2011 was a decent year for movies but it pales in comparison to what is due out in 2012. A number of highly talented filmmakers have major films slated to come out and I couldn’t be more excited. This list definitely shows off my proclivity for super heroes and I’m probably going to get a little bit gushy because I’m talking about some of my favorite directors. But what is a movie blog for if not rampant exaggeration? Without further ado, here are my ten most anticipated films of 2012:
Directed By: Mark Andrews
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Julie Walters, Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson
Why I Can’t Wait: This is Pixar’s first non-Cars movie since Toy Story 3. Since I don’t really count Cars as part of the Pixar canon because it’s mediocre, this has been far too long a wait for the greatest animation studio of all time to make another film. The first trailer displays predictably amazing visuals and my excitement can be summed up in one word: Pixar.
Directed By: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill
Why I Can’t Wait: When I first heard about this adaptation of the 80’s television series I groaned with disgust. I expected garbage but then the first trailer came out and had me laughing my ass off. Never has a project’s trailer so thoroughly convinced me to see a movie and, while I’m still keeping relatively low expectations, this could end up being a genuinely hilarious comedy. Channing Tatum as proven to be less terrible than it originally seemed like he would be and skinny, recently Oscar nominated, Jonah Hill has taken his career in an interesting direction. Here’s hoping it works out.
Directed By: Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Clea DuVall, John Goodman, Michael Parks, Taylor Schilling, Kyle Chandler
Why I Can’t Wait: Ben Affleck won me over as a director with his fantastic debut, Gone Baby Gone, and his decent follow up, The Town. The material here is amazing as this is based on true event in which the CIA saved hostages by pretending to film a movie called “Argo” in Iran. Plus the cast has some serious acting ability with the brilliant Bryan Cranston among others.
Directed By: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dennis Leary, Rhys Ifans
Why I Can’t Wait: I really really really really didn’t want to be excited for this movie. I’m a huge fan of Sam Raimi’s first two Spiderman films (the 3rd doesn’t even exist as far as I’m concerned) and I can’t imagine a reason audiences would need to see the origin story again so soon. Seriously who doesn’t know Spiderman’s deal at this point? Let me guess, he’s going to get bitten by a radioactive spider.
Alas, my inner comic book nerd got the best of me and I’m excited despite myself. Marc Webb is a fascinating choice as his only movie so far is the excellent 500 Days of Summer and Andrew Garfield is a solid option as Peter Parker. The Lizard was a cool villain choice and the newest trailer actually makes it look like the tone will be different than Raimi’s films. There’s a good chance this film will end up enraging me but what can I say; my spidey senses are tingling.
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Emma Thompson, Rip Torn
Why I Can’t Wait: This isn’t a movie that would have gotten me excited if you simply told me about it. But the moment I saw the trailer I couldn’t help but smile. I’m excited to revisit the characters and the world of the franchise. The first Men In Black is a super fun popcorn flick with amazing chemistry between the two leads and one of my favorite(and one of the most underrated) villain performances of all time by Vincent Phillip D’Onofrio. Welcome back, J and K. I didn’t know I missed you, but I’m glad you’re here.
Directed By: Rian Johnson
Starring: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano
Why I Can’t Wait: What’s not to be excited about? Rian Johnson kicks some serious ass, directing Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and one of my favorite Breaking Bad episodes (“Fly”). His cast is tremendous and the premise is really cool. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a “looper”, or a hitman who kills targets sent from the future by mobs utilizing time travel technology. His job is seriously screwed up when his future self (Bruce “Yippee kai yay, motherfucker” Willis) is sent back as a target. That sounds awesome, right? If you disagree you’re wrong. Trust me.
The coolest part might be the recent report that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be getting extensive makeup to resemble Willis and will craft his performance around Bruce Willis. That’s going to be very interesting to see from one of the best young actors working today.
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron.
Why I Can’t Wait: Did the cast not immediately make you want to see this? Really? Stringer Bell? Magneto? Rita Leeds? Fine fine I’ll go on.
Ridley Scott has made exactly two sci-fi films: Alien and Blade Runner. These are two of the most influential sci-fi flicks ever and the man is returning to the genre with something that has been billed as a pseudo-prequel to Alien. That is, a story set in the same world but with only minor connections. Plus the trailer is pretty epic and foreboding. This is a must see movie.
Directed By: Joss Whedon
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson
Why I Can’t Wait: The Avengers is an unprecedented filmmaking move. Marvel is taking a note from the overlapping mythology of comic books and bringing it to the big screen with a long term plan that must have been insanely difficult to pull off. It all began when Iron Man ended with a fun little nod to the classic comics team, The Avengers. That little tag was for fans but it was so well received that Marvel ran with it and this is the culmination of a series of very good super hero flicks. While none were perfect, each character was well established and really owns the role. Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark, Chris Hemsworth looks as if he’s always carried around a giant hammer and Chris Evans was a huge gamble and he paid off big time. I’m excited to see Ruffalo try out the role of Bruce Banner and Tom Hiddlesont’ return as the villainous Loki is a welcome one. There are a bunch of things that could go wrong with this film but Joss Whedon is a geek genius (if you haven’t seen Firefly do yourself a favor and go buy its only season right now) and I have no doubt he can pull off a funny, action packed summer bonanza.
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Dicaprio, Christoph Waltz, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Sacha Baron Cohen
Why I Can’t Wait: This is another movie where the cast alone pushes it into “must watch territory.” But Quentin Tarantino brings that to another level. The man is a living legend and responsible for writing and/or directing a great deal of my favorite films (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds, and From Dusk Til’ Dawn specifically) and he is one of the handful of directors whose work merits a purchased ticket no matter the subject matter. If the trailer comes out and is 2 minutes of nothing but a brick wall I’d still be there at midnight.
The film is set in the Old South and tells the story of a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) being trained to fight by a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) so he can save his wife from an evil plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). Sign me up.
Directed By: Chris Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway
Why I Can’t Wait: I will attempt to be calm and profe
….BATMAN!!! BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN!!!….ssional when discussing Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to what is shaping up to be my favorite trilogy of all time. I’m more excited for this film then I’ve been for any movie, concert, vacation, baby’s birth, etc. Nolan’s assembled another great cast and has yet to make a bad movie. Tom Hardy is a wonderful actor and all reports indicate that Bane is going to be a villain to rival Heath Ledger’s Joker. This movie also happens to have one of the best posters in recent memory. If Nolan manages to one up The Dark Knight there’s a good chance I’ll actually die as the final credits roll. I’m not sure the human brain was meant to absorb perfection.
I am a shameless Batman and Nolan fan boy but this really is going to be a monumental movie event that has to be seen in Imax. The Dark Knight was my favorite movie theater experience ever and I was left literally speechless for twenty minutes after the film ended. It’s exciting and scary to be in the middle of a trilogy like this. Will it be good but a letdown like Return of the Jedi? Will it be a legacy tarnishing nightmare like The Godfather III? Will it maintain excellence without upping the ante like The Return of the King? I contend that there has never been a trilogy where the final installment was the best and there’s a chance this could be the first.
Just repeat after me: In Nolan We Trust.
Thanks for reading and see you next time!
Other notable 2012 films I’m looking forward to:
- The Hunger Games
- American Reunion
- Moonrise Kingdom
- Total Recall
- The Gangster Squad
- The Great Gatsby
- Jeff Who Lives At Home
- The Five Year Engagement
- Safety Not Guaranteed
- James Bond: Skyfall
- Only God Forgives
EDIT: I was under the incorrect impression that The Hobbit came out in 2013. Its absence from this list is egregious.