2012 is just around the corner and with it comes a whole host of movies. As well as the essential original concepts, we’ve got sequels, threequels, prequels and reboots coming our way. Needless to say, 2012 is going to be a great year for films. So great in fact, that a wealth of fantastic-looking films failed to make the final 10. Hit the jump for my list of essential viewing for 2012.
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1. Safe House (Out February 24) Ryan Reynolds’ return to good films…
After a disappointing end to 2011, Safe House may be just the film Ryan Reynolds needs to bounce back. The plot sees Reynolds’ rookie CIA operative Matt Weston tasked with looking after fugitive Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington). But when the safe house is attacked by mercenaries, Weston must go on the run with Frost and protect him regardless of his crimes. The prospect of Reynolds and Washington together is an exciting one, and with an interesting narrative and an even better trailer (see below), this could be an early hit.
Starring | Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Brendan Gleeson, Vera Farmiga, Liam Cunningham, Robert Patrick and Nora Arnezeder.
Director | Daniel Espinosa
2. John Carter of Mars (Out March 9) Fourth rock from the Sun…
I wasn’t really excited about John Carter until I saw some outstanding footage at the EMPIRE Big Screen event in August. The film follows John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) who is mysteriously transported to Mars. Once there, he becomes embroiled in a conflict amongst the inhabitants of the planet. The CGI looks impressive, as does the cast, so this is definitely one to watch.
Starring | Taylor Kitsch, Mark Strong, Williem Dafoe, Dominic West, Ciáran Hinds and Thomas Haden Church.
Director | Andrew Stanton
3. Marvel’s The Avengers (Out May 4) Assembling soon at a cinema near you…
Ever since Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury uttered the words ‘The Avengers Initiative’ after the credits of 2008’s Iron Man, it was hard not to get excited about the eagerly anticipated superhero mash-up. After all, it’s not every day you see Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Hulk teaming up. If director Joss Whedon can strike the right balance of heroes, villains, and story, this could be the best superhero movie of the year. Batman included.
Starring | Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson.
Director | Joss Whedon
4. Snow White and the Huntsman (Out June 1) This is not a fairy tale…
Kristen Stewart has attracted her fair share of criticism for her performances in the Twilight movies, and rightly so. However, this does not mean she is not a talented actress; she’s delivered strong turns in The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys. It’s one of the reasons I’m excited to see Rupert Sanders’ take on Snow White. In this intriguing twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman – played by Chris ‘Thor’ Hemsworth – is ordered to kill Stewart’s Snow White but instead ends up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to destroy the evil Queen (Charlize Theron). The trailer looks suitably epic, teasing big action sequences and impressive visuals. This may be the best incarnation of Snow White yet.
Starring | Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost and Toby Jones.
Director | Rupert Sanders
5. The Amazing Spider-Man (Out July 4) It’s the same, but different…
I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard about the Spider-Man reboot, I had my doubts. It will only have been a decade next year since Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire brought the web-slinging hero to life. However, as more and more snippets of information have been revealed, my anticipation has risen. With a cast brimming with quality and a number of interesting changes announced – namely the fact that Mr Parker will be making web-shooters – one thing is for certain; this Spider-Man will be noticeably different from its predecessors. Keep your eyes peeled for the second trailer, due to be released soon.
Starring | Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen and Sally Field.
Director | Marc Webb
6. The Dark Knight Rises (Out July 20) If you’re only going to see one film next year, watch this…
To outline the reasons why we should be very excited for the final chapter in the Batman trilogy would be futile for two reasons: First, I’d rack up such a vicious word count my editor would be having words with me; Second, the reasons are obvious. Everything we’ve seen thus far points toward Rises being a fitting finale for the Dark Knight, and with six months left until its release, there’s undoubtedly more titbits incoming. The wait continues…
Starring | Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman.
Director | Christopher Nolan
7. The Bourne Legacy (Out August 17): Cue the ‘Moby’ theme tune…
What’s this? A Jason Bourne movie without Matt Damon? Preposterous! As one of many who loved the outstanding Bourne trilogy, my initial reaction toward The Bourne Legacy was less than ecstatic. However, Jeremy Renner’s performance in the recent Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol helped quell my doubts. With Tony Gilroy – who was a screenwriter for the previous Bourne movies – at the helm, and a strong supporting cast (see below), I am looking forward to the reboot. Make sure you head back to Yin & Yang when the trailer drops.
Starring | Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Albert Finney, Oscar Isaac, Joan Allen and Stacy Keach.
Director | Tony Gilroy
8. Brave (Out August 17) Pixar is back! And this time, they’ve gone Scottish…
Pixar films never seem to get on my radar, and then when they come out more often than not they are great. That may have been the case once more had I not seen the trailer for Brave when I went to the cinema this month. In her haste to carve out her own life, Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) inadvertently brings chaos to her kingdom which she must undo before it is too late. The visuals in the trailer look stunning, and together with the voice-work Scotland has been brought to life effectively. Now that I know about Pixar’s latest endeavour, I will be expecting excellence when it is released in August.
Starring | Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Billy Connolly, Kelly Macdonald, and Robbie Coltrane.
Director | Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
9. Skyfall (Out October 26) England’s finest secret agent returns…
Ethan Hunt took back the title of best secret agent this year with ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’, but 2012 sees the long awaited return of James Bond. Skyfall will also see the re-emergence of renowned gadget man ‘Q’, and it will be interesting to see what contraptions he comes up with when Bond hits cinemas in October. No trailers as of yet, but make sure you head back to Yin & Yang for the latest on this one.
Starring | Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Albert Finney, Helen McCrory and Ben Winshaw.
Director | Sam Mendes
10. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Out December 14) Back to the Shire…again
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is, to put it simply, one of the best trilogies of all time. Recently, we got our first look at its prequel, entitled The Hobbit, with a trailer that proved underwhelming for some, but nostalgic for others. I was in the latter group, and although it’s still a year away, I am already excited for this one. With the return of great characters such as Gandalf (back in grey this time), Elrond, and Gollum, this will be a great film to finish 2012.
Starring | Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm and Hugo Weaving.
Director | Peter Jackson