Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the year again! This is the time when we reflect on the last 365 days and look towards the next. This is also the time when I discuss my favorite films of 2011 and give a sneak peak at the ones I’m looking forward to in 2012. My initial thoughts on Coming Soon releases were negative. I really didn’t think there were too many films I was genuinely anticipating. Well, after reviewing my various spreadsheets & IMDB Watchlist, I realize now I was mistaken. There are a ton of promising features coming up in the next year. I’m still waiting on a few films that were set to be released in 2011 but have been delayed such as, RAMPART, THE TALL MAN, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, PIRANHA 3DD, CARNAGE, NATURAL SELECTION, and THIS MUST BE THE PLACE. Let me share a few of my personal “Must See Films of 2012” with you. (Brief synopsizes are courtesy of IMDB)
Don’t expect to find THE HOBBIT, SPIDERMAN, PROMETHEUS (Ridley Scott is a racist prick), GI JOE, BATTLESHIP, or the many SNOW WHITE adaptations anywhere near my list. Will someone please tell me already if JGL is really going be the Boy Wonder in the new Batman? That is the only thing that could convince me to see it; Bland Hathaway is probably the worst casting decision since Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan in BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA. As you may know by now, those big budget features do not appeal to me in the least. If you’re interested in that kind of cinema go to Fandango.
“With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned-bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.”
Almost three years have passed since the last Tarantino outfit and I’m ready for a new one. I'm so excited for this film I could slap the shit out of Chris P. BASTERDS was a phenomenal film and I celebrate all things QT. As soon as I heard he was doing a Spaghetti Western, my heart went a flutter. His expert knowledge in the genre will no doubt produce something incredible with that classic Tarantino edge. Just look at how he revolutionized the Kung Fu genre with KILL BILL (PS- KILL BILL 3 is listed as being released in 2014). The cast alone for DJANGO is pretty exciting too. JGL, Kurt Russell, Sasha Baron Cohen, Christoph Waltz, and the incomparable Samuel L Jackson will all be starring. If I could only see one film in 2012, this would be it.
“A gothic-horror tale centering on the life of vampire Barnabas Collins and his run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts. Based on the cult TV series.”
Tim Burton has been talking about doing a film adaptation of the much loved British series Dark Shadows for several years now. I never thought he’d actually pull it off, let alone get Johnny Depp to play the legendary Barnabas Collins. As a child, I loved the original show as well as the 90s remake so this is a very personal project for me. I read an interview with Johnny Depp and he said this is the role he was born to play. I truly have faith that Tim Burton can redeem himself for the last ten years of shitty films. DARK SHADOWS is the stuff Goth girl dreams are made of.
“Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.”
While we’re on the topic of Tim Burton, I thought I’d include FRANKENWEENIE. The original short was also a remnant of my childhood. I’m surprised it took this long for Burton to make a full length version of this endearing and much loved story. If you’ve never seen the short, check it out. I promise the adorable frankendog will melt your heart. The original also has a cameo by a very young Sophia Coppola.
THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS
“In feudal China, a blacksmith who makes weapons for a small village is put in the position where he must defend himself and his fellow villagers.”
Here’s a Kung Fu film directed by The Rza and co-written by The Bear Jew himself, Eli Roth. What more do you need to know about it? It’s about time Eli Roth quit dicking around Twitter with The Blueberries and got back to making films. I’m still waiting for THANKSGIVING to come out.
“A pair of lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them.”
I’m a sucker for Wes Anderson films and pretty much anything with Bill Murray; this film has both. It also stars Cohen wife, Frances McDormand and my hairy boyfriend Schwartzman. Wes Anderson films are always so witty & charming; this is sure to be a delight.
CASA DE MI PADRE
“Scheming on a way to save their father's ranch, the Alvarez brothers find themselves in a war with Mexico's most feared drug lord.”
With the exception of STEPBROTHERS, I generally detest Will Ferrell projects. I just don’t think he’s very funny. On the other hand, I do absolutely love Gael Garcia Bernal who stars in this film alongside BFF Diego Luna. I’m definitely interested to see how Ferrell will handle an English/Spanish language comedy.
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
"Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen."
For the most part, I’ve pretty much given up on American horror films. I'm not entirely convinced of this film; part of me wants to see it just so I can talk shit. The only promise this has is that Joss Whedon co-wrote the script and the reviews aren’t too bad either. Where the hell does he find time to do so many projects? I’m certain Joss is not of this world! I’m still not sure if I will see THE AVENGERS because I hate comic book movies and 3D, but I do love Joss Whedon.
“When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.”
This film stars Matthew McConaughey which would normally be a turn off for me since most of his films are bile (except for DAZED AND CONFUSED). My main motivation for seeing this is William Friedkin who directs. Billy Friedkin directed one of the greatest films of all time (a personal favorite of mine) if not the best horror film ever, THE EXORCIST. It got some good reviews on the film fest circuit. KILLER JOE also stars Juno Temple who I’ve become quite fond of after seeing her in KABOOM.
THE MOTH DIARIES
“A teenage girl at a boarding girl suspects her roommate is a vampire.”
I’m still a little on the fence about this one. My trusty horror websites praise it, but the movie message board trolls have panned it. Who do I rely on? This peaked my interest since it’s the first real film Mary Harron has directed since AMERICAN PSYCHO. Harron tends to be hit or miss. I wasn’t a fan of the Bettie Page film or I SHOT ANDY WARHOL. However, AMERICAN PSYCHO happens to be one of the best books to film adaptations out there (along with FIGHT CLUB). I’m willing to give it a chance and the poster looks cool.
“A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as "the Master" whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.”
Who else could pull off a film about Scientology but Paul Thomas Anderson? Phillip Seymour Hoffman stars along with everyone’s favorite lunatic Joaquin Phoenix (weren’t the Phoenix family apart of a weird cult too). I will also pretty much watch anything PTA puts out. He’s one of the few current filmmakers who is unbelievable creative and unique. Someone give this man an Oscar already!
“The tale begins with Jonathan Harker, journeying by train and carriage from England to Count Dracula's.”
Dracula has been done to death and I cannot express how much I loathe 3D, but I will pretty much see anything Dario Argento puts out. His catalog speaks for itself. I also love his daughter Asia Argento who stars alongside Rutger Hauer in this new adaptation of the dark prince. When did Rutger Hauer become to go to guy in horror? He’s like the new Udo Kier!
THE HUNGER GAMES
“Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.”
I was attracted to the book before they announced a film version; my friend Ruth had nothing but good things to say about the series. The book sounded like an American version of BATTLE ROYALE. Then they announced Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lawrence (who I loved in WINTERS BONE) as stars so I began to watch this project very closely. The director is not relatively known; he also did critically acclaimed films PLEASANTVILLE and SEABISCUIT. The more and more I hear about this film, the less interested I’ve become. I feel like its being packaged as a successor to TWILIGHT which I abhor. The studio is already promoting merchandise such as nail polish, t-shirts, and jewelry (check your local Hot Topic) for the film. With Taylor Swift doing the theme song, it will be a hard sell for anyone over the age of fifteen.
Here are a few others I’ve kept an eye on: THE DEVIL INSIDE, ALBATROSS, THE DICTATOR, THE AWAKENING, MICHAEL, and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR: THE LOST TAPES.
The winter months tend to be a very busy time for me as far as movie watching. I’ve got award season coming up which means a ton of research is to be done. This is also the time when the films that made the rounds at the festivals finally get released. I plan on seeing A DANGEROUS METHOD, TINKER TOY SOLDIER SPY, and THE ARTIST before the year is over.
What are you looking forward to?