Most Anticipated Films of 2012

This is my third attempt at getting this post completed, and it appears that I may have finally been successful.  My netbook decided to shut itself down the previous two times I was in the middle of composing this post.  Good thing for blogger's constant save feature so that I didn't have to start from scratch each time.

I put together a 'most anticipated' list last year and figured that I'd do it again.  After all, I'm long overdue for a post and compiling lists are always fun.  What's that you say?  It is already late March?  Well yes, but luckily for me, only one of the films on my list has already been released (it is still in theaters as we speak) and another doesn't come out until Friday.  So as late as this is, it actually isn't.  Or that's what I'm telling myself at least.  Anyway, let's get to it!

Honorable Mention:  Ok, ok, I'm sort of cheating here.  But these are 3 movies that I'm also pretty excited about and had to at least mention in passing:

Trouble with the Curve - September 28 - We all thought that Gran Torino was going to be Clint Eastwood's last performance in front of the camera.  Well, we were wrong.  He'll play an ailing baseball scout who is loosing his eyesight.  Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Lillard, and John Goodman are also attached to this film.

Paranormal Activity 4 - October 19 - The Paranormal Activity movies have become sort of a guilty pleasure of mine.  I've enjoyed how they have added depth to the original story with each installment being a prequel of what came before it.  I'm curious as to where they go next with this franchise.

Django Unchained - December 25 - The latest Tarantino project with an awesome cast.  This would most likely be on the proper countdown if there was already a teaser trailer for it.

10. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax - March 2 - It is already in theaters and I might not catch in until later on in the year as a rental, but The Lorax was one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books as a kid.  With a little luck, it'll be half as entertaining as Horton Hears A Who! was.

9. Skyfall - November 9 - After delays in pre-production because of legal and financial issues, Bond will return this winter!  Daniel Craig is back for his third turn as 007 after taking the time from the delays to film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  Ordinarily I'd expect this to be higher on my list, but as you will see, there's quite a few other good looking films this year and there isn't even a teaser for Skyfall yet.

8. The Amazing Spider-Man - July 3 - The Spider-Man movie franchise reboot is the first but not the last of the super hero installments on my list.  What do you expect from a movie buff who happens to also be a comic book nerd?  I'm pretty interested to see how this plays out.  The recurring cast of the original trilogy was excellent and really brought the characters to life well (we'll overlook the horrible story of Spider-Man 3).  Andrew Garfield picks up the reigns as Peter Parker, and they stay true to the comics in having Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) as Peter's first love.  Then add Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben), Rhys Ivans (Dr. Connors/The Lizard), Dennis Leary (Capt. Stacy), and Sally Field (Aunt May) to the fold? It could be a pretty smooth transition for everyone's favorite wall crawler.

7. The Bourne Legacy - August 3 - I absolutely loved the original Bourne trilogy starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, and I've been a big Jeremy Renner fan since his turn in The Hurt Locker so this one is a no brainer for me.  I have not read the original novels by Robert Ludlum but I have heard that the films change the story up a good deal and really only have the name in common with their source material.  In any event, expect more feverish spy action.  It also doesn't hurt to add Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton to an already strong group of actors/actresses that are carrying over from the previous films (Joan Allen, Scott Glenn, David Strathairn).

6. The Avengers - May 4 - All of the teasers and easter eggs and minor plot points from recent Marvel films (Iron ManIron Man 2, Captain America, Thor) all come to a head in The Avengers.  Joss Whedon has done what many thought for the longest time would be impossible due to budgeting and the number of big names involved, and that is to meld them all into one film, bringing Marvel's Earth's Mightiest Heroes to the big screen.  If this movie adapts (at least partially) the Mark Millar/Bryan Hitch run on The Ultimates comic (like it looks like it might in the trailer), Joss Whedon may finally have the monster blockbuster on his hands that has eluded him in the past.

5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - December 14 - Another film that has been delayed due to legal issues, J.R.R. Tolkien's story is getting split into two movies.  After Guillermo del Toro was set to take over for Peter Jackson, then bowed out because of the continued delays, Jackson returned to bring the Lord of the Rings prequel story to life.  The Hobbit would have been in good hands either way, but I'm glad to see Peter Jackson come back to finish his vision of Middle Earth.

4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - June 22 - I read the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith last fall and really enjoyed the mash-up of history and vampires.  Around the same time, I learned that the book was being adapted into a movie directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Day Watch, Wanted) and was instantly excited.  I think that Bekmambetov's unique style fits a crazy vampire hunting president story quite well and the cast doesn't look too shabby either (Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Alan Tudyk).

3. Prometheus - June 8 - This was actually somewhere between 5-10 on the list until this afternoon when I saw the latest trailer.  Maybe it is a good thing that I had been having technical difficulties?  Prometheus looks to be truly amazing.  Director Ridley Scott doesn't just return to the sci-fi genre, but to the story he created for Alien.  Noomi Rapace (the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) gets her first leading role in an American film (we all know that sharing the screen with Robert Downey, Jr in the second Sherlock Holmes doesn't really count), and is joined by Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, and Guy Pearce.  To be honest, these top 3 movies are really a crap shoot as far as which one I'm looking forward to the most.

2. The Hunger Games - March 23 - A year ago, an old college friend told me that I needed to read a trilogy of young adult books beginning with The Hunger Games.  They were excellent.  I've been looking forward to the big screen adaptations ever since.  From everything that I have seen and read, it appears to hold pretty true to the novels which is great news.  Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, X-Men: First Class) looks to be a great choice to play Katniss Everdeen, and she's joined by Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, and Josh Hutcherson (who all appear to be good choices based on the trailer). The Hunger Games comes out this weekend but I won't get a chance to see it for a few days because of a The Black Keys show in Norfolk (pretty good reason to miss a highly anticipated flick if you ask me).  I'm also ok with missing the opening weekend chaos that will surely ensue.

1. The Dark Knight Rises - July 20 - Is this really a surprise?  My old high school buddy Brandon will probably cringe at this, but The Dark Knight Rises tops my list this year for a couple of reasons:
1) Christopher Nolan has, over the years, become one of my favorite directors.
2) This is the third and final installment in his vision of Gotham City.
3) Tom Hardy plays Bane (the primary villain).
Like Nolan, Hardy has become another personal favorite in the past few years.  And judging by the trailer, his embodiment of Bane looks to be a worthy follow up after Heath Ledger's Oscar winning (unfortunately posthumously) Joker from The Dark Knight.  Christian Bale's gruff Batman has gotten a little over the top, but that's not enough to keep me from being wicked psyched for this last part of Nolan's Batman trilogy.
(Side Note: while The Dark Knight may be my favorite Batman film today, Brandon always said it best: 'Keaton. Is. Batman.'.)

So there's my list.  I'm sure there will be others that I will become aware of as the year goes on, but these are what's known to the public right now.  I'm just hoping that my most anticipated list actually fairs better than last year's.  There were a couple of pretty good duds on there!  What flicks are you looking forward to the most this year? 


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