Friday, 3 February 2012

Blog: My Most Anticipated Films for 2012

Yes, we are now over a month into February and there are lots of terrific looking films to come our way throughout this year. So I have composed this list detailing the films I am most looking forward to this year. I should point out that there are a lot of films which I may be interested in later, when more is released about them, like a summary or a trailer, but this is my top 20 for now. Some choices may be obvious, some may be surprising, this is my list. Feel free to comment about whether you agree/disagree with some of my choices.


20) Hotel Transylvania

Release: September 21st

Premise: Dracula, an owner of Hotel Transylvania, a five-star resort for the world's monsters, invites some of the most famous monsters to celebrate his daughter Mavis' 118th birthday. Unexpectedly visited by Jonathan, an ordinary young traveller, Dracula must protect his daughter from falling in love with him.

Why: The director is Genndy Tartakovsky, the man behind some of Cartoon Networks best shows, which includes Dexter's Laboratory, Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003 series, not the current one) and Samurai Jack. Adam Sandler can still make funny films, this may be the one to prove he's still got it. Plus, the cast does boast the likes of Steve Buscemi, David Koechner and Andy Samberg.

Hint of doubt: Adam Sandler's films of late have not been good, so after The Zookeeper, Just Go With It and the shitstopper itself, Jack and Jill, I am very wary about a new Adam Sandler film. With the cast list occupied by Kevin James, David Spade and Miley Cyrus, this isn't boasting many good omens.

19) American Reunion

Release: April 6th

Premise: The original American Pie cast from the class of 1999 return for their reunion

Why: The original American Pie trilogy was quite a funny trilogy that gave us a number of great characters we cared for, and returning to the lives of those characters we invested in back in the original trilogy may be the way to return this film series away from the worthless spin-offs.

Hint of doubt: Since American Wedding, the film series has been plagued with a number of spin-offs, none of which manages to deliver the laughs, opting for really cheap gags. My doubt here is this film won't be much better than the spin-offs. There is the question as to whether we really need to return to these character's lives.

18) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Release: June 22nd

Premise: Read the title of the film, you don't need this bit.

Why: A mash-up like this could pose to be one of the more surprising films of the year, especially with such an awesome title. Plus, Tim Burton's producing.

Hint of doubt: While the book was well recieved, there is a chance that it won't adapt well onto the big screen, and end up coming off as too silly/daft/serious* a mash-up to boast any actual credibility. Or perhaps it won't be tongue in cheek, putting viewers off this mash-up playing itself all too seriously, like what happened with Cowboys & Aliens.

(*delete as applicable)

17) John Carter


Release: March 9th

Premise: Former Confederate captain John Carter is transported to Mars ("Barsoom"). There he becomes part of a conflict between the various nations of the planet, whose leaders include Tars Tarkas and Princess Dejah Thoris . Carter takes it upon himself to save Barsoom and its people.

Why: I've heard much bashing against this film already, but I think it could be very good and looks quite interesting. Brad Bird's first live action film (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) was very well recieved last year, so that's Andrew Stanton's fears of directing gone from my head.

Hint of doubt: There is a fear that this film will be so much of a CGI-fest that the story will remain simplistic and the characters underdeveloped.

16) 21 Jump Street

Release: March 16th

Premise: Two police officers go undercover in a high school to bust a drug ring.

Why: This instantly entered my list after first viewing the R rated trailer. It looks to be a very funny film. Plus, with appearances from Rob Riggle, Ice Cube and Johnny Depp himself, I look forward to reporting to 21 Jump Street.

Hint of doubt: There is a fear that the films jokes will get old quickly, and it may not go far from the typical "adult posing as a student" jokes or the average "cop posing undercover" storyline.

15) Skyfall

Release: 26th October

Premise: James Bond's loyalty to M is challenged over secrets from her past. When MI6 is attacked, it falls to Bond to seek out and eliminate the threat regardless of the cost to himself.

Why: Let me get this out of the way, I'm not a big fan of Bond. I have not seen any James Bond films that don't star Daniel Craig. I loved Casino Royale and was mixed on Quantum of Solace, but i'm looking forward to his return in Skyfall. Plus, Sam Mendes directing, Javier Bardem as the villain and Ralph Fiennes starring help to make this film look pretty good.

Hint of doubt: After MGM's financial troubles suspended production upon the film (amongst many others), you do have to wonder whether it'll be worth the wait. Plus, like I said before, i'm not a big fan of Bond, so many other films are making me more excited than Skyfall.

14) Looper

Release: September 28th

Premise: A present-day killer works for a mob in the future and kills people who are sent from the future. He recognizes one victim as himself and hesitates, resulting in the escape of his older self.

Why: Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as the past version of Bruce Willis, both are killers. Of course i'm on board. While I was not a big fan of Rian Johnson's previous film, Brick, I will acknowledge he had a great directing style, and look forward to seeing him apply that style towards a film involving killers and the future.

Hint of doubt: The only sense of doubt I really have is that I may not like this one as much as other audiences do, as I was not that big on Brick.

13) This Is Forty

Release: December 21st

Premise: It's a spin-off from Knocked Up, focusing on Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann's characters from the film. That much is known.

Why: I am a fan of Judd Apatow's works, so of course i'm excited for another film from him.

Hint of doubt: Can Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann's characters truly hold a film? And will Megan Fox actually act this time?

12) Gravity

Release: November 21st

Premise: In Earth's orbit, satellite debris hits a space station, destroying most of it and killing all but two astronauts. The remaining astronauts fight for survival and to return home.

Why: Alfonso Cuarón is the man responsible for one of the best films i've ever seen: Children of Men. Apparently, the film is going to be done without any make-up, little dialogue and long takes, which is pretty ambitious, but I have faith in  Cuarón, and expect great things and possible award nominations.

Hint of doubt: Ambitious does not always translate well onto the big screen or with the viewers, so there is a chance the long takes and little dialogue will fail, or fail to get audiences to see the film.

11) Ted

Release: July 13th

Premise: John makes a wish in his childhood for his bear to come to life. The bear stays as his best friend well into his adult years. Conflict emerges when Ted's irresponsible and vulgar slacker lifestyle comes in the way of John's attempt to embrace his adulthood and the woman of his dreams.

Why: I'm just gonna come out and say it, I love Seth McFarlane's work. I love Family Guy and like American Dad very much, The Cleveland Show can suck it though. I very much like McFarlane's brand of humor, so while this won't appeal to everyone, it'll definitely appeal to me.

Hint of doubt: Not all of McFarlane's jokes manage to hit the mark, so there's a possibility this'll fall alongside such duds as The Winner and The Cleveland Show.

10) Ghost Rider: The Spirit Of Vengeance

Release: February 17th

Premise: Johnny Blaze has secluded himself away from the world, but must protect a child from being sacrificed by a hellish villain.

Why: After the watered down first film, this film promises to be a more brutal film, with Ghost Rider looking more hellish. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the directors, were responsible for Crank and Crank 2, and I look forward to seeing their added sense of crazy put upon this comic book character, as already evidenced from the fire-pissing scene in the trailer.

Hint of doubt: Early reviews have been negative of the film, with some even saying it makes the first film look like The Dark Knight.

9) Brave

Release: June 22nd

Premise: Skilled archer Merida defies an age-old custom, unleashing chaos in the kingdom. After consulting a wise old woman for help, she becomes cursed and is forced to undo the spell before it is too late.

Why: Because it's by Pixar, duh. Yes, Cars and Cars 2 were also by them, but every other film they've made has been brilliant. And for those who may be thinking this will be another misfire from Pixar, many people felt the same way about Up, and look how that turned out.

Hint of doubt: There is a wonder whether the film can go far with the whole female empowerment angle that was witnessed within the trailer, and there are fears that this will be another misfire for Pixar.

8) The Amazing Spider-Man

Release: July 3rd

Premise: Peter Parker spends his days trying to unravel the mystery of his own past, until the day that he discovers a secret his father held that will ultimately send him down the path of becoming "Spider-Man".

Why: A new take on a familiar character may seem risky as hell, but there was a little known Director who did a similar thing and produced a rebooted superhero film that was even better than the original. Yes, I mean Christopher Nolan's work on Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Many did not like the idea of a Batman reboot due to their feelings for Tim Burton's Batman, but this reboot may turn out way better than we expect. Plus, (director) Marc Webb and the cast have all gotten great approval from Stan Lee himself, creator of Spiderman.

Hint of doubt: Many are proclaiming that it is a little too soon to be rebooting the Spider-Man franchise, since it's only been 10 years since the first Raimi film was released. Nethertheless, audiences won't be able to help themselves and compare this film with the first Raimi film, and this will likely hurt the reboot.

7) God Bless America

Release: May 11th

Premise: A man gets diagnosed with a brain tumor and, along with a teen partner, goes around killing people he feels deserves to die, including anti-jewish protest groups, spoiled rich bitches and people who throw popcorn in movie theatres.

Why: Read the premise, watch the trailer. A man goes around killing spoiled bitches, Kardashian types and people on an American Idol-style show. Plus, the idea of a man signposted for death doing this gives off a Breaking Bad-type feel to me.

Hint of Doubt: There is the question as to whether the film will be about more than just a murderer's bucket list, and whether writer and director Bobcat Goldwaithe (yes, that one) can really make us care for this man in more ways than just trying to play off sympathy because he has a brain tumor.

6) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Release: 14th December

Premise: Bilbo Baggins is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild and Bilbo will meet the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum.

Why: Because it's the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Also, it boasts a great deal of talent, be they returning from the trilogy, or new additions, like The Office's Martin Freeman. Plus, the fact that the prequel to The Lord of The Rings trilogy is being helmed by the man who was responsible for bringing the trilogy to life on the big screen, Peter Jackson, is an even bigger point of greatness.

Hint of doubt: The Star Wars prequel trilogy have left a bad taste within peoples' mouths over prequels in general. Also, this is only Part 1, with the second part to be released 364 days later on 13th December 2013, making it the longest wait for the second part of a film.


5) The Cabin In The Woods

Release: April 13th

Premise: A group of college kids spend a weekend at a mysterious cabin.

Why: How about the fact that it's by a little known man named Joss Whedon? Early reviews of the film have been extremely positive, and we can expect a deconstruction of the typical horror flick that the first minute of the trailer appeared to be aping. And if you're worried about the film because of how long it was held back from a release, don't be, that was due to MGM going bankrupt, and had nothing to do with the quality of the film.

Hint of doubt: Very little, actually


4) Prometheus

Release: June 8th

Premise: In the late 21st Century, the crew of the Prometheus explore the advanced civilization of an extraterrestrial race as part of a mission to uncover the origins of humanity.

Why: Because it's Ridley Scott's grand return to the franchise that made his name. Yes, this film will be connected to the Alien franchise, it's not specified how, but the fun will be in finding out. Plus, look at the great cast, you have Guy Pearce, Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron. And the trailer is a magnificent piece of suspense that makes you want to see the film immediately.

Hint of doubt: A script, possibly fake, was leaked a few months ago, and it was met with disdain. If the script does turn out to be genuine, then things do not bode well for this film. Also, we may get what happened with the Star Wars prequels, where you expect great answers to some questions, but the answers you do get are vastly underwhelming and you end up wishing you didn't get the answers after all.

3) Django Unchained

Release: December 25th (what a great Christmas present)

Premise: Django is a freed slave who treks across America with the German dentist turned bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz to retrieve his wife Broomhilda from the charming but sadistic Francophile plantation owner Calvin Candie and his entourage of ruthless slavers.

Why: How about because it's from the master of dialogue himself, Quentin Tarantino? The films described as a Spaghetti Western set in the deep south. The last time Tarantino made a film in the style of a Spaghetti Western was with the Kill Bill films, and that turned out magnificent. Plus, it'd be the first time we really saw Leonardio DiCaprio play a villain, and i'm looking forward to see how he does. And it always helps to have a role played by SAMUEL L JACKSON!

Hint of doubt: A number of people felt Tarantino's last film, Inglorious Basterds, was a bit lacking for a Tarantino film (I haven't seen it yet, so can't comment), while I managed to feel that way about his second to last film, Death Proof, so I'm just wondering whether this will feel lacking to the audience and to the fans.

2) The Dark Knight Rises

Release: July 20th

Premise: Following on 8 years after the end of The Dark Knight, there is little actually known about the film's plot. What is known is that Bane and Catwoman shall appear to give a true conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.

Why: Besides the 4 years of anticipation? Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are two of the most widely praised and critically acclaimed superhero films in the last decade or so, so to have a definitive conclusion to both of those films is definitely one of the most widely anticipated films of the year. Plus, look at that poster, it gives you something that very little superhero films give you: A sense of danger, a sense that the hero could actually die.

Hint of doubt: There has not been one superhero movie which has reached the third film and been good. Christopher Nolan has approached this topic before, but only time will tell whether he can avoid the trilogy curse that to this day has only been beaten by the Toy Story and Lord of the Rings trilogies.

1) The Avengers

Release: May 4th

Premise: Following on from Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) gathers the characters from each of these films to defend Earth, fighting Loki and his (unknown) army.

Why: The Dark Knight may currently be my all time favorite film, but I loved every single one of the films leading up to The Avengers (yes, even Iron Man 2) and it's an utter thrill to see all of the characters from all of these different films join together in one huge film. And the thing which tipped my excitement in the direction of The Avengers over The Dark Knight Rises is the fact that the writer and director is Joss Whedon, the man responsible for some of the best contributions to sci-fi (Firefly), horror (Buffy), comics (Astonishing X-Men), animation (Toy Story) and geek culture (Dr Horrible), and is responsible for some of the best dialogue outside of a Tarantino film. Plus, if anyone can handle a film with such a large cast and make them feel like real characters rather than two-dimensional super beings, it's this guy, he's used to handling big casts, and with great results.

Hint of doubt: There is still the niggling doubt that an attempt like this will not work, but at this point, it's a very small doubt.

So, thats my top 20 list. Which films are you most looking forward to? Do you agree with the choices on my list? Please comment below. Thanks for reading.

10 comments:

  1. I didnt know tim burton was producing that Lincoln film! I 'll be sure to see it now! Im pretty excited about spider-man though not sure it'll be good. Likely to be good I am sure.
    Dark Knight and the hobbit are my most anticipated.

    It also looks like we're in for a lot of blockbusters this year.

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    1. Yeah, this looks to be the year to be most excited for.

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  2. The Hobbit is only 6th, to be honest that is the only film I am really looking forward to. Avengers can be good if the central characters get into lots of petty arguments. Mixed feeling for the Alien prequel, it won't be as good as Alien and Aliens.

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    1. If what i've heard so far is anything to go by, there'll at least be conflict between Cap and Iron Man. Yeah, I don't think Prometheus will be as good as Alien or Aliens, but I have a good feeling it'll be close.

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  3. there's so many that I really want to be good. The Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, and The Hobbit go without saying, but I'm really dying for Amazing Spider-Man to at least be a good film. My dear all time favorite super-hero has had a terrible name due to how he's been raped in the most foul ways too much for too long after the third movie and what little I've seen for myself with Turn of the Dark. I would be very relieved to have at least something recent outside of the comics and games that reminds me that he is a spectacular super-hero and deserves more respect than what so many of us have given him for such a long time. Anyway, fantastic list Rodders.

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    1. Yeah, Spiderman does deserve something in the win column after the last few years, I just hope Andrew Garfield will be able to convince the wide audience he can be Peter Parker.

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    2. ditto. But I'm sure he can. he's proven himself to be a good actor. I have a fair amount of faith that he'll deliver.

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  4. My list is pretty different, but some good stuff on here nevertheless.

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  5. I am looking forward to quite a few on this list, and I had no idea of the existence of Looper, so thank you for introducing it to me! Personally, my most anticipated film of the year is Les Miserables (with Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe) closely followed by The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. I have a strong feeling that Nolan will avoid normal superhero trilogy problems, especially since there have been no creative changes in cast or crew (well, there's new people of course, but a major creative change behind the scenes is generally the death knell for superhero franchises). They will both be awesome, that's for sure.

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    1. You're welcome for Looper. Yeah, I have a good feeling about Nolan and Batman 3, but there's always going to be that doubt.

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