2012, if the Mayans are right, is the end of the world, which could be why Hollywood is churning out one great film after another in the coming year. How do we know everyone is anticipating a particular movie, you say? The same way how stockbrokers earn you your money, that is, we did research, which then goes through our mind machines of instinct and preferential treatment. In short, it is a long process best explained at another time, but bear in mind that the movies on this list are not sorted in any particular order and any omitted movies are due to the lack of space for this feature. Now, get on to reading our 12 most anticipated movies for 2012!
The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway
Based on Nolan's current track record, it is hard to believe that he can do any wrong, what more to a franchise that he helped rebooted from the days of Joel Schumacher's nippled Batsuit and the abominations that are Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy. Nolan is definitely not pulling any punches from "The Dark Knight Rises", casting all the heavy-hitters in one movie such as Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, and Marion Cotillard, alongside Christian Bale, who plays the titular Dark Knight, a.k.a. Batman. The epic conclusion to "The Dark Knight" takes place eight years later, where terrorist leader Bane, played by a very buff Tom Hardy, arrives in Gotham City to create anarchy. With the police force pushed to their limits, the city's former hero, Batman, must find it in himself to rise after taking the fall for Harvey Dent's crimes. .
Director: Joss Whedon
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston
When you have created hit television series like "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", "Angel", "Firefly" and "Dollhouse", any moves that Joss Whedon makes is bound to create a ripple in the waters of Hollywood. Now, the feminist is back for a movie filled with testosterone, so there is no doubt that equal screen time will be given to all the cast, notably Black Widow, who is played by Scarlett Johansson, and Agent Maria Hill, who will be played by Cobie Smulders of "How I Met Your Mother" fame. In this fan boys' wet dream, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agency, led by Nick Fury, has managed to bring together a team of superheroes to help save the Earth from annihilation by extraterrestrial invaders, led by Thor's step-brother, Loki.
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis
Would you like to know how it all began? How Bilbo Baggins brought back that one ring that started the war and the journey to Mordor to destroy it? In the first part titled "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", we are introduced to Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, a young hobbit who is pulled from his idyllic life in The Shire by the wizard, Gandalf the Grey, on a journey to the Lonely Mountain to help a group of dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield, reclaim a treasure taken from them by the dragon Smaug. It is when they travel through the goblin tunnels that Bilbo meets the creature, Gollum, who holds possession of the famed ring that will change his life and all Middle-Earth. And if the world has not ended yet, you can catch Peter Jackson's second part, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" in 2013.
Director: Ridley Scott
The Amazing Spider-Man
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender
By now you would think that everyone is sick of aliens, but with horror movie after horror movie pulling audiences in like hotcakes, it is no surprise that Ridley Scott would make a return the genre he once reinvented with "Alien". However, Ripley is nowhere to be found in this prequel to his critically acclaimed franchise. Instead, Noomi Rapace leads this team of explorers who discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, and they embark on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. It will definitely be an agonizing wait for this movie to be out, but one that many will be doing nonetheless. I mean, who can resist watching some of Hollywood's most famous kicking ass or getting butchered by aliens? One of the lead actresses, Charlize Theron, even revealed that there may possibly be an alien chest-bursting scene.
Director: Marc Webb
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Irrfan Khan
This is definitely the most stylish yet tortured-looking Peter Parker to date, with rising newcomer Andrew Garfield of "The Social Network" playing the famed superhero. With the director of the critically acclaimed emo-indie flick, "300 Days Of Summer", "The Amazing Spider-Man" looks set to be another successful reboot that follows in the footsteps of "Batman Begins" and "Iron Man". In this movie, Peter Parker has yet to meet his lady-love, Mary Jane Watson. Instead, he meets Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone, his first love, in accordance with Marvel's comics, in college where he also grapples with his human problems and amazing super-human crises. How will Peter and Gwen's romance end this time around? Find out what direction this reboot will take come July 2012.
Director: Sam Mendes
The Hunger Games
Cast: Daniel Craig, Helen McCrory, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes
"Revolutionary Road" director Sam Mendes takes the helm for the 23rd Bond movie, titled "Skyfall", with Daniel Craig reprising his role as the suave secret agent, James Bond. This time, Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her and as MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. With Academy Award-winning actor, Javier Bardem, playing the villain this time, will Bond be able to triumph? Also, wouldn't you want to know what Ralph Fiennes's currently undisclosed role is?
Director: Gary Ross
Snow White And The Huntsman
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks
"The Hunger Games" may not have a high-profile director, but who needs more publicity when all eyes are already on this upcoming game of survival set in a dystopian future where the ruling government, the Capitol, selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television. And every year, all the districts and tributes submit to their fate, willingly or unwillingly, until headstrong Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match. Paired up with the baker's boy who once helped her a long time ago, Katniss has no intention of letting the odds beat her as she fights to become the champion. As one of the few movies with a female lead and a soundtrack featuring songs by Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, The Decemberists, Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire, as well as star Jennifer Lawrence singing "Rue's Lullaby", Suzanne Collins' positively received novel trilogy is definitely one to anticipate next year.
Director: Rupert Sanders
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron and Ian McShane
Many may not have been too fond of Kristen Stewart's portrayal of Bella in "The Twilight Saga" but it also illustrates the shortcomings of the popular vampire-human romance, for Stewart's lack of expressions is almost unnoticeable in the teaser trailer of this twist to the classic fairy tale, where the Huntsman, played by Australian star, Chris Hemsworth, who is ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen, starring a deliciously menacing Charlize Theron. With two adaptations of "Snow White" coming out in 2012, it seems like a must to pick one, and after the campy poster and trailer depicted by Tarsem Singh's "Mirror, Mirror", it falls to "Snow White And The Huntsman" to live up to the high expectations.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jamie Foxx
The mind behind "Kill Bill" Quentin Tarantino is back, and it looks like there will be more of his signature blood-letting, in the form of "Django Unchained", with award-winning actor, Jamie Foxx, in the lead. With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned-bounty hunter, Django, sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. With a plot like this, there is definitely going to be blood, and here is hoping that Tarantino will churn out another critically acclaimed movie like he did for "Inglorious Basterds". Oh, and note that Leonardo Dicaprio has not broken his run of playing tragic characters yet.
Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter
The movies mentioned above may have their own ensemble cast, but they arguably pale in comparison to that from "Dark Shadows", the upcoming gothic-horror tale based on the cult TV series that centres on the life of vampire Barnabas Collins and his run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts. When Barnabas, the wealthy playboy of Collinwood Manor breaks the heart of Angelique Bouchard, a witch, she turns him into a vampire and buries him alive. Centuries later, Barnabas rises from the grave, only to find his manor in ruin, yet occupied by dysfunctional descendants and other residents, all of whom have dark secrets. The Depp and Burton's team have yet to disappoint fans, and with the former leading the supernatural family drama, "Dark Shadows" may just be the cult hit of the year.
Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson
It may be surprising to see an animated movie in the list, but when said movie is by Walt Disney and Pixar, it is always a cause for celebration. As one of the few animated action adventure movies featuring a female lead, the bar is definitely set higher than most for "Brave". "Brave" takes place in during the ancient times, where stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. A new tale joins the lore when the courageous yet stubborn Merida, a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land; her actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom. Now, Merida must discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it's too late. Can you feel the shivers down your spine yet?
Director: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg,
Cast: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott and Mena Suvari
It may not be the biggest production of 2012, but it is certainly the one that we have been waiting for since the coming-of-age trilogy, "American Pie" in 1999, "American Pie 2" in 2001 and "American Wedding" in 2003. It all began with four boys who make a pact to lose their virginity before their high school graduation, to great mishaps and misunderstandings. Now, a long-way past their adolescent days, Jim, Michelle, Stifler, and their friends reunite in East Great Falls, Michigan for their high school reunion. If the plot sounds cheesy, we bet you anything that it is. But at least this helps your diet, unlike eating pizza. After all, who does not want to relive those days of crazy fun with the people you know, and even if you do not, this movie will let you enjoy all those nostalgic moments from a safe distance, as the cast from the original reprise their roles.
Cinema Online, 30 December 2011