12 for 2012

In this issue we look at 12 of the biggest films to watch out for in the new year. It looks set to be a year filled with superheroes yet again with some making second appearances and most notably one will bring an end to an epic trilogy. So just what are the movies and dates you should mark down on your calendar? Well let’s find out!

Underworld: Awakening – Opens 2 Feb

Kate Beckinsale, star of the first three films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrior Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.

Since the events of Underworld: Evolution, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) was captured by Humans and has since been held captive in cryogenic suspension for the past 12 years, during which time the public and government bodies learn about the existence of Vampires and Werewolves and have begun political crusades and all-out wars in order to study and eradicate both immortal species. Selene manages to escape the facility, while at the same time Eve (India Eisley), a young Hybrid, also escapes.

John Carter – Opens 8 Mar

In the film, former Confederate captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is transported to Mars (“Barsoom”). There he becomes part of a conflict between the various nations of the planet, whose leaders include Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). Carter takes it upon himself to save Barsoom and its people.

The film is largely based on A Princess of Mars, the first novel to feature John Carter. The novel was originally published as a magazine serial in 1912 and then brought out in book form in 1917. In the novel John Carter is an American Civil War veteran who is miraculously transported to Mars, known to its inhabitants as Barsoom. He learns that the planet is dying from the loss of its atmosphere and water, and that only a peaceful alliance of its intelligent inhabitants can save the species of Barsoom from extinction.

The Avengers – 3 May

It is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which crosses over several Marvel superhero films including Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast, which includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson. In The Avengers, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America to save the world from destruction.

When an unexpected enemy emerges who threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, the director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team of superheroes to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.

Men in Black III – Opens 24 May

The film is the third entry in the Men in Black film series which is based on the Malibu comic book series The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham. Principal photography began in New York City on November 16, 2010. It will also star Josh Brolin and Jemaine Clement, with Barry Sonnenfeld returning as director, and Steven Spielberg returning as executive producer.

This time, Agent J time-travels back to the 1960s, where an alien with its sights on the younger version of Agent K poses a threat to the future of the MIB organization — and humankind’s very existence.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – Opens 7 Jun

Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippopotamus set out to return to New York after escaping to Africa. Dependent on the mechanical know-how of the notorious monkeys and penguins, their plan inevitably goes awry and they find themselves stranded in Monte Carlo, where they try to escape Europe from animal control by joining up with a traveling circus by chance.

Led by the venerable Siberian tiger Vitaly, the animal-centered circus has seen better days. During the course of a tour through a series of European cities that ends in a fabulous big top in the heart of London, Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria help Vitaly, Gia the jaguar, and Stefano the sea lion, rediscover their passion for show business and reinvent circus performance

G.I. Joe: Retaliation – Opens 21 Jun

The film will feature the G.I. Joe Team coming into a conflict with Zartan, Storm Shadow and Firefly all serving under the newly released Cobra Commander. Zartan (who is last seen in disguise as the President of the United States) frames all G.I. Joe operatives as traitors and wipes most of them out in a sneak attack, leaving only Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Flint, Duke and Lady Jaye. Zartan now has all the world leaders under Cobra’s control, with warheads headed towards innocent populaces. Badly beaten, out numbered, and outgunned the Joes make a desperate plan to expose the truth and stop Cobra from taking over the world

G.I. Joe: Retaliation features an ensemble cast, starring Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis, with Channing Tatum, Arnold Vosloo, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce and Lee Byung-hun reprising their roles from the first film.

The Amazing Spider-Man – Opens 5 July

It is the fourth Columbia Pictures film based on that Marvel Comics character, and the first film in a rebooted Spider-Man film franchise. The cast includes Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, and Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans as Gwen Stacy and Dr. Curt Connors, respectively. The film will portray Peter Parker as he is developing his super powers in high school.

Peter Parker spends his days trying to unravel the mystery of his own past, until the day that he discovers a secret his father held that will ultimately send him down the path of becoming “Spider-Man”

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift – Opens 12 Jul

One of filmdom’s most beloved trios – “Ice Age’s” Manny, Diego, and Sid – embark upon their greatest adventure after cataclysm sets an entire continent adrift. Separated from the rest of the herd, they use an iceberg as a makeshift ship, which launches them on an epic seafaring quest. Manny and the gang are challenged like never before to become heroes and do the impossible, as they encounter exotic sea creatures, explore a brave new world, and battle ruthless pirates. And Scrat’s reunion with his cursed nut catapults him to places no prehistoric squirrel has gone before.

The Dark Knight Rises – 19 July

Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film will be the third installment in Nolan’s Batman film series, and is a sequel to Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). It stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, James Gordon, and Lucius Fox, respectively. The film will take place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight and will introduce the characters of Selina Kyle and Bane—portrayed by Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy respectively—two villains from the Batman mythology

Following the death of District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman assumes responsibility for Dent’s crimes in order to protect Dent’s reputation and is subsequently hunted by the Gotham City Police Department. Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Batman returns to Gotham where he must discover the truth regarding the “enigmatic” Selina Kyle while stopping the villain Bane’s plans to destroy the city.

Total Recall – Opens 2 Aug

As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy in the far future, a simple factory worker suffering from violent nightmares (Farrell) also begins to suspect that he’s a spy whose memory and personality were erased and replaced, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on and how important his lost memories will be in its outcome.

Resident Evil: Retribution – Opens 13 Sept

It is the fifth installment in the Resident Evil film series and the third to be directed by Anderson. The films are based on the Capcom survival horror series Resident Evil. The film has many returning actors and characters, along with new characters from the video game not featured in the films. Filming took place from October to December 2011 for a scheduled release date of September 2012.

Skyfall – Opens 1 Nov

Skyfall is the twenty-third James Bond film, produced by Eon Productions for MGM, Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Directed by Sam Mendes, it features Daniel Craig’s third performance as James Bond. Judi Dench reprises her role as “M” for the seventh consecutive film. Craig has confirmed that the events of the film are not directly related to Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

MI6 operative James Bond, agent 007, questions his loyalty to his superior, M, when her past actions have consequences in the present. When MI6 itself is attacked, Bond must seek out and eliminate the threat

Also watch out for:

Jack and Jill – Opens 19 Jan

Family man Jack (Adam Sandler) must deal with his twin sister, Jill (Adam Sandler), when she visits for Thanksgiving and then will not leave.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence – Opens 16 Feb

Nicholas Cage reprises his role as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider. It is the second film to be released under the Marvel Knights banner after 2008’s Punisher: War Zone.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters – Opens 1 Mar

Catch up with Hansel and Gretal 15 years after their incident involving a gingerbread house, the siblings have evolved into bounty hunters who hunt witches. Stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton.

Hugo – Opens 15 Mar

Based on Brian Selznick’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret about a boy who lives alone in a Paris railway station and the enigmatic owner of a toy shop there

Wrath of the Titans – Opens 19 Mar

A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus-the demigod son of Zeus-is attempting to live a quieter life as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius.

Snow White and the Huntsman – 31 May

In a kingdom ruled by tyranny, the queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) learns that her stepdaughter, Snow White (Kristen Stewart), will surpass her as ruler of her kingdom and become the Fairest in the land.

Prometheus – Opens 7 Jun

Ridley Scott explains the outlines of the film and its genesis as follows: “While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place.

Taken 2 – Opens 4 Oct

Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent with a particular set of skills who stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim from Albanian kidnappers.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Opens 13 Dec

“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug.

Images courtesy of

Sony Pictures Singapore

United International Pictures Singapore

Warner Bros. Singapore

Fox Singapore

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Singapore

©POPCulture Online 2011, All Rights Reserved

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