Answered: 5 Big Questions For Movie Geeks in 2012

Published 1 year ago by , Updated December 30th, 2013 at 5:42 pm, This is a list post.

Checkmark Screen Rant 2013 We always knew that this was going to be a pivotal year for movies, and back in the early days of what was assumed to be humanity's swan song (according to the Mayans), we asked you 5 Big Questions for Movie Geeks in 2012. Now that the year is drawing to a close - and humanity appears to be trekking on toward the future - it's only right that we look back over our own big questions for the year to discuss and debate the answers as a dedicated movie geek community. Check out our answers to the 5 Big Movie Geek Questions of 2012...

5. Can You Come Home Again to Middle-Earth?

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - The Hobbit We expected the release of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit to be a big deal - but we doubt anyone expected the Oscar-winning director to take J.R.R. Tolkien's original Middle-earth novel and stretch it out into not two, but three, films. Be that as it may, the question was "Can you go home to Middle-earth Again?" - and now, with the release of the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, we have an answer. Maybe it was the sight of familiar characters like Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) and Gollum (Andy Serkis) or the lighter, more playful tone of the film; whatever it was, An Unexpected Journey recaptured that magic Jackson created with LotR, and even augmented it with modern effects and a revolutionary high frame rate 3D format that could mark a new turning point in filmmaking (provided audiences support it). Indeed, we can go home to Middle-earth again, and are happy to be back. Hopefully the next two films - Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again - keep this good thing going.

4. IMAX or 3D: Which is Worth our Cash?

IMAX vs 3D While very few people complained about The Avengers' post-converted 3D, other films like Men In Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man were somewhat underwhelming with their use of the format. Animated films like BraveParaNorman and Wreck-It-Ralph were fun in 3D, but nothing revolutionary. The quality of Prometheus3D is more open to debate. On the other hand, The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall were both shot in IMAX aspect ratio (*Skyfall technically did NOT use IMAX cameras) and left most moviegoers wowed. With crisp high-def visuals on a massive screen, IMAX brought the spectacle back to blockbuster films in a way that even the best home theater systems are unable to do. With 3D still getting as much hate as it does love (and 3D TVs not exactly taking the nation by storm) it's pretty easy to declare IMAX the winner in 2012.

3. Is There New Life in Old Ideas?

Movie Remakes Reboots (2012) Spiderman Three Stooges This year offered several reboots, remakes and new adaptations of familiar properties . 21 Jump Street was the only indisputable winner, garnering a warm (lucrative) reception and propelling stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill to higher levels of stardom. Amazing Spider-Man and Snow White landed in the middle, while remakes like Dark Shadows, Totall Recall and Red Dawn were pretty lackluster in both fan reception and box office performance. The anomaly is Dredd, a movie that arguably did justice to re-introducing the character and franchise - but maybe people were sick of re-heated leftovers by the time the fall season arrived? While these respective films varied in degree of quality, one thing is for sure: on the whole, recycled ideas didn't offer many new thrills for movie fans.

2. Who is King: Superheroes or Sci-Fi?

Superhero vs sci-fi movies Both sides had their champions (The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Looper) as well as their duds (Ghost Rider 2, Battleship, Total Recall) and a few that films fell in the love/hate middle (Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus).  However, given the box office returns and critical consensus, it's easy to declare superheroes the winner this year. But fear not, sci-fi fans: DC's 2013 tentpole Man of Steel is still a big unknown, and Marvel's "Phase Two" films (Thor 2 and Iron Man 3) have to prove that post-Avengers solo films will still be crowd pleasers. Meanwhile, sci-fi will be getting heavy hitters like Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim; TRON Legacy director Joseph Kosinski's new film Oblivion; M. Night Shyamalan teaming with Will and Jaden Smith for After Earth; District 9 director Neil Blomkamp's new film Elysium and many other entries. In 2013, we could have a different clear winner in this battle between genres...

1. Does a Shared Movie Universe Actually Work?

15 Characters for Avengers 2 Movie Sequels Strong Reviews and a billion-dollar box office later, Marvel Studios stands vindicated in their ambitious dream to build a shared movie universe (thanks in large part to writer/director Joss Whedon). The Avengers was a phenomenon and a fun film, to boot. Meanwhile, Disney managed to inculcate a whole new generation of young boys with a love for Marvel superheroes (see: my nephew Quinn, age 3). Marvel Studios has forever changed the game: Sony will be expanding their Spider-Man universe, starting in Amazing Spider-Man 2 (possibly connecting it with Marvel's Universe); Fox has launched their own X-Men/Fantastic Four Marvel Universe; and DC Comics will launch their Justice League movie team film in 2015 to rival The Avengers 2. Welcome to the new blockbuster franchise playing field, folks.

What Are Your Questions?

Checkmark Screen Rant 2013 While we answered our 5 Big Movie Geek Questions in 2012, there were some other minor questions we raised, which you can read below (with brief accounts of our answers). ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS: 
  • Will Dark Knight Rises be as good as Dark Knight? [Depends who you ask.]
  • Will The Hungers Games be the next hit movie franchise based on YA books? [Yup.]
  • Will Batman or The Avengers rule the summer box office? [Marvel won the box office battle.]
  • Will Paranormal Activity 4 actually answer more questions than it raises? [No, just throw more half-cooked scares at us.]
  • Will The Wachowskis' Cloud Atlas redeem them from a string of bad movies? [Yes... to the few people that saw it.]
  • Which will be more fun - a Lincoln biopic or the ridiculous action/adventure of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter [Depends who you ask... but... Lincoln.]
  • Is Twilight REALLY gone for good after Breaking Dawn - Part 2[Probably not - the reboot/spin-off/prequel talk has already started.]
Were there any big questions on your mind this year that you needed addressed? How about conclusions you've reached now that the year is ending? Share with us in the comment section. Be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming feature: "5 Big Questions for Movie Geeks in 2013."
TAGS: 21 jump street, dredd, looper, prometheus, skyfall, the amazing spider-man, the avengers, the dark knight rises, the hobbit, the three stooges, total recall

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  1. I totally agree about IMAX(3D sucks),but can we please get an IMAX film that is completely shot in…I don’t know…IMAX!! Going back & forth between that format & their basic widescreen look is completely annoying to say the least. How can anyone enjoy their movies constantly switching back & forth like that is beyond me.

    • the reason Nolan didnt shoot the who film in IMAX was because IMAX cameras are loud and so they dont work for dialoge scenes. He decided to let the video aspect take a hit so that the sound aspect didnt, because they wouldve had to do voice overs

    • I really don’t understand your point !
      There is really no difference for me ,and it doesn’t matter if imax or not !
      I watch movies regularly and dont understand whats the fuzz with IMAX or not ! The film looks the same !

      • The difference between IMAX movies & standard Hi Def is the aspect ratio in which both are presented in. Standard Hi Def is when the film has a narrow image picture with black borders on top & bottom of the screen. Sure you can see more of the picture from the sides, but is it worth sacrificing the size of the images in the picture all together? Everything just ends up looking smaller than they should. IMAX increases everything by widening the picture frame to it’s “Maximum” capacity giving you the full proper image display hence the nickname “IMAX”. Also the sound is much more clear & crisp when played on the best t.v. screen with great speakers. This is why it’s the better format. Unfortunately, movie directors refuse to shoot their entire films using this format. Instead they prefer to go back & forth between both IMAX & standard Hi Def whenever there are huge action scenes within a movie.

        • The only advantage of IMAX is the very high image resolution, which only makes any sense in IMAX theaters. On a home release it doesn’t make any difference, because it’s reduced to the Blu-ray resolution of 1920×1080 anyway, with any advantage in clarity removed. On Blu-ray there is no discernible difference between an IMAX scene or a regular full frame 1,85:1/16:9 image.

          Directors use Scope with the black bars (2,35:1 or similar) for artistic reasons. It provides a different and often more pleasing image composition. You lose nothing important in movies that are shot like that, because they simply crop off superfluous image elements at the top and the bottom that show nothing of importance.

          And that’s exactly why I don’t like home releases with switching aspect ratios because of IMAX. The resolution advantage is gone and these scenes were composed and shot with the scope format in mind anyway, because of the regular theater releases. So, all it does is adding superfluous image information for the price of distracting me from the viewing experience to no end. It should either be scope all the way or full format wide screen all the way, but please no switching back and forth between formats during the movie.

          • After having seen TDKR on Blu-Ray, I’d have to agree with you.
            In the theater it didn’t bother me at all (and I didn’t even watch it in iMax), but at home on the hi-def tv, the switching was very distracting.

            The aspect ratio should remain the same throughout the entire movie IMO.

      • It depends on if you saw it on the new digital IMAX screens which don’t look very much different than regular screens, or if you saw it on a true 70mm IMAX screen, which has a totally different aspect ratio (much taller image) and is much higher in resolution.

        I’m guessing that since you say that you didn’t see a difference, then you saw the new digital IMAX (sometimes referred to as LieMAX or IMIN).

        Check out the image at the top of this article to see the difference, and why if you saw it in real 70mm IMAX you would NOT be saying there is no difference.

        http://themoviemash.com/2012/07/see-the-dark-knight-rises-on-the-true-imax-not-the-imax-digital-liemax/

    • Broadway,

      I agree with you completely on IMAX vs. 3D. I saw The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX and was blown away. As to the use of 3D, I’d prefer a movie without it. I saw The Amazing Spiderman in 3D and for me, it was a wash. 3D (for me) didn’t add to the film, but it didn’t take away from it either. For me, it actually felt unecessary as I was engaged with the story (inspite of the fact that the story was far from “untold”). To me it seems that 3D is becoming the motion picture equivalent of multi-player in videogames: nearly everyone wants it, even though it may not always be necessary.

      Mr. Glass

  2. “Old Ideas” can be worth revisiting several times over if done the write way by the write group of people. Remakes & Reboots are almost always great to look at as long as they’re not exactly the same story as already told by someone else.

  3. I feel comparing the 2 genres(SuperHero & Sci-Fi)are pointless when both are of themselves part of many other broad genres in their own right. Especially SuperHero films which are primarily action based most, if not all the time. Sci-Fi isn’t so narrow in that it can belong to many other main genre catagories….Action,Horror,Drama & even Comedy to name a few.

  4. As I had written in an earlier news article comment section about the Avengers & JLA when it comes to “A Shared Movie Universe”, this “is” the future of movie making when it comes to multiple franchises being owned by one film studio. Love it or Hate it crossovers are here to stay for the long haul.

  5. Lastly,whether Dark Knight was or is better than it’s successor(Dark Knight Rises),I will always side with the former as I’ll always feel that no one tops the “Clown Prince of Crime”. Especially since Heath’s performance will always be memorable.

    Lincoln being more “fun” than the vampire version depends on the fun definition. I think more “interesting” would be a more accurate description.

  6. Man, next year is going to be so fun for sci-fi geeks: Elysium, Gravity, The World’s End, Pacific Rim, Oblivion, Star Trek Into Darkness, After Earth, Enders Game, About Time, Riddick. Don’t think there’s ever been a year so jam packed with sci-fi.

    • You’re not wrong, my man.

    • I just hope they are all going to be really good as story plots and trailers show them to be

    • Thor: The Dark World :)

  7. You know, I still think Dredd is the best movie I saw in 2012 (Life Of Pi a close second and The Dark Knight Rises third) so it’s a shame US audiences didn’t go see it.

    Then again, I guess they prefer crappy “comedies” that attempt to spoof things and fail miserably at being funny.

    • @Dazz. “Crappy Comedies” such as…?

      As far as Dredd goes…look at it from an “OverKill” perspective. In the same year that gave us 3 other films of the same type,(Avengers,Spidey & Bats) you would have to think that people had already gotten their full of costume/uniform crime fighters.

      • @Broadway,

        I agree that overkill may have had something to do with Dredd’s demise. I also think poor marketing did it in as well. It’s also not a typical date film, and the horrible Stallone version may have been remembered by some moviegoers. Still, as a fan of the Dredd comics, Karl Urban IS Dredd, and he nailed the role. The movie is one of the best comic book adaptations I’ve seen, and it’s one of my favorite films of the year.

        • @$2. Don’t also forget about the elephant in the room, or in this case 2 elephants. MARVEL & DC has the comicbook movie scene on lock. Which mostly means that pretty much any & every character belonging to that genre who isn’t associated with “The Big 2″ won’t be as successful as their characters.

    • That’s because a huge portion of the market comes from immature teen boys who still can’t speak anatomically correct terms of the body, but can draw them on a wall.
      I’m probably one of the few people in my small town that has taken a huge interest in film and appreciates what actually deserves to be noticed.

  8. Not for nothing, but I think Dredd 3D’s box office run is one of the top 5 tragedies of this year…

    • I agree. Hopefully, word has/will spread, and DVD sales will give it a well-deserved boost.

  9. Dredd in my opinion was an awesome movie! I think the shared movie idea is incredible, love the way Marvel built it up with each release until it exploded in an explosive frenzy (thanks to Joss Whedon yo!), I think one of the most promising upcoming ideas might be the thing that Guillermo del Toro was thinking of working on.

    @ kayell: the World’s End isn’t sci-fi, its a silly comedy from the dream team of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Don’t know if it will do well in America due to its “Britishness”.

    • Sakib- have hope! There are a LOT of people that love British comedies! Besides, I know tons of people that will anything with Wright and Pegg attached together in the credits=)

  10. Skyfall was not shot using IMAX cameras. The only Hollywood film from 2012 that used IMAX cameras was Dark Knight Rises. In 2012 we will get two films. Star Trek and the Hunger Games sequel. Star Trek will be the first Hollywood film to shoot with IMAX cameras and be in 3D.

    • You are correct Rodney, Skyfall was shot on an Alexa camera in IMAX aspect ratio. The correction has been noted in the article. Thanks!

  11. Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice will be in the next two Hobbit films, so I’m sure they will be fantastic.

  12. You do know that Skyfall wasn’t shot in IMAX at all, right? For the IMAX screenings they just opened up the aspect ratio to the full frame size.

  13. 21 Jump Street is the clear winner? Ive heard more good than bad about it and I think the only bad I heard about Amazing Spider-Man was people like me unhappy with Sony owning the rights. Ive mostly only heard good about Prometheus. Also, how much do people trust Shyamalan after Last Airbender and what about the Tron: Legacy guy?

  14. “whole new generation of young boys”… and girls! Believe me, the little girls love The Avengers just as much as little boys. ;)

  15. Fantastic slide show Kofi, soo much to say / respond to I won’t even bother.. would love to hear you debate this stuff on the podcast. Huge fan!

    Best

    - Drew

  16. my only question is when is that godzilla teaser comin out?

  17. LOL!!!Ha,HA,Ha.

  18. Skyfall was shot with the Alexa. Regarding the IMAX format, it’s not just about a bigger picture, it’s a HUGE jump in resolution.

    Traditional 35mm movies are equivalent to half-frame in photography whereas IMAX or 65mm is close to medium format 6×7. If you are a photo nerd you will definitely understand why IMAX is a huge deal. Better tones, sharpness, etc…

  19. You know what’s so comforting for us geeks? That there is the species of internet trolls who live an even more miserable existence than us poor saps. I mean, what’s more sad than scouring the internet for webpages that are about things that you don’t care about and wasting time by trying to get a rise out of strangers that you shouldn’t give a crap about in the first place. So terribly, terribly sad.

  20. Great list Kofi, but one thing I’ll never get is the “superheroes vs. sci-fi” thing.
    Most superhero movies ARE sci-fi. A movie like the Avengers for instance would fall into the “comic book” and “superhero” sub category, but in terms of the actual GENRE of the film, it’s still action/sci-fi. And a movie like TDK would again fall into those sub categories, but the genre of the film would be action/crime.

    ‘Sci-fi’ means science fiction (I know it’s obvious, but for the sake of people like Eric, let’s dumb things down a bit ;)) and correct me if I’m wrong, but a movie like The Avengers IS science fiction, is it not?

    • meh I would put Comics more in the realm of Fantasy or even in its own category.

      Science Fiction always (IMO) denoted the plausibility factor of the future.

      As much as I would love to see a person being bit by an enhanced spider and obtaining said powers I dont ever see it happening.

      One could debate that Iron Man could be SciFi however I just dont see the beleivability in all things that the suit is made of and capable of ever happening. Case in point being hit with .50 cal shells and not seriously creating internal damage to the person inside.

      So in the end there should/will be a SuperHero and or Comic designation to movies.

      • Agreed.

        Sci-fi is based on plausible futuristic designs. In that sense I would say The Avenger’s and Star Wars are more like fantasy/adventure films because of the amount of suspension of disbelief required.

    • I was thinking the same thing (about many super heroes being sci-fi based).

      While super hero movies often blend fantasy and sci-fi, many popular super heroes have their origins in some kind of scientific explanation.

      Still, I guess the difference would be that regardless of the origin, super hero movies focus on the hero and their special abilities, whereas sci-fi generally deals with some future universe where technology has advanced, and there is no real stand-out persona that has abilities that others don’t.

      I guess one notable exception could be Star Wars, since it is based somehow in the past in some place far away where people look exactly like us, and the whole force thing isn’t really as a result of technology.

  21. I do have a question/comment about this statement:

    “Strong Reviews and a billion-dollar box office later, Marvel Studios stands vindicated in their ambitious dream to build a shared movie universe (thanks in large part to writer/director Joss Whedon).”

    How much input did Josh Whedon have in making it a shared Universe? While he made it ‘click’ I dont think he should get as much (large) credit as that.

    I believe the big wigs behind the Marvel Movie Movement (trademarked!) should get more credit than Whedon. As if it wasnt for them, how they filmed/wrote the films there would be no Avengers to film.

    Dont get me wrong im not hating on Whedon just dont think he was all of that in the grand scheme to get a shared Universe.

    • Jon Favreau was the “Real” brains behind the jump starting of this whole thing. Remember, he came up with the idea to have the Nick Fury cameo at the end of Iron Man in the first place. Plus the little “Easter Egg” in between the movie(Cap’s prototype shield)was used to make a smaller connection between the films. If those two things never had happened neither would the “Avengers Initiative” either.

      • It was Favreau’s idea to have those cameos and easter eggs yes, but I’m not so sure he was the one who actually thought of making a cinematic universe.

        I speak under correction of course… none of us really know how it started other than the people who worked on these movies.

  22. One of the most significant differences is that superhero movies had an edge over everything else this year. Movies are gradually losing touch with both reality as well as history and is more into fiction. Some movies are being made 3D just for the sake of making it 3D even when the technology does not suit it. But there were some amazing 3D movies which did justice to the 3D technology. Life of Pi is a very good example. The problem with movies nowadays is that movies are created to cater to the audiences. And in the present day, everyone is jumping the superhero and fiction bandwagon wherein acting skills and storyline have become secondary to the superfluous effects. Hope that there is a good balance between fiction and realism in 2013.

  23. Recycled ideas is the way of the world. We’ve been recycling tales for thousands of years, just dressing them differently to accommodate the stages at which society stands. (Re: new generations require updated details and themes, etc.). But it does seem that Hollywood is out of fresh and inspired ideas, hence the recent slew of reboots.

    A reboot is all well and good as long as it is done for the right reasons. It seems to me that most of the reboots in the past few years were designed as quick cash cows for studios as opposed to genuine artistic yearnings to revisit great ideas and stories. I liked Raimi’s Spider-Man films (except the last) at the time, but in retrospect I find them silly and somewhat annoying. Thus, the Amazing Spiderman push by Sony worked out well. Although I groaned at a reboot so soon, after seeing the film I was much happier with it than Raimi’s work.

    Total Recall was a bust. The story is fascinating, and there’s so much to explore regarding the philosophy behind Philip K. Dick’s source material. Unfortunately, the project was helmed by Len Wiseman, a director notorious for style of substance. Paul Verhoeven’s take on the story may not have kept close to the source material, yet even to this day it’s a wonderful eclectic adventure with many intelligent nods to social improprieties at the hands of big corporation and government. Perhaps if someone else led the charge for the reboot it would have been better or perhaps worse).

    And I agree, Dredd was an anomaly. Overall, though, I think Dredd was very strong and I hope Karl Urban and company will consider a sequel – perhaps something on a larger scale. It’s definitely going in my blu-ray collection as soon as it hits stores.

    Great piece, Mr. Kofi Outlaw. I always enjoy reading your work and this was a really good idea to write about. Cheers!

    • Corrections:

      1.) Len Wiseman’s style OVER substance.
      2.) “Perhaps if someone else led the charge for the reboot it would have been better (or perhaps worse).

  24. Is there any possibility that Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series will be made into a series of franchise movies?

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