Friday 14 September 2012

Best Film in the 2012 Summer Blockbuster Stand-off

The polls have closed for part 3 of the 2012 Summer Blockbuster Stand-Off and the winner you voted in for Most Attractive Superhero was Chris Hemsworth as Thor! That's twice in a row that the Amazing Spiderman has lost out now but the Hemsworth brothers currently rule the universe and all things Hollywood so sorry Spidey, you never stood a chance against these genes!

The final award of the 2012 Summer Blockbuster Standoff is for that most coveted of titles; Best Film of the Summer. Hey it's not an Oscar but it beats getting a Razzie! To qualify for this, the films chosen had to be of the epic blockbuster variety so comedies and strip-fests were not legible unfortunately, sorry Magic Mike!

And no, that wasn't just an excuse to post the picture above, how dare you! Anyway, to help you decide which of our five blockbusters are the best, I've also included my own personal favourite moments to jog your memories a bit. I've tried not to go too super-hero heavy with the list but this really was the year for incredible comic-book adaptations so don't say I didn't warn you!

Here are the five nominations for Best Film of the Summer:

1) Avengers Assemble 
This project was literally years in the making and I've got to admit, I was kind of scared that it wouldn't work, especially with some of the average tie-in films that lead up to its release. However, as soon as it was announced that Joss Whedon would be directing, I knew I needn't have worried. Avengers Assemble is simultaneously the most faithful and most enjoyable comic book adaptation I have ever seen, with pitch perfect portrayals of these iconic characters alongside breathtaking fight scenes and moments of unexpected humour. Never has a comic book film appealed so much to both hardcore fans and the mainstream so successfully.
Favourite Moment: I think most people would choose one of the funny Hulk moments where he bashes Loki around or flicks Thor away but for me, there's a bit in the final fight scene where Captain America and Iron Man are fighting back to back in perfect tandem and Iron Man blasts Captain America's shield on purpose so it bounces off and hits the aliens. It was a tiny moment and I know it sounds stupid but at that instant, it was like seeing all the comics I had ever loved as a child finally coming to life in front of me on the big screen. Giant nerdgasm. It literally gave me a rush of excitement ha! Sad I know. I couldn't find that clip unfortunately but hopefully the trailer above will remind you of some of the best bits.
 2) The Dark Knight Rises
While I was somewhat disappointed with this film in comparison to its predecessor, The Dark Knight Rises is still ridiculously well made and is easily one of the most intelligent comic-book blockbusters ever released. Anne Hathaway's take on Catwoman was genius and I loved the feeling that anything could happen now that the trilogy was coming to an end. Bane was no Joker but he was still great in his own way and the film had an epic feel to it that few movies can match today. 
Favourite moment: I really enjoyed Cilian Murphy's cameo in the courthouse, where he reprised his Scarecrow role from the first two films in the trilogy. I always felt he had been underused, even as one of the key villains in Batman Begins, so it was great to see him holding court as an insane judge, condemning people in mock trials just for the hell of it. Here's Cilian Murphy discussing his cameo in the film.   
3) Brave
As I said in my previous review of Brave, even Pixar not at its best is lstill eagues above the rest of the competition and this definitely applies here. Brave is a stunning film with an incredible first half and while it does lose momentum somewhat towards the end, it has such a strong lead in Merida that it doesn't matter what gender you are - you're going to love the film regardless! Brave also has some hilarious moments which I can't reveal without spoiling the plot but let's just say that Emma Thompson's initially uptight demeanour soon gives way to something quite different.   

Favourite moment: Near the beginning of the film, young men from other tribes come to Merida's castle to compete for her hand in marriage through an archery competition. Being the strong modern woman that she is, Merida waits until they have all finished and then just calmly steps in and wipes the floor with all of them, winning her own right to marry who she chooses. This is an example of one of those perfect Pixar moments where the characterisation is stronger than any live action film I can name, with also elements of humour and action included to excite the younger ones. Genius.
4) Prometheus
Ridley Scott's latest was easily the most highly anticipated sci-fi film of the last few years, with a mind-blowing trailer to match, but while some were disappointed that it didn't match up to the dizzying standards set by Alien, Prometheus is certainly an incredible sci-fi epic in its own right. And it's just beautiful to look at. Now that might sound weird but the ridiculously detailed design and stunning cinematography made me glad for once that I had forked out the extra money for a 3D film, and that pretty much never happens normally! I loved that not every bit of the story was spoonfed to the viewer like so many dumb blockbusters do these days. Prometheus was definitely a film tailor made for those late night discussions over a pint of beer, with a twisty plot that raised more questions than it answered. And I haven't even mentioned the clever links that Scott subtly includes in homage to the original Alien series. Prometheus is set to be a cult classic in years to come.
Favourite moment: One thing I haven't mentioned about Prometheus is how great the cast were. As usual, Charlize Theron was brilliant as the bitch but for me, and seemingly every film critic in the universe, Michael Fassbender completely stole the show. The introduction of his character David was easily my favourite scene in the film, where we see him engage in a variety of activities while waiting for the rest of the crew to emerge from hypersleep. Highlights include David  combing his hair in a creepy android way and effortlessly throwing a basketball into a hoop from miles away while cycling round the court on a bike. It's so clever the way his character is introduced through a series of short everyday scenes that are devoid of any dialogue. Fassbender's performance is definitely oscar-worthy in my eyes.   
5) The Amazing Spiderman
When I first heard that Spiderman was being rebooted only a few short years after the horrific Spiderman 3, a little piece of me died inside. However, as more and more was revealed about its release, I gradually became more and more excited at seeing how the new update would pan out. Marc Webb directing after his amazing debut 500 Days Of Summer? Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy? ANDREW GARFIELD AS SPIDERMAN!? It all sounded too good to be true! But while it was not perhaps the classic I wanted it to be, The Amazing Spiderman was a great interpretation of a very familiar story, with some fantastic action sequences and the definitive Peter Parker in Garfield. Of all the films in this list, Spiderman is perhaps the most entertaining in terms of mindless popcorn entertainment and there's something to be said for that when it's done right.     
Favourite moment: Now I know I keep gushing over the casting of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone but their performances definitely elevated this reboot for me, making The Amazing Spiderman far more than just a studio cash-in. My favourite moment also seemed to be the distributors favourite as the whole scene in its entirety was played in some cinemas prior to the complete release. This bugged me no end. Anyways, in a big action packed blockbuster about a superhero fighting a giant lizard, the scene that actually excited me most was the bit where Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy are just talking in the school hallway. The dialogue is snappy, bringing out both actor's comedic talents and the whole conversation felt like it had been lifted out of a quality teen comedy. More of this was needed methinks.  Here's a snippet of it below.   
So who gets to win the prestigious honour of Best Film in this stand-off? With five films to choose from, it's a tough call but its up to you guys to decide. Just scroll up a bit and then vote in the poll to the left. It literally takes a second so show your support for the best blockbuster of the summer. And if you disagree with my choices of film or favourite moment or even if you just want to practice your typing skills then let me know with a comment below. And sorry guys but Magic Mike was NOT a blockbuster, no matter how much you protest!

PS. The poll isn't letting me add Spidey at the moment so if you want to vote for him then just type in Spiderman below in the comment section. 7 days until the results are revealed!!!

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