There are definite swings and roundabouts in the release schedules of movies, and we appear to be heading for a feast after the past 6 months of mostly famine. Herewith a Dazzling Dozen of potential highlights, although we have reservations about some being able to achieve their hype!

Kiera-Knightley-in-A-Dangerous-Method

A Dangerous Method – David Cronenberg
Relationships between doctors and patients take on more extreme ramifications when the doctor is a psychoanalyst. Kiera Knightley plays a wonderful role as the crazy/sane/victim/yearner who challenges the opposing ideas of Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender).
Potential = 5 stars


The-DescendantsThe Descendants – Alexander Payne
George Clooney again, yet here he swings between convincing parent and his usual persona. His struggle to connect with his two daughters when his wife is ‘absent’ in various ways is well drawn. With Judy Greer, Amara Miller, Shailene Woodley.
Potential = 4 stars


The Girl With The Dragon TattooThe Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – David Fincher
The American version of the film, with Daniel Craig as Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. A fantastic book and a great Swedish film version will probably remain as the best entry to the Millennium trilogy. Even the trailer for this US version is weak.
Potential = 2 stars


J EdgarJ. Edgar – Clint Eastwood
Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Eastwood about an American icon! Um, no. Every character and every scene in the trailer looks wooden, obvious, hackneyed and overlong. And that’s just the trailer! With Naomi Watts, Dermot Mulroney, Armie Hammer, Judi Dench (all playing typecast roles).
Potential = 1 star


Ides-of-MarchThe Ides of March – George Clooney
Presidential hopeful who discovers the dirty side of politics! Um, no. Even Ryan Gosling, Clooney, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood couldn’t drag me to see this, even if they knocked on the door in person.
Potential = 1 star


In TimeIn Time – Andrew Niccol
Science Fiction of the Thriller type pits Justin Timberlake against a corrupt regime that allows life or death on a fickle whim. His struggle is eased by the support of Olivia Wilde and Amanda Seyfried, while Vincent Kartheiser and Johnny Galecki handle the bad guy roles.
Potential = 5 stars


Martha Marcy May MarleneMartha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
Reclusive folks up in the hills who run a little cult! Hell yes! But seriously, this trailer looks a hundred times better than all the other films of the same ilk. With John Hawkes, Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson.
Potential = 4 stars


MelancholiaMelancholia – Lars von Trier
Another thriller with a sci-fi twist, with Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as two very different sisters who have extra stress on their relationship when a new planet is discovered to be on a collision course with Earth. With Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, Alexander Skarsgard.
Potential = 5 stars


Rum-DiaryThe Rum Diary – Bruce Robinson
Hunter S. Thompson is a rich vein for salacious yet enticing stories, and Johnny Depp brings the film alive with a gonzo portrayal, ably assisted by a plethora of brilliant actors, actresses, script lines and director. With Amber Heard.
Potential = 5 stars


The-Skin-I-Live-InThe Skin I Live In – Pedro Almodovar
Antonio Banderas in a chilling role in a trailer that reeks quality and tension. Obsession and corruption are interwoven in a combination of science fiction and chiller. With Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes.
Potential = 5 stars


Straw-DogsStraw Dogs – Rod Lurie
This remake, with James Marsden and Kate Bosworth, will in no way compete with the original – which was both groundbreaking and inspired. However, this version will appeal to a whole new audience, especially with the support of James Woods and Alexander Skarsgard.
Potential = 4 stars


The-ThingThe Thing – Matthijs van Heijningen
Promoted as a “prelude” to John Carpenter’s classic 1982 film of the same name, the trailer positions Mary Elizabeth Winstead to take over the fantastic Sigourney Weaver role of inspired-woman-against-evil-alien-thing! On the strength of the trailer alone, Winstead achieves this level of magnificence. With Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen.
Potential = 5 stars

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