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Ten Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

Enough with the best of 2011! That was so last year. Let’s instead reflect on some of the films I am most anticipating in the year ahead. As noted elsewhere, this is all just my opinion, so it’s bound to be a bit crazy and off-the-wall, but hopefully it’s interesting enough.

Hopefully, 2012 isn't a cinematic disaster...

By the by, I should point out that this blog is based in Ireland, so there are three films on the list that have already been released in the States, but which we won’t see until next year. Such is life, I’m afraid. Anyway, on with the show!

10.) The Great Gatsby

I can forgive Baz Luhrman for Australia. Barely. To be honest, an adaptation of The Great Gatsby seems right up the director’s alley, and he’s put an astounding cast together for it. I’m also intrigued about the possibility of Luhrman shooting in 3D. I’m still not convinced that it’s anything more than a gimmick, but it’ll take craftsmen like Scorsese and Luhrman to prove to me that it’s anything more.

09.) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Okay, so Peter Jackson hasn’t done anything too fantastic since he wrapped up The Lord of the Rings, but I’m still a huge fan of the book. Hell, I consider The Hobbit to be a stronger book than The Lord of the Rings. I’m not convinced about expanding the book into two different films, and using it as a “bridge” rather than a story in its own right, but it still looks fascinating.

08.) Young Adult

As noted above, sometimes we have to wait for films already released in the States. However, I’m fairly sure I’d be looking forward to this anyway. I still love Juno, and I think that Jason Reitman and Diable Coady are a match made in heaven. A lead performance from Charlize Theron and a supporting role for Patton Oswalt are just icing on the cake. Oh, and using a David Bowie song in the trailer is actually fantastic way to entice me.

07.) Shame

I like Michael Fassbender. I like Carey Mulligan. I like Steve McQueen. I have no particular problem with James Badge Dale. The fact that everybody under the sun is raving about this movie has grabbed my attention, and I want to see it, even if I know I’m going to be squirming in my seat.

06.) Skyfall

It’s a Bond movie, so it pretty much has a place on this list by default. However, putting Sam Mendes in the director chair puts it in another league, as does the casting of Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem. Let’s make this a fiftieth birthday party to remember, eh?

05.) The Avengers

I’d be a lot more sold on this if the trailer didn’t make it look like “Iron Man and his Amazing Friends”, but – to be honest – I’m just excited to see Joss Whedon handling a bona fides blockbuster. I’m fascinated to see how this sort of cross-movie pollination can work. Say what you will about the volume of comic book movies in recent years, this is an interesting cinematic experiment in its own right. While I’m disappointed Ed Norton isn’t on board, I look forward to seeing the Hulk get “Ruffalised.” I can’t think of a single damn thing that wouldn’t be improved by the process of “Ruffalisation.”

04.) The Muppets

Hey, Disney, what’s up? Don’t you love us? We love you! Why are you keeping us away from The Muppets? It’s been months since they were released in the States, and we love Muppets. You’d have to be some sort of monster not to find at least one Muppet character you like. Damn, be February already!

03.) Prometheus

The trailer seems to suggest that Prometheus inherited more than just “a strand” of Alien DNA. Whether it’s a spiritual successor or a literal prequel, I honestly don’t care – it’s Ridley Scott returning to the science-fiction genre with a big budget and even bigger ideas. We’d be fools not to get excited by this. By the way, check out the number of stars who appear multiple times on this list. You’d swear all the good roles were going to Michael Fassbender, Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron and Carey Mulligan. I would not have called that a little while ago.

02.) Django Unchained

I like Westerns. More to the point, I like the kind of Westerns that Quentin Tarantino seems to like – the grim and dirty ones, the rough stuff with a nasty kick. Tarantino is a film maker who could film paint drying and make it fascinating, and he’s one of the genuinely outrageous directors with whom my entire extended family is comfortable – you can honestly never tell who is a Tarantino fan. With a cast like this film, it’s hard to see it going wrong. If it is to Westerns as Inglourious Basterds is to war films, I think we’re in for a treat.

01.) The Dark Knight Rises

Was it ever going to be anything else? Christopher Nolan is finishing his Batman trilogy, and I’m considering leaving the country to see it in an Imax cinema, as intended. I am not actually kidding.

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6 Responses

  1. Nice list! Yes, a little off the wall, but like you said, it’s your opinion. We have a lot to look forward to this year. According to IMDb, the top 10 are:

    1. Dark Knight Rises
    2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    3. Prometheus
    4. The Expendables 2
    5. Wrath of the Titans
    6. Jack the Giant Killer
    7. The Hunger Games
    8. The Avengers
    9. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
    10. G.I. Joe: Retaliation

    Happy New Year!

    • The Expendables 2? Wrath of the Titans? I’m not one to judge – my list is obscenely geeky – but I thought a lot of people weren’t happy with the first films in those series? And there was a lot I left off that I wanted to include, especially films like Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists, or Seven Psychopaths or Brave or Gravity. Or a list of interesting ones – ones that could be good, or could be painful? Like The Dictator or The Amazing Spider-Man.

  2. I hate to say it, but, Young Adult was not a favorite of mine. I won’t spoil a thing for you, but when you get a chance to finally see it I’d love to talk more in detail with you about it. Shame is quite good though!

    • Nuts. I was looking forward to it, and I’d heard good things.

      And I just saw Shame. I suspect it might pop up again in December, which feels like an obsene thing to say in January.

  3. Other than the films I’ve already seen on this list (and the ones I haven’t which have still had a release here State-side), we’re in agreement, though I am not as excited about TDKR or Avengers. In fact they didn’t even make my list; I’m more or less seeing them because I have to as both a follower of both series and as a film writer. Not to say I have zero interest in them, but it’s a tempered enthusiasm.

    REALLY looking forward to The Hobbit, and I’m very much interested in seeing what Scott does with Prometheus. Will he enrich the mythology of the Alien series? Or will he over-explain it to the point of frustration?

    Also: Django is the first time in a long time I’ve been excited to see a Tarantino film in a theater.

    • Re: Django, what about the first Kill Bill? Or even Inglourious Basterds? I think a Quentin Tarantino war film was too juicy for me not to get excited about.

      And you’re right about Prometheus, it’s going to be a tightrope. I’ll confess to not being in love with Scott’s more recent work, although the cast alone is enough to make it fascinating. And it’s ambitious, which counts for a lot. That much money on a science-fiction film with that large a high-concept? I’m sold.

      I can understand The Avengers disinterest, although my opinion on the constituent films seems to be the inverse of the general crowd’s. I think Iron Man 2 and Thor are the strongest of the five lead-in films, with The Incredible Hulk much stronger than either Captain America or Iron Man. I can see how fatigue might slip in. Still, Whedon with a budget writing pop culture icons is worth a look.

      And no love for Nolan Batman? But, in fairness, I’ll confess to being a big nerdy Batman fan. My better half will attest that when we saw The Dark Knight, my hand was shaking with nervous anticipation – it’s nice to indulge my fanboy, and I try not to let it get completely out of control.

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