Pfangirl's best and worst films of 2012

Right, I do one of these every year: a quick review of all the movies I watched during the previous 12 months. In 2012, that was 60 cinema releases. And in summary, there were many good films released in 2012 but very few exceptional ones.

Just as a foreword, although some of the films on this list are technically classified as 2011 releases, they only reached South African cinemas in 2012 and therefore qualified for this year's list.

Also, when you watch enough movies, it’s inevitable that you become a bit jaded given that so many are just so forgettably average. As a result, I tend to favour films that manage to stand out from the blandness by provoking some sort of emotional reaction from me. Very often these movies aren’t flawless, but I remember them fondly and would happily add them to my DVD collection... more-so than many more acclaimed films on this list.

P.S. Craving a second, third or fourth opinion about the best and worst movies of 2012? Read what the various contributors of (myself included) have to say.


My Top/Most Enjoyable Movie of 2012 – Frankenweenie (3D) (my review)

It’s no secret. Animal movies are my red kryptonite. And this black and white stop-motion tale is sweet, sad and, at times, morbidly hilarious. Basically Frankenweenie is a boy-and-his-dog story dipped in Tim Burton’s signature, stylised macabreness (the film is a remake of the director’s live-action short). And it’s fantastic.

Such a pity that not nearly enough people watched this touching tribute to unconventional thinking and decades of classic horror films.

Runners-up (in no particular order):
The Artist 
The Expendables 2
The Grey 
The Iron Lady
Ruby Sparks


I’m generally fortunate in that I can avoid watching real turkeys at the cinema – films that are cheap, nasty and lazy in every department. However, for A-grade disappointment in 2012, only one thing can truly take the top spot…

My Worst/Most Disappointing Movie of 2012 – Prometheus (3D)

Sporting a great cast, an A-list band of filmmakers and a link to one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time, how could Prometheus fail? This one promised to be everything a blockbuster geek could want: smart, slick, R-rated escapism for adults. But you know something has gone horribly, horribly wrong when the credits roll on a highly anticipated sci-fi thriller and you can’t stop laughing. Tears in your eyes, you realise that you have just witnessed one mother of a FAIL – a film of the dreaded “it’s so bad it’s funny” department.

Prometheus is difficult to fault technically, but it’s narratively so stupid; so unsatisfying that it leaped straight to the top of my Worst of 2012 List. And all the apologists trying to justify characters’ illogical behaviour (“It will make sense in the sequel…” “Life isn’t about having all the answers…”) just enraged me further.

Runners-up (in no particular order):
The Raven


Miscellaneous Awards:

Best 3D Film of 2012:
Life of Pi (3D)

Best Female Character of 2012:
Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild

Most Memorable Villain of 2012:
Bane in The Dark Knight Rises

Most Believable Chemistry of 2012:
End of Watch [Still to be reviewed]

Best Fight Scene of 2012:
Tie between Ted and Jack Reacher

Most Creative Chase Scene of 2012:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (HFR 3D)

Most Striking Visuals of 2012:
Tie between Skyfall and Snow White and the Huntsman 

Best Novel Adaptation of 2012:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (US version)

Biggest Guilty Pleasure of 2012:

Best Throwback-style Movie of 2012:
Tie between Dredd (3D) and The Woman in Black

Most Quotable Film of 2012:

Genre Masher Award for 2012:
The Cabin in the Woods

All the rest:
The Adventures of Tintin (3D)
The Amazing Spider-Man (3D)
The Avengers

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Brave (3D) 

Cloud Atlas
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope [Not reviewed]

Dark Shadows
The Dictator 

Hotel Transylvania
Hugo (3D)
The Hunger Games

John Carter

Looper [Still to be reviewed]

Magic Mike
Machine Gun Preacher
Men in Black 3 
Mirror Mirror
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
The Muppets
My Week with Marilyn

ParaNorman (3D)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (3D)

Real Steel [Not reviewed]
Rise of the Guardians (3D)

Safe House
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows   

Take Shelter
Tatsumi [Not reviewed]

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Total Recall
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

War Horse
We Need to Talk About Kevin 


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