Odd title that, I know. Not if you’re a fan of the James Bond flick Goldeneye though. Or if you have a knowledge of Roman mythology. You see, Janus is the Roman god of beginnings and transition. He has two heads: one looking backwards and one forwards and is how the month of January got its name.
This is my post looking back over 2012 and looking forward to 2013. Anyway, enough of that essentially pointless information. Let’s crack on.
Looking Back – 2012
I didn’t start this blog until March, so I can’t comment on anything before then but plenty has happened since. When I first started, I was posting all sorts of things like trailers and previews of the films out that week but it wasn’t long before I couldn’t keep up with all of that and decided to just post what I wanted when I wanted. Much easier. So what are my film highlights of 2012?
I’m somewhat of a superhero geek and I thought Joss Whedon absolutely nailed it with The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble) as it was known over here. It would have been easy to just go through the motions with it but he perfectly balanced the action and humour and left me grinning like a Cheshire Cat throughout. It turns out that it’s also one of the most divisive films of the year, too. It’s been on just as many worst film lists as best ones, but it firmly became my favourite superhero film.
The Cabin in the Woods
Joss Whedon again. The Cabin in the Woods was more than your common or garden horror film. It poked fun at the genre and had fun with it, taking much of what you know (or think you know) about horror films and turning them on their head. As is the way with meta-textual films like this, it took references from plenty of other horror films but did so in a genuinely refreshing way. Also, the ending is one of the craziest things I’ve seen all year. Good crazy though, definitely good crazy.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I read the The Perks of Being a Wallflower earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed it so was equal parts excited and worried about seeing the film. Fortunately, it was about as good an adaptation as you could wish for. It had its schmaltz but excellent performances from Ezra Miller and Logan Lerman really helped set it apart from the usual high school coming of age fare.
Life of Pi
When I first saw the trailers for Life of Pi, I was really nonplussed about it. It looked a bit like a children’s film and the use of Coldplay made me want to vomit. However, the reviews started to role in and apparently it was pretty good. So I gave it a go and, lo and behold, it really was pretty good. It raised intelligent questions about the existence of God and had genuinely decent 3D. Visually it was amazing and although it was the last film of 2012 I saw, it was definitely one of the best.
Well alongside Life of Pi, the biggest surprise for me was probably Seven Psychopaths. My Dad may have fallen asleep in it, but I thought it was a brilliantly written, superbly acted piece of crazy. I also saw The Dark Knight Rises and thought it was a decent end to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, although its memory is becoming more and more sullied as I think back to it. Also excellent was Skyfall, and although perhaps not quite as good as Casino Royale, it’s definitely up there as one of the best Bonds.
There have been loads of ‘worst of 2012’ lists knocking around but, to be honest, I’ve not really seen any films that would qualify. I don’t get that much opportunity to see go to the cinema so when I do, I tend to see stuff that I’m fairly sure I’ll enjoy to some degree. There have been some disappointments though. Prometheus, for example, was a massive disappointment and felt as if Ridley Scott used the Alien name to promote a barely related film. Looper was also somewhat of a disappointment considering the excellent reviews it got, and The Hobbit, although enjoyable, felt like it could have been better.
There are plenty of films I didn’t manage to get to see this year that I was really looking forward to. Films such as Rust and Bone, Argo, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and The Master are all films that I didn’t get around to seeing but will hopefully check out when they’re released on Blu-ray in the coming months.
Looking Forward – 2013
So what does the next 12 months hold? Well, like I said, I will hopefully be checking out most of the 2012 releases I missed out on. In terms of cinema releases, the year starts out pretty well with Les Miserables, Django Unchained and Lincoln hitting cinemas within a few weeks of each other, but after that there isn’t a massive amount that gets me really excited. That’s not to say there’s nothing tickling my fancy, though.
This year we finally get to see Man of Steel, Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, that is following the trend of having a darker, more realistic feel to it. I’m not the biggest fan of Supes (he’s just too good a superhero), but now the trailers have hit, my interest is growing. Pacific Rim is a film that looks like it could be a lot of fun, although it also has a touch of the Transformers to it. Hopefully it’ll be a lot better than that.
The film I’m probably most looking forward to this year is one I know very little about. Twelve Years a Slave will mark the third time Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender have teamed up following Hunger and Shame and just the fact they’re going to be working together again is enough to get me very excited.
Other films that I’m intrigued about are Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder, Monsters University, and, interestingly considering I’ve not seen any of his other films, Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem. As ever, there will be plenty of others that grab me as the year goes on.
So there we go, that was my Janus post looking back and looking forward. I would like to finish by saying a massive thank you to everyone who has read my posts, ‘liked’ them, commented on them, and shared them with others. I’ve had a load of fun chatting and debating things people and am very much looking forward to more of the same in 2013.