Friday, December 23, 2011

10 Most Anticipated of '12

These lists are always a chore to put together. It's hard to figure out which movies I'm excited for when they're still months away. However this year it seems like I had a lot more to choose from. That's a good thing, and hopefully there's some movies I don't see coming that I end up enjoying a lot.

Honorable-ish Mention:
Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace 3D

I do want to watch Star Wars Episode I 3D to feed the weird nostalgia I have for the prequel and to check out the quality of Lucasfilm's 3D post conversion. I would like to see all of the Star Wars films in theaters again. Releasing them in chronological order should be the logical decision but who knows if people saner than I will turn out to revisit the least popular movie in the saga. If they don't will Lucasfilm cancel plans to release the rest of the movies in 3D?

10. Lincoln

Steven Spielberg has has an Abraham Lincoln biography on the backburner for years. Liam Neeson was cast in the role of the 16th president in 2005, but he eventually left the project. So instead we're getting Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln. I'd say that worked out. Both Spielberg's War Horse and Tin-Tin are getting great reviews proving he's still got the touch. And Lewis is the best actor working today. We will believe a man can wear a stove pipe hat.

9. Skyfall

There isn't a whole lot of info out there about the upcoming installment in the James Bond series. Daniel Craig is back as Bond, Javier Bardem will play the villain, and Ralph Fiennes has an unspecified role. Judi Dench is tying Roger Moore's record for appearances in James Bond movies. Sam Mendes is directing, who is an oddly high-profile choice for a Bond film. Granted the closest thing he's done to an action movie is Jarhead.

8. The Amazing Spider-Man

In the upcoming Spider-Man movie, Peter Parker makes a deal with Mephisto to alter reality, undo his relationship with Mary Jane, make him a teenager again and reclaim his credit for co-founding Facebook. Reboots are synonymous with superhero fiction, so I'm less phased by The Amazing Spider-Man than I should be. The question becomes how will the rest of the world accept it? There's definitely things they could do to improve upon Sam Raimi's films (Mechanical webshooters!) but an involved backstory with Peter's parents is a step backwards.

7. Prometheus

I looove Alien but I don't think it needed a prequel. But it's okay because according to Ridley Scott, he didn't make one. Then again the sound effects in the trailer are awfully familiar. Prequel or not, the movie looks amazing and I'm looking forward to it. Will there be Space Jockeys? Do I want there to be Space Jockeys? I have no idea.

6. Dark Shadows

Johnny Depp continues his mission to re-imagine classic characters as quirky outsiders. This time he's Barnabas Collins, the vampire of Dark Shadows. The original Dark Shadows was a gothic daytime soap opera that ran from the mid Sixties to early Seventies. I can't believe such a show existed and was a success and I'm sorry I wasn't around to see it. I will be around to see Tim Burton's movie adaptation starring his frequent collaborators Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, and Depp his hetero life-mate.

5. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

I was surprised that a Silent Hill sequel was being made. And more surprised that it wasn't a straight to DVD cheapquel. The first Silent Hill was the best video game to movie adaptation which isn't saying much at all, but I'm happy a follow-up is coming which will feature Heather Mason, the protagonist of the Silent Hill 3 game. Like the first film, I expect Revelation will end up drawing from multiple games in the series and invent some of its own mythos.

4. G.I. Joe: Retaliation

It's a little too apparent that Retaliation is trying hard to make a better impression than Rise of Cobra did. With Disney buying Marvel and J.J. Abrams taking longer than expected to make a Star Trek sequel, G.I. Joe suddenly became very important to Paramount. Their problems are our windfall. Cobra Commander is wearing a chromed helmet, and faithful treatment of characters is half the battle.

3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I was always looking forward to The Hobbit but it wasn't until the fantastic trailer that it really hit home for me. I know nothing of the novel so I didn't know what to expect. The Hobbit already addresses my problem with the Lord of the Rings trilogy; not enough dwarfs. Clearly that's not going to be an issue with The Hobbit.

2. The Dark Knight Rises

The follow-up to The Dark Knight was always going to be a big deal. The fact that it features Catwoman and Bane, two of my favorite characters, is crazy. But neither look quite like how I would have hoped they would. Or sound like, in Bane's case. I still give Christopher Nolan a lot of leeway. Typically the third movie in a franchise is wear things start to go faulty. I hope Joseph Gordon Levitt doesn't end up playing a computer programmer with an embezzling scheme.

1. The Avengers

It's the Super Smash Bros. of super hero movies. (There has to be a better analogy for that.) Part of the appeal of superhero comics was always the idea of a shared universe, the idea that our favorite characters co-exist and can team up together. It was something that was never reflected in the movie adaptations until Marvel began their grand scheme in 2008. Now the payoff is arriving and I can't wait. It's time for our heroes to assemble to take on a grand new threat. Which is probably Skrulls.

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