2012 will be a huge year for film with some of the most significant sequels of recent times all being released. This article gives a little run down of the ones you should be looking out for, as well as a bit of background on each of them. It’s something I’ve been wanting to write for a while but haven’t had a chance because the site has been in development.
Obviously it’s a very subjective topic, so if you feel differently about any of them please let us know in the comments!
10. The Master
Joaquin Phoenix has been one of the most interesting characters in recent years, after his very public and somewhat debatable decline in recent years, culminating in an retrospective film titled “I’m Still Here”. The Master marks his return to the big screen, and with Paul Thomas Anderson at the helm (director of There Will Be Blood and Magnolia) and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead role, it looks to be very interesting.
Hoffman stars as Lancaster Dodd, a charismatic intellectual who creates a faith based organisation in post World War II America. He enlists a drifter (Phoenix) as his right hand man, but as the film develops he begins to question his belief system and the integrity of Dodd himself.
Expected to be released in mid October, The Master is an exciting film with a lot of potential. There’s no trailer released yet unfortunately!
The hilarious writer behind Family Guy and American Dad, Seth McFarlane, is making his directorial debut in this upcoming comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. Wahlberg stars as John, a middle aged Boston native who wished for his teddy bear to come alive as a child. McFarlane stars as the teddy bear, Ted, who leads the laughs with his foul mouthed and crude humour.
Ted will not revolutionise anything, and it seems awfully derivative of the Australian TV show “Wilfred”, but the trailer is so funny that I couldn’t leave it from the list. I’d expect this to be this year’s “The Hangover”.
This is a film that may have slipped under the radar so far for a lot of our readers. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Children Of Men and Y Tu Mamá También), Gravity stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as the only two surviving astronauts aboard a damaged space station sent to repair the Hubble telescope.
Cuarón is yet to disappoint, and whilst this sounds like an ambitious project he has two very established and well respected actors to help.
Unfortunately, there is no trailer available for this film either!
James Bond films are a defining staple of every generation, and everyone will have their own personal preferences. That said, Daniel Craig has been incredibly well received as the latest iteration, and Skyfall has had some good chatter leading up to its release.
Its predecessor, Quantum of Solace, was hit hard by the writer’s strike. It was in the middle of production when all of Hollywood’s writers banded together to demand more compensation for their work, and it resulted in a pretty poorly scripted film (which Daniel Craig reportedly had to contribute to, as well as some of the other actors!). Skyfall has had none of these issues, and is going to be an incredibly exciting release for 2012.
Still no trailer just yet!
Looper is a particularly exciting release for me, as I’m a bit obsessed with any film involving time travel or Joseph Gordon-Levitt, so it’s somewhat of a dream come true. Looper stars JGL and Bruce Willis as the same character from different time periods. In a futuristic society JGL stars as a hitman who kills people sent back from the future, but one day he hesitates when a familiar looking man appears, and he pursues the man from the future as he tries to escape.
From the director of moody teen film Brick, Looper is a real odd ball in the 2012 releases, but it could be one of the most surprising releases of the year.
5. Django Unchained
Tarantino’s releases always come with a lot of expectations, and Django Unchained is no exception. The film follows Jamie Foxx as a freed slave who treks across the country with Christopher Waltz, a trained bounty hunter. Together they hunt down Foxx’s enslaved wife to rescue her from Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays a charming yet sadistic plantation owner.
With Inglorious Basterds Tarantino aimed to revolutionise the war film industry, and with Django Unchained he hopes to change the spaghetti Western. An ambitious project which few would attempt, but with his repertoire of successes and all-star cast (also includes Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Sacha Baron Cohen, and more) he is in pole position to succeed.
4. The Avengers
I was lucky enough to be invited to see Captain America in a private screening at the Disney building a few months back. It was incredibly exciting for me, being a life long Marvel fan, and before the film started one of the people involved in the film came on stage and gave us a little background for the film. At that point I realised the scale of this film, as he explained that all of the films they have produced in the last few years have purely existed as trailers for The Avengers, which he described as their most ambitious project so far.
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) have all paired up to fight against Thor’s brother, Loki, in the biggest super hero film of all time. It’s out very soon, so make sure you go see this epic film experience in the cinema!
Prometheus has been shrouded in secrecy in recent months, and very little is known about it still. From acclaimed director Ridley Scott, Prometheus is the spiritual successor to the hugely successful Alien trilogy.
It is set in the same universe, but serves as a prequel and is based many years before the other flims. It has garnered a lot of intrigue recently as its viral campaign has hit full momentum. Most notable was a chilling video released last week called “Happy Birthday David” where Michael Fassbender stars as an android delivering a very controlled yet emotionally powerful speech.
Prometheus has raised itself to a pedestal with the intrigue and mystique surrounding it, and whether it will deliver remains to be seen. However, either way it will be sure to place a landmark on science fiction cinema, and will definitely be one to watch.
2. The Hobbit
The Lord Of The Rings trilogy was one of the greatest achievements of modern cinema, and one that looks to hold its own for decades to come. Acclaimed director Peter Jackson has returned once again to build upon his legacy with the epic prequel, The Hobbit.
When I was a child The Hobbit was one of my favourite books, and I actually preferred it to Lord Of The Rings by a country mile. The story feels like so much of an adventure, and Bilbo is a fantastic character to lead it (played by Martin Freeman, known primarily for The Office and Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy). Initial imagery and the launch trailer look incredibly promising, and this two parter looks set to impress. They have managed to keep considerable intrigue too with no images released of one of the primary antagonists, Smaug the dragon.
The Hobbit will inevitably be a film to mark an era, and I can’t wait to be taken on another winding adventure through Middle Earth.
1. The Dark Knight Rises
A lot of people may question my choice at #1, but the reality is the top 5 could all be pushing for this spot. That said, this trilogy holds a special place in my heart and the closing chapter looks to be phenomenal. Led by one of the world’s greatest directors, Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises is the culmination of the best told superhero story of all time.
Until Nolan took the helm comic book films have been the fodder of families and nerds, never really being taken seriously as an artistic genre. Nolan has successfully turned this on its head, taking the darkest and most gritty elements of Gotham’s saviour and created a truly exceptional film series. Christian Bale stars as Batman with actors like Gary Oldman and Joseph Gordon Levitt supporting, as well as the introduction of Tom Hardy as the new antagonist – Bane.
The battle between good and evil has never been dramatised as well as in these films, and the final chapter looks to continue the trend and stake it’s place in modern film history.
And that concludes the list! Of course there were numerous outsiders who nearly made the list, and are still worth checking out. In fact, this year is full of films with high expectations, which made breaking it down so difficult! Here’s a quick run through of the outsiders:
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter | Moonrise Kingdom | The Amazing Spiderman | Brave | Men In Black 3 | American Reunion | Total Recall | The Master | Paranormal Activity 4 | Life Of Pi | Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World
Are there any others I’ve missed out? What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!