movies to watch for (and my predictions for best movies of 2012)

Someone should start a blog about movies to watch for . . .

Every time I’m ready to head to the movies, I have not the slightest clue about which ones are out, much less which ones are worth seeing. I probably can’t name a single movie out in theaters right now.

Someone should start a blog that keeps updated posts on movies to look out for in the near future. The blog could also include some movie reviews (after the fact), but it would focus mostly on upcoming movies.

Hm. So what kind of factors would the blogger have to consider in calling these movies worthy of “look out for this one” status? Probably, at minimum, these things:

  • Actors/actresses in the movie and their roles – Is this Harrison Ford in another Indiana Jones type film, or is he branching out and playing a softie minivan-driving dad?
  • Director, screenwriter, and the other big shots – If James Cameron is directing, it’s probably a winner.
  • Plot originality – No offense to the genre of romantic comedies, but if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

Anyways, in celebration of the almost new year, I’d like to give my predictions for movies to watch for based on these factors.

Predictions for Best Movies of 2012

1. The Hobbit

Peter Jackson directing. Most of the original cast returning. Based on the novel by Tolkien. Follows in the footsteps of the trilogy for The Lord of the Rings, one of the highest-grossing film series of all time. Need I say more? Look for it in December.

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins

2. The Great Gatsby

Sure to be another great book-to-movie, this adaptation of Fitzgerald’s novel stars three big names: Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. The film is directed by Baz Luhrmann, whose previous work includes Romeo + Juliet (which also starred DiCaprio) and Moulin Rouge, which was nominated for Best Picture back in 2001. I’m personally stoked to see this film, since DiCaprio is my favorite actor by far for his history of films like Titanic, Revolutionary Road, Inception, and Catch me if You Can, to name a few. I also look forward to seeing Mulligan’s development as an actress. For her work in Never Let Me Go, she was described as an actress who “feels” instead of acts. I can’t wait to see the two together. This one also comes out in December.

Cast of The Great Gatsby

3. Men in Black III

Though worldwide earnings were “down” to $442 million for the second movie, I believe it’s safe to say that people like the Men in Black movies. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back in their classic partnership. Can you believe it’s been over 10 years since they first hit the big screen together? Smith has developed so much as an actor since then, breaking his “funny man” stereotype with roles in The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, Ali, and I am Legend. Though he’ll likely be cracking jokes on screen for this one, I think his recent successes will bring a loyal fan base to theaters in May.

Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in Men in Black

4. The Wedding

Although I haven’t heard much talk about this movie, it’s one of those “ensemble” or “all-star cast” types, with the big names being Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, and Robin Williams, plus more. I won’t claim the plot is very original (it’s one of those “let’s pretend we’re married for this-and-this reason”), but similar films like The Family Stone, which Keaton also starred in, have done well. It’s sure to appeal to families that want a good laugh. Look for it in October.

5. Les Miserables

This must be the year for novel-to-movies, because yet another classic, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, is lighting up the screen. The film will attract not only the literature lovers and those just curious enough to see a movie about a book they read in high school, but also those wanting to see how the producers have adapted this from its popular stage form to film. (Besides, Susan Boyle popularized the song “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical version in 2009. When things like that seep into pop culture, people don’t forget it.) Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway are the three main characters. Expect to see it in theaters in December. (Are you, like me, starting to wonder why all the good movies come out in December? It’s gotta be some kind of marketing scheme to steal our money intended for Christmas gifts.)

6. Safe House

This is a suspense/thriller, and the main plot is that a CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds) must move a criminal (Denzel Washington) to a new safe place before violent forces kill them both. I believe the movie has a few things going for it: Denzel, the genre, and, of course, the whole CIA ingredient. It’s out in February.

7. The Vow

Starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams and based on true events, this is the story of how a couple’s life is torn apart when a car accident takes away the wife’s memory, and she can no longer remember her husband. He has to try to win her heart all over again. The film hits theaters in February, the perfect time to catch the romantics looking for a good Valentine’s Day date. Both of the stars previously acted in Nicholas Sparks book-to-films, so they’re sure to know how to pull the heartstrings.

The Vow

*** If you’re mathematical, unlike me, then you might have noticed that 3 out of 7 of my top picks are book-to-movies. I can’t tell you what percentage that is, but I would like to recommend reading this recent post, What Should Come First . . . by fellow blogger BookBlob, if you need help deciding whether to read the books or watch the movies first.
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thought-provoking movie quotes

Someone should start a blog about thought-provoking movie quotes . . .

Movies. I love them. An original plot, a few strong actors and/or actresses, fitting cinematography. For me, that’s a good movie. But I can’t forget the movie’s ability to provoke thoughts. Thoughts I’ve maybe never had before. Issues I hadn’t seen the other side of. Ideal movie viewers must ask themselves the very questions that the characters are faced with.

I recently watched the movie Never Let me Go, which is based on the *novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro (Remains of the Day). By way of summary, the movie is about three young adults who’ve grown up in a British boarding school that serves a very distinct group of people: clones created for the sole purpose of donating their organs shortly after they become adults. After the fourth donation, these individuals “complete,” in other words, die. The movie follows not only the coming-of-age of these three characters, but also their romantic interests and confrontation of their inevitable deaths.  

One scene in particular, I watched over and over again. In this scene, one of their more caring teachers decides to tell them outright what is always hinted at in the boarding school but never stated: that they were born to die. Here’s her speech:

“Do you know what happens to children when they grow up? No, you don’t, because nobody knows. They might grow up to become actors, move to America, or they might work in supermarkets, or teach in schools. They might become sportsmen or bus conductors or racing car drivers. They might do almost anything.”

The teacher goes on to explain that they’re not like normal children. Since before they were born, their fates were chosen for them. The mystery of what they will become has been stolen away from them.

Doesn’t it make you think? Doesn’t it make you wonder what the children you know will become? Maybe they’re always playing with toy cars, or reading books about insects, or playing teacher. But the great mystery of children is what they will become, and only time can solve it.

*I originally thought the name of the novel was Remains of the Day, but that was a different novel by the same author.