Wednesday, January 4, 2012
A new year upon us and with that comes both joyous and fearful times. The uncertainty of what lay ahead compounded by the inability to stop writing 2011 when jotting down the present date. The hope for a bright and better future with inklings of anticipation filling in the gaps for every month. And as I complete the final notes on my 12 in 2012 (in fine form likely to post well past the time anyone has shown any care about the series creation and well before anyone's watched any of their films), I thought it nice to take some time to investigate my inner aspirations. To tackle my wants, wishes, fears, and misgivings, and see what films shall come to pass in 2012 that I find most curious of sorts.
Away we go!
A Dream of Greatness
Here are the five films I'm most anticipating in the new year - in no particular order.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Right, I did say no particular order didn't I? Well, I lied. This could easily be numbers 1 through 5 on my list of most anticipated. In fact I would without shame tear a whole in the space-time continuum just to make sure there's enough room for this. *deep breaths* Alas, I do not believe it can live up to the quality of its forebears (or is it postbears - always a difficulty with these prequels) but I love the tale of The Hobbit so, and my admiration for the world of Middle Earth is seemingly endless. So much so that even a mediocre The Hobbit could easily cure my woes.
Skyfall: I swear, if this movie doesn't end with James Bond surfing on a cloud hurtling towards earth with a double barrel shotgun in one hand and a copy of Skyward Sword in the other then I shall rush to the world of twitter and cry foul. Expendables 2 don't you even think of stealing that! Back off! Shoo!
The Dark Knight Rises: This one is a bit of an easy one. Though for all my grumblings of the incessant praise The Dark Knight gets, I do not begrudge it its success. Can this film come any where near the hype it carries upon its shoulders? I hope it does, and serves as a fitting conclusion to one of the best comic book adaptation trilogies we are ever likely to know.
Argo: I feel Ben Affleck's directorial skills have been flirting with Oscar far too well with his two previous entries and it's high time that relationship move forward. I don't foresee this walking away with the golden statuette, but anything short of a high tracking may turn out to be a step backward for the actor turned director turned director/actor.
Django Unchained: I've never been so blind as to believe Tarantino can do no wrong, but I must say this film does have me greatly intrigued. So many of Tarantino's films reference, rip off of, undermine, over mind, imply, adore, and pay homage to Spaghetti Westerns, how his first true stab at the genre will play out is a mystery I cannot deny I am intrigued by. Let us hope he is equal to the challenge.
A Mixture of Curiosity
These here are the films I'm not entirely sure what to think of.
Gangster Squad: Here's a cast list for you - Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick, and Michael Pena. If this doesn't turn out to at least be pretty darn good, then the cries of one hit wonder may ring a little more loudly than they deserve for Ruben Fleischer.
The Bourne Legacy: With Tony Gilroy at the helm and the likes of Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn, Albert Finney, and the indescribably lovely Rachel Weisz in front of the camera, the producers have certainly put everything in place for this to be of high quality. But can it escape the fact that it is really not a true Bourne film? That I am not so sure of.
The Amazing Spider-Man: I hate for this to be the second Emma Stone film to find itself wavering in the land of "not too sure, love" but alas I cannot shake the too soon feeling that tremors throughout every bone in my body for this release. I like Andrew Garfield, and feel he has the potential for a long and full career as a Hollywood actor. But is he a star? For that we shall have to wait and see. Of course, for the great charm that was (and is) 500 Days of Summer, Marc Webb has certainly earned a price of admission ticket from me.
Prometheus: When this was announced as a maybe, but not really, kind of, but not, sort of actually, but in a not so way, prequel to the Alien franchise, I found myself painfully confused. The marketing efforts and subsequent news stories have done little to squash that. And as such decisions were being made while the film was being made, I fear it may give rise to a horror film without a concrete direction. I trust Ridley Scott to make it entertaining, but entertainment alone cannot carry a film without a cause for being.
The Avengers: For many, this film's placement here is nothing short of sacrilege, but I am not entirely sold on the concept. If this film fails to deliver perhaps its greatest memory will be the many films it wasted on the road to mediocrity. For all the talent involved I fear Marvel may be playing a long con for which it can not ever justly attain all the goods it seeks. There's plenty to give way to anticipation (Joss Whedon's involvement handles that alone), but I couldn't help feel the first trailer was lacking much spark.
A Stench of Despair
The Three Stooges: Seriously, did you see the trailer? No other explanation is necessary...
Dredd: The first sign that this movie is going to be awful is that somewhere along the line someone thought "if only we drop 'Judge' from the title then it will be cool and interesting!" Sorry, but remakes like this I always feel are destined for failure. If it can embrace the extreme campiness of its original then there exists some faint chance for entertainment, but I'm not seeing it. Karl Urban is a great charisma actor and can surprise you with powerful moments of acting when you least expect it, but he best portrays seriousness. Alex Garland at the pen is promising, but I've seen this before. It's a remake that spawns out of the nostalgia of some and the impressionable nature of others and in the end nobody really turns out to see it. Hope to be proven wrong, but I don't see another way around it.
Resident Evil: Retribution: I thought the first Resident Evil was alright. The second was enough. The third a bit excessive. The fourth needlessly existent, and I fail to see why this will prove a staunch change of course. Especially with the Paul W.S. Anderson at the helm and at the pen. I'd willingly pay the price of admission just to not see it.
One For the Money: It's too easy to put a Katherine Heigl film, isn't it? Maybe I should just scratch it off out of fairness to the list making profession? Nah, bad is bad and this looks baaaaaaaad.
Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Releases... IN 3D: No. Just no. And no in equal measure to each of the films which are receiving this treatment. I liked the originals just fine in 2D. No need or want to see them in 3D. Do it all you want, I'm not buying it. Why not just re-release them (for the umpteenth time) in 2D? People would still go see it, you know? Besides I'm far from convinced that post-production 3D conversion makes a film anything other than a glossier foreground with a blurrier background film.
So that's all I've got for you for the year of 2012. There are some films I'm thinking over in my head as to where they will fall when their time comes, but alas I set myself a format and I stuck to it (except where I cheated). Which leaves me with this: what films are you looking forward to - or not looking forward to - in the new year?