Forward note: I’m a firm believer in what Allen has been trying to do with Dashet for a while now. He’s been asking me to blog for him constantly and I promised that I would. But as the terrible and procrastinating friend that I am, I have just now decided to get off my lazy arse to post my first entry. Well, technically speaking, I am still sitting while I write this up but you get the idea.
Allen and I share pretty similar tastes in movies and talk about it constantly like a bunch of geeks. We’re both film buffs but of course I am the buffer one in the end. Anyways, I decided to write up an overview of the movies (both big and small) coming out this year that I am personally looking forward to and hopefully for you, the readers, as well.
This year is undoubtedly an exciting year of movie releases. Maybe even the last if you actually believe in the whole “Mayan calendar/end of the world” shebang. So you should hurry on over to the theater as much as you can before December 21, 2012.
I decided on about 22 titles and I will be working backwards from that list. This is part 1 of 2.
22. Seven Psychopaths (TBD – Late 2012): Black comedy film by Martin McDonagh and his second feature. The film stars Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Olga Kurylenko, and Gabourey Sidibe. The story follows a struggling screenwriter who inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu. I was such a huge fan of McDonagh’s directorial debut with In Bruges, also starring Farrell. A very good sense of dark, cynical, and even nihilistic humor but with a touch of redemption and overall strong writing in his work.
21. Django Unchained (Christmas Day): an upcoming western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film stars Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Christoph Waltz. It is set in the Old South, and follows Django (Jamie Foxx), a freed slave who treks across America with the German dentist turned bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), to retrieve Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the charming but sadistic Francophile plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his entourage of ruthless slavers.
20. Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Osama bin Laden Film (December 21): The untitled action thriller about the Special Forces mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. The film is directed by Kathryn Bigelow with screenplay by Mark Boal, both associated with The Hurt Locker, another military action thriller. It will star Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton and Mark Strong.
19. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14): Part 1 of the epic fantasy film by Peter Jackson. Part 2, There and Back Again, is to be released next year (12/13/13). This is an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein’s novel of the same name and a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s nice to be able to revisit Middle Earth.
18. 47 Ronin (November 21): Fantasy-adventure film depicting a fictional account of the 47 Ronin, a real group of Samurai in 18th-century Japan who avenge the murder of their master. The film stars Keanu Reeves and an ensemble of Japanese actors. I know, I know. It all sounds crazy for me to look forward to this but I’m such a huge fan of samurai films. Might just be one of those mindless, fun, and silly movies to look forward to. And who knows, it might not be that bad.
17. Skyfall (November 9): James Bond finally returns with Daniel Craig as the titular agent (3rd time). This also marks the 23rd Bond film and will be directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition). James Bond’s loyalty to M is challenged over secrets from her past. When MI6 is attacked, it falls to Bond to seek out and eliminate the threat regardless of the cost to himself.
16. The Master (October 12): Drama film by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and There Will Be Blood). The plot follows a charismatic intellectual (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who launches a faith-based organization (similar to Scientology) following World War II. A drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes his right-hand man but as the faith begins to gain a fervent following, the drifter finds himself questioning the belief system and his mentor.
15. The Gangster Squad (October 19): Crime film starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, and Josh Brolin. The plot chronicles the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia out of Los Angeles during the 1940s and 1950s. I can’t seem to get enough of period crime pieces.
14. Looper (September 28): Sci-fi actioner by director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brother’s Bloom). Set in a futuristic gangland, where a killer (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works for a mob in the year 2042 and kills people who are sent from the year 2072. He recognizes one victim (Bruce Willis) as himself and hesitates, resulting in the escape of his older self. Terminator much? I’m still a firm believer in Rian Johnson, whose directing style and storytelling methods are always enjoyable. And the clever prosthetics used to make Gordon-Levitt look more like Willis shouldn’t be missed.
13. Killing Them Softly (previously titled Cogan’s Trade) (September 21): Crime film directed by Andrew Dominik (Chopper, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) and starring Brad Pitt. Jackie Cogan (Pitt) is a point man (a person who patrols ahead) for a hitman. Cogan begins investigating a heist of the mob’s assets.
12. Argo (September 14): An upcoming political drama film about the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The hostages take on fake identities as a camera crew to try to escape. Ben Affleck’s directorial follow up from Gone Baby Gone and The Town. I think we’ve given him enough crap about his Oscar win for screenwriting (Good Will Hunting) but let’s face it; he’s one hell of a director.
11. Lawless (formerly The Wettest Country) (August 31): Adaptation of Matt Bondurant’s novel of the same name. Three brothers find their bootlegging business under threat in Prohibition-era Franklin County, Virginia. The story is based on Bondurant’s grandfather and great-uncles. The casting alone is what attracted me to this film which includes: Shia LeBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this post! It will be posted next Monday (April 16)!