Rays of Hope 2012: Upcoming Films That Might Not Suck

My last blog entry probably left a lot of people feeling miserable and hopeless about upcoming film releases for the next couple of years (myself included). But before you go calling a time of death on the film industry, here’s a few rays of hope that might just be worth shelling out nine bucks to go see. I found a surprising number of intriguing flicks, but in the interest of keeping this a little more brief than my usual rant, I’ll keep it to films releasing by the end of July.

The Hunger Games
Distributor: Lionsgate
Release Date: March 23, 2012
While for the most part this looks like a generic dystopian-future thriller, and I have not read the books to gauge whether this will be a faithful adaptation, the trailer looks interesting enough to at least give it a look. If nothing else, it looks more interesting than Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie.

The Cabin in the Woods
Distributor: Lionsgate
Release Date: April 13, 2012
Most people are going to disagree with me after seeing the trailer for this film which is, at best, a clusterfuck of oh-noes-teh-monsters, oh-noes-teh-hallucinations, and oh-noes-teh-governments images. But a bad trailer doesn’t mean a bad movie. I will, however, be the first to admit I’m probably going to see this movie mainly because it was produced by Joss Whedon.

Distributor: EuropaCorp. (Worldwide), Open Road Films (US)
Release Date: April 20, 2012
When it comes to action movies, I’m usually a strong proponent of the motto “the more ridiculous, the better.” That’s because the very idea of an action movie strains credibility. People do not run around with high-caliber hand cannons battling in stylish, choreographed gunfights and slick martial arts duels. Therefore, you might as well make it over-the-top.

That said, Lockout sorta looks like “Escape From New York In Space.” That could very easily go badly, but from the looks of the trailer, the movie has no intentions of taking itself seriously, so this should end up being a great popcorn flick.

The Raven
Distributor: Rogue Pictures (US)
Release Date: April 27, 2012
Okay, I’ll admit the choice of director James McTiegue worries me a bit. But keep in mind, John Cusack is capable of bringing life into otherwise-absurd characters, such as his manic hitman in Grosse Point Blank. If anyone can make Poe memorable in this movie, it’s Cusack. This one is definitely worth checking out.

The Avengers
Distributor: Marvel Studios
Release Date: May 4, 2012
Ignore the retarded Super Bowl spot. I still have high hopes for this movie.

The Dictator
Distributor: Paramount Pictures (US)
Release Date: May 11, 2012
Sacha Baron Cohen is finally returning to the big screen with an original character. I don’t give a fuck what any critic says, Bruno was hilarious. As good as Borat? Maybe not, but it definitely came close. So I’m very excited to see this one.

Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: June 8, 2012
I’ve already told you all how I feel about this. Ridley Scott. Mmm, yes.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: June 22, 2012
Watch the trailer. Go ahead, it’s right here. Is that not the greatest goddamn premise for a movie ever? Add in the fact that Timur Bekmambetov, the man who directed the unbelievably good Night Watch and Day Watch movies (also based on novels, incidentally), is helming this bitch, and you have my complete undivided attention.

The Amazing Spider-Man
Distributor: Columbia Pictures (US)
Release Date: July 3, 2012
I really, really don’t think this looks good. I’m probably going to go see this because I love Spider-Man, and also because I’m a masochist. I list it here because Heller made a very good point (surprise!): this could be Nolan’s Batman for the series. We looked at Burton’s Batman, and said “That is Batman.” Then Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy came to us, and we said, “Fuck, never mind.” As doubtful as it is, the same thing may very well happen here.

The Dark Knight Rises
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Release Date: July 20, 2012
I cannot express how excited I am about this movie. Tom Hardy as Bane might surpass Heath Ledger’s Joker performance. I know that statement probably just caused all nerds ever to go into a rage but it’s true. As brilliant as Ledger’s Joker was, Tom Hardy is capable of bringing such a natural menace and brutality to a character (if you haven’t seen him in Bronson yet, what the fuck are you waiting for?!) that he’s absolutely the perfect fit for the only villain to break Batman both figuratively and literally.

Step Up 4
Distributor: Summit Entertainment
Release Date: July 27, 2012
Haha! Just kidding! Are there seriously three of these shitpiles already in existence?

That wraps up my list of Rays of Hope for the first half of 2012. Keep in mind that, while these movies give me hope, statistically speaking 80% of them are going to suck anyway. Okay I just made that number up. Sounds about right, though, yeah?

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