These are very short reviews of the films I watched in 2012. In this first part we'll cover the films I watched at the cinema during the first half of the year and a couple pending films from 2011. The next entry will cover the films I watched in summer or after summer, and the third and fourth part will focus on movies I watched at home. Here we go.
Films that I watched at the cinema
(summer of 2011 - winter 2012)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - part 2
The long-awaited last part of the Harry Potter series. After what I thought was a very boring first part (both in the book and the movie), part 2 is filled with lots of action, unnecessary deaths, fighting and... that stupid ending. And the prologue. I was overall satisfied with the adaptation and because I'd already read the book I was not disappointed with the ending. Actually, I liked it more on screen as they take more time with the final big battle.
The Adventures of Tintin
As a kid I'd watched the animated TV series based on the comic book that took us around the world next to the most intrepid journalist of the first half of the 20th century. I wasn't the hugest fan but I found them enjoyable. The movie was visually astonishing (at times it felt like you were watching real people in real settings and not a computer-generated world) and the adventures in which Tintin and his friends get involved will not disappoint fans of the series or lovers of adventure movies.
I'll admit I watched this film only because Ewan McGregor was in it. A nice film about human relationships but it didn't really have much of an impact on me as a member of the audience: I didn't really feel implicated in the emotional changes that the characters go through. Maybe I'm just insensitive, I don't know.
Fenster zum Sommer
A German film about a woman who leaves Berlin and heads on a journey to Finland with her lover after breaking up with her husband and her best friend has died. On the ferry to Finland, she goes to bed only to wake up in Berlin six months before her journey. She has been given the opportunity to revive the past half year in order to change the way she did things.
We saw this film as part of a German course that I did in Salzburg when I first came here. I liked the film in general, but similarly to Beginners, I was not engaged in the emotional conflicts, even though I liked how they were developed. I also found the ending satisfactory and realistic (in spite of the non-realistic premise that the main character goes back in time). Again, I think I'm not getting these sensitive, alternative movies.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
A spy story. Oh, and was it confusing. Apparently, people who have read the book on which the movie is inspired will get a lot more of what is going on, but I was lost from the beginning to credits. Don't get me wrong, it's a really interesting story and it had my curiosity the whole time, but I think there's something missing, like we're still missing a piece to complete the puzzle and get what it's all about. Especially when we find out who the "bad guy" is: it's so sudden and rushed that one would need another movie just to explain what had to be cut (because the only logical explanation is that important scenes were cut due to an excessive running time).
Sherlock Holmes 2. A Game of Shadows
I really enjoyed the first part and the "modern" Sherlock Holmes and how different he was to the "classic" picture that we have of him. I liked the first film in spite of certain creative licenses that make you go "WTF?" if you've ever read any of the stories or watched the old movies. Part 2 was ok but it was too similar to the first part and the element of surprise was lost, so it felt like watching the same movie, only in a different setting and with different secondary characters.
Oh, I should dedicate a whole entry to my favorite film of 2012 (it's official). I'd never thought I'd like a silent film so much, but everything is perfect: the acting, the music, the setting, the story. The first time I saw it I thought it would be long and boring, and few times have I been more wrong. I never get tired of listening to the soundtrack and I strongly believe that it's a film that people should see at least once (per year).
The Iron Lady
I seriously don't understand how this film won an Oscar. I mean, Meryl Streep offers a wonderful performance and it feels like you're seeing the real Margaret Thatcher on screen, but other than that... I have a feeling that if I'd been more familiar with the subject I might have enjoyed it differently, but I was bored for the most part of the screening time. Also, I'm quite sceptic of what we are shown: is it propaganda? Is it criticism? If so, towards what? Boring.
Join me in part 2 for the film reviews of the second half of 2012.