While Pride and Prejudice and Zombies spent all year being passed around like a hot potato among directors, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter knowingly assembled a cast of solid, lesser-known actors, rather than allowing itself to be relegated to them. The “mashup” genre of literature popularized by Seth Graeme-Smith may have quickly worn out its welcome, but the movie’s weird, goofy premise could still captivate audiences if it’s done correctly and with enough style.
Just no sequels, please.
Oliver Stone won the sweepstakes to adapt this popular, and prize-winning book, and he didn’t take the gig for granted once he got it. He’s gotten Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson to play two pot-growing surfers, and Blake Lively to play O, their shared girlfriend who gets kidnapped by a Mexican cartel. Uma Thurman plays the girl’s mom, and John Travolta plays a DEA agent. It will be great to see Stone ratchet up the tension, and I’m actually excited to see Travolta in a promising role.
I’m sure there will be more (and perhaps better) comedies coming out in 2012, but they generally don’t generate much anticipation until their trailers come out. The scripts are largely original, so there are few loyalists to the writing, but some stars can generate a fair amount of buzz early on. Three Mississippi, which chronicles a “friendly” neighborhood Thanksgiving football game, stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Sure, Will Ferrell has driven sports films into the ground, but seeing him play an overwhelmed dad pushed to his breaking point should be great.
And it has to be better than his turn in Kicking and Screaming. Please God, let it be better than that.