Must-See Movies of 2012

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‘Tis the season for massive explosions – the U.S summer holidays (our winter) are upon us and we can expect a number of big budget releases coming our way. Avengers kick started the superhero rivalry, whipping up an impressive $1.5 billion dollars (and counting). A record, I’m sure, many believe will be stomped by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises. But what else can we expect from 2012?

We have a look at the biggest and best blockbusters still to come.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Release Date: July 13
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan

Many Spidey fans have expressed concern about the remake, especially when you consider that Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 3 was a mere five years back. You may feel a strange sense of déjà vu watching the trailer, but don’t count Spider-man out just yet.

The story reboots and Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) finds himself once more in high school. This time, however, he invents his own web shooters, trades in red-haired Mary-Jayne for a blonde Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Spider-man, himself, is a bit more emo than Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman 3 and takes on a new villain, The Lizard.

Don’t be surprised if you see the numbers climbing for The Amazing Spider-man. Stranger things have happened.

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The Bourne Legacy

Release Date: Aug 3
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Oscar Isaac

Jeremy Renner steps up to prove himself worth of being a leading man. We’ve seen him in Avengers and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol earlier this year, but does he have what it takes to fill the shoes of Matt Damon? Despite the misleading title, this is a Jason Bourne-less entry into the franchise. Instead the story focuses on Aaron Cross, a former special agent equipped with the very same abilities as Bourne. The story runs parallel with the action in the previous movies, with promises of similar combat sequences and car chases.

Let’s hope this is just an ad for an upcoming Matt Damon Bourne movie.

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Total Recall

Release Date: Aug 31
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston

With a show of hands; how many people believed thought that Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi 90s classic needed a remake? Nobody? Well that’s how we all felt until we laid eyes on the trailer for Len Wiseman’s retelling. Colin Farrell substitutes Arnie as Douglas Quaid, a factory worker who goes on a mind-trip vacation. Unfortunately, this story doesn’t taking our hero on a chase to Mars.

What, no eyeballs out of its sockets scene?

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Release Date: Aug 9
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Former American president, Honest Abe, has harboured a dark secret from the world. Not only did he help free the slaves in the Civil War, but he also fought to rid the world of Vampires. Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s popular tongue-in-cheek novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is sure to be a hit with comic book fans. Historians will probably be less impressed.

Received some bad press from critics in pre-screenings recently, but hey they didn’t like Avengers much either.

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The Expendables 2

Release Date: Aug 24
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Those who felt that the first Expendables had action hero overload better stay clear of the sequel, which promises at least a dozen more action stars. With double the action and bigger roles for Arnie and Willis, Expendables 2 is bound to be a hit (excuse the pun).

It also has Chuck Norris – ’nuff said.

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Gangster Squad

Release Date: 7 September
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi

Continuing his winning-streak, Ryan Gosling takes the lead in Gangster Squad, a stylish crime drama that features a highly impressive cast. The story follows the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s.

Mark my words; there will be a few Oscar nods here.

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Release Date: 28 September
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels

No Joseph Gordon-Levitt didn’t run head-first into a brick wall. He is actually meant to look like a younger Bruce Willis, who he sets out to kill in this time travel sci-fi action flick.

You don’t need to travel to the future to know that this is going to involve some mind-hurting storytelling.

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Django Unchained

Release Date: Dec 25
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson

Writer-director, Quintin Tarantio is back once again, muddling genres in incoherent storytelling. This time he has set his eyes on creating a Spaghetti Western set in America’s Deep South. Jamie Foxx plays Django, a slave, who strikes a deal with a bounty hunter, in order to gain revenge on the owners who took away his wife. With Tarantino black is never quite black, and Spaghetti Western certainly won’t be quite Spaghetti Western.

Do you know what they called a big Mac back in the 1800s?

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The Great Gatsby

Release Date: Dec 25
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan

Tobey Maguire won’t be all tears this Summer, despite losing the role of Spider-man to Garfield. He takes centre stage in the telling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tale of romance and deception. Directed by Moulin Rouge’s Baz Luhrman.

Spectacular! Spectacular!

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Release Date: Dec 14
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan

Just when you thought that you heard the last of “my precious!”, Peter Jackson steps back in the ring to deliver a prequel to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. This live-action version of Tolkien’s fantasy adventure The Hobbit comes to the big screen in 3D, 48fps (frames per second) and in two parts. A young, hesitant Bilbo Baggins is recruited by Gandalf the Grey to join 13 dwarves on a quest to retrieve treasure from Smaug the Dragon.

Why doesn’t Gandalf look any younger?

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Rise of the Guardians

Release Date: Dec 7
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, Jude Law

What do you get when Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost and the Sandman join forces against a villainous boogeyman named Pitch? A Dreamworks take on Avengers. “It is our job to protect the children of the world. For as long as they believe in us, we will guard them with our lives…”

Sounds a bit hectic for a children’s story.

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Release Date: Nov 30
Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem

Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. Daniel Craig continues his spell as Bond. Expect girls, gadgets, fast-cars, explosions and the usual spy vs. spy antics.

I’m just looking forward to the soundtrack.

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The Dark Knight Rises

Release Date: July 27
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway

The third and final instalment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has everyone guessing the outcome. Will Batman find himself six-foot under? Or will he or a new Batman rise to take on the monstrous Bane. Nothing is certain, except that The Dark Knight Rises will be the Avengers killer everyone has been waiting for.

It’s not the ending we deserve, but the one we need right now.

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Resident Evil Retribution

Release Date: Sept 14
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory

Paul W.S. Anderson has never had much credibility among critics, but fans love his work on the Resident Evil series. The story continues with Alice’s fight alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead. There isn’t too much story to hold on to, but what it lacks with character development and logic it more than makes up for in breathtaking visuals.

Zombies again!

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I am Bruce Lee

Release Date: Not Available
Starring: Bruce Lee, Kobe Bryant, Mickey Rourke

Bruce Lee is universally recognized as the pioneer who elevated martial arts in film to an art form, and this documentary will reveal why Bruce Lee’s flame burns brighter now than the day he died over three decades ago. Some might argue that it’s a way to cash into a dying star’s fame, but either way this documentary will offer some interesting insight into the life of the martial arts legend.

I was hoping we would hear from Jackie Chan and Jet Li too.

Have we missed anything important? Let us know…

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