We live in a sentimental culture, constantly looking backward: We study history, we value records, we have holidays based strictly on remembrance. And here we are during a time in which we try to sum up the last year with best-of lists and retrospectives.
But we at Stars & Popcorn, ever-innovative as we are, have a little tradition. We take a look at the upcoming year with the eyes of a soothsayer and attempt to prognosticate the best, most-hyped films, the ones we look forward to seeing most. Last year’s article had results that tended toward positive, though we were as disappointed as everyone else in some cases. This year we hope to do a little better.
Keep in mind many great films of the next year surely have not been announced, or don’t have a specific release date established. This is our preliminary list, the best we can do with the information we have. Still, this should serve as a primer for what you can expect over the next 12 months.
Prometheus: Combine Ridley Scott’s direction with Stars & Popcorn writer favorite Damon Lindelof and you can ignore the fact that John Spaihts is also involved in this expansion of the Alien universe. It should be a fun, intriguing little sci-fi thriller, and after so many lousy ones last year (we’re looking at you, John Spaihts, and The Darkest Hour), that will be refreshing.
The Amazing Spider-Man: I was a huge fan of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (yes, even the third one), so I wasn’t floored by the 3D trailer for the Zach Webb. And we around the Stars & Popcorn office disagree on how well Toby Maguire played Peter Parker, but we’re all intrigued to see how Andrew Garfield handles the role. The Spider-Man story is so good it can’t really be messed up (knock on wood), so I’m expecting great things from this movie. Plus, it’s got Stars & Popcorn 2011 actress of the year Emma Stone.
“Untitled Terrence Malick Project”: After last year’s ultra-cerebral, ultra-arty The Tree of Life, director Terrence Malick piqued my interest. There’s not much known about this film yet, except that it’s a romantic drama starring Stars & Popcorn 2011 actress of the year runner-up Jessica Chastain, who is on the verge of becoming a household name. So yes, we will watch it.
Nero Fiddled: All the major players in this film are coming off hugely successful recent films: Woody Allen directed his most successful film, Midnight in Paris; Ellen Page was in a little movie called Inception; and Jesse Eisenberg played the tech star of our generation in The Social Network. You can toss in Alec Baldwin, Allison Pill and Penelope Cruz for good measure. Nero Fiddled will focus on four vignettes, all taking place in Rome with love as a theme. It will be smart, if self-righteous, and it’s sure to be a critic’s darling.
Looper: Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and director Rian Johnson team up once more (remember Brick?) to tell the tale of a hit man assigned by the mob to kill his future self. Sound interesting? It’s also got Bruce Willis in it, and that guy knows a thing or two about futuristic sci-fi action movies.
The Bourne Legacy: It’s a little disappointing to see the Bourne series depart from its Matt Damon/Paul Greengrass trajectory, but we’re convinced the filmmakers can create a story just as compelling as the first three within the same universe. Plus, as we saw in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner is as good a drama/action front man as you could hope for.
The Dark Knight Rises: The conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic, dark Batman trilogy should be at the top of everyone’s buzz list this year. We have been following every little detail of the movie, and we can’t remember any film in recent memory being quite as hyped, nor any with quite as much pressure on it to be amazing. As you might remember, Nolan’s first two films in the series were received pretty well.
My Mother’s Curse: This choice will come back to haunt me. I just know it. Seth Rogen is turning into a respectable actor (somehow), and this film finds him playing an inventor traveling across the country with his mother (Barbra Streisand) to sell an invention. It’s written by Crazy, Stupid, Love. screenwriter Dan Fogelman, so that bodes well, and it’s got a host of recognizable faces—especially if you’re a fan of NBC’s comedy block—including Daniel Pudi and Adam Scott.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World: The last six months brought us two very existential films about heavenly bodies interacting with Earth, including one about the two worlds colliding (Another Earth and Melancholia). That’s why Seeking a Friend for the End of the World will be so nice: It’s a dramady staring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley about coming to terms with love as an asteroid careens toward the planet. Writer/director Lorena Scafaria hasn’t done much in the past, but this sounds like an interesting kick-start to a career.
World War Z: This is a film based on the popular book by Max Brooks, which takes accounts by survivors of a global zombie war. It’s a strange take on the zombie genre, but with Marc Foster at the helm and Brad Pitt starring, we can’t help but get excited about this action/horror flick.
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