Mainstream animated / animated-FX movies to look forward to in 2012:
17th Feb 2012 in the USA, possibly 9th Jan in the UK.
Miyazaki’s The Borrower Arrietty in the Disney English-language dub version. The Studio Ghibli site talks of two versions: “Two English dubs are in the works … the UK version [and] the US version.”
9th March 2012.
Disney’s John Carter of Mars. Sword and Sorcery meets SF, on Mars. Sounds like fun. Update: Was fun, but forgettable.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. I don’t think the British have ever really seen the appeal of Dr. Seuss. But apparently his claustrophobically nightmarish stuff is deemed “suitable for the little ones” in the USA.
The Raven. Edgar Allen Poe turns detective. Possibly with monsters? Update: Dismal.
Iron Sky. Bonkers “Nazis on the Moon” indie green-screener from Finland, seemingly in the visual style of Sky Captain. Update: Totally forgettable.
MS One: Maximum Security. Sci-fi in which the President’s daughter must be rescued from an orbiting prison spaceship. Seems to be a sort of Die Hard in space?
Moonrise Kingdom. Blending fantasy with summer-camp…
4th May 2012.
The Avengers. Has the great Joss Whedon (Firefly) at the helm, but the plot’s main threat is apparently the usual “save Earth from annihilation” cliché. Update: Superb.
Dark Shadows. Movie version of the monster-hunting TV series (which was completely unknown to me until today), with the promise of Johnny Depp and an all-star cast. Produced by Tim Burton. Update: Pretty but tedious.
Battleship. The U.S. Navy v.s. aliens. Might be fun. Update: Was fun, but forgettable.
8th June 2012.
Prometheus, in which Ridley Scott (Aliens) does his science fiction thing on a mega-budget. Need I say more? Update: First time round, I was bored – but fascinated by the future plot trajectory. Second time round – I saw the fan-edit which re-included the DVD outtakes, and I thought it was excellent.
22nd June 2012.
Brave. Disney-Pixar visit the Scottish highlands in the far north of the UK. Nicely timed to entice the Olympics tourists out of London to see the real British Isles.
22nd June 2012.
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Being billed as “wildly weird”. Another one produced by Tim Burton.
Frankenweenie. Another Tim Burton project, this time one of his own pet projects. In black and white, which bodes well. Update: Excellent, but a little too forced into a conventional “movie spectacle” at the end.
Gravity. Space shuttle mission to repair the Hubble space telescope goes wrong. Seems to be in the tradition of Apollo 13 and similar movies.
Rise of the Guardians. Santa Claus teams up with the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost to banish the Bogeyman. Update: Superb. Best Western animation of the year, pushing Zambezia into second place.
The Hobbit. You just know it’s going to be awesome.
Atlas Shrugged, Part 2. Near-future dystopia in which the socialists are causing world collapse, and a small group of rationalists fight back. Update: Part One was a pretty good try, considering the limited budget and tough source material. Not very heavy on FX. Part II is due Oct 2012.
In the “big dumb Hollywood” department: a Total Recall remake; a Ghost Rider sequel; a Spiderman reboot; Wrath of the Titans is a sequel to the boring Titans movie from a couple of years ago; Men in Black 3; yet more Ice Age and Madagascar sequels; and Journey to the Mysterious Island is apparently a sequel to the dreadful 2008 Journey to the Center of the Earth. There’s also rumoured to be another try at filming the Judge Dredd comic. Oh, and a slew of ‘me too’ zombie movies which may or may not have some SF elements.
Update: Men in Black 3 was fun but forgettable. Dredd is actually getting rave reviews. Spiderman was very well acted, but forgettable.