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Jessica Biel Central’s Year in Review: 2012


Well it’s that time of year again! Where we say goodbye to the passed year and welcome a brand new year with hopes of it being better than the last. I thought we’d take this time to take a look back at Jesse’s year and how crazy its been. Not only was 2012 a great year personally, Jesse’s career was also at a high point this year. With four films released in the span of 4 months, it’s safe to say that 2012 was a fun year for Biel fans.

Starting off with my new favorite film, in general not just “Jessica film,” “The Tall Man.” When Jess signed onto this project in 2010, I couldn’t believe my luck. Written and directed by Pascal Laugier and starring Jessica? Right then and there it became my most anticipated film, ever. When 2011 rolled around and they weren’t any closer to finding a distributor, I started to worry.

It wasn’t long after the 2012 New Year that it was announced “The Tall Man” was headed to SXSW for it’s world premiere, and lost my marbles in excitement. While I wasn’t able to attend its showing in Austin, the reviews the event provided assuaged my fears and furthered my expectations. The film opened to promising reviews, quickly followed by Image Entertainment’s (Powder Blue) announcement that it had acquired distribution rights.

Viewing the international trailer helped me understand why “The Tall Man” had trouble finding a distributor. The film was unconventional and handled this fact with less than straight forward marketing. Presented to us as a horror film in most all aspects, including Laugier and his vicious previous effort, “Martyrs,” “The Tall Man” proved to be something ambitious and vastly more important than a simple horror flick.

The misguided marketing and resulting perception likely attributed to what should have been an amazing breakthrough for Jesse. praises Biel’s “tour-de-force” performance as well as the film’s writing, twisting plot and cinematography. The New York Times appropriately calls the film an  “unpredictable oddity that is a little bonkers but a lot original.”

I suggest everyone who hasn’t seen this movie to take the time to do so. Avoid spoilers at all cost!


Amidst the release for “The Tall Man,” Jesse’s sci-fi action remake, “Total Recall,” was also pending a US theatrical release.  Despite opening to not so-favorable reviews and a luke warm box office, the film went on to make a total of $194.4 million world wide. Shortly after the theatrical release talk of a directors cut quickly began, adding more anticipating for the home release as opposed to the available theatrical release.

To celebrate the release of ‘”Total Recall” on Blu-Ray and DVD, MovieWeb’s Alan Orange discusses the film and remake stigma, especially ‘Ahnuld’ remakes.

This is a fantastic read that brings to light several good points. One being don’t turn your cheek to what you don’t know. Most would assume that this is a remake of the 1990 campy Arnold Schwarzenegger film, but you would be wrong. The ‘remake’ was actually based on the original source material, the short story by Phillip K. Dick, “We Remember It For You Wholesale.”

Several story lines that were not in the original material made the final cut of Schwarzenegger’s film, rendering his iteration not truly “Total Recall.”

So why all of the sudden are we holding this film to such a high standard?  His name is Arnold, whether you know him as the “Governator” (good job, America) or the thick-accented action man, you know who he is and you know his persona. As time goes on, we build a nostalgia for his films and in return making even his mediocre films into classics.

I’m in no sense of the word saying that the original ‘”Total Recall” is a bad film, it is simply no better than its 2012 counterpart. Now I know I’ll catch a lot of flack for saying that, but I have my reasons. Reason number one, the acting. Both films did a remarkable job in what they were trying to accomplish. “Total Recall” 2012 was a bit more on the serious side and the performances from Biel and Cranston were phenomenal. I also love where they took the story, among all the action and amazing CGi sequences you have this intense love triangle going on, creating a layered film. Overall the directors cut stays true to the original source material but also references enough of the original to satisfy new and old fans alike.

One of Jesse’s more exciting projects from the past few years was “Hitchcock.” She would be working with some of the most talented actors out there, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Helen Mirren. While her role wasn’t huge, it was memorable.

Jess played Vera Miles, who is often toted as one of Hollywood’s biggest disappointments. A promising career, but she let it all go to become what some say an average housewife. But she never saw it that way, it was something she prided herself in, and I think Jess has a similar, but different view on her career. With that said, Jesse really embodied Mrs. Miles and proved (yet again) that she was more than an on screen beauty, but rather an extreme talent who hasn’t been given the right outlets.

The last film of Jesse’s to be released in 2012 was “Playing for Keeps” and that too has had a hard time making an impact at the box office. As if the box office was the only films problem, it also opened to less than favorable reviews. But why? What went so wrong in “Playing for Keeps?” In my opinion it’s the average joe romantic comedy, which are rarely praised and we’re living in the time of the internet where anybody can get online and make their opinion known, kind of like what I’m doing now. The film was not perfect in any way, but it was a harmless yet fun and entertaining film that a lot of people missed out on because of misguiding reviews.

It wasn’t all bad with the film as Roger Ebert wrote “Jessica Biel all but steals the show… Stacie is the one character who doesn’t seem largely on autopilot and manages to leave room for doubt in a film without much room for that.”

For obvious reasons, I think it’s safe to say that the wedding was the hot topic of the year. Not only were they “People Magazine’s” most talked about wedding of 2012, the whole world was buzzing over Jesse’s gorgeous pink dress. Along with taking one of the hottest bachelors off the market, Jesse began creating a stable film career, and I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store of Jess and her career.

Luckily enugh we start the new year off with another highly anticipated Jess film, “Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes.” In the film, Jess plays Linda, a woman who loses her child to SIDS and in a desperate attempt to get better, she was told by her doctor to care for a life-like baby doll. The film is labeled as a dramatic thriller and I for one cannot wait for Jesse’s return to Sundance Film Festival.

Here’s to wishing everyone a Happy New Year and I’ll see you in 2013!

Posted on: December 31, 2012 by Stephen
Filed Under: Site Updates

One Response

Shaya Collins Says:

Great article, Stephen. I enjoyed reading it and you made some very good points as well as informative statements. I loved Jesse in Total Recall and she was also fantastic in The Tall Man. Who cares what Hollywood thinks, her talent shines through in every performance she delivers.

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