The Most Anticipated Movies of 2012: Familiar Territory

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

We're almost down to the top ten! I've been trying to keep a diverse list - but sometimes there's just not enough of a certain genre. Thus, the romantic comedy has been neglected. Hell, even comedy itself is sorely lacking next year. There were a lot of great comedies last year - Bridesmaids was a wonderful surprise (even though it cracked my top 10 on last year's list, I just didn't expect it to be the funniest movie all year) and Horrible Bosses, Bad Teacher and Friends With Benefits were all great R-rated comedies. But next year? I counted about a dozen on my list and only two romantic comedies. I'm sure there's actually more than that coming out, but besides those two, they all look rather pitiful. Some may say the same of the two choices I've made, but to each their own, right? With that in mind, let's get this party started!

15. What to Expect When You're Expecting
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick
Director: Kirk Jones
Release Date: May 11
As many may already know, I'm a sucker for romantic comedies. I really, really enjoyed Something Borrowed (I even read the books! Gosh, I really hope they make a sequel because in this rare instance, the second book was better than the first! OMG I'm such a lady right now. A really, really intelligent and good looking lady, BTW) and I also thought Crazy, Stupid, Love was a really fun surprise. But alas, 2012 is practically void of any big-name romantic comedies. I really don't know what to expect with the plot of this one, but it's an ensemble cast comedy - like He's Just Not That Into You (another favorite of mine from a couple years back) or Valentine's Day (a just okay movie). So either this movie is going to be pretty awesome, or it may just end up being okay. I don't think it's going to be disastrous - most of the time these movies have enough storylines that the bad ones will get overshadowed by the good ones (like in Love Actually, when Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson have marital problems, sheesh, shoot me now!). So really, this is all speculation, but I'm sure I'm going to enjoy most of the movie, even if it's just "okay." Mmmkay?
Update (12.8): The trailer just got uploaded to the interwebs today and it confirms my suspicions that this will be pretty good. Although I just hope Jennifer Lopez has two lines of dialogue. Why does she keep trying to be relevant? Go away! Oh and I didn't realize this movie was written by Shauna Cross, the lady behind Whip It, possibly one of my top ten movies from the past five years! So yeah, this will be good.

14. Wettest County
Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LeBeouf, Gary Oldman
Director: John Hillcoat
Release Date: April 20
Oh man - this movie has an insane cast and two of the most underrated screenwriter/director duos working today! Not only do you have the above-mentioned cast, but Guy Pearce is in it along with hot new actresses Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain (they've had two of the year's best performances with Jane Eyre and The Debt). And Hillcoat is teaming up with Nick Cave (yes, the amazing Nick Cave who gave us this masterpiece of an album) again after he wrote one of the best westerns this past decade - The Proposition. I'm expecting gritty action and some brilliant dialogue. It's based on the critically praised book of the same name that deals with three brothers' bootlegging business in Virginia during prohibition. To say I'm excited is a bit of an understatement - I'm actually surprised this isn't getting a later release because this sounds like Oscar-contender material to me. To me, these period-piece dramas are few and far between. And when they're done right, they're pretty amazing (despite what others thought, I loved Public Enemies and American Gangster was also awesome). I can only hope that they're elaborate process involves bowling alleys and gutterballs.

13. Total Recall
Starring: Colin Farrell, Bryan Cranston, Kat Beckinsale
Director: Len Wiseman
Release Date: August 3
Much like Men in Black III, this movie is another big risk/reward. It's reportedly costing around $200 million to make and this movie won't likely see even that domestically. Arnold Schwarzenegger's original film is somewhat of a cult classic (three-boobed ladies might have sealed the deal on that one) and has garnered a lot of attention lately thanks to the comedy gold mine of a Mr. Schwarzenegger audio commentary. But despite the internet's backlash at anything that's considered a remake, if they're done really well, then people are willing to overlook Hollywood's desperate attempts at cashing in on nostalgia (True Grit, The Karate Kid come to mind, both critically acclaimed and box office hits). I'm not too sure how I feel about Colin Farrell in the lead role, but I don't despise him like some people do. He's a good actor and he can transition from comedy (Horrible Bosses) to drama (In Bruges) to action star (Alexander) quite easily. So I have confidence that the producers made the right choice - and they did a hell of a job with the rest of the cast - Bill Nighy, Ethan Hawke and John Cho are solid actors. Farrell has said the movie will not be like the original story from Philip K. Dick, so it remains a mystery as to how the conspiracy-laden plot will be toyed with. Expect more of a nitty-gritty, Blade Runner-esque thrill ride rather than an action-packed explosion-fest. This is one to watch out for.

12. The Bourne Legacy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton
Director: Tony Gilroy
Release Date: August 3
In direct competition the same weekend as Total Recall is the new entry in the Bourne series. Although the title retains the same moniker, it's a completely new character in the titular role (although he's not named Bourne). Tony Gilroy, who wrote the script for all three previous Bourne movies, wrote this one as well. And he is also directing the movie (his previous movies were Michael Clayton and Duplicity). Although I am sad to see Paul Greengrass leave the director's chair, I am excited to see what new adventures this franchise has in store. Jeremy Renner is a competing for the ultimate bad ass next year and this may be his crown achievement. I have no idea if the film will follow the book of the same name (probably not because the book still follows Jason Bourne). I don't think people are going to flock to this movie because if they don't see Damon attached at all to the main role, they'll just roll their eyes and move on. But this movie could be awesome if they maintain the same manic action and hectic pace as the others did. I am fully prepared for some great choreography and mind-blowing conspiracies. Bring it!

Source: RNK Fan Art
11. Skyfall
Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes
Director: Sam Mendes
Release Date: November 9
After all the trouble MGM has gone through in the past few years, we're finally getting another Bond movie. I love how they rebooted the franchise. I think Daniel Craig does a great job. I've never really been a fan of all the other Bond movies, but I'm definitely hooked on the new ones. I think part of it has to do with how they're treating the character this time around. Instead of a man who seems to have his life reset with each new movie, Quantum of Solace was a continuation of Casino Royale. I just hope they keep chugging along with Skyfall. The plot sounds like it's going to be riddled with twists - as Bond questions M's loyalty and MI6 headquarters comes under attack. It could be a confusing mess, but I trust the crew and writers to nail it. And Sam Mendes is aboard to direct, lending some Oscar-winning credibility to the whole affair. He's not known for action, but I have no doubt he'll do just fine with this movie. Plus Javier Bardem plays the villain (or one of them anyways) and that's good news because he's pretty much got that angle covered. Seriously, can't wait.

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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