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Five Movies To Look Forward To in 2012

There’s no way to get around it; 2012 looks like it’s going to be an amazing year for movies, with four of the most eagerly anticipated genre movies in recent memories being released – and that’s not even including Sony’s Spider-Man reboot, which could end up as the X-Men: First Class-style surprise hit of the summer. Here’re the five movies we’re most excited about this year… and some others thrown in for good measure.

Marvel’s The Avengers
If a movie could be considered a success just by the anticipation and goodwill it’s gathered before it’s even been finished, then Avengers could already be considered a record-breaker. The final chapter (or, really, the end of the first chapter; these are all franchises, after all) of Marvel Studio’s impressive debut series, this doesn’t just offer a chance for fans to see their favorite superstars – and actors) team up, but it’s also a chance for Joss Whedon to demonstrate that he has what it takes to become a big-name movie director after Serenity‘s failure at the box office. No pressure, then.

The Dark Knight Rises
The trailer has broken download records even as fans complain that they can’t understand what one of the main characters is saying, the previous installment is one of the most successful movies of all time, and worst of all, The Dark Knight Rises is a final episode, meaning that any and all expectations are doubled as everyone’s hopes and fears about how everything is going to wrap up have to be addressed and met (or surpassed, if possible). Yeah, Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale et al have a pretty daunting task ahead of them for their third (and final) Batman movie, and it’ll be fascinating to see how they handle it. I’m expecting at least one zig where we’re all expecting a zag – and I’m looking forward to being surprised by where they decide to throw it in.

The Dictator
Sasha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles’ follow-up to Borat is still shrouded in some mystery, even after the release of the first trailer, but I really doubt that anyone who’s seen their last movie isn’t hoping for great things from this new satire of international politics and social niceties. If nothing else, the trailer’s use of documentary footage to describe an entirely fictional character looks like we’ll be seeing a new twist on the pair’s attempts to mix reality and fiction now that everyone thought they were familiar with their tricks.

The Hobbit
I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the Lord of The Rings movies – Sorry, everyone else in the world – but even I have to admit that the first trailer for The Hobbit looked remarkably impressive and epic in scale, managing to both fulfill expectations that it will be familiar enough for the hardcore fans and offer something different to keep people interested (Martin Freeman’s somewhat curmudgeonly performance was a lot of fun, and hopefully will make him the star he deserves to be). After all the various problems in making its way to the screen – Someone, somewhere, should really have been making a documentary about the movie’s cursed path from book to movie; it would probably be as epic and thrilling as the book itself – I’m hoping that this is all the movie people are expecting, and then some. Everyone deserves a happy ending, right?

This is, without exaggeration, the movie of the year for me right now – After seeing the purposefully vague, yet suitably teasing trailer, all understatement, hints and welcomely impressive visual style – I am filled with something between obsessive excitement and nervousness that Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe is going to live up to expectations, and not only answer the riddle of the “space jockey,” but go beyond that and open the storytelling possibilities back up after far too many movies that reduced everything to a repetitive and ultimately boring formula. Fingers and all manner of crossed that this doesn’t let us down… but beyond that, I’m trying to keep all my questions and theories to a minimum. I want to be blown away by this one.

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    And five more:

As I said, The Amazing Spider-Man may just be the sneaky hit that no-one’s really thinking about – The trailer mixes nice turns from Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield with somewhat ludicrous CGI action scenes, so we’ll see what the final effort looks like. The new Bond movie, Skyfall, has to resurrect the entire franchise while maintaining the super spy’s effortless cool, and rumors that it’ll be more of a callback to the Connery days of yore than other recent installments may just manage to pull that trick off. GI Joe: Retaliation offers a follow-up to one of the more enjoyably stupid action movies in the last few years, while Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s The Cabin In The Woods finally manages to get released after a long stay in limbo (Hopefully not a bad omen about the quality of the movie). Finally, the purposeful weirdness of Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie and surprisingly straight-forward time-travel plot of Men in Black 3 do more to lure me in than I would’ve expected…

But what movies are you looking forward to this year? And are you expecting the big-ticket movies to be everything that everyone’s expecting, or do you have the by-now-traditional bad feeling about all of this…?


  • Brian

    If you paid attention to anything other than summer franchise films, you might not be so convinced that the industry is nothing but sequels.

  • Sean

    Nice choices.  I’m excited for all of these.  One title that isn’t on your list is Terence Malick’s untitled followup to The Tree of Life.  I can’t believe we’re getting two Malick flims in a two year time span.  

  • Roberto

    CLOUD ATLAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jim

    Yeah, because if there’s one thing this site needed, it was another newsless post about the Avengers, TDKR, Prometheus, and the Hobbit…

  • Spohotep

    No mention of “Man of Steel?”

  • MikeRosen77

    Man of Steel’s coming out in 2013.

  • spiderrmonkey

    And if there’s on thing the Internet needed, it was another negative post complaining about something that the troll didn’t have to read in the first place.

  • spiderrmonkey

    *one thing

  • David Fullam

    I’m really only interested in The Avengers.

  • Yumph!

    The Dictator does look somewhat interesting. The rest of these are fanboy picks

  • Mr. M

    I am praying (figuratively) that Haywire is good. Yeah, that’s right.

    I can’t believe you think “no-one” is thinking about Amazing Spider-man. That’s just silly.

  • ATK

    I could care less about The Dictator and now i worry a bit for you Greame if that is in your top five. I kid, its just not my style. Some people like the sound of styrofoam being scrapped against a cardboard box and others don’t. I am looking forward to most of the above but also Pixar’s Brave, Django Unchained – Quintin Tarantino, & Luc Besson’s Lock-Out for example. Curious to see John Carter of Mars just to see if its any good, Battleship looks pretty but I’m fairly certain like Battle LA it’s going to have nice effects but little substance. Tim Burtons Dark Shadows but only because I wanna see how Tim Burton is going to ruin another classic franchise. But what I’m really looking forward to are the unknown left field movies. Some of my favorite films of the past few years have been the underground or not box office champs. In 2011 one of my favorites ended up being Tucker & Dale vs Evil. Didn’t know what to expect but it was funny, bloody and entertaining. Idiocracy is still a favorite years later and I spend a great deal of time explaining the premise to people shortly before lending them my copy. To address the above; Avengers and Dark Knight – Can’t wait I just hope they ROCK!The Hobbit – Even if it is horrible (which all indication are that it will be quite awesome) its going to make bank. I more concerned by the fact that if the apocalypse happens in 2012 we will never get to see The Hobbit Part 2 – and yet i’m still rooting for the apocalypse. Prometheus – Going to have to wait and see. Looks good but so did the first GI Joe and how wrong we all were. Which is the perfect lead in for…GI Joe: Somehow We Found Money for a Sequel  – They are really going to have to raise the bar to make this any good and even if the trailers look awesome its only going to make any money thru word of mouth. I know that unless i hear from several different people that it is great I am not going to waste time and money that I wont get back. I felt molested walking out of the first movie, but it also didn’t help that they showed the whole damn movie in the trailers so by the time I saw the film their were no real surprises other than how bad it was. Amazing Spiderman – Meh, could be good. I have more of a nerd problem with the fact that they found the perfect red-head to play Mary Jane and cast her a Gwen Stacey and colored her blonde.MIB III – Who knows, hopefully it will be fun and I think that is all we can ask for. Cabin in the Woods – Pretty sure its a loose adaptation of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac but that is in no way a bad thing. Not really a big fan of Horror but Whedon is the right person to make me leave my comfort zone.  Skyfall – Haven’t seen a good Bond movie in 20 years and I don’t expect to now. Tim & Eric’s sorry excuse for a tv show gets a damn movie?!?!? – So what were going to have an hour and a half movie and about 5 min worth of funny. I have more interested in seeing Glitter & Stripper Sweat: the Jim Carey Story than I do watching them try and make comedy. As Yoda says do or do not and they do not.

  • Paul

    The Dictator looks absolutely idiotic from the trailer.

  • Brian from Canada

    Just a correction: Emma Stone is actually blonde. She’s been dying her hair red for years, apparently, and this is the first film with her natural colour.

  • Brian from Canada

    Especially since Amazing Spider-Man is going to be THE most watched film by box office critics. Rebooting Star Trek is one thing — it’s a dead or tired franchise as most people see it — but this is one that was already healthy and strong, and wouldn’t have needed a reboot is Sony hadn’t insisted on putting the villains they wanted in instead of the ones Sam Raimi wanted.

  • Brian from Canada

    G.I. Joe didn’t need to find money for the sequel — check the situation of the original and you’ll see Hasbro and Paramount pushed the film to be ready before the strike, knowing there might be problems but not wanting to delay the project like the rest of the franchises.

    On the plus side, it’s already established all the back story, so there isn’t much more that needs to be squeezed into the movie other than the actual event.

    On the greater side, the trailer indicates less special effects and more emphasis on story, similar to the cartoon G.I. Joe: Renegades, which wasn’t actually a bad series in the eyes of Joe fans and kids.

    But on the greatest plus side, they’ve jettisoned the jokester (Wayans) and the love interest (Nichols), and brought in another pair of action stars that can handle camp if they need it: Bruce Willis & The Rock. That makes the film better AUTOMATICALLY.

  • Brian from Canada

    Not interested in any of these five except MAYBE Prometheus. Scott back on Aliens will be great providing he can use the film to be anything more than an effect romp.

    But The Hobbit will be half a film, and overextended as it is — just like everything else Jackson does. The Dictator will have some funny scenes, but be boring overall — just like Cohen’s other films. I have no interest in Nolan’s film (don’t like him as a director), and the fact that Batman is getting rebooted for 2014 already makes the ending a moot point.

    As for Avengers, Whedon can’t direct. Seriously, whatever stumble he may have had with Serenity is nothing compared to the putrid mess that Dollhouse was — and the fact that he didn’t have a script ready yet and was flying by the seat of his pants doesn’t do much for pushing the biggest franchise in film at this moment.

    I also have no interest in Skyfall — Craig is not Bond, and nothing Bond about him — nor The Cabin In The Woods. Tim and Eric are not even known to me.

    MIB3 may be good, especially if the plot is tight. GI Joe 2 will be interesting to see.

    But what I’m looking forward to in terms of franchise pictures is Ghost Rider 2 (can the makers of Crank give it what it needs?), Underworld 4 (never expect it to be great cinema and have all been enjoyable), Expendables 2, Amazing Spider-Man and Dark Shadows — plus Dredd.

    And what I’m more excited for are films we haven’t heard about yet or films which are going to slip past despite having a lot to offer — such as The Raven with John Cusack as Poe, Snow White & The Huntsman, Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, etc.

  • Lord Prong

    But Summer Franchise films are cool.  If I’m going to spend all that money at the theatre I want SPECTACLE!!  Apart from the obvious big ones like DKR, Avengers, and the Hobbit, I’m looking forward to these ones:

    Ghost Rider:
    Spirit of Vengeance
    John Carter
    The Expendables
    Resident Evil:
    World War Z
    Django Unchained

  • Mr. M

    I respectfully disagree on one point — GI Joe: Renegades was a bad series to some, maybe many, Joe fans, myself included.

  • RunnerX13

    Still trying to push that Bane is inaudible? 

  • knivesinwest11

    they should consider re-making Bond films as period pieces all set in the 60’s. 

  • Jacob

    I disagree with you because I can! MWAHAHAHAHA!