Looking Ahead to 2012: Quarter 2 (April – June)

Hello internet perusers!  We are back with round 2 of the four part year break down of things to come.  Between April and June, the writers on HST have plenty that we are looking forward to in movies, music, and games,, and we want to share them with you.  No, none of these are April Fool’s jokes.  Zac is actually really excited to see a movie about male strippers.

Movies

The Cabin in the Woods (April 13)

Lauren’s #1 Pick:  As per usual, I included the trailer below, but honestly this is definitely a movie in which I think you should avoid the trailer.  I watched it when it was first put out and it seemed rather spoiler heavy, so I have avoided it like the plague since then.  I am just putting my faith in Joss Whedon (who co-wrote this) to create one fun horror film.

Heather: I’m not usually one for horror films, but this actually looks kind of intriguing.  I’d see it.

Zac: Avoid everything about this movie and just see it, that is what I am doing.

(Days pass)

Zac: And now I have seen it, it’s amazing, see it opening night with fresh eyes and little to no knowledge of what’s ahead.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits (April 27)

Zac: Aardman Animations, doing another stop-motion film.  Sold!  Film looks like silly and goofy British humor fun and its an adaptation of a great little book; this is going to catch people off guard how good it is I think.

Lauren:  [Shivers] Claymation … Still creepy.

Nate: I agree with Zac on this one.  Claymation can be extremely creepy, Jan Svankmajer is probably the ultimate example of that, but this looks absolutely gorgeous.  I’m sure in 3D it will be even more pleasing to the eye.  I think Zac is absolutely right and that it will completely catch people off guard just as Chicken Run did back in the day.

Lauren:  OOO Chicken Run!  See, with that alone you have reminded me of one example of this style that warms my heart.  Fine.  Count me in.  But if it’s creepy…

The Raven (April 27)

Zac: Hopefully more V for Vendetta and none of Ninja Assassin, the trailer looks fun and John Cusack could be great in the role as Poe.  Could be a darker Sherlock Holmes franchise if everything goes right.

Alan: I am so ready for this movie! I’m a big Edgar Allan Poe fan, and seeing his works getting translated into a murder mystery sounds like a great concept, hoping that it translates into a great film.

Lauren:  It’s like the pilot episode of Castle, but most likely far less hilariously awesome and sexually tense.  Maybe they’ll make the writer BA like as done to our upgraded detective in Sherlock Holmes as well, like Zac says.  Color me intrigued.

Heather:  Maybe it will be less hilarious than Castle (I should hope so) but Edgar Allen Poe is the master of all things twisted and creepy.  I scoff at you even comparing Poe’s genius to Castle.  In case you can’t tell, I LOOOOVE me some Poe.  If this movie gets the feel of his stories right, it will be nothing short of wonderfully horrific (in a good way!).

Lauren: I was just talking premise, and it’s not like Poe wrote this screenplay, which is definitely comparable.  So I scoff at your scoff.  Also, come borrow my seasons of Castle already.  Based on this conversation you would appreciate the Halloween episode of Season 2.

The Avengers (May 4)

Lauren’s #2 Pick:  What!? Two projects connected to Joss Whedon in such close proximity to each other!? Clearly I jest.  Well, jest I do not.  Whedon has always had a knack for understanding how to work with large ensemble casts, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Firefly, so if anyone can pull off a team of superheroes and give each their due, I’d put my money on him.  Plus if this works, we may be one step closer to getting a Justice League film.  But I have to say, I am really excited to see how Captain America handles modern day America considering how his solo film ended.

Heather:  So I guess I should maybe actually watch Thor without falling asleep, and then tackle Captain America in prep?

Lauren:  Yes, that would definitely be a great idea for prep work.

Zac: Looks good, Joss Whedon should definitely add a lot to this world.  I hear the talking scenes are as compelling as the action; look out. Hulk Smash!

Nate: I have not made even the slightest effort to see Captain America or Thor mostly because I knew this movie was in the works.  I am extremely excited to see this and I also felt the same as Lauren when I heard about this movie, in that I too am really hoping a Justice League movie gets made, but they would probably have to do a decent remake of Superman first.  I’m just really afraid this movie simply won’t be long enough to cover everything and that we will end up getting a shallow action packed mess.

Lauren:  [Lightly grumbles] Superman Returns was a decent Superman film…

Dark Shadows (May 11)

Lauren:  This has the potential to be really, really, stupid, but I am willing to watch pretty much anything Tim Burton puts out because I have always been a fan of his style and world building.  German Expressionism and all that jazz.  Plus, it has a great cast with Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, and Chloe Grace Moretz.  Then again, just cuz I am willing to watch Burton doesn’t mean I always like what he puts out.  This could be one of those.

Zac: I saw the preview before The Hunger Games and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was laughing.  Looks weird and silly, and that period setting will hopefully be a fun playground for Burton to recapture that magic he hopefully still has in him.

Alan: Ok, I cannot get behind this movie. I watched the soap opera in its entirety with my dad a while back, and NONE of it was trying to be funny. Of course, this isn’t a straight adaption, but if you are going to use Barnabas as the main character, you can at least stick to the source material. I might see it, but I’m probably going to skip it.

Nate: I too saw this as a preview before The Hunger Games, and I’m pretty sure I did not laugh at any part of the trailer.  Most of the jokes were incredibly old and the story seemed absolutely awful.  I love Tim Burton, and Johnny Depp is always fantastic no matter how awful the movie is, and I am really hoping this movie turns out to be good, but right now I just can’t see it happening.

Moonrise Kingdom (May 16)

Lauren:  I don’t know why, but whenever I see this trailer it just reminds me of some modern day Shakespearean adaptation.  Must be its apparent epicness.  Now, I shall let Zac go on about this one cuz he is probably foaming at the mouth in anticipation.

Heather: This looks awesome!  But why are you foaming at the mouth Zac?

Zac’s #1 Pick (Tie*): *Homer Simpson Drool Face* The reason I am frothing at the mouth is because I LOVE Wes Anderson, and this movie looks like he has taken his last feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and merged it into live action.  I mean, the cast is worth price of admission alone, but seeing all these new faces play in Anderson’s world (Ed Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton) along with the old staples is going to be a real treat.  Plus it looks like a blast, weird and hilarious.  Can’t wait!

Alan: This reminds me of what Garden State was when it came out in 2004. The trailer didn’t give anything really away, besides that it looks to be a coming of age movie that will appeal to everyone. Also, the huge cast makes it look so much better. This is one I’m definitely going to see when it comes out.

Nate’s  #1 Pick: This is without a doubt the movie I am looking forward to the most.  I love Wes Anderson and I will watch anything he does.  There has yet to be a single movie he has done that I did not think was absolutely brilliant.  Ever since Rushmore (my personal favorite of Wes Anderson’s) it seems that he has no trouble putting together amazing casts, and I can completely understand why.  It has been a really long time since a trailer has gotten me this excited to go see a movie.

Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1)

Lauren’s #3 Pick:  At first I would have said that in comparison to Mirror, Mirror this Snow White film would easily be the victor, thus why I want to see it.  However, it just keeps looking better and better as the release date nears, reaching for visuals that I really wasn’t expecting.  Plus I cannot wait to see Charlize Theron’s evil queen, who reminds me of some woman who would bathe in the blood of peasant girls from the nearby village to stay young.  I got caught watching something about vampires on the History Channel…

Heather:  This actually looks good.  Here’s to hoping Kristen Stewart doesn’t ruin it.

Zac: Having seen Mirror, Mirror, these two Snow White tales will have no problem existing in the same world as they will be almost incomparable.  As for this, it looks splendid; I like all three of the leads a lot, and the action seems to be very well done.  We will see.

Prometheus (June 8th)

Lauren:  One name: Michael Fassbender.  Oh, that not enough for you?  Well for anyone who knows Greek mythology, “Prometheus” sure doesn’t bode well for those involved in the movie, so I think it was safe to say that we’re in for quite the sci-fi adventure.  Plus, the screaming noise that accompanies the last portion of the trailer is also rather promising.

Alan: AHHHH THIS LOOKS AWESOME! I’m not a big sci-fi fan, but I know when something coming out looks completely amazing. Ridley Scott hasn’t really put anything decent out in years, but THIS looks like a futuristic masterpiece that will cement Scott’s name in film’s hierarchy.

Zac’s  #1 Pick (Tie*): The film looks stunning, the teaser trailer is phenomenal, and I am ecstatic to head back into Ridley Scott’s sci-fi universe.  The cast, again, is phenomenal here with Fassbender, Theron, Elba, Pierce, Rapace all primed to turn in top notch work for a top tier director hopefully returning to his A game.  Also can’t wait to see what another visual master like Scott does with 3D.

Nate: Ridley Scott making a sci-fi movie.  Nuff said.

Safety Not Guaranteed (June 8th)

Lauren:  As imdb.com describes it: “Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.”  Then add Kristen Bell, Audrey Plaza, and Jake M. Johnson and we’ve got ourselves some great potential for ensuing hilarity.  But the real question remains, in the end, will there have really been time travel?  And not just that emotional finding peace with the past or anything like that, but actual traveling through time.

Alan: This movie looks like it can make me feel everything. The cast looks great (didn’t know that Mark Duplass from The League was going to be in this), the trailer looks funny, and gives off a hint of sadness towards the end. FilmDistrict has been on a roll lately (they did Drive last year), and this will just be another notch on their ever-growing belt.

Zac: In for the cast and heard good things out of Sundance, I’ll be there.

Rock of Ages (June 15)

Zac: Tom Cruise sings as part of a fantastic ensemble that could be the next great musical feature based on what I know about the stage show.  A musical built around rock music seems to make a lot of sense and I will give Cruise a shot in anything he does, so I will see you in line.

Lauren:  Ugh… It’s like the font on the poster for this screams “Hate me!  Remember Guitar Hero!?  We’ll be just like that!”  But this one was actually saved by the trailer for me.  So take that Zac!  Trailer for the win!  That and musicals.  Musical trailer win.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22)

Lauren:  Lincoln did this much for us and all we did was stick him on a stupid penny!  That’s right, this is a true story.  Yep.

Zac: Liked Wanted a lot, been waiting for the director’s follow up, this should be a visual treat and a whole lot of fun.

Nate: I remember when I first walked out of the Des Peres 14 Cine and saw the cardboard display for this movie and knew right then and there that I wanted to see it.  I’m sure it will be bad, but the title alone has me sold.

Brave (June 22)

Lauren:  A new Disney/Pixar film is a new must see film.  Simple as that.  But who doesn’t also love a story about a girl doing more than what she is expected to?  That’s a story this tomboy can get behind.

Zac: I don’t really like the trailer for this, too many blue sight gags, but it’s Pixar so I won’t lose hope anytime soon.  The trailer alludes to something mythical going on here and I am sure Pixar will continue its killer run.  (Yes, Cars 2 counts)

Lauren:  I refuse to acknowledge Cars 2 until a good Pixar film gets a sequel!  I’m sure Nemo can get lost again!  And what about The Underminer!?  The Incredibles  have plenty of villains we haven’t faced yet, or more importantly, for Jack Jack to go crazy on.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (June 22)

Lauren:  Remember how at the end of Armageddon the asteroid was destroyed and earth was saved?  Well, what happens when plans to avert impending doom don’t go as planned?  While you’re deciding how you would spend your final days, you can watch what Steve Carell and Keira Knightley would do (a pairing alone that is worth seeing this simply because of how random it is).

Zac: Premise alone has me sold.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (June 22)

Lauren:  Here’s another film that just simply needs a storyline copy/pasted to peak interest: “Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in “the Bathtub,” a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink’s tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack-temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink’s health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.”  Sounds pretty weird, aka promising.

Zac: I don’t know anything about this other than that it is supposed to be great, count me in.

(Sorry, no trailer)

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (June 29)

Zac: I had fun with the first one and the addition of The Rock and Bruce Willis knowingly acting in a G.I. Joe movie might bring a lot of fun with this one.  Plus, that cliff ninja fight looks crazy cool.

Lauren:  Ugh… I want to like it after the trailer, and The Rock being a part of Fast Five probably helped keep it from sucking as badly as the previous films in the series (1 is still the best), so he could help here.  Plus, getting rid of G.I. Joe is very Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol…  But the first one just… It wasn’t good.

Magic Mike (June 29th)

Zac: Steven Soderbergh is back again for the third time in less than a year, this time with a dramedy based around the life of male strippers; partially inspired by Channing Tatum’s life.  This is the year of Tatum and I am sure this will cement his greatness as the new superstar of tomorrow. (Hopefully alongside Michael Fassbender!)  Plus, ladies, lots of hot guys stripping!

Lauren:  Yeah, this just sounds awkward.  I don’t know about you, Zac, but I may be able to resist my feminine urges to drool over half naked men.

(Sorry, no trailer)

 

Music

Of Monsters & Men’s My Head is an Animal (April 3rd)

Heather:  I have only recently gotten into this Icelandic band (I listened to their four song EP Into the Woods for the first time just a couple of days ago) but I am already hooked.  Rolling Stones Magazine called them the next Arcade Fire, and although I don’t really get the comparison, I am excited to see what their first full-length album is like.

Lauren:  Heather does know how to find groups that know how to blend male and female vocals.  She did introduce me to The Civil Wars, after all.  Ok, technically So You Think You Can Dance did, but I leave credit with Heather.  Also a fan of their EP, so I hope their full length CD will bring more soothing songs my way.

Heather:  Alan actually found a preview of their full length album on NPR’s website (thank you NPR… and Alan!)  I love everything about it!  Listen while its up:  Preview Of Monsters And Men’s upcoming album here!

Alabama Shakes’ Boys And Girls (April 10th)

Alan: I don’t know much about the band personally (besides listening to their first single “Hold On”), but as an avid listener of NPR, I’ve only heard great things. They’re not too country, not too folksy, just down the middle. The way I like it.

 

 

Neon Trees’ Picture Show (April 17th)

Alan: Since we haven’t heard a lot from The Killers for years now, it’s time for someone else to take the reins of the electric pop alternative genre. Neon Trees started out nicely a couple of years ago with “Animal,” but that alone didn’t catch on as much as it probably should have. Now, they have “Everybody Talks,” and I can bet that it’ll be #1 on the alternative charts in no time.

 

 

Jason Mraz’s Love is a Four Letter Word (April 17th)

Heather’s #3 Pick:  I love Jason Mraz.  And although I still prefer his earlier albums over some of the later ones, I wont give up on him.  Coincidentally, “I Wont Give Up” is the name of the first single he has released off his upcoming album.  I don’t really like it all that much (it’s pretty slow and in my opinion drags, not to mention he looks gross in the music video), so I hope it isn’t representative of what the rest of the album will be like. If it is, I’m in for a big disappointment.


See what I mean? He looks sleezy.

Lauren:  I actually think the song’s rather pretty, and I am usually not a big Mraz fan.  But my first thought was also, “why does he look like that?”

Jack White’s Blunderbuss (April 24th)

Alan: Firstly, let’s pour some out for The White Stripes, as they are no longer with us. Luckily, frontman Jack White is still putting out music (in more than one way) for the masses to enjoy his random genius. The first two songs I’ve heard so far, “Love Interruption” and “Sixteen Saltines” shows the creative directions that he wants to go with on his first solo endeavor – which is everywhere. He can be folk, he can be rock, he can be awesome. I have high hopes that Blunderbuss is going to be a complete success.

 

Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away (May 1st)

Heather: I’m not a fan of country music, but Carrie is the one exception I will make.  I don’t typically like her ballads much, but she sure knows how to put together some lively songs that make me want to stomp by boots and sing along.  Her voice is just so powerful and well suited to those types of songs, a la Good Girl, her first single.

Silversun Pickups’ Neck of the Woods (May 8th)

Alan’s #1 Pick: The level of excited that I currently am for the third studio album from the California rock quartet cannot be put onto a chart. It’s WAY above whatever mark would be the top. Before the Seasick EP that came out earlier this year, I was itching for something new from SSPU, and since then, all I’ve wanted was more (I have an unhealthy addiction of SSPU). Now, their new single “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)” is on loop on my iPod, and until May 8th, it will continue to be on my rotation of awesomeness. I’m only hoping that the album is as awesome – if not more – than any of the recent material that came out. Here’s hoping!

John Mayer’s Born and Raised (May 22nd)

Heather’s #2 Pick: Although I was not a fan of John Mayer when I first heard his music in high school, I grew to love him and have been a huge fan ever since (even if he does seem both shady and arrogant in real life).  He had to cancel his upcoming shows due to the recurrence of the granuloma in his throat, but at least fans will have his album to listen to while he recovers.  I can always count on Mayer’s albums to be consistently good, every time.  No flops for him!

Regina Spektor’s What We Saw From the Cheap Seats (May 29th) 

Heather’s #1 PickIt’s been 3 years (in other words far too long!) since her last album Far came out, but I would much prefer her taking a bit more time to write good quality music as opposed to the never ending stream of garbage that many pop stars like Katy Perry mass produce.  Her first single “All the Rowboats” is perfect in my opinion, making this my most anticipated CD of the next three months.

Lauren’s #1 Pick:  Agreed.  Definitely far too long.  I am pretty sure that during my senior year of college I listened to her stuff every day on my way to school.  There is just something about her music and lyrics that really makes me happy.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ Title TBA (May 29th) 

Heather:  My friend Amy was the one who first introduced me to this band, and I hated them my first go ‘round.  I think my exact words to her were, “Ew, it sounds like hordes of terrifying children are singing along to these songs.”  Maybe that was being a bit dramatic on my part…  But just like John Mayer, Amy was right about Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and they have slowly nestled their way into my heart.  I think the song called “Home” was the one that really did it for me.  I hope the next album is every bit the frolic in a sunflower filled field as the last one was.

Other notable albums include: Nicki Minaj, Trampled By Turtles, Bassnectar, Rascal Flatts, Spiritualized, Eve 6, B.o.B., Santigold, Norah Jones, Best Coast, Tenacious D.

Lauren:  Oh Eve 6.  I didn’t realize they’re still around since “Here’s to the Night.”

Video Games

Prototype 2 (April 24)

Lauren:  The first game had some problems, but I really enjoyed my time running/gliding around infected NYC as I pieced together what happened by obtaining info through consuming other people.  I mean, that’s how everyone learns, right?  And changes clothes.  Good times…  Point is, I can’t wait to see how they chose to build on a sturdy foundation.  Plus with a new protagonist, it will be interesting to see how the game brings in Alex Mercer from game 1 because this guy sure seems pretty devoted to finding him.  …Wait, what happens if we consume Mercer!?

Max Payne 3 (May 15)

Lauren: (Yes I did copy/paste this from our post about Q1.  Not my fault the game got pushed back.)  The only experience I’ve had with Max Payne was the movie, and I am going to pretend that never happened.  So I am coming in to this with virgin eyes, full of hope thanks to the graphics and slow motion action.  I enjoyed Wet, but this looks better because the slow-mo doesn’t look mandatory to rack up the kills (assuming a point system isn’t incorporated).

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (May 22)

Lauren:  I have never really been big into military shooters, but for some reason I have always liked the Ghost Recon games during the 360 days.  It could be possible that Advanced Warfighter was one of the interesting games around launch time, but the 3rd person shooter gameplay was what kept me around for the second (not that there is anything wrong with FPS games, I just prefer 3rd person).  And now, with Future Soldier, I can yell military jargon into my headset at my boyfriend while we play co-op.  Or, you know, what I make up and convince myself is legit jargon.  I’m not perfect.

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (June 1)

Lauren:  LEGO + Super Heroes + video games = gleegasm, and not the breaking out into song kind.  Ok, maybe humming of the Batman or Superman theme songs, but nothing crazy.  Sure, these aren’t the most hardcore games since they’re family friendly, but that doesn’t stop them from being highly addictive.  Come on, you know you wanna play it.

Other notable games: Aliens: Colonel Marines, Darksiders II, Devil May Cry HD Collection, Diablo III, Lollipop Chainsaw, The Secret World, The Walking Dead, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Enhanced Edition)

 

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