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.
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
In Theaters October 12th
Few filmmakers have consistently impressed me as much as Paul Thomas Anderson. Though his recent films have been few and far between, the director of Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love (he even got a career high performance out of Adam Sandler), and There Will Be Blood hasn't done me wrong yet, and his reputation precedes him. That's why the long gestating film The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix already has my attention, especially after two rather mysterious trailers. The film is said to be about the founding of Scientology, but it could be about a Justin Bieber circus, and with P.T. Anderson at the helm, I would see it in a heartbeat.
Say what you will about the Wachowskis, they continue to push the limits of film and try things no director ever have. Their next undertaking is an adaptation of a novel that includes six century-spanning storylines that intertwine with characters, and they even use the same actors to play different roles. The Wachowski siblings have teamed up with Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, The International) to create all six pieces, rounding up a cast lead by Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent and Xun Zhou as Yoona-939. As many of those involved keep saying about this "dangerous adventure", I'm excited to see how they've taken on such a bold concept, and how it all turns out. We haven't even seen a trailer yet, and I'm planning to see this opening night.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
In Theaters November 2nd
Die-hard movie fans should all be excited about seeing award-winning director Robert Zemeckis rise from his self-inflicted motion capture grave and return to directing live action again. Denzel Washington stars as a pilot who safely crash lands a plane against all odds but must face scrutiny when it's revealed he had alcohol in his system during the flight. Don Cheadle, John Goodman, and Bruce Greenwood round out the cast, and from what we've seen from the trailer, this one looks like it could be making a play for some Oscars early next year. Perhaps Zemeckis can replicate the success he had with Tom Hanks in Cast Away, his most recent live-action effort and one that, coincidentally, also involved a plane crash.
Directed by Rich Moore
In Theaters November 2nd
John C. Reilly is gonna wreck it! At least that's what he has been doing for years as the villain of an old school arcade game in Disney's non-Pixar computer animated film Wreck-It Ralph. But when this villain wants more than his normal place in the video game world, he ventures outside of his own system, and into other video games. What's most impressive is the collection of official video game characters who appear in the first official trailer. From Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog to Pac-Man's ghosts and more, this looks to be a hilarious and charming film for video game fans and families alike. In addition to Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch also provide their voices.
Directed by Sam Mendes
In Theaters November 9th
Bond is back. And better than ever. Eon Productions finally rounded up the cast and crew to make the 23rd Bond film, now titled Skyfall, once again starring the current Agent 007 - Daniel Craig. At the helm they have Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Away We Go), who I keep saying was the perfect choice for this, making it a bit more darker and edgier, while still keeping the focus on the characters and story at hand. The first teaser trailer was already a short thrill, and I'm excited to see what this builds into, and what secrets they're keeping from us. In addition to Craig, the cast includes Judi Dench as M, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ola Rapace, Bérénice Marlohe and Javier Bardem as the villain. Plus they're introducing Ben Whishaw as a young Q! This is going to be awesome.
Directed by Peter Jackson
In Theaters December 14th
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. And so it began. As huge fans of Peter Jackson's original Lord of the Rings trilogy, there's no question that we're kind of insanely excited to see his new take on The Hobbit, the story that precludes LOTR. Everyone is back, especially Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf (it wouldn't be the same without him), Andy Serkis as Gollum and Hugo Weaving as Elrond, plus Jackson seems to have found the perfect Bilbo Baggins - Martin Freeman. We've seen plenty of making of featurettes, photos and one official trailer so far, and it's looking magnificent. I'm also excited to see Luke Evans as Bard (though that might not be until 2013) and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, as well as the rest of the company of dwarves. It's going to be so wonderful to return to Middle Earth again.
Directed by Tom Hooper
In Theaters December 14th
The classic musical is coming to the big screen, and damn does it look heart-wrenching and exquisite. From Oscar winning The King's Speech director Tom Hooper comes this seminal musical featuring the vocal talents of Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks. That first teaser trailer was haunting, beautiful and just a taste of things to come when the film hits theaters just before Christmas. Musical and film fans will be pleased all at the same time, and Neil Patrick Harris isn't even involved.
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
In Theaters December 25th
Fan/cult-favorite filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is making a spaghetti western starring Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz as bounty hunters and Leonardo DiCaprio as a dastardly plantation owning villain. That's really all that needs to be said. Oh, and Jonah Hill and Samuel L. Jackson and RZA and Franco Nero (the original "Django") will show up for a bit, too. If you're not excited about this movie, that makes us relatively sad. It'll be interesting to see what Tarantino does with his dialogue when the story is set before a time when TV and movies were part of pop culture, but from the looks of the trailer so far, we've got nothing to worry about. This one is definitely going to leave an impression.
The Great Gatsby
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
In Theaters December 25th
Baz Luhrmann taking on the classic novel from F. Scott Fitzgerald as only the director of Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge can deliver? Sold. And then that first trailer hit with the musical stylings of Jay-Z and Jack White, and all hell broke loose. But for my tastes, I mean that in the best way possible. This adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and more just looks like a visual sensation and a truly unique adaptation of the familiar story. My personal hope is for the modern music to engulf the film with the score, but that's just me.
Directed by Steven Spielberg
In Theaters December 2012
There's not a lot we need to say about why you should be considerably excited to see this one. One of our greatest living directors taking on a passion project about one of our country's greatest presidents, with a cast that includes a certain Daniel Day-Lewis as the title character, plus Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Walton Goggins, Jared Harris, Lee Pace, David Strathairn and Sally Field? What's not to love? This may turn out to be the best cast of the year, and since Spielberg has been working on this movie for years (once with Liam Neeson in mind to play Lincoln), we know he's passionate about the material and will bring us his own take on the life of one of the great American heroes.
Bonus! Life of Pi
Directed by Ang Lee
In Theaters November 21st
Out of left field comes one last bonus entry. Oscar winning filmmaker Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hulk, Brokeback Mountain) adapts the beloved novel by Yann Martel about a boy trapped on a lifeboat on the ocean with a tiger for over 200 days. Fox has only just started teasing bits of this film, shot in 3D by master filmmaker Ang Lee, starring unknown newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi Patel. The footage we've seen at CinemaCon and glimpses at what Ang Lee has come up with elicit wonderful feelings inspired by the magic of cinema, reminiscent of Martin Scorsese's Hugo from last year. It's sure to be a big Oscar contender, as well as just a film to make you believe in hope and happiness. Worthy late addition to this list.
Well, there you have it. And in addition to these films, there's still plenty more coming in the second half of 2012. Keep your eyes on the release calendar, and stay tuned for updates on all these films and many more!
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