The 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012: Cracking the Top Ten

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

The top ten awaits you after the page break. It's a glorious time to be a movie goer. Whether you love some original recipe or you'd rather kick it with extra crispy, Hollywood has usually got you covered. I hate it when people say Hollywood has nothing new to offer. But then they go ahead and pay to watch that superhero sequel and actually enjoy it. OF COURSE there's nothing original, but that's not the point of movies anymore. We know how most of the movies are going to end, but that doesn't ruin the experience we have while watching some amazing drama and action unfold before us on the screen. Or bust a gut because there were some really good fart jokes. Seriously, movies are an adventure and if they're told right, you can have some of the best experiences sitting back and being entertained. The next five movies are definitely not original and play to our comforting emotion of familiarity, but that doesn't mean they're not going to be spectacular or awesome. The Dark Knight, The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens and especially Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey were all sequels that were undoubtedly better than the original. Whether that will hold true to some of the movies is yet to be seen, but that doesn't get me less excited about it! I live for this stuff, man!

  Don't worry! This is the trailer for the book, not the movie!
10. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Release Date: June 22
Okay, you can forget about the Lincoln biopic directed by Speilberg. I'm sure it's going to be good and it will probably get nominated for a bazillion Oscars. You know what? It sounds boring. Like a Ken Burns documentary boring. AL: VH is like Speilberg's magnum opus (or so he likes to tell us) only with a lot more flavor. And cajun sauce. With a lemon twist, too! I mean, the book was simply amazing - I really didn't get into Seth Grahame-Smith's other retellings (Pride & Prejudice & Zombies was good, but the others after that were simply lazy). But his fictionalization of Mr. Lincoln's life as a vampire hunter after he finds out that his mother was killed by one was surprisingly good. I read the book in two days! If you haven't read it, go ahead and pick it up, it's worth your time. I know I've said earlier that I'm sick of zombies and vampires, but when you introduce something so fresh and unique, it's bound to catch my interest. On top of all this, Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Day Watch) is directing - he's got such a unique visual and creative style that this seems like a perfect fit. The cast is a hodgepodge of younger actors which actually may help this movie. Instead of a big name attached to the film, there won't be a distraction in place so we'll be able to see Lincoln the President instead of Daniel Day-Lewis in a Lincoln costume. The book was told through diary entries by Lincoln himself, so it will be interesting to see how the movie tackles all of his thoughts and emotions. This summer is going to be pretty epic and in the center of it all is this movie! Hype!

9. The Avengers
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth
Director: Joss Whedon
Release Date: May 4
This is every Marvel fanboy's wet dream come true. The culmination of five movies (The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor and Captain America) that laid the groundwork for this penultimate comic book film kick starts the summer movie season. I don't believe this movie can live up to the amount of hype that the internet has heaped upon it, but I'm sure it's going to be a real good time at the theater. The only thing that can get in the way of this movie is the fact that there are so many characters! On top of the main cast which includes Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Hulk; you have Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen, previously seen kicking some butt in tight leather in Iron Man 2) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner who had a very small cameo in Thor). PLUS! You have Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role again as Nick Fury, who until now, has only been on the sidelines gathering up the team to create The Avengers. To say this is a big movie is not doing it justice. I don't know how long it's going to be, but I seriously wouldn't mind a three-hour action-packed popcorn flick. I have faith Joss Whedon, the man behind Buffy, Dollhouse and Firefly, can shine in this movie. If he can't make a great movie out of this, then really no one can. Obviously this is a guaranteed box office hit - I don't know how much it will make domestically, but worldwide? Probably at least $500 million, and that's a conservative estimate. So we can probably expect more of these movies on the horizon. I don't want to get my hopes up, but secretly I want to be blown away by this movie. The trailers released so far haven't wowed me, but that's probably a good thing because I can only expect they're saving the best stuff for the actual movie (or on the other, more depressing side of the coin, this is all they've got to wow us. Sad face). And you know what I'm most excited about? Cobie Smulders doing something outside of How I Met Your Mother! I hope she has a significant role which might be hard to come by with all this stuff jampacked into the movie. I can only dream. But what a great way to start off the summer!

8. The Amazing Spider-Man
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
Director: Marc Webb
Release Date: July 3
At first, I didn't understood why Sony had to reboot this property. I mean, the original Spider-Man came out only ten years ago! But then they made some interesting choices. First, they hired Marc Webb to direct. He did the phenomenal (500) Days of Summer a couple of years ago and I think his unique perspective might actually be a refreshing change for this franchise. And then they hired Andrew Garfield (although Donald Glover would have been the shiz, for real), a British guy who, at the time, had one big movie credit to his name (The Social Network). A lot of people were upset, but this only made me more curious as to what the execs were smoking, not necessarily that they may have forever effed this franchise up. And of course, another talented British actor, with a long list of movies to his credit, got hired in as the villain. So now this is no longer an American movie. The UK has invaded our comic book movies and the internet is upset! But I have faith - Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy (Peter Parker's real true love, in my opinion) was a brilliant stroke of genius. So whatever the studio has in mind for this movie - it's going to be quite an interesting version they've cobbled together. The first-person perspective used in the teaser trailer above I think is purely for show - it's all kinds of messy and I doubt it will show up in the film. It's a great way to get people talking, though. This is in my top 10 for a reason and some might pass on this, but I am going out on a limb, maybe even overselling it a bit, but I'll say it right now: this may be  better that the 2002 Spider-Man. Whereas I feel like Spider-Man was a modern take on the superhero, The Amazing Spider-Man seems like a throwback - it's just the vibe I'm getting. And to me, that sounds awesome.

7. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen
Director: Peter Jackson
Release Date: December 14
Forget The Lord of the Rings, this was by far the best book with Hobbits in it! Don't get me wrong, I really love the LOTR trilogy of films and what it did to bring back fantasy to the masses, but The Hobbit was the better book out of all of them. It's just more fun and funny and it doesn't seem to make a big deal out of everything like the other books did. It was just an adventure that some dwarves and a hobbit had together plus there was a dragon. (Was there a dragon in LOTR? No, no there was not). And while I wouldn't say the book is so big that it needed to be split into two movies, it's nice to know that there's more Tolkien love coming the Christmas after. You have a great cast along with some familiar faces from the trilogy and Peter Jackson is back to finish what he started. I don't really think there's anything more to say about this movie other than you know it's going to be good - it's probably as close to a guarantee you're ever going to get from Hollywood. If you loved Lord of the Rings, you're going to love The Hobbit. Come Christmas, New Line can just sit back and watch the hundreds of millions roll in (again).

6. Prometheus
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender
Director: Ridley Scott
Release Date: June 8
This movie started out as a prequel to the Alien movies. But then it wasn't. But then it was, vaguely. Although the new movie will be connected with the Alien movies, the characters and events that unfold will explore different territory than those films. It's a grand, sci-fi epic written by Damon Lindelof (the same man who wrote most of Lost), who I totally respect, but at the same time I question his ability to deliver. He was the main writer for Lost and that was great up until the joke of a last season. And he wrote Cowboys & Aliens, a film I loathed. But despite these reservations, it's still an Aliens prequel and it's still Ridley Scott. Plus there are a lot of quality actors. Included are Guy Pearce, Idris Elba and Patrick Wilson rounding out the cast. I can't wait to see the Sherlock Holmes sequel to see how Noomi Rapace handles herself for an American film and if she's goood, the sky's the limit for her as far as I'm concerned. She was great in all three Dragon Tattoo movies and if she can bring her A game to this movie, we might have another Sigourney Weaver. Plus Michael Fassbender is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors and I know he's going to be great in this. So it's all up to the story - because the rest of the pieces seem fine to me. I just hope it's one hell of good time.

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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