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The Lucky 13: Most Anticipated Films of the Summer of 2012

April 28, 2012

Well, we’re near the end of the spring movie season and starting next week the Summer season begins with a BANG! I’m of course referring to Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers”, a movie that’s getting rave critical reception and is in the process of breaking new international box office records.

We’re less than a week away until we see Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor, Black Widow, and Nick Fury duke it out with Loki and his alien army, so I thought I would discuss my top 13 most anticipated films of the Summer Season, and yes you can expect “The Avengers” on the list, actually there are a few given titles on this list, and yet a few some are not aware of coming out.

SO, lets begin the countdown…

13. “Ted” – I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a “Family Guy” fan, actually I’m pretty much a fan of everything Seth MacFarlene touches, so it’s really a no brainer for me to have his back with his live-action feature directing debut in the form of “Ted”. An R-rated comedy about a foul-mouthed talking teddy bear named Ted (voiced by MacFarlene), who chills with Marky-Mark, what more could a fan ask?

12. “Savages” – Good God I’m happy to see Oliver Stone back to doing what he does best, making really twisted, weird, paranoid, high octane, and striaght up good filmmaking. Hopefully this film will make up for his lack of Stone-ness from the past few years. Pot growers Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively).

11. “Safety Not Guaranteed” – There were a lot of charmers at this years Sundance Film Festival, a few I saw, and A LOT I missed, this one I sadly missed. I’m a fan of Mark Duplass, I think he’s a great writer/director, but as an actor he comes off as very geniune (rent “Humpday”). Had a lovely chat with the films co-star, Jake Johnson, on Main Street in Park City, told me to check the film out when I can, sadly I was working a volunteer shift. Three magazine employees (Aubrey Plaza, Johnson, & Karen Soni) head out on an assignment to interview a guy (Duplass) who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.

10. “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” – It’s the year of Lincoln! Steven Spielberg is FINALLY releasing his Lincoln biopic come Christmas Day, but for the time being, director Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”) and producer Tim Burton will show us what old honest Abe was doing before he dawned the iconic top hat and beard…slaying vampires (Buffy-style). Based on the New York Times Bestseller, Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker), the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them.

9. “The Dictator” – Sacha Baron Cohen. You either love him or hate him. The man is a genius when it comes to dangerous comedy, he’s proven so with “Borat” “Bruno”. It comes to no ones surprise that he’d be doing another movie with his directing partner in crime of those films, Larry Charles. However, I wasn’t expecting a full on narrative film and not another neo-mockumentary.The so called ‘heroic story’ of a dictator (Cohen) who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. You know how dangerous Cohen takes it in this film? The movie was inspired by a book written by Saddam Hussein.

8. “Brave” – My brother Zack is tight with Pixar, more importantly he’s been friends with the director of Pixars first ever fantasy epic. Mark Andrews makes his directing debut telling the story of a young woman who plans to make her own path in life, Princess Merida (Kelly MacDonald) defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

7. “ParaNorman” – The creators of “Coraline” are back telling yet another creepy childrens tale, about a boy named Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who just so happens can see dead people. When an evil witch rises, she brings with her an army of the living dead to attack the town. It’s up to Norman and his rag tag bunch of goonie-style pals to save the day.

6. “The Bourne Legacy” – I LOVE the Bourne series. The Bourne films will from here on out cause debates amongst fans everywhere, who would win in a fight? Jason Bourne or James Bond? But wait a sec? Where is Jason Bourne in this fourth installment? A story centered on a new CIA operative (Jeremy Renner) in the universe based on Robert Ludlum’s novels comes into light, Jason Bourne was never the only Treadstone agent…

5. “The Amazing Spider-Man” – Honestly, I was against this film from the get-go, but after a while it grew on me. Now I’m certain this will be THE Spider-Man movie fans of the web slinging hero have been waiting for. They’re keeping it more to the core of the hero, the teenager, and the science behind it all. It’s promised to be gritty, but have more  snarky whit the Sam Raimi films were missing. In this film, Spidey (Andrew Garfield) falls in love with his first true love Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone, my love too) and (FINALLY) fights the Lethal Lizard.

4. “Moonrise Kingdom” – Wes Anderson is back with another corky comedy! I’ve got all his films on Criterion, so I think that goes far beyond fandom at this point. This film however seems to be going back to the youthful side of storytelling that fans truly adore Wes for, a-la-“Rushmore” perhaps? A pair of lovers (Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward) flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them. Anderson favorites return; Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman to name a few, but some new actors have joined the Anderson clan; Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Tilda Swinton, and Frances McDormand.

3. “Prometheus” – Over 30 years in the making, but Ridley Scott has FINALLY returned to the world of science fiction and it’s to the world that started it all. “Prometheus” has been confirmed by Scott himself that this is indeed a prequel to his beloved “Alien”. What drew Scott back to sci-fi and the familar world he’s returned to was the story, the four Alien films never asked the ‘ultimate question’, as Scott put it, and in “Promotheus” not only will the question arise, but shown to fans alike.

2. “The Dark Knight Rises” – I KNOW, this should be my #1 pick, but I’m a Marvel geek, sorry. However, Christopher Nolan’s FINAL Batman movie is nothing to be short changed about. It’s his bow, his finale, the last Batman film ever…by Nolan that is, and he’s promising fans of his take on the Bat that the movie will go out with a bang. Introducing Bane (Tom Hardy), known as the villain who broke the Bat (read “Knightfall”), and Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), Batman (Christian Bale) has a lot on his plate coming up this July. Plus, this will be the only IMAX release film of the summer that was ACTUALLY SHOT WITH IMAX CAMERAS!!!

1. “The Avengers” – Need I say more? ASSEMBLE MAY 4th PEOPLE!!! IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING!!!!!!!

HONORABLE MENTIONS“God Bless America”, “To Rome with Love”, “Seeking a Friend at the End of the World”, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Saw it already at Sundance, but cannot wait to see it again), “Magic Mike”, “Take This Waltz”, “Neighborhood Watch”, “Total Recall”, and “The Expendables 2”

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