Monday, 23 January 2012

Most Anticipated Films for 2012

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It's that magical time of year, time to look ahead and put on our scrying caps to hone in on what films we are most looking forward to. I usually leave my list until February but this year there is not only 1 but 2 January releases that made my list so I decided to hold out no longer and share the whole thing.

I've created my most anticipated lists for three years running now (see 2010 and 2011 lists), and time after time there are titles that don't make it to theatres, which has swayed me to keep the choices with pretty solid releases dates and/or pretty mainstream. That feels slightly against my own instincts, but it's really to keep disappointment to a minimum. It can allow for happy future surprizes as two of the titles from my 2011 list: The Woman in Black & The Apparition look like we will get them this year in 2012. Even with continual tweaking of this list, I actually ended up with the exact same number of films in 2012 as 2011: 26 titles. Bizarre. If it was a perfect world that would be one every other week, but in actuality it looks like I'll have a very busy March, June and August.

I've also discussed many of these titles on a recent episode of Before the Dawn with Marina, where we both share our most anticipated films of the 2012. My list changed just a little bit since then with a few more titles added, but it's very close to this final list below. Now, without further adieu....

Movie Moxie's Most Anticipated Films of 2012

26. Wettest Country
Let's start with the film I know the least about and actually will be the least likely that I'll enjoy. It's from director John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road - both way too dark for me), with a screenplay by Nick Cave (/swoon), and is set in the depression following bootleggers. And it stars Tom Hardy (Bronson, Warrior), Guy Pearce (The King's Speech, Memento), Jessica Chastian (The Help (2011), The Tree of Life), Shia LaBeouf and Gary Oldman. And it's based on the book The Wettest Country in the World by Matt Bondurant. This one gets a nod to Marina as I didn't even know about it until we discussed our picks on Before the Dawn.
Release Date: August 31 2012

25. Dark Shadows
Reduxing of the British supernatural soap opera from the 60's, this one comes to us from director Tim Burton and stars Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green and Helena Bonham Carter. Originally I wasn't super excited about the film until I saw this still, and then I was convinced it would all be gothic and awesome.
Release Date: May 11, 2012

24. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
Although this is a 2012 Movie Moxie Book to Film Club Selection, it actually makes the list because it's from director Timur Bekmambetov who brought us the gorgeously stylized urban supernatural films Night Watch / Nochnoi Dozor and Day Watch / Dnevnoy Dozor. And it's a vampire film. And as a side note one of my goals for 2012 is to be able to pronounce Bekmambetov. Thank goodness Night Watch has a commentary!
Release Date: June 22, 2012

23. The Bourne Legacy
I really loved all three Bourne films so far, and am excited they are continuing the series and the only reason this one is so far back is because it doesn't have Matt Damon in it. I love Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) though, so I have full confidence in him, but I have no clue what they are doing with the series. Plus, it also have Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom, The Thing (2011)) in is, which makes it a must-see film for me. Be curious to see how this one goes.
Release Date: August 3, 2012

22. Prometheus
This Alien prequel from Ridley Scott pretty much has to be on this list. But, it's this far back because I haven't watch the trailer yet and I'm just ever so leery of prequels (although last year we faired fine with The Thing). But, Ridley Scott is one of my favourite directors ever, so I'm always happy to see his work. See also my Countdown to Prometheus where I'm re-watching the Alien Quadrilogy.
Release Date: June 8, 2012

21. The Amazing Spider-Man
There are not many superhero films on my list this year, although I'm sure I will see most of them this is the one I'm actually looking forward too. I've been a fan of Andrew Garfield for several years now (since Boy A at TIFF in 2007 to be exact), and after supporting roles in Never Let Me Go and The Social Network it's exciting to see him back in the lead saddle. So far the film looks a lot like the 2002 version, but I'm hoping it will be awesome whether it plays the similar game or not.
Release Date: July 3, 2012

20. GI Joe: Retaliation
I can't believe how many sequels are on this list, but seeing as I was a huge fan of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and the trailer for the sequel looks like it has more ridiculous fun in store for us, I had to include this film. I had to. So I did.
Release Date: June 19, 2012
UPDATE: Release date BUMPED to 2013

19. Byzantium
This is one I don't know tons about but what I do know is more than enough. Neil Jordon (Interview with the Vampire) directs Gemma Arterton (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) & Saoirse Rosin (Hanna) as a mother/daughter vampire duo. Yep. That's enough. But the fact that it also has Sam Riley (Brighton Rock, Control) locks it as over the top must see film.
Release Date: no confirmed release date as of yet

18. Bel Ami
Finally we have a release date for this 2011 Book to Film Club Selection which we read last April! I was worried this beautiful French novel by Guy de Maupassant might have gotten lost in the distribution shuffle but no, we will be seeing Robert Pattinson in the title role as a penniless soldier who decides to invest in the company of women to make his fortune. It's a fascinating story with a fabulous cast including Christina Ricci, Kristin Scott Thomas, Uma Thurman, Holliday Grainger, Natalia Tena, Colm Meaney, James Lance and Philip Glenister and is the feature film directorial debut from Declan Donnellan & Nick Ormerod. I can't wait.
Release Date: March 2, 2012 (actually not...but still hoping it will come out)

17. Anna Karenina
Another 2012 Book to Film Club selection based on the classic novel by Leo Tolstoy, the adaptation is from Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna), stars Keira Knightly, Emily Watson, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen, and well, just and amazing slew of fabulous actors. I'm not usually a period piece person but there is something about this one that is speaking to me, so I'm going to listen.
Release Date: A little up in the air - previously I had seen August release in the UK but now I can only find September 7 , 2012 in Sweden. I'll keep my eye on it though!

16. The Raven
I've been quite on the book-connection love going on and as such I'm really excited for The Raven, which is a fictionalized period piece/biopic centred on Edgar Allen Poe (played by John Cusack). It drips of gothic tone and a mystery/suspense spin and a Sherlock Holmes-y feel to it. The film also starts Luke Evans & Alice Eve, is directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin).
Release Date: March 9, 2012

15. John Carter
Why oh why did they take the 'of Mars' off the title of this film? I mean... it has the whole on a red planet feel, why not own it? I don't understand that choice, and I barely know what the film is or will be about. Is it Sci Fi? Fantasy? Sword & Sandals? All three? I don't know. But the old school feel and based on a serial I'm hoping we are in for some HiFi stylings of with LowFi classic storytelling. Fingers crossed.
Release Date: March 9, 2012

14. Paranormal Activity 4
So far the series has proven to be a nice paranormal inclusion and welcome horror choice every October over the years and I'm hoping this one will be too. They've had very creative turns on both sequels so far, so I'm not sure where they are going to go from here but I'm feeling confident it won't disappoint.
Release Date: No confirmed release date yet, but likely October 2012

13. Battleship
Possibly the most ridiculous film on the list (actually, that would be a close battle with GI Joe Retaliation), but this film that looks something between classic military at sea film and then with craziness of Battle LA or Skyline... I can't help but... want to see it! I know it's crazy. But it's also true. Looks like a lot of fun. Here's hoping.
Release Date: May 18, 2012

12. The Expendables 2
It's funny that this one ranks so high on my list and the original Expendables didn't even place on my 2010 list, but that leads me to the fact that seeing The Expendables actually woke me up to the fact that I really love action films. I always knew it, and it never stopped over the years, but I really started to claim it more as of then. Plus, I loved the cast and I was truly the target market. And it made me love Jason Statham again after hating Crank - which is something I never thought would have been possible.
Release Date: August 17, 2012

11. Coriolanus
So many reasons to be excited about this one. First - I missed it at TIFF and now we get it here in Toronto (YAY), second one of my side project called The Mega-List has a challenge I set for myself to #128 Read/Watch all of Shakespeare's Plays and I have already read (and watched a version of) Coriolanus. But this one is Ralph Fiennes directorial debut, and he stars in it alongside Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave & Jessica Chastain. It's also a story that so far I've only started to understand even after all that, so I'm looking forward to seeing this adaptation.
Release Date: January 20, 2012

10. Step Up 4
I'm a big fan of dance films, and honestly was rather distraught that 2011 only had the Footloose reboot for our dancing shoes to tap along with (I wasn't a fan of that original and didn't see the reboot!), but Step Up is a series I've come to enjoy from both the first Step Up and Step Up 3D (#2 was shaky...even for a dance film). I'm ready for more dancing, grooving, stepping and ... well, if pattern holds true likely a different sides of the tracks romance all rolled into for fun too.
Release Date: August 10, 2012

9. Mars et Avril
I know almost nothing about this Canadian films other than setting of a future Montréal, based on the original graphic novels of screenwriter and director Martin Villeneuve (brother of Denis Villeneuve of Next Floor, Polytechnique & Incendies). It has an anti-cybernetic movement, people are about to move to Mars and feels like lots of artistic influences in there as well. Cast includes Caroline Dhavernas and Robert Lepage. I really, really hope this one comes out in Toronto this year!
Release Date: No release date yet, I'm guessing it will be at very least at Fantasia this year

8. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Another 2012 Book to Film Club Selection (we are reading it in February), and I actually have never read it before. And I only read The Lord of the Rings in their entirety in 2010 which actually was I believe the start of a journey that eventually became the Book to Film Club. More on the film, I'm more than happy to return to Middle Earth and see what adventures the hobbits, dwarves and other folks get up to.
Release Date: December 14, 2012

7. Snow White and the Huntsman
The ladies really start to take over the list from here on in, especially if wielding weapons. I've very excited for this re-interpretation of the Snow White story with Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman and Charlize Theron as the Queen. It's very wintery-set and looks absolutely beautiful.
Release Date: June 1, 2012

6. Resident Evil: Retribution
I'm surprized at the number of sequels and series pieces on my list, and this one especially as I don't think I've even seen all the Resident Evil films and I know I didn't even love all the ones I saw. BUT, I loved the first one, and even the last one Resident Evil: Afterlife I had a huge technical issue when seeing it but somehow it still holds a special place in my heart. And it's Milla. You have to love Milla.
Release Date: September 14, 2012 (ACK - that's during TIFF!)

5. Underworld Awakening
This is almost a cheat as I am posting this after the film has been released, but I haven't seen it yet so I'm calling that a fine balancing act. I was a huge fan of the original Underworld and although I didn't love the sequel Underworld: Evolution I quite enjoyed the prequel of Rise of the Lycans; either way this one has the series going back to it's roots of Selene (Kate Beckinsdale) kicking butt. As she is one of my favourite film characters of all time, I'm all for that.
Release Date: January 20, 2012

4. Skyfall
Normally a Bond film wouldn't place so high on my list be there is a very particular reason that this one is. I'll be sharing that reason in the spring. Stay tuned!
UPDATE:
Check out my Bondathon marathon of counting down 22+1 Bond films
Release Date: November 9, 2012

3. Brave
Pixar takes a stab at a female protagonist film, and it's an action/adventure/fantasy one with a fiery archer redhead in the lead. Oh yeah. If they can get this right, they really will be unstoppable.
Release Date: June 22, 2012

2. The Hunger Games
Based on the first book in the post-apocalyptic trilogy by Suzanne Collins, I'm very excited to see this female protagonist young adult action film take centre stage with Jennifer Lawrence in the lead. I'm also particularly fond of the film as I called the casting of Josh Hutcherson in the role of Peeta the moment I heard it was being adapted. It's a great story, a highly stylistic world that can be created and has fascinating characters. It's pretty dark though, which poses a bit of a YA challenge, but hopefully they find a way to make it all work. The freaking trailer made me cry so I can't help but place it this high. The second book is already set for an adaptation slated to be released in 2013.
Release Date: March 23, 2012

1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2
The vampire/human romance/fantasy saga comes to a close. I've been a TwiFan from seeing the first Twilight on opening night back in 2008, so much so that I have co-hosting a Twilight Podcast Before the Dawn for years now. It has been a bit of a bumpy road walking the parallel journeys of both a fan and someone who writes about film on an ongoing basis. It's be wild to follow both the energy of the fandom and challenge of not loving New Moon and only enjoying Eclipse, but for me it came full circle when I fell in love again with the series though Breaking Dawn: Part 1. It's been a whirlwind and I've very excited to see how the final chapter will play out.
Release Date: November 16, 2012

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