Of the many films that were released in 2012 there were three that could be said to be the most anticipated throughout the year up to their release as the year came to a close. Those three films are The Hobbit, Les Miserables and Django Unchained. Each of these motion pictures has either breathed new life into an aging genre or has been innovative in some way that may change how films are made in the near future.
Hundreds, if not millions have been waiting for a number of years for this film to finally make it to the big screen; especially after Peter Jackson returned to the Director’s chair. Jackson not only accomplished the same dramatic scope and majesty with The Hobbit as he did with The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, he also did something truly innovative. He and the rest of the crew on The Hobbit chose to film at a higher frame rate of forty frames per second—the standard is 35 fps—this resulted in a picture that is so clear, the viewer is hard pressed to believe that the characters are anywhere else but in the same room. Truthfully, the “hyper-realism” took some getting used to. Nonetheless, it only served to bring the story to life—literally.
For those familiar with the process of filming a musical, they understand that the standard way is to have the actors lip sync to pre-recorded tracks of themselves singing. This sometimes results in a less than authentic emotional performance from the actors/actresses because they may have made different character choices when they originally sang than when they are filming. Director Tom Hooper—wanting to capture a more authentic musical experience on film—chose to have the actors sing while filming with only the music to sing to. The result is astronomically moving performances by Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried. Every cast member had the ability to respond to the moment as they normally would while filming a speaking part making each character seem much more genuine in their emotionality. This was truly an original way to approach a generations old genre and give it new life.
Any genre that Quentin Tarantino touches is going to be changed from old and dry to new, edgy and purely entertaining. This is something that Tarantino does well and has his entire career. Django takes the western and flips it on its head. What we get is a story with as many twists and turns as the best thrillers, mingled with ingenious dialogue that intrigues instead of bores and Tarantino’s own brand of brutal, fast-paced and bloody action. This one is bound to be as popular as Inglorious Basterds and Pulp Fiction. Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio give effortless performances. Django Unchained is a film worth seeing for any fan of Tarantino’s work.
If you haven’t seen any of these three films yet, stop hesitating. Regardless of which you choose they will leave you breathless, inspired or just plain exhilarated.