Director Joan Carr-Wiggin’s “Happily Ever After” is like a nice slice of pound cake. It’s inoffensive, kind of bland, but still has a sweet spot every so often. Carr-Wiggin’s film is a mixture of Cameron Crowe, “Lady Bug,” and “Beautiful Girls” in where a nearing thirty year old comes back to their home town to find everything is the same as when they left it. Or perhaps maybe it isn’t. For Heather, she’s spent her life giving up looking for her happily ever after, and has found that she has come home to a town of people that are seeking their happy ending, and can’t quite admit that they’re unhappy in their current lives. When Heather goes to visit her ailing father in the hospital, she crashes in to old school mate Sarah Ann. She’s a bubbly blond classmate who is devoted to getting married and building the typical Rockwellian life of a picket fence house and comfortable marriage.
2012 was filled with so many surprises, and it’s a year we may be talking about for a while. The big screen adaptation of “21 Jump Street” we were convinced would be pure swill ended up being the funniest comedy in the last few years. Ridley Scott’s return to science fiction “Prometheus” which we were sure would be an epic masterpiece ended up being sub-par genre fare that didn’t exactly re-invent the wheel in spite of causing a rift between genre fans who either loved it or hated it. However, the comedy movie about a foul mouthed talking teddy bear pretty much met our rock bottom expectations. Disney and Marvel Studios took a gamble on a movie that assembled a group of superheroes from film franchises of varying success entrusting the task to a director and storyteller primarily beloved by cult fans, and ended up conquering the box-office, and the world.
Disney’s gamble on another fantasy film entitled “John Carter” also made history as one of the biggest flops in movie history. A movie based on a board game was crucified by movie fans all over the world, while the director of “The Avengers” made waves with his cult horror comedy “The Cabin in the Woods.” Quentin Tarantino introduced one of the rare African American Western heroes to mainstream cinema, and The Dark Knight made his return to the screen unfortunately being forever linked to a horrific killing spree inflicted by a heartless monster, prompting Hollywood to re-think their stance on film violence causing an uproar among movie buffs. 2012 was a rather eventful year in the world of cinema and storytelling, and without further ado we introduce our Top 10 and Worst 10 Films of 2012.
Be sure to send us your own Top 10 and Worst 10 of 2012! We can likely begin a conversation that’s human and polite.
It’s odd that though Ti West is primarily a director who tackles horror films, that if he ever decided to write a drama or comedy, he could really deliver a near masterpiece. Save for “The Roost,” and “Cabin Fever 2,” director Ti West has proven a master of slow boil horror films that are written beautifully. Featuring rich and well developed characters, director Ti West is a very strong writer and horror director who has offered some unique horror films for indie fans. Though he’s not the juggernaut horror journalists are quick to tout him as, Ti West can write damn good scripts and create likable and charming characters who are involved in horrifying situations. And when he finally delivers the boom after a long session of watching the fuse burn, it’s satisfying and absolutely twisted.
Sara Paxton, Sara Paxton, and Sara Paxton. Now that you know why I saw “Shark Night” in the first place, let’s skip the excuses. And it’s only apt, since “Shark Night” should really be called “All the Boys Love Sara Paxton.” It feels like the studio only had sharks in a lake as a concept for a film and basic outline. They then discovered they were casting Sara Paxton, and they basically built the film around her. What starts as a goofy yarn about sharks in a lake, transforms in to Sara Paxton vs. Sharks in a Lake. The film is a love letter to Paxton and her absolutely unique sex appeal. She’s a country born small town ideal college girl who everyone wants. Guys flirt with her, girls hang around her, and even her own dog refuses to leave her side. She engages in a high speed chase with the local sheriff who happens to be her friend and he laughs off her fleeing, flirts with her, and has a beer! Even after she and her friends are hunted by sharks while their friend bleeds to death from a bitten off arm, the men still try to get Paxton’s character in to the sack.
After “Our Favorite Modern Final Girls” hit the site a few years ago, we’ve been watching the horror genre with a magnifying glass and keeping an eye out for new scream queens and final girls making the scene. You’d be surprised how many new gorgeous young actresses can pop up in only a matter of two years and take the horror film world by storm. Lo and behold we gathered ten more Modern Final Girls we Love. Some of our choices have been around for almost ten years, some over ten years, and a few have just started making the scene as a premiere beautiful face fighting evil or monsters. With their charms and talents, they continue rethinking the mold of the modern final girl, and keep adding a respectability to what was once considered a disposable element of the film world.
I’m not sure why, but Kimberly J. Brown is nowhere to be found in this final film of the “Halloweentown” series. I read an interview online from Kimberly J. Brown that explains she never got a call to come back to the movies, even though she was more than willing. I peg it to the fact that Sara Paxton was then blossoming to be tailored for Disney Channel stardom, thus they kicked out the very adorable and quite talented Brown in exchange for the more streamlined and younger Sara Paxton. The difference is immensely noticeable as the character seems completely different from the original Marnie. Paxton is a good actress, but she’s not as charming or soft spoken as Brown was, thus there’s an element missing from this final film. Also, Debbie Reynolds is nowhere to be found, another sad fact considering she was a key element to the formation of Marnie. She was her Obi-Wan. Without her, Marnie is just another heroine.
It’s hard to really deny that Jojo and Emma Roberts have an interesting chemistry. Had the writers chosen to make “Aquamarine” a down to Earth glimpse at friendship with a mermaid, and turned away from the sickening fluff, there could have been something very emotional and clutching. But in the end, it’s really just a typical on-screen friendship. The girls are bubbly, and boring, and Roberts is your typical geeky character, etc. There’s one interesting sequence in which the two argue and bring about issues that are never confronted in the film. And I sat there wondering why the hell this was never brought up with a lengthier and complex scope. For a film that claims to be about friendship, it’s sad we didn’t see more of the depth available with the two main characters here. Jojo and Roberts’ chemistry is charming to watch, and I didn’t despise watching them yammer back and forth. Meanwhile, I could have done with more scenes featuring Arielle Kebbel as the obligatory bitchy character because… well, Kebbel is gorgeous. Need I say more?