Films to watch in 2012
After a disappointing 2011, it looks like the year ahead could reaffirm faith in quality movies. It’s the time of year when we go out on a limb and tell you what we think you should look forward to in the coming 12 months. Take a read and let us know in the poll below!
The two-part prequel to one of the biggest selling trilogies of all time is set to release the first of its movies come Christmas time 2012. The Hobbit sees many of the cast of Lord of The Rings reappearing, as the story charts Bilbo Baggins adventures in Middle Earth in events preceding the Ring Trilogy. Once again, there is a heavy British influence on the casting of the film with Office star Martin Freeman, also known for his roles in Love Actually and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, plays the role of Bilbo, recruited by Gandalf the Grey to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from dragon Smaug. This film has been beset with troubles, including location issues, cast and staff disputes as well as economic issues. But we still expect something magical.
Dark Knight Rises
This is Christian Bale’s last film as Batman. What a ride it has been, with the past two films begin absolutely superb, the third is likely to continue the dark and twisted themes in the Batman franchise that have done well to take a stark departure from Joel Schumacer’s travesty of a film in Batman and Robin. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman could prove a very sexy distraction though to a great film featuring Tom Hardy as Bane, the comic book character known for ‘breaking the bat’, shattering Batman’s spine. We think this will be the biggest and best film of the year, even though it is quite clearly up against some stunning competition.
The combination of Marvel comic book movies is set to hit our screens this year too, and its the first live action one of its kind of this generation. Pulling together all the big names of the Marvel Universe, including The Hulk, Captain America, Nick Fury, Iron Man, the Black Widow, Hawkeye and Thor, it can only be a big action blockbuster. I would expect little substance and a tenuous plot that is barely capable of pulling all of these big names together somewhat equally, with Earth in some kind of mortal peril they all need to work together to stop. It has assembled quite the cast to play out the heroes, using the main actors from the Marvel movie franchise, including Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner. This could prove to be a big smash hit, but with Scarlet Johansson squeezing back into that tight black catsuit again, I doubt many of us will remember much else of the film.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
If you saw the first one, you may well be asking yourself both how and why this movie has spawned a sequel!? Like how did the remade Pink Panther get a sequel!? If you can set aside your vitriol it may be worth a shot. Having viewed the trailer, it looks like its taking a slightly darker approach, being less cheesy and more action based. Perhaps, like many films this year, its going to try and dazzle you with set pieces like the abseiling, cliff face, sword fighting? Or will it fall back on the looks of Adrianne Palicki? Because, in honesty, she isn’t the hottest leading lady out there this summer. I’m not holding my breath, but with such low expectations, I hope it is capable of exceeding them.
World War Z
Could a zombie film contend for a best picture at the Oscars? This could well be the first and only chance to see it happen. A book written by Hollywood legend Mel Brooks’ son, Max Brooks, sees the main character interviewing survivors of a global zombie outbreak, which charts its outbreak, progress, all out war and eventual ending. Brad Pitt went head-to-head with Di Caprio’s picture studio to get the rights to this, and with Pitt in the leading role, I firmly believe this will be one of the very best films of the year.
The Expendables 2
This is unlikely to have much in the way of a plot. The dialogue will no doubt be riddled with cheesy one-liners and awful attempts at witticism. But nobody seemed to care when the first Expendables came out. Its all about the cast and the action – all of the greatest names in action movies, coming together, kicking ass, shooting stuff, and with a body count likely to be the combined sum of their own cult films, this will most likely kick ass. Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Couture, Shwarzenegger, Norris, Willis, Van-Damme, Crews… Amazing. The only one missing is Seagal, who simply refuses to work with the director.
Liam Neeson has won around audiences with his rather unassuming action hero status in the original Taken, and again in a similar vein with Unknown. An actor whose career has included some amazing performances in great films, he is set to reprise his role as Brian Mills. Whilst this man doesn’t have money, he does have a very particular set of skills. We are very much looking forward to seeing this skills being put to use again! Story wise it looks as though his daughter (Maggie Grace) will this time have to save Neeson, well let’s see how that pans out…
The Bourne Legacy
The original trilogy of books has ended, as have the films starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. However the franchise refuses to die, with Robert Ludlum and Eric Van Lustbader continuing the books and a film adaption to follow. Yet this will not be the confused secret assassin and agent we know and love, as Jason Bourne will not even feature in the film. No, it isn’t a prequel, or a sequel – more of a parallel film. Another agent? Another story? Either way, with Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz involved, we are expecting big things. Treadstone may never die it seems.
The Amazing Spider-man
Another Brit pulls on a mask this year, as Andrew Garfield dons the blue and red costume of the web-slinger Spider-man. This reboot began when the 4th sequel to Toby MacGuire’s franchise was pulled, and it looks like a much darker and gritty story is going to unfold, with recently released posters citing it as “The Untold Story”. The Lizard will be Spider-man’s villain in this piece. Stan Lee, creator of the comic book, will once again have a cameo, so keep an eye out for a dancing librarian…
The latest Bond film is set for release at the tail end of 2012. Having recently begun filming after announcing the cast and title, its set in various prominent locations across the world and has a cast including some rather tasty women (as is expected). Daniel Craig has been a revelation as Bond and as long as this original story can exceed its rather tawdry Chicken Little title, it’ll easily reach the top 10 of the year.
With rather taboo subject matter, The Dictator could prove to be a poignant mixed biopic of the falling dictators around the world. Sacha Baron Cohen takes the lead role, supported by Ben Kingsley, Anna Farris and Megan Fox. It could be rather good, but as long as Farris and Fox get plenty of screen time I probably won’t notice!
With little knowledge of the plot, this is based purely on those involved. Written by the excellent Wes Andersen and Roman Coppola, featuring legends Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel and the solid talents of Ed Norton; it sounds very promising. Bill Murray has very few awful films next to his name (Garfield, his only regret), and so hopes are high.
Dredd and Total Recall
I put these two together simply because they are remakes of films I believe are pretty good in their own right. Ok, maybe “good” is over doing it, but I loved them first time round and am a little apprehensive about any remakes. For example, how on earth can Colin Farrell live up to Shwazenegger’s Quaid and his incessantly daft one-liners? And how could you expect Karl Urban to bellow “I AM THE LAW” like Stallone? I worry these have an air of Conan the flopping Barbarian remake about them…
They’re back. Together again. One of the best teen comedy franchise returns to its former glory, reuniting the original cast for yet another outing of gross out, sexual based comedy and slapstick antics. Years later the kids we once saw falling over themselves to get laid are back together for their high school reunion. Naturally, there is great scope for comedy, but has it all been done before? If all else fails, the initial chemistry we saw back in 1999 should be enough to keep us entertained, and the fact that there will be some form of ‘female upper body nudity’ doesn’t hurt either.
Did we miss any? What are you looking forward to most? Use our poll below and hit us up on twitter!