Just as we all like to start off the New Year with personal clean slates, the same goes for the film industry. Nothing new has hit theaters just yet and all we’ve got to go off of is the upcoming slate of releases, so it’s prime time for maximum optimism.
Naturally, after sorting through the lengthy list of features due out in 2012, it was rather tough to whittle down the list to just ten choices, but how great is that? On top of these potentially stellar upcoming releases, there’s quite a few more deserving of the honor. That being said, keep in mind, this is my most anticipated of 2012 and, like all of those best of 2011 lists, there’s leeway for personal preference.
So, here’s what I’ve got. Agree? Disagree? Something missing from my list you think I should consider? Do share. And now, without further ado, my most anticipated movies of 2012 …
Superhero movies are inherently anticipatory and it’s strange, too, because it’s not even like they’re a commodity anymore. Last year alone we got five comic book to film adaptations. But, of course, the big draw with The Avengers is the fact that not only does it feature a rather large group of super powered crime fighters, but it’s also the union of a number of different films, two of which just hit theaters last year. Whether or not you’re familiar with these heroes from their comic book days, thanks to Marvel’s release strategy, The Avengers is impossible to ignore. Why is it only at #10 and not higher up on the list? 3D.
As a huge sucker for John Milius’ 1984 film, the Red Dawn remake has been high on my list ever since the project was first announced and then the cast was absolutely overrun with top-notch young talent. We’ve got Chris Hemsworth, Adrianne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Isabel Lucas and Jeffrey Dean Morgan; what more could we ask for? Well, how about a release date? Production began way back in September 2009 and wrapped in December, but the film has yet to hit the big screen courtesy of the MGM debacle. Of course I’d like to solely blame the delay on MGM’s financial woes, but when word got out that the film would undergo a last minute villain swap, pitting our heroes against North Korea instead of China, you can’t help but to wonder if more concerns will creep up as the film finally makes its way out of the can. But hey, this is anticipation we’re talking about here so regardless of the film’s actual quality, November 2nd can’t come soon enough.
It always helps when an upcoming film gets a fantastic trailer. But even before catching the bits of Rock of Ages that hit the web, the film was always on my radar as it’s one of few Broadway productions that I thoroughly enjoyed. Sure, the story is rather run-of-the-mill – a small town girl moves to LA to become a star and the gang has to save The Bourbon Room – but it’s almost as if the show creators recognized that and worked with it by highlighting the music and turning the show into more of an experience and, based on that first trailer, it seems like the film creators are going the same route. Rather than tack on a lame narration, the trailer sticks to what makes Rock of Ages special, the music. Well, the music and in the new film’s case, the A-list cast. Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and more singing the best of the 80s? Sounds and looks like a downright blast.
I may have grown out of the party scene myself – to a point – but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever get enough of watching drunk teenagers make fools of themselves. After Due Date and The Hangover Part II, I don’t have as much faith in Todd Phillips as I used to, but the guy is responsible for the inebriated insanity in Old School and the first Hangover movie, so the know-how is in him. Pair that with the writer behind my favorite film of 2010, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a first time director and a relatively unknown cast and we could wind up with one of those out-of-the-blue successes that stick, somewhat in the vain of Superbad.
Finally! It feels like we’ve been talking about a potential Alien/Aliens prequel or sequel for far too long and then when Prometheus was finally announced, we watched eagerly as the cast filled up, filming commenced and wrapped, and we were left to wait patiently for our first look at the film. Patiently? Yeah, right. Thankfully, the day finally came and just last month we got the first trailer for Ridley Scott’s latest and not only does it show that there is definitely an Alien connection, but it looks pretty incredible. Even without divulging much of the story, the Prometheus trailer has me more hooked than ever. And who knew that was even possible?
I’m a pretty intense Tarsem Singh advocate, but when the trailers for both Mirror Mirror and his Snow White rival, Snow White and the Huntsman, dropped, there was a clear frontrunner. And that’s not to say that Mirror Mirror doesn’t look good, it’s just that Snow White and the Huntsman looks wicked good. Charlize Theron hit it big with her latest release, Young Adult, and it looks as though she can do it again as the Evil Queen here with the help of some eerie effects and a seriously gritty undertone. Even Kristen Stewart looks as though she might finally shed the Twilight Saga drabness and get the chance to embody a hardcore heroine.
Duh. You can’t have predecessors like Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and not be one of the most anticipated films of the New Year. But even if you cut the cord between The Dark Knight Rises and Christopher Nolan’s first two Batman films, it still stands strong thanks to what looks to be a notably nasty villain played by one of the fastest-rising stars, Tom Hardy. Toss in some Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, a little Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, some incredible mid-football game destruction and the franchise’s iconic ominous tone and there’s absolutely no reason to think The Dark Knight Rises won’t close the trilogy with a bang.
My name is Perri Nemiroff and I’m addicted to campy horror movies. However, as much as I love a good slasher flick or watching some unsuspecting teens stumble into a serial killer’s trap in the middle of nowhere, there comes a point when enough is enough. Sequels are one thing, but another movies about a group of friends being tormented while crashing at a secluded cabin? Everything about the first portion of the trailer for The Cabin in the Woods screams cliché until we get to the twist, and that twist is probably the single most inventive twist writer-producer Joss Whedon and writer-director Drew Goddard could go with. I almost want to say it’s a sci-fi element, but even though the trailer does reveal quite a bit, it’s not enough to fully grasp what’s going down in this cabin and that in itself has me absolutely foaming at the mouth for April 13th.
Somewhat conversely, I’ve also got a pension for young adult book to film adaptations. We’ve seen our fair share of supernatural creature movies, but Warm Bodies actually found something new to offer – a tale told from the perspective of a zombie. Yes, we’ve come to know zombies as lifeless beings with just one thing on their minds, brains, but Isaac Marion manages to piece R’s story together in a way that keeps our preconceptions intact, while also plausibly bringing the zombified lead to life. Well, as plausible as a zombie story can be. Then there’s director Jonathan Levine who, based on his past films like 50/50 and The Wackness, will undoubtedly do the story justice, steering clear of that grandiose and overly romantic version of supernatural beings we’ve seen time and time again, and give the big screen version of Warm Bodies some texture.
Oh, come on. You knew this was going to be my top choice! To start, I absolutely fell in love with Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy and then the stakes were raised exponentially when I was asked to write Movies.com’s Hunger Games Countdown column, basically handing over a good portion of my time, and existence for that matter, to the big screen adaptation of the first book. Further adding to my excitement, Lionsgate and director Gary Ross assembled a cast beyond my wildest dreams and then, best of all, showed off a trailer that quite literally brought my imagination to life. A testament both to Collins’ writing and Ross and co.’s understanding of the world she created, the footage and photos we’ve seen of the feature film have been absolutely spot on suggesting that not only could The Hunger Games be one of the biggest hits of 2012, but it really could become the next YA adaptation of quality, perhaps filling the Harry Potter void.