2012 was NOT a great year for film, I wanted to make a top 20 list…I couldn’t think of that many. I thought about making a top 10 list, but I could only think of 9! Then I added another that was just OK. So here they are, 9 films that I enjoyed enough to rewatch the trailer and pull some thoughts about them out of my brain. I also included the trailers here, for you. You’re welcome.
Here are three miniature movie reviews. All of them are streaming on Netflix right now, so go check them out!
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012)
This is a really awesome documentary looking into the life of Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist and social and political activist. Not only do you get a behind-the-scenes look into his art shows, you also get to see how he really sticks it to “The (Chinese) Man.” This is a dude who really hates the current political state of his country and is not afraid to say whatever he wants. It’s a super interesting and educational film exploring a true artist’s life in a country that is holding everyone else back.
Bellflower is a film that premiered at Sundance in 2011. Written and directed by Evan Glodell, it is an engrossing and visually compelling low-budget film. It is split into many chapters and the narrative structure is all over the place, yet it works extremely well. It’s about two best friends (both obsessed with Mad Max) who are in the process of making a flamethrower and a badass, souped-up muscle car for the possible future apocalypse. Throw in a love story and you’ve got the basics of Bellflower. It’s a super strange film, but it’s one that you can’t take your eyes off of.
The Tall Man (2012)
This is a film written and directed by Pascal Laugier. If that name isn’t ringing any bells, he directed a French/Canadian film called Martyrs that came out in 2008. It is easily one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen. So, going into The Tall Man, I was expecting to be grossed out. Instead, I was surprised to find an extremely dense and suspenseful mystery.
Looking at the poster and watching the trailer, it was obviously marketed as a horror film, yet it really isn’t a horror film at all. There is maybe one sequence filled with a few “pop out” parts, but other than that, The Tall Man is an engaging, satisfying, and surprising mystery film. Starring Jessica Biel, the film is about a town where children are constantly disappearing, thought to be taken by a mysterious entity the townspeople call the “Tall Man.” You may think you know where the film is going, but you don’t. I can understand why many people don’t like this movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.