Sci-fi, fantasy & horror movies we get to see in 2012 . . . before the Earth dies screaming on December 22!
(Read part two of this article here.)
PLOT: When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene leads the battle against humankind.
Directors: Måns Mårlind | Björn Stein
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, India Eisley
Release date: January 20
WE SAY: What began life as a Matrix rip-off – but with vampires and werewolves! – in 2003 is now in its fourth installment with Kate Beckinsale returning for the third time (Beckinsale didn’t bother with 2009’s Rise of the Lycans prequel). Leather fetishists and fans of hyper-stylized action flicks rejoice!
PLOT: Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.
Director: Josh Trank
Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, Alex Russell
Release date: February 3
WE SAY: An interesting and thoughtful take on the superhero genre if the trailer is anything to go by. Will you dress up in spandex to fight bank robbers if you had superpowers, or will you show that jerk in the SUV who’s boss? Thought so . . .
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
PLOT: Sean Anderson partners with his mom’s boyfriend on a mission to find his grandfather, who is thought to be missing on a mythical island.
Director: Brad Peyton
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine
Release date: February 10
WE SAY: Unwanted sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3-D flick starring The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and Michael Caine who isn’t above doing it simply for the money as he has shown with Jaws: The Revenge.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace [3-D Re-release]
PLOT: Two Jedi knights uncover a wider conflict when they are sent as emissaries to the blockaded planet Naboo.
Director: George Lucas
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman
Release date: February 10
WE SAY: First of the Star Wars flicks to be converted to 3-D and shown in the cinemas with the rest of the series to follow in the years to come (read here). Rumor has it that Lucas has digitally replaced that small boy with someone who can actually act. Expect ageing Star Wars Internet fans to whine endlessly nonetheless . . .
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
PLOT: As Johnny Blaze hides out in Eastern Europe, he is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form.
Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba
Release date: February 17
WE SAY: Reboot of sorts by the directors of Crank answers the age-old question of “does Ghost Rider pee fire?” The answer is yes. Yes, he does.
PLOT: Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior.
Director: Andrew Stanton
Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe
Release date: March 9
WE SAY: Considering that the movie is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic 1912 sci-fi pulp tale and is Pixar’s first live action movie the trailer looks disappointingly like a Prince of Persia: Sands of Time sequel. We’ll see.
The Hunger Games
PLOT: Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.
Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Release date: March 23
WE SAY: A future “death sports” movie based on the first entry in Suzanne Collins’ popular series of teen lit books. The book ain’t bad and grittier than one would expect, but one senses that Hollywood is more interested in cashing in on Twilight with its own photogenic teen cast rather than anything else.
Wrath of the Titans
PLOT: Perseus embarks on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus, who has been targeted for capture by his traitorous son, Ares, and his brother, Hades.
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Stars: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Rosamund Pike
Release date: March 30
WE SAY: The sequel no-one wanted except for the accountants at Warner Bros. Even star Sam Worthington admitted that the first movie kinda sucked in an interview: “We kind of let down some people. I think I can act fucking better, to be honest. The next one I want to try and satisfy a lot more people.”
PLOT: A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.
Directors: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
Stars: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare
Release date: April 13
WE SAY: The plot sounds a bt like Escape from New York’s . . . except Snake Plissken wasn’t ever “wrongly convicted” of anything!
PLOT: The S.H.I.E.L.D. agency brings together a team of superhumans to help save the Earth from annihilation by alien invaders.
Director: Joss Whedon
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner
Release date: May 4
WE SAY: Considering that the last few Marvel movies were nothing but extended trailers for this movie, which teams up some of the most popular comic book superheroes ever, expect this one to make a trillion dollars at the box office! Unless audiences somehow mistake it for a remake of 1998’s shitty Avengers movie starring Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman and Sean Connery and stay away in droves . . .
PLOT: A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.
Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Taylor Kitsch
Release date: May 18
WE SAY: A sci-fi movie version of a board game?! Whatever’s next?
Men in Black III
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Stars: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin
Release date: May 25
WE SAY: A movie insisted upon by Sony accountants. No doubt the makers are hoping that audiences will have fuzzy warm memories of the good 1997 original and have forgotten how lame the 2002 sequel was.
PLOT: A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace
Release date: June 8
WE SAY: It apparently began life as a prequel to director Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic Alien, but apparently grew into something else along the way. Or so they say. Next up for Scott is a rehash of the classic Blade Runner. One can only assume that Hollywood doesn’t want to give the 73-year-old director money for the two other science fiction projects he has been involved with, namely adaptations of Brave New World and Joe Haldeman’s bona fide classic The Forever War.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
PLOT: President Lincoln’s mother is killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Stars: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper
Release date: June 22
WE SAY: A wild premise that will make teens across America flunk their history exams one day by Night Watch and Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov. Bekmambetov is a wild man and we expect big things of him.
PLOT: As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy, a factory worker (Farrell) begins to suspect that he’s a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on.
Director: Len Wiseman
Stars: Colin Farrell, Bokeem Woodbine, Bryan Cranston
Release date: August 3
WE SAY: Remake of the 1990 Paul Verhoeven classic starring the former governor of California. We have only one question: why?
Resident Evil: Retribution
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Milla Jovovich
Release date: September 14
WE SAY: Director Anderson’s Three Musketeers version also starring his wife Milla Jovovich – you know, the one with the Jules Vernes-like air balloons – sunk without a trace at the box office, so expect them to churn out more installments in this moderately lucrative franchise.
PLOT: When young Victor’s pet dog Sparky is hit by a car, Victor decides to bring him back to life the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked “monster” wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor’s neighbors, he has to convince them (and his parents) that despite his appearance, Sparky’s still the good loyal friend he’s always been.
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short
Release date: October 5
WE SAY: Tim Burton’s second film to be released in 2012 (the other being Dark Shadows starring Johnny Depp, based on an obscure cult TV show). Frankenweenie is an extended full-length animated movie version of a half-hour-long short the director made back in 1984.