Looking Back/Looking Forward – My Janus Post

Odd title that, I know. Not if you’re a fan of the James Bond flick Goldeneye though. Or if you have a knowledge of Roman mythology. You see, Janus is the Roman god of beginnings and transition. He has two heads: one looking backwards and one forwards and is how the month of January got its name.


This is my post looking back over 2012 and looking forward to 2013. Anyway, enough of that essentially pointless information. Let’s crack on.

Looking Back – 2012

I didn’t start this blog until March, so I can’t comment on anything before then but plenty has happened since. When I first started, I was posting all sorts of things like trailers and previews of the films out that week but it wasn’t long before I couldn’t keep up with all of that and decided to just post what I wanted when I wanted. Much easier. So what are my film highlights of 2012?

The Avengers

I’m somewhat of a superhero geek and I thought Joss Whedon absolutely nailed it with The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble) as it was known over here. It would have been easy to just go through the motions with it but he perfectly balanced the action and humour and left me grinning like a Cheshire Cat throughout. It turns out that it’s also one of the most divisive films of the year, too. It’s been on just as many worst film lists as best ones, but it firmly became my favourite superhero film.

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the WoodsJoss Whedon again. The Cabin in the Woods was more than your common or garden horror film. It poked fun at the genre and had fun with it, taking much of what you know (or think you know) about horror films and turning them on their head. As is the way with meta-textual films like this, it took references from plenty of other horror films but did so in a genuinely refreshing way. Also, the ending is one of the craziest things I’ve seen all year. Good crazy though, definitely good crazy.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I read the The Perks of Being a Wallflower earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed it so was equal parts excited and worried about seeing the film. Fortunately, it was about as good an adaptation as you could wish for. It had its schmaltz but excellent performances from Ezra Miller and Logan Lerman really helped set it apart from the usual high school coming of age fare.

Life of Pi

When I first saw the trailers for Life of Pi, I was really nonplussed about it. It looked a bit like a children’s film and the use of Coldplay made me want to vomit. However, the reviews started to role in and apparently it was pretty good. So I gave it a go and, lo and behold, it really was pretty good. It raised intelligent questions about the existence of God and had genuinely decent 3D. Visually it was amazing and although it was the last film of 2012 I saw, it was definitely one of the best.

What else?

Seven Psychopaths - a pleasant surpriseWell alongside Life of Pi, the biggest surprise for me was probably Seven Psychopaths. My Dad may have fallen asleep in it, but I thought it was a brilliantly written, superbly acted piece of crazy. I also saw The Dark Knight Rises and thought it was a decent end to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, although its memory is becoming more and more sullied as I think back to it. Also excellent was Skyfall, and although perhaps not quite as good as Casino Royale, it’s definitely up there as one of the best Bonds.

There have been loads of ‘worst of 2012’ lists knocking around but, to be honest, I’ve not really seen any films that would qualify. I don’t get that much opportunity to see go to the cinema so when I do, I tend to see stuff that I’m fairly sure I’ll enjoy to some degree. There have been some disappointments though. Prometheus, for example, was a massive disappointment and felt as if Ridley Scott used the Alien name to promote a barely related film. Looper was also somewhat of a disappointment considering the excellent reviews it got, and The Hobbit, although enjoyable, felt like it could have been better.

There are plenty of films I didn’t manage to get to see this year that I was really looking forward to. Films such as Rust and Bone, Argo, AmourBeasts of the Southern Wild, and The Master are all films that I didn’t get around to seeing but will hopefully check out when they’re released on Blu-ray in the coming months.

Looking Forward – 2013

So what does the next 12 months hold? Well, like I said, I will hopefully be checking out most of the 2012 releases I missed out on. In terms of cinema releases, the year starts out pretty well with Les Miserables, Django Unchained and Lincoln hitting cinemas within a few weeks of each other, but after that there isn’t a massive amount that gets me really excited. That’s not to say there’s nothing tickling my fancy, though.

This year we finally get to see Man of Steel, Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, that is following the trend of having a darker, more realistic feel to it. I’m not the biggest fan of Supes (he’s just too good a superhero), but now the trailers have hit, my interest is growing. Pacific Rim is a film that looks like it could be a lot of fun, although it also has a touch of the Transformers to it. Hopefully it’ll be a lot better than that.

The film I’m probably most looking forward to this year is one I know very little about. Twelve Years a Slave will mark the third time Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender have teamed up following Hunger and Shame and just the fact they’re going to be working together again is enough to get me very excited.

Other films that I’m intrigued about are Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder, Monsters University, and, interestingly considering I’ve not seen any of his other films, Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem. As ever, there will be plenty of others that grab me as the year goes on.

So there we go, that was my Janus post looking back and looking forward. I would like to finish by saying a massive thank you to everyone who has read my posts, ‘liked’ them, commented on them, and shared them with others. I’ve had a load of fun chatting and debating things people and am very much looking forward to more of the same in 2013.


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26 thoughts on “Looking Back/Looking Forward – My Janus Post

  1. Very nice post, Chris. Really enjoyed giving it a read. Here’s to a 2013 filled with great movies and blogging 😉

  2. LOL. I knew who Janus was… 😀

    Let’s hope Man of Steel finally delivers the Superman movie that the character deserves, huh?

    I really loved Seven Psychopaths, too!

    • I knew I could rely on you Fogs! 🙂

      Man of Steel definitely looks promising so far but you never really can tell from a trailer. Fairly confident it’ll be better than the last one though.
      Seven Psychopaths really surprised me. It was all kinds of crazy but had a real Tarantino vibe to it and was just a hell of a lot of fun!

  3. vinnieh says:

    Great post, loved the Janus bit very interesting as I remember it from Goldeneye.

  4. ckckred says:

    Nice post. I forgot about Janus.

    I recommend seeing Amour, The Master, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. I’m really looking forward to To The Wonder as well.

    • Yeah those films are pretty high on my watch list for this year, can’t wait to check them out, particularly Beasts as I’ve heard some much good about it.
      I hadn’t really given To The Wonder much attention but I watched the trailer the other day and thought it was brilliant. Definitely want to see it now.

  5. Nostra says:

    Great look back and some fine movies you chose to highlight. Looking forward to everything the new year brings us.

  6. ruth says:

    Very clever post title, Terry, nice one! Great recap here, I am going to see Life of Pi this weekend, I’m afraid it’s going to be yanked off the theaters soon. Your positive review makes me want to see it even more.

    Oooh I’m definitely excited for Man of Steel!! June 14 can’t come soon enough!

    • Very interested to hear your thoughts on Life of Pi Ruth, I did really enjoy it and I’m glad you’re going to be seeing it on the big screen, definitely deserves to be seen that way.
      It’s funny, to start with I wasn’t bothered about Man of Steel at all but now I’m quite looking forward to it and with Chris Nolan behind the scenes, I reckon it’s in safe hands.

  7. Mark Walker says:

    Nice post here Chris. I’m still playing catch-up but I finally seen Life Of Pi the other night and it knocked my socks off. Definitely one of the years best. Couldn’t agree more on that McQueen/Fassbender collaboration as well as Malick. I’m always excited about his stuff.

    • Thanks Mark! Glad to hear you’re on board with the Life of Pi love, it surprised the hell out of me. I was expecting some decent visuals and little more but thought it was superb. I’ve not actually caught any of Malick’s previous stuff, despite it being high on my watch list, but I just thought the trailer for his new one looked really interesting.

      • Mark Walker says:

        Loved Life of Pi. Probably my favourite of the year. You really must catch up on Malick. Especially the Thin Red Line. It’s one of my favourite films.

      • Yeah it’s definitely up there for me as one of my favourites for the year too. I have a feeling the Thin Red Line is on Netflix, so i’ll definitely try and get round to watching it and I want to see The Tree of Life just to see what the fuss is all about!

      • Mark Walker says:

        I love the Tree of Life as well. That was one of the top three of 2011 for me. After Drive and Shame.

  8. sati says:

    I wish I liked Seven Psychopaths as much as you did – I saw it yesterday and though the film had few funny moments I found it to be a big mess and I was very disappointed how little McDonagh featured Harrelson.

    I’m looking forward to Pacific Rim, looks intriguing!

    • Ah that’s shame you didn’t really like it! It definitely is a bit all over the place but for some reason I thought that was part of its appeal. I kind of saw that as a bit of a metaphor for screenwriting itself in that ideas and characters are often all over the pace jumping around from scene to scene. I thought it was a great script too, thought Rockwell was excellent. I definitely agree about Harrelson though, definitely could have done with more of him!

  9. Great choices! Cabin In The Woods was amazing – a brilliant twist and crazy, crazy, crazy! Also agree with you that Prometheus was one of the biggest disappointments of the year. The trailer basically showed us all the best bits too. As for looking forward, I’m interested to see Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Hitchcock and The Great Gatsby as they’re all being talked about a lot. I’m also looking forward to seeing more from Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender – for me Shame was one of the standout films of 2012! You have a great blog – keep up the good work in 2013!

    • Thanks very much for the kind words Natalie! Nice to see some love for Shame, I absolutely love that film. For some reason I thought it was a 2011 film, otherwise I’d have mentioned it more in this piece! Really looking forward to the next Fassbender/McQueen collaboration, they can have my ticket money already!
      I’m also looking forward to Hitchcock, forgot about that one! And Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty are also ones I’m interested in seeing. Certainly looks to be a good start to the year!

      • I think Shame sneaked in the UK right at the beginning of January – it probably came out earlier in the States but I couldn’t resist including it in my films of the year! Such a powerful film – the soundtrack’s still on my wish list!

      • It really is a great film, despite it being incredibly emasculating for probably every bloke watching! ha! I need to check out the soundtrack too, I thought it was excellent when I was watching but haven’t checked it out on its own yet.

  10. Well done sir. A very nice post indeed. Looking back the highlight of 2012 was The Raid…. such a brilliant action film that laughs in the face of hollywood.

    Looking forward I am most looking forward to the new Star Trek movie. I think it will be aces!

    • Cheers man! The Raid, of course! I completely forgot about that, that was an awesome film! Like Shame, I thought that was a 2011 film for some reason.
      I’ll probably still check Star Trek out but I’m not hugely excited by it. I did enjoy the last one though so hopefully this one will surprise me.

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