2011 was a good year for film. Good, but not great. One would think that the widespread fear of the end of the world would hustle some film-makers into their masterpieces. Some (The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius for instance) were able to make their marks before 11:59 tonight, but it seems that next year has more surprises in store than just the apocalypse.

I share many of these with my fellow movies editor Jeremy Baril, so if you haven’t yet read his list, we suggest reading it now. Ready? Okay, now you’re prepared for something slightly different.

First, we’ll begin with the Honorable Mentions:

  • Argo
  • The Bourne Legacy
  • Gravity
  • World War Z
  • Skyfall
  • Now for the PLATINUM Honorable Mentions:

  • LooperAn original story involving a hitman who has been hired to kill his future self directed by Brick helmer Rian Johnson. I’m on board.
  • Prometheus Just look at that teaser trailer. Seriously. Just look at it. I’m excited already and I haven’t even seen a single Alien film.
  • Men In Black III– I’ve always been a sucker for sequels that take place years after the original. I’m also a sucker for anything Josh Brolin decides to be a part of. Bring it on.
  • Kill Bin Laden Get this, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow was making this film about the NAVY Seal team that was planning to kill Osama Bin Laden before Seal Team 6 killed Osama Bin Laden. After the assassination, Bigelow chose to include Bin Laden’s final moments in the film, and now she can slap the highly coveted “Based on a true story” label on the poster.
  • Paranormal Activity 4 I know, the IMDB link claims that it isn’t coming until 2014 but since Paranormal Activity 3 left room for another sequel, we can safely assume that Paramount will mount another just in time for Halloween. What are they gonna do, just drop their most successful horror franchise? They are cheap to make and audiences are gobbling them up like they are going out of style.
  • #10 Ted

    Seth McFarlane has gotten some flack over the past few years about the inevitable unfunniness of his brainchild Family Guy. Now Fox has milked his brain for all it is worth with American Dad and The Cleveland Show. There is no denying that Seth McFarlane is a very funny guy. Anyone who grew up watching the first few seasons of Family Guy and the more recent seasons of American Dad could tell you that.

    In fact, Family Guy stopped being funny the moment American Dad starting really getting laughs. Coincidence? I think McFarlane can only throw his magic touch into one project at a time, and it might be safe to say that his first upcoming feature film, written and directed by himself, might have a taste of that old school Seth McFarlane humor.

    Ted, according to creator Seth McFarlane, will follow a demented teddy bear (voiced by McFarlane) as it torments it’s owners Mila Kunis and Mark Whalberg. It sounds a little cliche, but here’s to hoping that the most successful comedian of our generation will make a glorious return to true comedy next year.

    Ted will come alive on July 13th, 2012.

    #9 The Hunger Games

    Okay, before I get flamed from every possible angle, you should all know that I am still on Chapter 4 of The Hunger Games. Those of you following my “Read The Hunger Games With Jimmy” series have been incredibly patient and I thank all of you for that. I plan on continuing the series, and I still plan on fulfilling my promise to finish my analysis of the book before the premiere.

    The trailer alone is enough to peak anyone’s interest in the film. The thought of something so brutal, so young, so modern and yet so frighteningly imaginable stirs the imagination. I already know that the book doesn’t shy away from what would actually happen in the circumstances that these characters are placed in, and I can only hope that the film version has the balls to do justice to the source material.

    The cast looks magnificent, the visuals presented in the trailer sold the ideal, and even though director Gary Ross has a past of soft and fluffy films like Big and (to a lesser extent) Seabiscuit, fellow screenwriter Billy Ray (State of Play, Breach, Suspect Zero) is sure to bring on the violence the way author Suzanne Collins (also credited as a screenwriter) intended.

    The Hunger Games will begin on March 23, 2012.

    #8 Seven Psychopaths

    Following his 2008 critical hit In Bruges (which, aside from being a Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire reunion also happens to be my own personal favorite movie of all time) long-time playwright Martin McDonagh has finally decided to follow his masterpiece with another film, again starring Collin Farrel who won the Golden Globe for his last partnership with the writing genius.

    The script leaked early last year, and although I haven’t read it (I intentionally spoil every other movie for myself by working at Hypable, why would I want to spoil this one?), those that have read it have chosen it to occupy a place of honor on their lists of the most anticipated movies of 2012.

    The photo I’ve used above has nothing to do with Seven Psychopaths and is actually a screenshot from In Bruges. If that’s not an indicator of exactly why I’m excited to see McDonagh and Farrel team up again then I don’t even know what to say. Last time it was about hitmen, this time it is about a screenwriter, a psychopath, and a dog.

    Seven Psychopaths will be released whenever it feels like it. (The actual date has not been set, but it is slated for a 2012 release.)

    #7 The Great Gatsby

    It has been years since I’ve opened The Great Gatsby, but the way that it portrayed the roaring twenties has stuck with me through the years. This will be a special treat for me, because with the exception of a few shocking events near the middle and end of the novel, I don’t very well remember every single event.

    In an instance of perfect casting, Leonardo diCaprio and Carey Mulligan have been cast as Gatsby and Daisy. To be honest, half of the reason I am so excited for this adaptation is to see Mulligan as Daisy. She has been knocking her roles out of the park for the past three years and no one could have cast the essential character better, although the choice of director (Baz Luhrmann) is a little peculiar to me even though I am an enormous fan of his.

    I seem to remember hearing reports early last year that he was planning to shoot the film in 3D, and that seemed to indicate that he would indeed be using his standard ostentatious directing method with this interpretation of the classic novel. The photos that have emerged from the set have looked perfect so far, but here’s to hoping that we wont see any green absinthe fairies in West Egg.

    The Great Gatsby will roar into theaters on December 25th, 2012.

    #6 Django Unchained

    No official artwork for Quentin Tarantino’s next film has yet been released, but artists all over the internet have given a poster for Django Unchained the good ol’ college try. This just goes to show that people all over the world are waiting for the follow up to Inglourious Basterds, which Tarantino had dubbed as his “masterpiece”.

    One could say that Tarantino has been slowly building up his fan base with every film that he makes, the landmarks being Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds. Now with Django Unchained, Tarantino takes an all-star cast (with the likes of Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Cristoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sacha Baron Cohen and Kurt Russel) and sets them in what he calls a true Southern tale.

    According to Tarantino, the world is full of Westerns, but this will be an authentic Southern that tells the story of a liberated slave that, with the help of a German bounty hunter, will try to rescue his wife from the cruel owners of the plantation.

    I would have seen this movie if you had just given me the cast list, but after Tarantino finally won me over with the masterful Basterds (we’ve had a love hate relationship for the past decade or so), the fact that he wrote and directed this just makes me all the more excited to see it on opening night.

    Django Unchained will be released on December 25th, 2012.

    #5 Les Miserables

    Not even musical theater nerds can agree on Les Miserables. Believe it or not, there are some out there that just don’t like it. Personally, it is the most powerful musical I have ever seen. It masterfully weaves several stories, each dealing with love and sacrifice, during the wake of the French Revolution. Although the book has been adapted into a non-musical form fairly recently, many a film-maker has glanced at this daring gargantuan musical and has swiftly said “no thanks”.

    It’s a daunting task, adapting what can be arguably called the greatest musical of all-time to the screen. Recent Best Director winner Tom Hooper seems to think that he has the chops to make people all over the world sob hysterically in their local theaters. He took the job, hired an all-star cast including Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, and reports now indicate that he may film the required singing live on-camera, a move that has earned him accolades not only from me, but from musical theater buffs everywhere.

    There are some that think that it simply can’t be done. Yes, there is a very distinct possibility that the three hour musical might not live up to expectations, but as of now I can’t think of a team that I would rather have than Hooper and company.

    Les Miserables will flood theaters on December 7th, 2012.

    #4 The Hobbit

    The Hobbit was my favorite book for four solid years. Before I got my hands on the Harry Potter series, I found myself getting lost in Middle-Earth every couple of months or so. I was (at the time) unable to penetrate Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, so I found it particularly awesome when The Fellowship of the Ring came out before film-makers really thought about giving The Hobbit a try. It was truly indescribable to have a world I was so familiar with suddenly come to life on the big screen, and it was even more fascinating that it told a story that I legitimately had never heard before.

    As soon as whispers of The Hobbit started echoing through Hollywood, my inner child had to be stifled. What if they ruin it? What if it doesn’t live up to The Lord of the Rings? What if it doesn’t live up to it’s paper and ink counterpart? All of these questions were running through my head until evil genius Guillermo Del Toro signed on to direct. Frankly, I was curious how Del Toro’s vision would fit into Jackson’s pre-established Middle-Earth. Would it change, and if so would the changes be justified? I love Guillermo, so when his vision hit troubled waters I was understandably worried.

    Enter Peter Jackson, cape billowing in the wind, to take the reigns of Middle-Earth once again. Under Jackson’s rule, 90% of the original LOTR cast agreed to come back for cameos, and every Hobbit fan breathed a heaving sigh of relief knowing that they would return to Middle-Earth the same way they did back at the turn of the millenium. Now the trailer has come out, and most Tolkien-philes can rest easy knowing that their baby is safe in the hands of Jackson.

    The Hobbit will leave the Shire on December 14th, 2012.

    #3 Lincoln

    No, I’m not just excited for Lincoln because Daniel Day-Lewis bears a freakishly uncanny resemblance to my favorite president. I’m excited because: A) Daniel Day-Lewis is simply and mathematically the best actor to grace the silver screen since Marlon Brando, B) Stephen Spielberg is widely known as the best director of the past 40 years, C) It is based on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln written by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Goodwin, and D) The screenplay was penned by Emmy, Tony and Pulitzer prize winning playwright Tony “he wrote freaking Angels in America” Kushner, John “The Gladiator” Logan, and Paul “this is my first screenplay, I’m just a FREAKING ABRAHAM LINCOLN HISTORIAN” Webb.


    Also, this picture of Daniel Day-Lewis wearing the Abraham Lincoln hat.

    As if this wasn’t enough reason to get excited, we already know that this project has been in Spielberg’s brain for over a decade. He was always talking about it, has worked his mind around every possible angle of it, and now he’s finally working on it and has cast every single good actor in the world to work with him on the project.

    So I guess now one question remains: Will Lincoln win every Oscar or just a handful?

    Lincoln will conquer the South on December 25th, 2012.

    #2 The Dark Knight Rises

    Unless Gone With The Wind is planning on releasing a sequel anytime soon, it might be safe to say that The Dark Knight Rises could be the most anticipated sequel of all time (now that the Harry Potter movies are done with). Fans ofThe Dark Knight were devastated when director Christopher Nolan straight up said that unless he was possessed by a truly worthy idea, the Dark Knight legacy would fall one movie short. According to Nolan, he would have rather it end at The Dark Knight if the alternative was a half-hearted threequel.

    Just as many fans justifiably jumped out of their skins when Nolan announced that not only was he planning on making a sequel, but that fan favorite Bane would be the last villain to terrorize Gotham in Christopher Nolan’s vision. Although there are still bat-fans out there that are questioning his casting choices (remember when we weren’t sure about that Brokeback Mountain actor playing the Joker?), it might just be safer to sit tight and trust that Nolan (like Batman himself) will do Gotham City justice. ‘

    As if we weren’t already excited, the six minute prologue released in IMAX convinced this writer that Nolan may have hit another one out of the park, and the trailer released shortly thereafter showed the world exactly how Bane could top The Dark Knight‘s diabolical Joker.

    The Dark Knight Rises will appear in theaters on July 20th, 2012

    #1 The Avengers

    Yes, my two most anticipated movies of the year are comic book movies. Big whoop. Wannafightaboutit? Before I am disbarred and excommunicated from the film critic society (an actual thing), take these words into your brain.

    First. Time. In. History. That’s how many times in cinematic history four major characters from four separate movies have come together for one gigantic megafilm. Fanboys were worshiping this movie before they even knew it was being made, half of them still can’t even believe that it’s actually happening, and this was all before nerd-deity Joss Whedon was crowned as writer/director of the beastly project.

    I have often called Joss Whedon the most creative person in Hollywood. Anyone who loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer can tell you that if there is someone who can write and direct the shit out of a movie about super-humans, it’s this guy. Who wasn’t angry through the roof when his genius brainchild Firefly was unjustly cancelled? Who among us has seen Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog more than eighteen times? I’m not saying the guy can do no wrong (I’m looking at you, Dollhouse), but if there is someone we can trust with the Avengers, it’s this guy. I mean, nerds, he’s one of us.

    Then the trailer came out, and anyone that doubted if the lead characters of four distinctly separate films would mix well were quickly shut up by an awesome 8 second exchange between Captain America and Tony Stark. Listeners of HeroHype know that just seeing the characters occupy the same space was enough to make true fanboys wet their pants with excitement.

    I still can’t believe it’s actually happening.

    The Avengers will assemble on May 3rd, 2012.

    So what do you think? Was there anything I missed?  What are your most anticipated films of 2012?

    Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

    Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

    Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

    Read full article

    Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

    Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

    Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

    Netflix’s ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ episode count

    neil-patrick-harris-series-unfortunate-events-netflix

    “They truncated all of the books into a two hour movie,” Harris said of the Unfortunate Events movie starring Jim Carrey, noting that it just wasn’t a great adaptation. “And there’s thirteen books in the series. So [Netflix’s take] is more spread out. Each book is going to be two episodes. We did the first four books, the first eight episodes of the show.”

    As for the tone of the show? Great news: “It’s super dark,” he said. “It’s a much darker on the take on the material than has been seen before.”

    When Kelly asked Harris if her kids could watch it, the actor dropped some interesting information about Neflix’s plans:

    “I hope so!” he replied. “It’s not Rated-R dark. It’s the most expensive show that they’ve ever done. It’s the first one they call a four quadrant show, so they’re try to get four different quadrants to like it. So in addition to being for adults and for 20-somethings and teenagers, they want it to be for kids as well.”

    Dark, appealing to all ages, and two episodes per book? We are so down.

    Netflix has yet to share a premiere date for A Series of Unfortunate Events, but we’ll keep you posted.

    Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

    The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

    But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

    Read full article

    Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

    The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

    But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

    Everything you need to know about ‘Luke Cage’

    The man

    luke cage premiere date

    We first met Luke in the series premiere of Jessica Jones and he was in the majority of the episodes for the season. He owned a bar in Hell’s Kitchen and made it a priority to stay away from complications. Too bad Jessica Jones is the definition of complicated. Sweet Christmas.

    With chemistry pretty much off the charts, it didn’t take long for Luke and Jessica to start hooking up. Unfortunately, between Kilgrave’s manipulations and Jessica’s lies, the situation came to a head and Luke found out it was Jessica who was responsible for his wife’s death way back when Kilgrave was livin’ large with Jessica at his side.

    Luke left after that, but not before he ran into Kilgrave with the intention of killing the man. Instead, Kilgrave used his power of mind control to plant Luke back into Jessica’s life and keep an eye on her until it was time for Kilgrave to use his trump card. He even forced Luke to blow up his own bar.

    In a final confrontation, where Kilgrave once again played with Jessica’s emotions, Luke said he didn’t forgive her for killing his wife and, under Kilgrave’s power, attacked her until she was forced to put a shotgun to his head and pull the trigger.

    Thanks to Luke’s powers, he survived, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t some damage. Luke was unconscious, and Jessica was forced to bring him to the hospital where Claire used her position as a nurse to sneak him back to Jessica’s apartment and keep an eye on him.

    By the end of the series, once Kilgrave was killed and Jessica was arrested, Luke recovered from his injuries and left Jessica’s apartment when Claire wasn’t looking.

    The myth

    luke cage mike colter

    Luke Cage’s powers are not unlike Jessica’s, though where they both share a similar level of strength, Luke has the added benefit of unbreakable skin. The experiments he was subjected to didn’t make him completely impervious to injury, as seen when the shotgun blast rattled his brain so much it did some internal damage. Areas like his eyes are also open to injury, if Claire sticking that needle through the socket is any indication.

    Luke is also just, you know, a big guy. Is intimidation a supernatural ability? Because if so, this guy has got it in spades. He’s a good fighter and obviously used to dealing with the seedier side of the city, so even without his powers, he’d be good to have in a fight.

    Luke Cage from the comics isn’t much different, though his interactions with other superheroes have given him an additional leg up. For instance, Iron Fist has taught Luke Cage additional fighting techniques, but we haven’t seen that in the MCU since Iron Fist has yet to debut on Netflix and it’s uncertain what their interactions will be like.

    Apparently Luke also has a sweet jacket that’s as impervious as his skin. Given all the clothes we see him go through in the trailers for the upcoming season, perhaps we’ll see him gain a useful item like this in the upcoming freshman run.

    The legend

    luke cage clip

    Luke Cage is already making a name for himself by the end of Jessica Jones, and it’s clear that season 1 of his own show is only going to further his story as a legendary hero. If you want to avoid spoilers at all costs, skip this section. If you’d like to get familiar with some of the show’s upcoming new characters, read on.

    In Luke Cage season 1, it’s clear that Cornell Stokes/Cottonmouth will be to Luke as Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin was to Matt Murdock’s Daredevil. This is the guy who wears the crown around Harlem (where Luke has recently moved following his interactions with Jessica), and it’s pretty clear Stokes took no time in pissing off Luke.

    Mariah Dillard will be an enemy of a different variety, as she’s a powerful local politician who also happens to be Stokes’ cousin. From the trailers it looks like the two are in business together, but the relationship is contentious at best. Alvarez/Shades, an associate of Cottonmouth, is also going to cause some problems for Luke.

    On the other side of the line you have Misty Knight, a police detective who has Luke Cage on her radar. She might also be causing some problems for our hero, but she’s definitely one of the good guys. Her partner is Rafael Scarfe.

    Claire will also be returning, this time in a starring role, so the hope is we’ll be seeing plenty of the nurse who is heroic in her own way. She might not have supernatural abilities, but she heals who she can, despite their various complications. She’s also there to light a fire up under the asses of heroes who might be losing their way — and she’s very good at her job.

    Everyone’s favorite crook, Turk, will also be showing up in Luke Cage, as will Claire’s mother, Soledad. You can also expect Willis Stryker/Diamondback to play a part this season. He’s tied up with Cottonmouth and Shades and definitely has something against Luke. In the comics, they go way back, and Stryker even had a thing for Luke’s wife, Reva.

    Here’s the latest trailer for ‘Luke Cage’ season 1

    ‘Luke Cage’ season 1 will be exclusively available to stream on Netflix come September 30

    Once Upon a Time season 6 will see Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood at least one more time! Come on, is anyone ever really gone for good on this show?

    Remember when Hook died, but he really didn’t? Remember when Neal died, but we got see him again in limbo between reality and the Underworld? Well, Robin Hood is following a similar Once Upon a Time narrative arc as EW confirms that the outlaw will return in season 6.

    Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis confirmed the news saying, “We’re thrilled to have Sean back for this story arc and are excited for the audience to see what we have planned, which in the wake of his character’s heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising.”

    Read full article

    Once Upon a Time season 6 will see Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood at least one more time! Come on, is anyone ever really gone for good on this show?

    Remember when Hook died, but he really didn’t? Remember when Neal died, but we got see him again in limbo between reality and the Underworld? Well, Robin Hood is following a similar Once Upon a Time narrative arc as EW confirms that the outlaw will return in season 6.

    Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis confirmed the news saying, “We’re thrilled to have Sean back for this story arc and are excited for the audience to see what we have planned, which in the wake of his character’s heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising.”

    Bringing back characters is one of the major reasons why characters on this show can never have closure. In the aftermath of season 5’s most remarkable death, Once Upon a Time took the necessary steps to give Regina closure. In Neal’s apartment (once again, reviving Neal’s presence for Emma), Regina began to process the reality of her life through a letter from Robin.

    Once Upon a Time season 5 regina robin

    Kitsis makes note that Regina’s course of action this season will deal with processing her grief. “I can tell you that a lot of this year is about Regina dealing with loss and moving on, because I think Regina has the most unfair luck of anybody, but that’s what makes her Regina,” says Kitsis.

    We already caught some of that in the season 6 opener where Regina talks with Snow White about her character’s story and its various interpretations. If the feather floating away from Regina on the bench was a nod to her finding the strength to let go even a little bit, what will Robin’s return mean for her mentally? Regina needs all her faculties to face the most terrifying adversary this season– herself.

    What will Robin’s return look like?

    Maybe he will appear Jiminy Cricket style and remind her of her best qualities as she faces the Evil Queen. Or perhaps he will appear to save his daughter through some kind of intrinsic bond that exists between them? Maybe that feather actually means a bit more than we give it credit for!

    Once Upon a Time season 5 episode 100 review regina robin henry

    Kitsis and Horowitz note that Sean Maguire will have “an arc” meaning it is likely that he will appear in more than one episode.

    What are some of your theories for Robin’s involvement in season 6? Let us know in comments!

    Once Upon a Time season 6, episode 2, “A Bitter Draught,” airs Sunday, October 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.