As is yearly tradition, January offers almost nothing of any significant note in the theatrical release landscape. And as such, all we movie-buffs are left to do is wait in masturbatory fury for the next big movies to pop out of the moist, quivery, studio-executive-sponsored womb. And that’s exactly what I’m doing in this article; minus the moist, quivery wombs. Enjoy this little look at my 10 most anticipated films of 2012, and I swear if you tell me that a Roland Emmerich film should’ve been on here, I’ll sue you simply for not being funny or clever at all.
#10: The Master (Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson)
What It Is: Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest film centers around a man who forms his own religion, boasting a cast of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and a post-I’m Still Here Joaquin Phoenix.
Why You Should Be Excited: While little is known about what the film’s plot is about, all we really need to know is that it’s from the same mastermind behind Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love, and There Will Be Blood. P.T. Anderson has proven time and time again that he can bring amazing performances out of their actors and provide them with some of the most interesting tales in modern cinema. And even though little is known, it’ll be nice to be surprised by what Anderson hits us with next.
[No Trailer Yet]
#9: Sound Of My Voice (Directed by Zal Batmanglij)
What It Is: A couple goes through great lengths to infiltrate a cult led by a woman who claims to be from the future with a mind-blowing plan
Why You Should Be Excited: Last year was the breakout of Brit Marling, an actress/screenwriter that brought us the cerebral sci-fi drama Another Earth, which managed to be both highly thought-provoking and beautifully emotional. After a strong debut such as that, it will be interesting to see how Marling will surprise us all this time, and considering this film already released during last year’s Sundance to strong buzz, this has a good chance of being even better than Another Earth.
[No Trailer Yet]
#8: Brave (Directed by Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman)
What It Is: It’s a new Pixar movie. That’s really all I need to hear. The fact that it’s their first foray into fantasy is just the icing on the cake.
Why You Should Be Excited: See above.
#7: Looper (Directed by Rian Johnson)
What It Is: Rian Johnson’s latest is a time-travel action thriller involving Joseph Gordon-Levitt having to assassinate his older self, played by Bruce Willis.
Why You Should Be Excited: I’ll admit to not having seen Rian Johnson’s other critically acclaimed films, the high-school noir Brick and the con-man romance The Brothers Bloom (In fact, the only thing I’d seen of Rian Johnson’s was that one episode of Breaking Bad that he directed), but I’m highly intrigued by the time-traveling premise of Looper, and I love me a good thinking-man’s sci-fi movie. It also helps that there’s a strong cast with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
[No Trailer Yet]
#6: Only God Forgives (Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn)
Wait, is Ryan Gosling…kissing Nicolas Winding Refn?
What It Is: Ryan Gosling and director Nicolas Winding Refn, both of which collaborated on last year’s Drive are teaming up again on another film which I know nothing about plot-wise.
Why You Should Be Excited: This is the only movie on the list that I literally know nothing about, plot-wise. All I know is that it’s being directed by the mad genius behind one of my favorite films of last year, Drive, and it yet again stars Ryan Gosling in the lead role. That alone is enough to win my interest over, and I have faith that the duo will bring another memorable experience.
[No Trailer Yet]
#5: Gravity (Directed by Alfonso Cuaron)
What It Is: Sandra Bullock is an astronaut who is literally left to die in the middle of space, and needs to float her way back to safety. It’s a claustrophobic thriller in what is literally the most vast expanse of nothingness that humanity knows: The cosmos.
Why You Should Be Excited: With a project that boasts the phrase “From the Director of Children of Men“, a new Alfonso Cuaron film can do nothing but cause excitement. But the film also has an engaging premise that looks to give us a one-woman show from Sandra Bullock (Say what you will about her and The Blind Side but she is a damn good actress). And considering Cuaron’s knack for amazing camerawork and one-shot takes, this definitely looks to be one of the most unique and interesting releases of the year.
[No Trailer Yet]
#4: Django Unchained (Directed by Quentin Tarantino)
What it Is: Quentin Tarantino’s newest film is a Southern (Basically a Western that takes place in the South) centering around a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who must win his wife back from the captivity of an evil plantation owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and exact vengeance upon the evil white men of slavery-era America.
Why You Should Be Excited: A new Tarantino movie is enough to celebrate about. The fact that it’s a Western makes it even more intriguing. But then you learn that it actually takes place in the Slavery-era South and it becomes even more enticing. And THEN you discover that it boasts a cast such as Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Christpoh Waltz, and a villain being played by LEONARD DI-GODDAMN-CAPRIO and your mind might as well implode on its own by the sheer amount of talent and potential on display in this project.
[No Trailer Yet]
#3: The Dark Knight Rises (Directed by Christopher Nolan)
What It Is: The final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. What else do you need to know?
Why You Should Be Excited: Unlike most of the internet complaining about Bane’s voice, I still haven’t seen the preview for The Dark Knight Rises. And I don’t plan to. I’m actually planning on seeing as few promotional materials as possible because I know that if I do, I’m going to overhype the shit out of it. And while most people are going into their defensive backlash stages, thinking that there’s a chance that the third time might be the death blow since almost every big franchise started to get horribly wrong by the third installment, I still think that Nolan could pull it off. If anything, Christopher Nolan has proven that no matter how big the hype is for his films, he continues to surprise with the most exciting and original films in the mainstream movie space, if not of all cinema history. And if there’s one thing I know Nolan can do right, it’s surprise us with a fitting resolution to his Batman trilogy.
[Yes there’s a trailer but I don’t wanna watch it and getting the link for it will only tempt me further, nngghhh]
#2: Prometheus (Directed by Ridley Scott)
What It Is: What started out as an Alien prequel turned into something new, daring, and original the second the script got a rewrite from LOST scribe Damon Lindelof. Centering on a group of astronauts who come across an interstellar artifact that could show them the origins of mankind, they soon realize they’ve unleashed a greater evil that has ties to the original Alien film.
Why You Should Be Excited: The original Alien set a benchmark for both the sci-fi and horror genres with iconic creature design and unbearable amounts of tension. It’s one of my favorite horror films ever, and now the original director of the Alien universe, Ridley Scott, is going back to his sci-fi roots with this prequel of sorts to the original film, that also seems to be a stand-alone sci-fi thrill-ride.
The cast is excellent, with a smorgasboard of amazing actors along the likes of Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Patrick Wilson, and most importantly of all, Michael “The Fass” Fassbender. And if the trailer is any indication, Ridley Scott hasn’t lost a hitch in his step when it comes to incredible tension and mind-blowing production values. No seriously, this is one helluva trailer…
#1: Cloud Atlas (Directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski)
I’m kind of biased towards this pick since the original book, written by David Mitchell, is actually one of my favorite books of all time. But setting aside that fact, Cloud Atlas looks like one of the most mind-blowingly ambitious films of all time. And I don’t use that term lightly.
What It Is: Cloud Atlas follows six connected stories that continue off of one another from a completely different time period and genre altogether. To give you a sense of the variety in these stories, the first one is an 1800s sailor’s tale and the final sixth story is a post-apocalyptic adventure. The structuring is also strange, as it is ordered with the stories nesting into one another with each story being abruptly cut off halfway through, only to recontinue later on. A more simple visual analogy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Why You Should Be Excited: That plot description alone should be enough to tide you over towards the film’s high ambitions, but even more ambitious is the method the directors are choosing to finance and film it all. With a project as ambitious and huge as this, it’s impossible for any self-respecting mega-studio to fund such a crazy risk, so the directors have decided to get funding from other countries (Asian countires, in partiuclar, supported the project since the theme of reincarnation features heavily into the intertwining narratives) reaching a $100 million budget, and having two seperate directing units film the 3 stories each. Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run and Perfume) is handling three stories while the Wachowskis (The Matrix trilogy, as you’re all probably familiar with) are handling the next three.
And that’s not even including the stellar cast including Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon, Ben Whishaw, Bae Doona…damn. Just…damn. Even more insane is that every single actor is going to be switching races and possibly even genders as they switch between the stories (Ben Whishaw confirmed he’d be playing a woman in one story).
This could either be an ambitiously flawed disaster, or the next modern masterpiece of epic proportions. I have more faith in the latter since the book is so strong and you have three talented filmmakers behind it, even in spite of its lofty ambitions. Plus the author, David Mitchell, was a big fan of the screenplay so there is hope.
But even if the movie is ultimately a failure, it’s still going to be not just one of the most interestingly inventive films of the year, but also a benchmark in getting financing for ambitious projects that could very well lead to another masterpiece from a loftily ambitious director.
[No Trailer Yet]
And those are what I’m most looking forward to in 2012. But what I’m even more interested in is what you guys are looking forward too…well, not really, I’ve got a life, but feel free to massage my massive ego, my slaves!
If you agree or disagree with anything in this list or wanna add your own personal anticipated films, go leave a comment. If you wanna see more stuff from me, you can go to http://www.cineffectpodcast.blogspot.com and follow me on twitter @Enigma6667.
That is all.
See ya next time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hide my secret homosexual desires for Michael Fassbender again. Oh, Fass…