2012 is shaping up to be a pretty fantastic year in film. I’ve split my most anticipated list into two sections, and one for crappy movies I’ll still end up seeing. The first is based on directors. There are some guys who’s films I will see, regardless of subject matter or critical response. The second anticipated section is films that just look cool.
#1. Directors I trust to make good movies.
Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson returns to live action, and a smaller scope, with the help of Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel and Bill Murray? ’nuff said, I’m there.
Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino does spaghetti western with Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz? ’nuff said, I’m there.
The Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan… ’nuff said, I’m there.
The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson tackles religion with Philip Seymour Hoffman? ’nuff said, I’m there.
Prometheus – Ridley Scott (unofficially) returns to the world of Alien? ’nuff said, I’m there.
This Is Forty – Judd Apatow spins-off Knocked Up with a film about Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s family. And Albert Brooks joins the cast? ’nuff said, I’m there.
Looper – Rian Johnson does time travel with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt? ’nuff said, I’m there.
Cosmopolis – David Cronenberg… 24 hours in a limo? ’nuff said, I’m there.
#2. Movies that look cool, so I’ll probably see them.
The Avengers – Nobody’s ever attempted anything like this before. Period. Taking Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury from five different films, and making one huge blockbuster action adventure comic book movie? It’s either going to be spectacular or horrific. Either way, I’ll be there.
The Bourne Legacy – I’m not sure how this is going to turn out, but the people involved – Tony Gilroy, Jeremy Renner, Ed Norton, Rachel Weisz and Albery Finney? Yeah, I trust ‘em.
Gravity – There are only two characters, played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and the whole movie is reportedly one shot. In space. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who made Children of Men. So, yeah, I’m interested.
Skyfall – Daniel Craig’s Bond movies have been great (Casino Royale) and average (Quantum of Silence). Adding Sam Mendes behind the camera and Javier Bardem as the villian? Count me intrigued.
The Five-Year Engagement – Nicholas Stoller re-teams with Jason Segel, adds the under-appreciated Emily Blunt to the mix, and makes a rom-com that looks good. Sign me up.
The Hunger Games – Anything featuring a dystopia future perks up my ear. Add kids killing each other in brutal battles, and both my ears are now perked. Can’t say I’ll read the books, but the movie sounds like it’s up my alley.
Premium Rush – Joseph Gordon Levitt (always a good sign) and Michael Shannon (definitely a good sign) in a cat ‘n mouse thriller involving bike messengers in New York City? Okay, ya got me.
World War Z – I haven’t read the book, but the concept sounds cool (a realistic look at a zombie apocalypse) and it’s got Brad Pitt, Bryan Cranston and James Badge Dale (The Pacific, Rubicon). Marc Forster hasn’t always been great behind the camera (re: Quantum of Solace), but I’ll give it a shot.
Cogan’s Trade – Hey, Brad Pitt again. This time, it’s a 70s hitman movie, also staring Richard Jenkins (yes) and Ray Liotta (nice) and Sam Shepard (sweet). Hopefully, they pull off an easy to wreck genre and decade.
Argo – Ben Affleck has proven himself to be a damn good director, though not yet among the elite. This is his most ambitious film yet, interested to see what he can do.
Lincoln – You would think Spielberg directing this would put it in the director’s category, but having Daniel Day Lewis play Lincoln is what does it for me. DDL can do no wrong.
#3. Movies I have little interest in, but I’ll probably see at some point (most likely on cable).
G.I. Joe: Retaliation – This one features The Rock and Bruce Willis. It can’t get any worse, right?
The Expendables 2 – Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme are on board with the over-the-hill gang. As long as they spend less time sitting around talking about how they use to blow shit up, and actually blow more shit up, it has to get better.
Resident Evil: Retribution – I don’t know why, but I always end up seeing these movies at some point. I assume this will be the same.
Safe House – Even though this isn’t a Tony Scott shaky-camera, hyper-edited action extravaganza, it looks like it could be. Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds star, which give me both hope and pause.
Total Recall – Enough time has passed that maybe… no screw that. Remaking this movie was dumb, thought the cast doesn’t suck: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy, Bryan Cranston and Ethan Hawke. Ethan Hawke? Really? Well, guess everyone needs to eat.
American Reunion – Has it really been 10 years? The first was funny, the second was okay, the third blew. Not a promising trend.
The Amazing Spider-Man – Why does this exist? Oh yeah, Twilight.
John Carter – This just doesn’t look good. Hopefully I’m proven wrong.
The Grey – Wait, Liam Nieson as bad ass? Haven’t we seen this before? Oh, this time it’s the Alaskan wild.
Casa di mi Padre – Will Ferrell in a Spanish-language movie? Oh boy, does this have disaster written all over it.
The Hobbit – I liked the Lord of the Rings movies. Liked. I cannot say this holds my interest in the slightest.
Wrath of the Titans – The first was dumb. I expect an equal level of dumbness, yet no Kraken. Bummer.
Battleship – Holy christ does this look bad. Yet, I’ll watch.
21 Jump Street – Ditto.