Crystal’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

Yes, 3 months of 2012 have already passed but I can still name you 20 films (and then some) that I absolutely cannot wait to wax hyperbolic about.



Crystal’s 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012


A good trailer can work miracles. I have not seen 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, nor do I particularly want to. G.I. Joe: Retaliation wasn’t even on my radar until the trailer debuted in early December and I was pleasantly surprised not only by how cool the action looked (using a snazzy remix of “Seven Nation Army” didn’t hurt things either) but the “button” of the trailer (the final few seconds after the title card is shown) revealed BRUCE WILLIS Bruce Willis-ing all over the place. I’m sure I’d read he’d joined the cast at some point but I must not have committed it to memory because I was legitimately floored. Whoever cut this trailer earned their wages, friends. I am on board.

19. Skyfall (November 9)

As a whole, the James Bond franchise was always something that I meant to get around to but I just never did. The recent Daniel Craig installments piqued my interest for a while but the movies eventually garnered such mixed reviews that my interest waned. This year brings the much-delayed third installment and with Sam Mendes at the helm, I think the time is finally right for me to get my Bond on.

18. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14)

Admittedly, I am not a huge Lord of the Rings fan. The movies were a fun pop culture experience to be a part of and I found the way Peter Jackson adapted the material to be admirable and a bit marvelous. But I honestly found the movies themselves to be a bit of a chore. Before I make any definitive statements, I should definitely revisit the trilogy but as the films stand in my memory they kind of all run together and I just remember how long they were and how confused I felt most of the time. BUT ANYWAYS, despite those feelings, I am still looking forward to The Hobbit films. Once again, I am certain they will be a pop culture phenomenon and those are always interesting to witness. The nerd in me is also quite anxious to see what the films actually look like, as much has been made about Peter Jackson shooting at a higher frame rate, so that the images (especially the 3D effects) appear more lifelike. This is all not to mention the ridiculous/awesome/vast cast that includes not only actors from the previous LOTR films but also a Conchord, The Piemaker, Sherlock AND the whole thing stars Martin Freeman. (And if you understand all those exciting words I just used, bless you.) At the very least, it’ll be fun giggling over cast photo calls.

17. Brave (June 22)

It’s Pixar and it doesn’t have the word “Cars” in the title. I am there.

16. Prometheus (June 8)

It’s an Alien movie and it’s also not. The film has been in development for years, which is usually a warning sign but in this case, I believe it’s because the concept and story were being fine-tuned that entire time. Almost nothing is known about the film at this point and there’s less than 3 months until it releases. Michael Fassbender is there. All of these statements are thrilling to me.

15. Ted (June 29)

I can practically hear people closing their browsers on this blog, unfollowing me on Twitter and trolling me on Tumblr but I will cop to being a Seth MacFarlane fan. A mild, casual fan, mind you. But I think the vitriol that gets thrown his way to be a little much and I think Family Guy‘s popularity with the douche crowd has largely overshadowed the fact that the show is often as clever as it is crass. 2012 sees the release of Ted, MacFarlane’s first movie and it sounds like it will either be incredible or incredibly bad. Mark Wahlberg stars as a man whose life-long best friend is Ted, his childhood teddy bear (played by MacFarlane, using motion capture) who magically came to life in his youth. The man eventually falls for Mila Kunis (as we all do at some point, right?) and then must decide between a conventional life with her or the life he’s been living with Ted. The quality remains to be seen but it sounds pretty interesting to me so far.

14. Moonrise Kingdom (May 25)

Wes Anderson is responsible for more than a couple of my all-time favorite movies so I am anxiously anticipating his latest feature, which also boasts an impressive cast featuring Bruce Willis, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand and Bill Murray.

13. The Bourne Legacy (August 10)

The thought of a Bourne movie without Matt Damon still makes me a bit uneasy but Universal is certainly doing all they can to make the transition easier. Casting Jeremy Renner as the new protagonist was a surefire way to keep me interested in the franchise and the teaser trailer that was released early last month was pretty darn exciting. It agitates me that this movie even has to exist but since it does, I might as well watch the hell out of it.

12. The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3)

Much like my feelings on the Bourne situation, it makes me crazy that this movie even needs to exist. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man will barely be a decade old when The Amazing Spider-Man hits theatres this summer and Spider-Man 2 is one of the best superhero movies ever made, in my opinion. Yes, Spider-Man 3 was a disaster in every regard and it was best for EVERYBODY when Raimi walked out on the development of future installments but it’s absurd to me that Columbia’s response is to just hit the reset button. HOWEVER, again like the Bourne situation, the studio seems to be doing everything they can to make it impossible for me to reject this film: Andrew Garfield as Spidey, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and the film serves as director Marc Webb’s follow-up to (500) Days of Summer. At this point, I’d say I’m more curious than actually excited but we’ll see what happens.

11. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)

I have had a tumultuous relationship with Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman. I actively disliked Batman Begins and while The Dark Knight is indisputably an excellent film, the excessive hype and hysteria surrounding its release definitely soured my personal reaction to it when I finally got to see it. With The Dark Knight Rises being the final chapter in Nolan’s trilogy, I am definitely interested to see how he chooses to bring the story to a close. Also piquing my interest is the fact that literally half the cast of Inception is involved (including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, hubba hubba.) And this time around, I really want to try and avoid the rumblings surrounding the film, not because I’m fearful of spoilers but because I want my reaction to be a reaction to the movie, not a reaction to the reaction.

10. Jeff, Who Lives At Home (March 16)

Obviously I am going to be interested in any movie starring Jason Segel, especially one that also features Ed Helms, Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon. But my hope (and expectation, quite frankly) is that this isn’t “any” movie. I’ve enjoyed all of The Duplass Brothers’ previous films but especially 2010’s Cyrus, which is a perfect example of the “too sad to be funny but funny enough to not be depressing” flair that I prefer my indie flicks to have. From what I can tell, Jeff should be another fine entry into that subtly funny, sneakily touching category that I love so much, so I’m pretty excited.

9. 21 Jump Street (March 16)

During this movie’s development and post-production, I went back and forth on exactly what my expectations should be: Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in a comedic reimagining of a fairly beloved (at least in my family, anyway) Stephen J. Cannell series? It really does not compute.  There’s really no reason why this movie should exist or be good at all. And then slowly that started to become part of its charm. And then trailers were released, sneak previews were held, buzz began to build and it became more and more likely that 21 Jump Street could possibly be amazing. I legitimately cannot wait to see how this turns out.


LOOK AT THAT PICTURE. RYAN GOSLING AND EMMA STONE (AND A DOG) IN THE 40s/50s. THAT IS WHY I AM EXCITED FOR THIS MOVIE. Ahem. Also, the movie is directed by Ruben “Zombieland” Fleischer. And it should be super interesting and stuff. But mainly the above photo.

7. Gravity (November 29) MOVED TO 2013

If you’ve seen 2006’s Children of Men, you know exactly why I have been eagerly anticipating Alfonso Cuarón’s next effort and Gravity appears to be worth the wait. Although much of the film’s details are being kept under wraps (which just makes me more excited, frankly), we know that the movie is a sci-fi thriller starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts stranded in space after a routine mission takes a turn for the worst. Cuarón already has a fascinating directorial style and I can’t wait to see how he utilizes what are rumored to be rather extensive special effects. And the fact that the movie essentially appears to be a two-person drama starring 2 Oscar-winning actors (even if it is ridiculous that Bullock has an Oscar) is also exciting.

6. Django Unchained (December 25)

Like many cinephiles, I bow at the throne of Quentin Tarantino. I marvel at Pulp Fiction every time I catch even a glimpse of it, Jackie Brown and the Kill Bill films are definitely on my all-time fav list and I find it completely despicable that The Hurt Locker won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay over Inglourious Basterds in 2010. I am always excited for a new Tarantino flick and Django Unchained is no exception. Like most Tarantino films, the plot sounds both ridiculous and amazing (a spaghetti western in which a freed slave and a bounty hunter journey to save the slave’s wife from an evil plantation owner) and the cast is equally ridiculous and amazing (this blog would be another 5 pages long if I named everyone involved). Literally the only disappointing thing about this movie so far is that we have to wait until the end of the year to see it.

5. The Five-Year Engagement (April 27)

Unless you’re new here (and hey, welcome, in that unlikely event), you probably already know that I am rather fond of Jason Segel. (A more judgy crowd might use words like “creepy” and “obsessed” to describe my feelings but whatever. They just don’t understand our bond.) But even without my fangirling, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of my all-time favorite movies and in my opinion, possibly one of the best romantic comedies ever so my expectations for The Five-Year Engagement are pretty darn high. But with co-stars like Emily Blunt, Alison Brie, Chris Pratt and Mindy Kaling and Segel once again taking on screenwriting duties and Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller at the helm, I hope those expectations will be met, if not exceeded.

4. Looper (September 28)

Most directors would be content to make ONE great film in their careers, but with a debut film like Brick and a dazzling sophomore effort like The Brothers Bloom, we already knew Rian Johnson wasn’t most directors. With Looper, Johnson appears to be going for the hat trick here (or as we call it in my household, “The Edgar Wright”). The film’s details are super secret at this point (which once again, thrills me even more) but we do know that it involves time travel, hitmen, Emily Blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. And that is GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.

3. This Is 40 (December 21)

I have loved literally everything Judd Apatow has ever done. And I am very picky. But he is just that good. Funny People, his most recent film, wasn’t as well-received as his first 2 movies but I think it may actually be my favorite; Apatow’s films are often lauded for their apt mixture of raunchy jokes and heartfelt pathos and I thought Funny People was his most personal, mature example of that yet. I am hopeful that This Is 40 will continue down the same pensive yet hilarious path that Funny People laid out. The film is also fascinating in that it continues the story of Debbie and Pete, Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd’s characters from Knocked Up. (Apatow says the film isn’t really a sequel and not really a spinoff, just a film set in the same universe.) I always enjoy Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd in any project and I thought they had a great chemistry in Knocked Up, so I’m excited to see them together again. (Also reprising their previous roles are Apatow and Mann’s daughters, Maude and Iris, both of whom I find completely hilarious. Seriously, if you’re not already following Maude on Twitter, do it. She’s a treasure.) Also featured in the film are Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Albert Brooks and Jason Segel. So basically all of those awesome facts are how this film landed at #3 on this list without even so much as a trailer being released!

2. The Avengers (May 4)
Do I even have to explain why a movie featuring A BUNCH OF SUPERHEROES is exciting?! In case I do: Marvel movies have been an exciting, must-see summer event for many years now. In a fascinating experiment that nerdy people like me still can’t even believe is actually happening, the past 5 films have all been leading up to The Avengers, which sees Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) banding together to be dreamy, say cool things and do awesome stuff. (Or at least that’s what I’ve gleaned from the trailers.)
fd2fe-avengers2AND! AND it’s written and directed by fanboy extraordinaire, Joss Whedon, who has been a creative hero of mine since I was 11. This will either be the most amazing, inventive, game-changing thing to ever happen to the superhero genre or it will be incredibly disappointing, embarrassing and possibly career-ending for everyone involved. The stakes have never been higher!


1. The Cabin In The Woods (April 13)

The fact that we even live in a world where 2 films penned by Joss Whedon appear on my “Most Anticipated” list makes my inner fangirl want to cry hysterically. Like, this is a BIG DEAL for me. Anyways, as much as I’m looking forward to The Avengers, nothing makes me happier than original material from Joss Whedon. And it makes me ESPECIALLY happy that this particular piece of original material is finally being released because for a while it seemed like it would never see the light of day. The Cabin In The Woods has actually appeared on ALL THREE “Most Anticipated” lists I’ve published on this website, as the film had the misfortune of being one of the final films MGM produced before they went broke and it was consequently shelved until the studio got their finances in order. The film has been through a number of release dates, a failed attempt at 3D post-conversion and a scrapped comic prequel but barring any last minute disasters, it will FINALLY hit theatres in less than a month. And SOMEHOW, the film has remained rather mysterious; while a draft of the script hit the internet some time ago, those of us who didn’t sneak a peek at it have basically been left in the dark about even any basic details about the film and I intend to stay that way. (I’ve even forgone the trailers! And I NEVER do that.) The early buzz (which has been overwhelmingly positive and remained courteously spoiler-free, which is refreshing and actually kind of sweet) is that the twists and turns the film takes are mindblowing and the less you know going in, the more awesome the experience. AAHHHHH I have to stop talking about it now, I’m getting too excited and there’s still 27 days left.

These films may or may not come out this year but it’d be cool if they did:

Black Rock – Katie Aselton’s previous film, The Freebie, was a surprisingly strong indie debut so I’m interested to see what she does with this survival thriller script from her husband Mark Duplass.
– Celeste and Jesse Forever – Rashida Jones makes her screenwriting debut in an indie romantic dramedy starring herself and Andy Samberg.
– The End of Love Amanda Seyfried, Michael Cera, Jason Ritter and Mark Webber star in an indie drama that serves as Webber’s sophomore effort as both a screenwriter and director.
– The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix and tells the story of the founding of a religion that so closely mirrors Scientology, Anderson couldn’t get funding for the movie for years.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower I’m usually suspicious when studios try to make movies out of literature that means something to me but Stephen Chbosky, the author of the 1999 novel that was super profound to me in my youth, was allowed to write and direct the adaptation so I’m hoping it turns out well.
– The Place Beyond The Pines – Ryan Gosling reteams with Blue Valentine writer/director Derek Cianfrance.
– Save The Date – A relationship comedy starring Lizzy Caplan, Martin Starr, Mark Webber and Alison Brie. YES PLEASE.

– Smashed Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul play a married couple whose Days of Wine and Roses-esque relationship is tested when one of them decides to sober up.



If these movies are released this year I WILL FLIP THE F OUT:

Much Ado About Nothing – The aforementioned Joss Whedon shocked the world late last year when he revealed that not only had he formed his own production company but he had quietly filmed a modern retelling of this Shakespeare classic starring an unbelievable cast of actors he’s worked with previously, a list so impressive it seems almost designed to make fanboys and fangirls everywhere cry: The Avengers‘ Clark Gregg, Angel‘s Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof, Buffy‘s Tom Lenk, Dollhouse‘s Fran Kranz and Reed Diamond and Firefly’s Sean Maher and Nathan Fillion. WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE THERE COULD POSSIBLY BE THREE JOSS WHEDON MOVIES RELEASED IN THE SAME YEAR. SUDDENLY FIREFLY BEING CANCELLED IS JUST A FOOTNOTE.



I’m also keeping an eye on:


The Hunger Games (March 23) – I plan on reading the wildly popular novel before the movie opens next week but early reviews are surprisingly positive so I’m getting excited to see if the movie (and the book) lives up to the hype.
Titanic 3D (April 4) – I’ve never been a huge Titanic person (or a big James Cameron person for that matter) but I’d like to see the film on the big screen, as I was too young to care about it when it was originally released. I’m also intrigued by the prospect of seeing the film converted to 3D, as the result could either be amazing or amazingly crass.
American Reunion (April 6) – It’s cool that the original cast agreed to do another movie and quite remarkable that the franchise has lived on for nearly 13 years thanks to an endless line of straight-to-DVD sequels. The fact that the Harold and Kumar guys have taken over writing/directing duties indicates that this sequel might breathe new life into the franchise but I’m mainly interested to see if the trademark crass humor and gross-out mentality of the series will hold up in a post-Apatow world, where we expect a little more heart and humanity from our comedies.
The Dictator (May 11) – Sacha Baron Cohen once again takes on a crazy character and wreaks havoc wherever he goes.
Battleship (May 18) – Things blow up and Liam Neeson, Rihanna and Alexander Skarsgard are there. Saucy dream I once had or a multimillion dollar summer blockbuster based on a board game? YOU DECIDE. (How about both?!)
Men in Black 3 (May 25) – I’m more curious than excited about this one, as I don’t know why we need a sequel to a franchise that has been dead for a decade. Will Smith obviously returns in the $200+ million blockbuster and Tommy Lee Jones reprises his character as well, though it’s unclear exactly how extensive his role is as the film largely takes place in the past, with Josh Brolin, doing a spectacular impression of Jones, playing a young Agent K. Also, Jemaine Clement appears as a villain and Bill Hader is Andy Warhol for some reason. Yeah. So I’m curious.
Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1) – For some reason, 2012 has been blessed (?) with 2 wildly different interpretations of Snow White and I’ve decided to bet on this one. An action fantasy take, Kristen Stewart takes on the role of “the fairest of them all”, Chris Hemsworth is the huntsman sent to kill her and Charlize Theron is the evil Queen who orders the hit.
Safety Not Guaranteed (June 8) – Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson (aka frequently the best part of FOX’s New Girl) star in an indie comedy based on a real-life newspaper ad that went viral in 2005, in which a man sought a companion for a time-travel adventure.
That’s My Boy (June 15) – I am generally not a fan of Adam Sandler comedies (and after Jack & Jill, is anybody, really?) but this movie’s credits gave me pause as David Wain and Ken Marino were brought in to do a rewrite on a script from Happy Endings‘ David Caspe. A red-band trailer was recently released and it looks atrocious so far but I feel obligated to at least keep an eye on it.
Your Sister’s Sister (June 15) – Well-received on the festival circuit, I’m looking forward to this dramedy from indie auteur Lynn Shelton starring Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass.
To Rome With Love (June 22) – After a short leave, Woody Allen returns to acting in his latest comedy which also stars Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Allison Pill, Greta Gerwig and Alec Baldwin.
Take This Waltz (June 22) – Michelle Williams, Sarah Silverman and Seth Rogen star in a romantic indie drama and that’s really all I need to know.
Magic Mike (June 29) – This sounds like I’m making it up but it’s all true: Steven Soderbergh directs Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Matt Bomer in a comedy inspired by Tatum’s pre-fame experience as a stripper.
People Like Us (June 29) – The infamous writing duo of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (who brought us the first 2 Transformers films, were partially responsible for Cowboys and Aliens and yet somehow managed to turn things around and give us Star Trek) try their hand at original material and dramatic material at that. I legitimately have no idea what to expect. Kurtzman makes his directorial debut and Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde and Elizabeth Banks star.
Neighborhood Watch Retitled The Watch (July 27) – One of the more intriguing releases this summer, The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer directs Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill and The IT Crowd‘s Richard Ayoade in a sci-fi comedy scripted by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
Total Recall (August 3) – Like most remakes (reboots? reimaginings?), I don’t know why this needs to exist or how it will turn out but it’s happening and it stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston.
2 Days in New York (August 10) – 2007’s 2 Days in Paris is a delightful, woefully underseen romantic comedy written and directed by Before Sunrise/Sunset‘s Julie Delpy. In a surprising turn of events, Delpy has graced us with a follow-up, which will hopefully be as charming and smart as its predecessor.
The Campaign (August 10) – I know next to nothing about this movie other than the fact that it stars Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis and Jason Sudeikis which is enough for me to be interested at this point.
The Wettest County Retitled Lawless (August 31) – John Hillcoat directs, Nick Cave scores and adapts this film centering around Depression-era bootleggers. Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman star.
– Bachelorette (September 7) – When early reviews of Bridesmaids started popping up last year, people were calling it “the female Hangover“, which if you actually saw Bridesmaids, you know is completely inaccurate and entirely sells the movie short. According to early reviews of Bachelorette, we may actually have a “female Hangover” on our hands and that could be good or bad, really. (It’s also been described as “Bridesmaids for bitches”, so make of that what you will.) Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher and Kirsten Dunst star.
Argo (September 14) – Ben Affleck’s latest directorial effort is set during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis and stars Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman and Kyle Chandler.
For a Good Time, Call… (September 14) – Pre-Sundance, Lauren Miller was best known for being Seth Rogen’s wife. Post-Sundance, she is known for starring in and co-writing this indie comedy. Justin Long and Ari Graynor (who is long overdue for her big break, in my opinion) co-star.
Killing Them Softly (September 21) – Brad Pitt reteams with Andrew Dominik, the writer/director of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
Trouble With the Curve (September 28) – Justin Timberlake, Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood star. Yeah, I think it’s weird too.
Taken 2 (October 5) – I personally didn’t think Taken needed a sequel so I am absolutely interested to see how and why this is happening.
Fun Size (October 26) – While teen comedies could generally go either way, this film interests me because it marks the directorial debut of Josh Schwartz. Raising the likelihood of this movie actually being worth my time is Max Werner, a Colbert Report writer, penning the screenplay and the presence of Jane Levy, star of ABC’s Suburgatory and a comedienne who deserves to be the star of many other things.
The Guilt Trip (November 2) – This movie confuses me. First off, I don’t know why Seth Rogen is starring in a movie with Barbra Streisand. On the one hand, it’s directed by Anne Fletcher, who directed Step Up, 27 Dresses and The Proposal but then again, it’s written by Dan Fogelman, whose most recent film, Crazy Stupid Love, was a pleasant surprise. Among the producers are Rogen, his creative partner Evan Goldberg and Lorne Michaels? And it co-stars Adam Scott, Danny Pudi, Casey Wilson and Colin Hanks? I legitimately have no idea what this movie could possibly be like. THAT’S why it’s on this list.
Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Osama bin Laden Film Titled Zero Dark Thirty (December 21) – It’s exactly what it sounds like. And it sounds pretty awesome to me.
The Great Gatsby (December 25) – I have REALLY mixed feelings about this film, as The Great Gatsby is one of my all-time favorite books but we’ll see what happens. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan star in this $100+ million budgeted, 3D, Baz Luhrmann-directed adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic… AGH. We’ll see what happens.
What are your most anticipated movies of the year? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @talentedwreason

One thought on “Crystal’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

  1. Again, our lists are nearly identical, except I actually enjoy reading yours and cannot wait to simply finish mine. That reminds me: I need to actually do this.

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