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Best and worst of 2012's movies

Photo credit : AP Photo/Summit Entertainment
Best and worst of 2012's movies

The 2012 movie season had lots of winners, some losers, and many more films that fell in between.

The good news for studios, big and small, is the healthy box office from flicks this year showcased lots of worthy performances.

But then it’s always a delicate balance between commerce and craft.

With that in mind here are some highlights and low lights in the cinema year that just was.

A Lonely Coming Out Party

Kelowna, B. C.’s Taylor Kitsch thought 2012 might be the best of times. He was starring in the sci-fi fantasy John Carter. He was part of the high-concept actioneer Battleship and he was featured in Oliver Stone’s crime saga Savages. Oops: Three strikes but he’s not out.

Kitsch is a resilient fellow. After two consecutive MCL injuries ended his promising hockey career, he went on to model and subsequently act in the TV series Friday Night Lights. Now based in Austin, Texas, he’s looking to the future and his season in an Austin hockey league. That’s right; hockey in Texas. “It’s a good skate,” said the former junior star, shrugging off the past movie disappointments.

What Comes Around Doesn’t Always Go Around

Tim Burton was fired from Disney for making his live short Frankenweenie. Many movies later, Burton had Disney’s backing for an animated version of that film.

Making up is easy to do, especially if you can refer to the billion dollar take of Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which was a smash for the Mouse House and counted as a green light for Burton’s Frankenweenie.

Remember to Never Forget

That’s Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s motto. During an interview promoting Journey 2: The Mysterious Island at a swanky Honolulu resort, the actor offered this bit of nostalgia.

Apparently, when he was a kid his family lived in an efficiency apartment less than a mile from the swanky hotel. “We came home one day, and there was an eviction notice on the door, and I remember my mom crying,” Johnson said.

Since then, living accommodations have improved for the whole family.

Shlock of Ages

Tom Cruise played a rock star in Rock of Ages but one critic said the rest of the movie felt like a 40-minute drum solo.

The Wonder of Obscure

Ben Affleck is on Argo course to shine at the Oscars. His film is a crowd pleaser. He also co-stars in Terence Malick’s To the Wonder, which joined Argo at the Toronto International Film Festival. What is Affleck’s Wonder assessment? It’s Malick’s most baffling yet. “It’s for people who like some Malick with their Malick,” said Affleck.


Rumour has it Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper, from The Hangover franchise, and Jennifer Lawrence, of Hunger Games fame, were allotted equal method time before every Silver Linings Playbook scene.

Unheard of: An All Star Game with Action

Thank director Joss Whedon for that extra effort in the critically acclaimed box-office smash The Avengers, which highlights the famous Marvel superheroes. In the end, the film scored.

So how did Whedon do it when many pundits predicted failure? “All the superhero moments had to be earned,” said Whedon. And earn it did; $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office.

“I’m Sorry.” So is Brenda Lee

Oh, that Kristen Stewart. After fooling around with her Snow White and the Huntsman director, she asked her Twilight buddy Robert Pattinson to forgive her. With promotion for the last Twilight movie approaching, they air kissed and made up, and will live happily ever after or until the end of the theatre run of Breaking Dawn — Part 2. Whatever comes first?

In All Seriousness as a Comedy

Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane releases the raunchy Ted, which continues MacFarlane’s streak of laugh vehicles intentionally featuring no redeeming social merit.

Not For Consideration

“Watch the documentary, if you know what’s good for you.” It’s the tagline rejected by the distributors of Bully.

A Man For All Ages

Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a little career time travel. He’s one good cop in the comic book adventure The Dark Knight Rises. He’s a modern-day bicycle messenger in thriller Premium Rush, a futuristic hitman in Looper and the son of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s biopic.

Wishful Flipping

In a Cloud Atlas sequence, Tom Hanks’ thug writer throws a critic off a balcony to his death. Just before the release of the film, Hanks said he was convinced that the scene would increase his chances of getting good reviews. It didn’t hurt.

Bare Necessities

People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive Channing Tatum revealed almost all he had to offer in the male stripper flick, Magic Mike. He had the moves down because as a teen he made more than a few bucks shaking and baking for almost a year. In the film, the dancers are depicted as a little wild and kinky, but Tatum said the reel antics were tame compared to the real thing. “Oh, yeah,” he confirmed. “By a lot.”

Will There be a Test?

Apparently, some movie goers were heard asking that after exiting Joe Wright’s puzzling movie version of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

Nostalgia is What it Used To Be

The Expendables 2 scored big with Sly Stallone, Arnie Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris. Can an Action Jackson reboot be far behind?

Better Than Cats

Les Miserables gets early Oscar buzz, or is that just a ringing in the ears?