2012 sees the release of a lot of highly anticipated films. There’s Prometheus, Hobbit, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained and more. But there are some movies you probably haven’t heard but definitely should look forward to.
Anubhav Dasgupta gives us a list of some of these pieces of possible brilliance.
Now, all of these won’t turn out to be good films, or even entertaining ones, but they will be different. They will be unique. And some probably even brilliant.
Also, films are more fun when they are watched in theatres. But most of these films won’t end up there, because they are offbeat. That’s why I’ve included a little piece at the end of each post postulating the possibility of an Indian release.
UPSIDE DOWN (Romance/Sci-Fi)
Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess star in this romance film with sci-fi undertones. So, in this film there are the people who live down here and the people who live above. And the people who live above live upside down. Their houses, their offices, they themselves exist upside down. Adam, an under dweller, falls in love with Eden, an… upside down-er (I guess). But both of their communities won’t have it. It’s like Romeo and Juliet if the Capulets lived in an upside down world.
Upside Down looks visually magnificent. I haven’t seen any of director Juan Solanas’ other movies, but this one looks really good. Definitely one to look out for.
Will it release in India? Probably. I don’t think Indian distributors will pass on something this good looking.
Watch the trailer:
KILLER JOE (Thriller)
Killer Joe stars Matthew McConaughey as a hit man hired by two guys to kill their scornful mother and claim her insurance money. What was supposed to be a straight deal gets complicated when the hit man starts to fancy the brothers’ sister.
This film is directed by William Friedkin. He’s that guy who directed The Exorcist and French Connection. I think that’s reason enough to put it on your watch list. If not, check out the trailer. Matthew seems to have delivered his best performance yet.
Will it release in India? Considering the fact that it will release in America with an NC-17 rating, I doubt it will come here. Our Censor Board will definitely not pass this film. DVD/Blu Ray for this one, folks.
Watch the trailer:
THE WE AND THE I (Drama)
Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) returns to his indie roots with The We and the I. It was supposed to be about time travel, but by the looks of the trailer, that concept seems to have been kicked out of the bus (it’s about the last day of school and a bus ride through the Bronx). The movie looks pretty energetic, but quite off-putting as well. Early word from Cannes is very divisive, but a lot of critics I like have loved this film.
Will it release in India? No way. It’s an Indie film with no big name actors by even American standards. Sadly, we’ll have to watch this on our TV screens.
Watch the trailer:
FOR LOVE’S SAKE or THE LEGEND OF LOVE AND SINCERITY (Romance/Musical)
Gore King Takashi Miike (Ichi The Killer, Audition) strikes back after the masterful 13 Assassins. He’s making a ton of films this year like Ace Attorney and Ninja Kids. But out of all of these The Legend of Love and Sincerity (which is an alternative title) seems like the most bizarre one. It’s based on a Japanese comic called Ai No Matoko and it’s a Romeo/Juliet-esque tale about warring Yakuza clans. Visually, it looks magnificent. I’m still on the fence about the rest of it, but I’m totally ready to see Miike-san handle a Gangster/Thriller/Romance musical!
Will it release in India? I so want this to come out… but it won’t. It’s a musical. It’s in Japanese. It’ll be lucky if it even gets a UK/USA release.
Watch the trailer:
THE ABCs OF DEATH (Horror)
ABCs of Death may turn out to be the most ambitious horror anthology ever made. It is made of 25 short films directed by 25 horror directors such as Ti West, Jason Eisner and Nacho Vigalondo and one short film chosen by a contest. Each short film is based on one letter of the English language. For example, the contest winning film was called ‘T is for Toilet’ and it has something to do about a haunted toilet (I haven’t seen it yet, but it is already available online).
Now all these 26 short films may or may not be good. Some directors have a decent track record, and some don’t. But there will be a lot of creepiness on display, and much fun will be had.
Will it release in India? Quite likely because Indian audiences are so damn hungry for horror. But considering the fact that even a USA release date has not been determined yet, it may take some time.
Watch the trailer:
CLOUD ATLAS (Drama/Sci-Fi)
The Wachowski Brothers (The guys who gave us Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) are directing this. They’ve managed to amass an amazing cast comprising of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Natalie Portman and more, and that’s not all… most of these actors will be portraying multiple roles. The movie is based on the novel of the same name and has been described as a “Nonlinear tale of many people separated by time and space”.
A test screening was held recently, and early word is that it’s quite good. But the person at the screening said that it might be difficult for people who haven’t read the book to follow. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting my hands on the book ASAP. Even if this film doesn’t turn out well, it will definitely be a visual treat.
Will it release in India? Definite. Tom Hanks. Halle Berry. This movie will sell based on the sheer star power.
ROOM 237 (Documentary)
You may have heard of Stanley Kubrick. If not, please seek him out on IMDB. He’s one of the greatest directors of all time and his works have influenced directors such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Christopher Nolan.
He only made one horror film in his life, The Shining, and it’s one of the greatest horror films ever made (Watch it if you haven’t seen it yet). The Shining is a very complex film, yet that complexity isn’t superficial. The complexity of The Shining is deep rooted into the film. You can’t see how it’s complex, but your brain subliminally notices something off… something wrong. That’s what makes The Shining so effective.
Watching deconstructions and documentaries exploring the film’s themes and technicalities (such as Room 237) makes the film even better. The more you know about its themes, the more you tend to appreciate it. A lot of praise has been heaped upon Room 237 at festival screenings and I just can’t wait for it.
Will it release in India? A wide release seems impossible. But you may be able to catch it at a few screenings. And it may appear on one of our world movie channels.
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED (Comedy/Sci-Fi?)
This movie was very well received at The Sundance Film Festival. A friend of mine has read the screenplay and fell in love with it.
It’s about a magazine executive and two interns who set out to find a possibly crazy guy who put out an advertisement seeking a companion for a time travel mission. I haven’t read the script, so I’m not certain about the sci-fi element, but from the trailers it looks like a pretty decent comedy in the vein of Garden State. And word from film festivals is that it’s a really fun, heart-warming film.
Will it release in India? Fun. Heart-warming. Given its indie roots, I’d probably rule it out, but since it’s doing so well at film festivals, I wouldn’t be surprised if it came out in India.
Watch the trailer:
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (Drama)
When this premiered at Sundance, people went gaga over it. Some even called it the first best picture nominee of 2012. So, yeah, it’s good.
Beasts Of The Southern Wild is about a six-year-old named Hushpuppy who must survive the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina. It doesn’t really sound like much, but I hear it packs a lot of heart, and has quite a few tearjerker moments.
It’s a probable Oscar contender, too. Do look out for this one.
Will it release in India? When it gets nominated for the Oscar perhaps.
Watch the trailer:
WORDS WITH GODS (Drama)
All we know about this film is that it’s a Mexican film being directed by some top-notch film directors from all over the world such as Mira Nair (Namesake, Salaam Bombay), Hideo Nakata (Ringu), Jose Padhila (Elite Squad) and more, and tackles themes of faith and religion. It has barely started filming, and the only known filming location (so far) is Australia. Nobody knows what it’s about, and a lot of film blogs don’t even know that it exists. But given the talent involved, Words With Gods is a film to look out for.
Will it release in India? God knows. Even with Mira Nair’s involvement I doubt a Mexican film will ever reach Indian soil. You’ll probably have to grab the DVD of this one.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Comedy) and IN YOUR EYES (Romance/Sci-Fi)
You may have heard of this little film called The Avengers. Chances are you may have even seen it too!
I bloody loved The Avengers. Fan boy supreme Joss Whedon, the guy who directed the movie has two more films coming out this year.
First up is Much Ado About Nothing, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s oft-adapted play, but with a snazzed up script penned by Whedon himself. Whedon filmed this movie during the breaks between The Avengers shooting schedule. This won’t be groundbreaking or anything, but it’ll be very enjoyable given the likable cast and Whedon’s magic arm at the helm.
In Your Eyes, also penned by him, is releasing this year. Not much is known about it other than the fact that it’s a sci-fi romance. Now Whedon can handle sci-fi and he can handle romance wonderfully (as evidenced by his work on Buffy). It’s directed by someone called Brin Hill who has only one other film to his credit. But it’s from a Joss Whedon script. You can’t not want to see it. That guy is a screenwriting god.
Will it release in India? It all depends on the American distributor. Both films haven’t been picked up yet.
ONLY GOD FORGIVES (Drama/Action)
Nicholas Winding Refn’s last feature Drive left many audiences divided. Those expecting an action film based on the trailers were extremely annoyed, but people who went in without prior knowledge, without watching the trailers (like me) were very happy with it. In Only God Forgives, Winding-Refn teams up again with Ryan Gosling. The movie is set in Bangkok and not a lot about it is known except that it’s about a gangster and a Bangkok cop settling their differences in a Muay-Thai boxing match. Of course, there’s more to it than just that. Some people have compared it to Kill Bill, but nobody really knows what the hell is going on. And considering Winding-Refn’s track record, I doubt this movie will suck.
Will it release in India? Not very likely. Drive was released by Reliance last year and didn’t make much money and Gosling isn’t a very bankable star in India (yet). But there’s a rumour of the Weinstein’s trying to get their hands on this, so no reason to give up hope yet.
There’s a ton of other films to look out for like Holy Motors, Antiviral, but I’m afraid I’ve gotta stop here.
Are there any films that you think I should have included? Comment away!