Total Film’s year in ‘must-see’ movies at Swindon Libraries!…Part 1.

The January 2013 issue of Total Film listed one movie per month that was an absolute ‘must-see’ in 2012. Here at Swindon Libraries you can rent out  all of these movies, except the Hobbit, BUT that is only because it hasn’t been released yet! So sit back and choose your pick of 2012:

December: The Hobbit: an unexpected journey

NOT YET RELEASED, but watch this space!…The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

November: The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson writes and directs this Academy Award-nominated drama about a US Navy veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who seeks salvation in the company of a charismatic cult leader. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Freddie Quell, a troubled drifter who arrives home to post-WWII America shaken, disillusioned and fearful of the future. A raging alcoholic, Quell cannot begin to make sense of his deeply-rooted inner torment, let alone surmount it. When he meets Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the ‘master’ of a cult called The Cause, an intense and ambiguous relationship develops between the two men. But do Dodd’s teachings hold the power to turn Quell’s life around?

“An often brilliant ’50s-throwback character drama that never feels nostalgic, with terrific central performances and a luminous, unforgettable visual beauty. “(Empire November, 2012).

“With potent performers and poetic visuals, Anderson has made the boldest American picture of the year.” (Total Film November, 2012).

October: Skyfall

Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. Brilliant movie, what more can be said?….

September: Looper

In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented – but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a looper” – a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good… until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination.

“Looper is a tremendous motion picture experience. Not merely a “very good” one, but a great one.” (Reelviews November, 2012).

“So what’s left for the audience to hook into? Only pounding action, elegant style, steady-state suspense, marvelous acting and […] haunting explorations of youth, age and personal destiny. It’s a lot to claim for a sci-fi thriller, but I was blown away by Rian Johnson’s Looper.” (Wall Street Journal, November, 2012).

August: The Imposter

In 1994, 13 year-old Nicholas Barclay disappears from his home in Texas. Three years later he is found in Spain, disorientated and quivering with fear. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not what it seems. Whilst he bears many of the same distinguishing marks and tattoos, the boy looks decidedly different and now speaks with a strange accent. Why doesn’t the family seem to notice these glaring inconsistencies? It’s only when an investigator starts asking questions that this astonishing true story takes an even stranger turn.

A worldwide Box Office sensation, The Imposter, is a gripping edge-of-your-seat thriller that proves truth is far stranger than fiction.

‘As gripping as any white-knuckle thriller’ (The Guardian)

‘The most astonishing film you will see this year’ (The Irish Times)

July: The Dark Knight Rises

Potent, persuasive and hypnotic, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES has us at its mercy. A disturbing experience we live through as much as a film we watch, this dazzling conclusion to director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is more than an exceptional superhero movie, it is masterful filmmaking by any standard. (Los Angeles Times October 2012).

“The conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s superhero trilogy is a hugely ambitious mix of eye candy and brain food. If it doesn’t have the haunting aftertaste of the previous serving, that’s only because Nolan couldn’t clone Heath Ledger. But beefy substitute Tom Hardy is a hell of a villain. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch October 2012).

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