Well, another year has come and gone and once again Hollywood has done its best to outdo the previous year. Fortunately for movie fans, 2012 did not disappoint (well, that’s not entirely true).
Here at Blockbuster, we see a unique side of the movie industry, the movie rental side. Sometimes a movie performs poorly in theaters, but has a great run as a video rental. Sometimes a movie does great at the theaters and then continues to dominate as a rental too. Either way we’ve listed the top DVD/Blu-ray rentals from 2012 with our favorite moments from each film.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a great example of the so-so theatrical run turned to rental gold. Sometimes, a movie just isn’t worth paying $10+ per person to see, but to split a $3 rental between a group of friends…sure!
Why we liked it: It’s a reinvented President Lincoln that hunts the undead and is an amazing fighter! What’s not to like?
Our favorite moment: The first time you see Honest Abe wield that silver ax of his and take care of business Quentin Tarantino style.
The Expendables 2
The original Expendables movie proved that just because action stars get old, doesn’t mean that people won’t go pay to see them. The Expendables 2 upped the ante and brought in even more old men to deliver the punches to the world’s bad guys.
Why we like it: Well, obviously, this film franchise rides on the star-power of its overloaded cast. But it’s pretty hard to not enjoy a film where all the great from days gone past get together in one film to do what they do best – shoot guns, punch people, and explode things. It’s like watching Bloodsport, Rambo, The Terminator, and Die Hard all at once.
Our favorite moment: When Chuck Norris makes a cameo and delivers a Chuck Norris joke.
There was no stopping this juggernaut (no pun intended Marvel fans) at the theaters as it amassed more than $1,000,000,000 worldwide. This trend continued into the home entertainment and rental markets as consumers could not get enough of this super hero showdown.
Why we liked it: The Avengers was a great example of translating a comic book into a movie and still making it feel like a comic book. Unlike the immensely popular Dark Knight series, The Avengers retained all of the super-natural and sci-fi elements from the comics and perfectly delivered them to the screen with a powerful star-studded cast, crisp writing, and fantastic special/visual effects.
Our favorite moment: No Avenger captured the essence of the comics quite as much as the Incredible Hulk. Props to Joss Whedon and his team for making a raging behemoth the most fun and likable member of the team. Any Hulk moment during the epic climax battle was pure genius…and awesome!
21 Jump Street
The year of Channing Tatum got off to a great start with this remake of the popular 1980s television show. It was a surprise success at the box office and that word of mouth spread to a hungry rental community looking for a great comedy. 21 Jump Street did not disappoint.
Why we liked it: It was nice to see a remake done right for a change. 21 Jump Street had all the hilarious hijinks from the original TV show, just updated to fit into a 2012 world. Better yet, the movie had the moxie to self-acknowledge that it was a remake and then make fun of itself a little bit.
Our favorite moment: When the chief of police mocks the idea of dragging up the old Jump Street program because no one could think of anything orignal (not so subtly making fun of the movie-making industry).
The Hunger Games
For the record, I just want to say that I personally read The Hunger Games before the books became incredibly popular. Now that that’s out of the way, wow, talk about awesome March movie releases. The Hunger Games set a March theatrical release record by bringing in more than $400 million domestically and set the teenage movie-going world ablaze. Midnight showing turned into The Hunger Games video watching parties driving home entertainment sales and rentals.
Why we liked it: It’s always great to see books adapted into movies when it’s done well, and a huge disappointment when they aren’t done well (see Eragon & The Golden Compass). Fortunately for us, The Hunger Games was done superbly delivering all the emotion and grandeur of the book. It even hinted at the stark violence that the books portrayed, while refraining from outright showing all of it to retain the PG-13 rating. Jennifer Lawrence burst into the mainstream by delivering a great performance as reluctant heroine, Katniss Everdeen, proving girls can be just as tough and boys.
Our favorite moment: It’s hard to narrow down to one moment so I’m going to pick the two emotional highlights. When Katniss volunteers for the games in place of her sister and when Rue perishes in battle. Both scenes were acted and directed perfectly to capture all the emotion and drama that readers experienced while reading them in the book.