Movies you should see this year, according to me
It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting warmer, the clothes are getting skimpier, and Hollywood’s getting ready to drop some motherfucking thunder at your local theater. Yes sir, blockbuster season is upon us. It started this weekend (sorry, John Carter) with the much-anticipated release of The Hunger Games, starring
that hot girl from X-Men Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Lawrence. No, I will not be seeing that young-adult novel mularkey, but in honor of Jennifer, I sat down to write my “most anticipated movies of summer” list. Thing is, I hit a little snag along the way: I’m not anticipating a whole lot of movies this summer. So unless I was going to include sure-to-be classics like Piranha 3DD (like boobs! Get it?!) and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, I had to expand my list to include the entire year. (To be fair, G.I. Joe’s strategy of killing off the entire cast of the original and replacing them with The Rock can only lead to great things).
Since we all know January/February is the traditional Hollywood dumping ground for misfit movies, I think it’s safe to say I haven’t missed much by starting this list in March (special shout-out to January’s The Grey, 1. for being a kick-ass movie and 2. so Liam Neeson doesn’t go all Liam Neeson on me on the off chance he surfs unpopular college blogs for perceived slights and unfavorable reviews. I have a sinking feeling he does). So without further ado, my ten most anticipated movies of 2012:
10. Lincoln (December)
It’s Daniel Day-Lewis playing Abraham Lincoln, people! Daniel Day-Freakin-Lewis! This guy has been arguably my favorite actor since I watched The Crucible in my ninth grade English class and this scene blew my Koman sweats off. “Pulling heaven down and raising up a whore?” In school? Hell yes, says 14 year-old Kyle. Hell yes. Oh yeah, some Spielberg guy directs.
9. Looper(September 28)
This one stars movie-blogger darling Joseph Gordon Levitt (he’s aight) as a hitman who kills people sent back in time 30 years by the mafia. This way the authorities will never find the bodies, because they’re like, lost in time or something! Trippy right? As Denzel in Training Day would say, “Shit gets deeper.” Little Joey faces a major complication when his older self (Bruce Willis) is sent back to him to be killed. Oh shit! Putting aside the fact that Bruce could probably snap JGL in half with his bare hands, we have the set-up for one cool, twisty sci-fi flick. Throw in director Rian Johnson (the super-slick Brick) and this looks to be one of the better movies of the year. That’s why it’s on the list, ya turkeys!
8. The Gangster Squad (October 12)
This one’s got a killer cast (Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie) and bad-ass subject matter (elite police squad hell-bent on taking down notorious gangster Mickey Cohen, played by Penn). The only question mark here is director Ruben Fleischer, who has previously directed the decidedly unserious Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less. Zombieland was awesome though, and it’s cool to see directors branching out, so let’s see if he can pull it off. So far, there are no stories of Sean Penn burning Fleischer’s eyes out with lit cigarettes on set, so that’s a good sign. So far.
7. Skyfall (November 9)
The new Bond films have had a polarizing effect on fans. Some love the no-nonsense badassery of Daniel Craig‘s Bond, others long for the old days of ridiculous hijinks and whimsical one-liners. Unless Bond goes full Sterling Archer-mode on us with the comedy, I’m quite alright with him snapping necks and not cracking something like, “just getting the kinks out” to the dead body. The much-maligned Quantam of Solace (hell of a fun movie if you ask me) wasn’t as good as the excellent Casino Royale, but with acclaimed director Sam Mendes on board, I’m expecting a return to form here. Plus, the always creepy Javier Bardem is signed on to play the villain and he looks like this. Nuff said.
6. Lawless (August 31)
Formerly “The Wettest County in the World” and then just “The Wettest County,” this production was graciously given the name “Lawless” by Terrence Malick, who had the title for one of his own upcoming films. Apparently he gave it up because he is a fan of director John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road). You know what, Terrence? I’m a fan, too! Hillcoat’s gritty, unflinching style seems like a perfect fit for a tale of bootlegging brothers (played by Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke) in Depression-era Virginia. Throw in Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce and Jessica Chastain and you’ve got yourself one hell of a cast. On a side note, do yourself a service and watch everything Tom Hardy’s ever been in. That guy is THE MAN!
Another name switcher, but on this one I’m holding out hope that the original name, “Cogan’s Trade,” will prevail. “Killing Them Softly?” Really? I don’t know who should be more upset, The Fugees or Dave Chappelle. Sorry, Roberta Flack, you lack the iconic beat drop. Name games aside, this looks to be in the running for “Bad Ass Film of the Year.” It stars Brad Pitt as a Boston enforcer investigating a heist that took place at a mob-protected poker game. As a sucker for Brad Pitt, Boston movies, and dudes with goatees fucking shit up, I couldn’t be more excited about this one. The fact that Pitt is re-teaming with The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford director Andrew Dominik is only a bonus. An awesome bonus at that.
4. Only God Forgives (TBA 2012)
A re-teaming of Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn, those crazy guys behind Drive, my favorite movie of 2011? Sign me up! There’s not a lot of info out there on this one, but from what I can gather Gosling plays a gangster living in Bangkok who goes on a bloody revenge rampage when his brother is killed. Somehow his crazy crime-lord mother (Kristen Scott Thomas) comes into play as well. Refn wrote the screenplay, which Gosling has allegedly called the strangest thing he’s ever read. If it can get anywhere near the bizarre awesomeness that is Refn’s Bronson, I’ll be a very happy man indeed.
3. Prometheus (June 8)
Did that trailer not get you hyped on this movie? “We were so wrong!” Yes you were, Dragon Tattoo lady, yes you were. How have we not learned to stop fucking with aliens by now? Seriously, that stuff never pans out. More entertainment for us movie-goers though! This one marks the return of director Ridley Scott to the genre he defined, sci-fi horror. Prometheus allegedly has some sort of connection to the Alien movies, but it’s pretty clear that it’s gonna kick ass as a standalone film. It has an amazing cast too: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce. It’s Stringer Bell in space for God’s sake! With a southern accent!
2. Django Unchained (December 25)
Anytime Quentin Tarantino is putting out a new movie, it’s time to pay attention. And coming hot on the heels of the awesome Inglorious Basterds, we might be seeing Tarantino on a roll. Django Unchained tells the story of an escaped slave (Jamie Foxx) who teams up with a German bounty hunter (Basterds standout Christoph Waltz) to take down an evil plantation owner (is there any other kind?) played by Leonardo Dicaprio. If every part of that last sentence doesn’t get your goodies tingling, I don’t know what will (and please refrain from telling me). Tarantino is calling this one a “Southern,” likely a loving homage to spaghetti westerns. We can expect a similar revenge fantasy treatment of slave-owners that the Nazis got in Inglorious Basterds. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see good ol’ Leo playing disgusting human-being Calvin Candie (perfect name) and the creative manner in which he is likely to meet his doom. Throw in Samuel L. Jackson, Sacha Baron Cohen, RZA, Don Freakin’ Johnson and Kurt Russell in supporting roles and all signs point to an instant classic.
1. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)
Was there ever any doubt what movie was in the number one slot? I am just giddy with excitement for this one. Christopher Nolan has yet to make a movie that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy and this looks to be no exception. Goosebumps from that trailer, man, goosebumps. And my boy Tom Hardy as Bane, aka “The Man Who Broke the Bat?” July 20th can’t come fast enough.