JOPLIN, Mo. —
In terms of movies and books, 2012 offered up plenty of entertainment for those who wanted to find a dose of escapism.
Here’s just a partial list of some of our favorites.
“The Avengers” / “The Dark Knight Rises”: The former successfully pulled off the ultimate superhero mashup movie, while the latter brought some heavy cinematic weight and timeliness (Occupy Gotham, anyone?) to Christopher Nolan’s Batman finale. The summer of 2012 was a great one-two punch for comic-book fans.
“Lincoln”: Really, no other selling point was needed once Daniel Day-Lewis signed on to play the 16th president. In focusing on such a small part of Lincoln’s presidency -- the passage of the 13th Amendment -- director Steven Spielberg accomplishes the impossible by making legislative wrangling and maneuvering a triumphant spectacle. It helps, of course, that the movie also features great turns by Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field and James Spader ... to name only a few.
“The Raid: Redemption”: If you call yourself a fan of the action genre and you haven’t watched this Indonesian thriller about a SWAT team trapped in a high-rise ruled by a ruthless drug lord, shame on you.
Most epic bike chase: “Premium Rush.”
Most epic train ride: “Skyfall.”
Most epic face-off with a wolf pack: “The Grey.”
Most epic use of time travel: “Looper.”
Most epic three-way tie for cinematic failure: “John Carter,” “Wrath of the Titans,” “Battleship.”
Most epic technological breakthrough/failure: Depending on your point of view, watching a movie at 48 fps (double a movie’s standard frame rate) is either mind-blowing in its vidid amount of on-screen detail or overwhelming and unnecessary. Not sure if this will ever become an industry standard, but it’s worth the drive up to KC to see it put to use in “The Hobbit.”