Friday, 11 November 2011

Looking forward to 2012

The London Olympics, the end of the world, the dawn of a new age.  More 3D movies, more reality TV and more extreme weather/riots/uprisings/recession/bankers bonuses/war.  2012 is full of possibilities.  Just in case this is the last year of the existence for the human race, let's all hope we can go out with a bang!

Here's a list of 10 things that will make 2012 a better place to be amidst the tsunamis, earthquakes and mass hysteria:


1. The Cabin in the Woods directed (and written) by Drew Goddard and co-written by Joss Whedon.  Goddard wrote Cloverfield and Whedon gave us Buffy and Angel, Firefly and Serenity and the upcoming Avengers movie.  It's been delayed a long time due to MGM's financial problems but should hit screens finally in 2012.  Richard Jenkins features in the cast, as does Chris Hemsworth.  Ok so it's about a group of friends and a cabin in the woods.  So far so Evil Dead/Cabin Fever/Baghead.  But Goddard and Whedon have called it 'the horror movie to end all horror movies' and the premise sounds like it adds to the genre in new and exciting ways.  Head here to read more about it.

2. No more Harry Potter.  Finally after 10 years of this over-rated franchise taking over mutiplex screens every summer/Christmas, the whole bloody magical saga is finished.  Sorry to be negative, but I've never got the appeal of these Lord of the Rings-lite fantasy 'epics' featuring some truly hit-and-miss acting (by the youngsters) and an absolute waste of British acting legends and crew/studio time and money.  I'm sure they made many people very happy and I'm sure they were very good news (to some extent) for the British film industry and I'm happy to hear that.  But now I'm also very glad it's done and over.  No more please.  Rickman, Oldman... get back to some real work.


3. The Hobbit will be released around Christmas, filling the fantasy hole left in so many hearts by the end of Potter and co.  Despite the unbelievably sad news that Guillermo Del Toro had to leave the production, Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth to split the prequel to the Lord of the Rings into two films.  Ok so the book is nowhere near the epic that LOTR was, but we still get more of Gollum, Martin Freeman as Bilbo (another iconic role after the disappointment of Arthur Dent) and more Badass Sir Ian McKellen as a slightly younger Gandalf.  Splitting the book into two films could potentially be a concern but Jackson handled the LOTR trilogy with such brilliance, I'm convinced this can be an improvement on the book.


One by One (Trailer) from OnebyOnethemovie on Vimeo.



4. One by One: The Movie.  Here's one you probably won't have heard of yet.  Starring Rik Mayall (Blackadder, The Young Ones, Bottom) and a cast of relative unknowns, this is a British independent film I have been closely involved with nearly since its inception.  Directed by first-time writer/director Diane Jessie Miller, this is a controversial drama about a group of people keen to get those around them to open their eyes to new ways of seeing the world we live in.  It's brimming with thought and thoroughly researched ideas on the state of the world and has engaging characters in a shocking and thought-provoking narrative.  Having worked on this for over two years with some incredibly talented and dedicated people, I can't wait for the film to be edited and to get a release so it can be seen on the big screen. Watch the trailer here.


5. Looper directed by Rian Johnson.  I've banged on about Joseph Gordon-Levitt enough here but in the words of Mugatu, 'he's so hot right now'.  With this, Django Unchained and The Dark Knight Rises, JGL's going to go stratospheric.  The reteaming of JGL and the director of the ace indie Brick, is also cause to jump up and down and if a little bit of wee isn't threatening to leak out of your body yet, add in the mighty Bruce Willis and a premise that involves time travel and pants should be starting to dampen. 


6. Prometheus.  So apparently it's not quite a prequel to Alien, but it is the return of director Ridley Scott to the science fiction genre that made his name 30 years ago.  There's no Ripley (probably a good thing) but 'The last eight minutes of the “Prometheus” story evolve into “a pretty good DNA of the ‘Alien’ one.”  Scott is a truly great director and his work has never been better than in the future world of Blade Runner and the distant space of Alien.  It's been shot in 3D and features a kick-ass cast including men and women of the moment, Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace, as well as Charlize (where's she been?) Theron, Patrick Wilson, The Wire's Idris Elba, Guy Pearce and Rafe Spall.


7. Titanic 3D.  I don't need to apologise (though I often end up doing so) for loving this film.  Nearly $2 billion of box office business shows the popularity of this great epic of love, loss and never letting go.  Yes it's cliched and uses a couple of fictional love bird characters to make the audience care for the 1500 plus people who died in the real life sinking ship tragedy.  But it's got at least a couple of great performances (tough, determined Winslet, panto villain Zane) and no matter what you think of the romance, the cheese-tastic dialogue and one of DiCaprio's lesser performances, the last hour is a wonder of gob-smacking spectacle of brilliant special effects, edge-of-seat action and touching tragedy.  I'm less excited about the 3D conversion (though I hear this will be impressive) than I am about getting to see this on the big screen again.

Now for the the 3 films I'm most looking forward to in 2012.


8. World War Z.  Starring Brad Pitt and loosely based on Max Brook's book, this should take the zombie apocalypse to a global scale.  It's a great book but the lack of a central protagonist to follow made it not so much a brilliant book for me.  Hollywood being Hollywood seem to have sorted that with Pitt's role beefed up so this promises to bring the A-list to an epic B-movie.  At least if the world really does end, we'll all have hopefully picked up tips on how to survive from this apocalyptic vision.


9. Django Unchained.  The return of Tarantino with another great cast that just keeps growing stronger and stronger with every announcement.  Jamie Foxx, DiCaprio, JGL, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L Jackson and Kurt Russell have all signed up for this tale of a slave turned bounty-hunter (Foxx) out for revenge on the plantation owner (Dicaprio) that has his wife.  This promises to be brutal, billiantly scripted and acted and will hopefully continue Tarantino's return to form with 2009's Basterds.


10.  The Dark Knight Rises.  Nolan has yet to make anything short of a brilliant film.  Though I am far from being a comic book fan or superhero enthusiast, The Dark Knight was a brilliant crime drama with a deeply conflicted hero and anarchy personified in Ledger's wild Joker.  Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway and JGL are all added to the cast for TDKR and from what I've heard about the main villain Bane and his stories in the comics/graphic novels, it seems like Batman may have met his match.  Hopefully this will be a trilogy closer to erase the memories of all the disappointing threequels that have gone before it.



That's it from me.  My 2012 calendar is filling up nicely.  What's in your diary to look forward to if we survive the extinction of the human race through war, famine or disease?