That famous ball hasn't yet dropped in Times Square and we're still days away from properly ringing in 2013, but with our humble planet just about to complete yet another swing around the sun, it's time for that annual avalanche of 2012 lists: Best Of lists, Worst Of lists, and everything in between. Here, we've christened our top ten movies of the year and prognosticated with our Oscar predictions.
So at the close of another year, we're flipping through our figurative family photo album and selecting those pictures in which we look most devastatingly handsome for your enjoyment. By which I mean to say we're sharing a selection of notable stories, updates, interviews, and oddities that represent what we're all about here at IAR.
For your convenience, we've divided IAR's Best of 2012 into several easy to navigate categories, from scoops to superhero movie coverage, a 007 category for James Bond's 50th cinematic anniversary, director interviews, encounters with true movie legends, musicians talking film, highlights from a variety of junkets, special events, and even a section for those films generating serious awards season discussion.
Just click on the colorful links to enjoy the very best of IAR over the last year!
Guillermo del Toro is pitting giant monsters against truly massive robots in the upcoming event movie Pacific Rim, but the expensive visual effects represented by both of those camps will inevitably be upstaged by the presence of regular del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman, who discussed his contribution to the film and his relationship with del Toro in an exclusive video interview.
If you can't trust Tron himself for news on Disney's second Tron sequel, who can you trust? IAR caught up with Bruce Boxleitner at a special Playboy Mansion event (more on that later), where the actor provided an illuminating update on director Joseph Kosinski's follow-up to Tron: Legacy.
Writer-director-star Edwards Burns made his first big impression with the 1995 independent film The Brothers McMullen. In an exclusive interivew with IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick promoting his new movie The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, Burns revealed that he hopes to have a sequel in theaters for the twentieth anniversary of The Brothers McMullen's release.
After the news of Richard Schiff's involvement in next year's Man of Steel broke, IAR was the first to talk one on one with the veteran character actor about playing the vital supporting role of Dr. Hamilton in Zack Snyder's Superman reboot.
SUPERHERO MOVIE COVERAGE
The unsung hero in the single most superheroic movie ever made has no powers or a high tech suit of armor. He's SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson, and deadpan character actor Clark Gregg shared some priceless insight on The Avengers and working with Marvel Studios in an exclusive video interview.
The Incredible Hulk only shows up for two sequences in The Avengers, but he makes a characteristically smashing impression both times. ILM's Jeff White spilled the beans to IAR, making it clear just how the comic book movie imbued the green rage monster with the beating heart provided by MArk Ruffalo as Dr. Bruce Banner.
Almost certainly one of the most frequent gifts beneath Christmas gifts this week was the Blu-ray of The Dark Knight Rises, but before the sequel arrived in stores, we broke down a special preview of Christopher Nolan's conclusion to the trilogy he kicked off with Batman Begins.
In the summer's reboot The Amazing Spider-Man, Denis Leary played Captain Stacy, but in our exclusive interview between Leary and Dana Gardner, the comedian and actor discovered he shares a hometown with fellow Worcestor, Massachusetts native Gardner.
Speaking of The Amazing Spider-Man, the successful Spidey relaunch was edited by Alan Edward Bell, who was kind enough to sit down for an exclusive video interview well before Marc Webb's origin story arrived in theaters.
Nicolas Cage has long maintained that comic books provide our most resonant modern mythology, so of course Cage was happy to wax enthusiastic about playing Johnny Blaze in the sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
BOND, JAMES BOND
2012 represented the 50th anniversary of Dr. No, the first cinematic adventure of Ian Fleming's British superspy, and while Skyfall commemorated the occasion in theaters, the Bond 50 Blu-ray collection compiled the 22 previous official 007 movies into one extras-packed set, which we previewed before it hit shelves.
Current Bond Daniel Craig showed off that smooth coolness in an exclusive video interview promoting Skyfall, a Bond movie that many fans already consider among the best entries in the long-running, phenomenally popular franchise.
It wouldn't be a Bond movie without a few of the famous "Bond Girls." In this case, those roles are filled by the oh-so lovely Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe, both of whom discussed joining the ranks of a half century's worth of Bong Girls in a video interview with IAR.
After several films without the gadget specialist and resident MI-6 tech guru Q, Skyfall brought the character back as in a younger, livelier version played by Ben Whishaw, who discussed his take on the beloved Q while also promoting his ambitious work as multiple characters in Cloud Atlas.
In an exclusive interview, producer and custodian of the biggest franchise around Barbara Broccoli talked about not just Skyfall, but also the new documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007.
Lawrence Kasdan has written and/or directed classics such as The Empire Strikes Back, The Big Chill, and Silverado. For his latest film, the ensemble drama Darling Companion, the director co-wrote the script with his daughter Meg Kasdan. It's not often that we have the opportunity for father-daughter interviews, but the Kasdans obliged in a lively discussion of their film.
Despite releasing a movie every year for decades, prolific writer-director-actor-all around icon Woody Allen very rare does much press. Yet for From Rome With Love, the loquacious filmmaker discussed his newest movie, his ongoing "European Tour," and the Woody Allen of it all in an interview that luckily included IAR.
Have you ever wanted to ask Rob Reiner about a possible sequel to the absolutely perfect This Is Spinal Tap? Jami certainly has, and in talking with Reiner about The Magic of Belle Isle, he actually had the opportunity to do so. To see Reiner's response, you need to simply click right here.
While promoting his new thriller The Hole, the one and only Joe Dante discussed the possibility of a remake of Gremlins, arguably his most famous movie.
How about a directorial interview in which remakes and sequels don't stir the spirit? How about this press conference interview with Oliver Stone discussing Savages, his violent summer movie adaptation of the novel by Don Winslow?
They don't come more legendary than Stan Lee, and the co-creator of some of the biggest figures in contemporary popular culture was his usual upbeat self in talking about The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, and even a documentary based on his own life story. Excelsior!
This year, Adam West finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In his exclusive interview with Jami, West talked about his iconic, arch take on Batman in the 1960s television series, as well as his vocal contribution to Family Guy, on which he ostensibly voices a ridiculous version of himself.
John Schneider is almost undoubtedly best known for his role as Bo Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard, but in an IAR exclusive interview, Schneider went well beyond Hazzard county, talking about the film October Baby and playing Jonathan Kent on the CW superhero series Smallville.
What could possibly make a video interview with Monty Python's Eric Idle any better? How about the presence of both Sophie Winkleman and Eddie Izzard? Yeah, that makes it even better.
Dolph Lundgren is the rare Rhodes Scholar who is also an action star. The actor showed off his intellect in an interview during which he discussed his role in The Expendables films, as well as returning to a familiar franchise with the new sci-fi actioner Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.
Few films this year were more captivating than Searching for Sugar Man, the story of Rodriguez, a musician who, unbeknownst even to him, became a sensation in South Africa. It's the sort of movie that leaves you looking for more, and more's exactly what you'll find in this video interview with Rodriguez and director Malik Benjelloul.
With the documentary Marley arriving in the spring, both Ziggy and Robbie Marley sat down for a video interview to talk about legendary musician Bob Marley and the revealing film chronicling his life.
Ever wonder why rapper so frequently make good actors? Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson shares his perspective on this particular phenomenon in an interview discussing Freelancers, in which he starred alongside the likes of Robert De Niro and Forest Whitaker.
Liz Phair fans were happy to hear her song "Dotted Line" playing over the end credits of the drama People Like Us, and Jami was happy to talk to Phair about the song, the movie, and the difference between creating music for a movie as opposed to an album.
Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz plays himself in the comedy Freeloaders, and in speaking with IAR, the musician explained just how the comedy, which he also produced, was influenced by his own life and experiences.
It wouldn't be year at the movies without a new animated adventure from Pixar Animation Studios. This year it was Brave, the first Pixar tale to star a heroine, and IAR talked with director Mark Andrews and producer Catherine Sarafian. You won't find many other video interviews featuring movie directors so frankly discussing their own kilts.
Jane Lynch and Jack McBrayer have both proven to be consistently hilarious on television shows like Glee and 30 Rock, so it was in no way surprising when the duo proved to be one of our favorite interview combos as they entertainingly discussed Wreck-It Ralph, Disney's acclaimed animated adventure through several arcade universes.
Just how charming is Oscar-winning actor Kevin Kline? See for yourself in an exclusive video interview between Jami and Kline regarding Darling Companion.
Emily Blunt gave a career-best performance in Rian Johnson's sci-fi drama Looper, and the versatile actress talked with Joel Amos about playing a crucial mother figure in the tale of violence, fate, and identity.
For his Total Recall remake, director Len Wiseman assembled a ridiculously attractive cast led by Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, and Jessica Biel. You can see all three of those beautiful actors talking about the science fiction actioner in exclusive video interviews by simply clicking on their names. Piece of cake. Beautiful cake.
One of 2012's many, many happy surprises was 21 Jump Street, a lively and self-aware action-comedy populated by many a funny character. Dana Gardner was lucky enough to conduct exclusive video interviews with stars Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Rob Riggle, and Ice Cube, all discussing their roles in this outdated TV show-turned movie franchise.
IAR OUT IN THE WORLD
Everyone has a favorite Batmobile, and special The Dark Knight Rises event at L.A. Live allowed us to take a tour of these different Bat-vehicles, from the convertible driven by Adam West's campy Caped Crusader to the Tumbler and Batpod piloted by Christian Bale's Dark Knight. Find out more about all the different vehicles right here.
Nobody says no to one of Hef's spectacular Playboy Mansion Parties, and when the action epic Immortals arrived on Blu-ray and DVD, Hugh Hefner's palatial estate hosted an appropriately ostenstatious Immortals event, allowing Jami to provide all manner of detail straight from the site of so many fantasies.
Want to find out how a stylized musical turns a Florida street into a cartoon facsimile of Sunset Boulevard during the garishly neon Eighties? Then check out our report from the set of Rock of Ages, the summer movie translating the popular musical to the screen.
George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in Northern California is the sort of place about which movie fans speak with a hushed reverence, almost as if it's a place as fictional as Tatooine, but for the release of the Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray, IAR went to nerd heaven and sent back a report from the Lucas empire.
Speaking of Northern California, it's also the home of Pixar, where Disney brought us to help hype the theatrical 3D re-release of the modern classic Finding Nemo.
Finding Nemo co-director Andrew Stanton made his live-action debut in the spring with John Carter. Our exclusive video interview with Stanton didn't go down in some boring Los Angeles hotel. Instead, the would-be blockbuster's setting was evoked by the desert landscape outside of Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Independent Spirit Awards are an awards show after our own roguish heart, so of course IAR was on hand not just to report all the winners as they were announced, but to cover the remarkably busy red carpet at the only awards show that takes place in a massive tent on the beach in Santa Monica.
In less than a decade, Ben Affleck went from a pop-cultural punchline to one of the most acclaimed directors working today. With Argo, the director and star has earned no small amount of awards season buzz. Find out about the challenges of making his fact-based Iran Hostage Crisis thriller in this press conference interview with the man who was the bomb in Phantoms, yo.
Perhaps no movie hitting theaters now has a pedigree that screams "Oscars!" more than Les Miserables, the cinematic version of the massively popular musical based on Victor Hugo's novel. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway belt out some of the most beloved numbers in musical history in the new film, and in this interview, the duo talk about their characters and the physical transformations they required.
The Impossible, a drama based on the true story of a family vacationing in Thailand when the devastating 2004 tsunami struck, has been generating plenty of awards season discussion for its lead actors, Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Both of the acclaimed actors gave insightful video interviews with IAR, so you can view Watts' by clicking here, and to check out McGregor's thoughts on The Impossible and even Star Wars: Episode VII right here. An interview with Tom Holland, who plays one of the couples' three sons, can also be viewed by clicking this link.
Speaking of Ewan McGregor, the year's earlier drama Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has emerged as a dark horse in various awards races. Luckily for us, McGregor and Emily Blunt were happy to talk about the latest film from director Lasse Hallström and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who wrote Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours.
Another film earning accolades on account of its acting is Deep Blue Sea, which stars Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston. Director and screenwriter Terence Davies, a former actor himself, discussed working with such tremendous British performers in an exclusive interview.
Director, writer, and general delight Wes Anderson has been nominated for Academy Awards twice in the past, but based on the ecstatic response to the summer's Moonrise Kingdom, he may very well end up with a statue this year. In this video interview, the auteur talked about his latest ensemble and his signature style.
With Gus Van Sant directing from a screenplay by stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski, it only makes sense that the fracking drama Promised Land has been the subject of award-based speculation. In particular, Rosemarie DeWitt has drawn a tremendous amount of attention for her supporting role, which she covered in this new interview. Actor-turned-writer John Krasinski discussed co-penning the screenplay with Oscar-winner Matt Damon, in this recent video interview. Academy Award-winner Matt Damon had this to say about co-writing and acting in the film.
There are dark horses and then there are dark horses. End of Watch is an aggressive police drama following Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, and though its release arrived before the prestige season, David Ayer's film is gaining momentum thanks to a legion of devoted fans. Not only do we here at IAR have video interviews with the whole cast, but we also have an exclusive End of Watch TV spot.
Rest assured, Rogues, we also have a plethora of material devoted to Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, which has been virtually sweeping critics' awards so far. Since the film doesn't arrive in wide release until January, though, we're holding back on Zero Dark Thirty until everyone can actually experience the movie.
So we'll see you next year, everybody!