30: Bruce Dern’s Hair, Spectacular as Always

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NEBRASKA

This week: Chris and Josh plunge headlong into the busiest time of any cinephile’s year, touching on Gravity, Captain Phillips, Short Term 12 and Leviathan before going longer on Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy’s too-weird-for-mass-consumption The Counsellor and Alexander Payne’s triumphant return to the American Midwest, Nebraska. Elsewhere, this month’s classic is Robert Altman’s seasonally appropriate masterpiece McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Josh finds common ground between three French films about teenagers coming of age and Chris assures you Spike Lee’s Oldboy isn’t as bad as you’ve heard. Continue reading

Slow Boat to China: Films of the Year 2012

I didn’t keep track of how many fims I saw in total this year, but I would estimate it was somewhere between the two and three hundred mark (including a few rewatches). Of those, 71 were either released in cinemas or went straight to DVD/Blu-Ray (possibly after earlier festival screenings) in the UK in 2012, and it’s those 71 that qualify for inclusion in this list. Disclaimers: I missed a few big ones that are making a lot of other folks’ best-ofs for the year – Holy Motors, TabuThis Is Not A Film – and I haven’t seen any of the listed films more than once, so all of this is going off of 1) first reactions and 2) memories of the film from, in some cases, nearly 12 months ago. Bear in mind, any non-UK readers, that most of the big award season contenders – Lincoln, Django UnchainedZero Dark Thirty – aren’t out here until next year, which may also explain the inclusion of some titles here that made a lot of lists in December 2011. I don’t have the time right now to fill out 3,000 words of capsule reviews as I did for the music list, but I did want to get something up before the year was out, so I’ll hopefully come back and do that over the next few days. Continue reading