The latest 2012 big movie news (and opinions)

Back in February I posted a movie guide to 2012. Needless to say, it’s a bit outdated now. Several projects, such as Superman and J.J Abram’s next Star Trek, have been moved to 2013, and there have been several new movies added. This is not a list of every movie, just the ones that I’m personally following.

Here’s an updated list:

JANUARY:

Underworld Awakening-Latest film in the Underworld saga, will apparentally feature the return of Kate Beckinsdale. Probably revived this series due to the Twilight phenomonom.

Red Tails-George Lucas’s latest production about the Tuskegee Airmen. Hopefully after some so-so updates of his popular franchises (Star Wars, Indiana Jones) we’ll get a decent film, but I’m crossing my fingers.

 

FEBRUARY

Star Wars Phantom Menace 3D:…and speaking of Lucas, here’s the theatrical re-release, although in 3D, of what is arguably the most hated Star Wars movie.

Journey 2: Mysterious Island:…another classic adventure tale ‘updated’ for the 3D family film set. Saw the preview, seems corny.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: Sequel to Nicholas Cage’s outing as the Marvel semi-hero. Not really part of the interconnected Marvel movies, but might be worth a look if they can improve on the original.

MARCH

John Carter-New adaptation of fantasy epic John Carter of Mars, done by Disney/Pixar but in live-action with of course some CG elements. Disney has struggled lately with their live-action adventure epics: The last Pirates of the Carribean was pretty bad, and attempts to recreate the originals sucess such as Prince of Persia have flopped. We’ll see how well this goes.

APRIL

Nothing I’m interested in really comes out this month.

MAY

The Avengers-Joss Whedon’s ensemble super hero film featuring Captain America (Chris Evans) Thor (Chris Helmsworth) Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) as well as Hawkeye(Jeremy Renner) Black Widow (Scarlet Johannsen) Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Incredible Hulk (Marc Ruffalo taking over from Edward Norton). Should be lots of fun, and hopefully very good given that this is what Marvel has been building up for years.

Battleship-Another toy becomes an action movie. Probably lots of action but not a lot of substance, like Transformers and at least the first GI JOE.

Men in Black III-Long-delayed sequel to the franchise. This film apparentally had a few problems during production, not always a good omen. We’ll see how it turns out.

JUNE

Prometheus-Ridley Scott returns to sci-fi in what might be a prequel to the first Alien, but that’s not 100% clear just yet.

GI JOE Retaliation: Sequel to the 2009 film has the GI Joes blamed for a crime they didn’t commit. It is of course a set-up by Cobra, their arch-enemies. The director is known only for dance movies, but hey, the trailer for this was promising.

JULY

The Amazing Spider-Man: This reboot decides to take a different approach to the Spider-Man mythos: Whatever happened to Peter Parker’s parents? Apparentally it will figure somewhat into this story, which has Andrew Garfield as the new incarnation of the popular web-slinging hero.

The Dark Knight Rises-This is the big one. Batman, after being denounced and forced into hiding after taking the blame for Two-Face’s crimes, must return and confront a new threat to Gotham-the mysterious Bane. Also featuring Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. This film will wrap up the Nolan/Bale Batman series.

 

AUGUST

 

The Expendables II-The sequel to the earlier “aging action stars team-up” movie. But now with more Arnold and Chuck Norris.

 

NOVEMBER

 

Skyfall- After a four year abscence, Daniel Craig’s James Bond returns in what is being promoted as a more traditional Bond movie. Here, Bond has to deal with a threat from boss M’s past. Has one hell of a cast, with Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes as the bad guys.

 

DECEMBER

Lincoin-Spielberg’s latest historical epic stars Daniel Day Lewis. Not much to go on at this point.

The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey-Peter Jackson returns to the Lord of The Rings saga with this film, which takes place before The Fellowship of The Ring but which chronicles Bilbo Baggin (Martian Freeman) and Gandalf’s (Ian Mckellan) quest to take on a deadly dragon. Other LOTR alumni will have cameos as well.

 

 

 

 

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Is Doctor Who in decline? Some “spoilers”

The blog is back!

It’s kind of been a rocky year for one of my favorite franchises, the Doctor Who series. While season five had solid ratings and Matt Smith is a great actor, this year was somewhat dissiapointing for the series.

Season six sounded promising enough. We finally got to see the mysterious Silence, the race hinted at but not shown in season 5, and we would find out the origins and true identity of River Song. However, the scripts for the season overall were kind of meh. Every Stephen Moffat script dealt with River Song, and did so in what I thought was too rushed. The plot seemed to overwhelm the storylines. Now, since it’s return Doctor Who has had of course arc-based storytelling, in a sense. But in the Russel T. Davies years these storylines were mainly subtle clues, like the code phrases Bad Wolf, Torchwood, Saxon, Medusa Cascade, The Pandorica will open, he will knock four times etc. Most of the stories were still the Doctor going on his way, fighting monsters and saving civilizations….the Doctor mainly ignoring or making a small note about the mysterious, forebodding words. But Doctor Who largely became “The River Song” show with the Doctor and company pushed to the side. No disrespect meant to Alex Kingson, whose career I’ve followed since ER, but who would’ve thought such a minor character in Tennant’s last year would become the focus of the show?

I think part of the problem is writer/producer Steven Moffat. Moffat of course wrote some brilliant scripts during the Russel T. Davies years but a lot of his latest stuff seems to be sort of repeating the same gimmicks over and over again. Time locks, perception filters, “Timey-wimey” stuff, pocket universes etc. Moffat has also raised a big fuss about the planned David Yates Doctor Who movie, which has confused fans over whether that project is really proceeding, and apparentally has caused him to be considered a problem by BBC management, which can be harmful to the series (In the 1980s Doctor Who faced a similar problem with John Nathan Turner).