2012 is definitely going to be a crazy and exciting year for film when I had to couldn’t even find room to put the next Coen bros. film, the next original Pixar flick, the next huge blockbuster of the summer, The Dark Knight Rises, or even Steven’s Spielberg’s new Lincoln bio-pic on my list. We all have a lot of movies ahead of us this year so pick wisely or just see them all like me! Here is my Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2012.
Honorable Mentions: Brave, Cogan’s Trade, The Dark Knight Rises, Gangster Squad, The Hobbit, Inside Llewyn Davis, Lincoln, The Wettest County
10. Stoker (directed by Park Chan-wook)
You may or may not have heard before that my favorite foreign film is Oldboy. Also, Thirst is a creative and excellent look at a Korean priest dealing with becoming a Vampire in the modern day. So it’s safe to say that I’m a fan of Park Chan-wook who is making his English-language debut with Stoker. As of right now, I can’t really say too much about the plot since I don’t know too much about it myself aside from it dealing with a teen (Mia Wasikowska) who meets her mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode) and wonders if a string of disappearances that follow in her small town are connected to his arrival. It really doesn’t sound like too much of an attention grabber like Chan-Wook’s other films, but I am interested to say the least in Wentworth Miller’s screenplay which happened to make the Black List in 2010 (basically an annual list of the best unproduced screenplays of the year). The film also stars Nicole Kidman, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, and Lucas Till.
9. Argo (directed by Ben Affleck)
Don’t get me wrong, I liked The Town, but I personally found it to be more of the same “it’s hard out there in Boston” vibes that I got from the better, Gone Baby Gone. That doesn’t mean that I’m not interesting in Affleck’s future directorial pursuits though, which is why Argo is on this list. This is what I want to see next from the guy. Something different. Something born and bred in Boston. Something truly interesting like the story of Argo. Based on a true story, in which a CIA operative, played by Ben Affleck, hatched a plan to extract a group of American diplomats from Tehran in the midst of 1979’s Iranian hostage crisis, using the filming of a fake sci-fi movie as their cover. Now that’s what I like to hear. With an interesting premise like that, I can just see Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, Tate Donovan, Titus Welliver, John Goodman, and Michael Parks all elevating the material greatly. Don’t disappoint me now, Ben.
8. Prometheus (directed by Ridley Scott)
I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of Ridley Scott for the most part. I haven’t seen all of his films, and I haven’t even seen the film that Prometheus may or may not have the most relation to, Alien. The guy is pretty much hit or miss a lot of the time, and the ones I have seen I think are vastly overrated. But my one single reason for looking forward to this film based solely on Scott’s name: Bladerunner. It has grown on me over that past few years, and I now find it to be a cold, restrained, bleak look at a corrupt future that’s setting is as interesting/lore is as interesting as its visuals. Sadly, I can’t give the same praise to that film’s super slow pacing. Prometheus looks to be a similarly grand spectacle with actors like Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron, and Guy Pearce that I can trust to draw me in. I have concerns that this could very well become another current day Ridley Scott boring slog of a film, but damn, do the trailers and ads look fucking good.
7. Gravity (directed by Alfonso Cuaron)
I adored Cuaron’s last, Children of Men, and there is an ambitious TWENTY MINUTE opening shot that leads into a film that will be roughly 60% CGI all set in the vast nothingness of space. What more can I say? This sounds like a mix between 2001: A Space Odyseey, The Tree of Life, and Open Water with Sandra Bullock stuck all alone in space while on a mad dash to return to her daughter on Earth after she and her fellow astronaut, played by George Clooney, survive a collision with an exploding satellite. I have reservations towards the whole Sandra Bullock pretty much acting a “one man show” for almost the film’s entirety, but Gravity sounds like the visual spectacle of the year.
6. Seven Psychopaths (directed by Martin McDonagh)
A frustrated author, played by Colin Farrell, finds himself getting involved with two bumbling thieves who steal a mobster’s (Woody Harrelson) dog. That doesn’t interest you yet? Well, it’s being written and directed Martin McDonagh who last made my favorite Black Comedy in some time, In Bruges, which starred Colin alongside the excellent Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes. The film also stars the always lovable Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Abbie Cornish.
5. Looper (directed by Rian Johnson)
There’s not really too much to go on about this film yet since Rian Johnson has kept a lot of the story and info under wraps, but I can tell you this, I really enjoyed The Brother’s Bloom and loved his debut film, Brick. There are naysayers out there that hate it when people tackle time travel since it’s very difficult to pull off well, but Johnson sought the help of Shane Carruth, the pseudo-recluse director of Primer, to be the visual consultant. If you told me that piece of info right there, I would be hooked immediately because I feel that, while flawed, Primer is one of the most creative and effective uses of time travel in film in recent memory. This could be one hell of a sci-fi thriller. Looper stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Jeff Daniels, Emily Blunt, and Paul Dano.
4. Cosmopolis (directed by David Cronenberg)
David Cronenberg is a personal favorite director of mine that isn’t known for making wholesome, easily categorized, academy-friendly classics. He is known for making some of the most sleazy, disturbed, grim, weird, and dark genre flicks since the 70’s. He made a name for himself with The Fly, Scanners, and Videodrome, but in recent years, he has transitioned into a more safe, accessible genre director while not entirely steering away from his lower budget past. My opinion of the man hasn’t changed whatsoever since he still makes great movies. They’re just different than what he used to do. However, I have a feeling that Cosmopolis could very well be his return to his 70’s and 80’s roots. It takes place almost entirely within a doomed limo ride across New York City with Robert Pattinson (a surprising and interesting casting choice) playing the young multi-billionaire who happens to have a surprisingly eventful day during the course of this ride. With Cronenberg’s favorite themes being explored in the book, such as man’s relationship with technology and the mixture of murder and sexual obsession, I can’t wait to see the results of Cosmopolis.
3. Moonrise Kingdom (directed by Wes Anderson)
Coming off the heels of his stellar return to form stop motion animated film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson is trying something a little different than what he has done before: his first period piece. Not only that but the film will most likely rest on the shoulders of the two leads (unknowns Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward), a young boy and girl in the 60’s who run away together which then leads their small New England to be turned upside down looking for them. This isn’t necessarily typical territory for Wes, but it being co-written by Roman Coppola and himself and starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman, I have total faith in Wes Anderson pulling this off. It might even be a surprise hit of 2012.
2. The Master (directed by Paul Thomas Anderson)
I tend to be pretty vocal about how much I adore There Will Be Blood since its release back in 2007. It was even my favorite film of the past decade. With TWBB, Paul Thomas Anderson was able to shed away from the distinct influences of other directors and films that many would say hurt his past films from standing out. He created a wholy unique and grand western epic with the incredibly over the top and perfectly casted Daniel Day-Lewis as the star. I have been waiting five years for his next film, and The Master sounds like it will be a very interesting choice to follow up his last film with. After returning home from WWII, an intellectual, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, starts up a faith-based organization and recruit’s a drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) as his right-hand man. What is even more interesting is that the organization that Hoffman’s character starts up has been making strong parallels to Scientology and Hoffman being its L. Ron Hubbard. Amy Adams and Laura Dern also star.
1. Django Unchained (directed by Quentin Tarantino)
This is a western slave story where Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz team up to hunt down and seek revenge on Django’s wife’s plantation owners led by Leonardo DiCaprio. And it’s being written/directed by Quentin Tarantino who has also cast a large list of great character actors and rising stars that consists of Sacha Baron Cohen, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Remar, Don Johnson, Kerry Washington, and the RZA? That sure is a mouthful, but it only makes me more excited for Tarantino’s successor to the fantastic Inglourious Basterds. Having a new movie from the guy that also tackles a more touchy topic is enough for me to get excited, but the cast is just the icing on the cake of what is my most anticipated film of 2012.
And there ya have it. You can post a comment, start a discussion about your picks and mine, etc.
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