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The Year in Review



Video killed the radio star and now it's coming after me. This column cannot summarize the films of 2012 like the Filmography 2012 video posted to YouTube by "genrocks." Go find it and enjoy seven perfectly edited minutes of scenes and sound bites from movies released during this last revolution around the sun.

Thanks to seasonal deadlines I am writing this before seeing Quentin Taratino's Django Unchained, which will almost certainly be on my list of the best of 2012. But Otherwise, here we go.

Best Comic Book Flick — Everyone got all wet and gooey over The Avengers but I thought it kinda watched like a tornado at a garbage dump — just too loud and all over the place. The Hulk was awesome but otherwise... weak. The Amazing Spider-Man takes this category, mainly due to solid chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, but also because director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) seems to understand action as well as he does human relations. Spidey as a parkour expert ties in to the comic book universe perfectly. Initially it did seem awfully too-soon for a reboot of the web-crawler franchise but they pulled it off brilliantly. Runner up: The Dark Knight Rises.

Best Action — Bond wins with Skyfall, one of the best entries in the entire Bond series. But I also had a hell of a good time watching Steven Soderberg's Haywire with MMA star Gina Carano and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter because of the fresh, awesome axe battles.

Best Ending — Liam Neeson staring down a giant, killer wolf with only a knife and a bunch of smashed mini-bar bottles duct-taped to his hand like an impromptu Wolverine. The Grey knew just the right time to call it a day.

Coolest Chick — The Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence wins hands down. And that's saying a lot because Emma Stone is really cool. Lawrence, just 22 years old and already an Oscar- nominated actress for 2010's Winter's Bone, has solidified herself into the next big teeny-lit franchise but also shines in another Oscar contender with Silver Linings Playbook alongside Bradley Cooper. Watch any talk show interview with this chick and witness the savvy and presence of the next generation of superstar.

Best Cartoon — The Lorax had the right mix of humour and message (and a catchy song) to take it this year, although The Muppets and The Pirates! Band of Misfits both put in strong showings in the puppet and stop-motion forums, respectively.

Best Documentary I didn't see enough but The Queen of Marseilles hit all the right notes in its riches-to-rags story without getting trite or pandering.

Best Sci-FiPrometheus had the pedigree and visuals, but for me Looper combined all the right elements to take the crown. A hyper-real future that seems both disappointing yet somehow optimistic — Really good.

Best of the Year — Proudly, it's a Canadian film this year. Goon follows the rise and love-trials of a minor league hockey enforcer played perfectly by Seann William Scott (Stifler) as he punches his way up the hero's journey into a blood match with his own future (Liev Schreiber). Director Michael Dowse (Fubar, It's All Gone Pete Tong), working from a Jay Baruchel script, hits us all repeatedly in the face and yet somehow leaves us wanting, craving, begging for more. This is Canadian filmmaking at it's finest.

We're gonna have to continue this next week. Happy New Year, take care of each other.

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