No block­busters in movie Top 10

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By CHAR­LIE GATES

It’s time to name my 10 favourite films of 2012. I’m nam­ing 10 films be­cause we have 10 fin­gers and so the num­ber seems sig­nif­i­cant to us.

The only rule is that a film must have had a gen­uine the­atri­cal re­lease this year, so fes­ti­val films don’t count.

Also, some of th­ese films were re­leased in 2011 in most other coun­tries, so they look odd on this list.

For the first time in many years there is not a Pixar film or a win­ter block­buster in my top 10 of the year. Pixar’s Brave was en­ter­tain­ing but not the mas­ter­piece we have come to ex­pect ev­ery year from the stu­dio.

Per­haps we have been spoilt year af­ter year with the likes of WALL-E, Up and Rata­touille.

The block­buster sea­son felt a lit­tle overblown and tired to me this year. Dark Knight Rises and Avengers were both en­ter­tain­ing but felt a bit lumpen, oblig­a­tory and slug­gish.

The best ac­tion movie I saw this year was Mis­sion Im­pos­si­ble: Ghost Pro­to­col.

So, any­way, here goes:

At­tack the Block

Film of the year. An im­mac­u­late low­bud­get sci-fi that bor­rows per­fect amounts of John Car­pen­ter, Wal­ter Hill, Goonies, Ghoulies and Grem­lins to cre­ate an orig­i­nal clas­sic. Joe Cornish is a de­but di­rec­tor to watch. Funny, thrilling and vis­ually in­ven­tive. Loved it.

The Artist

The Descen­dants

The Grey

It seems this film came out last year be­cause it made a big splash around the world in 2011. Easy to for­get this cud­dly gem. It was gor­geous.

Ge­orge Clooney de­liv­ers a beau­ti­fully vul­ner­a­ble per­for­mance as a char­ac­ter try­ing to hold his fam­ily and his fam­ily legacy to­gether in this mov­ing, un­der­stated and per­fect lit­tle film. I feel that this was a lit­tle over­looked.

Stun­ning Her­zo­gian sur­vival drama that stares into the abyss and then punches a wolf right in the face. Do movies get any bet­ter? A sucker punch of a film that prom­ises Taken- style ab­sur­dity, but de­liv­ers some­thing like a 1970s ex­is­ten­tial sur­vival drama. Spe­cial.

We need to talk about Kevin

A gru­elling and dis­turb­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller with more than a touch of Ni­cholas Roeg. Pow­er­ful, bleak and un­blink­ing with an in­cred­i­ble cen­tral per­for­mance from Tilda Swin­ton. I have never seen a bet­ter ar­gu­ment for not hav­ing chil­dren.

Tinker Tai­lor Sol­dier Spy

Great cast, grip­ping plot, tight di­rec­tion and stun­ning pro­duc­tion de­sign. It smelled of over­stewed tea, wet wool, pipe to­bacco, para­noia and mo­ral com­pro­mise. What a movie.

Mar­gin call

I wrote about this one and the next the other week. A great cast flex­ing their ac­tor mus­cles with a script wor­thy of David Mamet.


A thrill ride where you don’t know where the next plot turn will take you. A gen­uinely plucky hero who just keeps on fight­ing. It had me gasp­ing aloud in sur­prise and ex­cite­ment. I know that sounds corny, but hon­estly.


It’s an in­stant clas­sic. True to the Bond her­itage, yet mod­ern at the same time. Classy, thought­ful, in­ter­est­ing and damn en­ter­tain­ing. Made me proud to be a Pom.

Moon­rise King­dom

It was good to see Wes An­der­son back on form with a sur­pris­ingly touch­ing story from a di­rec­tor bet­ter known for his quirky hip­sterisms than his warm sin­cer­ity.

Hon­or­able men­tions

21 Jump Street, Good for noth­ing, Co­ri­olanus, Hope Springs, The Girl with the Dragon Tat­too ( US), Killing Them Softly, Shame, John Carter and Franken­wee­nie

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