2012: THE YEAR OF MAD AS HELL MOVIES!
Well the new year is upon us once again and we’re really excited about the many upcoming films being released in 2012. Lots of super hero and sci fi geek adventures await us as well as some grassroots crime/action-adventure tales to be unspun with fury on the big screen. 2012 will also mark a dramatic change in the theatrical film experience as our beloved 35mm largely becomes replaced by digital projection (but that’s a whole other story we might address in the future on FC).
Let’s get to the subject at hand: the films of 2012! The following is by no means a complete, exhaustive list, because there are sure to be many other great films popping up that will surprise us, but we’ve highlighted several that we just can’t wait to experience on the big screen throughout the new year ahead (sorry, The Hobbit isn’t included). Before you read on, we’d just like to wish you all a very Happy (Furious) New Year of movies and memories! All our best! – The FC Staff
Django Unchained (Dir: Quentin Tarantino) – DECEMBER 25 – Quentin Tarantino is a spaghetti western fanatic, its one of his favorite genres right next to kung fu so it should come as no surprise that he would make his own western adventure. But Quentin being Quentin, of course he wants to put that unique Tarantino spin on the whole idea. So what we’ll be getting is not a traditional Western, but a “southern”. So what’s a southern? This is a genre that QT has described as one that would deal with controversial issues (such as slavery) but would not be your typical “message movie”, rather it is a genre story (revenge etc) set against the backdrop of the Old South in the 1800s. The name Django (as film geeks may or may not know) is the popular spaghetti western character from the 1966 Sergio Corbucci classic. What’s interesting is that after the success of that movie, there were a ton of unofficial Django films made. From Viva Django to Django Kill!…If You Live, Shoot! and on and on. QT took the idea of the unrelated sequel and used it to make his own unofficial Django movie, but now the main character is a slave in the old South who is freed by a kind bounty hunter. The two become friends and set off on a new Tarantino adventure. Do we have to say how anxious we are for this one? We didn’t think so. Starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson.
Prometheus (Dir: Ridley Scott) – JUNE 8 – It’s been sort of confusing trying to figure out if this film is in fact an Alien prequel or not. First they said it wasn’t…really, now they say it is…kind of. All that hullabaloo aside, it’s just a thrill to know that after all these years we’ll be getting a brand new Ridley Scott sci-fi space adventure. Being such a longtime fan of Alien and Blade Runner, two of the greatest films of the genre ever made, the anticipation is building to a fever pitch. From watching the trailer, it seems like Ridley hasn’t lost his golden touch for creating visions of futuristic landscapes filled with both dread and exhilleration. Get ready to blast off!! Starring Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba.
The Dark Knight Rises (Dir: Christopher Nolan) – JULY 20 – The Batman films have run the gamut from Tim Burton’s gothic films to Joel Schumacher’s neon lit/rubber nippled Broadway camp stylings to Christopher Nolan’s more serious, Detective comics/Son of Demon crime-themed take on the dark knight. The sad thing is it will be over after this film. At the same time, seeing Batman in his toughest battle yet against the mysterious masked terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy) as well as a new version of Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) is just causing so much geek excitement and interesting discussion about what the film is about and how it will end it’s making the feeling of closure worthwhile. It’s simply driving me batty, I love these movies and cannot wait to see how the epic tale is wrapped up!
The Expendables 2 (Dir: Simon West) – AUGUST 17 – When the first film was released I wasn’t sure if I’d even like it after hearing it was just another Stallone action film (I’ve seen em all). After watching it, I found myself enjoying spending time with the group of actors/characters Stallone put together. No, it wasn’t some cinematic genre re-imagining that broke new ground , but I think Stallone and Co. already knew this. What it successfully did was bring yet another side of Stallone to the big screen. He’s not playing Rambo, he’s Barney Ross, a guy probably closer to his real life personality. There was a light hearted, tongue-in-cheek humor to the ass kickery going on which I appreciated. These guys were still the super action heroes I wanted to see but also had personal problems like anyone in the audience. It gave the standard mercenary story just the right amount of heart and humanity to make it a solid modern film. The sequel will feature other popular action stars of the 80s/90s and looks like it will just be cranking up the level of adrenaline and testosterone the first film had another 100 notches. This one will also be directed by Simon West who made one of my favorite action films of the 90s: CON AIR!
Cogan’s Trade (Dir: Andrew Dominik) – Q1/2012 –Brad Pitt plays Jackie Cogan, a criminal enforcer who investigates a heist that occurred during a poker game which was protected by the mob. Not much new info has been given regarding this film since it went into production last year. All I know is it’s crime (one of my fav genres) and looks like it’ll have some cool action and solid acting from Pitt and friends. What else do I need? Co-starring Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McNairy.
The Avengers (Dir: Joss Whedon) – MAY 4 – Our editor-in-chief Sebastian has made it known frequently that he really hates super hero movies. I can even understand his POV, he’s just not into those types of fantastical characters at all. Myself, I grew up on them, starting from a very young age with my favorite character Spider Man (the 70s live action TV show, The Electric Company) then Wonder Woman (TV show starring Lynda “Hot As Hell” Carter), the 50s Superman TV show starring George Reeves, and one of my most cherished TV series The Incredible Hulk starring the late, great Bill Bixby. So there’s no doubt about it, I’m definitely a super hero geek and love the mythology of the Marvel Universe. I also collected comics for several years so I know that whole world too. In the present day, seeing Marvel bring such heroes as Spidey, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, to the big screen, I’ve had my own issues with some of the movies. Several I really didn’t care for, but others I thought worked out really well (for more on this see my Super Hero Compendium piece). That aside, the fact that we’ll be seeing the first true super hero crossover movie actually happen, I’m just giddy about it. Add to that, the actors playing these super heroes are some of the best in the biz. Just the fact we’ll finally see Iron Man mix it up with Cap, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye in the same movie is just gonna be a geek out experience I’ve been waiting decades for!
The Grey (Dir: Joe Carnahan) – JAN 27 – In this furious survival film, Liam Neeson stars as Ottway, the leader of a group of oil refinery workers who are stranded in the cold Alaskan mountains after their transport plane crashes. As the men try to venture back to civilization through the snow, they are hunted by a pack of wolves who aren’t too happy with them intruding on their territory. NOTE: The Grey had an early screening at AICN’s BNAT13WOLF Film Marathon and got alot of positive reviews from the geekiest of the geek audience, so our prediction of this being a kickass adventure film seems right on! Co-starring Dermot Mulroney, James Badge Dale, Frank Grillo.
Safe House (Dir: Daniel Espinosa) – FEBRUARY 10 – Denzel Washington is one of the finest actors working today and he’s proven he really can do it all. From superb performances in films like Glory to Philadelphia to Malcolm X to Training Day, it’s apparent he’s an actor’s actor. In this new action-thriller, he’ll be playing a federal agent gone rogue who has been imprisoned in a safe house that is under siege by some rebel soldiers. After which he must be moved by a ‘wet behind the ears’, rookie house-sitter (Ryan Reynolds) to another secure location. That’s the basic 123 plot but I can guarantee the acting is going to be as thrilling as the action. This explosive “do or die” adventure is sure to be a blast for audiences!
The Hunger Games (Dir: Gary Ross) – MARCH 23 – Being a huge fan of survival-game movies like The Running Man, Surviving The Game and Battle Royale, as well as the post-apocalyptic-dystopian genre this movie caught my eye right off. It is based on the young adult books by Suzanne Collins and looks like it will be a truly enthralling survival of the fittest adventure movie for all ages! Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.
Gangster Squad (Dir: Ruben Flesicher) – OCTOBER 19 – When I heard about this film, the first thing that sprung to mind was Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential, one of the great crime films of the 90s. Gangster Squad will take place in the same general era but focus on police officers battling the influx of East Coast mobsters into Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. We love crime movies here at FC, so we’re psyched to see this one! Starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Giovanni Ribisi.
Do you have some other films you’re looking forward to? Let us know!