Pulse and Prime News @ 7 movie critic John DeVore gives us his picks for the best flicks of 2012.
He said, "While I haven't seen every film this year, and there are several that haven't been released or made it to Chattanooga, these are my top three movies of the year.
First up, Argo. Ben Affleck returns to the director's chair for Argo, a spy film based on events that happened during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. The film is a tense, vivid drama that relies on strong performances and careful detail. In Argo, the CIA must rescue six American hostages that are being hidden at the Canadian embassy. Their extractor, played by Affleck, infiltrates Iran by creating a fake science fiction film to be shot on location in Tehran so that he can sneak the Americans out by disguising them as film-makers. It is a realistic spy caper. One that doesn't rely on car chases and explosions but on deception and luck. The film is thrilling and complex. One that is mostly historically accurate and given that current state of US relations with Iran, a timely reminder of the fragile nature of diplomacy.
Next, Lincoln. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln is an exceptional film in every way. Daniel Day Lewis is the best actor in any generation and here he becomes the role so completely that there is no trace of the actor in his performance. Daniel Day Lewis is reason enough to see this film, but the writing, directing and accuracy of the events make the film an achievement in historical film-making. This is a film that focuses on the final months of the president's life. He has been re-elected, the war is drawing to a close and the 13th amendment is making its way through the House. Lincoln is determined to pass the bill before the war ends so that he has a chance of ratification rather than being dropped as a condition for the south's surrender. There is a fascinating scene in the film where Lincoln describes his thoughts behind the emancipation proclamation and the seizure of powers that had not been previously found in the executive branch. He is told that through his actions he could be seen as a dictator but he says he was re-elected so the people agree with his actions. What the audience sees is a man faced with extraordinary circumstances who does what is necessary without knowing whether or not his choices are the right ones. Lincoln is a human drama that could and should be shown in classrooms across the country. It is quite simply a powerful and dynamic film about a dynamic and powerful man.
The Life of Pi is my third film. It is by far the best film I've seen so far this year. I very rarely see a film in 3D. I find the technique gimmicky and over-used. But here the technology is so well utilized there's no other way to see the film. The utilization of 3D is exquisite. A testament to how far special effects have come in the film industry. But beyond the beauty, beyond the majesty, beyond the eye-popping visuals is the simplicity of the stories and the way that it handles the complicated nature of belief. It is about shipwreck and survival. About a man who seeks truth in the direst of situations and about a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The story takes place almost entirely adrift on a lifeboat on the Pacific. There are unbelievable moments that require the faith and acceptance of the audience. We are stranded with Pi and experience everything he does firsthand. But then we are asked to question what we saw. The film leaves the truth open to interpretation and we along with the characters in the film get to decide what we believe. The Life of Pi is a genuine delight to watch, it reaches across audience demographics despite its PG rating and it isn't just a family film. It's a good one. And those are the best movies that I saw this year, if you have the chance, you should definitely check them out."