It’s that time of year again; we all need therapy after suffering the last gasps of the year, inundated with video games, films, and parties. In a way January is a nice time to recoup, get that slow “what will 2012 bring” IV drip going to ensure all our entertainment consumption between May and December is neatly placed in a pile to be the drug that makes us crazy in the coconut.


How we are all feeling January 1st

The entertainment doldrums of January have set in. Movie studios are dumping their worst films (because everyone is broke, kids are in school, etc.) comic book publishers are holding off until their big Summer events and video game creators are holding their cards close to the vest for their big E3 reveals. In a way, anticipating the years best entertainments is the methadone that keeps us out of the E.R. while we await the heroin that is this years entertainment.

When it comes to films, there’s a refractory period every year that hinders what the viewer can safely anticipate. Filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, and Paul Thomas Anderson come out with just a few films each decade, while trash factories like Michael Bay churn out abominations every year. That said, a few refractory periods are waining for our 2012 pleasure.


Most Anticipated Superhero Film:
The Avengers


Amazing Spider-Man? Too many potential pitfalls. Dark Knight Rises? More later. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance? Might be so terrible it’s good. Judge Dredd? Haha, no. Avengers is bringing something new to the table that is much more enticing than the third and probably great chapter in the Nolan Batman films. Avengers not only does something NO film has ever done by bringing together separate heroes from different movies into one film, but it does it with a stellar cast that could take Pauly Shore’s Bio -Dome and win some Oscar nods.

Super geek Joss Whedon is writing and directing, who went uncredited for rewriting the great Captain America, and wrote some of the best X-Men stories in the last decade in Astonishing X-Men, which means it will be handled with care. It is recommended for best nerd results treat them with care.


Most Anticipated Comedy:
Nero Fiddled



Ellen Page is looking up at Kevin Bacon to further reduce the relevancy of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Woody Allen just came off his biggest success ever with Midnight In Paris and with a cast that includes Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page and Penelope Cruz in a straight comedy shot in Italy this sounds like a slam dunk. The film is a broad comedy moving between various stories with Woody taking on a role himself. Woody hasn’t made a straight comedy in quite some time, so anyone sick of his romantic comedies or have no taste for his dramas should check this one out.


Most Anticipated Film in a Series:
The Dark Knight Rises


Dark Knight Rises Trailer

First of all a shortened list: Scary Movie 5, Men In Black III, Resident Evil: Retribution, Wrath Of The Titans, Expendables 2, The Bourne Legacy, The Hobbit, James Bond, Twilight.

The Hobbit is the only film that could rank close enough to touch The Dark Knight Rises. While The Hobbit will most likely be great, it’s a beginning/prologue, where as The Dark Knight Rises is the climax of an epic superhero story. Who doesn’t prefer climaxes?

Forget Batman Begins and The Dark Knight for 2 seconds. Christopher Nolan’s filmography reads like this:

The Following: Interesting black and white film that plays with filmmaking conventions.

Memento: Again playing with conventions with spot on plotting.

Insomnia: Did not write, so convention bending isn’t possible. It’s still taught though.

The Prestige: Arguably annoying ending but it’s a well made and paced science fiction film.

Inception: Another film playing with conventions which does cheat in ways, but for what it’s worth it’s innovative.

Nolan is a man who takes risk and that contributes to how his films dazzle and take people by storm. They say people dislike things that are different, but Nolan is one of the only filmmakers that seems to be able to make films people love that play around with editing, ideas and conventions that nobody has ever seen. Dark Knight Rises should continue the trend.


Most Anticipated Film to Give Eye Orgasms:
Prometheus


From the man that brought us Blade Runner and Alien; starring Noomi Rapace (the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and the awesome Michael Fassbender. Ridley Scott can’t fail when it comes to science fiction and with two of the greatest science fiction films ever under his belt why shouldn’t we want to see this?


Most Anticipated Film that will get Oscar Nods:
The Master


Paul Thomas Anderson makes great films. Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love, and There Will Be Blood are all masterful. They resonate and will be around for a long time. You can’t be bored of them because they are so complex. Enter The Master:

A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as “the Master” whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.

Sounds like Scientology should get ready for a gut punch. If not Scientology, at least the idea of faith being used to control the simple minded. With stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams.


Most Anticipated Film:
Django Unchained



Unofficial but awesome art for the film.

Quentin Tarantino is back baby and he’s gunning to rewrite a bit of American history focusing on a slave who seeks revenge in Django Unchained. Tarantino doing a Western? Sign me up.

If anyone is familiar with the 1966 film Django, an Italian spaghetti Western, you’ll know it’s known for its violence and weirdness. Knowing how much of a film geek Tarantino is I’m sure that will be an important film to watch before catching this film.If the film is as dirty as the original Django this could end up being another stab at the Grindhouse genre for Tarantino, but for many that’s a good thing.

Back in May it was rumored Will Smith would take the lead role, and quite frankly I would have loved this choice. Will Smith isn’t the best actor, but he’s the most squeaky clean actor out there. Besides a mostly forgotten role as a gay man in “Six Degrees of Seperation” Smith has masterminded a formula to play vanilla/cool characters playing it safe to become one of the most successful actors to grace the screen. This film would have given him accolades and a chance to impress people with something new.

Be it as it may, the cast is stellar – Jamie Foxx stars, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kurt Russell, and RZA all take part. Also DiCaprio does something bold for once and plays a villain. That should be interesting. The heartthrob actor who hasn’t taken a risk since Basketball Diaries plays the villain in a movie about a slave’s rebellion against a plantation owner? Pretty boy might not be a tag for him much longer.

I have a theory that this is going to be part 2 in a “Revenge History” trilogy. Inglourious Basterds was set during World War 2, and now “Django Unchained” is rewriting American history during slavery. What’s next? Since he’s going backwards maybe a revenge film in Rome. Oh goody, I can already anticipate the most anticipated film…of 2016.