20 Movies You Can Still Look Forward To in the Second Half of 2012
by Ethan Anderton
July 4, 2012
Now that we've made our way into July, complete with the blockbuster release of The Amazing Spider-Man just in time for the holiday weekend, it's the halfway point. But there's plenty of movies to look forward to, especially for those who have been somewhat disappointed by the movies of the summer (see our own Brandon Lee Tenney's outlook on this year's duds). And so, there's no time like the present to look at some of the films slated to hit theaters in the second half of the year which still have our curious eyes watching closely. From The Dark Knight Rises to The Hobbit, there's plenty to be pumped for in the rest of 2012.
The Dark Knight Rises
Directed by Christopher Nolan
In Theaters July 20th
What more needs to be said at this point? We're only a few weeks away from finally experiencing the finale to Christopher Nolan's epic Batman trilogy. We've got Bane, who looks more and more badass every day, along with Anne Hathaway as Catwoman teaming up with or fighting against—we're not sure—Batman, who is just trying to keep Gotham City clean. Everything about this seems to be leading up to an incredibly spectacular finale, with Hans Zimmer's score, over an hour of IMAX footage shot by Wally Pfister, and Christopher Nolan going all out to end this with a bang. I'm literally on-the-edge-of-my-seat anxious with excitement to see how this ends, and will likely watch it over and over again in IMAX as many times as I can.
Directed by Akiva Shaffer
In Theaters July 27th
Take a little but of Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Faculty and shake it up with some Judd Apatow humor and you've got The Watch, this summer's sci-fi action comedy starring Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn and Richard Ayoade. Those first three names are already well known, but the latter directed Submarine, brings the laughs on the British comedy series "The IT Crowd" with Chris O'Dowd, and will certainly make a splash with his first big film in the US. If the red band trailer was any indicator, this is going to be one raunchy sci-fi blast this summer, and should be a return to form for comedy from Ben Stiller. Plus, it's directed by The Lonely Island cohort and Hot Rod helmer Akiva Shaffer, so there.
The Bourne Legacy
Directed by Tony Gilroy
In Theaters August 10th
After an excellent conclusion to the original Bourne trilogy, we weren't sure how a sequel would work without star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass. But series writer Tony Gilroy has come up with a cool spin by introducing us to a new character played by Jeremy Renner, and having events from The Bourne Ultimatum play out in the background of this completely new story. The action looks great, and with a solid cast of newcomers (Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz) as well as some familiar faces (Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Albert Finney), we're looking forward to seeing how the series moves forward.
Directed by Jay Roach
In Theaters August 10th
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis have each had their own comedy breakthrough which has blossomed into a successful film career, not only as funnymen, but powerful dramatic actors as well. But now the two are sticking with the straight-up laugh riot approach for The Campaign, a political comedy from Jay Roach, a director who has gone from the spoof nature of Austin Powers to the political drama of Recount and Game Change. Ferrell is doing a bit of George W. Bush and Rick Perry while Galifianakis is bringing his stage persona of his fictional brother Seth Galifianakis into the mix, and they are going head-to-head for Congressional dominance. And with a supporting cast that also includes Jason Sudeikis, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd and Brian Cox, I think we're in for a hell of a comedy for the election year.
The Expendables 2
Directed by Simon West
In Theaters August 17th
Let's be honest, if you're not already excited to see this movie, then you just don't care about old school action and the big musclehead stars of yesteryear. But there are plenty who know that they can expect mindless action from The Expendables 2, especially with Con-Air director Simon West in the driver's seat with an ensemble of the biggest action stars (and Liam Hemsworth) coming together for an explosive good time at the movies. The most recent trailer really served up the action on a platter, but the real draw for me is seeing Jean Claude Van Damme as the villain this time. But then, of course, there's Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Bruce Willis and, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger, so get your steroids and popcorn ready!
Laika has already shown great potential with Henry Selick's adaptation of Coraline (plus, the director is also giving the same treatment to Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book), and now the animation company is back with more glorious stop-motion animation in the form of ParaNorman. Tale of Desperaux director Sam Fell is teaming up with storyboard artist Chris Butler to co-direct this darkly charming family film featuring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), John Goodman, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and more. The last trailer offers plenty of gorgeous animation and great fantastical horror that the whole family can enjoy.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
In Theaters September 7th
While I've been impressed with director Ruben Fleischer's comedies (like Zombieland), I've been waiting for him to show us what he's capable of with action, now's the time. Fleischer has directed a badass 40s/50s police-vs-mobster Los Angeles crime drama called Gangster Squad, starring an unbelievably awesome cast and based on a true story. Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Michael Peña, Robert Patrick and Anthony Mackie on the good guys side, and Sean Penn, Giovanni Ribisi on the bad guys, plus Emma Stone somewhere in the middle. Not only is it going to be a tense drama about cleaning up the streets when it's a challenge to do so, but from the looks of the official trailer, there's going to be some awesome tommy gun, cops-'n-robbers style action and I can't wait to see it. Bring it on, Fleischer!
Directed by Rian Johnson
In Theaters September 28th
Director Rian Johnson is currently one of my favorite filmmakers working today. Though he's only deliver two feature films, those films happen to be Brick and The Brothers Bloom, each of which made my Top 10 of their respective release years. Now Rian Johnson is going a bit bigger with his latest film Looper, a sci-fi film following hitman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who kills targets sent to him from the future, where time travel has been invented. But complications arise when he discovers his future self (played by Bruce Willis) as the target, causing him to go on the run. Aside from the cool concept, and promising action from the trailer, it's seeing Gordon-Levitt in habit a young Bruce Willis that's truly remarkable. This looks to be another great film from Rian Johnson, and we can't wait to see it.
Directed by Olivier Megaton
In Theaters October 5th
After the original Taken became a surprise hit in 2008 and launched Liam Neeson into one of cinemas biggest badasses, we've been patiently waiting to see how Bryan Mills would put his particular set of skills to use again. The first teaser trailer changes the locale but looks to give us the same ass-kicking action that we've come to expect, and the story seems to involve Maggie Grace's Kim character helping rescue her parents this time, switching up the dynamic a little. But as long as Neeson gets to threaten some people with that gravelly voice, blow some stuff up, and snap a few necks, we'll likely be happy with the results.
Directed by Ben Affleck
In Theaters October 12th
Ben Affleck has proven himself as a solid director with Gone Baby Gone and The Town, and now he's taking on a period piece with his third film behind the camera. Argo tells a fascinating true story of the Iran hostage crisis and looks to have a bit more flash and style to it than the director's previous efforts. Affleck stars as the man tasked with rescuing the trapped Americans, and he's joined by an excellent supporting cast that includes John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, Victor Garber and even Kyle Chandler. It may not be one of the most anticipated of 2012, but it could be one of the most well-crafted.
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