As a child, I absolutely LOVED The Muppets movies. And as an adult, I may actually love them even more. It’s hard to say, which movie is my favorite. I am a big fan of Muppet Treasure Island, although I am pretty sure that The Great Muppet Caper was probably the movie that got the most viewings from me as a kid. But the most recent addition to the series, The Muppets, starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams gives each of those films a run for their money. In many ways this movie was an homage to all of the older films and the late 70′s run TV show. Very whimsical and very fun, and one of the best parts of the movie were the musical numbers. Thanks to the help of Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords) the movie is filled with some very witty and melodic sing-a-longs, including the Oscar-nominated “Man or Muppet”. It’s an awesome ballad that finds our two main characters at a crossroads, needing to find their identity, and make a decision. It’s the climax of the film and has a pretty unexpected and awesome cameo by the hilarious Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory). If you are a fan of the Muppets, then The Muppets is a must see. And despite what Fox News might try to make you believe, it’s great family-friendly movie.
In my humble opinion, 2011 was pretty poor year for cinema. Don’t get me wrong, I saw a lot of enjoyable films this past year, from The Muppets to the final Harry Potter film, to the Amblin homage Super 8. But that is just what they were, enjoyable. I di2dn’t leave the theater disappointed very often this past year. But I rarely, if ever, left the theater feeling exhilarated or did I walk out diving into an evening long conversation about the film I just saw. I had a lot of fun at the movies in 2011, but I wasn’t ever “wow”-ed, the way I was countless times in 2010.
So today’s post is my list of hopefuls for the 2012. The films that I am most anticipating and the films I think have the best chance at “wow”-ing me.
12. The Avengers (May 4th)
I love super hero movies. It’s honestly hard for me to not enjoy a superhero movie. Even at the extreme rate at which Hollywood is cranking them out these days, it has been a while since we’ve had a really great one. And with Joss Whedon at the helm, I think this could be a fun and exhilarating film. While I’m a little disappointed that Edward Norton won’t be reprising his role as the Hulk, I’m excited to see how the extremely talented Ruffalo will portray the character.
11. Lincoln (December)
I love U.S. History, and have always been fascinated with this particular time period. That alone will get me in the theater, but then when you tell me that Daniel Day-Lewis, the ultimate method actor, will be playing Lincoln, well now you got me really excited. Not to mention Joseph Gordon-Levitt will playing his son.
10. Django Unchained (Dec. 25)
Leonardo DiCaprio has owned the past decade, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is working real hard to steal it from him. And Tarantino has enlisted them both to tell his story of a freed slave-turned-bounty hunter on a mission to rescue his wife. But I think his best move may have been bringing back Christoph Waltz. I’m hoping their partnership can bring back some of the magic that was in Inglorious Basterds.
9. The Great Gatsby (Dec. 25)
Two Leo films coming out on Christmas Day? I think Popcorn and Coke will suffice for presents this year. So I will see just about anything DiCaprio does, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard he would be taking the lead role in the new adaptation of one of my absolute favorite books. If it weren’t being filmed in 3D, this would be much higher on my list.
8. Moonrise Kingdom (May 16)
It’s a new Wes Anderson movie, why wouldn’t I be excited about it? Glad to see some new faces among Anderson’s usual favorites. Looks to be a fun one.
7. Blue Like Jazz (April 13)
Another one of my favorite books is being made into a film this year. Donald Miller’s hilarious collection of essays should make for a fun film, and knowing that Miller himself was involved in the making of this film, gives me confidence that the faith aspect of the film will be done well.
6. The Hunger Games (Mar. 23)
My wife and I both devoured these books when we first discovered them a couple years ago. Although I kind of doubt that this will end up being a good movie, I can’t help but be excited about watching. I just don’t know how you could pull off the intensity of this film in a tasteful way. But if they somehow pull it off, it will be epic.
5. The Hobbit (Dec. 14)
Peter Jackson reunites the whole gang with the addition of Martin Freeman (Sherlock, The Office) to adapt my favorite Tolkien book. Yes please!
4. Gangster Squad (Oct. 19)
Ryan Goslin, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, and Sean Penn in a 40′s Mafia film. Not a fan of the title, but that won’t stop me from seeing this flick.
3. Argo (Sept. 14)
While I still have my doubts about Ben Affleck as an actor, after watching Gone, Baby, Gone and The Town, I am a firm believer in Affleck the director, and will watch anything that he directs from here on out. And with both Bryan Cranston and Kyle Chandler leading the way, I have pretty high hopes for this film.
2. Jeff Who Lives At Home (Mar. 16)
Jason Segel is quickly becoming one of my favorite comedians and I continue to be impressed with Ed Helms as he branches out into different comedic roles. Just looks like my kind of indie comedy.
1. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)
The Dark Knight was my favorite film of 2008 and I thought their absence from the Best Picture nominations was the biggest snub of the year. Christopher Nolan hasn’t made a bad film yet. It’s unfortunate that Ledger will never be able to reprise his terrifyingly awesome role, but I’m excited about the addition of Tom Hardy as Bane. Excited to see how Nolan finishes up this epic superhero saga.
Hope you enjoyed the list. What film are you most excited about seeing this year? What egregious error did I make?