Editor's Note 01.26.12: My Most Anticipated Films of 2012
Posted by Chad Webb on 01.26.2012
From Cloud Atlas and Bullet to the Head to The Man With The Iron Fists, Seven Psychopaths, and more, 411's Chad Webb ranks his Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012! Plus, 2013 Oscar predictions!
MY MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS OF 2012
I tried to exclude blockbusters and films that we all know about like the comic adaptations, The Dark Knight Rises, The Expendables 2, or The Hunger Games. I'm looking forward to them as much as all of you are, so why reiterate the obvious? You also might not see a film on here if the release date occurs within the next few weeks like Bela Tarr's The Turin Horse or Studio Ghibli's The Secret World of Arrietty.
In addition, if it made my predictions for next year's Academy Award for Best Picture list, it will not appear on the list below because I don't double-up. I wouldn't really look at this as a specific order, but I listed them according to what films I'm most excited for as best I could. I numbered them because it looks better, and I chose 13 because I didn't see the point of limiting my most anticipated films to 10. In perusing the list of upcoming films, I had to be aware of which ones were just speculated to be released this year and which ones were close to definite. There are so many films I'm interested in, and I could not fit them all below, but hopefully these spark your interest as they have mine.
13.THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS - Admittedly, I am eager for Pixar's Brave, but the trailer for Aardman's next effort about a group of dimwitted pirates had me laughing a great deal. The story follows the Captain trying win "Pirate of the Year" award. I'm a huge fan of anything Aardman releases, so I'm hoping this one delivers. I doubt many people in the US will see it, but oh well. I get tired of the cookie cutter CGI offerings from most major studios.
12.THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS - A martial arts movie directed by Rza and starring Russell Crowe? It could be off the charts awesome, or a really strange misfire. After all, Dave Bautista is in this as well. The story involves a blacksmith in China who ends up having to defend a village. The idea of Crowe being in a martial arts movie is odd enough, but the man standing at the helm is Wu-Tang's Rza. Yes, I know he has a fondness for martial arts cinema, and I'm praying that translates to him being a master at crafting one himself.
11.FLIGHT - A release date for this has not been determined yet, but before the world allegedly ends, I hope to see a new Robert Zemeckis live-action film. The story is about an airline pilot who stops a plane from crashing, but an investigation into the incident reveals something troubling. I've heard rumors about the rest of the plot (time travel maybe?), but Zemeckis is one of my favorite directors, so I'm on board no matter what. It stars Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, and Melissa Leo.
10.MOVIE 43 - I wrote about this one last year. Basically it is an anthology film comprised of approximately 11 different directors and a varying amount of stars such as Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Emma Stone, and so forth. I love stuff like Paris, je t'aime, and find it fascinating to watch actors grab your attention, move you, and make us laugh with a short amount of time on screen. There is still only a limited amount of information about this, but hopefully it finally sees the light of day in 2012. It is described as a comedy, and the word is that the delay stems from it passed between Overture Films to Relativity Media.
9.SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS - A new film from Martin McDonagh has me excited. Since his Oscar winning short Six Shooter, I have been a fan, and In Bruges made my Top 10 for 2008. This one has a brilliant cast led by Colin Farrell and Woody Harrelson. The plot sounds strange, but who'd have it any other way. It concerns a screenwriter got gets involved with the dog kidnapping plot of his friend. McDonagh is known for mixing humor, action, drama, and suspense in the most mesmerizing fashion. I hope he scores another hit here.
8.BULLET TO THE HEAD - I am a huge Stallone fan, so any mainstream film he does is one I'm amped for. His DTV resume is another story. Everyone is hoping The Expendables 2 is good, but I decided to put this one on my list instead. Walter Hill directs this gritty thriller about a cop and a hitman joining forces to defeat a common enemy. Aside from Sly, the cast has Jason Momoa and Christian Slater, which is intriguing. With Stallone, I only expect an entertaining actioner. Hopefully this meets that expectation because Hill's previous two efforts (Undisputed, Last man Standing) left a lot to be desired.
7.ONLY GOD FORGIVES - After Bronson and Drive, I will definitely be following every project director Nicolas Winding Refn attaches himself to from now on. The plot is described as a Bangkok police lieutenant and a gangster settling their difference in a Thai boxing match. It doesn't get more bonafide bada$$ than that, except Ryan Gosling is the male lead and Kristin Scott Thomas is the female star. This one should be terrific.
6.THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT/JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME (Tie) - There are not many comedic actors who induce consistent laughs from yours truly, but Jason Segel is one of them (Paul Rudd is another). I have seen trailers for both of these films and they both come across as hilarious. Segel is one of the best funnymen in the business right now. As long as he keeps making movies, I will pay to see them. The plots are pretty much described in the titles I guess. His female co-star in Engagement is Emily Blunt. If I had to give the edge to one, it would be Jeff Who Lives at Home, which is directed by the Cyrus team of Jay and Mark Duplass.
5.COGAN'S TRADE - It has been five years since Andrew Dominik has released a film, but I loved The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and I sincerely hope his next offering is just as spectacular. This one stars Brad Pitt, who just gets better with age, along with a superb cast with James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, and more. The plot synopsis is as follows: "Jackie Cogan is a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game." Dominik has a style not unlike Terrence Malick, so it will be interesting to see how he handles this material.
4.THE GRANDMASTERS - Wong Kar Wai returns to China after the disappointment of My Blueberry Nights and now he is directing a film based on the martial arts master Ip Man. This is strange, but fascinating since an Ip Man franchise already exists. I like The Grandmasters title better, and the fact that this film stars the masterful Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang. Perhaps this will be more of a straight biopic. Either way, Wong Kar Wai is one of the world's greatest filmmakers, and I'm glad to see him back in the game. We have gone without him for too long.
3.AMOUR - This will be the next film from divisive German filmmaker Michael Haneke. Like Malick, he does not win over all audiences, but each one of his films is hypnotizing, brave, and unlike anything you've ever seen. His follow-up to The White Ribbon is about a retired couple dealing with the consequences after the wife suffers a stroke. This feature reunites Haneke with The Piano Teacher star Isabella Huppert. This is one I will be seeing without my wife. Suffice to say we do not have a joint love of Haneke.
2.THE RAID - This film has received steadily building buzz for many months now, mainly because an American remake was greenlit apparently as soon as the director said "That's a wrap." This is an Indonesian martial arts film from Welsh director Gareth Evans. It seems that it will finally get a release date, possibly worldwide, in March. The poster and random pics I have come across make this look like all kinds of kick-a$$. After perusing the message boards, some people are so excited for this I fear they may suffer a nervous breakdown if it turns out to be a piece of shit, or gets delayed any further.
1.CLOUD ATLAS - This is the title that is truly up in the air in terms of when it will hit theaters, but I'm holding out hope. This is a science-fiction anthology film from Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski brothers. It covers six different stories, all of which take place in different time periods, but all are interconnected. If you're still not sure about it, the ensemble cast stars Tom Hanks and Hugo Weaving, along with Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant, and many more. It is adapted from David Mitchell's 2004 novel of the same name and is described as an extremely ambitious project. This is the one I have the highest expectations for. I've only seen one image, which you can see on the left, and it looks incredible.
Other Films I'm Looking Forward To
* Something in the Air - Directed by Olivier Assyas (Carlos)
* The End - Directed by Abbas Kiarostami (Certified Copy)
* Looper - Directed by Rian Johnson (Brick)
* The Impossible - Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage)
* Bernie - Directed by Richard Linklater, starring Jack Black
LOOKING BACK AT MY MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS OF 2011
These are the films I selected at the beginning of 2011 as the ones I was most looking forward to. Some were disappointments like 30 Minutes or Less, The Future, and Our Idiot Brother, while others ended up being incredibly fulfilling like Melancholia, Moneyball, and The Guard. Space Battleship Yamato has yet to receive a proper US release sadly. I excluded two titles because they were never released, but will appear on my 2012 list.
- 13 Assassins
- 30 Minutes or Less
- The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
- Arthur Christmas
- The Borrower Arrietty
- Space Battleship Yamato
- Damsels in Distress
- The Future
- The Guard
- Larry Crowne
- My Idiot Brother
LOOKING BACK AT MY OSCAR PREDICTIONS FOR 2012
Below are the Oscar predictions I made for the upcoming ceremony. I made these predictions at the beginning of 2011. I always think it's amusing to take a look back and see what I wrote about certain films before a lot was known about them. Several of them have not been released, such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Black Gold, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and The Impossible.
Also, I made a prediction last year that Pixar might not win in the Best Animated Film category, and it looks like I'll be correct. As you can see, my picks are not too strange, but I'm still disappointed I only nailed 3 in The descendants, War Horse, and The Tree of Life. Albert Nobbs got enough acting nominations that you'd think they would give it a Best pic nod, but alas it was not to be so I could have one more correct pick. To view the original article just so you can mmake sure I didn't change anything, click here.
1. Albert Nobbs - Glenn Close portrays a man in 19th century Ireland who keeps the disguise to get the luxuries a male has. This has a good cast with Michael Gambon, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and more. It is also directed by Rodrigo Garcia (Nine Lives, Mother and Child). I'd say this has a chance.
2. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - John Madden directs this drama about British retirees outsourcing their retirement to less expensive, yet more exotic India. The cast includes Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, and Dev Patel. The only thing that will stop this is if it doesn't come out in time.
3. Coriolanus - Ralph Fiennes makes his directing debut in this modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare's play. The cast has Gerard Butler, Ralph Fiennes, William Hurt, Eddie Marsan, and Brian Cox. Honestly, I'm not sure about this one, but the pickins are slim, so I have faith in Ralph Fiennes and Shakespeare.
4. A Dangerous Method - David Cronenberg directs this story about turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud, and Sabina Spielrein, the troubled but beautiful young woman who comes between them. The cast has Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Vincent Cassel, and Sarah Gadon. Cronenberg has really reinvented himself in recent years, and this seems right up the Academy's alley.
5. The Descendants - Alexander Payne's first film since Sideways in 2004. His work is commonly up for awards. This stars George Clooney, Judy Greer, Beau Bridges, and Robert Forster. It's described as a family drama with comedic touches.
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - After The Social Network, I learned not to doubt David Fincher. The original Swedish film was snubbed in every manner possible, so if this is good, look for the Academy to honor it up the ying yang with noms. We'll see.
7. The Impossible - From Juan Antonio Bayona, director of The Orphanage, comes a story about family caught in the tsunami off the coast of Thailand in 2004. Now, normally I would have looked past this, and I feel a bit guilty choosing it here, but in light of the events in Japan, if this is a good film, it could gain a lot of awards attention. It stars Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, and more.
8. The Ides of March - George Clooney directs and stars in this obvious awards contender about a staffer for a Presidential candidate who gets educated on dirty politics on the campaign trail. The cast also has Ryan Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
9. War Horse - This is another film from Steven Spielberg, and it hits theaters around Christmas time. You know what that means? He is aiming for gold statues. The plot involves a young man named Albert and his horse. Their bond is broken when the horse is sent to World War I and Albert goes after him.
10. Tree of Life - Terrence Malick's film, which he has worked on for years, was due out last year, and was on my list last year, but it got delayed. Now it's hitting theaters at the end of May, and I can't wait. Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain star about a family in the 1950's. I really hope this is good. Malick deserves his time in the sun.
- Live with It (Re-titled 50/50) - This is from the director of The Wackness, Jonathan Levine. It's about a guy diagnosed with cancer who recognizes what he has in life and what he took for granted. The cast has Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, and Bryce Dallas-Howard.
- Black Gold - I have a strong feeling about this one. This is about a young Arab prince who is torn between his allegiance to his conservative father and his liberal father-in-law after oil is discover in the Gulf. The cast includes Mark Strong, Antonio Banderas, Tahar Rahim, and Freida Pinto. Jean-Jacques Annaud is directing.
- Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - Not totally sure if this is even coming out in 2011, but it follows Dr. Alfred Jones, a scientist who is bringing salmon fishing to the highlands of Yemen, and it changes the course of british history. The cast as Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, and Kristin Scott-Thomas. Lasse Hallstrom directs this, and he can always be a contender.
MY OSCAR PREDICTIONS FOR 2013
These are my picks for what I think will be the Best Picture nominees in 2013. I don't expect to get them all correct, as you never can tell what unknown flick will gain momentum, but here's what my guesses are.
- Lincoln - How can this not be on the list? Hell, it might even win. Steven Spielberg directs Daniel Day-Lewis in a performance that is sure to garner him another Oscar nomination at the very least. He plays President Abraham Lincoln, and anyone that has seen the image of Lewis as Honest Abe knows this is a film to keep your eye on.
- The Master - The next film from Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) is sure to be a contender. This one is is set in the 1950's and follows the relationship between the leader of a faith-based organization that becomes increasingly popular and a drifter who becomes his right-hand man. It is said to be about Scientology. This will see the return of Joaquin Phoenix, but will also star Laura Dern, Amy Adams, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. I'm psyched for this.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Since The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King walked home with a boatload of statues, it is only logical to assume Peter Jackson's first installment of The Hobbit could stand a chance next year as well. We're all crossing our fingers that this long sought after adaptation is as great as it can be. If not, I fear the Mayans might have been right.
- Gravity - Alfonso Cuaron's first feature since 2006 is definitely viewed as one of the year's most anticipated efforts. Cuaron is a magnificent filmmaker, and you're never quite sure what type of project he'll attach himself to, but regardless of what genre he embraces at the time, it will have momentum when the award noms are announced. This one stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. It follows the lone survivor of a space mission who is trying to get home to see their daughter.
- Inside Llewyn Davis - Anything by the Coens is a safe bet for Best Picture predictions. The brother duo can put just about anything into the theater nowadays and have it be ripe for contention. I honestly had no clue what this was about before researching this, but the plot is about a singer/songwriter navigating New York's folk music scene during the 1960's. It stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, and Garrett Hedlund. I look forward to everything by the Coens, so this should be good.
- Les Miserables - It has been awhile since a musical lit up the Academy Awards, but it is always a possibility. I have seen my fill of Les Miserables adaptations over the years, so I am not expecting grand things from this biullionth version, but I do like the story, so one never knows. What heightens its chances? The man at the helm is Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) and the cast is saturated with top-tier talent. Don't dismiss this one.
- Django Unchained - Quentin Tarantino has reached that territory where just about every new film he releases will be an assumed contender. What makes his case special is that he can pull this off with projects the Academy would normally not consider. Now it seems QT is tackling the western genre full-on, and is bringing Jamie Foxx as his lead, along with Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the list goes on. Seeing a Tarantino film is still one of the best experiences.
- The Dark Knight Rises - Initially, I wasn't going to select The Dark Knight Rises for this list, but I thought I would take a gamble because, after all, The Dark Knight did not receive one in 2008 and people were incredibly irritated. If the final installment of this trilogy is as good as that was, the Academy will want to make up for their previous omission. Plus, this is from Christopher Nolan, who doesn't know how to release a bad film, and even though Bane's voice has the internet world worried, I will remain optimistic.
- Life of Pi - With Ang Lee, you can get something great (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) or something mediocre (Taking Woodstock), but we should never count him out of an Oscar race, especially since this film is slated for a late December release. This story focuses on a young Indian boy named Pi, a zookeeper's son who spends time with various animals after he and his family become shipwrecked. On paper I would never bet on this as a Best Picture candidate, but the filmmaker can change everything.
- Hyde Park on Hudson - Directed by Roger Michell (Venus, Changing Lanes), this story revolves around the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley during the 1939 weekend when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visit upstate New York. The stars are Bill Murray, who wants to make one or two more efforts for that golden statue, and Laura Linney, whom all the award committees have their own love affair with. As far as my interest goes, I'm iffy on this, but any portrayals of prominent figures is right the Academy's alley.
Other Possibilities - On the Road, Prometheus, Argo, The Silver Linings Playbook, Brave
Another year is gone and now my Best/Worst articles are done. Hopefully you had fun reading them. Now it will be time to concentrate on The Academy Awards and beating everyone with my predictions.