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March 4, 2012 | by  | in Arts Film |
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Kim Dotcom Fails to Destroy Film Industry

The discerning/pretentious guide to film in 2012

I am an exceedingly opinionated person. My views on movies are rarely mixed but often fall at the extreme ends of the spectrum. I adore films rather than like them, and loathe films rather than find them disagreeable. From your humble reviewer’s point of view, in 2011 there was a dearth of quality films for the discerning cinemagoer. Luckily 2012 is shaping up to be a substantially better year. From big-budget blockbusters to daring independent dramas, this year has something for everyone. In case you’re not an obsessive cinephile who spends their time trawling through the film archives let me educate you with Salient’s guide to what’s on at the movies this year. 

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Here comes the final film in Christopher Nolan’s stunning Batman trilogy. Christian Bale will once again fight the super villains of Gotham with fists, gadgets and low-pitched growls. Nolan has a reputation for producing blockbusters that don’t sacrifice intelligence or story in the name of entertainment. Let’s hope The Dark Knight Rises continues that trend.

PROMETHEUS

Ridley Scott returns to his science fiction roots in this quasi-prequel to Alien. Filled with a cast of Hollywood heavyweights, Scott’s visual flair and mastery of suspense are sure to make this an engaging watch, regardless of the state of the story. The haunting screams within the trailer are enough to make your skin crawl.

THE HOBBIT, AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Another of Tolkien’s works is brought to the silver screen by Peter Jackson. Many New Zealanders will be thrilled to take another journey into Middle Earth, but I won’t. Why you ask? Simply because I find Jackson’s films to be self-indulgent and in need of some major editing. However I realise I’m in the minority, and Weta’s designs do fantastically encapsulate the world Tolkien envisaged. I may not be enthusiastic, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

Tilda Swinton’s portrayal of the troubled mother, who has to deal with her sociopathic son, has been hailed by critics worldwide as yet another milestone in this actress’s impressive career. Based on Lionel Shriver’s book, it looks set to be a superb psychological thriller that will make for disturbing, yet rewarding viewing.

THE AVENGERS 

Yet another comic book movie, which brings together all of Marvel’s heroes in one picture. There’s a chance it could be an exhilarating ride, but there’s also the possibility of it being an incoherent piece of nonsense. With the much-loved Joss Whedon (Firefly) at the helm there’s a good chance it’ll be the former. Fingers crossed.

DJANGO UNCHAINED

Quentin Tarantino generates a very mixed response amongst critics. Some relish his irreverent sense of style and snappy dialogue. Others dislike the perceived shallowness of his films. I identify with the former, and eagerly anticipate his attempt at a spaghetti western. His gift for constructing scenes laden with tension and throwing in a variety of film references will undoubtedly please film obsessives. At the very least there’s a chance Leonardo DiCaprio will be shot. Here’s hoping.

BATTLESHIP

I include this only to deter you from wasting your hard-earned cash. Borne from the minds of unimaginative Hollywood executives, it will likely be an abomination on a scale not seen since the odious 2012. Perhaps if we are lucky then like 2012 it might be hilariously terrible. Otherwise, if you value your sanity then avoid at all costs.

ON THE ROAD

After years of speculation the long awaited adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s much-loved novel is finally close to release. There is much to indicate that this film will aptly capture the flair of Kerouac’s prose, with acclaimed Brazilian director Walter Salles behind the camera. Let’s just hope that the book’s unique and defiant message isn’t overwhelmed by the all-star Hollywood cast.

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