Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

2012 looks to be an epic year in cinema with three huge blockbusters. The first two being #1 and #2 on my list and the third being Peter Jackson’s epic two part return to Middle Earth. Here's the list, and I swear, I didn't see MadMan's list before I made my own.

20. Chronicle (Trank) To finish off the list I have a movie that appears to be what Akira fans have been waiting for. Another low budget thriller. Trailer is very promising.

19. World War Z (Forster) The book was nothing special, and multiple delays and reshoot have dropped this movie to the bottom of my list, but I still need to see how Brad Pitt is going to deal with a zombie apocalypse. It’s also being directed by the author of the book, which is a bad sign...

18. The Lords of Salem (Zombie) Rob Zombie’s last Halloween movie was a disaster, so he’s returning to Salem Massachusetts to direct a movie about the witch trials. Actually, the synopsis sounds a lot like an R rated Hocus Pocus.

17. John Carter (Stanton) An interesting adaptation, but the trailer is too much CGI for me. Brings back horrific memories of Attack of the Clones. Trailer below.

16. Total Recall (Wiseman) Colin Farrell seems to be rebooting his carrier with strong performances in Horrible Bosses and the Fright Night remake. We all love Arnie’s original, will the remake be as strong?

15. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Jackson) No description necessary. Trailer Below.

14. Oz: The Great and Powerful (Raimi) Speaking of Sam Raimi, he has his own adaptation of the Wizzard of OZ due out next year. Not much is known, except that Bruce Campbell will be making an appearance.

13. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence (Neveldine & Talor) The first movie was horrible, so the studio decided to reboot it with a quasi-sequel that was darker. The first footage they released during comic con had Nicholas Cage pissing fire. Will the movie hold up? Trailer below.

12. Silent Hill: Revelation (Bassett) – Not much has been shown other than some set work on their Facebook page. The first movie was the closest we’ve seen to a decent video game to movie adaptation. Can we expect equally great things from Silent Hill 2?

11. Argo (Affleck) Ben Affleck’s new film about a CGI agent freeing Americans at the Canadian ambassador. Affleck’s last movie The Town was quite good, and he might be on the rise as a prestige Hollywood director.

10. Skyfall (Mendes) The new Bond movie due out next year. No set pieces or trailers have been released yet.

9. The Avengers (Whedon) What as the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America and Thor brought us? Finally a movie with seven super heroes teaming up against some dark evil. Trailer Below.

8. The Hunger Games (Ross) The book was a huge hit (even if it was a complete rip-off from Battle Royale) so the movie should get extra attention. Will it? Trailer Below.

7. Brave (Andrews & Chapman) Pixar’s new beautiful movie. Trailer Below

6. The Dictator (Charles) Sacha Baron Cohen’s genius is returns to the big screen. Trailer Below

5. The Amazing Spider-Man (Webb) After Sam Raimi was forced out from the studio due to creative differences, Spider-Man was rebooted with a new director and cast. Hard to tell from the first trailer how good it will be. I sure hope that FPS view at the end is cut out of the final movie. Trailer Below

4. Django Unchained (Tarantino) Quentin Tarantino’s new movie: Synopsis: “With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

3. Taken 2 (Megaton) Did you see Taken? Well Taken 2 should have even more Liam Neeson kicking ass. No trailer is released yet.

2. Prometheus (Scott) Ridley Scot returns to the genre he created with what appears to be a prequel to Alien (only he won’t describe it that way). I highly recommend watching this trailer in HD. Trailer Below

1. The Dark Knight Rises (Nolan) Chris Nolan and Christian Bale return for the epic conclusion of the Batman trilogy. Trailer Below

2011 in Review

This is a quick recap of my 2011 most anticipated movie list. There are three days left in 2011, I have seen a total of 146 movies, 47 of them from 2011. Here is my list and a quick summary of impressions.

1. Tree of Life – So Terrence Malick makes one film a decade and this one just so happened to be in production since 2008, easily making it my most anticipated of 2011. Unfortunately it just wasn’t worth the way; Tree of Life was painfully slow. The story is not all that interesting and the narrative is edited in a way where the structure can be recognized after the conclusion. The result is mixed of MTV styled jump cut scenes that feel overly pretentious even if Malick is sincere as sincerity exists. I just don’t see what all the hype is about… Grade: 66

2. Super - This was funny. Exactly what I was hoping for out of Gunn and you can see some Slither parallels. A lot more gruesome than I was expecting and I'm still in love with Ellen Page. Super is what Kick-Ass should have been. Grade: 85

3. Super 8 - This movie was timeless Spielberg...from director Abrams. The first 3/4 was near perfect for me on an emotional, immerse-able and entertainment level. The kid actors were great, loved their individual personalities, the tone of the movie was made apparent from the start... But Super 8 is good, not great. The script needs to be a bit stronger with too many side stories and back stories that make the story feel convoluted. Abrams wanted something to come together in the end, but instead he creates more questions that deserve to be answered. Still a fun movie. Grade: 89

4. X-Men: First Class – Another X-men film that feels crammed with too many mutants with so little purpose. In the end, First Class contains two great cameos, some forced jokes and Vaughn tries too hard to piece scenes together with the preceding movies while intentionally leaving plenty of continuity errors to annoy X-men nerds. Who is really interested in an X-men movie without Wolverine anyway? Grade: 75

5. Extraterrestre (Still have not seen yet)

6. Stake Land - I liked this. Stake Land does not work as a horror too well but it's more of a journey on the same page as Monsters was- with more character interaction, more action and more at stake (pun intended). The archetype drama is done poorly, but it's not really about the obvious climax in the end, and more about Martin which ties the opening monologue with a relativity satisfying conclusion. Grade: 61

7. Hobo With a Shotgun – I’m fine with humor and movies and games that are “Over the Top” but HWAS is way too over the top to be entertaining, even with a Grindhouse type feel. There's also a character that acts like a Stiffler knockoff. For a second I almost thought it was Sean W Scott. Grade: 46 Full Review Here

8. Anonymous (Still have not seen yet)

9. Apollo 18 (Still have not seen yet)

10. Carnage (Still have not seen yet)

11. Rubber Full Review here. Grade: 84

12. Knights of Badassdom (Still have not seen yet)

13. Piranha 3DD (Still have not seen yet)

14. Conan the Barbarian (Still have not seen yet)

15. Cowboys & Aliens, The worst movie of 2011. I'd rather watch Priest and Legion back to back then to watch this again. Grade: 18

16. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Still have not seen yet)

17. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. MI4 is by far the best of the series action wise. I was impressed not only with the creative set pieces, but how tense most scenes were. Something the series lacked since the famous hang from the ceiling scene. The weakest aspect of the film: We barely know the "villain". Up until the final scene, we don't really get a feeling for just how evil he really is. Wanting to blow up a city, start nuclear war, etc etc it's been done so many times before. The threat and urgency is not felt- We know they're fighting for a cause but it headed in a direction we are most familiar with in Disney films (which is not surprising since Brad Bird directs Pixar movies). Sure the action was intense during the journey, but was there any doubt that Hunt wasn't going to win? Grade: 89

18. Immortals (Still have not seen yet)

19. Captain America: The First Avenger, The most bland “super hero” movie ever made? Quite possibly. Lacks emotion and suspense and merely functions as the last major puzzle piece needed before The Avengers is released next year. The best aspect? Hugo Weaving as Red Skull. Grade: 53

20. Thor – The opposite of Captain America. Impeccably crafted, casted, directed, funny and more action from a super hero that actually HAS powers. Grade: 79