Wednesday, January 4, 2012

12 Anticipated in 2012

Happy New Year! It is that time to look ahead at 2012 and what upcoming theatrical releases we are excited for, or more specifically, which titles I'm totally itching to see. Right off the bat 2012 seems loaded with movies worth seeing and while in the past I've done Top 25 Anticipated, think this year will just go with 12. Why twelve, I don't know it is 2012, it rhymes, or maybe I'm just being lazy but its what I've decided to do.

Something I noticed while compiling this list is the overload of major studio pictures. Generally my anticipated lists for upcoming years favor much of the buzz from festivals and new independent films but this year most of the films making the cut were all larger studio endeavors. What does that mean? First, I'm glad the major studios seem to have made a substantial amount of quality products I am genuinely excited for. Second, its still early in the year. Sundance or Cannes haven't happened. Much of the smaller studios will be scooping up independent titles and filling in release dates within the first two quarters of 2012. So that means this list could very well change, it also means that 2012 looks to be an amazing year of cinema.

So here we go, twelve flicks I can't wait for in 2012...

12. The Cabin in the Woods
This played BNAT13WOLF and crushed. Friends of mine who I trust, told me I would flip for this comedy/horror so here it is, No.12 on the list. I'm excited to see Chris Hemsworth doing some more work outside of the Marvel universe and glad to see the MGM title that looked to be just collecting dust on a shelve is finally seeing a real release. I've been told NOT to watch the trailer (after I'd watched the trailer of course) so I will pass along that message. "The Cabin in the Woods" is directed by Drew Goddard and releases April 13th, 2012

11. Cogan's Trade
Brad Pitt is back with the director of "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" Andrew Dominik for a gritty crime drama about a professional enforcer who is hired to investigate a heist that went down during a mob-protected high stakes poker game. Pitt stars in the tile role with James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, Vincent Curatola, Garret Dillahunt and Sam Shepard alongside him. The film is based off a novel of the same name written by George V. Higgins and is yet to receive an official release date though the Weinstein Co. holds US distribution rights.

10. God Bless America
Bobcat Goldthwait is a comedic legend to me and with "World's Greatest Dad" he illustrated how great of a director's eye he has. Now he's back with his second feature and it sounds just as riveting as his last. Joel Murray stars as as a man who goes on a killing spree with a teenage girl at his side. Described as a 21st Century Bonnie and Clyde it is sure to be another dark comedy from Goldthwait. Magnet picked up the film after playing at Toronto International Film Festival last year. "God Bless America" releases in limited theaters April 11th, 2012.

9. Skyfall
007 is back, so he's back on the most anticipated list! Admittedly I'm a bit weary considering this project has stalled so many times, but now that it is officially up and running things are looking good. I'm excited to see what Sam Mendes will do in the director's chair with Bond, plus Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes are sweet additions to the cast. "Skyfall" releases November 9th, 2012.

8. Argo
People close to me know I'm a sucker for Ben Affleck, I'll see anything he's done. Now with his acclaimed work behind the camera others are beginning to catch the fever. His next directorial effort is going to once again see him both behind and in front of the cameras in a comedy/drama titled "Argo" about a CIA exfiltration specialist who creates a shaky plan to free six Americans in the middle of the Iranian revolution. "Argo" releases September 14th, 2012.

7. Django Unchained
Tarantino! The man is an icon and I love his work. His latest, a western following a slave turned bounty hunter who sets out to rescue his wife from a evil plantation owner. Hell to the yes! The only thing that has lessened my interest a smidgen was the fact QT did not cast Will Smith. I love Smith and would have really loved to see him under the guise of Tarantino but instead we get Jamie Foxx which isn't the worst consolation prize in the world. The rest of the cast for this is incredible and I can't wait to sit in a darkened theater watching Tarantino's latest. Finger crossed the end of the world doesn't hit December 21st, because "Django Unchained" releases Christmas Day, December 25th.

6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Peter Jackson is back in Middle Earth and all is right with the world! So friggin' excited to see more of this world as told by Peter Jackson. The man made one of the best fantasy trilogies in cinematic history and now he's back at it again. I've watched the trailer more times than I have digits on my hands and feet and as the trailer has indicated, things looks exactly as Jackson left them. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" releases December 14th, 2012

5. The Avengers
We've been building up to this for what seems forever. In actuality, four years since "Iron Man" released, but regardless the Marvel team-up is finally here and I can't wait to see what happens. Marvel studios did fanboys one proud by hiring Joss Whedon to direct, lets just hope it pays off the way we all hoped. There is a lot riding on this film and it better be good otherwise fans are going to be mighty upset. As excited as I am, there is some fear, fear that this will end up just being okay. I want a damn good movie, not one I have to search for reasons to enjoy. "The Avengers" releases May 4th, 2012

4. The Dark Knight Rises
The climax to Christopher Nolan's Batman saga. Just soak on that for a minute. Nolan is one hell of a director and I believe that if he s going to end his Batman saga, he's going to do it in the best way possible. At least that is the hope. The world is there, we know he's got it in him, essentially all the pieces are in place its just a waiting game to see if it all comes together. Finger crossed. "The Dark Knight Rises" releases July 20th, 2012.

3. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson is in my top five for greatest working directors, I love him. Each movie he's made, I cherish. Everything he does is highly re-watchable and ends up becoming a new favorite. Enter his latest project, one that has a phenomenal cast, PHENOMENAL! Regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman but also Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban, and Harvey Keitel. What's the synopsis you ask, it is irrelevant, this is a Wes Anderson movie. "Moonrise Kingdom" releases May 25th, 2012.

2. Prometheus
Ridley Scott is back doing science fiction after thirty years and its about damn time! Not only is he back in sci-fi but he's making a prequel to a movie that I hold as my favorite of all time, "Alien." When this project was announced I told myself to stay in the dark, to not seek out any information on it, then the trailer hit the net. Yeah, I watched the trailer, about a billion times! I am running circles dying to see this movie. All that said, I am trying to keep expectations in check. "Prometheus" releases June 8th, 2012.

1. Wettest County
This movie has the magic combinations that pushed it all the way to top of my most anticipated of 2012 list. I mean it beat out the prequel to my favorite movie of all time, not to mention a double dip of fanboy delight with TDKR and The Avengers. So how'd this movie you've probably never heard of do it, let me explain. It starts with a director that has knocked me on my back twice, John Hillcoat. Hillcoat is an amazing talent with a perfect eye for telling dark thrillers. His previous two films "The Road" and "The Proposition" both were favorite films for the given year they released. Second, enter Nick Cave. A singer/songwriter who has tried his hand at writing novels and screenplays to acclaimed success. I adore this man, plus Cave wrote Hillcoat's prolific Australian western "The Proposition." Third, the synopsis. "Wettest County" is adapted from a novel set in a Depression-era south and is focused on a set of bootlegging brothers as they try to avoid the authorities in Virginia. This is a storyline I can eat up. Historically, its an era I love to absorb and with the combined hive mind of Hillcoat and Cave this is bound to be gold. Fourth, the cast. "Wettest County" is dripping with talent. Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Shia LaBeouf, Mia Wasikowska, Jason Clarke, Noah Taylor and Jessica Chastain. A bunch of actors I would go see in anything they would do on their own, but together, its like a roll call of baddassery. Those four factors all combine to allow Wettest County to sit safely at the top of my list. "Wettest County" releases April 20th, 2012.

Finally, here's a list of films that I am really excited for but didn't make the Top 12: The Grey, The Lorax, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, MIB 3, Brave, The Secret World of Arrietty, Total Recall, Warm Bodies, Premium Rush, Paranorman, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Headhunters, Bullet to the Head, Chimpanzee, Looper, Dredd, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, Red Dawn, World War Z, Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Project, and Rivals.