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The 5 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 for Me

Here’s the list of my 5 most anticipated films in 2012. And yes, I know it’s March, but there weren’t many interesting films in this year so far (at least for me). So, here’s a quick list of stuff I’d really love to watch, for one reason or another. Some of these are films I hope to be great, and with others, I’m just curious to know how they turn out to be.

And before you ask about the Dark Knight Rising: no. Not my thing. Yes, I know Gary Oldman is in and all. Still no. Plus, the only other potentially interesting thing in this film for me (Tom Hardy’s luscious lips) will be covered by the mask, so, why bother? I would be awesome if Cilian Murphy had a cameo, though.

So, what about the stuff I do want to see? The best films in any given year are usually the ones I discover by an accident. Those that are highly anticipated often disappoint (due to high expectations, no doubt). Still, here’s a quick list of my most anticipated films (in order of the release date):

The Raven

This gothic tale about E.A. Poe (played by John Cusack) and murders inspired by his works is getting solid reviews and seems reasonably interesting, even if you’re not into this sort of things. Some people describe it as “Seven set in 19th century“, so this might go either horribly wrong or amazingly creepy – which, in context of the movie – is a good thing.

The REAL reason why it’s on my most anticipated movies list is that it’s filmed in Belgrade. That’s right, my hometown (and, as I can tell, Budapest) will serve as a 19th century Baltimore. Watching a film for catching all the locations and the way they’re used? It’s as good reason as any other.

Release date: April 27.
Chances that it will suck: 78%

All in Good Time

This is one of those small British films I love so much (and despite of what some may think, I don’t have ulterior motives for anticipating it). It’s a story about newlyweds (played by Amara Karan and Reece Ritchie) who can’t consummate their union because they have to stay with his family, which is, well, complicated. Not the best way to start your marriage, but it was a reality for many of us. The film is directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls) and written by Ayub Khan-Din (the author of East Is East, which is one of the main motives to watch this one). Though the film’s journey is more complicated than this (adapted form a play that was adapted from another play).

As someone who never had her honeymoon and whose wedding night included a bunch of noisy neighbours and a snoring grandmother in the other room, yes, I can relate. Not to mention living with my family wasn’t particularly great either. Ok, I know there are a lot of differences (in culture and setting – we’re nor Indian nor British), and as much as it may seem like an interesting story from a, erm cultural POV, it’s not the main appeal, and I sure hope it’s not going to be made as such. (*cough* Orientalism *cough*)

Release date: May 11
Chances that it will suck: 35% (without Orientalism)

Brave

Brave is a new Pixar effort and their first fairy tale. Set in medieval Scotland (Braveheart references/vibe are, obviously, not completely unintentional), this is a tale of princess Merida, an archery master, and a horrible curse. According to the teasers, she will have to save the day. Merida is voiced by Kelly Macdonald, who is a good choice for the role (instead of Reese Witherspoon, who was – for some reason nobody can understand – the first choice for a role of a SCOTTISH princess).

I like Pixar’s films, and I like the vibe of this one, but one of the main reasons I’m intrigued to watch it is because people are so sure it will suck. Why? Because, according to many people, it just seems like a typical Disney movie and not like something Pixar would do. So they think it will be the first Pixar movie that sucked (what, wait, Cars didn’t suck?) So, naturally, I just have to watch this one and see for myself. I do hope they’ll bring a twist to the story. As much as I’m ok with fairy tales, I do want an original take on the story about a kick ass heroine.

Release date: June 22.
Chances that it will suck: 30%

Seven Psychopaths

Probably THE most anticipated film of 2012 for me, a new story by Martin McDonagh, the writer and director of In Bruges. As we all know, In Bruges kicked some serious ass and it was one of the best films of the decade. Seven Psychopaths reunites McDonagh and Colin Farrell, who plays a screenwriter struggling to write a script called, you’ll guess it: Seven Psychopaths. So, yeah.

The plot involves dog napping, Sam Rockwell as an actor without a job, Christopher Walken as another sidekick (or is he?) and Woody Harrelson as a crazy gangster who just wants his dog back. Doesn’t sound particularly exciting? Fear not, there’s more to it. As you probably guess, Seven Psychopaths from the title will appear in the film. With many meta references n’ stuff. I can’t describe how much I want this one to be good (and, obviously, how much I’d be disappointed if it turns out to be bad). Oh, well. There’s still fookin’ Bruges if that happens.

Release date: November 9.
Chances that it will suck: 15% (Unless they really screw this one, in which case: 85%)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I already said how I feel about this. I was never a big fan of the Hobbit, unlike LotR (which is one of my favourite books). At the same time, of course I want to watch it; no questions asked here. I hate the hype, but I do want to see Peter Jackson’s interpretation of the Hobbit. On one hand, there are some bad signs: according to the trailer, it is made to seem darker and more epic than the story requires. On the other: Martin Freeman.

Let me repeat this: Martin Freeman! The. Best. Possible. Bilbo. Ever. This man was born to play this role, and he knows it, and we know it and, thanks God, Peter Jackson knew it, too. This casting is so perfect on all possible levels that I’m ready to forgive Jackson some of the questionable casting decisions in the past. Martin Freeman as Bilbo is the best possible thing this movie could get, and he’s one of the main reasons I’m looking forward to this film.

Release date: December 14.
Chances it will suck: With Martin Freeman as Bilbo? No way.

PS- Who wants to bet I’ll remember another, and another, and yet another film I could put on this list as soon as I hit the “publish” button?

Inception: Overrated much?

Mild spoilers ahead

Say you have a really good concept. Say you also have a huge budget so you could build amazing CGI sets, massive action scenes and cast huge stars. You have all the good ingredients. But you fail to make the best out of it. All you get is an average action packed film that takes itself way too seriously. That’s Nolan’s “Inception”.

One of the main problems is the writing. Nolan had a great concept, but he failed to make a good story out of it. So the end result is this CGI & action heavy mess, a pretty shell with no real substance. It tries really hard to be deep and meaningful, but it’s quite banal.

… And predictable

I don’t know if Nolan himself is uneducated, or if he believes his audience is uneducated, but “Inception” was full of so-called Dan Brown or Paulo Coehlo moments. You know what I mean: something should be puzzling and with a deeper meaning, but it’s actually quite simple and obvious to anybody who is at least a bit educated.

Namely, what spoiled the movie for me was Ariadne. I have no idea why Nolan named the character this way, but it was a huge spoiler for any person who is familiar with the Greek myth (and I am sure there are many of us who are). Ariadne is introduced in the movie as the architect – but we know that Ariadne from the myth didn’t build the maze, Daedalus did. Ariadne was there to help the hero escape the maze and the Minotaur.

So basically, the whole Cobb subplot was quite predictable right from the start. The only question left in the first 20 minutes was: who’s Minotaur? But this became obvious pretty fast (my French sucks a big time, but I do understand bits – another Nolan’s mistake in naming a character).

So, I was more interested in Bobby Fisher’s story, but, alas, it was quite uninspiring and banal. I mean, when you think about it, the whole plot of the film is them messing with an innocent person’s mind (and his life) just for the lulz. Nobody ever explained why is, oh, so important and epic to destroy the Fisher company. So it was quite difficult to care about whether the Inception would work or even why is that so important in the first place. Fail.

At the (ambiguous) end, I didn’t bother to care whether it was all a dream or not.

Clumsy storytelling

I blame it all on the messy script. There were just too many things that didn’t work, script wise.

For example, exposition was forced down our throat, over and over again. Some things were obvious the first time we saw them – there was really no need to explain them again and again. It’s obvious right from the start that Cobb’s wife was dead. Or that Fisher wanted his father to care about him. We got it. Now please move on.

The time wasted on this could have been used to explore all those things that were shown, but never got any proper use in the film. Street/space bending, for example, was really interesting, but was never really shown later in the film. Same goes for totems and their importance.

Not to mention the main premise: Robert Fisher’s inception itself. Why was it so important? Why should we care about the mission? We don’t. There was really nothing important at stake: the world was not in danger, no lives were in danger, no epic story was going on, nothing. It was really difficult to invest emotionally or to care about the mission.

The whole movie failed to raise any important questions or issues. Which is fine for an action flick, but this one had an ambition to be much deeper. It wasn’t.

The good things

The corridor fight scene was pretty cool. And this comes from a person who generally hates action scenes. The main concept is pretty interesting (which is the saddest thing about this movie – the concept itself had a huge potential). Also, Tom Hardy was cute.

All in all

Am I saying this was a horrible flick? Not at all. It was watchable. But it’s main problem is the fact it takes itself WAY too seriously, while it’s pretty mediocre. With such a great concept, there were virtually hundreds of possible stories and plots, but they decided to focus on pretty banal ones.

Nolan is far from being a bad director, but he is not really a good writer. He has an imagination, but is not a particularly skillful storyteller.

Also, he tends to get lost in huge budgets, which is never a good thing. If you have all the money for huge explosions, star cast, massive action scenes, limitless CGI, you tend to forget about the basics: the story itself. I think “Inception” would be twice as good with its budget cut in half. It’s once again proven that, indeed, less is more.

Less is more, Nolan. Less is more.

PS- Just like any other massively popular icon, “Inception” has already generated its set of Internet memes. The most popular are the ones of Cobb and Robert Fisher Jr talking at the bar. Some of them are just plain stupid, others are horribly racist and/or sexist/homophobic. But there are some great ones that actually make the best thing about this film.

(Click to see the full sized image)

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