Looking back in cinema in 2012

BY MATTHEW DALLAS
Last updated 15:28 18/12/2012
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IN THE AIR: One of our reviewers named Cloud Atlas their pick of the crop for movies in 2012, however the film is yet to secure a release date in NZ due to poor ticket sales in the US.

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Another year at the pictures has come to pass, with Kapi-Mana News' resident Cinemaddicts sitting through a mix of stunners, sizzlers and shockers.

With the holidays upon us it's time to vacate our dark confines and enjoy a little sunlight. Not that the movie houses will be taking a break.

Though not bearing as hefty a slate as past years, Boxing Day remains a key release date, with highly rated animated flick Wreck-it Ralph, Woody Allen's To Rome With Love and Billy Crystal comedy Parental Guidance leading the charge.

Our reviewers rank their top 10 films released in New Zealand in 2012, as well as the worst three they endured. Look out for our bumper 2013 movie preview in next week's edition.

Top 10 films: Matthew Dallas

1. Margin Call - For someone with minimal interest in the financial sector I was surprised how much this immorality tale of Wall Street's players and pawns resonated with me. Killer script and performances.

2. The Dark Knight Rises - Despite huge expectations, Chris Nolan's Batman saga went out on top, though it definitely needed Catwoman's spunk to offset the somewhat bland menace of Bane.

3. Argo - Another directing triumph for Ben Affleck, who squeezed every ounce of suspense and heart from this uncanny tale of Hollywood coming to the rescue of beleaguered diplomats in Iran.

4. Moneyball - Brad Pitt changes baseball forever thanks to maths and economics. Enthralling behind-the-scenes sports flick.

5. The Avengers - The definitive superhero blockbuster that balanced personality and loud explosions wonderfully.

6. Skyfall - 007's most confident return to service since the 1960s. Smart but muscular, and amusing without being silly.

7. Hugo - Change of pace for Martin Scorsese, but a sweet, old-fashioned ode to cinema that really soars in the third act.

8. The Hunger Games - Took a while to heat up, but once the battle royal commenced it was an absolute blast - with an admirable young female role model to boot.

9. Prometheus - Ridley Scott adds another layer to the Alien mythology, featuring the most memorable movie moment of the year (the do-it-yourself C-section).

10. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - You had to work for it, but there was much to love about this slow burning spy thriller.

* Yet to see: The Hobbit, Moonrise Kingdom and Looper.

* Condemnation: Savages, Alex Cross and The Dictator.

Top 10 films: Kylie Klein Nixon

1. Cloud Atlas - Ambitious, sprawling, exciting, heart breaking, more beautiful than any film I've ever seen. The Wachowski siblings' magnum opus. Yet no release date!

2. The Avengers - I saw this nine times at the cinema. Nine. Times. ''Hulk? Smash.''

3. The Hobbit - Forget the brouhaha over the frame rate, this is a rollicking good time and a welcome return to the magic of Middle-earth.

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4. Moonrise Kingdom - As charming, stylised and romantic as you could want from the king of hipsters, Wes Anderson.

5. Hunger Games - If anyone ever tries to tell you girls can't front action movies, bash them in the face with a copy of this.

6. 21 Jump Street - It's not high art, but it made me laugh so hard my eyebrows melted. It also redeemed Channing Tatum who I'd previously considered a bizarre, potato-headed anomaly.

7. Cabin in the Woods - Required viewing for any horror fan. Required viewing for anyone with a pulse, actually. Whedon at his irreverent, comedic best.

8. Argo - And they try to say film making is dead - classy, gorgeously scripted, beautifully made.

9. The Dark Knight Rises - The perfect end to the greatest superhero trilogy of all time. I still believe in Batman.

10. Dredd - A faithful, exciting, ultra-violent cinematic version of my favourite fascist.

* Honourable mentions: Chronicle, The Amazing Spider-man, Looper and The First Time.

* Condemnation: Skyfall, Dark Shadows, Prometheus.

- Kapi-Mana News

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