Wednesday, February 1, 2012

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It's Coming, It's Coming, It's Coming...

Yes, it's another Top 25 List, but one that looks forward instead of back. It's always a ball to see what we're looking forward to at a given time; apparently, Butter and Water for Elephants had me positively salivating with anticipation, more so than War Horse or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, respectively. Of course, Butter never got released, but I had such high hopes for Elephants. Of the 21 films actually released last year, I saw 17 of my listed desires. Hopefully, I shall do better this year. I made it a New Year's Resolution to see over 100 2012 films this year. Let's see if I can do it!

Certainly, if all pans out with the release dates, these will get top priority. Compiled from an initial list of 64, these are the 25 Films I Most Anticipate for the coming year:

25. Leatherface 3D

October 5, 2012
I actually liked the Texas Chain Saw remake and its prequel, though I hear this one is more of a sequel to the '74 original. Even better, says I, since I believe the original is one of the greatest films of its year (certainly better than The Godfather: Part II). I'm also more on board with 3D than most everyone else, although that's strictly for films actually shot in 3D. Unless James Cameron is involved, keep your post-conversion away.

24. The Paperboy

Lee Daniels is awesome. Precious improves exponentially on each viewing -- a film that was only in my Top 25 of 2009, but should've been a Hollmann Award Nominee for Best Picture. Shadowboxer is terrible, but a very get-drunk-with-friends-and-rewatch-countlessly terrible. And you can't say he's a safe filmmaker in regards to editing, cinematography, and casting. SO -- now we have this film, with a poster that promises a pulpy good time with the underrated Zac Efron and the great Nicole Kidman. Coming from Daniels, I am assured of one thing: it won't be boring.

23. Gravity
November 21, 2012
It's Cuaron's first narrative feature since Children of 2006. If you've looked back, you'll see that Cuaron was nominated for Director and Writer at the first Hollmann Awards, so naturally the follow-up is of interest to us. I've always liked Sandra Bullock, even if I don't agree with her Oscar win, and I love George Clooney, so I'll be fine with them tethered together. Oh, and that plot: two astronauts hurtling through space, tied to each other. What is that about??

22. Frankenweenie

October 5, 2012
Tim Burton turns his live action short into a stop-motion feature. This could be his most personal film in years, and Lord knows I've been waiting for that. True, at first I was skeptical, but then it was announced that the cast would include Ed Wood's Martin Landau, Beetle Juice's Catherine O'Hara, Edward Scissorhands' Winona Ryder (yes, she was also in Beetle Juice, but to me she'll always be Kim Boggs) and Mars Attacks' Martin Short. Gah!

21. Lovelace

I rarely miss a Seyfried film, but it's safe to say that if this film wasn't happening, Inferno with Malik Akerman would be here. The heyday of the porn industry is fascinating, a time already beautifully covered in Boogie Nights and defined by such notable films as Alice in Wonderland, Deep Throat and Behind the Green Door.  Now we've got an all-star cast in a drama about one of the industry's most famous and infamous figures. Yeah, I'm there.

20. Wettest County

August 31, 2012
Jessica Chastain now has to fulfill the promise she made to us in 2011. A bootlegging crime flick is probably the way to do it (and sail right into my heart while you're at it!). From a screenplay by Nick Cave (!), who co-composed the lovely, elegiac score for The Assassination of Jesse James.

19. The Amazing Spider-Man

July 3, 2012
Deep inside, I know this cynical cash-grab is not a great idea. The first trilogy is still so fresh in my mind, and it'll be made all the weirder when Peter Parker shows up in Gatsby the same year. Nevertheless, Andrew Garfield is always great, Emma Stone is always lovely, and holy fucking shit MARTIN SHEEN. MAAAAAAARTIN SHEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!

18. ParaNorman
August 17, 2012
Stop-motion kids adventure film with zombies and monsters and stuff? Is Christmas in August now? This trailer:

17. The Dark Knight Rises
July 20, 2012
Well, OF COURSE. I'm one of those people who thinks both Batman movies should have been major contenders! And the trailer was all ALFRED BANE FOOTBALL COLLAPSE WHAAAAAA??? Goosebumps, I tells ya!

16. Magic Mike
June 29, 2012
Getting your script directed by Hollmann Award Nominee Steven Soderbergh? A step in the right direction, Channing Tatum. Set to show off the full range of his talents, Magic Mike has Tatum playing a mentor to novice male stripper Alex Pettyfer. It could be gold, it could be camp, but it can't be boring. God help me it if it is. I also can't say the title without singing it to the tune of Village People's "Magic Night".

15. Prometheus
June 8, 2012

14. Moonrise Kingdom

May 25, 2012
From the trailer, it looks like Wes Anderson's delivering a retro romance between runaway adolescents. That's a tune I can groove to, as my love for Super 8 should surely display. I also just kind of love Wes Anderson, who's made one dud (Darjeeling), three masterworks (Tenenbaums, Zissou, Fox) and the delightful Rushmore. Plus a movie I haven't seen! And that cast! Could I love this ensemble more?

13. Cloud Atlas

I don't know what to expect. That thrills me.

12. Hyde Park on Hudson

Because I'm secretly an old man, easily entertained and satisfied by the unchallenging direction of Roger Michell. But I'm also a supporter of Bill Murray and Laura Linney, so to have them period FDR and his mistress...sounds right up my alley. I do enjoy a bit of juicy gossip, too, which is probably why I like tell-all memoirs more than those perfectly respectable and perfectly dull autobiographies. Finally, Eleanor Roosevelt is groovy.

11. Anna Karenina

This movie would have already made it in based on my appreciation for the films of Joe Wright and the literary origins alone. It's like Merchant-Ivory up in here! Now, there's word that the film is going to be more experimental, taking place on a soundstage that reflects the false surfaces of its characters. Double intrigue!

10. Darling Companion

April 20, 2012
It's a film about a married couple wherein the wife loves the dog more than the husband and the husband "loses" the dog. What's the fuss? I'll tell you the fuss. It's the return of Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist), the pairing of Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline, and the presence of Dianne Wiest. I am powerless against a Wiest Infection.

9. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

May 4, 2012
Man, I love it when I can have the same movie on two anticipated lists in a row. But it's finally, actually coming out in May, and comes equipped with a trailer that promises a warm, enjoyable romp about spiritual awakenings for senior citizens. Judi Dench and Maggie Smith both appear, which means it's going to be a four-star spectacular featuring superlative costumes.

8. Lincoln

December 2012
Long-awaited biopic finally hits theaters! And while for years all I could imagine was how perfect Liam Neeson was for the part, the swap for Daniel Day-Lewis is undeniably a step up. I love Neeson, don't get me wrong, but DANIEL DAY-LEWIS. Rare is the time when he is miscast (Nine), and even then, he makes the most of it.

7. Nero Fiddled

After Midnight in Paris made good on my expectations, you better believe I'm ready for another Woody Allen. The man's back in front of the camera, alongside Allen vets Judy Davis, Penelope Cruz and Alec Baldwin and newbies Ellen Page, Greta Gerwig, Jesse Eisenberg and Roberto Benigni. To see Rome from Allen's eyes is to invite magic, surely, and as Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Sex showed, the man's expert with an anthology.

6. Gangster Squad

October 19, 2012
I'm getting the same rush of anticipation I got from Public Enemies, a film that almost won the Hollmann Award for Best Picture. This one's got some of my favorite working actors involved - Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin - as well as Ruben Fleischer, whose Zombieland was great and whose 30 Minutes or Less was pretty fun. Tone shifts always get my interest.

5. Rock of Ages

June 15, 2012
After Hairspray, I will follow Adam Shankman into the fires of Mordor itself.

4. Skyfall

November 9, 2012

3. Django Unchained
December 25, 2012
With one film, Tarantino will answer a number of questions that have lingered with me. When is Jamie Foxx going to be good again? When will people take Sam Jackson seriously again? Wouldn't it be awesome if Tarantino tackled the Civil War era?

2. Les Miserables

December 7, 2012
Long have I awaited an adaptation of this musical. I've even got a Casting Coup for it! The King's Speech made it to my Top Ten of 2010, so I naturally want to see what Tom Hooper does next. I'm curious to see what will be cut, how much dialogue, if any, will be added. And the cast: Hugh Jackman finally singing on screen, Russell Crowe playing Javert (I cast him as Valjean), Amanda Seyfried...

1. The Great Gatsby

December 25, 2012
On April 4, 2009, I posted this Casting Coup featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. It was actually a reworking of a cast list I made for English class back in April of...2006. I argued with the teacher that the ONLY person capable of playing Gatsby would be Leonardo DiCaprio...if he can keep his brow from furrowing. Now DiCaprio is Gatsby, what else could I ask for? Well, I have always said that since the strength of Gatsby lies in its words, then a film version should emphasize the visual aspect. The '74 version doesn't completely work because it tries to keep much of the text. All it would need is a visual director. Someone like, oh I don't know, BAZ LUHRMANN? God, I am so excited for this film.

It was tough whittling it down to 25, but I decided to cut out the films that may be delayed until 2013: Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Charlie Kaufman's Frank or Francis?, the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, and Neil Labute's Crooked House. I also cut out Titanic 3D, since it's just a remastered, 3D'd re-release of a 1997 flick, but holy shit, I will finally get to see that movie on the big screen!


Andrew K. said...

Reading your list I only now realised that I'm a few months away from The Great Gatsby, one of the finest novels EVER (eat your heart out Ernest "Corey Stoll" Hemmingway) - going off to read it NOW - and I'm immediately nervous. a) Because I'm SO worried about Leo, I'm sort of fliplfopping on him now, b) because Carey can't keep up the awesomeness, CAN SHE? c) I think Tobey MaGuire, but no one else seems to d) BAZ!!!! Everything will seem just "okay" next to Moulin Rouge! won't it?

I'm still not going WILD in excitement, but I'm nervously anxious.

Elsewhere, I'm oddly not THAT excited for Les Miserables (I'm sorry, CZJ regardless of age is the only cinematic actor who should have been in consideration for Fantine). I've never loved the book or the book of a musical, the only way they can appease is by releasing the COMPLETE score on a 3 disc CD (they obviously can't use it all for the film.)

On Paperboy. I'm not even gonna lie, it had me at Nicole Kidman.

And wickedly nervous/excited/scared about #10. The plot seems ridiculous but Diane! Dianne! Lawrence! !!!!!

And other films - Jessica Chastain!!! Maggie Smith!!! JUDI!!! DDL!!!! ANNA KARENINI BY JOE WRIGHT!!!! (x100) Umm, apparently I AM crazy excited about 2012.

Okay, this comment is slipping into ridiculous proportions. I will head into the west and diminish (hey, you made a LotR reference, I only followed.)

Walter L. Hollmann said...

That now makes two for Darling Companion! Who's with us?!

(PS. don't you mean...."into the Wiest"? wait that sounds dirty. wait...that's perfect)

Unknown said...

Ooh, lots of treat in 2012. Gotta say I'm excited for... a lot of these. Gravity, Prometheus, Moonrise Kingdom, Anna Karenina, Lincoln, Nero, Skyfall, Django, Les Mis, and Gatsby... that's a hell of a list. Can't wait for Brave or Cabin in the Woods amongst others. But gotta say this'll be an interesting year for sure.