Most Anticipated 2012: Part 4
31. The Five-Year Engagement. From Freaks and Geeks to How I Met Your Mother, Jason Segel has shown himself to be a down-to-earth, goofily endearing comedic lead. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) showcased him in a whole new way, both as an actor willing to go to more dramatic territory and as a screenwriter willing to bring genuine pain into the romantic-comedy format. Hopefully this film will do the same, with Segel in a part he wrote for himself, and the occasionally under-used Emily Blunt (the scene-stealer of The Devil Wears Prada) in the role of long-time love interest.
32. Neighborhood Watch. While not as conceptually epic as The Apocalypse, this title features an assortment of famous comedic minds, some in top-form and some coming out of dry spells. Writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, as well as actor Jonah Hill, are in the former group, but Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn have not been relevant for what feels like a long time. Vaughn sort of hit his peak with Wedding Crashers (2005), which preceded several flops. This film could turn the streak around.
33. The Avengers. We’ve seen Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Evans do their things, but it’s scruffy-indie guy Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk that has me intrigued. Throw in Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stellan Skarsgård, and Clark Gregg, and you have one crowded movie. Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki.
34. Ted. Seth MacFarlane’s directorial debut. The Family Guy creator also penned the screenplay, which is about a man whose teddy bear comes to life. Mark Wahlberg stars; Mila Kunis supports; and MacFarlane predictably voices the bear. This could be a promising foray into cinema.
35. Looper. I was not as smitten by writer/director Rian Johnson’s debut as many seem to be (the creatively imagined neo-noir Brick (2005)), but I certainly admire the picture. Reteaming with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Johnson now serves up some kind of action/sci-fi/mob movie. The premise could translate to senseless garbage, but in this writer’s hands, it will be something to look out for.
36. Project X. Cloverfield meets Superbad. This documentary-like take on teen partying could turn into an overly indulgent waste of time, but hopefully the film finds layers behind its Blair Witch style device.
37. My Mother’s Curse. A road movie involving a son (Seth Rogen) and his mother (Barbra Streisand), written by Dan Fogelman, the man behind Crazy, Stupid, Love. (a film I didn’t care for at all). Adam Scott is in a supporting role.
38. Total Recall. This second adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story throws Colin Farrell into the lead role. Directed by Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard). Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, and Bill Nighy fill out the cast.
39. Great Hope Springs. A drama/comedy featuring Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, and Steve Carell, about a struggling married couple and a last-chance counseling weekend.
40. 21 Jump Street. A high-school/undercover cop movie starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Hill wrote the screenplay with Michael Bacall (Project X, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). Johnny Depp also has a part in this reimagining of the TV show that got him on the map.