2012 in film: the good, the bad and the ridiculous
Culture / January 10, 2012
By Brendan Tyndall
This year in film, much like 2011, we can expect a few good films surrounded in an endless sea of remakes, sequels, prequels and adaptations of comic books, novels and even board games. These are just a few of them.
The Great Gatsby
One of the more interesting films to be released this year is Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby, with Leonardo DiCaprio playing Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan. That the film is being made is not all that strange; there have been numerous film versions of Gatsby over the years, most notably the Francis Ford Coppola written version released in 1974. The most unusual aspect of this remake is the fact that Luhrmann chose to shoot it in 3D. Why he felt he needed an extra dimension in order to convey the story of tainted love and disillusion in 1920s America is a mystery. Perhaps Luhrmann will use 3D to add texture and brilliance to the glamourous costumes and set designs that the film is sure to feature. Either that, or the 3D will be completely frivolous and Luhrmann will find a way to tarnish the legacy of one of the greatest pieces of American literature ever to be written. We’ll have to wait until December to find out.
Quentin Tarantino is back with his first film since 2009’s Inglorious Basterds, and like his past several films, this one will be another revenge flick. This one, entitled Django Unchained, will revolve around a slave-turned-bounty-hunter (Jamie Foxx) who seeks to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from a domineering plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). The movie is purported to be chock-full of racial slurs, rape and violence, but seeing how it’s a Tarantino movie, it will surely be peppered with enough ironic music and witty dialogue that it will somehow seem cool. After all, he did manage to successfully pull off an action-comedy film revolving around the Holocaust. What’s stopping him from tackling the other most reviled concept in modern history, slavery?
Sacha Baron Cohen is back playing to his strengths as an awkward foreign guy with a funny accent in The Dictator, which tells the story of an outlandish Gaddafi-eqsue ruler. While Cohen’s schtick has played out before, sometimes with better results than others, The Dictator has the benefit of being directed by Larry Charles, who wrote a lot of the classic episodes of both Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, so it ought to be worth checking out.
A Dangerous Method
Another one to look forward to is David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, about the birth of psychoanalysis in which Viggo Mortensen plays Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender plays Carl Jung.
Abraham Lincoln: vampire hunter
Keeping with the recent trend of biopics, famed Republican pioneer, slave-freer and moustacheless beard-wearer Abraham Lincoln will be the subject of two this year, one directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day Lewis as Honest Abe (Lincoln), and another one perplexingly entitled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
The Dark Knight Rises
We can also expect the third installment of Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Batman series, starring Christian Bale once again as the gravelly-voiced crime-fighter.
The Amazing Spiderman
And because people may have forgotten the wildly successful, three-part Spiderman franchise released less than a decade ago, Marc Webb has brazenly decided to release his own unrelated film entitled The Amazing Spiderman.
Taking the cake as the most unnecessary film to be released in 2012 has to be Battleship. As if turning a board game into a motion picture weren’t stupid enough, they decided to throw in some aliens to boot.
Expect to see adaptations of The Three Stooges, a Lord of the Rings prequel, a 3D Titanic, a version of Total Recall that doesn’t contain Arnold Schwarzenegger and another Men in Black.