PG Cooper: Best Breakthrough Performance, Biggest Surprise, and Most Underrated Film (2012)

Posted: January 23, 2013 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

PGCMA 2012


*The above image represents 2011’s PGCMA Best Picture Winner; Drive.

Best Breakthrough Performance

Dane DeHaan, Chronicle– Apart from the fun of superpowers, the main appeal to Chronicle was watching the slightly unbalanced character Dane DeHaan played. DeHaan excellently grabbed sympathy while still making his character menacing.

Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, Moonrise Kingdom– These are actually separate nominees, but I figured my write-ups would be so similar I might as well combine them. Both pull off very strange and bizarre characters which could have felt very fake if handled poorly. Thankfully Gilman and Hayward are great actors and their age makes their accomplishment all the more impressive.

Fran Kranz, The Cabin in the Woods– Easily the best comedic character in The Cabin in the Woods is the stoner played by Fran Kranz. Kranz gets a lot of laughs but also manages to make his character a respectable hero by film’s end.

Benjamin Walker, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter– A lot of people will remember 2012 in film as the year Daniel Day-Lewis became Abraham Lincoln and for good reason. But I want to give some credit to the other Lincoln performance of the year. While Walker doesn’t embody the real man, he does bring a lot of charisma and is extremely likable in his struggle against the vampires. His performance also helps anchor the film and prevent it from going into lunacy.

And The Winner Is…




Dane DeHaan, Chronicle

chronicle_movie_posterThe evidence for this speaks for itself. Since appearing in Chronicle, DeHaan has appeared in Lawless and Lincoln and is also set to appear in The Place Beyond the Pines and will pay Harry Osborn in the next Spider-Man film. The dude’s career has really taken off, and Chronicle is a big part of it


Biggest Surprise

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter– I expected this film to be a stupid waste of my time. To my shock, I really enjoyed it. It treats its goofy premise with respect and the results were a pretty solid film which I genuinely had fun with.

Chronicle– January releases are rarely good, let alone great. Chronicle proved to be both and in the process set the stage for superhero films of 2012, something only one superhero release of last year could live up to.

The Expendables 2– The first Expendables kind of sucks, but shockingly the sequel is highly entertaining. He film is still dumb, but the humour is better, the action is better, and the audience gets to see the actors they want to see. Not a lot of brains, but a lot of fun.

The Grey– This film looked like another generic Liam Neeson action vehicle with wolves becoming the enemy instead of kidnappers. But The Grey turned out to be a thoughtful and well-made film, all the more surprising for a February release.

Premium Rush– Another dumb movie, but also one I was surprised by how much fun I had with it. Not a perfect film by any stretch, but Premium Rush succeeds thanks to a talented leading man, a great villain, and a ton of energy.

And The Winner Is…




Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

abraham-lincoln-vampire-hunter-movie-poster-2012-1020747869Not the best film of the nominees, but definitely the biggest surprise. I can’t really explain how stupid Vampire Hunter looked to me. The ridiculous premise coupled with a weak trailer and the fact that I’m tired of supernatural entities gave me little to be excited for. And yet, somehow, the film highly entertained me. The film has a lot of flaws and amounts to about a footnote in 2012 in film, but Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is still a very fun film and a solid bit of entertainment.


Most Underrated/Unappreciated Film

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter– I heard a lot of people dumping on this film and I think the main reason is the premise was too goofy for some while the execution too serious for others. Most people couldn’t find a middle ground. Those who did got a pretty solid action-adventure.

The Dictator– Weaker than Cohen’s previous efforts, The Dictator was slammed for being tasteless, unfunny, and irritating. Personally I thought the film packed some huge laughs and had some bits of clever satire.

The Expendables 2– For some reason a lot of people seem to think the sequel is worse than the original film. As someone who found The Expendables stiff and clunky, the sequel made for a breath of fresh air.

Prometheus– The return of Ridley Scott to science-fiction and the Alien series plus an incredible marketing campaign led to people expected a lot from Prometheus. A lot of people were underwhelmed; I wasn’t. Prometheus is one of the most ambitious and entertaining films of 2012 that I loved. Not a perfect film, but the pros far outweigh the cons.

Savages– I had fun with Savages. The style is interesting, the cast is solid (for the most part), good action scenes, and the film had the balls to get pretty brutal. This plenty of issues here-namely the dialogue and Blake Lively-but I still feel this film received a rougher treatment than it deserved.

And The Winner Is…





Prometheus-Movie-PosterPrometheus may have inspired more disappointment and hate than any other film in 2012. The thing is it doesn’t deserve this. I won’t lie, the film has problems. The script is plagued with inconsistencies. But people seemed to get so bogged down by those issues they forgot the bigger picture. Ridley Scott for example brings a supreme amount of craftsmanship to the project and ties it in with the Alien verse nicely. Speaking of Alien, Prometheus is FAR from the worst thing to happen to the series and is in fact the best addition to the franchise since 1986. Perhaps most importantly though, Prometheus is one of the most ambitious films of the year and certainly the most ambitious blockbuster on a thematic level. The film asks interesting questions that are still worth discussion. I understand disappointment, but the hate for this film has gone too far.

  1. Dan DeHaan was a good choice.

  2. ckckred says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who liked The Dictator. Everyone I knew practically hated it, but I thought it was funny.

  3. Nice choices! I’m glad to find a fellow Prometheus fan. :)

  4. ianthecool says:

    Wow, a lot of Vampire Hunter love. I had no idea.

    Glad you said something about Prometheus.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s