Originally published on recollective.tumblr.com, January 15, 2012

It’s certainly no secret that I prefer old films over new releases, but that doesn’t stop me from hitting the local $5 matinee for new releases a couple of times a month. 2011 was, in my opinion, a pretty good year for movies. The number of new releases that I watched and enjoyed was the largest it has been in many years – possibly even since the early millennium, when my criteria for great films was “Does it make me laugh?” and “Can I quote it with my sister?” (I’m looking at you, Mean Girls and Just Friends.)

With the new year and new semester beginning to mellow out, I’ve started to look into 2012 releases. While prospects don’t look like they’ll measure up to last year, there are quite a few releases that I’m excited about, and a few more that I plan on seeing despite low expectations. Here’s a short list of what I’m looking forward to in the realm of new releases for 2012.

  1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Okay, this is technically a 2011 release, so maybe I’m cheating a bit. I’m including it here based on its USA wide release date of January 20. I haven’t read the book version just yet (it’s on my list!), but my interest in the film adaptation was piqued after seeing the preview late last year. For those unfamiliar with the premise, it follows a boy who goes on a quest after his father passes away on 9/11. It looks like quite a tearjerker, and given the wide-eyed, innocent face of newcomer Thomas Horn in the lead role, it just may have the potential for strong emotional impact.
  2. Red Tails: This blog focuses mostly on the twentieth century, so as you may have guessed by now that I’m a bit of a World War II nerd. This film follows a group of men taking part in the Tuskegee training program during the war, and eventually being called into action. It stars, among others, Cuba Gooding Jr., who I was a fan of in the early millennium. (Yes, I loved Pearl Harbor despite its approximately three billion inaccuracies and problems. I’m not ashamed to admit it!) So it’s a natural choice for me. I don’t necessarily have high expectations for it, as I never do with historically-based films, but I’m excited to see it regardless.
  3. The Vow: Most of you are probably cringing at seeing this on the list. Yes, it looks like typical Nicholas Sparks fare despite the fact that he’s in no way involved. And yes, Channing Tatum is one of the most flat actors I’ve ever watched. That being said, the movie does have one thing going for it: Rachel McAdams. That doesn’t, of course, mean that this film will be gold; however, I often enjoy the films that she’s involved in. This will be no more than a sweet little cheese-fest, and since I don’t expect more than that from it, I’ll probably end up enjoying it.

Parts II and III will be posted later this week. Stay tuned! :)