The Dark Knight Rises
Of all the big-budget superhero blockbusters coming out this year, “The Dark Knight Rises” is probably one of the few that makes pseudo-intellectuals feel like they aren’t starved for watercooler fodder.
With critics watching director Christopher Nolan’s every move, the anticipation for the third installment in his Batman trilogy has never been higher. Not that they don’t have a reason. “The Dark Knight” (2008), the sequel to 2005’s “Batman Begins,” was released to critical acclaim and gave audiences Heath Ledger’s iconic, Oscar-winning performance as the Joker.
Now with the giant shadow of “The Dark Knight” looming over “The Dark Knight Rises,” Nolan has assembled an all-star cast, including old-timers Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman, and new additions Tom Hardy (as new villain Bane), Anne Hathaway (as Selina Kyle/Catwoman), Marion Cotillard and Joseph-Gordon Levitt.
Mystery still surrounds the film’s plot, but rumors abound among the geek and comic book circles, mostly pertaining to the infamous 1993 comic book storyline in “Knightfall” where Bane breaks Batman’s back.
It’s all speculation for now, but the one thing we know for sure is that “The Dark Knight Rises” will be an action-packed film for the ages.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen Chbosky, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is destined to be one of the next great teen films.
Sure, it’s not quite in the epic vein of John Hughes films, but what sets it apart is its firm grip on reality. Jake Ryan isn’t miraculously sitting on a convertible outside of your home with birthday cake, some kid named Ferris isn’t out getting away with anything he wants and five kids aren’t sitting in detention, bonding over their eccentricities.
And yet, “The Perks” still manages to have a dreamlike quality about it because of the beautiful reality of its characters.
The film stars Logan Lerman (“Percy Jackson and the Olympians”) as Charlie, a troubled freshman in high school who meets two upperclassmen who pull him out of his wallflower ways. Emma Watson (every “Harry Potter” film ever) and Ezra Miller (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”) play Sam and Patrick, the seniors determined to include Charlie in their fun, despite his crippling shyness and naiveté.
What ensues is a classic, yet fresh take on the coming-of-age tale (read: parties, drugs, sex and tears).
For fans of the book who worry the novel-to-film transition will be butchered: Relax.
Chbosky has heard your wishes and is writing and directing the film himself — how’s that for a teenage dream?
It’s been a little over two years since Wes Anderson last had a movie in theaters, and, with this spring’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” Anderson reunites with co-writer Roman Coppola, with whom he collaborated on his 2007 film “The Darjeeling Limited.”
“Kingdom” tells the story of two star-crossed teenagers who run away together, and the search to find them in their small New England town.
Anderson’s last picture “Fantastic Mr. Fox” was the director’s first attempt at an animated film, and “Kingdom” shows a return to form, featuring the same whimsical stylistic elements that Anderson fans have come to recognize and love.
In typical Anderson fashion, “Kingdom” also stars beloved collaborators Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, with a cast rounded out by Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton.
“Kingdom” is set in 1965, so the coupling of Anderson’s idiosyncratic vibe with 1960s style makes for one of the most anticipated films of the spring.
The Great Gatsby
Usually, I’m not a big fan of remakes as far as movies go, but after sitting through the original 1974 “Great Gatsby” in my 12th grade English class, I’m excited to see a fresh take on the classic story.
Set to release on Christmas day this year, “The Great Gatsby” will star Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway.
Based on the classic novel, the story follows Nick Carraway and his fascination with his new neighbor, Jay Gatsby, after Carraway moves from the Midwest to a rich area of Long Island. Soon Carraway finds that Gatsby’s money may not exactly buy him happiness, as he is faced with romance, drama and tragedy.
If this movie is anything like the book, I’m sure it will be the movie to see this year. If not, then the movie is two hours spent looking at Leo.