:: 50 Film-finds 2012 ::

In three hours, 2012 is saying bye, effing, bye. All of us are waiting for a lot of things, before the year ends; including my father who celebrates New Year by lighting up our firecrackers. Let’s say, we light them at nine in the evening; after a short, bright night sky, he’d probably just sleep right after.

Our Interwebz related sites are probably filled with genuine and super-plastic New Year greets. Such a nice way to start the year, noh? Heh.

edit: I wrote the upper part in 2012. It’s 2013 and just published this post. Heh.

And of course, the non-stop, year-end posts. I’d love to post mine too. I’d probably do that in two to three days time since I want to end my 2012 with something I wholeheartedly love. Movies. Duh.

Which didn’t happen. Heh.

The qualifier is quite simple. I won’t do the usual Top 100 films of the year or Top 10 Pinoy films of 2012. I think it would be hard for me to put that down in writing since the second half of the year, I spent my time at home eating kamias and star fruit, which is actually a big lie. For this year, I am posting my Top 50 movie or film finds that I would like to share to the world. Mainstream films are out of the list, so a big shout-out to Warrior, Sinister, Prometheus, Cabin In The Woods, 21 Jump Street, Avengers, The Animals, Ang Nawawala, Katy Perry: Part Of Me, Looper, Pitch Perfect, and The Perks Of Being A Wallflower; though I am not actually sure if most of the films, in my list, are mainstream. I won’t stick with the year 2012. So, you’d probably see films as old as Madame Auring’s ovaries. And the list is in no particular order. Yes, I am lazy that way.

This is a less artsy year, for me, by the way. I am sticking more with my happy and orgasm gland this year. As I need not please the pundits. The descriptions are mostly on top of my head only. Again, suck it if you find them sucky.

Anyhoo, here’s my Top 50 Film Finds for 2012:

01 Revenge 01. Revenge: A Love Story (2010) [dir. Ching-Po Wong]
Just like the title, it encompasses on the major plot points of what we usually have in the Philippine cinema. But we are actually, in luck, this time. This film has small snippets of what looks like a Park Chan-Wook film. And this author loves two things: violence and revenge. Oh, and we have immoral police in the movie too. Again, just like what we have in our country. You’d definitely connect with the movie. You’d definitely connect with the protagonists.

02 Knuckle02. Knuckle (2011) [dir. Ian Palmer]
A depiction of true blood battle that lingers on from generations to more generations to come. At this time and age, we would still see clans in its barbaric nature unaware of the repercussions of what they have done to their kin. Funny thing is, this is human nature and valid bare-knuckle fights are still an in thing. Right, MMA? At least in here, they are doing it for honor.

03 Tampopo03. Tampopo (1985) [dir. Jûzô Itami]
If you happen to pass by Sumo Sam, you’d probably see film stills of a Japanese film. Yes, they got it from this movie. A heartwarming and extra funny movie that tells most of their journey on how they exist and have a “successful” noodle business. The Japanese does not only produce crazy and scary films, they love telling stories on what you usually see on the streets and even something as simple as food.

04 The Loved Ones04. The Loved Ones (2009) [dir. Sean Byrne]
There is something in this film that hypnotizes me, in such a way, that whenever I watch it, I am instantly drawn to the messed-up world of a father and his daughter. If you think you’ve seen a lot of twisted movies already. Think again. Oh, this one is mild, by the way. Let me put it this way, this is a sick version of Sixteen Candles.

05 La Zona05. La Zona (2007) [dir. Rodrigo Plá]
A claustrophobic cat and mouse movie that tells much of what a supposed civilized upper class subdivision looks like. It was probably one of those lucky films that I “stole” from the Spanish film fest. Nonetheless, it proved quite a treat for me.

06 Goon06. Goon (2011) [dir. Michael Dowse]
I saw this earlier this year just because of Seann William Scott. The thing with sports and Hollywood is that, they romanticized most of the topic and they would often times forget the real action that usually happens inside an arena. Now, their misses, the one with the exaggerated stories are the ones that make this author watch with glee. Goon is fucking fun film. Watch it.

07. The Robber07. The Robber (2010) [dir. Benjamin Heisenberg]
As I wanted to envision myself in the man’s shoes. Where he would just run away from all the people whom he had wronged. But alas, this is not that type of movie. It was just a smart thing to mix robbery and marathon. The concept was always there but the Germans have beat everybody else to it. People running is always likable in the eyes of the kibitzer. Much more when we are couch potatoes and watch the story unfold.

08. Re-animator08. Re-animator (1985) [dir. Stuart Gordon]
You know what. This film has always been in my arsenal and I didn’t even have the time to prioritize watching it. A crazy doctor who wants to make dead people live. It feels like a zombie film, but it’s not. The eighties are full of gems and this one probably nails it along with the Creepshow and Night of the Living Dead franchise.

09 The King Of Kong A Fistful of Quarters09. The King Of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007) [dir. Seth Gordon]
A very geek film that fits well with the masses. Some may say that the concept itself is quite stupid. I mean who would want to fight and have the highest score for a very old video game? It’s like not moving on with your first love that you’ve decided not to raise a family because she left you a long time ago and you are still waiting for her to come back. Going back, this is a great nostalgia for the kids of the eighties who grew up with these games. And a likely add is that we are here on the sidelines laughing at their so-called achievements in life.

10 Tetsuo The Iron Man10. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) [dir. Shin’ya Tsukamoto]
What the fuck? A man inserting a rod of metal in his calf. This is so sold in many levels.

11 The Good Son11. The Good Son (1993) [dir. Joseph Ruben]
A definite amusement if you want to see a young Elijah Wood and a young Macaulay Culkin. The concept itself is probably taboo in some countries. And what a sarcastic title.

12. Turn Me On, Dammit!12. Turn Me On, Dammit! (2011) [dir. Jannicke Systad Jacobsen]
A perfect title for its appropriate movie. That is all.

13. Timecrimes13. Timecrimes (2007) [dir. Nacho Vigalondo]
Such a joyous technique on the concept of time-travel. This film says much that you don’t need the greatest CGI creation to tell an interesting and mind-blowing story. Funny thing is, you don’t need a great mind to understand what is happening. Now, that is how you tell the story to the audience.

14. Chasing Amy14. Chasing Amy (1997) [dir. Kevin Smith]
Kevin Smith is not loved much by critics. I don’t care. It took years for me to look for an appropriate copy and it was all worth it. A Smith love story is not really your ordinary romance film. Filled with near to impossible instances, I don’t mind. As long as I can see comics and how their story unfolds, it was enough for this viewer.

15.  (Lesbian) Vampire Killers15. (Lesbian) Vampire Killers (2009) [dir. Phil Claydon]
These Lesbian Vampires would actually kill the Twilight franchise in a blink of an eye. And that is not even an exaggeration. If you thought, they had it all, think again. I wouldn’t mind watching this alluring film. And it’s not even sexist in any way since the person who suggested this film to me is a woman. Perfect for parties and movie marathons.

16. Zombie Strippers!16. Zombie Strippers! (2008) [dir. Jay Lee]
Its ridiculous nature is one fine way to say that this zombie film does not need you to expect other things. Zombies and strippers are what it can provide and that is all what you can see. Sometimes, you don’t need art in your life. No, really.

17. Juan Of The Dead17. Juan Of The Dead (2011) [dir. Alejandro Brugués]
And you thought those “Of The Dead” zombie films are probably are at its end already. Fear not, after watching something as enjoyable as Rammbock last year, a sugary treat was handed to me by crazy fests that first saw this film. It was not a letdown, I tell you. We are probably tired of the smart Alec zombie movies out there. Something rehashed and something new. Nice mix, ey.

18. jaguar18. Jaguar (1979) [dir. Lino Brocka]
Its dark feel all throughout was what Brocka wanted to say. That despite the “goodness” of a person, everything and everyone are corruptible in one way or another. Nowadays, Jaguars or “Guardias / Security Guards” are smarter and self-empowered as ever. This is such a smart connection of a boss and his henchman. A real classic.

19. El Narco19. El Narco {El Infierno} (2010) [dir. Luis Estrada]
I am seldom amused by those guys at the Southern part of America. Especially if they talk about drugs and shit. Hollywood has had a lot of that already. But this one is a sneaky inclusion in the bunch. Non-hollywood and actually funny. Putting it: a fun and better way to deal drugs.

Film Title: Wanderlust20. Wanderlust (2012) [dir. David Wain]
Nobody probably cared when this came out. People are probably tired of Paul Rudd and Jeniffer Aniston. But this couple attending a pure bohemian environment is what we just need to tickle our funny bones. It might not be as ruckus as what you think, but it is enough to make you say “hey, this is fun!”

21. Citizen Dog21. Citizen Dog (2004) [dir. Wisit Sasanatieng]
I should have taken large doses of Valium and special brownies while singing kumbaya. A gem in its own right; the word crazy is the perfect understatement to describe this wonderful Thai movie. Almost every scene in this movie is perfect for your wallpaper and screen saver needs.

22. Eating Raoul22. Eating Raoul (1982) [dir. Paul Bartel]
Bartel must have watched a John Waters marathon when he decided to direct this weirdly made movie back in the eighties. B-movies in the eighties doesn’t necessarily mean that they were the worst of its kind. Something in this decade makes them treasures for this author who loves movies. We need to take a break from all those Sordeberg and Antonioni too.

23. We Have A Pope23. We Have A Pope (2011) [dir. Nanni Moretti]
It was the best what if I could ever imagine. I know people would or wouldn’t want to take the post of the Pope but with “God’s Will”, one can’t say no to an election. And so, the real mayhem starts when the elected pope does not want to be one. It’s highlight? The tournament. That was wonderful.

24. Haunters24. Haunters (2010) [dir. Min-suk Kim]
I’d definitely watch this and not Chronicle. I think having supernatural powers and being Asian was what made me connect to the film. Again, you don’t need grand visuals to send your message.

25. Indie Game25. Indie Game: The Movie (2012) [dir. Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky]
A near to perfect film for those gamers out there. The industry has finally changed and these indies, whether it be film, music, or video games, are starting to change the society in terms of choices and its monetary approach. We are in that era that everything can be made by everyone and being part of a company does not say that you create quality and better products. And watching these guys produce these indie games is such a wonderful and heartbreaking journey. Some might think that it is shallow. BUT YOU’RE WRONG!

26. V H S (2012)26. V/H/S (2012)
No one noticed its quick run in the SM cinemas. It was one of the most sought films in the Interwebz for this year, at least for a handful of people who actually saw this film. This is better than Sinister. Just ask my GF who saw the first part and wanted to put the film on pause right away.

27. Candyman27. Candyman (1992) [dir. Bernard Rose]
I know I am still missing something in the horror genre when I still haven’t had my hours worth of Candyman in my queue. It was one of those films that are usually left in the dirt due to the numerous sequels and remakes in the horror genre that we are actually forgetting that there were awesome films back then. And Candyman is just apt for its sweet and scary appeal.

28. Fat Girl28. Fat Girl (2001) [dir. Catherine Breillat]
I love this film in a sense where you thought that everything is going with what you expect and with a turn of the scene, all your preparations would puff up like a dragon’s smoke. An insecure film that mixes the so-called ignorance of the young. But this plant is not as safe as tulip, probably a venus-fly trap. You’ve been warned.

29. 3-Iron29. 3-Iron (2004) [dir. Ki-duk Kim]
Love is really a wonderful thing. One thing this movie taught me is that, given this chance and if you can, we should do everything for love. There is no such thing as impossible. As long as you are breathing, you can do the improbable.

30. attack the gas station 1999 (6)30. Attack The Gas Station! (1999) [dir. Sang-Jin Kim]
A wonderful chaos. This is what the audience should accept all throughout. The running time might be long but the final scenes are worth the wait. Even the alliances on what should be right are forcibly removed from the film’s logic. All moralities are considered nuances from hereon.

31. Give Up Tomorrow31. Give Up Tomorrow (2011) [dir. Michael Collins]
They say that this film encompasses on what coños are. That they are not spared of the balance of justice. That we should have this notion that once a rich family “commits” an evil deed, they are automatically thrown in the trash already. I love the partial subjectivity of this film. I do wish our justice system watches and learn something from this film.

Take This Waltz32. Take This Waltz (2011) [dir. Sarah Polley]
It sucks balls when you see a fallout, of a couple, unfold in front of your eyes. It does not matter if it is fiction. Hating the magnetic force of what seems to be like forever. A near depressing movie, worthy of a watch.

33. Pontypool33. Pontypool (2008) [dir. Bruce McDonald]
Aside from the fact that the producers of this movie was probably cost-cutting, just kidding, there is something exceptional in terms of on how zombies were portrayed in this film. You are not presented with the glorious, visual journey of the living dead. Instead, the filmmakers decided to leave everything on what your head would think. I guess I see their point that we’ve had decades established on what a zombie looks like already.

34. The Dead Zone34. The Dead Zone (1983) [dir. David Cronenberg]
David Cronenberg, Stephen King, and Christopher Walken: holy shit balls, man! It might not be as fast-paced as what we usually have. A psychic story, eighties kind, absolves itself with its haunting theme. As I have always wanted to watch this, this hunger pang of the said film is finally full.

35. Christine35. Christine (1983) [dir. John Carpenter]
Such a silly concept. A possessed car killing people. It might come up as something as whimsical if told to an ordinary pedestrian. Mister John Carpenter unleashes from his awesome arsenal, something as memorable and an equally scary horror film; from my favorite horror auteur, Stephen King.

36. Strange Days36. Strange Days (1995) [dir. Kathryn Bigelow]
A dirty film. That is all I can say when I first laid my eyes on the initial scenes. It was kind of icky to watch this, at first, after I found out that the director of it is Miss Bigelow. I expected something really slow from her. Boy, I was wrong. Definitely wrong. It was one of those thrillers / sci-fis in the nineties where it didn’t gather any affection from the viewing public, instead it was a fly by for some too. Lucky for me and my resources, I saw it this year. I might be wrong with my assumption. Only a distinct few could’ve saw this but why am I not informed about this when I was traversing through the hundreds of titles in the video shop?

37. Cockneys vs zombies37. Cockneys Vs. Zombies (2012) [dir. Matthias Hoene]
What? Another zombie film? And they copied ideas from the film Red too? Meh. I dare not compare this to anything else because there is no point in comparison. I don’t know. I find it really uplifting to see old people shoot down the living dead. Everything in this movie might be wrong. But it worked. Really.

38. Ruby Sparks38. Ruby Sparks (2012) [dir. Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris]
One can actually enjoy the idea and one can’t fathom the mere form in controlling one’s actions. Burning the eyes of the viewer once it enters the thirty minute mark was what this film boasts best about. A letdown of this author’s description is not what it seems. It is more than that. Simply because you hurt, because you love and vice versa.

39. Here Comes The Boom39. Here Comes The Boom (2012) [dir. Frank Coraci]
Kevin James is, finally, “funny”. I have always had this disposition that this guy is just likable and unfunny. I mean, you probably know someone who tries to be funny but out of politeness, you have to, at least, smile to avoid offending the person. Yes, he is that guy. And with that, this film suffices on what his acting characteristics can do. It fits well with what we have in our generation. A teacher by day, MMA fighter by night. I know pulling through is hard for a supposed family friendly film. I am just glad that it worked.

40. The King Of Pigs40. The King Of Pigs (2011) [dir. Sang-ho Yeon]
An apt for today’s generation. An approach to the greatest evil that is lurking down the halls of our schools today: bullying. It has existed for decades already but it has gone sour; much more with its current position in the educational system, the effect has usually been devastating especially in the western counterparts (read: U.S. of A). Bullying is universal and this is a good story to tell using animation. A fairly different use of visuals, far from the jaw-dropping Ghibli.

41. Lapland Odyssey41. Lapland Odyssey (2010) [dir. Dome Karukoski]
Simple stories work if you have a lot of interesting plot twists along the way. Take this movie, a man who just wanted to buy a cable box. It leads him to various sub-stories worthy of a “what-the-hell-happened-there”. LOL-ing is far-fetched but I am not stopping you to laugh.

42. The Bay42. The Bay (2012) [dir. Barry Levinson]
I really would like to blame The Blair With Project for introducing a new genre. I am tired to see any Paranormal Activities or even B-movies that stick to its supposed realistic look. But sometimes, the hits and misses are easily forgotten with something like this. Claustrophobic at times, a horrifying tale of the waters and something that is inside of it makes it worthwhile. Oh, don’t you worry, this is no Piranha 3DD. So there.

43. Premium Rush43. Premium Rush (2012) [dir. David Koepp]
Warning: this movie will just place you at the edge of your seat. Just as the title says, this pituitary-induced bicycle-filled visuals is a gem of 2012. It’s no BMX. It’s no Rollerboys; I know, I know, they were using inline skates in that film. And this is no X-games. It is an adrenaline-filled journey of bicycle delivery boys in the busy street of Manhattan. And you thought, topics like these wouldn’t work.

44. The House Of Yes44. The House Of Yes (1997) [dir. Mark Waters]
Apart from its questionable title, it is actually a story of a girl who thinks that she is Jackie Kennedy. Having a 7-man acting repertoire is no joke as they guide and glide you to their family, their world. A world filled with morals fit for the royalty. The dirty kind. This is just an over exaggeration; just think of it this way, it gets better if you find out that the girl, who I mentioned at the start, is actually sick in the head.

45. The Guard45. The Guard (2011) [dir. John Michael McDonagh]
An unlikable character is rarely a charismatic save for those few moments in wrestling; just Wiki Steve Austin if you don’t know him. This unlikely pair, of a very traditional Irish and an African-American man, is a fun combo, not for the characters but for us, the viewers. Nowadays, it’s really hard to find unlikely pairs in the cinema, but if it works, everyone wins.

46. slc punk46. Slc Punk! (1998) [dir. James Merendino]
Being punks are not outright ugly but, often times, it paves way for an interesting storytelling, where audiences would appreciate, despite the decade-old fashion and societal difference. Nonetheless, seeing Matthew Lillard punking around, in the nineties, is an icing on the cake. And I am just glad that Jason Segel didn’t have to take out his clothes in this film.

47. Sleeper47. Sleeper (1973) [dir. Woody Allen]
Who cares if this is old? Dude, it’s Woody Allen! And I was surprised to see something as ruckus as this. I thought this was just one of those lead to forget cinemas in the seventies. I was wrong. Allen in a sci-fi / comedy genre is a pure genius. And expect less of what you saw in Manhattan and Annie Hall.

48. The War Game48. The War Game (1965) [dir. Peter Watkins]
If you want to watch a real apocalyptic film, this is the perfect movie to watch. It combines the limitless what ifs and the scary effects of a nuclear war. It is as scary as hell. An early mockumentary of sorts. You’d never distinguish if it’s real or not.

49. Perfumed Nightmare49. Perfumed Nightmare (1977) [dir. Kidlat Tahimik]
This is a must for all Pinoy cinephiles out there. A filmmaker who pours his soul in his own film. A perfect pitch of art and semi-autobiographical in lieu to what seems to be whimsical at times. A very unique form of storytelling, even to what we have in the mainstream, back in the seventies.

50. Tribu50. Tribu (2007) [dir. Jim Libiran]
I finally found a copy of this during the Cinemalaya run of 2012. And these were the days where the indie industry is starting to get hold of the Philippine cinema. I can’t believe that there is fun in watching kids become actors in the dirty world of the so-called grim “reality”. Satisfying in a way where we get to see what is outside our safe homes. Who cares if it’s “fiction”, it might have been happening to the other parts of this country anyway. I’d rather open my eyes to the possibilities rather than be ignorant and stuck with the Powerpuff Girls and Coney Reyes on Camera.


~ by targrod on January 2, 2013.

8 Responses to “:: 50 Film-finds 2012 ::”

  1. Wait! Did I suggest #15 and also #16?! Hahahaha! Also, I loved The Good Son! And have you seen Dark Habits yet?

  2. nice ang galing. 🙂 parang gusto ko tuloy hanapin yung V/H/S mukhang totoong horror film hehehe 🙂

  3. just watched #12 and it was a fun movie. 🙂 will be searching for the other films here, too. matagal na ako nangangailangan ng “new” movies.

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