The summer movie season starts with The Avengers on May 4th. In anticipation, we’re counting down the movies we’re most looking forward to. We’re doing top 12s. Because it is 2012. That’s why we get paid the big bucks.

BRIAN

4. Brave

Despite the buzz, I’m still lower on this than I expected. Maybe its just a hangover from How to Train Your Dragon, but the Scottish accents just don’t have the same original feel that my favorite Pixars have. Skepticism aside, its a non-sequel and non-Mattel driven marketing make me pleased. And those baby bears look rather adorable. Brave is where I start my “less is more” list of movies that I want to know as little about as possible before seeing.

3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

The strongest indicator of my interest in this film is that after watching the initial trailer was “Wait a sec, the Washington Monument wasnt finished while Lincoln was alive…” not “Wait a sec, um, vampires? And Lincoln?” I never read the source material, but anything this ridiculous can’t be that bad. My prediction is that it is this years Rise of the Planet of the Apes — the underrated but surprisingly well-received blockbuster of the summer.

2. The Avengers

My preferred order of the Avengers films: Iron Man, Capt. America, Iron Man 2, Thor, Ed Norton Hulk (see entry on Bourne Legacy), Eric Bana Hulk. And despite only really loving the first two, I am pumped for the first movie of the summer season. The advance buzz has been phenomenal and I’m curious to see how they build a semblance of plot while having to introduce Jeremy Renner and sort-of do the same with Scarlett Johannson.

1. Dark Knight Rises

Naturally. Anyone who doesn’t have this in at least their top 3 hates America.

JARED

4. Rock of Ages – An 80s jukebox musical with Tom Cruise as the world’s biggest rock star is pretty much my ideal blend of music, movies, and absurdity.  The supporting cast, including Bryan Cranston, Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Malin Akerman, Julianne Hough, and Catherine Zeta-Jones is ridiculous.  That Allan Loeb co-wrote is worrisome, but Justin Theroux also co-wrote, and Hairspray director Adam Shankman is at the helm.  Mostly, I’m just happy this movie exists.

3. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – If only because of Adam’s sheer glee upon watching the trailer for the first time.  Also because the film was written by Rhett Reese and Paul Warnick, who wrote Zombieland.  And this is a little nuts, but I kinda love the idea of Adrianne Palicki and Bruce Willis in, like, a buddy cop movie.  Plus, the Rock is perfect for a movie like this.  Basically, I have a lot of faith in the casting.

2. The Dark Knight Rises – I didn’t love The Dark Knight as much as everyone else in the world, so originally I had this a little lower in my rankings.  But then I realized that the last one was still a really solid movie, they added three or four of my favorite actors and actresses, and there’s such a low probability of me not liking the film.  Nolan may not be a perfect action filmmaker, but he’s a master of the form.  I wrote this before, but am posting after that last trailer hit.  But, damn.  That’s a trailer.

1. The Avengers – There’s the fantastic buzz and the incredible cast, sure.  But this one is simple.  Joss Whedon directing a big budget comic book movie.  ‘Nuff said.

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