2011 was a good year for movies, but I’m really hoping 2012 can 1-up it by delivering less branded material and more independent and original material. Despite this I find myself being excited for many of the brand movies this year. Here’s my list and feel free to post some of your most anticipated movies in the comment section. Enjoy!
The Hunger Games
After recently finishing the book, I have to admit that I’m rather excited to see the book adapted as it seems to leave plenty of room for some really cool interpretations for the film makers. The book creates a world that while very interesting is also very vague when it comes down to many of the precise details which will give director Gary Ross (Pleasantville) plenty of room to interpret the look and feel of Panem. The movie also stars the great up and coming actress Jennifer Lawrence(Winter’s Bone, X-men First Class), Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, and young actors Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Here’s to hope the film can live up to the potential that the book sets up for it.
This movie is probably the most ambitious project being released this year with the fanboy favorite Joss Whedon(Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) writing and directing with the huge ensemble cast made up of Robert Downey Jr.,Chris Evans,Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth,Scarlett Johansson,Jeremy Renner,Samuel L. Jackson, and Gwyneth Paltrow just to name a few of the big names. This movie will without a doubt be the biggest super hero film released in terms of size and scope as we are for the first time ever in a live action film seeing a whole cast of superheroes fighting together against Loki(Tom Hiddleston) and any other evil in the movie. Lets just say this movie is very difficult not to get excited for especially as a long time comic book fan. I am most excited to see all of these huge stars and characters interact with each other on the big screen in a film that is sure to be entertaining if nothing else. I certainly have to applaud Marvel for getting this project off of the ground in 2008 with the original Iron Man.
I am a longtime fan of the Alien series and I am very excited to see Ridley Scott making a return science fiction(and allegedly the same Xenomorph universe). The movie appears to be a quasi-prequel to Alien with many of the same locations being used. Aside from the really cool and interesting trailer, I’m excited to see the cast made up of the always great Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, and Noomi Rapace do their thing under Ridley Scott’s historically great direction. The movie appears to be very dark and atmospheric and very reminiscent of Scott’s early (and very influential) work. Nerdgasm
The Amazing Spiderman
I’ll be honest; I’ve got very mixed feelings about the upcoming Spiderman flick. On one hand I am very excited to see a new direction of the character, but on the other hand I really don’t want to watch another origin story to the character everyone and their mother already knows. I really don’t want to have to see Peter Parker learn the same lessons we’ve already seen him learn over 3 movies. The reason Batman Begins was able to pull off the reboot so well was because we hadn’t seen the full origin of Batman in a film before, but with Spiderman we’ve already seen the full blown origin. With all of this being said, I do think that taking this series in a different direction could really benefit the overall story of Spiderman, especially with a less cheesy and slightly edgier take on the character. I don’t want this movie to be too serious as Spiderman really does have a sense of humor, but the less cheesy take on the world and villains should be really cool. I suppose this is the movie I’m most curious to see this year.
The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises is without a doubt the most anticipated movie of the year for many, many film goers including myself. I am excited to see this movie as both a fan of Batman and Christopher Nolan. Batman obviously has some of the widest appeal of any superhero and this notion has only grown since Batman Begin was released in 2005 followed by the mega-hit that was The Dark Knight in 2008. I am very excited to see this exceptional story come to a great and satisfying end. As a Christopher Nolan fan I am very excited to see just what he does with the characters of Bane and Catwoman. The above trailer certainly plays Bane up as a brute force that wants nothing more than to see Gotham burn to the ground. He appears to want to break both Bruce Wayne and Batman which should be an interesting foil to Bruce Wayne who will likely still carry scars from the fate of Harvey Dent. Nolan has always been great at delivering psychological side of the Batman stories and Rises certainly looks to give us a different angle on Bruce Wayne than either Begins of The Dark Knight gave us which should hopefully mean that this final entree to Nolan’s take on the story will be fresh and new. I’m also very excited to see all of the returning cast including Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman as well as the many new additions from great actors like Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Marion Cotillard. This looks to be on of the best films this summer has to offer.
What is Looper and why am I anticipating it? This movie is hardly known in the mainstream and even some film buffs probably haven’t heard much if anything about it. Looper is a movie about a man(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who kills people from the future and eventually finds out that one of his targets is an older version of himself(Bruce Willis). This is almost all there is to know about this movie so why am I even anticipating it with such little information? First off the movie seems to have some great talent with a supporting cast made up of Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano and independent writer/director Rian Johnson who is known for both Brick and The Brothers Bloom(or for you Breaking Bad fans out there; the episode “Fly“). Lastly I am a fan of psychological time travel movies so this movie fits right into one of my favorite genres. I am very excited because of the great talent working on the film and the very rich and intriguing concept.
Gravity is another low key sci-fi movie that is hitting next year written/directed by the terrific Alfonso Cuarón(HP: The Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of of Men) and starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Gravity is to tell a tale of two astronauts stranded in earths orbit after their satellite is destroyed. Much like Looper, the most interesting thing about this movie for me is the talent involved. I really like Cuaron’s other work and Clooney and Bullock are always enjoyable and interesting to watch. With Cauron at the helm the film is sure to boast some great character work and some gorgeous visuals. Hopefully Gravity can deliver on its potential.
The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey
This movie really needs no explanation as to why it is one of my most anticipated films of the year. Peter Jackson is returning to Middle Earth to give us another two films that will be epic in scope, but character driven at heart. The movie(s) brings back many of our favorites like Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Galadriel(Cate Blanchett), Legolas(Orlando Bloom), Elrond(Hugo Weaving), Gollum(Andy Serkis), Saruman(Christopher Lee), Frodo(Elijah Wood), and an older Bilbo(Ian Holm) while also giving us a younger Bilbo(Martin Freeman), Thorin(Richard Armitage), Dwalin(Graham McTavish), Balin(Ken Stott), Kili(Aidan Turner), Fili(Dean O’Gorman), Dori(Mark Hadlow), Nori(Jed Brophy), Ori(Adam Brown), and Gloin(Peter Hambleton). The Hobbit is the epic prequel to The Lord of the Rings that fans have asking for since the trilogy wrapped up in 2003. It looks to be spectacular film and has expectations that are beyond comprehension.
World War Z
This is a big budget zombie made in the same vein as both Children of Men and the Bourne series movie starring Brad Pitt. Need I say more?
I have slowly, but surely become a Quentin Tarantino over the years so needless to say I am excited to see pretty much any movie he puts out. Django Unchained is Tarantino’s take on spaghetti westerns and it has a great cast made up of Leonardo DiCaprio,Samuel L. Jackson,Christoph Waltz,Jamie Foxx,Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kerry Washington and Kurt Russell. I don’t have a ton to say about the movie, but I am interested to see Tarantino tackle a different genre with his very unique style and direction.
John Carter-March 9
The Raven-March 9
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter-June 22
Skyfall(007)- November 9