2012 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Films — What Are YOU Looking Forward to?

Well, the studios have already dumped a couple big sci-fi/fantasy films on us, with movies like Chronicle (haven’t seen but want to), Ghost Rider (haven’t seen, probably will even though I have zero expectations to like it), John Carter (best box office flop of the decade), and Hunger Games (thoughts on the book and movie coming soon).

But 2012 is a BIG year, with some BIG speculative genre films coming our way. What are you looking forward to? Here’s a partial list for us . . .

The Avengers (May 4) if you are on this website and you don’t know why we are excited about this movie, then it most likely that you’re one of the spambots trying to leave a comment like “you are good writer and I bookmark teh blog often to get good tips on being better” and a link to your vacuum rating website.

Dark Shadows (May 11) Tim Burton? Johnny Depp? Forty year old horror soap opera? It’s a match made in . . . somewhere. The trailer makes it look like Burton is returning to Beetlejuice territory. You know, sometimes moving backward is actually moving forward. And sometimes, moving backward is actually moving backward. I don’t want to want to see this, but I sort of want to see this.

Battleship (May 18) Big, dumb, loud sci-fi action movie based on a fun and/or frustrating board game (depending on if you’re using more red pegs than white). It WILL be better than Transformers (because you would really have to work hard to make it worse). It doesn’t look like any variation of the game that I remember, but I’m sure there will be a version of the game that looks like the movie before May 18.

Men in Black III (May 25) That’s every weekend in May getting a movie that I’d actually pay to see in theaters. Assuming I have money. And time. Aside from those two things, that’s every week in May. As for Men in Black III, it’s got Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and time travel. If it can keep some of the “tongue-in-cheek-with-an-edge” vibe (that sounds painful), it could be a fun one.

Prometheus (June 8 ) Ridley Scott returns to the Alien universe, supposedly, unless you believe him when he says he is absolutely not, which you might be apt to do unless you actually have seen the trailer which seems pretty clear that he IS. Whatever. It looks like a great looking movie, and I’m hoping that it’s going to have some real meaty sci-fi elements and ideas. With this one, big explosions won’t be enough. I want story, I want character, I want atmosphere. I’ll settle for two of the three. And if there’s a xeno-morph, all the better!

Brave (June 22) PIXAR. Do I need to say anything else? How about this: it seems to be a fantasy, quest-y kind of thing.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (June 29) Big, dumb, loud . . . with ninjas. I’ll be renting this one, I think. But I’m looking forward to renting it!

The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3) Andrew Garfield plays high school era Peter Parker. (I think Garfield is like 40-something, but he’s a great actor — loved him in that one episode of Doctor Who.) I’m very curious about this one. As someone who liked all three Rami Spider-Man movies (and yes, I do defend Spider-Man 3) this reboot has potential. Garfield is perfect casting and the Lizard as the villain is something I’ve been waiting for. To me, Spider-Man’s primary metaphor is that all his friends, family, teachers, and co-workers are “super villains” — becoming a four-color slug-fest about dealing internal and interpersonal issues. My prediction (and this isn’t much of a stretch): this movie will set up a Green Goblin for the sequel; the next movie, battling Green Goblin will set up a Venom for the next sequel; and in the third movie, Venom will be done right (although I still defend Spider-Man 3, but only on the terms of the movie’s own internal logic.) (Yes, I know Spider-Man 3 is a seriously flawed movie, BUT because of those flaws, it gets more guff than it should.)

The Dark Knight Rises (July 20) What can be said about this movie? If you liked Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, then you are hoping (like us) for a movie that at least gives some closure to the character. if you didn’t like them you probably won’t like this one. At the very least, here is a trilogy of films, by the same “team”, exploring the character. Time will tell if the exploration will be satisfying, but right now two of the three of us have high expectations.

Total Recall (Aug 3) The original story by Phillip K. Dick seems to be the basis for this movie, but it looks like there is some influence from Schwartzeneger’s action movie. It looks like Mars may not be prominent in this version, but the sci-fi trappings will be. I’m interested in seeing where they take this.

Dredd (Sept. 21) Honestly, I know very little about this movie. It’s Judge Dredd (a character that I have some familiarity with, and that could be cool) and it’s Karl Urban (loved him in Star Trek and Lord of the Rings, but haven’t seen him in anything else). Still, I’m curious about the movie.

Looper (Sept. 28) A time traveling hit man gets sent back in time to kill . . . himself. Not sold yet? Well, the hit man from the future is Bruce Willis; his young self is Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Frankenweenie (Oct. 5) As a fan of Tim Burton when I was younger, I found his Frankenweenie short film that he did for Disney somewhere on VHS. It has all the flavors he would revisit in his movies after that. A love letter to Universal horror movies, it was a whole lot of fun. So here, not only is Tim Burton is returning to that “first” story, he’s also doing it in stop motion. Sometimes, moving backward is actually moving forward.

Skyfall (Nov. 9) The new James Bond movie. I keep going back and forth about if I actually want to see it.

Gravity (Nov. 21) This sounds like an interesting little movie, starring Sandra Bullock as an astronaut trapped in orbit and George Clooney as a handsome, interesting person (just guessing there, based on previous experience — I know nothing about his roll in this movie). The director did one of the Harry Potter movies and Children of Men, so I have hope that this might actually be good.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14) Can. Not. Wait. Will be at the midnight show.

World War Z (Dec. 21) I didn’t read the book, I listened to a dramatized audio version of it. I liked it. I’m not sure how it will work as a two hour and some minutes PG-13 movie starring Brad Pitt. It’s about the zombie apocalypse, told through the oral testimony of the survivors. It’s horrifying, but mainly from the human perspective. And it’s global in scope, jumping from narrator to narrator, without a single “hero”, so I have no idea what the movie will look like. Me? I’d film it as a documentarian or historian going from person to person, turning it into an anthology as each person tells their story. But would Brad Pitt take the part of the guy who goes around talking to people? I think he’s playing someone who is actively trying to find a cure to the zombie virus or something, which will put him in the middle of the action.

What say you? Did we miss any? What are you MOST looking forward too? It seems like it could be a good year for sci-fi/fantasy films! Anything on our list you are NOT looking forward to? Let us know below!

~ Ben

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