The 2012 FMR MAJOR Awards: Most Surprising Movie Nominees

Most Surprising Movie Nominees

Hey everyone! Let the 2012 MAJOR Awards begin!

Up first we have the Most Surprising Movies of the year. These five movies delivered the greatest positive variance between what was expected and what was delivered. The ones you didn’t see comin’… the biggest surprises of the year.

Click through to see the nominees for Most Surprising Movie of 2012!

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21 Jump Street“21 Jump Street”

A remake of a tv show from the early 90s… reinvisioned as a comedy, no less. Starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as buddy cops who go undercover back to high school. Nowhere, in any of that, did I anticipate a very funny flick. Yet funny was exactly what we got. Hill and Tatum work surprisingly well together in this high school/buddy cop combo, and audiences turned it into the surprise hit of the spring. A sequel is already in the works!

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Chronicle“Chronicle”

The found footage trailers about teenagers gaining superpowers did little to convey the calibre of this story about power corrupting. Three teens discover a mysterious tunnel and emerge with superpowers. Initially, everything is fun and games, but when one of them pushes his newfound abilities too far, conflict breaks out between the three of them. The found footage conceit is mildly detrimental, but undeniably one of the biggest surprises of 2012.
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The Grey“The Grey”

“Liam Neeson fights wolves”. Essentially that’s what the marketing for “The Grey” boiled down to. I certainly can’t blame them. It sells much better than “Five men face certain death”. But the actual movie wound up being a harsh survival thriller with a philosophical core. A rare combination indeed, but the film is elevated even further with its high calibre acting and direction. A wintry winner delivered during the frozen Hollywood wastes of January.

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Hope Springs“Hope Springs”

A geriatric sex comedy? A trailer featuring Meryl Streep preparing to go down on a banana? Ughck, cmonnn… LOL. And yet Streep and Tommy Lee Jones put personal embarrassment aside and manage to craft a winning film. With help from Steve Carrell (who’d have made a great therapist) “Hope Springs” was surprisingly good. Funny, touching and… only occasionally cringe inducing, “Hope Springs” caught me off guard in a big way.
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Rise of the guardians“Rise of the Guardians”

I’m actually well on the record during the lead up to this film as saying that it looked lame (based on the trailers). Little did I realize I was in for such a treat. The childhood holiday heroes band together to battle the menace of the Boogeyman in a colorful, humorous, action-packed adventure. Imaginative, fun, and gorgeously illustrated, “Rise of the Guardians” was way better that I had thought it would be. I’d welcome the Guardians back enthusiastically if a sequel gets made!
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Well, there you have it everyone. The nominees for the most surprising movie of 2012.

What do you think? Any I left out? Some that you don’t think deserve to be called surprises? Which one do you think is worthy of the title?

Let us hear it!

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84 thoughts on “The 2012 FMR MAJOR Awards: Most Surprising Movie Nominees

  1. 21Jump Street by far. I laughed so hard at that, after expecting it to be another over the top crude fest. It was perfectly cast, and that cameo at the end? Sweeettt.

    • 21 Jump Street stands a good chance of winning, let me tell you. It’s gotta be at least a 20% favorite. :D LOL

      Naw, just kidding. Yeah, it completely shocked me too. All of these did, but I think that one has the added benefit of a lot of people having seen it and liked it!

  2. “THE GREY” For My Money Was Most Surprising. I Expected To Have Fun Watching Liam Neeson Carve-Up Some Wolf-Azz. Instead, I Got A Flick That About Brought Me To Tears. Twas Kind Of A Shocker, Fo SHO :)

    • Totally shocking, right? It was thought provoking, moving… intense… Given the release date (January) and the promo materials, I thought at best we’d be in for a B Movie actioner. I guess we got more than that! :D

      Thank you for chiming in, Sir! Fo SHO! :D

  3. I agree about 21 jump street but I think it’s mostly because I just love Jonah Hill – i found him to be incredibly both on screen and whenever he gives interviews.

    I’d add The Paperboy. It got some terrible reviews but I was very entertained and Kidman rocked so much in it. Hell, I rated it higher than Zero dark Thirty. But it may just be me, people really hate this movie :P

    • Well, I’d add that “I dont like “Zero Dark Thirty” to that “It may just be me” LOL. I saw that over at the Corner someplace and I was like Really? :D ZDT is incredible!

      I didnt say anything then though. :(

      Meanwhile, I’d add Channing Tatum into the mix, too. This spring was the season of Tatum, between that and “Magic Mike” (and of course, “The Vow”, which I’m not a huge fan of, but it was a big hit). Who knew he could be this funny!

      • Actually it seems that more and more people are complaining about ZDT so it’s definitely not just me :) Hopefully Chastain buzz will die out just for the time of the Oscars, I’m actually rooting for Jennifer now.

        Barely made it through that film and I had every intention of loving this :/

        I didn’t find Tatum that funny in 21 JS, but yes, he was a surprise – I was surprised he was actually pretty good in Magic Mike :)

  4. Interesting list, I missed Chronicle despite wanting to see it, and I deliberately avoided Rise of the Guardians because I thought it looked mediocre at best. Guess I have some catching up to do!

    • I wont disagree – “Rise of the Guardians” DID look mediocre at best. That’s exactly what I thought going in. But I left a really big fan, I enjoyed it quite a bit!

      I’d recommend “Chronicle”, too. I think that one caught a lot of people by surprise!

  5. Hated “21 Jump Street” (couldn’t make it through it) and I thought Chronicle was VASTLY overrated. It’s one single novelty wore off quickly. For me it has to be “The Grey”. Solid, solid movie.

    • Wow. “Hated”? LOL Damnnnnnnn… strong words! :D That was a fun movie, man! Made a bunch of cash and was pretty well reviewed too. :o

      The Grey was a solid movie. Very solid. I was super impressed by it. Especially given my low expectations… I really didn’t expect much based on the marketing. :(

      • Oh “hate” fits my take on it well bro. I can’t stand Jonah Hill and a lot of the movie was some of the same old raunch that we so often get. But hey, I tend to be out on my only island sometimes! :D

  6. Haven’t seen Rise of the Guardians yet, but I completely agree with the 4 nominees I have seen, especially 21 Jump Street. I saw it on DVD & remember popping it in to watch as background while I was doing some computer-stuff….well, my computer became the background & I got sucked into the movie, laughing hysterically! Chronicle was a great surprise for me too as I am not a fan of “found footage” films, but absolutely loved the dynamic between the characters & the story in that film.

    • There you go Kim! :D Boom!

      May I recommend “Rise of the Guardians” as well then? LOL. Maybe you want to work it in with a holiday at some point, but you’ll definitely enjoy it.

      I thought that the found footage aspect of “Chronicle” was a big drawback actually. I mean, obviously, I like the movie overall… but if they had just played it straight, that movie could have been so much better!

  7. Tough category. It’s between “Chronicle” and “21 Jump Street”. “Chronicle” was surprising for me because it came out of nowhere. But I’ll give my vote to “21” because I was expecting a really bad film, and we got a really good & funny one.

    • Yeah that’s a big part of this, for me, is expectations. I definitely didnt expect what I got out of any of these films, but I actually thought “Chronicle” would be bad too. Those trailers did it no justice, I didnt think. I thought it was going to be dumb. LOL.

      I also thought “Jump Street” would be bad though, you’re right. Those trailers made it look awful. I didnt think I would laugh once. But that movie was pretty funny!

  8. The Grey. I approached this flik disliking it for making an endangered species the villain and that wolf attacks in N. America are a rare event. But as a metaphor of man versus nature it had some of the best movie thrills of the year! Just goes to show ya, if you f..k with Mother nature, shes gonna bite ya in the ass!

    • Is that what happens? I’ll write that down so I wont forget…. LOL

      Definitely wound up being one of the better movies of the year. I didnt approach it so much from a conservationist viewpoint as you seem to have, I just thought it would be a dumb flick where Neeson fights wolves instead of kidnappers! :D

      • I’d like to think it was Mother Earth saying, Here it is Boys, lets see what you can do without your machines and technology. Otherwise it just gives wolf haters more ammunition to kill them out West. Mother Earth was big this year and not just at the movies!

  9. Put me down for “21 Jump Street.” That was really surprising. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much during a movie. The second time around (on blu ray) was just as good as the first.

  10. Yeah, I can get behind your first three picks (though I wasn’t a big fan of Chronicle). Haven’t seen the last two.

    My picks: Magic Mike and Ted. I had low expectations for both of these, but they were much better than I anticipated.

    • Magic Mike got some condieration here, absolutely. I think at the end of the day though, when that flick got so serious down the stretch… it lost some of its “Magic” for me (forgive the pun, LOL)

      I think my expectations and what “Ted” delivered were about equal, personally…

  11. I haven’t seen any of the films you mentioned unfortunately (I’ll try to change that). For me, the most surprising was Beasts of the Southern Wild. I didn’t know I was going to love it so much.

    • I’ll agree that “Beasts” was great… I love it too. But the first time I heard about it, people were raving about how great it was. So… I couldn’t include a flick like that here. I went into it thinking it was going to be great.

  12. I also hated 21 Jump Street (It’s on my Worst List). Liked Chronicle but I’ll go with “The Grey”. A nail biter all the way. Maybe if I watch that again I’ll wipe out the memory of Taken 2.

    • I dont know if anything is that strong. LOL :D Taken 2 was pretty rancid.

      I’m sure Keith’ll appreciate the support on “Jump Street”. I’m still of the mind that that’s a surprising stance on that one…

  13. I thought ‘The Pact’ was the most surprising. It scared the living bee gee bee’s out of me. As well as Killer Joe. But yes I agree, Hope Springs was really good If you ever wondered what it would be like to watch your grandparents get it on.

  14. 21 Jump Street.

    Sounded utter garbage on paper but turned out to be highly enjoyable and genuinely funny.

    • It’s true. It was a stupid stupid sounding concept. “On paper”, it looked abysmal.

      And in the end it wound up funny and fun. Highly entertaining. It’s a strong candidate here, for sure.

  15. Only saw one of these, The Grey, and after hearing you hype on the podcast I visited in January surprised me in a bad way. The suspense was good but didn’t totally buy in to some of the happenings along the path. Maybe I read too much into it but didn’t connect with me. Still need to see 21 Jump street to see if one of these remake movies actually pays off… Well besides the A- Team.
    Guardians just didn’t look very good from the trailer to me so anxious to see it as well.

    • Sad to hear you didnt like “The Grey” :(

      I thought it was great, maybe I hyped it too much… we went into it from different directions…

      21 Jump Street is a strange, funny little film. It actually bears little resemblance to the original property aside from the high concept of cops posing as high schoolers.

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