3- A colorful, bright and action packed animated film that takes my place as the best animated film so far this year. The best of the Madagascar trilogy is fast paced and has good characters that we care about. Madagascar stays true to the roots of the series while also taking the characters in a new direction for the sequels.
THE GOOD BUT NOT GREAT
4. The Amazing Spider-Man- The first half of The Amazing Spider-Man is great. It tells a solid origin story and has good characters and actors that have chemistry together. I like the choices of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone for the two leads. But as the film goes into its climax and deals with the action sequences, it disappoints. You can tell that it's not director Marc Webb's strong point. I enjoyed the film, but the next film does not need to be so dark and brooding, which I felt it was. Spider-Man is not Batman.
5. Brave- Brave is a solid, but disappointing film when it comes to Pixar's previous efforts. I enjoyed the film and had a good time, but there is too much crude humor and dark elements. I understand that it was a fantasy and it was supposed to be magical, but there are so many different directions that this film could have gone to keep it grounded in reality that it didn't. I was surprised by the lack of clever humor as well. I found that disappointing. Good movie, not great compared to the rest of Pixar's category.
6. MIB3- I haven't really liked any of the MIB films but I did mildly enjoy the threequel. I think that there were some elements that weren't great and there were things that were boring, but I would say that it's a somewhat entertaining movie.
7. John Carter- I wouldn't really call this bad, I would say that it's not great. I think that Disney probably was not the best place for this franchise and I think that the potential for the films really showed through in the movie. But I don't think that Disney and Andrew Stanton were the right place for the property. But I liked some things about it.
8. Snow White and the Huntsman- I would describe this film as boring. It's not good. I think that some things about it were entertaining but it was really a huge disappointment. I thought that the acting was cheesy and over the top and the acting was bad. This wasn't good.
9. The Lorax- The Lorax was probably the worst film I saw in theaters this year. It wasn't terrible, but coming from the people that directed Despicable Me, a film that I higly enjoyed, I would classify The Lorax as a disappointment. The Lorax is a simple tale about the environment and the producers turned it into a more complex tale than it needed to be. This happens with all Dr. Seuss adaptations and I shouldn't have been surprised. The animation was beautiful but I thought that it was a pretty lackluster animated movie.
That was the first half of 2012. Look for a preview of the second half to come later this week.