…nothing. These things don’t work.
Yes, I have been very unprofessional by taking so long (great way to start off a blog, amirite?). I’ve also been fairly cynical and sarcastic in the majority of my articles (but it’s how I work. If I wasn’t bitter, it would be like trying to make tea without, well, a tea bag). So, you know what, I’ll try my best to make it up to you guys by listing off movies you’re all probably well aware of (it’s the least I could do, in every sense). I made a list of five films that are sure to make you want to go blind and deaf, and those were just within the first months of the year. Believe me when I say that there are many more of these lobotomies coming along our way within the later months of 2012. Sadly, good films exist but they are not nearly as common. I’d like to make a list of the best upcoming films within the first half of the year, but that doesn’t seem likely (and we’d all lose the will to hold on by then, especially with that Stooges movie coming). So instead, I’ll try my best to give you something to look forward to. Here is a list of, what I predict, will be some fantastic films of 2012 (that you probably already know about).
10. The Stare (TBA)
The problem is that there really is not a lot known about this film, other than the fact that it could be Jay Anania’s breakthrough as an up and coming director. It could also be the eventual return to the top of the acting world that Winona Ryder has been seeking since she ruined her career years ago for her shoplifting stunt. She’s been in many movies since, sure, but how many movies out of that group had her as a lead/important role? How many were actually good? Some were fantastic (Black Swan, A Scanner Darkly, etc) but her roles weren’t big enough to toss her back into the spotlight (however she did do a good job in these roles, as small as they are, which does help). That’s the thing. Acting wise, she’s not finished just yet. Her work in the TV movie When Love is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story was well praised, and it was the first time we saw her as the main character in a while. Could this film make her a wanted commodity with the movie industry like she once was? She’s just hit 40, so it has to. James Franco is not always a consistent actor when it comes to being good or bad, but one thing’s for sure; He always tries his hardest. Director Anania was actually Franco’s acting teacher, so that should help boost his confidence and performance (just look what Boyle managed to do with Franco in 127 Hours). What is this film about? It’s not really well known. All that’s been released is that the film is a psychological thriller about a struggling playwright. Black Swan meets Synecoche, New York? Could be interesting, so it’s on my radar for now.
9. The Great Gatsby (December 25th)
What is The Great Gatsby? Only one of the most renowned books ever written. I finally read it last year for the first time, and calling it great is an understatement. I won’t go into what it’s about since most of you already know (those of you who don’t, you’re reading my blog instead of F. Scot Fitzgerald? Shame on you). What I will focus on instead is the great cast. As Gatsby himself, we have Leonardo DiCaprio; A man who is able to play leading men in period pieces rather well (see Aviator and J Edgar), so I have no concerns in regards to him. Carey Mulligan will be playing Daisy, and can you ever complain about this rising star? You can’t say she’s taking the world by storm because she already has. It’s over. The reign of Mulligan is happening as we speak (or I type/you read, whatever you get the idea). So who do we have to play Nick? Tobey Maguire. This casting choice I’m not too sure about. Maguire’s not a terrible actor, but I wouldn’t say he’s phenomenal either. Also, the director behind the film (Baz Luhrmann) makes films that are both good and just bland. However, all of Luhrmann’s films are visually well done. The reason why this possibly-great adaptation is rather low on the list is because of those two iffy choices, but apart from that, even if this film does flop, it will probably be one look into classic America and one hell of a stage for its two (and possibly three) leads.
8. World War Z (December 12th)
After one of the best years of Brad Pitt’s career, here he is returning with another possible winner called World War Z, Marc Forster’s look at the apocalypse. That’s a bit weird once you think about it, right? Marc Forster, the same guy that made Johnny Depp turn into J. M. Barrie and brought the renowned book The Kite Runner to life has been working on this horror film. While this is bizarre at first, let’s not forget the wonders some non-horror directors have brought to the genre (like Boyle’s 28 Days Later). While the concept of a United Nations worker going around the world to find survivors is appealing, has the zombie genre been beaten over our heads long enough these past few years? This film looks at the genre a bit differently, but at the same time it’s the usual end-of-humanity story line. This doesn’t mean it will be bad. Many movies have been made during huge-bursts of specific genres and stories (look at how many good westerns came out when western films were being made by the truckload). Since this film has a different take on the genre (much like District 9 shed a new perspective on science fiction films), I have do admit that I’m pretty excited for this film.
7. Life of Pi (December 21st)
Well, first off, it’s by Ang Lee. Lee is one of the best filmmakers we have today. Even when his films are duds, they’re still so poetic and you want to watch more. When his films are good, they’ll stay in your head for days. I’ve noticed that Lee works better with better stories, and what better story is there than Life of Pi? You’ve either read this book or have seen the bright, orange cover with the tiger on it, but you’ve definitely heard of this book. So what can we expect from a film based on this book? An existential version of Cast Away with a tiger instead of a volleyball? Knowing Lee’s magic, this movie will probably be far more of a spiritual and abstract tale than just one of sole survivalism. Most of the cast is made up of unknowns and newcomers, including Pi himself, played by Suraj Sharma. Those of you who have read the book may dislike the idea of a film being made, or completely embrace it. I for one think that it’s a story that, when dealt with the right director, could easily work.
6. Prometheus (June 8th)
Yes! Ridley Scott is back, my friends. Well, he didn’t leave or anything, and he’s been making movies very frequently. What I mean is the good old Ridley Scott; the one that creates daunting worlds full of ambient fear ala Bladerunner, Someone to Watch Over Me, Gladiator, and of course Alien. The original Alien, one of the best horror films made, was so spooky because of how claustrophobic the sets were, how alarming each and every sound was, and how helpless the characters were. It was like your run of the mill slasher film, but with much more thought and, oddly enough, more realism. He’s back with this pseudo-prequel of the Alien series and who does he have on board? Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba and so on. How could you not be excited to see this superstar cast be put in Scott’s haunted mansion? Let’s hope this is the best Alien movie in the series since, well, the very first, and it has the possibility of being just that.
5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14th)
Yes! It’s finally here! I remember signing the petition for Peter Jackson to be the director for this movie back in 2005. The long wait for this classic tale is nearly here, and boy could it not look better so far. As stated, Jackson is back behind the camera, and most of the actors are returning to reprise their roles (including Sir Ian McKellen, who doesn’t age. Ever. He got old and just stopped. I guess he did turn into Gandalf the White). Basically, this will be the closest to the Lord of the Rings as it will get, and we could not ask for more than that. The story has been split into two parts (part two will come out next year at around the same time), so expect Jackson to put together as well of a story as he can into about a three hour film, which for us Lord of the Rings fans is no problem whatsoever. Why is this film only five, you may ask? Well firstly, stop asking because it really interrupts the flow here (see, we already used up two lines. Not logical). Secondly, it’s only a five because, well, as great as this is, I know the biggest punch is coming next year with the second half. For now we have the start to a surely wonderful adventure, and as we learned from Bilbo before, that’s always something to look forward to, right?
4. Lincoln (TBA)
As you can tell by the fact that Abraham Lincoln over to your left is wearing a turtle neck sweater, there hasn’t been much released about this film so far. What has been mentioned so far, however, has been nothing but promising. Spielberg’s directing, once again (have you noticed the guy’s been making many movies lately? Not complaining or anything), so it’s almost guaranteed that this film will at least be good to say the least. Will it be great? Here’s hoping. A great cast doesn’t hurt either. We have Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley and many more, and we haven’t even covered who will be playing Lincoln himself yet. That job is taken by Daniel Day-Lewis, who is without question one of the best actors of all time. Like Meryl Streep, you just never even have to question if a role is right for Day-Lewis. I mean, just look at the picture. He’s wearing a sweater for shits sakes, and he still looks like Abraham Lincoln time traveled to today and came into a coffee shop and sat down. Will this be a possible third oscar win for Day-Lewis? It’s entirely possible, and so is this being one of Spielberg’s best films. Again, if it isn’t, at least it will still be watchable and enjoyable, but this film has the capacity to be phenomenal.
3. Django Unchained (December 25th)
Ahh, what better way to spend Christmas day than to watch a movie about a tortured slave that gets revenge by becoming a murderous hunter? I guess caroling is pretty badass, but if you’re like me and wait for everything Tarantino related, you’ll get his first legitimate western film in theaters. Why is the genre so important? Tarantino is a huge western buff. Every movie he’s ever made always pays tribute to many other movies, and the vast majority of them are westerns. The mexican standoffs in Reservoir Dogs and Inglourious Basterds, the stories of lone rangers taking on the world themselves (in one case it’s a very angry woman), and even the entire opening scene of Basterds is one long tribute to his all time favorite film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (don’t blame him, it’s my favorite film too). Most of what he’s learned about filmmaking, when it comes to tension, character structure, and timing, is all thanks to the western genre. Django was a western that came out during the 60’s, and because of how violent and disturbing it was, many inferior filmmakers spawned literally hundreds of Django “sequels” that never had anything to do with the original (or were made by anyone who worked on the original) to try and make money. So, this isn’t a remake or a prequel or a sequel. It’s Tarantino doing what he does best: Paying the best tribute to film history he can.
2. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20th)
Can you believe it’s been seven years since Batman Begins came out? I can’t. Seven years since the world of superhero films got spun on its head. Seven years since comic book films actually had a bar set for them to try and reach. Seven years since Christopher Nolan became a household, mainstream name. Man, are we getting old. The beauty of this series is that it was intended to be a trilogy all along. This third film isn’t just added on just to get more money. The story from the beginning was to be three films to showcase the rise and possible fall of Batman. The first two films don’t even feel like superhero films. When people ask me what my favorite comic-based films are, I always forget about Nolan’s series. Not because they’re unimportant, but because they’re too damn good. They speak about so many societal and political issues, along with showing so many layers per character. Oh and the action scenes are nice, which doesn’t hurt. The final one’s almost here, where Bruce Wayne will have to face two of his biggest enemies: The most conniving (Catwoman, played by Anne Hathaway) and the strongest (Bane, played by Tom Hardy). Since Batman willingly made himself Gotham’s most wanted, how will this play out? Considering that Nolan’s not one for happy endings (the happiest his endings get are bittersweet), this trilogy could end in any way. Will this film be better than The Dark Knight? Who knows. All I know is this; The Batman film franchise died in the 90’s. Nolan tried to bring back the Batman series, but instead he reinvented what action films could be. Isn’t that reason alone worth the excitement to see this?
1. The Master (TBA)
The problem here is that this film may not even make it into 2012 but 2013 instead. Why should I include this then? Well, it’s still possible that it will be released this year, and since my predictions of these films may be wrong, why can’t my predictions of when some are to be released be wrong? Okay, it is a bit stupid of a reason, but I have my reasons as to why you should be excited to see this film either way. It’s directed by Paul Thomas Anderson; A flawless director, and one of this generation’s absolute best. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s back after taking a break from being a Thomas Anderson regular, as he was not in There Will be Blood, as the main character. The story is about a newly formed religion that is created after World War II. Hoffman, and his apprentice (played by Joaquin Phoenix. Hey, welcome back, you crazy bastard) run the religion and all is well, until his apprentice starts doubting the organization that his mentor has put together. Much controversy has been caused because of this story as it can be easily compared to the church of scientology. I don’t see this as any sort of accident. In fact, I think Thomas Anderson did this on purpose. He’s always so open to speak about the abnormal ways society can be led in his films, whether if it’s about what brings us together or what sets us apart. Let’s hope this film makes the 2012 mark because it could very well be the film that defines the year.
Well, that’s the end of that. Now you have a few films to look forward to. Which of these sound the most intriguing to you? Why? Well, actually you can’t type in why in the poll, but you can be extra nice and write me a comment? You can bash me as well. Up to you. I mean, I could be wrong, and that warrants flaming right?