I've been reading Entertainment Weekly since 1996, and my favorite issues are always the seasonal previews for movie releases.
Naturally I'm writing this now because another such issue has just been released. Surprisingly, I've never done this before at Scouring Monk, but here's a breakdown of the movies I will either definitely see or catch eventually or just hope enough people catch, because they are the most interesting projects of the bunch:
Looper (slated for release 9/28)
Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt
Much has already been made of this movie, mostly to the fact that Gordon-Levitt plays a younger version of Willis with a little help from the makeup department. It's got a cool sci-fi twist to it, and perhaps more significantly, features Blunt, whom I've adored for years now.
The Master (9/14)
Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams
The hook for those in the know is that this movie's about Scientology, but what I care about is Phoenix's big comeback, which I've been waiting for.
Liberal Arts (9/14)
Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Radnor
Radnor stars in How I Met Your Mother, and previously put together the film Happythankyoumoreplease, and if that's not enough to interest me, I've been meaning to give Olsen a chance. She's the younger sister of the twins, and has serious buzz.
Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston
I just saw the trailer for this movie, Affleck's third directing effort, and it looks like nothing else I've seen. Could be very interesting, like Munich crossed with Galaxy Quest, if you can picture that.
Cloud Atlas (10/26)
Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent
The latest from the Wachowskis is a mindbending adaption of a mindbending book. Sometimes ambition is itself worth the effort.
Taken 2 (10/5)
Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
The first was a revelation. Even though Neeson has been doing this kind of movie ever since, it's impossible to not be at least curious about the second.
Seven Psychopaths (10/12)
Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson
The only way critics like Farrell is if he's being a hooligan in a smaller release. I'm there for every Farrell movie regardless, and he always delivers.
Alex Cross (10/19)
Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns
Perry impressed me in his limited Star Trek appearance. I've yet to see a Madea movie, but I respect the success Perry has received from them. This also features Fox, another actor I'll follow anywhere.
The Big Wedding (10/26)
Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl
Even if I don't see all of them, I try to stay abreast of De Niro and Heigl's movies. I find them to be more reliable than is generally reported.
Chasing Mavericks (10/26)
Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue
The above statement holds true of Butler. Plus this one comes from Curtis Hanson.
Killing Them Softly (10/19)
Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini
Pitt and director Andrew Dominik previously collaborated on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. That's enough to make me a guaranteed viewer.
Life of Pi (11/21)
I loved the book. It's directed by Ang Lee. Seriously, who wants to say they missed out on this?
Anna Karenina (11/16)
Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
It's got Knightley, for one, continuing her crushing of period dramas, and is directed by Joe Wright, who released the awesome Hanna last year.
Silver Linings Playbook (11/21)
Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
Director David O. Russell is dependable talent, and he's got another fine cast to support him. You do the math.
Daniel Day-Lewis, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Directed by Steven Spielberg. That for one ought to sell people on it. That and the subject. That and Day-Louis playing the subject.
The Man with the Iron Fists (11/2)
Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, RZA
I love me some chop-fu, and this one features Russell Crowe. I mean, seriously.
Rise of the Guardians (11/21)
Voices of Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine
I love to dabble in the animated flicks when they truly look interesting, and this one looks interesting.
Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem
It's Craig's third Bond. I mean, c'mon.
Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Don Cheadle
Washington returns to dramatic movies, and Robert Zemeckis returns to live action movies. Hard to miss.
Les Miserables (12/14)
Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway
Every single line of dialogue could be sung, and I'd still show up for that cast.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (12/24)
Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis
I'll show up for this one, just to see if Peter Jackson has gotten better control over his artistic sensibilities and meshed them with a more cohesive story.
Zero Dark Thirty (12/19)
Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler
This is the bin Laden movie, but more important my next big opportunity to see Chastain, who owned 2011. And it's directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
Django Unchained (12/25)
Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Quentin Tarantino's next movie. And a terrific cast. 'Nuff said.
On the Road (12/21)
Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst
I've never read the book, but I'm game for the movie.
Hyde Park on the Hudson (12/7)
Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams
Check this out: Murray plays FDR. I mean, what's not to love about that?
Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde
If it stars Bana, I'm there.
Playing for Keeps (12/7)
Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel
What I said about Butler earlier. Plus it's got Biel in it.
Twenty-seven movies for the final four months of the year? Not too shabby, 2012.