Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

I'm taking a cue from my friend who has a blog called thejayaffair. He listed his most anticipated films for 2012, so I had to list mine since he missed some that I'm really looking forward to (Please note that all release dates of the films could change). And here they are in alphabetical order:

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Based on the same author of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, the story here reveals that the famous, honest 16th president moonlighted as a fierce vampire killer (take that, Buffy!). Plus with a great cast (Mary Elizabeth Winstead and newcomer Benjamin Walker), director (Timur Bekmambetov), and the novelist (Seth Grahame-Smith) writing the screenplay, this one sounds very promising. I recently read the (very well done put-together) novel and can't wait to see how they tackle this one. To Be Released: June 22, 2012.



The Amazing Spider-Man

While I like the Spider-Man comic and I really like those involved in the film (director Marc Webb, and actors Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone), I'm still not sure what to make of the preview (see below) where a brooding, emo Parker is shown hunched over his school desk, drawing. That is not Peter Parker! I worry that producers went the way of the Ultimate Spider-Man storyline, which sucks. Nevertheless, I'll watch it 'cause I do like the characters and the actors who are portraying them. Anything has got to be better than that wretched third Sam Raimi film, even though -- while I like Rhys Ifans -- I sort of wish that Dylan Baker (from the Raimi films) had been given a shot at the role; I think he could be a surprisingly evil Lizard. To Be Released: July 3, 2012.



Argo

Ben Affleck looks like he's going to do it again. Ever since taking a sabbatical from acting when his first child was born, Affleck came back as a stronger actor and even stronger, rather impressive, director. With only a couple of directorial hits under his belt (Gone Baby Gone, The Town), Affleck still has much to prove as a director, but this spy thriller looks as if he'll have another success. This film is based on Tony Mendez's account of the rescue of 6 U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran, during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, in which Mendez (Affleck) uses a CIA team disguised as a Hollywood film production crew to go in to Iran to film a movie, only to sneak the hostages out of the country, disguised as actors for the fake film. It not only is an interesting story but a testament as to the CIA's methods as well as a glimpse into its methods. To Be Released: October 12, 2012.



The Avengers

Every person who reads my blog knows that I'm not much of a Marvel comics fan. But I trust in Whedon -- director/screenwriter Joss Whedon, that is! With hits like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse under his belt, Whedon sets a high standard for TV- and film-making. There is another "project" of his on this list that has been talked about for some time, but I know this one will have the most ticket sales. One of my favorite things about the individual films for Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America has been the extra little "Easter eggs"/hints of The Avengers so I can't wait to see how it all comes together here. To Be Released: May 4, 2012.



Brave

Expectations are high for this one, I'm not gonna lie. Disney Pixar always turns out hit after hit, and I honestly think this is going to be another one. The story revolves around a courageous princess, Merida (Boardwalk Empire's lovely Kelly Macdonald), who sets out on a quest to become a warrior (almost like Mulan). Unlike Mulan, I'm sure this one will have much more appeal and overall heart. Also, finally! A movie for those crazy-haired redheads! To Be Released: June 22, 2012.



The Cabin in the Woods

Yes, after so much anticipation, Joss Whedon's horror film -- co-written and directed by Drew Goddard -- is here! One can look at the poster and tell this is going to be a mindf@*# of a movie! What starts off looking like your typical teenagers-get-trapped-at-a-cabin slasher flick (or a remake of The Evil Dead) soon turns into one hell of a ride. I think the trailer says it all. Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for actors from previous Whedon works: Fran Kranz (Dollhouse), Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse), and Tom Lenk (Buffy). To Be Released: April 13, 2012.



Chronicle

I've always been interested in what makes anyone turn to evil and this film is one of the first that takes a realistic, documentary-style super-villain approach to showing just that. The story follows three high school friends who somehow gain superpowers and while it all starts out fun and mischievous, things soon turn serious. From the looks of the trailer, this film will either be really cool or completely lame. To Be Released: February 3, 2012.



The Dark Knight Rises

This is it. The be-all, end-all. Director Christopher Nolan's mega trilogy comes to an end. Even though I am still shuddering with hatred for the casting of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman (SERIOUSLY!?!?! Catwoman is sexy, Hathaway is anything but; also, her threat in the trailer below is laughable; Marion Cotillard, who plays a Wayne Enterprises board member -- now, she would have made an excellent Catwoman; unless they cast Cotillard as Talia al-Ghul -- that would be better), this film is probably the one I'm most excited to see this year. Set eight years after the events of the previous film (The Dark Knight), The Dark Knight Rises sees a hesitant Bruce Wayne donning the costume again to deal with one of his greatest foes, "the man who broke the bat," Bane (Tom Hardy). To Be Released: July 20, 2012.



Django Unchained 

A Quentin Tarantino blacksploitation film? With an all-star cast? This sounds like it could bomb, but, let's be honest, it's Tarantino! And, if he can successfully tackle Nazis, then this is sure to be a hit. The story of a slave-turned-bounty hunter, Django (Jamie Foxx) who -- with the help of his mentor, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) -- must navigate the racist south and all of its dangerous characters to save his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the evil plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). As most Tarantino plots, this one sounds basic, but, because it is Tarantino, it will be anything but! To Be Released: December 25, 2012.



Flight

If Denzel Washington's first film of the year, Safe House, does not do well with audiences and critics, then he's got a second chance with this drama from director Robert Zemeckis (his first live-action film since the 2000 hit, Cast Away. The film's premise appears as if it takes a page from real-life national hero Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, as its protagonist William Whitaker, an airline pilot, saves the lives aboard his passenger plane when the plane malfunctions and he has to crash land. However, unlike Sully, Whitaker is accused of piloting the plane drunk and his hero status quickly goes sour. As usual, Washington's acting looks superb and the story by John Gatins (Hard Ball, Coach Carter, Real Steel) looks into the complex, expeditious transformation from human adoration to detestation. To Be Released: November 2, 2012.



Gangster Squad

This is one of my most anticipated films of 2012! The film focuses on the LAPD fighting to keep the east coast Mafia out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s. Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin play cops who go head to head with mobster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Patrick, and Anthony Mackie round out the cast in this tale from comedic director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less) and Castle writer Will Beall -- based on the book Gangster Squad by Paul Lieberman. Although this looks like a major reiteration of Brian De Palma's 1987 masterpiece The Untouchables, I'm hoping this film at least goes right where Johnny Depp's Public Enemies (a wonderful book, a terrible movie) went wrong: sticking close to the book! To Be Released: September 7, 2012. (NOTE: THIS FILM'S RELEASE DATE HAS BEEN PUSHED BACK TO JANUARY 11, 2013.)




The Great Gatsby

This is a story that seems to be so made for director Baz Luhrmann (Strictly Ballroom, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!) to make and I'm equally excited to see DiCaprio take on the role of Jay Gatsby, and the rest of the cast are really impressive as well (Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, and Isla Fisher). The only downside to this film is that in has a lot riding on its success as Great Gatsby fans (me included) are aplenty and expect a very faithful, emotionally full adaptation to this wonderful story. As always, though, be sure to read the book before seeing the film. No matter how great this film may be, it can't top the original printed word! OH, and that AMAZING song in the trailer is a cover of a U2 song called "Love is Blindness" by Jack White (of The White Stripes)! To Be Released: December 25, 2012. (NOTE: THIS FILM'S RELEASE DATE HAS BEEN PUSHED BACK TO MAY 10, 2013.)



The Grey

When I first heard of the premise of this film, I was not too stoked to see this ... even with the involvement of one of my favorite actors, Liam Neeson. However, after seeing the trailer below, I'm in! This survival story that begins looking like Alive (the true story film based on the 1972 Andes mountains crash survivors) turns into something more thrilling by adding in a harsher environment (if that's possible) and hungry, rabid wolves. Admittedly, I am a big Neeson fan and I'm pretty sure any fan of his will be in line for this one, despite its man vs. wild plot that doesn't appeal to everyone. Despite what people say I like most of Joe Carnahan's work and I'm excited that he's stepping out of his usual genre of urban crime and trying something new. If anything, watch the trailer -- especially at the 2-minute mark -- and you'll be given even more proof of Neeson being a badass (like he is in most of his films). To Be Released: January 27, 2012.

 

Haywire
Haywire finds director Steven Soderburgh tackling CIA covert action with a freelance operative, Mallory Kane (mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano), who gets double-crossed and must set out to make it back to the States, protect her family and get revenge on those who betrayed her. I'm always up for a good revenge pic and this one -- with an excellent all-male supporting cast -- seems like my cup of tea! I'm not the biggest fan of Soderburgh, but I trust he'll do well with this one; plus, any film where Channing Tatum gets his butt kicked has gotta be good and is one that I'm willing to watch. To Be Released: January 20, 2012.



The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
 
There is no explanation needed to any fan of the Lord of the Rings books or films as to why this is so highly anticipated. In this "prequel" to his famed Lord of the Rings (LotR) books, J.R.R. Tolkien tells the tale of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman; Ian Holm from the LotR films) and his quest with thirteen dwarves -- with Gandalf (Ian McKellen) making occasional appearances -- to find treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. Along the way, Bilbo encounters the former hobbit, Gollum (Andy Serkis), and the legendary one ring that will change the course of Middle Earth forever. There are some people who don't like these books/films and it's difficult to imagine why. With the classic material being taken over once again by the creative team of Peter Jackson and his wife Fran Walsh, the force behind the LotR films. The story is split into two films (with part two There and Back Again being released in December 2013. My bet is that this is going to be one of the good action films of the year! To Be Released: December 14, 2012.



 Les Miserables

People either think this is one of the greatest musicals of all time (I fall in that category) or think this play is nothing but depressing (my wife). Again, I'm not the biggest fan of Anne Hathaway (who will portray Fantine), but just from the look of this trailer and her singing, I think she's going to be outstanding and earn an Oscar nom. The rest of the cast is stellar as well (with Hugh Jackman as Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert) and it's about time a musical movie was made! I was a big fan of director Tom Hooper's 2010 hit The King's Speech, and this teaser trailer looks awesome, so I'm really looking forward to seeing this! To Be Released: December 25, 2012.



Lincoln

I was greatly disappointed when I heard Liam Neeson dropped out of playing the 16th president of the United States in Steven Spielberg's epic flick, but Daniel Day-Lewis will certainly do. This film is long overdue and hope that enough justice is done to the president and the material with which the film is based -- Doris Kearns Goowin’s book, Team of Rivals. With Spielberg at the helm, I won't expect anything less than greatness all around. To Be Released: November 16, 2012.



 Looper

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (another of my favorite actors) teams back up with writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick) to release this sci-fi film about a present-day contract killer (Gordon-Levitt) who kills for the mob in the future; however, things go awry when he realizes that one of his marks is his future self (Bruce Willis). Johnson and Gordon-Levitt are the team behind one of my all-time favorite films, Brick, and I also enjoyed Johnson's second film, The Brothers Bloom, which didn't get as great reviews but still was enjoyable. Johnson brings a new breath to films nowadays and this is certainly a new venture for him, but a welcome one. To Be Released: September 28, 2012.



Man on a Ledge

The title may sound a little lame but don't count out this crime procedural thriller just yet. Led by Sam Worthington (Avatar) stars as a man who climbs out on the ledge of a 20-story hotel and threatens to jump, all the while being a distraction to police while a major diamond heist is taking place. There is more to the story but I'm not going to be the one to say. The team behind this film are fresh to making fictional movies -- director Asger Leth has only directed one documentary prior to this, and writer Pablo Fenjves has only written TV movies -- so this film could go either way. Whatever the case, at least this is an original film, which means a lot nowadays in Hollywood when most films are based on books, graphic novels, magazine articles or are remakes of other past films. To Be Released: January 27, 2012.



Prometheus

What originally began as a prequel to the blockbuster sci-fi film Alien was, after rewrites by Damon Lindelof (writer/producer of Lost), the film soon became its own entity. Nevertheless, director Ridley Scott (who directed the original Alien) and actors of the film have said that this film "shares strands of Alien's DNA, so to speak." I'm thinking that, like J.J. Abrams' universe of TV and movies, that there will be certain names of characters or brandnames  in this that are also mentioned in the Alien universe, however will not have anything to do with those characters or the alien creatures. Then again, maybe they're just trying to fool us. All that is known about this film is that it involves a space crew who explore an advanced civilization of an extraterrestrial race in search of the origins of humanity. Whatever. From watching the trailer alone ... sign me up! To Be Released: June 8, 2012.

 


Safe House

Lately, Denzel Washington's movies haven't been at the top of my list to see (i.e., The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, The Book of Eli, and Unstoppable). But this film, despite its similarity to 16 Blocks, has two things going for it. 1) It has the duo of Washington and Ryan Reynolds; and 2) Washington appears to be portraying an antihero, even somewhat of a possible bad guy -- a role he should take more often (especially after winning the Academy Award for portraying a villain in Training Day). To Be Released: February 10, 2012.



Skyfall

The twenty-third James Bond film almost didn't make it to production. Fortunately, the movie gods have made way for Daniel Craig to grace the screen again as one of the coolest incarnations of Bond to date. All that is known about the plot is that Bond questions his loyalty to "M" (Judi Dench) after an event from her past causes an attack on MI6. Sam Mendes takes the director reins for this one and I'm not too sure about him. He's a good dramatic director, but the closest action films he's done have been Road to Perdition and Jarhead, two films that focus more on drama than action. Regardless, it's James Bond! To Be Released: November 9, 2012.


Taken 2

Liam Neeson kicking ass? Again? Yes, please. To Be Released: October 5, 2012.



This is 40

Judd Apatow's hit comedy Knocked Up is revisited by focusing on characters Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd) -- the sister and brother-in-law, respectively, of Knocked Up's main character Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl). Following the couple some years after the events of Heigl's film, This is 40 takes a comical look at the realistic couple. I did not like Apatow's last screenplay, Funny People, but I think, with this one, he's returning to what he does well ... pure comedy that has heart but not too much. To Be Released: December 21, 2012.



Wreck-It Ralph

Disney has finally taken the final push to make a film that attracts the youth of today as well as parents of my generation (all I'll say is the Atari generation; for those who don't know what that is, then I feel old). Wreck-It Ralph is Disney's latest animated oeuvre that features the voice of John C. Reilly (Talladega Nights) as the titular character who is the villain of a Rampage/Donkey Kong-like video game until one day when he decides he is tired of being the bad guy and goes out of his game in order to find a video game world where he can be the hero. However, during the jump between games, he unknowlingly unleashes an even deadlier enemy. With the voice talents of Jane Lynch (Glee), Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) -- plus the inclusion of some classic video game baddies -- this film looks like it'll please kids and parents all around! To Be Released: November 2, 2012.


1 comment:

  1. Great list!
    I am excited for Cabin the Woods as well, and I've also heard of Looper.
    I can't begin to say how worried I am for The Dark Knight Rises. The trailer seems very disjointed, and I don't think Anne Hathaway can surprise people like Heath Ledger did as Joker.

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