The 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012: The Outliers

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runner-Ups: 10-6 | 5-1

I've always considered the second half of the top 50 my Must-See. They're the movies that I will, hands down, pay money for to go and check out without hesitation. Even if they're one of the worst movies of the year. There's some really, really big movies coming out next year that get my inner (and outer) geek all excited. The outliers are on this part of the list - they seem to be toss-ups, in my opinion, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

25. The Raven
Starring: John Cusack, Alice Eve
Director: James McTeigue
Release Date: March 9
This subject matter is in my wheelhouse. 19th century gothic fiction is what I'm about. So when I heard this movie was getting made, my heart skipped a beat. I thought if they get the tone right and nail it with the plot, this movie could be one of my favorites next year. And then they released a trailer and my hopes sunk. This looks like a second-rate Sherlock Holmes mystery movie made for TV. Something about it all just doesn't...click. I was figuring the movie would be more about Poe and possibly a fictionalized descent into madness where he thinks the killer is stalking him. I'm pretty sure Castle has had better episodes than what we might witness here. I think John Cusack is a perfect fit for the role and the director did manage to make a really awesome movie before (V for Vendetta), so there is still hope. This movie is still high on my list, but I'm not holding my breath on this one.

24. Project X
Starring: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper
Director: Nima Nourizadeh
Release Date: March 2
This movie was completely off my radar until the trailer came out. I'm not a fan of found footage films. I think once you've seen one, you've pretty much get the point. But I do have a soft spot for teenage comedy films - especially ones that center around an evening of debauchery (Can't Hardly Wait and Superbad are quintessential viewings for this specific genre). And there's enough teasing in this trailer to get me excited to actually pay for this movie. I want to know what the hell is going to happen! So kudos to the marketing team - they've got me hooked. Everyone on this project besides Todd Phillips is fairly green when it comes to making movies. And when a movie advertises "Produced by BIG NAME" I kind of gloss over it. Because there are producers who just write a check and slap their name all over projects and then there's the real producers who are involved with this movie as if it were their only child. So who knows where Phillips lands on the side of the fence. I just know I'm willing to plunk down some money to see this movie and have a good time. Maybe I'll sneak in a beer, too. And some beer nuts. And gummy bears, I love me some sweets!

23. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart
Director: Bill Condon
Release Date: November 16
I really don't care what other people say, but this franchise is not bad. In fact, some of the movies are quite good if you can get past some corny dialogue and very dull moments. I really did enjoy Eclipse the most - there's was a lot going on compared to New Moon. Breaking Dawn, Part 1 was good, but man did it take forever to get going. I mean, the wedding and honeymoon could have been whittled down to twenty or so minutes but it's a good forty-five minutes long! But I will say I'm very intrigued to find out what happens next - I haven't read the books and I told Maggie don't spoil anything for me! She's very kind because I know deep down it's killing her to not say something. All the while I pontificate what may happen in the last movie, asking her dumb questions like "Does Bella's ancestry have anything to do with her vampire-blocking abilities?" But you know what's going to be the most exciting part of the last movie? Michael Sheen. They've been teasing him in the series for too long - I hope his role is significant enough to warrant a lot of screen time. But all the crazy stuff that happens in the book that I heard about already happened in the first part, so I'm excited to see what happens next. Yes, you heard that: I am excited to see the ending of the Twilight Saga.

22. Men In Black 3
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Release Date: May 25
I really loved the first Men in Black. The second one was good, but seemed to rehash the same old ground that the first one did. Now, ten years after Men in Black II was released, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones seem like it's the perfect time to make some money again. I think there's a lot of pressure for a movie like this - movie audiences have changed a lot in the past ten years and if the movie and its producers rest on their laurels, they might end up with a box office dud. But here's where I hold out hope - they got the original director on board, they've made some great casting decisions (Josh Brolin, Jermaine Clement) and the script is written by David Koepp, a man who knows a little bit about big time franchises (he's written Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, Indiana Jones 4). So the movie's in good hands and it might just be fun and awesome, like the original. But this could end up being lousy and uninspiring. I think this movie, out of all the movies next year has the biggest risk/reward going for it. But I'll go check it out unless the trailer just smacks of mediocrity.

21. This is Forty
Starring: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann
Director: Judd Apatow
Release Date: December 21
A companion piece to Knocked Up, Judd Apatow looks to cover fertile ground with Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann's characters from that movie. Apparently Apatow felt that there was a lot of compelling drama/comedy in their relationship to warrant a movie. There will be several cameos/returning characters from Knocked Up in it as well. Despite what most others felt about Funny People, I really enjoyed the movie and felt it was Apatow's best work to date as a director. So I'm really excited to see how this movie shapes up. I think Apatow is the comedy king right now - his direction is impeccable - and he knows how to let improvisation take over at the right times. This movie did get pushed back by the studio, not out of hesitation, but simply because they wanted their Snow White movie to better compete with Mirror Mirror. Go figure, but this should be a great reason to go to the movies, as there really isn't any comedies coming out during the holidays. Count me in!

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runner-Ups: 10-6 | 5-1

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