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Looking Toward 2012: Ten Films to Get Excited for in the New Year

Written by: Kristen Lopez, Editor in Chief

As soon as December 31st rolls into January 1st I immediately start counting down to the movies of the next year! There are always a few movies I keep track of but next year seems to have a bunch of movies that seem tailor made for me. I don’t want to make any assumptions but I have to believe that somewhere some Hollywood executive is saying they need to make more movies for Kristen just in case that whole 2012 thing does happen. I digress, the movies on this Most Anticipated List aren’t what everyone will be looking forward to (The Hobbit), nor will they be movies that are meant to be huge money makers and/or Oscar contenders (Twilight for the money side), they’re just the movies that seem tailor-made to get my money, and mine alone! Agree, disagree, leave it in the comments and see you at the movies!

. Prometheus (June 8th, 2012)
The first trailer for Prometheus sucked me in, that and its one of a slew of movies starring Michael Fassbender that comes out in 2012 so guaranteed out the gate to get me in. Prometheus itself is probably one of the most anticipated movies of the year so expect to see it on everyone’s lists. There’s been a long-standing debate over how connected it is to Ridley Scott’s Alien series and it’s recently been revealed by the director that this will be a prequel. The film tells of a group of scientists who discover something about mankind. I have my theories on how this will be connected to Alien but I don’t want to spoil it here and I want to triple-check said theory. The pictures that have been released of giant stone monoliths, the dark recesses of space and a blonde Fassbender are continuously making me giddy for this movie. Add in Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron as our villainess and this could be one of the great science fiction films of 2012.

9. Rock of Ages (June 1st, 2012)
I’m a sucker for movie musicals, especially if their origins are rooted in Broadway. How fortuitous is it that there are several of these films coming out next year? Rock of Ages is a Broadway show I unfortunately haven’t seen but I do love 80s music which apparently the show has in spades. The film tells of a young girl who yearns for stardom and a horny rock star that could make it happen. The trailer is sweet, corny, and peppered with performances of said 80s tracks so I know I’ll be singing in the aisles. The true surprise seems to be Tom Cruise playing rocker Stacee Jaxx. Cruise is great at playing a jerk but this seems to be a far more masculine performance from the actor. I don’t know about you but its odd seeing the actor sign a woman’s breasts in the trailer. Whether this is good or bad it’ll give me more covers for my iPod play list.

8. Gangster Squad (October 19th, 2012)
The Gangster Squad is pretty much the culmination of all my favorite things in this world. It tells of two detectives trying to bring down Mickey Cohen in 1940s Los Angeles. That synopsis pretty much says it all for me as I’m a huge fan of old Los Angeles, gangster films, and our two leads played by Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling! Yes, 2012 will include the God of cinema – Ryan Gosling – in a fedora. The world can end after October 19th for all I care because honestly, I don’t think things will get much better than this. As if this film wasn’t perfection already, it’s being directed by Rueben Fleischer who directed the hilarious Zombieland.

7. Magic Mike (June 29th, 2012)
Steven Soderbergh directed one of my favorite movies this year with his germophobe horror film Contagion, and is directing two diverse films in 2012. Magic Mike started out as “that Channing Tatum male stripper movie” and has blossomed into a male stripper movie directed by Steven Soderbergh. The director’s ability to take the bizarre or cliché and turn it into something riveting is apparent in this movie, not to mention women will be out in droves to check out the cast (consisting of Alex Pettyfer, Tatum, Matt Bomer and True Blood’s Joe Manganiello) dropping their pants for 90 minutes. It’s like The Full Monty, only you’ll actually want to see these guys naked.

6. Les Miserables (December 7th, 2012)
Oh the world of musical theater, how tight your hold is on me! Every musical theater person knows Les Miserables, and they’ll also know that there’s been no adaptation of the musical made. Sure, there’s the 1998 Liam Neeson adaptation of the book, but the huge, sweeping musical has never taken to the silver screen, until now! Directed by King’s Speech helmer Tom Hooper, I’m a bit wary of the cast that includes Hugh Jackman as convict Jean Valjean and Eddie Redmayne as the freedom fighter Marius. Despite that I’ll be there opening day singing in the aisles to “On My Own” and “I Dreamed a Dream.” There hasn’t been an epic musical on this scale since 2000s Chicago, and I’d bet my money this might do equal Oscar business come 2012.

5. Wettest County (April 20th, 2012)
To start, this film has gone through a slew of title changes and the IMDB title listed above seems the worst. It originated as The Wettest County in the World which the book was called, and then it went from The Wettest County, to apparently dropping the article in favor of Wettest County. Personally, they need the “the” back! The book by Matt Bondurant and the film tell of Depression-era bootleggers in Virginia and what happens when corrupt police want a piece of their business. The novel is a riveting, straight-forward account of Bondurant’s own family and it was filled with moonshine, killing, and family loyalty. The movie itself is shaping up to be equally as engaging with a cast of “It” people like Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain. John Hillcoat is directing and if you haven’t seen The Proposition then you won’t realize how gritty and fantastic this movie could be!

4. The Cabin in the Woods (April 13th, 2012)
There’s always one film on my Most Anticipated List that I’ve had on lists in the past; for someone reason they just don’t come and they’re relegated to the following year’s Most Anticipated. So it is with Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods which has been on my mind for over a year now! The plot starts fairly cliché with a group of teenagers going into a “cabin in the woods” but that’s where the clichés end. The script for this is daring, heart-stopping, and damn cool and Whedon fans are already marking their calendars for this. Add to that a cast consisting of Thor’s Chris Hemsworth and Whedon veterans Amy Acker and Fran Kranz and you have the makings of an insane cult classic.

3. The Great Gatsby (December 25th, 2012)
Everyone who’s gone through the high school system has read The Great Gatsby or some similar work by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The adaptation of the film coming out in 2012 appears to be the big Oscar contender for next year and why not? It’s a film version of one of the most classic works in literature and has an acclaimed director in Baz Lurhmann and huge stars including Leonardo Dicaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire. The timeless romance between Jay Gatsby (Dicaprio) and Daisy Buchanan (Mulligan) set in front of a world filled with Jazz and booze will be perfect for the costume drama fans out there and will entice anyone who enjoyed Moulin Rouge. The fact that it’s getting the coveted Christmas Day spot proves the studios believe in its staying power and ability to make money. As a book geek I’ll be there, but not on Christmas Day. That’s because I’ll be seeing my number 2.

2. Django Unchained (December 25th, 2012)
The competition on Christmas Day will be fierce! There’s the love story, epic, adaptation above and then there’s bloody, violent, revenge film directed by Quentin Tarantino here. The director’s revisionist take on WWII in Inglourious Basterds last year ended with a bunch of Awards and this year he’ll be taking on the Blaxploitation/revenge story with Django Unchained. The movie tells of a former slave (Jamie Foxx) who is trying to get his wife back from a villainous plantation owner played by Leonardo Dicaprio! That’s right Dicaprio will be playing a wealthy playboy in Gatsby and a horrific slave owner in Django, all just a theater away! Tarantino really hasn’t failed me (I’m sure someone will list a title something to dispute that) but this seems to be an A-list affair expertly blending an exploitative story with a diverse cast and a strong message. I’d look for this to be a Best Picture nominee alongside Gatsby.

1. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20th, 2012)
The Dark Knight Rises is a mixture of anticipation and melancholy for me, it’s my Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. I’ve measured my life in Batman movies and have fond memories of seeing every Nolan Batman on midnight. Rises is set to be the final film in the Nolan/Batman canon starring Christian Bale and I’ll be sad to see how things end. The sadness will probably be washed away within 30 seconds because Nolan isn’t going out with a whimper, but with an explosion. The cast of villains alone has me salivating. Tom Hardy looks epically evil as Bane and Anne Hathaway is gorgeous and manipulative as Selina Kyle, which I’m sure will make me forget all about Batman Returns. The story may be ending, but I’ll be the girl in the theater getting in line for another turn.

Author: Kristen Lopez, Editor in Chief

Kristen Lopez is the editor-in-chief of CC2K and a freelance pop culture essayist. Her work has appeared on Roger Ebert, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Daily Beast. When she’s not burning down Film Twitter she runs two podcasts, the female-centric film show Citizen Dame, and the classic film-themed Ticklish Business.

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