Looking Ahead to 2012: 3rd Quarter (July – September)

For those of you not keeping track we are about to enter the second half of the year, full of just as many exciting things as the first half.  So far some entries have disappointed, some have surprised, and some have lived up to and surpassed expectations so far, so lets keep our fingers crossed that there will be more of the latter options in the months to come.  So what are you excited for?  Let’s give you some options to consider with this list of what the writers of HST can’t wait for.

 

Movies

The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3)

Lauren’s #1 Pick:  This is how we start a list out right.  Most superhero fans (and people who love movies in general) are looking forwards to The Dark Knight Rises more than anything else this summer, but I am actually more excited for this.  I already expect Batman to continue to excel on the screen, and from the trailers and cast of The Amazing Spider-Man (which includes Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone) I am expecting quite a turn for the better following the last attempt to create a franchise out of the web-crawler with a knack for witty banter.

Zac: As I am someone who does not revere the Rami Spider-man trilogy in the slightest (I think I enjoy the third film the most; that’s right I said it) I am intrigued by this one.  Though, by no means am I anticipating this movie more than The Dark Knight Rises (not an acolite for Nolan either).  The fresh take and cast could be fun, but I think I have a Spider-man phobia or something as he has never been a superhero I enjoy all that much.

Lauren:  I believe the term you’re looking for is arachnophobia, because I can’t think of why you would hate Peter Parker.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Expanding through July)

Zac’s #3 Pick: We mentioned this movie in the last “Looking Ahead” post, but it is going to be slowly rolling out these upcoming weeks.  While I haven’t seen it yet it is supposed to be the movie of the summer, and possibly the year even.  I can’t wait to finally devour this film, which has been compared to The Tree of Life.

Lauren:  Ugh, Tree of Life comparisons!?  Are you trying to ruin this and make it an “I’ll get to it when I get to it” film?  Let’s just spin the world back a bit Superman style so I never read that, and then distract myself with this trailer:

The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)

Lauren’s #2 Pick:  What has saddeningly been marked as the last Batman film for Christopher Nolan promises to send this hero off on a high note with the help of Bane and some high caliber actors filling the roles around Christian Bale’s Bat.  Let’s just hope they do Catwoman right, and not completely ruin Bruce Wayne’s story by cutting 8 years out of what already felt like a late starting career as the bat, one that might already end…  Yeah, I’m not ok with that.

Alan’s #2: I’m not exactly exited about it because it’s Batman. I’m excited about it because the solid Christopher Nolan’s Batman universe is coming to a close. Hopefully it will end, like Lauren said, on a high note. It would be great to say that an entire Batman series didn’t get sullied by one of the films, and I wouldn’t put it against Nolan to go out with a giant bang.

Zac: Nolan is one of the best working directors so this is bound to be great, but I can’t wait till he gets to make more original stuff.  Batman Begins is overrated (still a good movie) and The Dark Knight is excellent, so I hope we just get something that doesn’t fall below Nolan’s original Batman film.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Batman!

Lauren:  Clayface for Selina Kyle!

Grant: Looking forward to more quotes that I can make in “Batman Voice!

Zac: Rachellllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ruby Sparks (July 25 – Limited)

Lauren:  A film from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine that brings to mind Stranger Than Fiction based on the playful dance over the line of fiction meeting reality, and I can’t wait to see what Paul Dano’s character chooses to do with the book that brought this to fruition.  Possibility of going for cheesy, but I’m hoping that it has actual heart.

Heather: Oooh Paul Dano? Count me in  :)

The Watch (July 27th)

Zac: The film has a great cast and a fun premise, I just hope it embraces all the good things it’s got going for it.  It seems like it is going to have shades of Attack the Block, as it is a localized alien invasion flick, but the setting should allow these very funny guys to give us a take on a premise we haven’t seen before.

Lauren:  Here’s hoping, but a lot of these watchmen have been on a downward spiral for me in their most recent films, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn specifically, so excuse me while I don’t hold my breath.  This is on you Jonah!

Total Recall (Aug. 3)

Lauren: With The Bourne Legacy pushing back a week, Total Recall has a much greater chance of ruling the box office until the following weekend.  I haven’t actually seen the Arnold original and have no idea how closely this will follow it, but I cannot wait to figure out who the heck Colin Farrell is in the film and what the life was that he was made to forget. And see all the pretty CGI!

Zac: The original is great fun in the sci-fi genre, but this one seems to be blazing its own path.  Having actually seen this trailer the effects look solid, I love Farrell, and am not going to complain about Beckinsale and Beil being in the same movie.  Hopefully it is a lot of fun.

The Awakening (Aug. 10 – Limited)

Lauren: The trailer makes me think of the look and feel of The Others and The Orphanage, so count me in for a movie in which the woman trying to debunk the claims of a ghost may have her beliefs tested. Slow chills will probably be included.

The Bourne Legacy (Aug. 10)

Lauren’s #3 Pick:  I’m still pretty bummed that this series isn’t continuing with Matt Damon/Jason Bourne as the lead, but if he had to pass the lead to someone I’m glad it’s Jeremy Renner because he has the potential, as does this film, to put out something even greater than the three that came before.

Zac: Ed Norton! Jeremy Renner! and Tony Gilroy is a fantastic writer/director.  Color me intrigued and I think this has potential to surpass the originals with Gilroy’s great camera work, no shaky cam maybe? (not that it drove me crazy or anything in Greengrass’ films)

2Days in New York (Aug. 10)

Zac: A sequel to 2 Days in Paris (which was a spiritual successor to Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Sunset) finds director/star Julie Delpy on a romantic adventure in a new city with a new man; this time it’s Chris Rock.  I don’t know much about the film other than I really love those three preceding films and that Rock is supposed to be pretty good in this one.  Can’t wait to not be late to the game on Delpy for a change.

ParaNorman (Aug. 17)

Zac: The latest from Laika, the studio that produced Coraline, comes another fun sounding stop-motion film that digs into the life of a kid who can talk to dead people.  Hopefully it will be kind of creepy like Coraline was, and I am sure that it will be beautifully animated.  Best animated film of the year is a wide open race, but I would put my bet on this one.  Hell of a cast as well.

Lauren:  Originally I passed this one by because the trailer didn’t really do it for me even though the film speaks to me because of my affinity for Coraline and the supernatural subject matter.  However, the trailer below gave me reason to see this one after all, including a great Halloween reference that is hopefully just one of many  to the horror genre.

Premium Rush (Aug. 24)

Lauren:  Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Oh, I have to say more?  Fine.  JGL plays a bike messenger who picks up an envelope that puts his life in danger.  That’s all I know, and I am more than ok with that no matter how horrible that premise could be.  But hey, Dark Angel had bike messengers in it, and that was cool, for the first season… SHH! JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT!

Alan’s #3: A unique concept trying to fit itself into a real time scenario? Bikes? Count me in! In all seriousness, this does look like a fun time at the movies. I don’t know how gripping it will actually be (I really enjoy my thrillers), but it still sounds like an incredibly cool concept.

Zac: I heart JGL, who is going to be bonafied after this, Looper, and Dark Knight Rises, and will give anything he does a chance. So, see you there!

Lawless (Aug. 29)

Lauren:  Based on a true story of brothers who took advantage of the underground world of supply and demand during prohibition era America.  Plus, Shia LaBeouf gets to play a BA gangster of sorts next to Tom Hardy, something that I need after Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Zac: This is going to be awesome; great cast, great director, and this could be an early start to the awards season of the movie calendar.  Don’t miss this one.

Bachelorette (Sept. 7 – Limited)

Lauren:  No way this film is getting by without comparisons to Bridesmaids since it follows another strong group of actresses (Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Lizzy Caplan) having issues before a weddings they’re a part of; but hey, that’s a fine pedigree to get thrown around with.

Zac: I hear this is going to be darker than Bridesmaids and I really like the cast, so I am excited for this one.

(Sorry no trailer yet)

Gangster Squad (Sept. 7)

Lauren:  Lawless cops vs criminals, Tommy Guns, and RYAN GOSLING!!!

Alan’s #1: The last good gangster movie came out years ago, and nothing has really stepped up to be great since. This could definitely be that movie. The cast looks solid, the story sounds great, and the action looks incredible. Let’s go!

Zac: I like the cast, so we will see.  The director, Ruben Fleischer, did Zombieland (very good) and 30 Minutes or Less (solid fun) and I am intrigued to see how he does with this more dramatic fare.

[Rec]3: Genesis (Sept. 7 – Limited)

Lauren:  The Spanish zombie films that spawned the English remake (Quarantine) are back, this time leaving the confines of the apartment building that held the horrors of the first two films for a special occasion.  Not only that, but someone seems to have invited other shooting styles than the handheld camera work to the wedding!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Sept. 14)

Lauren:  High school drama for the outsiders, that just so happens to include a huge role for Hermione post Harry Potter.

House at the End of the Street (Sept. 21)

Lauren: Jennifer Lawrence finds herself in yet another horrible predicament as her new neighbor’s family history may not have given up on the present.  It already has me trying to remember films I have seen before just from the brief part of the trailer I watched, so here’s hoping this horror film manages to be something more than just another genre film with a plot we’ve already seen.

Dredd (Sep. 21)

Zac: The Stallone adaptation was really dumb fun that was entertaining back when VHS was still big.  This new adaptation looks to take things a bit more seriously and is aspiring to be a more mature affair and I hope it works out.  I like Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby and I am hoping for the best on this one.

Lauren:  I just worry about the premise because the trailer presents a film that seems to be the English version of The Raid: Redemption.  So Dredd has a lot to prove for me.

Zac: Well the fact that you are comparing it to The Raid is not a good sign; because it was terrible.  Still, the premise is interesting for The Raid and hopefully this film has someone I could remotely care about.

Lauren: The Raid was awesome, don’t listen to Zac.

Killing Them Softly (Sep. 21)

Zac’s #1 Pick: Andrew Dominick’s last film, The Assassination of Jesse James, was a mesmerizing masterpiece and he has re-teamed with star Brad Pitt for this new film.  Word out of Cannes was solid, apparently it is weird, but I can’t wait to see Dominick’s next work up on the big screen.  This was an early pick for me at having the potential to be my number 1 of the year. 

(No trailer out yet so here’s a clip to give a feel for the film)

Looper (Sept. 28)

Lauren:  Why force people to swim with the fishes when they can time travel and be killed in the past?  “Thanks for the great opportunity, The Mob…” (that’s how you address the mob, right?), “I always wanted to use a time machine OH MY GOD WHY IS JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT SHOOTING ME!? [death noises]”

Zac’s #2 Pick: Brick and The Brothers Bloom director Rian Johnson finally gets a budget and decides to play with sci-fi and time travel? Oh boy, and the director even recommends not watching the trailers if you are interested by just the synopsis, so just see it.

Lauren:  Oh man, you had to throw Brick and The Brothers Bloom in there.  Now how am I supposed to wait until late September for this!?

Music

Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange (July 17th)

Alan: The soulful crooner of the hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All is finally putting out his first album on Def Jam, and it couldn’t have any stronger single than the gorgeous single “Thinking Bout You.” How he rides the beat, then drives into his upper registry sends chills every time i put this song on. Now, he released a nine minute (YES a nine minute) song “Pyramids” not too long ago, and if that is any indication for the rest of the album, we might be in four a weird R&B experiment coming soon.

Yellowcard’s Southern Air (August 14th)

Alan: Ryan Key and Co. do not need to prove anything to me anymore. After coming off of a hiatus and making the solid When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes last year, Yellowcard just fell right back into my personal rotation. Though they will probably not reach the height they gained with “Ocean Ave.” all those years ago, they can still make pop rock songs like it’s nobodies business.

Lauren’s #1:  “Ocean Ave.” is actually one of those songs that feels like a great callback to an amazing intro album even though I sometimes have trouble listening to it (like old Fall Out Boy, just got so overplayed by me).  But from then on I have continued to be hooked on this band and they’ve always been the most consistent for me in terms of likeable albums with Lights and Sounds and Paper Walls dishing out plenty of my most played songs.

Grizzly Bear’s Warp229 (September 18th)

Grant: For years I’ve enjoyed the slow melodious folk songs that Grizzly Bear has come out with, however, I have never completely bought in.  Grizzly Bear has taken its time (three years) since its last album, and this one might be worth the wait.  Rumors are that they are writing a more ‘charged and concise’ album.  If the released track “Sleeping Ute” is any indication, then this will be a fantastic new direction.  “Sleeping Ute” is an amazing combination of blues and indie rock.  I could leave it on repeat for hours.  Lets hope the rest of the album lives up to this song.

Mumford and Sons’ TBA (Sept. 24)

Heather’s #1 (and only) Pick:  After discovering the band’s first Album, Sigh No More, I feel like I have been waiting for the release of Mumford and Son’s sophomore album for far too long (*sigh*).  But with the announcement of their upcoming album release, I shall sigh no more (see what I did there?)!

Lauren #2 Pick:  I may not be waiting with quite the same amount of anticipation as Heather, but I do have high expectations for this follow up album.

Sorry, no single yet…

September 25th As A Whole

Alan: That Tuesday, three big albums are slated to be released. The first is Lupe Fiasco’s Food And Liqueur 2: The Great American Album Pt. 1, which is trying to rebound off of the critically reamed Lasers that came out last year. I still have faith that Lupe will come out with another solid album – if it’s better than The Cool or the original Food And Liquer, we just don’t know yet. Then we have Green Day, with the first of their upcoming trilogy entitled Uno!. I personally fell off of the bandwagon with their last release, but the band putting out a three-album collection in less than a year sounds like another giant step forward for them. Last but certainly not least, is No Doubt, and their first album in 11 YEARS, entitled Push And Shove. Since the album doesn’t have a single our right now, it very well could get pushed back to November if I’m guessing…maybe even longer. Whatever the wait, I’ll stick it out to hear Gwen Stefani and Co.’s next album.

 

Video Games

Lauren:  With Far Cry 3 being pushed back to a late release this year, there aren’t too many games for me to look forward to in this quarter until I actually play the first game in each series.  This includes Darksiders 2 (Aug. 26) and Borderlands 2 (Sept. 18).  And then there’s Resident Evil 6 (Sept 30).  The gameplay footage coming out of E3 looked pretty fun.  Oh, and terrifying.  Yep, terrifying.  So if I can find a friend to play it so I can sit there and watch from a safe distance that would be great.

Borderlands 2 (Sept 18)

Alan: As excited as I am to continue my trek across Pandora, I did wish for things that never came true for this much anticipated sequel. One was being able to fully customize a character’s looks; to make playing them a more personal experience. The other was flight, cause lets face it, it would be awesome to fly right next to Mothrakk and around this massive planet. Though these won’t be included, I’m still pretty excited to return to this universe – maybe this time with friends! I mean, with more than 870 Gajillion guns and 96.5% more Wub Wub, who could go wrong?

 

Until Next time

Phew that was a long one.  See anything on our list of excitement causing films, music, and video games that you’re fan-squealing over too?  Or did we miss something that would have been on your list?  Let us know!

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