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It's January again, and that can mean only one thing...
And there are sales in the shops.
And the Australian Open is on...
OK, it being January can mean a great many things, so more specifically, in the context of theOneliner, it means time for our annual round-up of the previous year. So make yourself comfortable as we inform you of what floated our boat in 2012.
Eschewing the ordered format of traditional end of year lists, here, simply in the sequence in which they occurred to us to mention them, follows a collection of the films Scott, Drew and Craig recommend as most worthy of your attention.
First up is Untouchable (known as The Intouchables in North America), one of two films this year whose success relies, above all, on superb chemistry between the lead actors. The naysayers in the British press are clearly miserable buggers: this is warm, funny and an absolute delight.
Dredd 3D, in contrast, relies not on chemistry but an excellent turn from a facial prominence (Karl Urban's chin) and taut, efficient direction. Hitting nearly every one of its marks, this is perhaps one of the most successful action films we've seen in a long time. It's criminal that this made so little at the box office.
Investment bankers aren't the most popular people right now, and a film which not only portrays but humanises them would seem a hard sell in today's world, but Margin Call is sharply-observed and features a superb ensemble cast.
With excellent performances all-round, deft interweaving of three distinctly different story strands and almost autistic attention to period-detail, Ben Affleck's Argo is a triumph.
If pure, unalloyed joy is your thing, then only one film will do: The Muppets. Raucous, anarchic fun, writer and co-star Jason Segel's revival sees Jim Henson's creations back to their very best.
End of Watch is the second of the films of 2012 that owed the bulk of its success to the chemistry between its leads. Compelling and believable turns from Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as police officers is more than enough to make up for deficiencies elsewhere.
While our opinion is divided as to quite where The Dark Knight Rises fits into Christopher Nolan's impressive ouevre, it's still a superior film and a great end to what is quite probably the greatest film trilogy of all time.
Other highlights include another entry into the burgeoning Scandinavian crime genre (one which walks a fine line between horrifically violent suspense and pitch-black humour); the latest installment in a 50-year old franchise; a worthy, if distressingly downbeat, look at a broken American education system; a beautiful, allegorical tale featuring a big cat and yet another film where the chemistry of the central performances is key.
And if these aren't enough for you, we'll offer more titles that, while not quite good enough to make it on to our list of the absolute best of 2012 are worth checking out. These include a horror, notable for being being an interesting entry into the genre and not using bucketloads of gore; a particularly crunchy action film from Indonesia; the latest from one of the most idiosyncratic filmmakers working in Hollywood; a touching story of a family separated by a natural disaster; a whisky heist; and Sean Penn as a goth married to a firefighter. For further elucidation on these and the full lowdown on the films named above you'll have to listen to the podcast.
Of course, greatness is meaningless without something to measure it against, and for that purpose we offer you the annoying Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; laughter-repellents Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie and A Few Best Men; self-important tedium-fest Killing Them Softly; and bafflingly pointless remake Total Recall. Although rather than subject yourself to such atrocities we recommend you just take our word for it.
We'll leave you with special mention of Looper, a film which got us very exercised, and angry, but is interesting enough to watch to see where, and how, it all went wrong. Definitely a film of two halves.
Right, that's yer lot, and a lot it was. We'll be back shortly with our first regular (and considerably shorter) podcast of 2013. Until then, if you want to get in touch with us with your feedback and opinions, you can do so via email, or by hollering at us on Twitter @theoneliner. If you have a few minutes, we'd welcome your reviews and ratings of the podcast on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Until next time, be excellent to each other.