Following his round-up of the ten most exciting blockbusters to be coming round these parts in 2012, Owen digs out ten more niche titles equally worth your attention.
If you're sick to the back teeth of The Amazing Avenging Dark Hobbit Who Falls Bravely From The Sky 3, you'll be ever so pleased to hear that away from the multiplex, 2012 is shaping up to be one for the books from every quarter, featuring zombies in love, Tarantino in the Deep South and Ryan Gosling in gangster dress. Your favourite film of 2012 might just be hidden somewhere within the following...
Described by co-star Sir Ben Kingsley as befitting the mantle of a modern day Charlie Chaplin, Sacha Baron Cohen is mirroring the silent legend one further with a comedy about a 'not-at-all based on anyone' tyrannical ruler. Whether it'll be quite as memorable as his previous Borat and Bruno films, it will definitely feature Megan Fox having sex for money. Which is more or less what Michael Bay was making her do in the first two Transformers films.
Release Date: May 18
The Proposition and The Road are two of the most unappreciated cinematic treasures since the turn of the decade, so the chances that John Hillcoat's third feature will be another overlooked gem seem pretty high. A high-calibre cast of Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Guy Pierce (to name but three) and a screenplay adapted from a novel about bootlegging in the Prohibition era by the 'no-adjective-will-suffice' Nick Cave makes Wettest County the one film this reviewer would contemplate homicide to see. You have been warned.
Release Date: May 4
The Bourne Legacy
Does the adding of a Jeremy Renner to an Edward Norton equal one Matt Damon? Universal certainly hope so, as Bourne is back. But without Bourne. And no Damon, means no Greengrass. So what keeps The Bourne Legacy from being a shameless cash-in of the Ludlum universe? A script by Tony Gilroy who will also be taking on the director's mantel. Seeing as Gilroy, literally, wrote the script for the amnesiac spy, hopes are still twitching, like a man shot in a river, that there may be more to the legacy.
Release Date: August 7
R is a zombie. R is in love. After dining on the warm body of Julie's boyfriend, R begins to have feelings for the now single gal. An actual zom-rom-com, with the rom and zom intrinsically linked, the USP isn't the only selling point. The other attraction to get you shuffling along to theatres is director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness, 50/50). Improving with each film, this might just be the one that makes him a household name. Skins and About a Boy boy Nicholas Hoult plays the lovelorn flesh eater.
Release Date: August 24
The first Coen Brothers script since 1985's Crimewave not to be directed by a Coen Brother, Gambit also provides the first leading glimpse of a post Oscar-winning Colin Firth. A Heisty Crime Comedy, also starring Cameron Diaz and Alan Rickman, Gambit will be the closest thing to a Coen film we'll get this year. Hold out until 2013, however, and you'll get Inside Llewyn Davis, a drama about the 60's folk scene. Fast forward the year please...
Release Date: September 14
Speed on a Schwinn? Die Hard on a De Rosa? Nick of Time on a Nishiki? Whichever 'against the clock action film' you want to place next to a brand of bicycle you've just looked up on Wikipedia, Premium Rush will be known as 'That Bike Movie'. Taking time out from his secretive role in The Dark Knight Rises, Joseph Gordon Levitt plays a bike courier in the wrong place at the wrong time. As long as the tagline isn't 'Pedal to the Metal', colour us intrigued.
Release Date: September 21
Safety Not Guaranteed
The real life newspaper ad read: “WANTED: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.” The film, probably the first meme movie, sees a pair of journalists investigating who placed the ad and why. We're guessing there may be a little more to the advert than first thought. Perhaps the poster really has done this before...
Release Date: TBC
2011 belonged to Ryan Gosling. Four completely different films (Blue Valentine, Drive, Crazy, Stupid, Love and The Ides of March) deservedly sent him into the stratosphere and in 2012 he's not letting up with three more seat moistening turns. A potential - but unconfirmed - re-teaming with Drive director Nicolas Refn for Thai-boxing drama Only God Forgives, a definite re-teaming with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance for The Place Beyond The Pines and top of the pile Gangster Squad, with a cast list that would inspire audience attendance even without THE CHOSEN ONE attached. In Gosling we trust.
Release Date: November 9
Life of Pi
There have been far greater gestation periods for so-called unfilmable novels than the fairly meagre decade it's taken for Pi to reach the big screen, but not many movies have been passed around as much as the Booker Prize Winner. M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuaron and Jean-Pierre Jeunet were all attached at one point or another to tell the tale of the boy lost at sea with a bloody great Bengal Tiger. The job finally went to Ang Lee with unknown Suraj Sharma picked for the title role and Tobey Maguire also on board.
Release Date: December 21
QT's back and QT's making a Western. Or more accurately, a Southern. Set in Missisippi, the Django of the title is a black slave seeking revenge on a brutal plantation owner. Tarantino's latest will feature two Oscar winners in Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz, and a host of middle named/middle initialled actors (Leonardo D. Caprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Sacha B Cohen, Joseph G. Levitt, Michael K. Williams, etc.) that could easily open a film on their lonesome. Excited? Correctamundo!
Release Date: December 26
Then there's Spielberg's Lincoln, A Vampire Hunting Lincoln, A Cabin in the Woods, A Man on a Ledge, The Great Gatsby, The Devil Inside, American Reunion, Ghost Rider, Judge Dredd, Total Recall, Breaking Dawn Part Two, World War Z, Frankenweenie and many, many more.
So, which film are you most excited about this year?
10 Films You Absolutely Have To See in 2012