10 Highly Anticipated Films of 2012

The past year was not the greatest for movies. Many big-budget films fell short of expectations (“The Green Lantern” springs to mind). While there were some really good movies in 2011, most of them were surprise hits (think “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “X-Men: First Class”) which did not generate a ton of buzz prior to their release. Buzz is usually a good indication that a film will be well received. While 2011’s films failed to live up to the hype, that does not stop the hype machine. Here are 10 films that are highly anticipated for 2012 (presented in order of projected release date).

“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D” (Release Date: February 10)

Perhaps the most loathed of all the Star Wars prequels is the first to get the 3D treatment. The other five films will get it as well, provided this film proves successful (and make lots of money). While “The Phantom Menace” has been ripped apart by fans and critics alike, the films 3D re-release is still anticipated, and will probably prove to be a successful venture for Lucas films, if only so fans can see the original trilogy also in 3D.

“The Hunger Games” (Release Date: March 23)

The first film based on the very popular book series of the same name is being raved about by fans of the novels. When the first trailer was released, fans reacted with nearly universal praise. The Hunger Games has been buzzed about since it was announced, and it looks like the hype is going to be justified.

“Wrath of the Titans” (Release Date: March 30)

The sequel to the middling “Clash of the Titans” that was released in 2010, “Wrath of the Titans” looks like it will not suffer from the same problems that plagued its predecessor. Unlike the first go around, this film looks, based on the very exciting trailer, to have a coherent narrative that will not be bogged down with behind-the-scenes trouble. Clash always had the chance to be a good film; Wrath looks like it will be everything people wanted in the first outing.

See also  5 Family Friendly Movies About Leprechauns

“The Avengers” (Release Date: May 4)

Ever since Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) said to Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) “I’m hear to talk to you about the Avenger Initiative” following 2008’s “Iron Man,” fans have been waiting with baited breath for this film. Last year’s mini-trailer following “Captain America: The First Avenger” gave everyone a glimpse of how massive this film will be. Four years after Nick Fury said those word, we’ll finally find out what it all means.

“Men In Black 3″ (Release Date: May 25)

No one was really clamoring for a third movie in the “Men In Black” franchise, but a cool trailer has piqued people’s interest. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return, this time in 3D. The trailer shows that there will be some time travel involved, which is always cool. For a movie that was announced and made with nothing more than indifference from many moviegoers, it looks like MIB3 could end up being one of the surprise hits of the summer.

“Prometheus” (Release Date: June 8)

Ridley Scott’s return to Sci-Fi with his “Alien” prequel that is not an “Alien” prequel. The film will take place in the same universe as Scott’s smash hit from 1979, but won’t feature any of the familiar names. It does feature a stellar cast led by soon-to-be-superstar Michael Fassbender (who genre fans will remember mostly as Magneto from “X-Men: First Class”). With Scott’s sci-fi cred, and a very engaging trailer, “Prometheus” stands out as a potential crossover hit.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” (Release Date: June 29)

See also  The Top Ten Sci-Fi Films of 21st Century

What was said about “Wrath of the Titans” earlier could be repeated here. The first film, “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra,” was a sloppy mess. It tried to be too much to too many people and ending up being terrible as a result. Based on early footage, it looks like “Retaliation” fixes those problems. This film is part sequel, part reboot, but looks to be all action. “Retaliation” has the chance to redeem the G.I. Joe franchise and turn it into a viable film product once again.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” (Release Date: July 3)

Does the world need another Spider-Man origin story? Probably not, but we are getting one anyway. Spider-Man is one of the few comic characters that receives near universal acclaim. This new film series is a complete reboot and will kick things off the same way Sam Raimi did back in 2002. There will be differences from this film and the first Spidey origin story we saw, and a new cast will hopefully wash away the sour taste left in everyone’s mouth following Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3.” Raimi’s first outing featured the Green Goblin, a comic-book villain on par with Lex Luthor and The Joker as far as name recognition goes. This film will feature The Lizard, a villain Spidey fans will recognize, but one the average moviegoer will not. It will be interesting to see how people react. So it will be so while no one really wants to see how Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man, people will still line up to see it.

The Dark Knight Rises” (Release Date: July 20)

See also  Bradley Cooper Wins Best Actor at Year's First Awards Ceremony

Does anything really need to be said? This is probably the most anticipated film of 2012, and will have a chance to set box-office records upon its release. Coming off the heels of “The Dark Knight” in 2008, Nolan and Co. get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to Batman’s on-screen adventures. As the tagline says, this will be “the epic conclusion to the Dark Knight legend.” And what a conclusion it looks to be.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Release Date: December 14)

It has been nearly eight years since we last visited Middle Earth, and Peter Jackson is back to put J.R.R. Tolkien’s other popular work up on the big screen. Jackson did a tremendous job with his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and no doubt he will put the same effort into the tale of Bilbo Baggins. The first part of “The Hobbit” (the second film will be released in December 2013) will be a great way to end what looks to be a very good year of cinema.

Honourable Mentions: “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” (February 17); “American Reunion” (April 6); “The Expendables 2” (August 17); “Skyfall” (November 9); “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2:” (November 16)

All projected release dates provided by the Coming Soon page of imdb.com