The dreaded year 2012 has finally arrived - well a month ago. But we ignore the January films because... well we know why. But the Oscar nominations are in and the studios are clearing out the crap for the Spring batch of cash cow hopefuls. We'll see. So will our friend, movie God George Lucas who released "Red Tails" in January to mixed reviews and is re-releasing "Star War's A Phantom Menace" in 3D in February. Are people tired of 3D? Are they tired of him milking the Star Wars cash cow once again? Did he offend fans when he said [basically] they suck? We'll see!

Suspense is down there in "The Innkeepers"

FEBRUARY 3:"WOMAN IN BLACK" - This could be titled Harry Potter chases ghosts and another career as Daniel Radcliffe learns what's next in his acting career. The horror genre? Why the hell not?


"CHRONICLE" - Borrowing a page from that TV show Heroes, this diddy by director Josh Trank (who?) follows three high school kids who get sudden superpowers.


"THE INNKEEPERS" - Director Ti West of "The House of the Devil " fame takes another shot with suspense/horror as employees of an old inn begin to experience spooky stuff on the eve of it's closing for good. Could it be the guests who are checking in?


"W.E." - Madonna tries her hand at directing once again with this drama about royal affairs between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson and a separate affair between two commoners. The Material Girl's first attempt at directing ("Filth and Wisdom") failed big time, this is probably just another ego booster. With Abbie Cornish and James D'Arcy sacrificing their careers.


"BIG MIRACLE" - Remember that incident in Alaska that had the US Navy and a few other countries pitching in and spending millions to save three whales that got stranded in the icepack? Well, they made a movie about it with Drew Barrymore.


Jennifer Anniston tries to shake up her persona as a pot smoking nudist in "Wanderlust"


FEBRUARY 10:"SAFE HOUSE" - Denzel Washington goes rogue again, a role that suits him well. This time he's a fugitive who is being pursued by everyone under the sun and only has a young CIA agent to watch over him.


"THE VOW" - During the week of Valentine's, you knew we would get a mushy chick flick. Rachel McAdams gets amnesia and Channing Tatum must woo her back. It sound's eerily like "50 First Dates" only with no corny jokes. (2004)


"JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND" - The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) takes over for an ineffective Brendon Frazier in this retelling of Jules Verne's classic tale of Civil War escapees who steal a balloon and wind up on an island full of terror. Returning from "Journey to the Center of the Earth" is Josh Hutcherson... and that's it.


"RAMPART" - Woody Harrelson got a lot of Oscar buzz in December; then it went away. He plays a hard nosed, possibly corrupt cop. Directed by Oren Moverman who directed Woody in the critically acclaimed "The Messenger".


"STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 - THE PHANTOM MENACE" - This is where it all begins for the second trilogy of the Star Wars saga. Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, and Natalie Portman start the journey for Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) to become Darth Vader. George Lucas experiments with 3D and to see how much more cash he cane squeeze out of the greatest saga ever set to screen.


"PERFECT SENSE" - Ewan McGregor stars in director Dave Mackenzie's shot at redemption after his last film "Spread" didn't cover the spread. This time another epidemic si robbing people of their various senses, yet one couple manages to fall in love during the crisis.


"THE TURIN HORSE" - Supposedly Bela Tarr's fifteenth and final film is about a man and his dying horse. This has metaphor slathered all over it. This is a very rare U. S. Release for the talented but odd director.


FEBRUARY 17:"GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE" - Nicolas Cage will do anything for money these days and it shows in this sequel to his first "Ghost Rider". Ciarin Hiinds was brought on to add credibility to a film that had everyone else bail out on.


"THIS MEANS WAR" - Okay, three days after Valentine's Day, did you not expect a rom-com? Thhis time Reese Weatherspoon is the object of two CIA agent's affections. McG directed after taking a break from his last film "Terminator Salvation". This should be nothing less than interesting and may actually be decent.


"UNDEFEATED" - Really nifty documentary that made it's rounds through the film festivals and on tow an Oscar nomination. Memphis' Manassas High School football team is a perennial underdog and whipping boy until this one year they pull their act together.


"THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY" - Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi worked under "Spirited Away" and "Ponyo" director Hayao Miyazaki, to earn the privilege of helming this feature about a family of tiny people that live in a house with regular people undetected until their daughter Arrietty gets caught. This is essentially an animated version of "The Borrowers".


"THIN ICE" - Greg Kinnear has been in less than stellar films for the last two years and this is the best he could come up with? A comical heist movie that sounds strangely like "30 Minutes or Less" meets "Fargo".


FEBRUARY 24: "WANDERLUST" - The so called sexiest woman ever - Jennifer Anniston - gets to show off her wares as the wife of a couple that move onto a free love commune where nudity, drugs and bi-sexuality are the norm. With Paul Rudd co-starring and David Wain directing; we'll see.


"GOOD DEEDS" - Tyler Perry star's in his own film [again] about an engaged man who gets feelings for a single mother. After a backlash with his last two films - with fans realizing he really doesn't know what he's doing... let's see how he handles it.


Dr. Seuss hits the big screen again in his oft-overlooked "The Lorax"

"GONE" - At least the trailers look interesting on this Amanda Seyfried ("In Time") thriller about a former kidnap victim who is convinced that the serial kidnapper who grabbed her has returned and is back to his evil ways... starting with her sister.




"FOOTNOTE" - This is what happens when the first two "Alvin and the Chipmunks" make too much money. This time the chipmunks wind up on what they think is a deserted island.


MARCH 2:"DR. SEUSS' THE LORAX" - The Hollywood version of the widely popular Danish version ("Man Som Hatar Kvinnor") by Niels Arden Oplev. This time David Fincher ("Social Network", "Zodiac") directs Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in what he hopes is a page from Scorsese ("The Departed"). Don't count on it, but the good cast should give it a go nevertheless.


"PROJECT X" - The forth installment in the Tom Cruise vehicle has the IMF going rogue to prove itself not guilt of bombing the Kremlin. Director Brad Bird - of animation fame ("Iron Giant" "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille") takes on his first live action - as if Cruise isn't cartoonish enough!



"BEING FLYNN" - The European childrens book gets the Steven Spielberg touch with Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, and Daniel Craig voicing. Basic treasure hunt story about a boy and his dog (the dog's name is Snowy not Tintin).


"TIM AND ERIC'S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE" - Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock - what do you think Paramount Studios is up to? Thomas Horn debuts in the Stephen Daltry ("Billy Elliot", "The Hours", "The Reader") story about a boy whose dad is killed on 9/11 and his quest for a lock that his father's mysterious key fits. Tremendous amounts of Oscar Buzz for hanks and Bullock in supporting roles.


"SNOWTOWN" - Emile Hirsch stars in this sci-fi yarn about an alien invasion. Director Chris Gorak takes a stab at a low budget flick hoping to expand on his debut "Right at Your Door". Who knows?


MARCH 9:"JOHN CARTER" - This one has people protesting already. It's about a guy who moves his family to the country to take care of a dilapidated zoo. Yeah, PETA folks don't want people to get any ideas. Cameron Crowe ("Almost Famous") got Matt Damon Scarlett Johansson, and Thomas Haden Church to star.


"SALMON FISHING IN YEMEN" - Interesting experimental look at choreographer Pina Bausch by fan Wim Wenders has done well on the film festival circuit in the documentary side. This is strictly for fans who got into her experimental style.


"FRIENDS WITH KIDS" - Angelina Jolie takes the directors chair in this film set during the Bosnian War. Released strictly for consideration and with a big question mark.


There is a lot of hype and anticipation around "The Hunger Games"


"PLAYING THE FIELD" - Gerard Butler tries to push himself off in another rom-com with hot mom's throwing themselves at him. Italian director Gabriele Muccino ("Pursuit of Happyness" and "Seven Pounds") tries his hand at a rom com.


"THE BULLY PROJECT" - This documentary takes a look at - you guessed it - bullies across the US. It finished the movie fest circuit and was deemed a possible profit maker by The Weinstein Company.


"SILENT HOUSE" - This is actually the film Elizabeth Olsen worked on before "Martha Marcy May Marlene". She play a gal trapped in her parents house and goes mad. I'm guess Olsen like madness roles.


"JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI" - Another doc that made the circuit and got picked up has an 85- year old Jiro Ono working with his son on their sushi empire; okay basement restaurant - be he wishes it was an empire!


"THE BALLAD OF GENESIS AND LADY JAYE" - Another doc follows an androgynous couple that transform themselves into each other - until Lady Jaye dies. Genesis Breyer P-Orridge continues on still claiming his late wife is him.


"PLAYBACK" - Michael A. Nickles directs this found footage flick about the invstigation of a local kid gone missing in a small town. Starring Christian Slater whose own career went missing for a while.


MARCH 16:"21 JUMP STREET" - Jonah Hill lost a ton of weight to star with Channing Tatum in the rehash of the show that brought Johnny Depp to the masses. After the flop in "The Sitter", Jonah can't afford too many missteps in his still young career.


"CASA DE MI PADRE" - Will Ferrell seemingly is out to offend all of Mexico with a take off on "The Magnificent Seven" - at least that's what it looks like. Yup another Ferrell dud.


"JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME" - The Duplass Brothers direct Jason Segel and Ed Helms in this nifty comedy about an immature grown man who spends an adventurous day out of his mother's house. It's like "Ferris Bueller's Day off" in reverse.

James Cameron re-releases his blockbuster in 3D, to see if it can sink "Titanic"


"DETACHMENT" - Tony Kaye ("American History X" doesn't do a lot of films, but they are generally interesting. This time he looks at a substitute teacher's 3 week stint at a school; with Adrien Brody and Marcia Gay Harden.


"BUTTER" - Mocumentary with Jennifer Garner that made the film fest rounds and got picked up. Really cute one about woman's obsession with carving butter in her town's butter carving festival.


MARCH 16:"THE HUNGER GAMES" - Highly anticipated flick with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Elizabeth Banks based on the best selling novel about fight-to-the-death TV. Sounds like a souped up version of "Running Man" or "Gamer" only by a Oscar nominated director (Gary Ross of "Seabiscuit")


"THE RAID" - Indonesian film by Welshman Gareth Evans has a tactical police unit trapped in a slum surrounded by hundreds of thugs and gangbangers.


MARCH 30:"WRATH OF THE TITANS" - You know it's pretty bad when the cast and studio open the hype by apologizing about the first installment "Clash of the Titans". Louis Leterrier gets releived of directorial duties by Jonathan Liebesman ("Battle Los Angeles" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning"). They say they have the 3D thing worked out.


"MIRROR MIRROR" - The first of two films about Snow White. This is the lighter, more family-friendly version has Julia Roberts as the evil queen. Director Tarsem Singh ("The Fall" and "Immortals") promises fabulous rich color. Lily Collins is Snow White and Armie Hammer the good prince.


"GOON" - At last a hockey movie depicting the sport as most of us see it - one giant ass-kicking. Director Michael Dowse does his thing with another raunchy comedy about a bouncer who becomes a feared hockey player by beating the crap out of opponents.


"THE DEEP BLUE SEA" - Adapted from the stage has Rachel Weisz in the difficult role of Hester Collyer - a woman in a bad relationship. This is set for a limited release because no one believes it will make money.


APRIL 6:"AMERICAN REUNION" - High school alums reunite in East Great Falls, Michigan for their high school reunion. Directed by Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg of "Harold and Kumar" so expect raunchy silliness.


"THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY" - Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, and Sigourney Weaver star in this actioner about a family kidnapped in Spain and their son's quest to rescue them. Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri - who?... exactly.


"TITANIC" - If George Lucas can do it, James Cameron can do it. To coincide with the 100 anniversary of it's perilous voyage and the popularity and profitability of 3D, Twentieth Century Fox milks another cash cow.


APRIL 13:"THE CABIN IN THE WOODS" - An interestng cast including Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Chris Hemsworth ("Thor"), and Jesse Williams in Drew Goddard's first big screen directorial piece. Looks like another special effects/lit story work set in the woods.


"THE THREE STOOGES" - It's hard to know what to expect from the Farrelly boys in this very much anticipated take on Moe, Larry and Curly. This is not a documentary, but kind of an homage to every guy's favorite morons.


"BULLET TO THE HEAD" - Sly Stallone's pre- "Expendables 2" has him flex his geriatric steroids as he seeks revenge for a hit on his partner with the help of a thug whose partner was also killed by the same guy. narrow plot, but aren't they all? We want action!


"MOVIE 43" - There is not a lot on this other than a collection of movie shorts directed by the like of Elizabeth Banks, James Gunn, Pete Farrelly, Brett Ratner and others. Stars include Justin Long (a segment called "Robins Big Date" a Superman takeoff), Emma Stone, Johnny Knoxville, Uma Thurman and other. My understanding is that it originally was considered a YouTube project. Eh.

"Pirates! Band of Misfits" has already had a controversy over the leper scene.


APRIL 20:"THE LUCKY ONE" - Zach Ephron tries to grow out of the kiddie thing an into a Marine as he stars in this Scott Hicks ("No Reservations", "Hearts in Atlantis", "Snow Falling on Cedars") yawner.


"LOCK OUT" - This sounds eerily like Escape from New York in outer space. Guy Pearce is a convict offered his freedom if he can rescue the Presidents daughter from a prison in outer space hijacked by the prisoners. Directed by to no-namers ( James Mather and Stephen St. Leger), Maggie Grace reprises her captured role from "Taken".


"CHIMPANZEE" - Another Earth Day flick that focuses on a family of Chimpanzees. No doubt another cute no-harm Disney doc and not the really cool "Project Nim" that had the chimp beating the crap out of humans. Aah, how I long for Planet of the Apes two.


"A THOUSAND WORDS" - Eddie Murphy teams with dreadful director Brian Robbins ("Norbit" and "Meet Dave") who doesn't mind tossing Murphy into a blender of bad writing. Not sure if Murphy has only 1000 words before he dies or before he just goes away.


"THINK LIKE A MAN" - Director Tim Story ("Barber Shop", "Fantastic 4", "Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer") casts hot tempered Chris Brown as a relationship guru who... okay, we'll stop it right there. With Gabriella Union, Meagan Good and Kevin Hart. Did you know that Gabriella and Meagan both have Monique as a middle name? (That's as good as it gets.)


APRIL 27:"THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT" - Director Nicholas Stoller teams up with Jason Segel once again (The last time was "Forgetting Sarah Marshall") on a farce with Emily Blunt. The title says it all; could there be anything else?


"THE RAVEN" - Edgar Alan Poe is portrayed by John Cusak in this James McTeigue flick in which he becomes a detective to chase down a serial killer who is following his poems to kill folk. McTeigue is an interesting choice for this period piece since most of his work has been sci-fi ("Matrix", "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones").


"SAFE" - Jason Statham kills a bunch of folks while rescuing a femme fatale! Oh... the Russian mob is in it too!


"THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS" - Aardman Animations tries it's hands again ("Arthur's Christmas") at he U.S. market and already got hit with bad publicity from the leper community concerning a joke. With Hugh Grant voicing a pirate captain out for revenge.

After a few years of hype, "The Avengers" finally bows!


MAY 4:"THE AVENGERS" - The moment that Marvel Comics has been building toward - the culmination of all those origins flicks has Nick Fury (Sam Jackson) gathering all his favorite super heroes (Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow) and going after Loki (the mischievous guy from "Thor") and his band of baddies. The beginning of the Blockbuster season.


"THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL" - Director John Madden ("The Debt", "Shakespeare in Love", "Proof") casts all his friends ( Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson) in a film economically film in India about a hotel that isn't what it advertises itself to be. Fox Searchlight might be looking to get back into the mix having lost thunder to Weinstein the last couple of years.



"FIRST POSITION" - A documentary about child ballet dancers by first time director Bess Kargman. It was well received at the Toronto Film Fest.



MAY 4:"THE DICTATOR" - Larry Charles directs his buddy Sacha Baron Cohen once again in a flick about a dictator who suppresses democracy. Take straight from the headlines, no doubt, with Anna Faris, John C. Reilly, and Ben Kingsley along for the ride. A nice lead in pic before Quentin Tarantino "Django Unchained" due out in December.



"DARK SHADOWS" - Johnny Depp takes on the role of cursed vampire Barnabas Collins in the movie version of the popular soap opera directed by Tim Burton. Can the Burton/Depp combo go wrong? Not likely. Add Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter (Tim's wife), Chloe Grace Moretz, and Jackie Earle Haley and you have a perfectly cast flick that should be worth the wait.



MAY 18:"BATTLESHIP" - Somehow director Peter Berg ("Hancock") has adapted the venerable game to a movie with Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, and Rihanna. Does Rihanna get to shoot at Chris Brown, we don't know. But Hasbro is really into this toy to movie promotional concept big time since "Transformers" has been a big hit. Who will sink the Battleship?



"HYSTERIA" - Maggie Gyllenhaal playing with a vibrator? [Gasp] Hardly used director Tanya Wexler helms this period romantic comedy (no pun intended) about he invention of the vibrator. Maggie should be right at home and sexy as ever.

Will Smith reprises his role with Tommy Lee Jones in "Men In Black 3"



"WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING" - Kirk Jones ("Everybody's Fine", "Nanny McPhee" and "Waking Ned Devine") never really found his way back to the excellence of "Waking Ned Devine", so he taking a shot with J-Lo, Elizabeth Banks, Cameron Diaz, and Chris Rock in one of those composition films with couples everywhere expecting a baby.



MAY 25:"MEN IN BLACK III" - Director Barry Sonnenfeld is back directing Will Smith - they worked together on the first two "Men in Black" and "Wild, Wild West" - with Tommy Lee Jones again. Smith wouldn't work with Roland Emmerich on "Independence Day II" unless he was paid $60 million; not true with Sonnenfeld and MIB. This one includes time travel and Josh Brolin as a younger Agent K. Everything suits Smith as he markets himself once again.



"MOONRISE KINGDOM" - This is a classic case of something has to open against the proven blockbuster. Wes Anderson, who has down delightful pieces including "Rushmore", "The Royal Tenenbaums", "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" - brings back his favorite Bill Murray with Bruce "I'll do anything for money" Willis, Tilde Swinton and Ed Norton. Can't help but think that this is a must see while everyone else is at the blockbusters!


Now we roll at light speed to the Summer Blockbuster season! -- GEOFFREY BURTON & RILEY MOORE