If the Mayans are right and the world really is going to end in 2012, then at least Hollywood will treat us to many big name movies before the end of times. This year is easily one of the biggest in movie history in terms of big budget blockbusters and sequels. From Scottish animated Princesses and familiar Hobbits to heroic super heroes and Dark Knights the year of 2012 is going to be big!
Release Date: June 22
Director: Mark Andrews
Starring: Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, and Craig Ferguson
Synopsis: A Scottish princess, named Merida, challenges the traditions of her culture by setting out on her own path in life and to carve out her own adventure in the lore of her people.
Why you should be excited: We start this list off with an animated film that should have both kids and adults buzzing. Pixar is one of the few film studios out there that consistently makes great films that not only appeal to children but adults as well. Though last summer’s Cars 2 didn’t fare as well as previous Pixar films, Brave promises to blend action, adventure, and wit all together for a great time at the movie theaters that the whole family can enjoy.
9. John Carter
Release Date: March 9
Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church
Synopsis: Based on the novel A Princess from Mars tells the story of a Civil War veteran who is miraculously transported to Mars where he learns the planet is dying from the loss of its atmosphere and water and the only way to save it is to bring about a peaceful alliance between the warring alien races on its surface.
Why you should be excited: Fans of Avatar will likely get in line to see this film as the movie appears to have much of the same Sci-Fi elements that made that film so popular. The visuals, CGI, and special effects look to be top notch and the action looks intense and exciting. Though the premise seems questionable, John Carter will likely be a fun precursor to the epic summer films that await in the coming months after its release.
8. The Hunger Games
Release Date: March 23
Director: Gary Ross
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson,
Synopsis: Based on the popular young adults novel, the story of the film takes place in the ruins of what was once North America in the near future where one boy and one girl, between the ages of 12 and 17, are chosen each year from each of the 12 districts to participate in The Hungers Games, a game show where contestants fight each other to the death until one is left standing. In district 12, 16-year-old Katiness Everdeen volunteers after her younger sister is chosen in the lottery. Now she must survive the Hunger Games so that she may see her friends and family once more.
Why you should be excited: Though I haven’t read the books themselves, I am familiar with the premise of The Hunger Games. A lot of the story’s themes and style are very similar to a famous Japanese manga and live-action movie called Battle Royale which is more or less the same idea. Its interesting story though and I think movie-goers will definitely be drawn to the story’s dark themes about the blending of violence and entertainment in our society on TV and in the media. This and seeing the young rising star, Jennifer Lawrence, should make this an attractive film to watch for fans of the book and regular moviegoers alike.
7. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Release Date: June 22
Director: Timur Bekmamtov, produced by Tim Burton
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dominic Cooper
Synopsis: Based on the fanciful history novel of the same name, the film looks to tell the story of our 16th president’s exploits as a Vampire Hunter.
Why you should be excited: While Tim Burton productions are often hit or miss for me, it’s hard not to at least be a little interested in a pseudo-history premise such as this. Just the idea of seeing Lincoln staking a vampire should be enough to check this movie out when summer rolls around.
6. Django Unchained
Release Date: N/A, likely around Christmas
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Fox, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz
Synopsis: A pulpy spaghetti western about a former slave turned bounty hunter, named Django, who must rescue his wife from a brutal southern plantation owner.
Why you should be excited: While Tarantino is also hit or miss for me, his last film Inglourious Basterds is one of my favorites of all time and I have a feeling this film will be even more pulpy fun. I’m also very curious to see what A-list actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Fox are like in a Tarantino movie. Other big name actors on board for Django include Samuel L. Jackson, Joeseph Gordon-Levitt, and Sacha Baron Cohen. It should all make for a fun Pulp Fiction-esque film that should not be missed!
5. The Amazing Spiderman
Release Date: July 3
Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
Synopsis: The famous web-slinger returns in a brand new reboot of the Spiderman comic books starting from Peter Paker’s origins in high school.
Why you should be excited: A few weekends before The Dark Knight Rises comes out movie-goers will be treated to another famous comic book hero: Spiderman! While it may seem a bit early to be doing a reboot of film series that started only a decade ago in 2002, Spiderman was in deep need of a revamp after the God awful finale of Sam Ramie’s Spiderman 3. Andrew Garfield definitely looks the part as Peter Parker and Emma Stone is a good cast for Gwen Stacy, so hopefully the reboot is the beginning of something special in this famous super hero series.
4. The Avengers
Release Date: May 4
Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansen, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddelston
Synopsis: Earth’s greatest heroes, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and The Hulk must assemble together to take on evil Asgardian Loki who plans to conquer all of mankind.
Why you should be excited: After four long years of steady build-up and super hero films, The Avengers finally assemble! Ever since the end credits scene of Iron Man Marvel fans have been heavily anticipating The Avengers movie and now finally we will all be treated to the visual treat of seeing all these famous heroes on the big screen. The film will kick off a big summer movie season on May 4 and I guarantee there will be sold out midnight premiers across the country when it comes out. I know I will be at one of them.
Release Date: June 8
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce
Synopsis: A team of explorers journey to the darkest corners of the universe to discover the truth behind the origins of mankind. In the process they may have discovered their end as well.
Why you should be excited: Not much is known about what to expect from Ridley Scott’s much anticipated return to science fiction but that’s why you should all be excited. He wouldn’t do it unless he had something big planned and Prometheus may just be that. The film is headlined by an all-star cast and if any of you have seen the trailer yet, you probably can tell that this film is going to be big on everything from the thrills, the intensity, and special effects. Fans of Scott’s Alien should definitely check this out.
2. The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey
Release Date: December 14
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Graham McTavish, Kate Blanchett
Synopsis: Based off the famous book that takes place before The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit tells the story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures that led to the discovery of the ring of power.
Why you should be excited: Easily the most famous film series of the last decade, Peter Jackson’s classic film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkein’s famous novel trilogy The Lord of the Rings, are easily among my top favorites of all time and many moviegoers would agree to that too. Now with The Hobbit, fans of those films will finally get to see the back-story to The Lord of the Rings. The prospect of nostalgia alone for any lover of Peter Jackson’s amazing trilogy should be enough to see this film. Expect much sword and sorcery in this epic film adaptation.
1. The Dark Knight Rises
Release Date: July 20
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Marion Cottilard
Synopsis: Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Batman must take on new evil rising in Gotham city who goes by the name of Bane.
Why you should be excited: Need I ask? Ever since the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s instant classic, The Dark Knight, fans and movie-goers alike have been anxious for the sequel and now finally Nolan brings the epic Batman trilogy to a close with The Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Nolan is easily one of the best directors in the business today and his work on the Batman series has been nothing short of amazing. His gritty style, storytelling, and edginess has helped revamp Batman’s image after those atrocious films by Joel Schumacher in the 90’s (one word: Bat nipples). Even though it’s hard to top what Nolan did with The Dark Knight, I believe this last installment in the series has the potential to be the best of them all and even if it isn’t I have no doubt it will be the biggest