Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Five Blockbusters You Should Be Looking Forward to in 2012

                We all know why most people go to the movies.  To see the big names, as big time heroes, in front of large, ridiculous, expensive explosions.  Yes, blockbusters.  A new one comes out each week all summer.  Some will earn triple its budget, others will see 9 people show up to the first showing and be pulled before the climactic battle scene.  So what am I (and you should be) excited for in 2012?

5. The Hunger Games
                The earliest release on any of these lists is Gary Ross’ (Pleasantville, Big) first live-action film since Seabiscuit was nominated for Best Picture of 2003.  This spring, Ross directs the Suzanne Collins’ script of the first installment of her best-selling trilogy about a teenage girl (Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence) who steps in to compete in a post-apocalyptic juvenile fight to the death.  A movie made in the aftermath of Twilight, this will test the pockets of the ‘tween generation.  Unlike Twilight, THG has a premise that appeals to teen boys and fanboys.  Josh Hutchinson, Woody Harrelson and about half of Hollywood round out the star-studded cast.

4. The Bourne Legacy
                Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon are now gone.  For Damon, there was a nearly even trade for Oscar-nominee and Best Picture-starrer Jeremy Renner.  For Greengrass, an almost fair trade for series co-writer Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, Duplicity).  Renner isn’t Bourne here because Bourne isn’t just a spy alias like (spoiler alert) James Bond.  The film revolves around the consequences of Bourne’s actions during The Bourne Ultimatum.  Joan Allen returns and is joined by Edward Norton & Rachel Weisz.

3. Brave
                For the 10th consecutive year, Pixar has a new full-length animated feature film.  This year, they change things up with a female protagonist and a female co-writer/former director.  Not only is it a heroine-centric, it takes place in a very un-friendly environment for women: 10th century Scotland.  Directed by Brad Bird disciple Mark Andrews, the voice cast includes Kelly MacDonald, Julie Christie and Emma Thompson (plus, of course, John Ratzenburger).

2. The Amazing Spider-Man
                Ten years after the initial Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire offering hit theatres, how about a reboot?  Well, before you get discouraged, it stars the ex-best friend in The Social Network & the girl with the Easy A and the director of (500) Days of Summer.  Now get discouraged: we start over from the beginning and the trailer underwhelms.

1. The Dark Knight Rises
                Christopher Nolan’s & Christian Bale’s swan song to the beloved Gotham City anti-hero.  This time, it’s Bane as the villain and (spoiler alert[?]) Robin as a sidekick (You explain what Joseph Gordon-Levitt is doing in this movie and they are keeping all lips sealed?)  Could this be the first of the trilogy to have a major flaw?  Seriously, what was Bane saying?

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