With the beginning of a new year comes a great deal of potential for new movies over the next twelve months. While not all of these titles may work out as well as we’re hoping, our first Roundtable of 2012 takes a look at some of the upcoming films we’re looking forward to.
I may not have a definitive list of every movie that will be released in 2012 (many release dates are subject to change throughout the course of the year), but this page provides a handy calendar of many titles known so far.
I think that I’m probably in the same boat as everyone else. The two movies that I’m looking forward to most in 2012 are ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’. I initially had some concerns when I heard that Christopher Nolan went with Bane and Catwoman as the new blood in his third Batman film, as well as with some of Peter Jackson’s casting choices for his ‘Lord of the Rings’ follow-up. But after seeing the recent trailers for both movies, I can honestly say that I haven’t been this excited to see a film in a long time.
I’m guessing that most responses will feature my #1 pick at the top of the list: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. So, I’ll give you my #2: ‘Django Unchained’. For me, this is the December release I’m most looking forward to (yes, over ‘The Hobbit). What can I say, I’m a Tarantino geek and I can’t wait to see how he tries to top his masterpiece ‘Inglourious Basterds’. I’m looking forward to seeing Leonardo DiCaprio in a Tarantino flick. I’m looking forward to Tarantino’s trademark dialog. And I’m mostly looking forward to seeing this all-star cast whoop some Spaghetti Western ass.
Most might pick ‘The Avengers’ or ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ as their most anticipated titles of 2012. I’m excited to see Nolan’s newest ‘Batman’ film as much as anyone, but the movie I’m truly looking forward to this year is Pixar’s ‘Brave’. After the utterly awful ‘Cars 2’ in 2011, I’m hoping that Pixar can reclaim its throne as the world’s best animation studio. Let’s face it, Pixar got spanked by just about every other animation studio out there last year – maybe not in terms of box office receipts, but definitely in terms of original storytelling. ‘Brave’ looks like we’re heading back in the right direction. Let’s do away with the Pixar sequels for at least one year and get another original tale.
I have to give a few honorable mentions too: ‘Safe House’ for no other reason than I really enjoy Denzel as a badass; ‘Haywire’ because it’s Steven Soderbergh; and ‘The Three Stooges’ simply because it’s my dream to look at the box office returns after that movie comes out and hopefully see a big fat $0 in the total column. Hey, it’s a new year. I have renewed faith that the moviegoing public will finally stop spending money on idiocy.
I know that I’m predictable, but the only movie on my 2012 radar so far is ‘Nero Fiddled’, Woody Allen’s follow-up to ‘Midnight in Paris’. While the combination of Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page makes me a little nervous (for some reason, it rekindles memories of the dreadful ‘Anything Else’) the presence of Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Judy Davis, and of course Woody Allen himself (acting for the first time since 2006’s ‘Scoop’) has me chomping at the bit to see if this will be a ‘Whatever
Works‘-style misfire, or the next ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona‘. I sure hope that Allen and co. can deliver the good twice in a row.
M. Enois Duarte
With so many big movies coming in 2012, it’s not easy to pick a small group that I’m looking forward to. Like so many out there, I’m really excited about ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Prometheus’, but only one movie actually gets under my skin and has me wishing it were released already. That’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. I love the direction Christopher Nolan has taken for this comic-book anti-hero, and both films thus far are exceptional adaptations. I hope that the third and final installment will be just as good. Oh, and I’m also interested in seeing how Tom Hooper’s take of ‘Les Miserables’ turns out. It’s actually based more on the musical than Victor Hugo’s novel.
I’ll get out to the theaters a few times in 2012, but the movies I really want to see come at the end of the year. It starts with Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’, which doesn’t seem to have a solid release date at this point. Even if somehow the movie ends up being awful, it’ll be worth it to see Daniel Day-Lewis do his thing and, of course, to see shots of people looking at things – classic Spielberg.
The Hobbit’ is on the list, of course, and I’m cautiously optimistic about ‘World War Z’. But the really exciting December movie for me is ‘Les Miserables’. It’s a screen adaptation of the musical and the cast looks incredible. Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe star as Valjean and Javert respectively, and the combo of Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers sounds too good to be true. I have a strong attachment to ‘Les Miserables’, but I think these folks can pull it off, especially with Tom Hooper at the helm. I’ll admit now that I’ll probably hate whoever gets the role of Eponine, though. Just as David Tennant will always be my Doctor, Lea Salonga will always be my Eponine.
I’m not sure if I’m truly looking forward to these films, but The ‘Three Stooges’ and ‘Life of Pi’ have piqued my curiosity. Both are big undertakings that could soar or sink. As talented as I think the Farrelly brothers are, I’m not sure they can take on the Stooges. And I’m not sure the Stooges need to be taken on. The originals are still hilarious today. Have you ever seen a Curly impression that even closely approaches the sublime ridiculousness of the original man barking like a dog in Moe’s face?
‘Life of Pi’ has my interest to see how Ang Lee can translate this wildly popular book into a movie, considering that it’s about a boy and a tiger adrift on the ocean, and large parts are unresolved as to whether the experience is real, dreamed or hallucinated. I’ve talked with friends about the book, and we’ve all come away with different conclusions about what happened. I’m curious to see how the film will convey that uncertainty, or if it will choose one interpretation and tie things up in a bow. I fear that test audiences may demand too much clarity and resolution. But I’m also hopeful that something wonderful can be created, as the book has a lot to offer.
“James Bond Will Return.” We’ve been promised that at the end of every 007 film, but MGM’s financial crisis threatened to derail the franchise for another extended delay. Fortunately, the studio managed to get its act together while Daniel Craig is still young enough to play the secret agent. I’m not too keen on the title ‘Skyfall’, but it’s certainly not the worst in the series’ history. The choice of Sam Mendes to direct is interesting. I don’t know how much of his personal imprint he’ll be able to bring to the project, but his previous films make me hopeful that he’ll at least pare back on the nausea-inducing shaky-cam that made ‘Quantum of Solace’ so visually incoherent. I love all of the James Bond films, even the bad ones, so ‘Skyfall’ is definitely my most anticipated movie of the year.
After that, I’m trying to approach Ridley Scott’s kinda-sorta-‘Alien’-prequel ‘Prometheus’ with cautious optimism. Scott’s return to the iconic franchise that he kicked off – not to mention his return to science fiction in general three decades after ‘Blade Runner’ – has enormous potential. On the other hand, the Ridley Scott of today is not the same man he was 30 years ago, and I honestly haven’t thought very highly of any of the movies he’s made in the meantime. The movie’s trailer is a little too heavy on the CGI and explosions, which makes it look more like a generic sci-fi action flick than a true successor to ‘Alien’. But I really want this movie to be good, and I hope that it is.
What upcoming movies are you looking forward to this year? Some notable titles we didn’t hit upon here (or barely so) include ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘John Carter’, ‘The Avengers’, Tim Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows’, ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’, Timur Bekmambetov’s ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ (this thing’s guaranteed to be crazy!), ‘Men in Black III’, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, ‘The Bourne Legacy’, the remake of ‘Total Recall’, the final ‘Twilight’ entry, Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi opus ‘Gravity’, ‘World War Z’ and Baz Lurmann’s new adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby’, among others.