Filmstalker's Films for 2012
Now here's a list, and frankly I’m glad it’s finished, this has taken time and plenty of reading, but it’s been worth it. This is the Filmstalker preview for 2012, the films worth going to see from January through to December, well the ones we know about anyway.
This isn’t your normal preview list though as I’ve dropped a lot that other lists have. These are the films that I’d pay my money to see, or look promising enough this early in the year.
It’s a big list so I shan’t bore you with a long introduction, suffice to say that each month I’ll still be telling you about the UK releases coming up, oh and this list includes some notable US releases too.
For each film I've been very brief and listed some reasons why and why not you should see them, I've tried to be as unbiased as possible, but everything's subjective isn't it?
See if you agree, or have I missed anything out?
The Iron Lady
Why?: Meryl Streep is already getting praise for her performance; The story of Margaret Thatcher's premiership is filled with double crossing, backstabbing, wars and highs and lows; Great supporting cast.
Why Not?: Margaret Thatcher; Margaret Thatcher portrayed as an aged, forgetful woman.
The Darkest Hour
Why?: The trailers look exciting; The effects and aliens are something different to what we've seen before; Directed by Chris Gorak who directed Right At Your Door; Written by Jon Spaihts who has also been writing Prometheus.
Why Not?: Science fiction; Teen cast save the world
Why?: There's a strong cast including Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore and Stanley Tucci; There could be some insight to be had to the financial crisis' we've been going through throughout the world.
Why Not?: Serious stuff; Requires thought; Enough financial issues at home.
The Divide (US)
Why?: Xavier Gans directs, he also directed Frontier(s) and Hitman; Strong psychological thriller elements; The trailer looks very intriguing.
Why Not?: Xavier Gans directs; Scary.
Why?: Directed by Steven Spielberg; Written by Lee Hall, who wrote Billy Elliot, and Richard Curtis; Famous and well respected story and play.
Why Not?: More emotional manipulation; Horses get hurt; Sad.
Why?: Steven Soderbergh; Gina Carano is a real mixed martial artist, not a stunt woman or an actress with a stunt woman; The combination of director and non-actor reminds me of The Girlfriend Experience and that combination worked really well; The trailers look action packed with some strong action sequences; A powerful supporting cast.
Why Not?: Gina Carano is an unknown as an actress; Might not be up every action fan's street;
Why?: Shakespeare; Ralph Fiennes directing and leading; John Logan, who also wrote Gladiator, The Last Samurai and The Aviator, wrote the script; A powerful supporting cast including Gerard Butler, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave and James Nesbitt.
Why Not?: Shakespeare, the language and the story.
Why?: The story of J. Edgar Hoover; Leonardo Di Caprio as Hoover; Clint Eastwood directing; Justin Lance Black who wrote Milk has written the screenplay.
Why Not?: Hoover's story may not be for everyone.
Why?: Kate Beckinsale is back in the leather outfit; The story takes an interesting twist as lycans and vampires (not the sissy teen friendly ones) team up to battle humans; J. Michael Straczynski was one of the writers on the script.
Why Not?: It's more of the same, if slightly changed.
Why?: George Clooney; The Director Alexander Payne also directed Sideways, and that suggests a more thoughtful and intelligent style of comedy.
Why Not?: George Clooney; American comedy.
Why?: Liam Neeson continues action lead role; Joe Carnahan directs.
Why Not?: Joe Carnahan directs; The bad guys are a pack of wolves hunting down people.
Why?: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo directs; Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Daniel Brühl and Kerry Fox all star; Story sounds intriguing and a little mysterious.
Why Not?: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo directs, he directed 28 Weeks Later.
Albert Nobbs (US)
Why?: Directed by Rodrigo García, think In Treatment; Co-written by Glenn Close who also leads, it has been a passion project of hers for many years; Some strong supporting cast.
Why Not?: Story may not appeal to all.
Why?: Written and directed by Max Landis; A fascinating concept of a reality based superhero origin story.
Why Not?: Landis is an unproven writer and director; A different superhero story take might not appeal to all; Some first person footage might put some off.
Why?: Intelligent story and script; Superb cast with Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly; Roman Polanski directs.
Why Not?: Roman Polanski directs.
Man on a Ledge
Why?: Looks like a clever thriller; Good cast including Elizabeth Banks, Sam Worthington, Jamie Bell, Edward Burns, Ed Harris, Kyra Sedgewick, Anthony Mackie and William Sadler.
Why Not?: Although it does look like it should be clever, Hollywood thrillers can so often be a let down.
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (3D)
Why?: It's Star Wars.
Why Not?: It's Star Wars Episode I; It's in 3D; It's another Lucas tinkered release of the franchise.
A Dangerous Method
Why?: David Cronenberg is directing, and not writing; Vincent Cassel stars; Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen and Keira Knightley all lead; It's about the birth of psychoanalysis from the Jung and Freud relationship.
Why Not?: It's about psychoanalysis and might be a little dreary; Cronenberg has delivered well with his later years, and we have to hope that continues.
Why?: It's the Muppets!
Why Not?: It's the Muppets with modern Hollywood comedy rules, Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller wrote the script, pray for a lack of sexual references and bodily function jokes.
Why?: Woody Harrelson leads; It also stars Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Foster, and a good few more talented actors and actresses; Co-written by James Ellroy; Oren Moverman co-wrote and directed the film, he also wrote and directed The Messenger with Harrelson.
Why Not?: Might be a little too full on for you.
The Woman in Black
Why?: Old school British horror; Jane Goldman wrote the script from the Susan Hill novel; James Watkins of Eden Lake directs; Daniel Radcliffe stars with Ciarán Hinds, Shaun Dooley, Janet McTeer and Roger Allam.
Why Not?: Can't accept Radcliffe out of the wizard clothes? Tough, get over it; You might not like British horror, although beware, we're not talking the gore or comedic stuff that has been coming out of late.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Why?: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor from the Crank films are going to give it an injection of pace, darkness and a bit more meanness; Ciarán Hinds and Idris Elba are in it; Anthony Head and Christopher Lambert are in it too.
Why Not?: Ghost Rider; Nicolas Cage; Neveldine and Taylor from the Crank films.
This Means War
Why?: Tom Hardy; It looks like silly fun; Did I say Tom Hardy is in it?
Why Not?: Everything else.
Why?: Mark Strong; A story we've not really seen before about the Arab states in the 1930's ; Tahar Rahim and Riz Ahmed also star; Jean-Jacques Annaud directs and co-writes, he previously directed Two Brothers, Enemy at the Gates, Seven Years in Tibet and The Name of the Rose.
Why Not?: Not your average drama, although that should be a reason to see it.
Why?: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Robert Patrick, Liam Cunningham; Washington is a bad ass action orientated agent.
Why Not?: More action from Hollywood.
Carancho (Filmstalker Review)
Why?: A strong dramatic thriller; Eye opening; Stars Ricardo Darín; Strong screenplay; Some great visuals.
Why Not?: In a foreign language, again, get over yourselves, it's a very good thriller.
Why?: From Allison Burnett, the writer of Resurrecting the Champ, Untraceable, Fame and Underworld: Awakening. I'm really not sure what to expect; Directed by Heitor Dhalia who also directed Adrift; Starring Amanda Seyfried and with Jennifer Carpenter trying to break free from Dexter.
Why Not?: The trailer does suggest something a little different but at the same time it could just be your standard thriller.
Being Flynn (US)
Why?: Paul Weitz directs, think About a Boy and forget everything else; Starring Robert De Niro, Julianne Moore, Olivia Thirbly and Paul Dano; Based on a true story adapted from the memoirs of Nick Flynn.
Why Not?: The director of Little Fockers and American Pie is directing; De Niro is not the actor he once was.
Why?: Adapted from the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel and an epic tale to boot; Andrew Stanton directed and wrote the screenplay and he's the director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E and writer on the Toy Story series, A Bug's Life, Monsters Inc.; Carries a host of stars from Dominic West to Willem Dafoe and Ciarán Hinds to Mark Strong.
Why Not?: Stanton's first live-action film; Huge budget spectacular that might just lose the story.
Why?: James McTeigue of V For Vendetta directs; John Cusack, Luke Evans, Brendan Gleeson and Alice Eve star; A fictional story of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe, itself a real life mystery.
Why Not?: McTeigue isn't everyone's most favourite director; I don't know about you but Cusack seems a little odd fit to play Poe.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Why?: A bizarre story concept; Adapted from the Paul Torday novel by Simon Beaufoy, writer of 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire; Directed by Lasse Hallström think Chocolat and The Shipping News; Starring Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked.
Why Not?: I'm not really sure, does the bizarre story idea still hold up as a reason not to?
Why?: As a comparison to the original; Directed by Baltasar Kormákur who produced and starred in the original Reykjavik-Rotterdam; Strong story of a man pulled back into a world he can't avoid; Stars Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons.
Why Not?: Leads with Kate Beckinsale; Is a Hollywood remake of the original.
Why?: An amazing true story from World War II; From director Agnieszka Holland who previously directed Europa, Europa and The Secret Garden.
Why Not?: Another Schindler-esque true War story.
Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures of Snow White
Why?: Tarsem Singh, director of Immortals, The Fall or The Cell; Singh's amazing vision; Another classic fairy tale taken in a different direction; Starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Sean Bean and Nathan Lane.
Why Not?: I honestly can't think of any reason why not to see this.
Act of Valor
Why?: Stars real Navy SEALs using actual tactics in stories that are similar to actual missions; Kurt Johnstad wrote the screenplay and he's got the two 300 films to his writing CV; There are actual actors in the film as well as SEALs.
Why Not?: First time directors, apart from their Navy SEAL short.
The Hunger Games
Why?: Interesting story and probably as close to Battle Royale as you'll see from Hollywood; Directed and co-written by Gary Ross with Billy Ray also writing, think Dave, Hart's War and State of Play; Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland star.
Why Not?: Adapted from Teen friendly novels so it might not have the edge it could have.
The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists
Why?: Aardman Animation; Peter Lord co-directs, he directed Chicken Run; Huge list of stars topped with Hugh Grant.
Why Not?: No reason at all unless you have died.
Wrath of the Titans
Why?: Director Jonathan Liebesman, who previously delivered Battle: Los Angeles, has said this will be more realistic and darker; Still a strong cast and some new names have been added; Do Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy and Danny Huston really need the money? There's got to be something there.
Why Not?: Clash of the Titans; Another film pushing 3D.
Why?: Adapted from the Jo Nesbø novel; Ulf Ryberg is one of the writers and he worked on the original Wallander, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest and the Millennium television series; Positive reviews already for this thriller.
Why Not?: Foreign film, once more get over it and learn to read; Unknown talents to Western audiences.
Bullet to the Head
Why?: Walter Hill directs, think 48 Hours or Brewster's Millions; He also co-writes with Alessandro Camon who co-wrote The Messenger, adapting from the Alexis Nolent graphic novel; Sylvester Stallone, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje star.
Why Not?: Development has been a bit bumpy; Could end up being a standard action film.
The Cabin in the Woods
Why?: Drew Goddard directs and co-writes, he previously worked on Angel, Alias, Lost and Cloverfield; Joss Whedon is the other co-writer; Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford star; The story is far from what you might expect, just watch the trailers.
Why Not?: I'm not entirely sure, maybe Goddard's first attempt at directing?; Maybe you don't like Whedon.
Lock-out aka MS One: Maximum Security
Why?: Luc Besson co-wrote with writers and directors of the short film Prey Alone; Trailers make it look like Escape from New York in space; Guy Pearce leads; Peter Stormare, Lennie James and Vincent Regan also star.
Why Not?: Co-writers and directors are unknown in feature length films; Could just be a remake of Escape From New York in space.
Movie 43 (US)
Why?: A film of short comedy segments? Are we talking Amazon Women on the Moon or The Kentucky Fried Movie?; Huge list of stars from Hugh Jackman and Gerard Butler to Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts plus a whack load of comedy actors.
Why Not?: Could be more bad American comedy sketch after sketch.
Why?: Have to find out how they can make a film out of the game idea; Peter Berg is directing, making his huge tentpole film; Liam Neeson and Alexander Skarsgård star.
Why Not?: Big dumb Hollywood tentpole film; Rihanna stars.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (US)
Why?: Comedy, drama, romance and science fiction all in one film; Keira Knightley stars with Steve Carell; Interesting plot idea with an asteroid heading towards Earth and a man looking for his high school sweetheart.
Why Not?: Lorene Scafaria's first directing role from her own script.
Why?: Will they pull it off?; Directed by Joss Whedon; Co-written by Whedon and Zak Penn, known for his action and superhero scripts; Huge cast with Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson starring as the heroes.
Why Not?: The cast might be too big, too many characters to squeeze in.
Why?: Tim Burton; Johnny Depp; Together they have been trying to adapt this old gothic horror television series for some time; Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, Christopher Lee and (surprise) Helena Bonham Carter star; Gothic horror by someone who suits it perfectly.
Why Not?: Burton; Burton and Depp; Burton and Carter.
Why?: Boaz Yakin writes and directs, he directed Remember the Titans and has written a mix of scripts; Jason Statham stars in the action thriller; Plot pulls in Triads, Russian Mafia and corrupt policemen.
Why Not?: Another Statham action film; Yakin can be a hit and miss script wise.
What to Expect When You're Expecting
Why?: Directed by Kirk Jones who also directed Everybody's Fine and Nanny McPhee; Shauna Cross co-writes, she wrote the novel and screenplay for Whip It; Decent cast including Elizabeth Banks, Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez and Dennis Quaid.
Why Not?: A story about five couples getting pregnant and what they go through might be a little twee.
Men in Black III
Why?: Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return; Barry Sonnenfeld is directing; A host of good writers have been on the script; Emma Thompson, Josh Brolin and Alice Eve join the team; It's Men in Black; No talking dog.
Why Not?: A host of good writers have been on the script, apparently that's caused some problems too; The last Men in Black was very poor.
Moonrise Kingdom (US)
Why?: Wes Anderson co-writes and directs; Roman Coppola co-writes; Some big names with Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Harvey Keitel.
Why Not?: Some aren't that keen on Wes Anderson films.
Why?: Ridley Scott directing; Returning to the Alien universe; Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts have written the script; Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Sean Harris and Rafe Spall all star.
Why Not?: Not the Alien prequel we wanted, but so what?
Snow White and the Huntsman
Why?: Hossein Amini co-writes, he wrote Drive and Jude; Another fairy story with a new and unusual twist; Interesting cast with Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Bob Hoskins and Vincent Regan.
Why Not?: Rupert Sanders first time directing; Can Stewart escape the Twilight?
Why?: Radu Mihaileanu directed The Concert and directs and co-writes this film; Alain-Michel Blanc co-wrote The Concert.
Why Not?: Foreign comedy might not work with Western audiences; Plot of the women of a village withholding sexual favours if the men don't fetch water from the well seems a little odd.
Rock of Ages
Why?: Successful stage musical; The excellent score; Adam Shankman directs; Writers Justin Theroux, Allan Loeb and Chris D'Arienzo have some good credits between them; Cast includes Tom Cruise, Bryan Cranston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti and Alec Baldwin; Did I say Cruise was playing a huge rock star?
Why Not?: You may not like rock music, in which case you are clearly insane.
A Fantastic Fear of Everything
Why?: Simon Pegg leads.
Why Not?: Two first time directors and first time writer; Pegg in another American comedy; An American comedy about a man having a mid life breakdown.
Jack the Giant Killer
Why?:Bryan Singer directs; Christopher McQuarrie co-wrote the script; Huge cast including Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Bill Nighy, Nicholas Hoult, Ian McShane, Warwick Davis, Eddie Marsan and Ewen Bremner; Another fairy tale reworked for the modern day.
Why Not?: It's a fairy tale...that's all I can come up with.
Magic Mike (US)
Why?: Steve Soderbergh directing; Channing Tatum stars as a stripper amongst other strippers.
Why Not?: Channing Tatum stars as a stripper amongst other strippers; The story could be pretty shallow, a male version of Striptease?
The Amazing Spider-Man
Why?: A darker Spider-Man; New cast and some great names with Andrew Garfield as Parker and Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, C. Thomas Howell, Denis Leary and Campbell Scott also cast; Steve Kloves of Harry Potter writing fame and Alvin Sargent who wrote the second and third Spider-Man films have written the script.
Why Not?: There's no need for a restart, it's seems a little petty to push to the side the great work Sam Raimi did on the franchise.
The Dark Knight Rises
Why?: Christopher Nolan is back; It's Nolan's last Batman film; It's Christian Bale's last Batman film; Tom Hardy is Bane; Batman is back.
Why Not?: We don't want to see Nolan's reign end; Who the hell can understand Bane?
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Why?: Have you read the title?; Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dominic Cooper, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell and Anthony Mackie star; Timur Bekmambetov directs, he of the Russian Watch films and Wanted fame; Simon Kinberg is one of the writers.
Why Not?: The title perhaps? It's going to be a little silly.
G.I Joe: Retaliation
Why?: Action galore; Bruce Willis joins the team; Dwayne Johnson looks to be taking a bigger lead.
Why Not?: Step Up and Beiber director Jon M. Chu takes the reins; It's G.I. Joe.
Why?: It's Scottish; The Scottish talent -Kelly Macdonald, Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly and Craig Ferguson; Emma Thompson and Julie Walters also star; It looks like a lot of fun.
Why Not?: Ye'll go and see it ya eedjit's, there's nae a reason nae tae.
The Bourne Legacy
Why?: The Bourne films are good entertainment; Let's see what Jeremy Renner can do; There's no Paul Greengrass shaky camera; Tony Gilroy, one of the constants of the series despite director changes, is also directing as well as writing; Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn and Stacy Keach all star.
Why Not?: You might believe the story can't continue without Greengrass or Matt Damon, well Greengrass didn't direct the first film, it could work.
The Expendables 2 (US)
Why?: It's the action hero line-up; Arnie and Willis have more screen time; Jean-Claude Van Damme joins the cast; Chuck Norris joins the cast too; More Stallone and Statham madness.
Why Not?: Expendables wasn't everything it was cracked up to be, despite the cast; Perhaps just more of the same.
Why?: It's a remake of Total Recall, or rather a new adaptation of the Philip K. Dick short story; Mark Bomback, James Vanderbilt and Kurt Wimmer were all involved in writing the script, and that's an interesting list of talent; An interesting list of talent with Colin Farrell taking the lead.
Why Not?: Do we need another version?
Why?: Jonathan Levine directs, he directed 50/50, and he adapted the script; The story is about a zombie falling in love with the girlfriend of a victim, how strange is that?
Why Not?: It's a rather bizarre zombie story; It's another zombie story.
Why?: Adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy novel; Adapted by Tom Stoppard; Directed by Joe Wright; Starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams, Matthew Macfadyen and Kelly Macdonald.
Why Not?: Seriously, you're going to have to help me here...ermmm...there are no guns, or jokes about bodily functions?
Why?: Co-directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler, Fell directed Flushed Away and The Tale of Despereaux and Butler worked on Coraline; Good mix of talent on the film; There's a kind quirky darkness to the animation; Interesting story.
Why Not?: You might not like animation.
Resident Evil: Retribution
Why?: The Resident Evil franchise has been getting better and better; Some of the old favourites are back, somehow.
Why Not?: It's the Resident Evil franchise.
Why?: Coen Brothers have written the remake; Michael Hoffman directs, think Soapdish and Restoration; Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci and Cameron Diaz star.
Why Not?: Some aren't as impressed with the Coen Brothers as so many others seem to be; It's a remake.
Why?: Something new from Hollywood; A chase film with the target a bike messenger; Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the lead; Michael Shannon co-stars; David Koepp co-writes and directs, he has Jurassic Park, Carlito's Way, The Paper, The Shadow, Mission: Impossible, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Snake Eyes, Stir of Echoes, Panic Room, Spider-Man, and more.
Why Not?: It could involve pushing the idea a little to keep the bike messenger ahead of the people chasing him down for his package.
Why?: It's a film version of The Sweeney; Ray Winstone stars; Damian Lewis, Hayley Atwell and Steven Mackintosh co-star.
Why Not?: Nick Love directs; The Sweeney won't work these days without becoming another cop story.
Dredd (Judge Dredd) (US)
Why?: A bad ass Judge Dredd, less comic book, more action; Karl Urban is Dredd; Lena Headey and Olivia Thirlby co-star; John Wagner is a co-writer; As is Alex Garland; More importantly Pete Travis directs - Henry VIII, Omagh and Vantage Point, doesn't sound like the normal comic book coverage of Judge Dredd.
Why Not?: It's Judge Dredd.
Why?: Rian Johnson wrote and directed the film; StarsJoseph Gordon-Levitt; Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt co-star; Another fresh idea with the old time travel problem rearing it's head, meeting yourself in time except here you have orders to kill your future self.
Why Not?: You can't make up a reason.
Why?: Oliver Stone directs; Blake Lively, John Travolta, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, Uma Thurman, Aaron Johnson and Benicio Del Toro all star.
Why Not?:Thriller about a group of pot growers who fall fowl of a Mexican drug cartel sounds a little unbelievable.
Why?: Ben Affleck directs and stars; Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Titus Welliver and more co-star, it's a good mix of talent; The story is based on true events of the CIA using a fake film production in order to rescue hostages from Iran.
Why Not?: Another film there's no reason not to see.
Untitled Taken Sequel
Why?: The first film was a good action film with a healthy dose of realism and darkness; This time it's the agent and his wife who are kidnapped, not the daughter;Liam Neeson returns; Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace are also back; Rade Serbedzija joins the cast; Olivier Megaton is directing; Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen wrote the screenplay.
Why Not?: Olivier Megaton is directing so it means more action perhaps less story.
360 (London and BFI Film Festivals only)
Why?:Fernando Meirelles directs, he also directed City of God, The Constant Gardener and Blindness; Peter Morgan wrote the script; Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster and Moritz Bleibtreu star; The story looks at what happens when partners from different social backgrounds become involved in physical relationships; Might just teach the audience something.
Why Not?: Sounds as though it requires a little thought and emotional investment; Might feel a little moralistic.
Why?:Alfonso Cuarón co-writes and directs; Sandra Bullock leads; George Clooney co-stars; The story follows one character in an unusual fight against time.
Why Not?: It's all resting on Sandra Bullock, and a little George Clooney.
Why?: Bond is back; Sam Mendes is directing; There's no Quantum of Solace follow-up; M's past comes back to haunt her and Bond loyalty is tested, sounds good doesn't it?; Great cast.
Why Not?: No reason, don't even try and find one.
Of Men and Mavericks (US)
Why?: Curtis Hanson is directing, remember L.A. Confidential?; The story of surfer Jay Moriarity trying to ride the Northern California break known as the Maverick; Stars Gerard Butler as Moriarity; Elisabeth Shue co-stars; This is the one where Butler seriously wiped out a good few times and really does do some surfing.
Why Not?: It's a surfing film.
Red Dawn (US)
Why?: It's a remake of Red Dawn;
Why Not?: It's a remake of Red Dawn.
Why?:Ruben Fleischer turns from directing something like Zombieland to this story of the LAPD fighting the Mafia in the forties and fifties; Cast includes Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Giovanni Ribisi, Ryan Gosling, Robert Patrick, Michael Peña, and more.
Why Not?: The writer of the television series Castle has adapted the novel from Paul Lieberman.
Why?:Hossein Amini, writer of Drive and Snow White and the Huntsman, and Chris Morgan, writer of Wanted and the last few Fast & Furious films, co-write the script; Carl Rinsch directs, he received a lot of acclaim for a short film called The Gift that he directed; It's a Samurai revenge story.
Why Not?: Keanu Reeves is one of the Samurai.
Rise of the Guardians
Why?: Read the plot - "Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost and the Sandman band together to form a united front against the Bogeyman"; Then read the cast - Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Chris Pine, Isla Fisher.
Why Not?: Might just be a little daft; Co-directors and writer are largely unproven, although the author of the novel adapted it for film.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Why?: It's Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, well part one anyway, and with a huge cast.
Why Not?: No excuses. Gollum expects it.
The Life of PI
Why?: Ang Lee directs the Yann Martel novel adaptation; David Magee who wrote Finding Neverland adapted the story; Tobey Maguire and Irrfan Khan star.
Why Not?: Perhaps you don't like the story.
This is 40
Why?: Judd Apatow has written and directed the sequel to Knocked Up; Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, Megan Fox, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Albert Brooks and John Lithgow all star.
Why Not?: Judd Apatow has written and directed the sequel to Knocked Up.
World War Z (US - UK 4th January 2013!)
Why?: It's the adaptation of the excellent Max Brooks novel by Matthew Michael Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski; Directed by Marc Forster; Brad Pitt leads and my favourite bad guy David Morse stars.
Why Not?: Marc Forster directed Quantum of Solace; This looks to be more hands on than the novel was. The key to the novel was the documentary interview style.
Hunter Killer (US)
Why?: Antoine Fuqua directs; Gerard Butler leads; Action thriller about a group of US Navy SEALS rescuing the Russian President.
Why Not?: Three different writers have had a hand in adapting the novel and writing the script; The plot does sound a little over the top.
The Great Gatsby (US)
Why?: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher and Tobey Maguire star; Baz Luhrmann adapted the F. Scott Fitzgerald for this version and directed.
Why Not?: Baz Luhrmann may not be your cup of tea.
Why?: Quentin Tarantino has written and directed the film; Great cast from Leonardo DiCaprio to Anthony LaPaglia and Kurt Russell to Kerry Washington.
Why Not?: Quentin Tarantino.
No UK release date
Cloud Atlas (US)
Why?: The Wachowski's are back; Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski write and direct; Great cast from Tom Hanks to Halle Berry andHugo Weaving to Susan Sarandon; Intriguing storyline with six different stories from different time zones become connected and involved with each other.
Why Not?:The Wachowski's are back.
Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters
Why?: Tommy Wirkola the director of Dead Snow is behind the camera and has co-written; Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen and Peter Stromare star; You may know the Hansel and Gretel story but now they've become bounty hunters tracking down and killing witches there's a whole different story.
Why Not?: It could be twee, but with Wirkola there I think we'll have something darker and more exciting; It's not your average story; It now looks like it's been moved to 2013 in the US too so not this year!
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Why?: Mel Gibson leads; Peter Stormare also stars; Story is about a man caught in a Mexican prison.
Why Not?: The story has the man surviving the Mexican prison with the help of a nine year old boy, it does sound a little twee.
Hyde Park on the Hudson
Why?: Roger Michell directs, he directed Notting Hill, Venus and Morning Glory; Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams and Olivia Colman star; A strange story about FDR a love affair with his distant cousin, and the arrival of The British King and Queen for a weekend in New York. Interesting isn't it?
Why Not?: Perhaps it won't get the blood pumping.
Why?: William Friedkin directs; Tracy Lett's wrote the play and the screenplay, she also wrote the play and screenplay for Bug which Friedkin also directed; Interesting story with a man in debt deciding to put a hit on his mother to claim the insurance; Matthew McConaughey, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon, Emile Hirsch and Juno Temple star.
Why Not?: Friedkin and Lett's last film Bug wasn't for everyone.
Knights of Badassdom
Why?: The story sounds rather fun, a group of live-action role players accidentally conjure up a real life demon from hell and they have to save the day; Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, Summer Glau, Peter Dinklage and Margarita Levieva star.
Why Not?: There's nothing else about the film to attract you, it might just be a bit too silly.
Lay the Favorite
Why?: Stephen Frears directs; D.V. DeVincentis co-wrote the screenplay and he also co-wrote Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity; Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall, Vince Vaughn and Joshua Jackson star; The story is based on Beth Raymer's memoirs of a thirty-something woman involved with fifty-something men who have a system to beat the sports books in Las Vegas.
Why Not?: There doesn't seem to be anything that would suggest you shouldn't have a look at this film.
Why?: Paul Thomas Anderson writes and directs; Not quite the Scientology film that we were hoping for but it is a look at a cult and the relationship between its master and his right-hand man; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Laura Dern star.
Why Not?: Another film that there's no good reason to see.
Why?: Woody Allen writes and directs; Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg, Penélope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Greta Gerwig and Woody Allen star.
Why Not?: Woody Allen writes and directs; It's a Woody Allen comedy; Woody Allen acts.
Why?: David Loughery wrote the script, he also wrote Lakeview Terrace and Passenger 57; Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan star; Keaton plays a baddie.
Why Not?: David Loughery wrote the script, he has credits on the worst Star Trek script ever, The Final Frontier.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
Why?: Silent Hill was a decent horror film; Michael J. Bassett writes and directs and he previously did the same roles for Deathwatch and Solomon Kane; Sean Bean, Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcolm McDowell, Radha Mitchell and Deborah Kara Unger all star, and that's a pretty good cast for it.
Why Not?: It's Silent Hill; It's a video game adaptation.
Why?: Chan-wook Park directs; Erin Cressida Wilson is a co-writer and she wrote the excellent Chloe; Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Dermot Mulroney, Matthew Goode and Lucas Till star in the film; Did I say it's Chan-wook Park?
Why Not?: Wentworth Miller is writing his first film.
Why?: The tag line and idea caught my eye - On New Year's eve in London, a provocative game spins out of control and ends in murder, the true killer elusive amidst conflicting testimony and hidden motives.
Why Not?: Brian Brightly writes and directs his first film; There are a lot of unknowns about it.
Why?: Amy Heckerling writes and directs, and she wrote and directed Look Who's Talking and Clueless; Alicia Silverstone, Sigourney Weaver and Malcolm McDowell star; The idea of two female vampires living in modern day New York and trying to deal with love and a kind of life is rather interesting if handled well.
Why Not?: The idea could also sound really twee and rather daft.
Why?: John Hillcoat directs, he directed The Proposition and The Road; Nick Cave adapted from the Matt Bondurant novel, he wrote The Proposition; Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Gary Oldman and Guy Pearce star in the Depression era crime drama.
Why Not?: There is no sane reason.
Wish You Were Here
Why?: The trailer looks interesting as does the story; Two couples head on holiday to South East Asia but one of them disappears and the three are left to deal with the aftermath; Joel Edgerton stars.
Why Not?: Writer and director are both unproven.
Why?: It's the penultimate of the original horror series; This is the original series and has proven superior to the Hollywood remake, even though the remake was almost scene by scene.
Why Not?: Subtitles; Horror; Pathetic reasons really.
So that's the year, what's missing from the list, and what have I just got plain wrong?