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Flixist Awards 2012

Flixist Awards 2012: Most Underrated

Mar 05 // Thor Latham
From the ashes of the Sly Stone abomination from the nineties a beautiful phoenix has arisen, and its name is Dredd. To be fair, this film has nothing to do with the previous attempt to adapt the hard-edged Judge for the big screen, which is a credit to its quality because it stands alone beautifully. There's no convoluted story, or some absurd conspiracy. It's about a day in the life of Judge Dredd (played unflinchingly by Karl Urban) and his cadet (the lovely Olivia Thirlby) as they find themselves at odds with a drug kingpin named 'Ma-Ma' (Lena Headey). What unfolds is action that is so unnecessarily gory that it borders on the obscene...and it's f*cking awesome. Everyone moment of it. Why do we feel it's underrated? Well, action movies are supposed to have universal appeal, and it seems reasonable to think that a lot of people probably made the assumption that this was just going to be sent out to die as some quick cash grab, so there;s no doubt that there are plenty of people who missed out on something special. If your a fan of straight forward action and bad-ass comic book characters, it doesn't really get any better than this. Movies rarely come this slick and trimmed, with all the fat cut away, leaving only 100% Grade A entertainment. Buy it, borrow it, whatever, just watch it and please spread the word so we can get some more delicious Dredd sometime in the near future. The Cabin in the Woods The Man with the Iron Fists Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Prometheus
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Everyone loves an underdog
This is the kind of list that is very hard to narrow down every year. You have to account for everyone's tastes, try to figure out exactly what qualifies a film as 'underrated', and then chop the nominees down to just five. T...

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Film

Mar 05 // Matthew Razak
There's something special about a movie that can create controversy, stir discussion and still be frickin awesome to watch. Django Unchained did all that and it did it really, incredibly well. From our introduction to to Christoph Walt'z Dr. King Schultz to the glorious, bloody shootout at the conclusion of the film Django is both a love letter to westerns, a pastiche of that same genre and one of the best written film of the year. But it's not really all that that made it the best movie of the year. It's the fact that Quentin Tarantino is so obviously a movie nerd in everything he does with his films. Yes, this is a great movie, but the reason we really love it is because it was made by someone who is pretty much exactly like us. Then again we love this year's other nominees as well, and we're all pretty sure that Amour was made by someone nothing like us. Still, a powerful story like that so masterfully handled on screen can't be ignored. Neither can the likes of The Master, which delivered not only the best performance of the year, but one of the most stunningly crafted character pieces ever put to film. Of course we'd be remiss if we didn't include Argo on the list, and though we found it flawed, it's thrilling story and impeccable pacing make it a movie worthy of being noted in the top lists of every film lover. Finally, we have Skyfall, which you wouldn't believe was a Bond film if I described it to you simply by its qualifications: well written, crisply directed, brilliantly acted and stunningly shot.  Truly, 2012 was a good year to watch movies. AmourThe MasterSkyfallArgo
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The best film of the year... period
We've gone through a lot of awards over the past week honoring some of the best films in pretty much every way we can, but now we come to it. No more genres or categories, simply put, what follows is the best movie of the yea...

Flixist Awards 2012: The Pterodactyl

Mar 04 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
It really had to be. While every single one of our five nominees was amazing, Dredd is the ultimate in badassery. Perhaps the best proof of that is the fact that Karl Urban gave one of the best performances of the year with nothing but his mouth. Tom Hardy may have been unable to act with anything but his eyes, but eyes are the window to the soul, so he can suck it. No, the real test of skill is being able to wear an eye-covering helmet for 90 minutes and still be amazing in every way.  His hand-to-hand fighting skills, like those of all but one person on this list, may not be particularly impressive, but his ability to use his fancy Judge-Gun thing for ultimate destruction is awesome and incredible. Like Dr. Shulz, he is a man of the law. Unlike Dr. Shulz, he is not fazed by the horrors of the actions of others. In fact, he isn't fazed by anything. And that's why he's our Pterodactyl. His pure commitment to justice is an inspiration to us all. BRAWWWWWW  Bane - The Dark Knight RisesRama - The Raid: RedemptionDr. King Schultz - Django UnchainedOld Joe - Looper
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Ultimate badassery
Of our year-end awards, I think that the Pterodactyl is probably my favorite. Looking back on a year's most badass characters is a good way to remind yourself of just good (or bad) a year was. Last year, Ryan Gosling's Driver...

Flixist Awards 2012: Best 'OH SH*T!' Moment

Mar 04 // Thor Latham
This one was kind of a land slide. As awesome as our other nominees were, there just isn't anything that tops countless horror character archetypes being released to slaughter people in completely corn-syrup-drenched glory. I can't even begin to list off all of the things you can see laying waste to man throughout the final act of Cabin in the Woods. Zombies, clowns, demons, mutants, psychopaths, ghosts, and of course let's not forget the unicorn. Simply put, this movie was just awesome through and through, and they just don't come any more satisfying than this. If you haven't seen it (and have now had it spoiled), you better run out and find yourself a copy, otherwise legend says the specter of Joss Whedon will haunt your family for generations to come. Scary! Argo: "The Escape" Django Unchained: "I count six bullets..." Scene Looper: "Amputation" Scene The Avengers: "Puny God"
Best 'OH SH*T' Moment photo
'OH SH*T!'
Warning land lubbers! These waters be rife with spoilers! From scares to tense thrillers to ass kicking action, there's nothing better than a scene (or entire act, as is the case of some) that makes you jump out of your seat ...

Flixist Awards 2012: Most Overrated

Mar 03 // Thor Latham
Ah yes, Ridley Scott's foray back into science fiction that was supposed to elegantly tie into the Aliens universe while simultaneously building the foundation for a brand new franchise. Spoiler alert: it only accomplishes one of those things, and it's not the one that leaves you satisfied with answered questions and not having regretted that you just spend $10 and wasted two hours of your time while mustering every iota of self control you have to not yell at the absolutely imbecilic characters on the screen as they make a mockery out of the fact that they are supposedly "scientists".  Can you tell I didn't care for it? Okay, to be fair my feelings for the movie probably go beyond just thinking its overrated. I was just one hundred percent outright disappointed. Worse yet, I was let down so early into the movie that I just sat there dazed and confused for the remainder of the running time. It took me days, literally days, to reconcile my feelings about it. The lesson to be learned? Well, never trust a franchise whose soul purpose has become the making of money, and of course, always keep reasonable expectations NO MATTER WHAT.  Yeah...good luck with that. Fun fact: I wrote a review of Prometheus as my submission to Flixist when they were looking for new writers, and here I am! I guess I can thank Ridley Scott for that. Or not. The Dark Knight Rises Zero Dark Thirty Les Miserables Life of Pi
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The year of disappointments?
Despite our best intentions, there is always something that we can't help getting excited about, usually well beyond reason. We hear the whistle of the hype train coming into station and just rush to the platform ready to bor...

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Best Documentary

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Documentary

It's better when it's real
Mar 02
// Matthew Razak
The much maligned documentary gets an unfair shake. You say documentary to someone and they think talking heads and boredom. However, as this year's nominees show, that's pretty much one of the most inaccurate statements ever...

Flixist Awards 2012: Most Promising New Performer

Mar 02 // Hubert Vigilla
How could Quvenzhané Wallis not win this award? She is the heart and soul of Beasts of the Southern Wild, and as well made as the movie is, the movie wouldn't be what it was without her. It wouldn't be the same movie; in fact, it probably wouldn't be as good. On screen, Wallis is pure life incarnate -- youth full of ideas and love and curiosity. Like the other members of her community, she's unfettered by the usual trappings of society and instead feels in tune with the world around her. But even with such childlike wonder, the world is a scary place when you start to grow up. We watch Hushpuppy come to terms with the possibility of death and extinction, and she faces it with admirable bravery, like the best heroes from fairy tales. Wallis is not just a good actor for her age: she is a smoldering fireball of talent and possibility that, at least for now as she rides high, seems inextinguishable and inexhaustible. The world is wide open and hers to conquer. Simply put, Wallis is a force of nature, and a force to be reckoned with. She's the man. (Read our interview with Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry.) Samantha Barks - Les Misérables Jared Gilman - Moonrise Kingdom Kara Hayward - Moonrise Kingdom Iko Uwais - The Raid: Redemption
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These actors and actresses turn the 10,000-Hour Rule on its head
Sometimes it can take years and years of work to become good at something. Malcom Gladwell cites the 10,000-Hour Rule a bunch in his book Outliers to suggest that genius in various professions requires that much time, effort,...

Flixist Awards 2012: Most Promising New Filmmaker

Mar 02 // Hubert Vigilla
It's a no contest, really. With Beasts of the Southern Wild, director/co-writer Benh Zeitlin has made the indie darling of the year. A work that's fantastical and humane and rife with raw emotions, Beasts won over hardcore cineastes, jaded hipster moviegoers, and the Oprah Winfrey crowd. And amid the glowing lovefest, I remember getting into some interesting discussions with the film's detractors about unintentional racial condescension, privilege, and poverty porn. It's a movie that can be thought of and approached from different angles, like turning a gem around to admire the way light pours through its facets. The film's appeal, like its incredible score, comes from the way it conveys its ideas about family, life, death, and home in swells. These moments come in rushes like an unexpected flood, and they tap into some innate yearning. I think Beasts of the Southern Wild, even with the different socioeconomic discussions it can spur, is a movie that's felt more than it's intellectualized, at least initially. It makes sense since its protagonist is a little girl. Zeitlin and co-writer Lucy Alibar have a lot to live up to for their next projects, and we wish them all the luck in the world. (Read our interview with Benh Zeitlin.) Seth MacFarlane - Ted Jeremy Power Regimbal - In Their Skin (Replicas) (Read our interview with Jeremy Power Regimbal)
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Whose directorial debut shows the brightest future ahead?
Every year there's a movie that people can't stop talking about. They champion it to friends, they analyze it closely, and they can't stop thinking about it afterwards. If not the movie itself, then it's the pure bravado of t...

Best Horror 2012 photo
Best Horror 2012

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Horror

Spoiler alert: It's not The Apparition
Mar 01
// Sean Walsh
Every year, there are a ton of horror movies that come out, and every year, the bad far outweigh the good. Fortunately, 2012 had some reallygood horror to offset the bad. Cabin in the Woods, which finally came out after sever...
Best Action Award photo
Best Action Award

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Action

Kick, punch, it's all in the mind.
Mar 01
// Geoff Henao
2012 had all kinds of punching, kicking, shooting, killing, murdering, and bleeding, all in stylish flair. In the past year alone, we had the most successful super hero film with Marvel's The Avengers, Skyfall comme...

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Foreign Film

Mar 01 // Hubert Vigilla
I missed Amour while covering the New York Film Festival, but I finally saw it during its theatrical run, and it was easily one of my favorite movies last year. Amour is another masterpiece from Haneke, sitting alongside his other great films like The White Ribbon, The Piano Teacher, Funny Games, and Cache. Amour is something of a departure for Haneke. It's a story about the love between an elderly couple played by Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, and the trials love must endure after a crippling stroke. In the face of physical decline, mental degeneration, and impending death, Trintignant and Riva deliver understated, impeccable performances that convey how much affection and history their characters have together. While Amour is Haneke's most tender film in that regard, it's also his most brutal. The brutality isn't the result of other people but the natural aging process. Disease and death will rob people of their dignity, their humor, their memories, and their humanity much worse than anything that's man or man made. We watch Riva's life dwindle and Trintignant suffer to keep her alive, and we're reminded of all the fragile things that even the deepest love can never protect or heal. There is no greater sign of the universe's indifference to human suffering than staring into the blank face of someone you'd do anything for and realizing that there's nothing you can do. Holy Motors No Pieta The World is Funny
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A good year for foreign-language movies, but only one gets the dactyl
It was another good year for foreign-language films in 2012, especially given the fine output coming out of South Korea and Taiwan. Plenty of worthwhile films received a strong push at the end of the year, many of which were ...


Flixist Awards 2012: Best Cinematography

Which incredible camera shot crafter had us hot and sticky?
Feb 28
// Nathan Hardisty
Cinematography is what gives film its most unique visual qualities. We often talk about film in terms of characters, plot, setting and writing but what really separates film as a medium is cinematography. The way things are s...
Best Comedy Award photo
Best Comedy Award

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Comedy

Which film gave us the most LOLs?
Feb 28
// Geoff Henao
One of my favorite things to do in life is laugh. Ironically, comedies aren't my favorite genre. Funny how that works, right? However, 2012 offered a wide range of comedy films. From a fake teddy bear doing sex with grocery s...

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Actor

Feb 27 // Liz Rugg
Phoenix's preformance in The Master was breathtaking and unforgettable. He stars as Freddie Quell, a struggling WWII veteran who's path meanders everywhere from taking portrait photos of families in a newfangled department store to washing up on the shore of a yacht owned by the eccentric leader of a cultish philosophical movement. What I loved about Phoenix's preformance was how over exaggerated yet nuanced it was. Most of the time Freddie was an impossible to predict character and his wildcard ways made him an adventure to watch onscreen. If there's one thing we can say for sure about Phoenix, it's that he can play crazy really, really well. Jean-Louis Trintignant - AmourJohn Hawkes - The SessionsDenzel Washington - FlightDaniel-Day Lewis - Lincoln
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Who gave Flixist's favorite male preformace of 2012?
This year's Best Actor category had some fairly strong competition, between Daniel Day-Lewis' beloved portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, Denzel Washington's troubled airline pilot in Flight and Joaquin Phoenix's hauntingly disturbed character in The Master, Flixist almost had a three-way tie! Ultimately though, I believe we settled on the right choice.

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Original Soundtrack

Feb 27 // Nick Valdez
Yes there was quite a fight between the Oscar winning, sky crumbling, Skyfall soundtrack (and with good cause) and Django Unchained, but eventually Unchained got its big payback. Beasts, The Master, and Moonrise's mystical orchestrations were great but just didn't make it (even if they gained some fervor within the staff). Part of what made Django Unchained as timeless as it was, is the soundtrack's blend of pop and other genres. The soundtrack itself is a hearty blend of Western inspired orchestration, notable quotes and dialogue from the film, Negro spiritual inspired awesomeness with "Freedom," a mash up of James Brown's "Big Payback" and Tupac's "Untouchable" (which played in the background in one of the best shootouts in recent memory), it's main them perfectly encapsulated the upcoming hero's journey, and finally, an original piece by Rick Ross that somehow changed the tone of the entire film. Full Review With the clever use of its eclectic soundtrack, the rest of Django Unchained's tonal issues make sense. It was no longer just a western or a slave revenge film. It was now just an awesome pop culture inspired hero film. Go listen to the soundtrack yourself and try to admit the songs aren't catchy. Right after the film came out, no one could stop yelling, "I NEED A HUNDRED BLACK COFFINS!" And after several months, I still need those coffins, ruff.  Skyfall Beasts of the Southern Wild The Master Moonrise Kingdom
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Hint: I need a 100 of the winner.
Soundtracks are the nervous system of a film. You don't see them, but if it stopped working for a few seconds, the film dies. A soundtrack or orchestration is just as important as the actors and actresses on screen. And some ...

Best Actress 2012 photo
Best Actress 2012

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Actress

Who gave Flixist's favorite female performance of 2012?
Feb 27
// Liz Rugg
Much like this year's Best Actress Oscar nominations, our Flixist Award nominees ranged from girls about 9 years old to women about 90 years old. Quvenzhané Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild was a lot of people's...

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Supporting Actor

Feb 26 // Nick Valdez
And who else could win this? The competition was pretty stiff with Phillip Seymour Hoffman's Masterful performance, Alan Arkin's Argonomical old man powers, Leonardo DiCaprio's unchained faux-racism, and Javier Bardem definitely crumbled our skies (it was neck and neck between Bardem and Waltz). But in the end, it had to be Waltz (I mean even the Academy agreed with us here, and those guys sometimes know what they're talking about).  Waltz's turn as Django Unchained's Dr. King Schultz was truly something special. As Schultz, Waltz was punchy, demure, sly, and silky smooth all at the same time. In fact, Schultz was such an inspired character, I wrote an entire essay about it. As mentioned in our Oscar predictions, we stated that the true job of the Supporting Actor was to turn in a performance that elevates the main actor's performance as well. And I hardly think anyone would disagree that Waltz made Django Unchained as good as it was. And to think, we almost ended the year without it. Full Review.  Javier Bardem- Skyfall Phillip Seymour Hoffman- The Master Alan Arkin- Argo Leonardo DiCaprio- Django Unchained
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For the actors who help the leads look better...and then overshadow them
As you may have noticed, we've begun awarding awards to things that deserve awards. The Supporting Actor category is one that's generally ignored for various reasons. One, the lead actors were too damn good, and two, sometime...


Flixist Awards 2012: Best Screenplay

Which wordsmith(s) won our hearts?
Feb 26
// Nathan Hardisty
As a hopeful screenwriter, Best Screenplay is the one award I pay the most attention to in every awards. Our kind isn't so often publicly recognized, no matter how handsome we all are. Screenplays are important thou...
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Best Supporting Actress

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Supporting Actress

When supporters eclipse their leaders
Feb 26
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
Perhaps the most interesting thing about 2012's award season was how much stock was put into some of the supporting performances. Usually, supporting actors and actresses play second fiddle to the leading characters, and when...
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Worst of 2012

Flixist Awards 2012: Worst Film

When things went wrong, they went really wrong
Feb 26
// Matthew Razak
As we award the best of 2012 with shiny golden dino statues it's important to note that sometimes movies aren't good. Sometimes movies are really, really, really, really, really, ridiculously bad. And we don't mean bad simply...
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Best Animated Film

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Animated Film

Spoiler: It isn't Brave
Feb 25
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
I have never really cared too much about animation. I like animated films for the most part, but I rarely seek them out. I don't actually know why that is, and it's very possible that that will change in 2013. Why? Because 20...

Flixist Awards 2012: Best Director

Feb 25 // Matthew Razak
Django Unchained may have stirred up some controversy, but there's one thing no one could argue about: Quentin Tarantino put together an amazingly good movie. From nailing the cast to shooting in his fantastically unique style it stood out. From nods to classic westerns to somehow keeping a very dark film entertaining Tarantino showed us why he's a master of the medium he loves so much. Often his films can feel like he's simply referencing things he's seen, but with Django everything seems somehow fresh while still honoring what came before. Moving past Tarantino's mastery of the homage is his mastery of making violence somehow artistic. There's so much going on in Django that it seems ridiculous to focus on this, but that last shoot out is a gun fight masterpiece. The man is simply a brilliant director. Full Review. This was one of our closer contests and all five directors definitely deserve some sort of dinosaur statue even if they didn't grab a Golden Pterodactyl. Paul Thomas Anderson especially deserves a bit more attention since The Master disappeared  from the radar this awards season other than its actors. Meanwhile, Ben Affleck truly established himself as one of Hollywood's best directors with Argo and Spielberg kept his throne by giving us the powerful, though flawed, Lincoln. We're also pretty sure that Wes Anderson makes the same movie every time, which is fine with us because that movie is awesome and Moonrise Kingdom might be his best version of it. Wes Anderson - Moonrise KingdomSteven Spielberg - LincolnPaul Thomas Anderson - The MasterBen Affleck - Argo
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They have arrived and this is the first one
The 2012 Flixist Awards (known as the Golden Pterodactyls by those in the know) have arrived. Now that those far less important awards have come and gone, it's time to get down to the ones that really matter. We'll be spendin...

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