In Part 2 of my TOP 15 FILMS TO SEE IN 2012, my selections take you to the farthest reaches of space to Gotham City to Middle Earth.
June 8, 2012
Synopsis: A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
Critic’s Comments: It’s amazing to realize that there’s an entire generation that was born after some of director Ridley Scott’s most classic films, namely Alien and Blade Runner. Not to mention that with the exception of Legend (yeah the one with Tom Cruise and the unicorn), it’s been nearly 30 years since Scott has done a genre film. So when word first started to spread that he was going back to the film that almost singlehandedly created the modern sci-fi/horror genre, fans were going bananas.
Since then however, the film that eventually became Prometheus began as a two-part prequel to Alien. For reasons not completely known, the film scuttled that approach and both Fox Studios and Scott himself have carefully avoided any direct comparisons to the Alien franchise even though the trailer and productions still clearly still share the same DNA. Either way, this film should be something to behold from one of the greats.
10. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
June 22, 2012
(book promo video)
Synopsis: Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, secretly battles with the undead as an ax-throwing, highly trained vampire assassin. Vampires are presented as the real conflict behind the Civil War.
Critic’s Comments: I do love me some genre mash-ups. Shaun of the Dead, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and Attack of the Block all gave a much needed shot of adrenaline into some of their respective genres standard even hackneyed premises. Even in the world of literature, this trend has been popular with Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Now I don’t know what to think of this film to be honest but I’m am willing to take that journey for no other reason than it’s being directed by Timur Bekmambetov (please don’t ask me to pronounce his name.) While his name may not be familiar , his work certainly should be. Bekmambetov is the Russian wunderkind behind the Matrix-infused Night Watch trilogy as well as 2008’s Wanted with Angelina Jolie & James McAvoy. Seeing how this dude knows a thing or two about vampires, I think audiences should be in for quite a treat this summer.
11. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
June 29, 2012
Synopsis: In this sequel, the G.I. Joe team faces off against Zartan, his accomplices, and the world leaders he has under his influence.
Critic’s Comments: I can hear the scoffs and jeers already. ‘How the hell did this piece of sh*t make the list and not Twilight: Breaking Hymen, I mean Breaking Dawn – Part 2?’ Two reasons, one I’m not 14-year-old girl and two, if I’m going to endorse a film solely based on eye candy then I’ll choose Team Rock over Team Edward any day of the week.
For you thirtysomethings out there, this argument is going sound like something right out of middle school circa 1987 but I actually liked the first G.I. Joe better than I’ve liked the past couple of Transformers films. It was just as cheesy and unrealistic as the cartoon was and it seemed like the cast was having a lot of fun playing soldier. While the Transformers franchise has felt like nothing more than multi-gillion dollar car commercials, that took themselves waaay too seriously. Not that being said, it looks like Retaliation is looking to butch up the franchise a bit with the addition of The Rock and Bruce Willis. So now you know and knowing is half the battle.
12. The Amazing Spider-Man
July 3, 2012
Synopsis: Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is going back to high school when the next “Spider-Man” hits theaters in the summer of 2012. The film will focus on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.
Critic’s Comments: Why? Why? Why is the name of all things holy are they trying to reboot a franchise that wasn’t only one of the most successful comic book franchises in history but also only ended not even 5 years ago. And seemingly to add insult to injury, it’s going to be an origin story. The mind boggles to be sure.
Yeah, the trailer looks cool and Andrew Garfield’s (The Social Network) emo Peter Parker is a decidedly distinct departure from ‘aww shucks’ Sam Raimi trilogy. And quite frankly the casting looks (pun intended) amazing. Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field and the Emma Stone will be hard to beat. However, the been there/done that aspect of the origin story might be the film’s undoing. So needless to say, The Amazing Spider-Man has to combat more a reptilian super villain this summer.
13. The Dark Knight Rises
Synopsis: Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Batman (Christian Bale) faces challenges from the brutal Bane (Tom Hardy) and the stealthy Catwoman. (Anne Hathaway)
Critic’s Comments: Dark…Knight…Rises. Holy Anticipation Batman!
November 9, 2012
Synopsis: Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
Critic’s Comments: Alright let’s just address the elephant in the room right now. Quantum of Solace was a letdown, I don’t hate on it as much as most Bond fans but I could live the rest of my life never seeing that movie again. This time around things are much more under wraps. Aside from the title and the slick casting of Javier Bardem as the big bad, not much is known about the 23rd Bond film. By that as it may, I don’t see that being a problem at all this fall.
15. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
December 4, 2012
Synopsis: This prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy follows Bilbo Baggins, an upstanding member of the “little people,” on the hazardous journey with Gandalf the Grey. Together with 13 fortune-seeking dwarves, Bilbo Baggins will be swept out his door and into a dangerous but grand adventure through the Lonely Mountains, where he must contend against all manner of enemies, from dragons, to giant spiders, hostile elves, ravenous wolves, and – perhaps the most perilous of all – a subterranean creature named Gollum from whom Bilbo wins a magical ring (the ring that rules them all) in a riddling contest!
Critic’s Comments: Watching the trailer to The Hobbit felt like putting on an old pair of slippers while sipping on a hot cup of cocoa with those tiny marshmallows. Since I’ve never read The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, the only thing that I really remember about the story was from the animated movie back in the 80’s (which I loved.)
The trailer is everything you would expect it to be despite the fact it tells you almost nothing about the story. Aside from the fact that there are more dwarves in it than a Snow White family reunion. The only twinge of doubt comes from the fact that the least time I eagerly awaited a prequel to a beloved trilogy, I got The Phantom Menace. At any rate, I have a feeling that won’t stop me for a second.