8 Overlooked Films from 2012 That Deserve a Second Look

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8 Overlooked Films from 2012

Not every film hits the mark. Hell, some films don’t even get the chance to take aim at the mark, either going straight to DVD or getting buried on some distributor’s shelf, only to finally sneak their way onto the shelves of video stores around the country (they still have those, right?) years later. Or dumped onto VOD without fanfare, as is the fashion nowadays. Just to be clear: I’m not saying these movies are great or destined for cult classic status, but in my very humble opinion, they are very watchable, and definitely deserve a second look if you skipped them the first time around for whatever reason.

In no particular order…

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Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • cboulanger

    Thanks for this list. The only one I’ve seen is Dredd. I’ll keep an eye out for these and check them off as they hit NetFlix, VOD, etc.

    • Gerard Kennelly

      DREDD was the best comic book adaptation of 2012

      • cboulanger

        Definitely. Wish it had received more love in theaters. It felt like the comics and the acting was solid.

      • stuffsticks

        read an interview with Karl Urban and it seems it was so close to authentic comic fodder because he is a proper fan of the comic and had a proper idea of what Dredd is

      • Benjamin Eugene NElson

        Pretty much of ever IMO.

    • Chris Steele

      It really does have something going for it. It’s like those crazy slo-mo psychedelic scenes really set the tone for the whole movie. Not a super deep film, but entertaining as hell. The only knock I’ll give it is that the action occasionally bogs down to a simulacrum of a FPS videogame (like when he’s just working his way through clearing halls and such). But overall I recommend it. I even recommended it to my wife based only on the fact that she loved the original Starship Troopers.

    • Je Ar D Bagus

      This is why we shouldn’t let critics tell us what to watch, because most of us don’t have their brains on their heads (Band wagoners) that as soon as they hear/read a bad review by an individual they are easily convinced.

  • Richard B. Riddick

    Im sorry, i really tried to like Man With The Iron Fists but COME ON!!! That was the most rediculous and cheesiest movie ive ever seen in theaters. Who looked at the final version of that and said, “Hey this movie is perfectly fine, the acting is decent, the story makes sense, the fight scenes make sense and most of all its enjoyable to watch” nobody thats who! Everybody accept Lucy Liu and Russel Crowe can’t act for $#!@, did you see the main bad guys hair? NO….NO, that movie was awful, almost as bad as smoking aces 2, it deserves a D-….for effort.

    • punishment

      Ive seen man with the iron fists its kind of in line with kung fu hustle but its RZA and you can tell its a fucking wu tang film! lol i thought it was pretty good and fun to watch not amazing but good in its own way. It did have some cheesy ass scenes though i must admit haha

      • Max X

        Kung Fu Hustle??? Are you fuckin outta your mind????

    • ErickKwon

      I could ignore bad acting and story and credit for having Gordan Liu and Chen Kuan-tai in there but not the lousy action had no excuse. Cory Yeun did better work on “Dead Or Alive” for Christ’s sake

      • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

        Its true, Cory Yuen has done a lot better work. Maybe an excuse is that a lot of these people did not have wire-work experience the fight choreography work.

        But you’re right though, the action was boring, cut to shreds and uninspired.

    • http://twitter.com/islandak islandak

      I actually DID like the movie. But RZA should have cast someone else as the blacksmith. He really was (by far) the weak point in the acting.

      • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

        Three words for you! Michael Jai White!!!!

        • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

          I second that motion.

      • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

        Yes. Sometimes, you have to get out of the way of yourself. He stank up his own movie.

    • jawsh

      i love man with iron fists and id rank it as one of the best of its kind.

      • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

        No way. That’s crazy talk.

      • SemperWhy

        Yeah, well… I’d rank Piranha II as the best flying piranha movie of its kind as well.

      • Max X

        It was pure garbage! It was a slap in the face to all the old martial arts movies of the 70’s!

        Lemme make one thing clear….RAP MUSIC DOES NOT MAKE IT COOLER! It makes it look dumb!

      • Jay

        Yes, it is definitely the best kung-fu movie directed by a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

    • Nick Mutua

      the worst part is when his hands are chopped off then out of nowhere some hot metal is poured on his forearm and just like that he can move his fingers…. what a load of crap.. $#@#$ movie. at least let one aspect be true in that case the biology.. the physics i can bend to it.

      • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

        Um thats why its called fantasy. It’s a Wuxia film, no man can turn their body to brass either, but no one is bitching about that, it just looked cool. This was a live action anime basically. An homage not just to martial arts flick of the past but to films like “Ninja Scroll” and shows like “Basilisk.” Once you start using Chi in stories like this logic goes out the window.

        • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

          This was one man’s homage to 70’s shaw bros kung fu movie. It was just terribly done. At this point, its not even worthy of a cult following.

          Sorry Dedpool, can’t buy any of your arguments for this fiasco of a movie.

          He basically double f’cked himself. It was a first time director along with bad acting from the title character. I know it was a directorial and acting debut, just wish he had blown his wad on something else and then made this one after he had some experience. I mean, who does he think he is, Ed Burns doing Brother’s McMullen (sarcasm).

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            I see where most of your points come from but you can’t sent the wuxia/fantasy/anime influences. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to see this. It reminded me of Ninja Scroll, and Afro Samurai. Was it near either in execution, not at all but it had it’s touches. Again had this had Michael Jai White in the lead and a better script the film would’ve been tons better. But I guess we can agree.to disagree. And besides that’s the whole thing with cult films, they are divisive. You like them, love them, or hate them. I still hope that someone trust to do an Afro Samurai flick!

          • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

            Hughes Bros should do Afro Samurai. I don’t see Michael Jai White as the title character in it though, he’s too big (physically) at this point. But that size would have been good for the blacksmith.

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            I chose White.for Afro because of his extensive martial arts background. He could very easily slim down for the role. But yeah putting him in the role of the Blacksmith would’ve made the film and fights awesome. Hughes Bros would be a decent fit for Afro.

          • Shane Justice

            MJW needs to play Luke Cage

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            I’ve said that myself. A slightly different vrsion of Cage, that was doing prison MMA or something when they chose him for the experiment. That way you can incoporate some martial arts and not have him limited to just street fighting.
            Morris Chestnut is another good choice.

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            He can lose the weight for the part, but yeah he definitely should’ve been the blacksmith.

        • http://twitter.com/RayvenMoon Kristina Grier

          Nice to see someone else saw the Wuxia influence in this film. I was not expecting a “serious” kung fu flick and I’m happy with what I got. Could it better? Sure, so could 80-90% of what has been released in the last 10 years.

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            Indeed I did. As soon as they started throwing mysticsim around it became one, not just a martial arts flick. I wish more wuxia films would get made. I am looking forward to Monkey King and stuff. I’d love a good Wuxia film to be made here. Forbidden Kingdom and Iron Fists are the best we’ll get.

          • Max X

            Anyone who thinks this movie was a homage to the old 70’s martial arts movies of the past, is (I’m sorry) an idiot. Martial arts movies will never be as cool as they once were. And there is only one movie I blame for that. This one movie forever ruined, hell even destroyed the martial arts genre and that movie is Crouching Twink Hidden Fag!!! Yeah I said it! I used to watch martial arts movies when I was a kid (I’m 40 now) and not once did I see them flying from roof top to roof top or running on tree branches. Or like in this movie, almost levitating in mid air as they go to kick or punch someone! Give me a fucking break! It doesn’t look cool! It just looks retarded! And I dunno if it’s just me or what, but it seems like today’s film-makers don’t know how to light for shit! Half the shot is in the dark, you can barely make out who is where! Just look at all the old martial arts films of the 70’s and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Directors back then knew how to light their scenes, unlike these dipshits we got today!

            Oh and RAP MUSIC in a martial arts movie???? Are you fuckin kiddin me!!! You automatically lose any and all credibility right there with that move alone! THERE SHOULDN’T BE ANY RAP MUSIC IN ANY MARTIAL ARTS FILM!!! PERIOD END OF STORY!!!! I got half way thru this turd and turned it right the fuck off!!!!! PURE GARBAGE!

          • kris

            So I took my time with a reply simply because I was busy and secondly because I was trying to figure out how being 40 made you a martial arts movie expert.

            Yes you’re 40. I’m 28 and I can name several wire fu flicks that predate CTHD.

            The Heroic Trio(93)

            The Executioners(93 and sequel to THT)

            Zu Warrior : From The Magic Mountain(83)

            Sword Stained With Royal Blood(93)

            Storm Riders(98)

            Duel to the death(83)

            93 was actually a good year for wire fu flicks and all a good SEVEN years before Crouching Tiger. Yes CTHD made wire fu popular especially in the west but it did not START with that movie. Wires and trampolines have been part of martial arts films for decades. So has over top fight scenes.

            So here’s my advice, watch films of fury(kung fu movie documentary) and go watch some Shaw Brothers films on youtube

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            Okay again, have you not watched any modern martial arts films? I don’t mean ones with lots of wire fu? I mean stuff like Flash Point and such? Or movies like Raging Phoneix or Chocolate? The last two in particular use hip hop and were still amazing for their fights. The stories not so much but the fighting was absolutely brutal and amazing.Taste and opinion are presonal things, so I completley get that you don’t like wire fu. Not everyone does. That doesn’t mean they all suck. New Legend of Shaolin, Fung Sai Yuk 1 & 2, The Sowrdsman Films, Once Upon a time in China series, were ALL successful in their NATIVE lands. The people the practice the arts, and created it. Actual martial artists worked on them and have pride in them. You can hate all you want but it doesn’t take away from the success of the films. I personally like all of those films, but prefer the more realistic stuff like whats seen in Ip Man 1&2, Man of Tai Chi, Ong Bak, The Raid, etc. I like my fighting gritty, and visceral. but I will never put someone else’s work down especially when I can’t do better.

        • REALRAW

          I am a huge fan of Wu Tang, the RZA, anime (Ninja Scroll was my all time favorite anime movie) and old school Kung Fu movies. That being said, this movie was SHIT! I agree with a comment mentioned above, THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR TERRIBLE ACTION SEQUENCES IN A MOVIE LIKE THIS!! If the acting is gonna be bad, OK, this isn’t a film about Ghandi. But the action??? A lot of shit seemed way too slow, way to crappily done, you can see better choreographed action scenes in movies over 20 years old. Sorry, this was an EPIC FAIL. Russell Crowe must have owed RZA a HUGE favor to stand behind this shit. It’s like the first take of every scene was accepted, no matter how much it was hot garbage.

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            Lmao nice! See I wasn’t even expecting great action from this. Its still RzA. He may have a few tips from Roth and Tarantino. But he can’t know how to direct the action. It was a fun silly throw back to me, with tongue planted firmly in cheek. That said, and I’ve said it before, Rza should’ve taken a backseat in acting, and let Michael Jai White as the blacksmith, with Rza playing the assistant with a beefed up role.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          You had me at Ninja Scroll <3

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            LOL. Classic. If you want Live action close to Ninja Scroll I suggest “Shinobi: Heart Under Blade.”

      • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang


        You don’t have to go that far to get to the crap. lol.

      • Gurillapud

        If you actually watched the movie you would have saw that Russell Crowe made the iron fist with Rza designs. And the hands moved by Rza taping in to his chi that he mastered at a temple full of monks that found him ship wrecked. You should pay attention more before screaming crap. I thought it was a great attempt at giving homage to old school Kung fu flix, like the Shaw Bro, Golden Harvest, and John Wu films.

        • Max X

          Great attempt at giving homage? You’re outta your fuckin mind!!

      • Jonas

        The movie actually explains that (there is a little montage and eveything). He moves his fingers, through “chi” manipulation.

      • TheFran

        Yup, I tried watching Man with the Iron firsts… but i struggled. It was still better than Universal Soldier 2. Now that… was crap. This post should have been labelled “8 movies we’re glad we overlooked”.

      • Jano

        Man thatsounds awesome hahaha

    • RyanBritishSteelWhitelaw

      Byron Mann was fantastic in the film as Silver Lion. RZA also was pretty good as The Blacksmith. Overall, it’s a good homage to the genre. Eli Roth helped produce and write the film so anything with Roth involved is great.

    • Andy Yaworski

      I loved little more than Jamie Chung in this film. Except however the truly wonderful irony of RZA playing a character on Californication last year doing exactly what he did here. Making a pathetic vanity film to boost the star’s ego! The only thing RZA proved was that his understanding of the genre he was trying to produce was entirely self deluded.

      • Max X

        Well said sir! Well said! And you’re absolutely right, Jamie Chung was the only redeeming factor in this movie. Other than that, it was dogshit! And not even entertaining dogshit at that!

        It took my love for old martial arts films and shit on it!

    • harry hartounian

      I had high hopes going into that movie – and was equally high to match. Twenty minutes in my wife and I – alone in the theater – looked at each other and said, “fu*k it” and started having sex in the back row. For that alone will I remember The Man With the Iron Fists.

      • TheGuySatAwkwardlyNextToYou

        Oh come on, anyone that’s taking the time to comment on these things is not in a relationship, let alone getting laid in a cinema or anywhere else. Admit it, you went to the cinema alone, got bored and masturbated didn’t you… be honest! :D

        • jbeezz


        • Max X

          lol That was good!

        • Je Ar D Bagus

          People in a relationship are too busy going on dates or having sex to read and post comments. LOL

      • Alex Tigger-Jennings

        Took my wife to watch Hero at the cinema, still one of the finest movies every made and on seeing her reaction to the movie, never thought I’d sex again ….. EVER!! ;-)

    • razorred

      cheesy? wasnt that the whole point

    • Max X

      I couldn’t agree with you more! It was pure garbage! And you’re being very generous with that D- rating!

      The rap music alone ruined any chance it had of being somewhat decent!

  • Jcdmarquez

    Dredd was a nice surprise for me, I really enjoyed it.
    And I’ve also seen The Man with the Iron Fists, and it was really bad!

  • Zizanda

    I saw “The Girl From the Naked Eye” just recently. You are totally correct. That’s a nice, cute little movie.

  • Juggernaut

    Haven’t seen most of the films on the list but with the addition of The Man With The Iron Fists I’ll be looking to atch the rest. During a day long excursion to the theater I caught the kung-fu/hip-hop/western and was thouroughly entertained.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      It’s definitely an acquired taste. I think people might come around to it in a few years once they realize what RZA was trying to do with it.

      • theycallmestray

        I don’t think so, I’m pretty much the target audience for what RZA was trying to do. I’m a kung-fu movie aficionado, but this movie was just kinda boring, RZA was a terrible leading man, the plot was uninteresting, but worst of all the action sequences in my opinion were sorta bland even with all the gore. I would’ve been satisfied with the movie had the fight choreography been better. Personally the only positive thing I can really say about this movie is the soundtrack was great.

        • Max X

          The soundtrack was great? Really? WTF!

          Rap and/or hiphop have NO BUSINESS being in a martial arts film!

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            You’re bugging! cause if that was the case they wouldn’t be doing it in Asia, and guess what? They do!

      • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

        I agree. I think RZA should’ve directed and Michael Jai White star with Rza playing the Blacksmith’s assistant. That said it was a fun homage.

  • Pinakin

    I have seen all the movies mentioned here … And I must say “Baytown Outlaws” and “Day of Reckoning” are the most entertaining movies released this year…way better than even some of the big hits…I also liked “Dredd” but i think “Man with Iron Fists” was just bad..and “Tall Man” was only partially engaging..although Jessica Biel was awesome with her acting… I think “Safe”, “El Gringo” and “Iron Sky” and “Bad Ass” also deserve to be on this list… I know “Safe” got a wide release but most people ignored it as just another Jason Statham revenge movie..it was way better than many of his recent movies and very entertaining..

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      “Safe” was a very safe (ahem) Jason Statham movie. I think you’ll agree that every film on this list are definitely NOT safe.

  • Михаило Мандић

    Wait, wait, NIX, what are you talking about Dredd being panned by critics?!
    It currently holds 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 6.5.
    That is a better score then, for example, Men in Black 3 and The Hobbit.
    How is that ”panned by critics”?

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      Huh. You’re right. For some reason I was under the impression it didn’t do well with the critics. I’m frankly surprised it did. Corrected.

      • Mr Spock

        ok I know this is a long time after you wrote the article but Dredd has been selling in biiiig numbers on DVD and Blu-Ray and there’s a huge campaign for a sequel. https://www.facebook.com/MakeADreddSequel

  • Urizen

    I was disappointed with Baytown Outlaws. The funniest parts were all in the trailer and the mini-movie. It felt like a cheaper, less clever take on “Smokin Aces”. The Oodie brothers are basically sanitized, “good guy” versions of the three Tremor brothers from Smokin Aces.

    My vote for most overlooked movie would go to Cosmopolis. Absolutely brilliant film that was shunned by audiences and met with critical apathy.

  • Reece Reed

    The Djimon Hounsou staring French film(With some English) ‘Special Forces’ should be on that list, Probably got looked over by a lot of short sighted people that wont give a film with subtitles the time of day, But up there with ‘The Raid’ as one of the best action films I have seen this year.

    And ‘The Tall Man’ was a poor film I thought, Jessica Biels fantastic performance was wasted in that film.

    • Max X

      The sequel to The Raid is supposed to come out in a few months and I cannot wait! The trailer for it looks pretty fuckin cool. I just hope that the trailer didn’t give everything away!

      • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

        Trailer basically shows characters and some action, but definitely not giving much away. Empire did a review with the director and that gave away some deatils but even that wasn’t a lot.

  • http://twitter.com/BrentMMcKnight Brent McKnight

    “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning” is fucking awesome!