At this point, it looks like 2012 promises to be a fantastic year for film. So many epic franchises are coming to a close, and so many more are just beginning. Here’s a list of the movies I am most excited for:
16. Taken 2
Not much to say here other than I quite enjoyed Taken, even if Liam Neeson reportedly didn’t. I’m not sure that this will be at all good, but I’m excited nonetheless to see Neeson kicking some butt once again.
15. Underworld: Awakening
I’m a sucker for pretty action scenes in a futuristic setting and Kate Beckinsale as Selene… So I kind of like Underworld series in general. I haven’t yet had the chance to see Rise of the Lycans, but the return of Selene means the return of my butt to the theater to see this film. It’ll be escapist fun, if nothing else, and a worthy antidote to the stigma that’s hung about vampires since Twilight entered the arena.
14. The Dictator
We don’t know much about this one, either, other than that it’s a lot of improv and humor coming from the talented Sacha Baron Cohen, starring as the films titular dictator. What could go wrong?
UPDATE: Read Søren’s review of The Dictator here.
13. Wreck-It Ralph
A Disney animated film about the trials and tribulations of a fictional video game character, this one received a lot of positive buzz at D23.
12. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Nicholas Cage is back as Ghost Rider in this sequel/reboot of the franchise from Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. First of all, I adored Crank (1). The fast-paced action, the humor, the style, the complete implausibility factors- these all combined to make what may be the best Statham movie ever. The sequel was not among my favorite films by any stretch, but the point is these directors have a propensity for action and adrenaline. With Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the directors have taken a decidedly absurd, humorous approach to the character (as is evident from the trailer). Not only that, but Neveldine and Taylor are making sure every shot is as absolutely crazy as possible, going to such lengths as driving off a cliff with a camera in a car parallel to that of the car they’re trying to shoot. They’re going out of their way to really reinvent the character’s look, as well, which is a solid improvement from the previous incarnation. Not only that, but the directors have somehow managed to convince Nicholas Cage to start riding a motorbike again, which can’t hurt when that’s an core aspect of Ghost Rider’s MO. I feel that the franchise is in good hands.
11. Hotel Transylvania
Alright. I’ll admit that I don’t know pretty much anything about this movie aside from its cast, but all you had to say was that Genndy Tartakovsky was helming his first ever movie and I’m on board. Tartakovsky’s perhaps best known for his incredibly popular television shows Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and Power Puff Girls. To say he’s simply an animation guru is to do him a disservice; watch his incredible mini-series Star Wars: Clone Wars (2D animated, not 3D) and you will see that he can work with any source material and elevate it to the status of… well, awesome. The Star Wars prequel storylines don’t exactly have a great reputation, but Tartakovsky proved that with the will to do it, you can squeeze entertainment from that universe. In any case, while the voice cast doesn’t sparkle, I am incredibly excited to see what he does with a big screen film.