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Ash’s Top 10 Movies of 2012

Here are Ash’s Top 10 movies of the year. Does she have better taste than me? Well she has The Raid as number 2 and Dredd didn’t even make my list, so you be the judge:

The_Raid

10. Dredd
9. Looper
8. Django Unchained
7. Cloud Atlas
6. Silver Linings Playbook
5. The Avengers
4. American Scream
3. Moonrise Kingdom
2. The Raid
1. Cabin in the woods

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Predictions for 2013

Warm Bodies will be better than World War Z

With all the reshoots that have happened with World War Z and the fact that they brought on Damon Lindelof to help write a new ending (*shudder*) this isn’t that bold of a prediction. That said, if someone had told me a few years ago that they were making an adaptation of a zombie book that I really liked, and it would be the first epic scoped big budget blockbuster zombie movie, but that I was more excited about a movie that is basically Twilight with zombies I wouldn’t have believed them. I do really like the imagery of the World War Z trailer but I can’t shake the feeling that it will just be a straight ahead hero’s story starring Brad Pitt that happens to feature zombies. Hopefully both films will be good, but If I had to place my bets, Warm Bodies will be significantly better than WWZ.

Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be divisive.

I was a bit surprised with how divisive An Unexpected Journey was. I knew it wasn’t going to get the same glowing reviews the LOTR films got because it isn’t the underdog that those films were. Critics complained the Peter Jackson was repeating himself (which is why he was so reluctant initially to do the Hobbit), complained about length (ironic considering the number of films that that were also 2 hours and 45 minutes: Les Mis, Zero Dark Thirty, Django etc), and that it had been split into three films. Yet viewers generally embraced the film judging from the box office. I predict that The Desolation of Smaug will be even more divisive than the first. I suspect that the middle chapter will have a lot more added material than the first, and critics will continue their complaining about PJ being indulgent, I mean if they had a problem with Azog the Defiler not being in the book, how will they feel about Evangeline Lilly’s character who wasn’t even created by Tolkien? Yet even the most negative reviews will point out how great the scene is will Bilbo talking in riddles to Smaug (just as they said about the Gollum and Bilbo in the first) and they will say it is because Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch have chemistry from Sherlock.

After having a conversation with Pete, here is my hope/prediction about the structure of the next two films:

Desolation of Smaug – Starts with a flashback of Gandalf getting the key and map from Thorin’s father to put the focus on the Necromancer and Dol Guldur. The story from the book will continue without too many changes except that when Gandalf is gone we see him investigating Dol Guldur. The Smaug/Bilbo scene will take place towards the end of the film, similarly to the Riddles in the Dark in the first one. The movie will end with the Battle of Dol Guldur, and at the very end to set up the next one Gandalf will say something about how the dragon still lives, and might even bring up the concept of greed.

There and Back Again: This one will be insanely action packed. There will be a big battle scene with Smaug, and then the Battle of the Five Armies will rival anything in the LOTR trilogy.

High Frame Rate

I predict that at least one major movie will announce that it will be shot in High Frame Rate (my guess is the next X-Men film). No matter what your thoughts are on HFR you should really read this article on Collider . It does a great job of explaining where the negative reactions were coming from. While I personally didn’t enjoy it and it actually dampened my enjoyment while watching The Hobbit, it is easy to see the benefits. There is an overhead shot in Django of people walking on a road and then a huge location title that fills the entire screen moves from right to left across the length of it. I noticed the “strobing” effect so much that it actually hurt my eyes. I really wished The Hobbit wasn’t the first HFR movie, but rather a documentary film like Baraka or Koyaanisqatsi, or a an animated movie. 24 fps is an artifact from another time and there is no reason to think that it can’t be improved upon, and with directors like Cronenberg singing its praises it is not to hard to imagine some other upcoming film project deciding to shot in HFR (not including the next two Hobbit movies or the next two Avatars which will be released in HFR).

Marvel Phase 2 movie reviews will all refer to the Avengers

That’s not much of a prediction, Avengers was one of the biggest movies ever, and this will be the first time since then that we will see the same characters. But specifically I predict that most reviews will say how Iron Man and Thor should have just called in his Avengers friends to help them defeat the villain. It will be just like the Eagles in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit (why didn’t they just fly them to Mount Doom/The Lonely Mountain), where no matter what the reasons why that wouldn’t/shouldn’t happen (They are a sentient race and not transportation, The Eagles would be corrupted by the ring, then there wouldn’t be a movie… etc ), critics will feel clever when they say it.

Disney will announce another Star Wars film that isn’t Episode VII, VIII, or IX

This is the most unlikely out of all my predictions but there was talk of Disney doing a Star Wars movie every year or two, and with talk of Lawrence Kasdan working on a Star Wars project that isn’t Episode VIII or IX, it is possible. The film will be scheduled for a 2016 but more likely 2017 release, and they will use words like “dark” and “gritty” to describe it (maybe it will be a bounty hunter movie that people seem to think would be a good idea)

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Six Great Trilogies You May Not Have Seen

I have always loved the idea of a movie trilogy (probably because I was such a Star Wars kid), they always seemed like complete works of art. This is part of the reason why I am so fine with the Hobbit becoming a trilogy. I decided to compile this list of some great movie trilogies that might not jump to your mind when talking about trilogies. So I didn’t include stuff like the Godfather, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, or Back to the Future etc, because those are pretty obvious. The first three are unofficial trilogies, they have the same director and thematic material, but they don’t share characters (If only At World’s End was out, I would definitely have added The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy). One thing that most trilogies share is that the third entry is usually the weakest (Godfather, Spider Man, X-men etc). I have been thinking about this phenomenon for a while. It could be that filmmakers get lazy when they get to the third entry, they ran out of story to tell, or any other number of things. While movies fail for myriad reasons, if there is actually a statistical difference with the reception of the third entries, I believe I’ve figured out a big reason for this. Imagine a theoretically successful movie that has the potential to be a franchise. The sequel is made. This sequel can either be successful or not. If it is not successful, then it is less likely that a third film will be made. Therefore, when you think about trilogies that have weak third films, that isn’t that surprising when you factor in the potential trilogies that had weak second films and thus weren’t able to complete the trilogy (think Conan, Ghostbusters etc). Regardless, on to the trilogies.
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