11 January 2012

12 Things We're Looking Forward to the Most in 2012

As we start to get into the thralls of 2012 it's about time we take a look at what there is to expect from this great year ahead of us. There are going to be some great cultural events in store, not the least of which is our imminent demise based on the fact that Mayans ran out of room on their stone calendar. It happens, if they had known it would be such a big deal to us, I'm sure they would have hauled another rock out of the quarry and given us another couple millennia. Too bad. Anyway, in counting down our most anticipated moments for 2012 we found two things: 1) They're all movies and 2) A lot of this could be pretty suck. I mean, look at 2011. So without further rambling, let's dive in:

12. GI Joe: Retaliation (06/29/2012)

I didn't see the first one. I don't care. This looks for the most part like they've scrapped a lot of dead weight and added in its place a ton of bad ass. There are a few action movie ensembles coming down the pipe this year and this one has an invigorating track record of awesome behind it. Will it be pretty stupid? Likely, but if it can walk that fine line between stupid and awful there's nothing wrong with that. It'll come out on top if this cautious balance can be more like Iron Man 2 (2010) and less like X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).

11. The Expendables 2 (08/17/2012)

The Expendables (2010) wasn't really that great. For a movie that supposedly had all the best action stars of the past three decades it somehow came up a bit short, and not on story, we don't care about that. It came up a bit short on the bland action level. How then, could we possibly be energized for a sequel? Simply by adding Norris, Van Dame, Thor's brother, Willis and Schwarzenneger (in expanded roles) to the list of Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Crews, and Couture. Those last two never really sound right. Who the hell cares about Randy Couture? Unfortunately that list will not be complete until the last name uttered is Seagal. Expendables 3 (2014) anyone?

10. World War Z (12/21/2012)

I'm not so sure what to think about this one. Supposedly it deviates from the book, which is acceptable in that when taken straight the book's format wasn't really movie-friendly. Is the world ready for a mainstream, high-budget zombie flick? Even things like Zombieland (2009) tend to be underground cultural affairs. If zombies can be taken to long dramas with failed second seasons, than perhaps that answer is yes. Brad Pitt's inclusion is curious but will we have passed the Zombie Zeitgeist by then?

9. MIB3 (05/25/2012)

It's tough to think of a more classic example of a franchise that provided such an original, quirky, culturally significant first film and such a dud of a second film (Ghostbusters, perhaps, in the similar niche vein of science fiction comedy-horrors). Men in Black 3 seems primed to take that mantle back, though. Will Smith has been relatively quiet in recent years, instead letting his kids do all the money-making in the household. Josh Brolin is inspired in playing the same character as his No Country for Old Men (2007) co-star, Tommy Jones and the general consensus is "might not be awful!" That's the standard for MIB3, we'll see if it can meet its goal.

8. The Avengers (05/04/2012)

The Avengers will kick off this year's Summer Movie Season and the stakes couldn't be higher for Marvel and Disney who have been pumping and teasing this thing since Sam Jackson showed up in the post-credits of Iron Man (2008). Will it truly be nerdvana or will it fall on its face? Everything leading up to this thing indicates that it's going to be a great experience but we're skeptical of anyone's ability, even Joss Whedon's, to juggle all those balls at once. It should certainly be high on anyone's must-see list but will it even be considered a success if it pulls less than a $Billion worldwide?

7. Skyfall (11/09/2012)

Although Quantum of Solace (2008) was fairly disappointing and there hasn't been dick revealed about this movie besides an enormously impressive cast list, we're still kind of itching for this one. Bond is Bond, which is like pizza. Even when it's cold you'll still eat it. It's also interesting to think of what might befall Daniel Craig now that his career is taking off almost enough that people don't necessarily associate him with the Bond character. Even Tim Dalton is going to be Bond forever. It's not a stretch to think of Mikael Blomkvist playing Bond rather than the other way around.

6. The Cabin in the Woods (04/13/2012)

How often can we re-write the typical Horror genre staples in meta-commentary? At least once more, hopefully. After a long, besieged release schedule, we'll finally get this flick (probably) that supposedly plays with the boundaries of a tired horror movie staple. Will it be exactly like Scream (1996) kind of? We're intrigued enough by Thor's changing attitude when exposed to weird gas to find out.

5. London Olympics (07/27/2012)

The only non-movie on this list, we're pumped as hell to see the greatest athletes in the world compete in London. It's the first city to hold the games for a third time and it appears as though we'll get a really European experience unlike the Chinese one we got four years ago. That is, one full of debt and depression instead of impressive energy. Still, the Olympics are always an impressive news source.

4. Prometheus (06/08/2012)

Ridley Scott has had plenty of misses lately, but in returning to his roots in super-creepy science fiction we've got high hopes. Will there be a cameo by Prometheus and Bob? Will it just turn out to actually be a Prometheus and Bob live action movie?! That's just the kind of maturity we've been looking for around here.

3. Django Unchained (12/25/2012)

With undoubtedly the best (or at least the most tantalizing) cast of 2012, what better way to spend Christmas Day than with our old pal, Quentin? Q has been spot-on bringing to life his long-gestating pet projects. Well, ok, he was just spot-on with Inglourious Basterds (2009), but he's got to be gunning for a Best Director Oscar sometime, right? Django is a spaghetti western set in the old deep South. If anything, Tarantino picks his villains well.

2. Year of Lincoln

With both Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (06/22/2012) and Spielberg's Lincoln (TBA 12/2012) coming down the pipe this year, there's no better time to honour our 16th President. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was one of the first books I've read cover to cover in years that didn't turn out to actually be Entertainment Weekly. As for the straight interpretation, well, if you don't believe that John Wilkes Booth is a vampire, you've got problems, pal.

1. The Dark Knight Rises (07/20/2012)

There's no question that this is the most hotly anticipated event of 2012. The expectations and trust of Chris Nolan are at all-time highs and we're just waiting to see how this damn thing ends. The most intriguing part of everything this juggernaut has put out so far is that by all indications Batman is going to absolutely get his ass kicked this time around by someone who is more focused, organized, and deadlier than the Joker, Bane. The only thing that would indicate that this is going to end happily is the title of the damn movie. Then again, you can't really take anything Nolan does at face value. It will probably end up being a dream.

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