July

The super-hero film everyone waited for, The Amazing Spider-Man, came out early on in the month in stunning 3D. People were enamoured by its original storytelling and inventive origin story. This was the film of the year for many. Also The Dark Knight Rises popped out, with a stunning performance as ever by Marion Cotillard but not much else.

July was a quiet month, but Soderbergh's Magic Mike rallied the female crowd, as Bobcat Goldthwait's God Bless America ranted and raved against society in offensive and hilarious fashion. Keira Knightley and Steve Carell spent time Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, whilst the ever popular Ice Age films saw the fourth installment secure big business in the summer months. For a film set on ice. In the summer. Ice.

This month saw the passing of the seemingly invincible Ernest Borgnine, whose secrets to long life are infamous now. At 95, he was still very much around, with Red only out in 2010 featuring him. Even now, at Christmas, it still feels like he's here as about 50 low-quality Christmas films with him in are on the TV. An utter legend and a sad loss, the man lived a great life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

August

Opening the month was foul-mouthed bear flick Ted, about as funny as any Seth MacFarlane production, people fell in love with it and "Funniest comedy since The Hangover" was thrown about again. August had lots of 'funny' films though, with The Watch, Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, Keith Lemon The Film and 360 out. The latter may not be a comedy, but that it opened the 2011 London Film Festival was a joke.

The Olympics halted a lot of cinema, leaving us remnants of the year with the awful Take This Waltz, the underrated Sound Of My Voice, The Three Stooges, excellent documentary The Imposter and brilliantly genuinely funny comedy Cockneys Vs. Zombies.

There were big releases, like the Total Recall reboot which wasn't bad, Pixar's Brave which was alright, The Bourne Legacy which didn't go down well, and the awful The Expendables 2 which people loved. Ending the month was Toby Jones in odd horror/drama/experminetal work Berberian Sound Studio, a film this reviewers still can't wrap his head around properly.

Phyllis Diller, a legend of stand-up, passed away this month, leaving a legacy in her wake, and influences that still perform to this day.

Neil Armstrong may not have been an actor or director, or a public figure, but he was of course the first man on the moon, and his loss is a shame. If ever you could call someone hero, it'd be him.

August, though, had one loss bigger than any other, perhaps because of the shock of it all, the suddenness and seemingly meaninglessness of it all. The director of some of the best action films for the past few decades, Tony Scott, lept off a bridge to his death. A man with an astonishing visual style, an understanding of the action dynamics of cinema, style and substance even when people would mock him from overindulging in the style, he was the man many action directors would emulate, poorly. Man On Fire, Unstoppable, Taking of Pelham 123, Domino, these films looks so strikingly original that it's hard to believe it was a man in his 60's making these interesting visuals. His loss was an utter gut-punch to cinema, and he will be missed. What could have been, what we'll never get, and the pain of never knowing why make this the hardest death to take of 2012.

 

September

Catching up post-Olympics, every week of September had big releases. First weekend saw Dredd 3D, Anna Karenina, That's My Boy, Queen Of Versailles and Lawless. Most of these were pretty bad films. Not many as bad as the next week's The Sweeney, an awful reboot of the tv series on the big screen where Plan B and Ray Winstone look angry for two dull hours of nothing. Hope Springs saw Tommy Lee Jones almost get a blowjob in a cinema showing Le Diner De Cons, effectively ruining cinemas and that classic French farce in one fell swoop. Horror comedy animation ParaNorman began a reign of the charts in September as smarter UK audiences flocked to the beautiful-looking film. What didn't succeed, however, was Premium Rush, from Ghost Town director David Koepp, the bicycle chase thriller saw Michael Shannon playing insane in a great way. A lot of fun and painfully, unfairly even, maligned.

September also saw the release of vibrator-comedy-drama Hysteria, the return of Andrew Dominik in the utterly underwhelming Killing Them Softly, Oliver Stone's attempt to be young again, Savages, dark thriller Tower Block, wonderful comedy drama Untouchable and Broken Lizard-partially created comedy with zero laughs The Babymakers. It wasn't the only laugh-free comedy in later September, as The Campaign made Hollywood cinema look lame in comparison to the actual presidential campaign. Much like August's Berberian Sound Studio, Holy Motors came out with a massive WTF? label on it, and sci-fi nerds got the choice of the good-for-an-hour Looper and the hour-of-slow-mo-and-bad-at-it Resident Evil: Retribution. Guess which one flopped.

September saw Michael Clarke Duncan's passing. A man famous for being sizable in stature, but never using his size as the only defining feature, he would take roles that at once proved threatening and involved. Best known, perhaps, for his gentle giant portrayal in The Green Mile, he was a magnetic screen presence taken far before his time.

 

 

 

 

 

Coming up in the final months of 2012, Hobbitses, Affleck, Bond, shameless poster quote whoring and a sneak preview of 2013.