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What to look forward to in 2012.

You could argue that 2011 was a so-so  year for movies, but you cannot deny the intrigue of some of the films set for release in 2012.  Plenty of superheroes will be on the big screen next year, as well as classic novels and new fan favorites.  However, not all the big films of next year are sequels, remakes, or adaptations, which is a breath of fresh air after the ridiculously minuscule amount of original ideas found in 2011.  There is plenty to look forward to in 2012!  I know I will be at the theatre plenty and I hope to see you there!

25. Dark Shadows

This title is the one I am the most skeptical of on this list.  This skepticism comes from my mixed emotions for Tim Burton as a director, but between the golden source material (the cult TV series of the same name), and the intriguing cast list with Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Chloe Moretz, there is a definite possibility that this title will be certifiably fresh.  Also, for fans of Burton’s animation, check out Frankenweenie, which could also be another smash hit.

24.  Bachelorette

As I said before, Kirsten Dunst has a number of films set for release in 2012, with this title being one of the more promising.  After the success of Bridesmaids, fans may flock to this female-driven comedy centered, but I hope that the film differs enough from the Kristen Wiig smash hit.  With Dunst making a comeback, this film has a lot riding on it.  Hopefully her co-stars Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan will use their previous comedic experience to turn this cliched concept into a unique cinematic treat.

23. Snow White and the Huntsman 

I’m in the same boat as most of you that have had enough of Kristen Stewart.  I loathe her acting in the Twilight movies, but this girl has proven she has on-screen talent before the vampire craze.  The Twilight saga has had it’s run but it seems Stewart is ready to take on other more promising projects.  The new craze of recreating classic fairy tales is a tad silly, but between the two Snow White recreations, this one has the most potential.  Although the trailer rides the line between ridiculous and awesome, seeing Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen is enough for me to see it.

22. Wettest Country 

The release date has been bumped around, which is never a good sign, but there is still hope for this film.  John Hillcoat (The Road) directs this Depression-era crime drama starring Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, and the always luminous, Jessica Chastain.  While this may not be the Oscar-bait it was once rumored to be, the cast is sure to make this at least a modest box-office hit.

21. Movie 43

Almost nothing is known about this movie other than IMDb’s synopsis of  “A feature-film comprised of short comedy segments.”  However, the cast is endless, featuring actors from Anna Faris to Kate Winslet and from Justin Long to Richard Gere  While the absent of a plot is a little nerve-racking, you can bet that this movie will at least be good for a few laughs.

19. Brave

Unfortunately, I was not too impressed with Brave‘s latest trailer which is why this appears so far down on the list.  While the voice actors sounded wonderful with their Scottish dialects and the scenery was breathtaking, the magic of Pixar could not be found in the trailer.  There is a lot that depends on this film after Pixar tainted their certifiably fresh streak with the critical flop of Cars 2.  Hopefully the trailer simply did not capture the essence of the film, because I sure hope this movie turns out well.

Little side-note: I’m really interested to see where Pixar goes with their first female lead.

18. Life of Pi

Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain) returns to the big screen with this adaptation of the acclaimed book by Yann Martel.  I have yet to read the book but I am certain I will get around to it after seeing the promise of this film.  Lee is always an amazing director to watch as he seems to take us places no other director takes us.  Another aspect of this film that makes it unique is that it will be the first time Lee incorporates 3D.  Let’s see what new dimension Lee brings audiences to with this film.

17. Gangster Squad 

Didn’t get enough of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in 2011?  If you’re like me and want some more then don’t fret, as these two rising stars reunite in this chronicle of the LAPD in the 40s-50s.  Director Ruben Fleischer, who worked with Stone previously on Zombieland, gets a little more serious this time around as he attempts to tackle this controversial era.  It is still uncertain whether or not Fleischer bit off more than he could chew, but he has all the promise for a smash hit.  Sean Penn and Josh Brolin also star in this crime drama.

16. The Amazing Spider-Man

Definitely a bold move to reboot a series that only ended in 2007, but Sony seems to know what it is doing by hiring Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer) as director and casting Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the lead roles.  This film is meant to be the start of a series by first exploring the origins of Peter Parker, however, it is uncertain how fans will react to the new Spidey with the original still in the back of their minds.  Here’s to hoping the director and the trendy cast have a gem on their hands.

15. Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Osama Bin Laden Project

If you do not know who Kathryn Bigelow is at this point, it is a damn shame!  After being the first female director to win the Oscar for Best Director, Bigelow is back with the big boys but this time with a big budget.  Little is known about the plot or cast at this point, but with Bigelow at the helm of this project, it is sure to succeed.  Also, considering the turn of events last May, it will interesting to see where this film takes us.

14. Untitled Terrence Malick Project

Yet another untitled project from another big name in the business.  Considering that Malick is infamous for having major gaps between films, it is a pleasant surprise that he is returning with this romantic drama after the success of The Tree of Life this past year.  The drama will star the beauties Rachel McAdams, Jessica Chastain, and Rachel Weisz, and knowing Malick it will sure be an experience to watch. I must say that the best aspect of this movie is that Malick is collaborating with Chastain, which is great news after her hauntingly beautiful performance in The Tree of Life. 

13. Moonrise Kingdom

How can you not be excited for a new Wes Anderson movie?  After gems, such as The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore, you’d be a fool not to get giddy at the news of a new Anderson film.  The plot of two lovers fleeing their hometown and the search party that goes after them does not offer much, but the cast of Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, and Anderson’s comedic muse, Bill Murray, is pitch perfect.  This is sure to be a treat!

12. Anna Karenin

Director Joe Wright has had some great success in his short filmography and this time he reunites with his muse Keira Knightley with this classic Russian novel adaptation.  The Wright-Knightley duo struck gold with Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, and maybe the third time will be even more charming.  Considering the powerful source material and the even stronger supporting cast of Jude Law, Kelly Macdonald, Aaron Johnson, and others, this film has every reason to succeed.  You can be sure to see this at the Oscars next year, even if it’s only for Costume Design, but Knightley may be able to garner her second Best Actress nomination under Wright’s wing.

11. World War Z 

Could the Academy really go for a zombie flick?  Well, World War Z could  change the way the Oscars look at the sub-genre of zombie movies.  This post-apocolypytic tale, based off the novel of the same name, will star Brad Pitt under the direction of Marc Foster (Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland).  While the zombie sub-genre continues to be brought back to life with surprise successes of the years, many continue to scoff at the idea of a zombie movie, which means that World War Z has its work cut out for it to bring in some new fans into this always entertaining sub-genre.

Little side-note: The reported $100 million budget is one thing that sure sets it apart from any past zombie flick.

10. Django Unchained 

Quentin Tarantino is back and more controversial than ever in this slave-turned-bounty hunter film starring Jamie Foxx, Leo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Despite being an Oscar-winning actor, Foxx has not proved much to the acting community, therefore, it will interesting what Tarantino will do with Foxx in this picture.  The writer/director is renowned for taking fallen stars and reigniting their fame, as he did in the case with Daryl Hannah with Kill Bill, Bridget Fonda with Jackie Brown, and several others over the years.  Let’s sit back and watch what could become Tarantino’s most controversial film, and that’s saying something.

9. Gravity

Last time Alfonso Cuarón brought a movie to the big screen he gave us Children of Men, one of the best films of the decade.  Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, two of Hollywood’s finest, starring in a movie together is reason enough to be giddy, but the fact that it is being directed by Cuarón is unbelievable.  There will be plenty of buzz surrounding this film next year.  Oh, and did I mention the fact that this takes place in space? Yes. In space.  With Cuarón.  I cannot wait to see what one of the most visionary directors of all time does with this film.

8. Lincoln

Fresh off his successes of The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, Spielberg returns to take on the challenge of bringing one of the most famous men in history to the big screen.  Abraham Lincoln has not appeared on the big screen in quite some time but between this project and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, this great president will be getting plenty of attention this year.  Daniel Day-Lewis takes on the pivotal role of Lincoln, and you can be rest assured that he will deliver.  In the year of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the young star plays Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham’s son, and has top billing in the cast list.  It is unclear who is the main character in this biopic, yet you can certain that this is a must-see.

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower 

While I am excited that one of my favorite books is being adapted for the big screen, I am even more excited to see my hometown of Pittsburgh represented in the film.  Stephen Chbosky, the author of the original book, gets in the director chair for the first time since 1995.  Chbosky obviously has great insight into the book which should please fans of the book.  Rising star, Logan Lerman, plays the lead role, and Harry Potter fans will squeal as Emma Watson joins the cast.  This coming of age tale may not break any records, but with its dedicated fan base, it is certain to find success.

6.  The Hunger Games 

Here it is!  It is less than three months away, and positive word of mouth continues to rumor that this film could go on to become the next Harry Potter/Twilight.  The Hunger Games has plenty of similarities to the two franchises as it was based upon on a best-selling young adult book series, features teens battling for their lives, and of course, is addictive.  The first Harry Potter film featured very little violence and Twilight simply had a lot of swooning, which is what makes The Hunger Games drastically different.  The idea of a futuristic society that puts twelve boys and twelve girls into an arena where they must battle to the death throws fans right into the violence.  As a fan of the series, I hope they do the violence justice, but some young adult fans may be turned off by the idea of teens being murdered left and right.  Jennifer Lawrence leads this star studded cast including Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, and Stanley Tucci.  With Harry Potter over and Twilight coming to and end, The Hunger Games has the chance to become the next “it” thing.  Well The Hunger Games, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Little side-note: This trailer is to die for!

5. Prometheus

Ridley Scott returns to the Alien realm, and the science-fiction genre altogether, after thirty years with this “prequel.”  As with any Scott film, you will be dazzled with incredible visuals, which you can clearly see in the trailer.  It has been more than a few years since we’re seen the Scott we know and love, and after the stinker Robin Hood, we will gladly welcome Scott’s return to science-fiction.  Also, with Noomi Rapace, Patrick Wilson, Charlize Theron, and Michael Fassbender starring, you will get Scott’s visuals and phenomenal acting to boot!  Well, I’ll let the trailer do the rest of the explaining.

4. The Avengers

Well I have never been a huge comic book reader, but even when you are ignorant of the comic book world, you have to get excited at Marvel’s latest creation.  Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) with the help of countless superheroes (Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, and others) join together to fight off an alien invasion and basically “avenge” Earth.  While at first I thought very little of this film, the latest trailer has plenty of “wow” moments to completely change my mindset.  Some of the most popular superheroes together in one movie is more than enough to become one of highest grossing movies of the year, and don’t forget the star power that is sure to pull in some new fans.

3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 

Peter Jackson is bringing us back the the Shire.  I repeat!  Peter Jackson is bringing us back to the shire!  If you have a pulse, you will probably be intrigued by this latest film from The Lord of the Rings director, which brings fans back to middle earth in a prequel to the trilogy.  No worries, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, and Frodo himself (Elijah Wood) reprise their roles.  The classic novel, of the same name, is a dense work which is what led Jackson to split the work into two films.  The second part, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is due out in 2013.  Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) joins a gang of middle earth dwarves on a journey to retrieve a treasure stolen from them.  Be prepared for dragon slaying and the always pesky Gollum.

2. The Great Gatsby 

If you have never read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, now may be the time!  The story never came off well on screen, with multiple ho-hum adaptations over the years, however, this time seems different.  Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rogue!, Australia) directs the unbelievable cast of Leo DiCaprio, Cary Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, and Isla Fisher, a cast that any film would die for.  The eccentric director will bring the tale of these lavish 20s partiers to the 21st century with 3D.  I love the cast and the source material, but this adaptation sure will be a tough one to spin.  The novel is very much about the internal, which will leave Luhrmann with plenty of work.  Unfortunately, there is not a trailer yet, since filming is still going on, but these pictures show that there is hope that this will be an instant classic.

1. The Dark Knight Rises

Well I am sad to say goodbye to this franchise, I am pleased to say goodbye in such a way.  Harry Potter ended on a perfect note, and I hope Batman will find the same success.  There are plenty of rumors that Christian Bale’s Batman will meet his end and that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Robin, but ignore these for now and indulge in the greatness of this trailer.  Whatever I say means little compared to this greater than great trailer.

Little side-note: My hometown Pittsburgh and Marion Cotillard look beautiful in this!

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This entry was posted on January 2, 2012 by in Movies.

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