Best Films of 2012 Not Releasing till 2013

| December 30, 2012

imageThis was a really bizarre trend this year. There were a number of films originally scheduled to release in 2012, some of which we even had trailers for, that were then postponed to next year. They each had their own reasons, some more understandable than others, but it honestly became more than a little frustrating. One of them still has trailers showing before Les Miserables advertising that it will be out at Christmas.

The list goes like this:

5: Star Trek Into Darkness

You have to reach father back for this one because while Trek 2 was originally scheduled to release this past summer, it was postponed when JJ Abrams finally agreed to direct because he wanted to be able to take his time and maybe even rework the script. Since the teaser trailer was one of the most anticipation inducing trailers of the year, I think we all feel like we need that movie in our eyes as soon as possible. But I put it on the bottom of the list for two reasons. First, it has the best reason for being postponed, which is that the movie probably wouldn’t be as good if it had been rushed by nearly an entire year, and second the delay was caused so early that we knew by the time 2012 started that it wouldn’t be in theaters this year. Still… I need it.

4: The Great Gatsby

In front of Les Miserables I saw a version of the first trailer for The Great Gatsby which still advertised that it would be out by Christmas. The film was postponed because they were afraid that Christmas would be too crowded, which is probably still true, even if another of the films on this list was also pushed back from Christmas. Django Unchained and Les Miserables would probably have eaten most of the box office away from Gatsby, and it is a strong enough contender in its new summer slot that it should do well, but that doesn’t mean I like waiting. Even if it doesn’t end up being as good as the Clayton/Coppola version, I’m still interested to see if Baz Luhrman can pull it off without getting in his own way.

3: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

This is probably the most egregious delay on the list. I was really looking forward to Retaliation but within months of its release producers decided to pull the film for a 3D conversion and a little re-editing. I’m not convinced that a 3D conversion will really do this film a service and shoe-horning in some alternative version where Duke doesn’t die so that Channing Tatum can return for a sequel just seems silly and risks making the movie feel ravaged. While I’m not sure that the March release will earn less then there prime summer date this year would’ve—in fact they might be that really successful March release that we’ve had the last few years—I’m sure that many people are going to see the trailers start to show up again and think, “Didn’t I already see that movie, or is it just a mirage.”

2: Gangster Squad

Warning: The trailer below is the original Gangster Squad trailer that features clips from a sequence in the film where there is a shooting in a movie theater.

This one is frustratingly tragic. I was really looking forward to Gangster Squad. I loved that first trailer and Ruben Fleischer’s first foray into serious action seemed like it was going to be fresh and exciting. Unfortunately this film’s climax involves a shooting in a movie theater, which was prominent in the trailer, and so after the Dark Knight Rises shooting at the Century 16 here in Denver the trailer was pulled and within the week it was announced that it would be delayed to January. While insignificant alongside the losses of that tragedy, this delay bugged me some. This man’s actions sought to ruin going to the movies, and considering the lives he took, among them one of our fans, I didn’t want to give him a single victory. Postponing Gangster Squad to the worst movie-going month of the year is going to severely hurt the film, especially considering that it now releases the same day as number one on this list. That said, I fully understand how traumatic the film would be for those affected (perhaps even for me) and I respect everyone involved in that decision for being willing to postpone and surely lose money out of reverence for this tragedy.

1: Zero Dark Thirty

Katheryn Bigelow’s Osama Bin Laden hunt has been in production since Osama Bin Laden was alive. The reason that this movie is number one of the list is because of how frustrating it is for me that the film is on other people’s best of 2012 lists because it released in LA and New York earlier this month but not on mine because we won’t get to see it till 2013. It’ll win Oscars, it’ll come and go, and come next winter it’ll be a part of our Filmsplosion 2013 and we’ll seem like we’re a year behind. The idea was that they would release in LA and New York, get a buzz going, and then when it released wide they’d find a large audience, especially around once it gets Oscar nominations. But that still means that it’s releasing in January, when people are either not going to the movies or still catching up on Django and Less Miss. It’s also at number one because it’s probably going to be the best of these films, except maybe Star Trek.

– James Hart

Which of these movies are you looking forward to the most? Leave a comment below, email us, or call and leave a message and we’ll talk about it on the show.

About the Author:

James grew up in a house where Friday night was Movie night, which meant that he’d watched more movies than anybody else his age before he was even old enough to watch the rated R ones. He’ll watch just about anything, though he tends to avoid the horror movies without a sense of humor. Among his favorite movies are: Alien, Fargo, True Romance, Ed Wood, and Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. He’s a die-hard LOST fan and a Brown Coat. As a writer, story usually comes first for James. Memorable characters and sharp dialogue are the things that separate the classics from the chaff. That said, he does his best to keep having fun at the movies. He’s seen plenty of critics who would once have accepted summer blockbusters as entertainment become jaded and nit-picky. Sure James loves the art of film and storytelling, but fun comes first, the fun that he had watching Raiders when he was little. Also, E.T. scares the pants off him.
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