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My 12 for ’12: The Raid (Redemption) & An Action Aesthetic…

I’m counting down my top twelve films of the year between now and January, starting at #12 and heading to #1. I expect the list to be a little bit predictable, a little bit surprising, a little bit of everything. All films released in the UK and Ireland in 2012 qualify. Sound off below, and let me know if I’m on the money, or if I’m completely off the radar. And let me know your own picks or recommendations.

This is #12

It’s a bit of a stereotype that critics don’t like action movies. It’s one of those handy clichés that gets trotted around whenever some mega-blockbuster brings in a ridiculously large number at the box office after a thrashing from the pundits. I can’t speak for the critics, of course, but I can tell you that the reason I disliked The Bourne Legacy or Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon had nothing to do with an innate dislike of action movies as a genre. I’m a big fan of action movies. However, like any other genre, an action movie needs to be done right.

The Raid does an action movie right.

theraid1

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Non-Review Review: The House of Flying Daggers

Yimou Zhang’s House of Flying Daggers is a wonderful visual and auditory experience. It’s a sumptuous feast for the eyes and the ears, a truly beautiful piece of film that really needs to seen to be fully appreciated. While its plots and characters aren’t quite as rich as the wonderfully saturated surroundings, House of Flying Daggers remains a film that really seems to bask in light and colour, almost soaking in those elements, with each frame seeming like a stunning work of art.

Bamboozled?

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Life of Pi Trailer

I’m fairly lukewarm on Ang Lee. When he’s great, he’s amazing – one of the most visually arresting directors working in the medium. However, sometimes I find some fo his work (Brokeback Mountain, The Ice Storm) to be a little self-indulgent. Still, Lee has a wonderful flexibility and a willingness to work outside his comfort zone that is hard not to admire. The trailer for Life of Pi first appeared on-line yesterday, and it looks pretty amazing from a visual standpoint. Adapted from the iconic and acclaimed novel, the film looks to have a wonderfully hypersaturated feel to it. In fact, the final shot looks like something from a classic Walt Disney film brough to life.

I’m calling it now. Unless it turns out to be completely abysmal, we have a Best Picture front-runner.

My Top 50 Movies of the Decade…

Alright here it is, my top fifty films of the decade. I’ve decided to stop complaining about Donal Clarke’s list in the Irish Times and just let rip myself. There’s more than a few crazy choices down there, but – after a week in the works – I’m happy with it. I doubt that a lot of other people will be.

Like the Oscars, but... you know, better...

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