5. The Dark Knight Rises
Confession time. I liked Batman Begins more than The Dark Knight, and even then the Dark Knight Trilogy isn’t my favorite version of Batman (Kevin Conroy for life). Going into why would take a whole other post, but I’ll narrow it down to one of my biggest beefs:
I cannot stand the goddamn Bat Voice.
My opinion of the final film in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is going to rest heavily on whether or not Christian Bale still sounds like he’s gargling marbles while being punched in the face. That and other issues aside, Nolan’s trilogy is still very good, and I’m looking forward to this final chapter. The plot involves Bane and Catwoman stirrin’ sh*t up, and about half the actors from Inception have joined the cast. I don’t consider that last point a plus though, since I have no idea how they’ll find enough screentime for Batman with all the new players, especially given his reduced spotlight in The Dark Knight. All that said, I really am still looking forward to the movie, and the recent trailer blew me away. Multiple Tumblers, Anne Hathaway actually pulling off a slinky villain vibe, and a Tumbler version of the Batwing all have me far more excited for the movie than I was before. I also get the feeling that Bane will manage the trick of not overshadowing Batman (as the Joker did) as well as being a worthy adversary with a singular quality: his voice is even harder to understand than The Bat’s.
UPDATE: Read and listen to our Dueling Review of The Dark Knight Rises here.
4. The Cabin In The Woods
I hate to crowd this list with Joss Whedon, but look, it’s not my fault he’s got 3 movies coming out in 2012, and technically he only co-wrote this one. Plus, Cabin‘s release has been delayed for two years because of MGM’s financial troubles. I have a poster for the film on my wall which lists Cabin‘s release date as February 2010. So what’s the film about? Beats me. The plot’s been tightly under wraps and somehow managed to stay that way for the past couple of years, but it’s described as a horror-comedy, as well as a deconstruction of the horror movie genre. The cast includes Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, as well as Whedon alumni Amy Acker and Fran Kranz.
UPDATE: Read and listen to our Dueling Review of The Cabin in the Woods here.
Another no-brainer. I am the guy who teaches classes on Pixar. Brave is Pixar’s first non-sequel in 3 years, and marks several other firsts for the studio. It’s their first fairy tale, first female protagonist, and first ginger protagonist. Well, not if you count Marlin from Finding Nemo, but seriously, watch the trailer. The girl’s got some crazy hair. Pixar is fresh from their first critical flub, but I doubt Cars 2 is indicative of their future (even if Cars 2 still made tons of money). If anything, I bet it’ll just fuel their drive to keep making awesome films. No story deets yet, but if the trailer’s anything to go by, it’s about a Scottish ginger fighting a bear – a winning premise if there ever was one.
2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
I didn’t think this was ever going to pull out of development hell. First Peter Jackson bumped himself down to the producer slot, then lawsuits happened between him and New Line, then New Line tanked, then the film lost 10 directors or so, then after around 14 more crises The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is finally getting made with Jackson back in the director’s seat. The original trilogy are some of the best films of all time, much of the original cast and crew is back, and Arthur Dent (I mean Martin Freeman) is playing Bilbo. Sounds like a mighty fine recipe.
Can’t wait to see Gandalf on screen again.
UPDATE: Read Ari’s review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey here.
1. The Avengers
Was there ever a question whether this would take the top spot? Joss Whedon is directing Robert Downey, Jr., for Odin’s sake. The first trailer was quippy and flashy, and had Iron Man telling Bruce Banner he’s a huge fan of his work and how he “loses control and turns into a giant green rage monster.” More seriously, the biggest problem the film could have is how many frigging characters it has; Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury, Loki, and anyone else who might pop in to say hello. Giving everyone their share of screentime is going to be the The Avengers’ greatest challenge, but Whedon has been making ensemble pieces for over a decade. Furthermore, Whedon’s done so in over 3 mediums: television, film, AND comic books. I’m not just being a Whedon fanboy, he’s just extremely qualified for the job.
Plus Cap America and Thor were fighting each other in the trailer. Summer can’t come soon enough.
UPDATE: Read my review of The Avengers here.
The trailers aren’t grabbing me, but it has Wall-E’s director, Andrew Stanton, making his first leap into live-action. Definitely gonna give it a chance. I hate that the 3D is post-converted though. I guess Alice in Wonderland’s billion dollar gross didn’t teach Disney anything. Oh, wait.
A mostly narmless-looking bicycle action movie starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The camera work grabs me.
UPDATE: Read Søren’s review of Premium Rush here.
The Pirates! Band Of Misfits
Gotta love Pathé’s stop-motion movies. Curious to see how this will compare to ParaNorman.
I haven’t heard anything about this movie until recently, but it’s romance between a girl and a zombie. A match made in heaven.
UPDATE: Read Josh’s review of Warm Bodies here.
Ah, the psychological space thriller. Has there ever been a more bipolar movie genre? That said, if anyone can pull one off, it’s Ridley Scott, director of Alien.
UPDATE: Read and listen to our Dueling Review of Prometheus here.
Don’t forget to post your comments below, and remember to check out Søren’s 2012 list, as well.