HOLLYWOOD—2011 was a big year for movies with such fan fare as “Fast Five,” “Scream 4,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” “Thor,” “Captain America” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” invading the multiplex. 2011 will have nothing on 2012 as some of the most hotly anticipated flicks in motion picture history will be released. Sequels, reboots and prequels are on the horizon this New Year. Let’s start our discussion by counting down the top 10 flicks enthusiasts and moviegoers should plan on seeing.
- “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II.” The moment has finally come for twi-hards where the classic tale of romance between Edward (Robert Pattison) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) comes to an end. Who will be left standing and what will the outcome be? Those who have read the book know the answers, but everyone else will eagerly await November 16 to find out.
- “Skyfall.” The 23rd movie in the Bond franchise has had fans in a tizzy since the disappointing “Quantum of Solace,” but with Daniel Craig back as the spy with the most gadgets in his back pocket, all will be forgiven come November 9.
- “The Avengers.” While this film may rank high on many lists, I’m still trying to figure out how writers were able to mastermind a story that places all these superheroes (Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Bruce Banner) together. Will each of them have ample screen time, will the dialogue mesh well? Time will tell on May 4.
- “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Perhaps this movie about the classic tale of Snow White isn’t on many spectators’ radar, but it should be. With Kristen Stewart in the title role and Charlize Theron as the evil witch, this looks like the most satisfying adaptation in a long time. If you haven’t seen the trailer, it’s bonkers, but can June 1 hurry up already?
- “The Bourne Legacy.” When I first heard they were making another flick, my first thought was “Oh, no,” but after discovering that Jeremy Renner would play a new assassin and that Joan Allen and Albert Finney would be back, I said sign me up. The “Bourne” films are known as some of the best spy thrillers, so here’s hoping the tradition continues when the movie invades theaters on August 3.
- “The Amazing Spiderman.” We all thought that Tobey Maguire, Kristen Dunst and Sam Raimi would return for a fourth installment, but when those plans were scrapped, fans were left baffled. Alas, another chapter is coming after a long five-year hiatus as Andrew Garfield steps into the title role and Emma Stone plays his love interest Gwen Stacy. Did I mention the Lizard (Rhys Ifans) is Spiderman’s foe this time around? Audiences will have to wait till July 3 to see if this installment fares better than its predecessor.
- “The Hunger Games.” Adaptations from popular books are always hotly anticipated by fans, but this series has a massive following that can’t want to see the big screen adaptation that follows Katniss Everwood (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) as they fight for their lives in arena-style battles that are viewed as a form of entertainment. The wait will be over on March 23.
- “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” “Lords of the Rings” enthusiasts worldwide should rejoice as Peter Jacksonreturns to the genre that made him a household name. This prequel to the franchise tells the story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and that glorious ring. December 14 can’t come soon enough for some avid fans.
- “Prometheus.” Originally planned as a prequel to “Alien,” this movie follows a group of explorers out to discover the root of mankind. However, what they find might end up destroying all of us. “Prometheus” marks director Ridley Scott’s return to the genre that made him a superstar and with little to no plot details disclosed in that one-minute trailer, it’s the movie everyone is talking about. On June 8, we’ll find out if the movie has any resemblance to the 1979 classic.
- “The Dark Knight Rises.”It has only been four years since Christopher Nolan made history by not only writing, but directing perhaps the best comic book movie and action film of all time with “The Dark Knight.” This third chapter marks the epic conclusion to Nolan’s masterpiece where Batman/Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) will do battle with Bane (Tom Hardy) as well as Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway). Shall I dare say it’s a possibility that Batman will not make it out alive? If that infamous tagline “The Legend Ends” doesn’t send a clue to audiences, I’m not sure what will. On July 20, be sure that you’re at the multiplex extra early as this movie is a must-see and it’s likely to break box office records, mark my word.
Other notable movies audiences should include on their checklist include: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D,” “Wrath of the Titans,” “Magic Mike,” “Underworld: Awakening,” “The Expendables 2” and “The Great Gatsby.” Here’s to another incredible movie season!