Well before 2011 was over people were already claiming 2012 to be one of the best years for film. After all, the only thing better than sequels, remakes and adaptations are above average sequels, remakes and adaptations. But while films like The Hunger Games and The Avengers bask in the financial intake, there are a slew of movies being overshadowed. Not that they need help to generate revenue, but those who want something a bit different from the publicized crop can venture a look.
A Depression-era film starring shouter Shia LaBeouf might not be the best way to kick a list off, but films that deal with law-shrugging gangsters still seem to resonate with many people–and who can blame them? Plus, we have The Road director John Hillcoat at the helm here with a cast that includes Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman, who make relatively good film choices. And as an added bonus, we have Jessica Chastain filling in the pretty-face card. The trailer certainly looks enticing and the film should be a good way to keep our attention between the summer and fall film slaughters of 2012.
A few people are keeping their eyes open for this latest film by Wes Anderson, which got very positive reactions at the Cannes Film Festival. After all, what’s not to like? It’s a dramedy by a talented and acclaimed director, the premise and scenario is different, the cast includes Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel and–brace yourselves–it’s not adapted! Between this and the trailer, which implies a perfect balance of charming and awkward comedy, there should be more anticipation for Moonrise Kingdom than Men In Black 3. Of course, we all know the chances of that happening.
Even with the misstep that was Cars 2, Pixar still appear to have quite a following lined up for Brave. But what about the other animated movies? Frankenweenie has been showing before literally every movie and, quite frankly, sounds more like a bad porno title than anything. Then there’s ParaNorman, which has a very off-beat vibe based on the trailer…but that’s why it might be worthwhile. There’s a bit of Tim Burton meets Nick Park here, except the former aspects should be handled well. And if that turns out to be accurate, then we should have our second promising animated flick this year.
Most movies that deal with the paranormal are little more than campy, B-grade throw-outs, but here’s a movie that could prove to be a little different. The cast is decent enough, which should help Cillian Murphy continue his slow climb of recognition; shame he’ll probably be as old as Christopher Plummer before becoming a household name. That aside, Red Lights should work since it might take its audience seriously. Granted, it’s unlikely this will be a game-changer (since Hollywood hardly know the definition), but the movie can at least raise the standards for its siblings to come.
Okay, let’s be honest: the main reason people will see this movie is because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The man seemed to become an overnight sensation and favorite thanks to 50/50, which isn’t difficult to reason. Beyond that, this film looks to be a fairly by-the-numbers chase/action-thriller, but that’s just the point. Everyone knows all the action movies they want to see this year, so hopefully Premium Rush will be a fun by-the-numbers film. In fact, calling it Speed on a bicycle really doesn’t sound all that crazy after giving it some thought.
Oh look, another gangster/mafia film! Except where Lawless may or may not look merely decent at this point, Gangster Squad could potentially bring us back to the former mafia glory of the 90’s. Almost all of Ryan Gosling’s recent films have been acclaimed, critic-favorites Sean Penn and Nick Nolte are alongside him and, just for good measure, Josh Brolin, Giovanni Ribisi and Emma Stone have parts too. Not everything about the film is promising, however; let’s be honest, the title is just silly and Ruben Fleischer is at the helm. This would be fine, except a little number known as 30 Minutes or Less made his other effort, Zombieland, look like Resident Evil with Citizen Kane-like execution. We’ll just have to hope Ruben has learned from his misstep, much like we’re hoping for Pixar’s redemption after a merely subpar sequel.
What is it with the sudden surge of movies about writers? Ghost Writer, Being Flynn, Ruby Sparks and this: The Words. Though Bradley Cooper did stretch his acting wings in Limitless, this just might make him a card worth taking seriously. Based on the trailer, it almost looks like the movie wants to shoot for some sort of Academy recognition. Now, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, but the film does look promising. Drama, some light-hearted humor and, more than likely, a typical Hollywood ending, should make this a modest hit with casual critics–if such thing exists.
Hey look, it’s Back to the Future meets Inception! There’s a good chance people have noticed the poster for this movie, but don’t know anything about it. Audiences seem to enjoy the movies that do away with some laws of logic while keeping others, and Looper is looking to fit the bill wonderfully. Just don’t expect it to be nearly as huge as either of the aforementioned films, since it’s clear this is more an adrenaline fix than food for thought.