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  • It's the Odinson’s 2012: The Year in Review: Part 2: The Movies

    Greetings from the Odinson,

    It’s time for Odinson’s 2012: The Year in Review: Part 2: The Movies.

    TV in 2012

    Real quick before I get started I should address some of the gold that’s being mined on the small screen.  The Walking Dead continues to be one of the most riveting shows on television.  It provides enough of the source material while adding new and exciting things to the story so that fans of the comics and those that have never read an issue can both enjoy the drama and horror unfold.  Game of Thrones also continues to entertain.  With the plight of Daenerys and her people playing out across the Narrow Sea, Jon Snow’s venture and harrowing discoveries beyond the Great Wall, the inevitable clash on the horizon as the armies under the banner of the Starks march ever closer to challenge the Lannister’s hold over the Iron Throne, the second season of Thrones did not disappoint.  This fall also saw the debut of Arrow, a television drama based on Green Arrow.  Now I haven’t seen all the episodes but what I have seen of this action series is pretty cool.  And what could possibly be wrong with a TV series that includes episodes with Deathstroke the Terminator and Deadshot?   Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers

    And now...

    The Movies

    I didn’t see The Hunger Games, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, nor Men in Black 3 and I’ve heard mixed reviews.  Other than Games, which everyone seemed to like, the other two were pretty hit and miss for those that told me about them.  So, I’ll just wait for the ole Netflix to pick them up before I give them a view.  I also did not see the remake of Total Recall.  The original film is such a classic and when I saw the commercials for the remake, there really wasn’t anything in it that made me want to go to the theatre to see it.  Plus, how can you have a Total Recall movie and not go to Mars? 

    As for the films I did see…

    Wrath of the Titans – Much like its predecessor, Clash of the Titans (the remake), this film was a buffet of eye-candy, a special FX feast.  And like its predecessor, though it had its moments (like Zeus and Hades walking into battle and having a “little fun”), the film as a whole fell a little flat.  It was utterly predictable (gee, who’d a thought that Ares would be traitorous).  That being said, Sam Worthington is fantastic as the reluctant hero Perseus and after seeing Liam Neeson own the part of Zeus, I really can’t imagine another actor in that roll.  Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers

    The Cabin in the Woods – Leave it up to Joss Whedon to take a tired genre like the horror film and completely come at from a different angle and produce easily the most memorable horror film of the year.  Cabin is one of those movies that benefits greatly from multiple viewings.  There are always little details that I catch that I didn’t see the first time through.  And knowing where the tale ends up gives a lot of the early scenes in the movie whole new meanings.  My hat is off to Whedon and his partner in crime Drew Goddard for bringing something fresh to the genre of horror.  Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers

    Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter – The Odinson was in a foul mood after watching this terrible piece of cinema.  That’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back.  The merging of two legends, Lincoln and vampires, I was on board with, if only to see what they do with the concept, but there was just too much nonsense that left me going “Wha?!”  The whole chase scene through the stampeding horses was almost too much to bear.  It was just silly.  And the tie-in with vampires at the Battle of Gettysburg just didn’t click with me either.  However, there are some really wild action scenes and ole Honest Abe sure can swing an axe.  Odinson Rating: 2 out of 5 Hammers

    Dark Shadows – This one wasn’t overly disappointing, nor was it an absolute must see.  It has all the eerie settings and dark humor one might come to expect for a Burton production.  Some of the sight gags (like Barnabas Collins trying to find a comfortable place to sleep) worked really well, but the ending was cluttered with plot holes and unexplained twists.  It’s definitely worth watching if you are a Johnny Depp and/or Tim Burton fan.  Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers

    The Expendables 2 – Two words: Chuck Norris.  ‘Nuff said.  Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers

    Prometheus – This film was an utter mess.  The first forty minutes or so of the film is exposition.  Boring!  By the time things start happening I, as the viewer, don’t really care about any of these people so it really doesn’t bother me as they start to drop off one-by-one.  Many of them are flat out unlikable.  It’s well over an hour into the film before I start to warm up to the Captain as he bantered with his crew.  I even nudged my buddy and asked, “Are they actually having a conversation and not just telling us what they are doing and where they are going?”  I guess I just didn’t get what I was looking for when it came to connecting the film to Alien.  Yeah, it’s there but I needed more, maybe in the next one.  Now I will say, Michael Fassbender’s David would be, if not for Loki, the villain of the year, so diabolically calculating.  And lastly, I will say that the film was absolutely beautiful to look at, visually stunning.  The landscapes and sets were amazing.  Odinson Rating: 2 out of 5 Hammers

    Now we get down to the nitty gritty, the top 3 fanboy movies of the year!

    Amazing Spider-Man
    – I thought this Spider-Man film was, in a word, Amazing!  I talked before at length about all the things I loved in it (see The Odinson Reviews the Film – The Amazing Spider-Man).  It does have its flaws.  For instance, why do I have to sit through another origin story of Spider-Man when I just saw a pretty definitive version of that origin barely ten years ago?  Even worse, they trick up the Uncle Ben stuff so that it’s different.  That beings said, once you get past the origin story, this is a great Spider-Man film.  The actors and the acting in the film are fantastic.  And I can’t say how much I loved the fact that they went with the Lizard as the Big Bad.  Next to Doctor Octopus, the Lizard is my favorite Spidey foe. This is truly a franchise that Spidey fans can get behind and I can’t wait to see what they do in the next film.  Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers

    The Dark Knight Rises – All right, here’s where the Odinson makes a few enemies.  I absolutely hated this movie.  I love Batman, but I can take a moment to set my Batman pom-poms down and realize that the many plot holes, boring storytelling, and utter predictability of this tale make this easily the worst of the Nolan Batman films. And don’t get me started on the movie’s villain.  In the first five minutes of the film, from the moment I heard Bane speak, I was completely pulled out of the movie and could not possibly take this guy seriously for the rest of the film.  Alfred acts completely out of character by abandoning Bruce.  And does anybody else think that it’s a bit odd that Batman, a hero who hates guns and a man whose entire existence is defined by the dreadful act of violence involving a gun, has his life saved by, you guessed it, a big gun?! What?!  And the ham-fisted twist with the John Blake character was sloppy and quite frankly dumb.  I saw this film with a friend of mine, a friend that had been the biggest Superman, Batman, DC Comics fan his whole life and he fell asleep during the movie, twice!  Rises had some moments that were cool but I am utterly disappointed in the follow up to Nolan’s second film masterpiece that is The Dark KnightOdinson Rating: 2 out of 5 Hammers

    Avengers – Avengers is, without a doubt, the greatest comic book movie ever made.  It delivers on all cylinders.  For my full thoughts on the film check out The Odinson Reviews the Avengers.  Between going to the theatre and the DVD release I have literally watched this film two dozen times, maybe more, and I enjoy it every single time just as much as I did the first time I saw it.  Every character is pitch perfect and sounds exactly how they sound to me when I read their adventures in the comic books.  Captain America is stalwart and a natural leader, Thor is powerful, Iron Man is super cool, and the Hulk is the strongest one there is.  Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner is the best portrayal of that character since the late great Bill Bixby.  And Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is, hands down, the villain of the year.  The scene that gives me goose bumps every time is the panorama shot of the team assembling in the middle of the battle torn street.  The only thing that could have possibly made that scene any better is if Captain America had cried out “Avengers Assemble!”  Plus, the Avengers left us with the ultimate trump card.  Loki tells Tony Stark, “I have an army.”  And without skipping a beat Stark plays his ace, “We have a Hulk.”  Nothing beats a Hulk.  Thank you Marvel, thank you Joss Whedon, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.  Odinson Rating: 5 out of 5 Hammers and a Thunderstrike

    2012 was undoubtedly a fantastic year for the fanboys and girls.  Believe it or not, 2013 has the potential to be even bigger!  Blizzard finally plans to release its follow up to Starcraft II with Heart of the Swarm in March.  The Batman/Joker tale Death of the Family is roaring to its mind-blowing conclusion.  Marvel’s The Age of Ultron, a storyline that will shake the Marvel Universe to its core, is on the horizon.  And though I can’t foresee another movie surpassing the greatness that is the Avengers, 2013 will offer probably the most bang for your buck when it comes to movies the Odinson is looking forward to seeing. 2013 will see the release of Jack the Giant Slayer, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Carrie, GI Joe: Retaliation, Evil Dead, Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, World War Z, Kick-Ass 2, The Lone Ranger, Pacific Rim, The Wolverine, 300: Rise of an Empire, Red 2, The Smurfs 2, Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters, Sin City: A Dame to Die For, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Thor: The Dark World.  Now that has to be the biggest list of “can’t wait to see movies” ever!

    However, along with the Thor sequel, there is one other film hitting theatres in 2013 that has the Odinson stoked more than any other and that is, of course, Man of Steel.  The world is so starved for a good Superman movie.  I hope this one does not disappoint.

    So there you have it.  Here’s to 2012.  It was fun.  Now bring on 2013!  Happy New Year everybody! 

    This is Odinson bidding thee farewell     

    2 comments so far:

    #1) Philip P. - 2:42 PM, Dec 24, 2012

    Indeed sir, you have made my enemies list for your DKR bashing. I will not unleash internet fanboy vitriol on you, but I will attempt to respond to your complaints in a reasonable manner.

    Bane's Voice- It was an...interesting choice but I think it what Nolan and Hardy were going for was a dichotomy between his posh British voice and the unbridled brutality of his actions and fighting style. Either way, I'm just glad that they didn't stay true to the comic version of Bane and give him a South American accent. THAT would have been silly.

    Alfred- I think one thing that is hard to do for a lot of us fanboys is to understand that these are not the versions of the characters from the comic books. The success of the films may have begun to inform the style of the books, but this is a separate universe. Much in the same way that Frank Miller's (ahem) 'Gosh Darned Batman' from All-Star Batman and Robin is not the Batman from the much beloved Animated Series, this Alfred is a character separate from our idea of 'who' he is based on the comics. I believe he summed up his reasoning for leaving pretty succinctly when he told Bruce that he couldn't bear to watch another member of the Wayne family die.

    The Big Gun- I think what was happening here was an attempt to illustrate that while Batman and Catwoman's methods are very different, they are both vital and complimentary to each other. Or it was just a bit to allow Catwoman a pretty good Hero line.

    John Blake- Now, while I totally agree that the exchange with the lawyer was terrible and too on-the-nose ("You should use your legal name..."), the way that the filmmakers implied who the character would become was fantastic. Parents killed by mafia like Dick Grayson? Check. Angry, misspent youth like Jason Todd? Check. Figuring out Batman's secret identity on his own like Tim Drake? Check. That nod to each of the Robins was kind of a masterstroke in my opinion.

    I know that this is a debate that will most likely never be settled, but I do know that we can agree on one thing...JOSS WHEDON MAKES ALL OF THE BEST THINGS!!!

    #2) Brian W. - 11:53 AM, Dec 27, 2012

    Where's Dredd?? I know it got overlooked by nearly everyone, but I figured you'd be on top of Dredd. It was a great movie, supremely under appreciated here in America, but won awards and audience approval in Europe. I know everyone got tainted by the Stallone version, but its worth finding. I put it just after Avengers in my genre movies of the year! (And I agree with you about Dark Knight, it was very disappointing...)

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