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Forget the Mayans, 2012 is the year in which everything goes seriously right. With cinema boasting the biggest blockbusters and coolest indie flicks, and new artists and bands set to break through.

The films coming your way in 2012...

young adult film still
This year’s Juno:
Young Adult
The team behind 2007’s Oscar-winning Juno – director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody – are back for this Charlize Theron-starring dramedy, laced with Cody’s fizzing, acerbic pop-culture skewering dialogue, about a writer who returns to her home town to win back her now happily married high school sweetheart. Cody’s sophomore screenplay Jennifer’s Body was a flop so she’ll be looking to hit back at her one-hit wonder critics, so expect fireworks aplenty here.
Released February 10

the dictator film still

The funny one: The Dictator
Former Ali G – Sacha Baron Cohen, the man who outraged everyone with Borat and Bruno – is at it again in this Saddam Hussein-Gaddafi-inspired tale of a eccentric fictional General Alladeen, who “risked his life to ensure that democracy will never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed“, and released a statement about the passing of Kim Jong Il in which he reflected on ’K-Jo’ as: “An extraordinary man, he did so much to spread compassion, wisdom and uranium throughout the world.“ Boundaries are sure to be pushed once more, with plenty ready to take offence.
Released May 18

the amazing spider-man still

The reboot: The Amazing Spider-Man
The franchise was only launched nine years ago with Tobey Maguire as the webslinger and Evil Dead head honcho Sam Raimi at the helm, but it’s back to radioactive spider basics already with this origin story with superstar-in-waiting Andrew Garfield’s (The Social Network) Spidey battling Rhys Ifans’ The Lizard. Appropriately surnamed director Marc Webb (500 Days Of Summer) ensures this take on Peter Parker will be full of youthful exuberance, and IMAX 3D too.
Released July 4

the avengers film still

The Marvel-lous one: The Avengers
Geek-god Joss Whedon directs this comic-book-movie tag-team – Marvel Studios’ ambitious amalgamation of their characters – with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk putting together their not discernible differences to save the world. Expect smash-bang action spectacle, comic-book references aplenty, Samuel L Jackson to kick arse as eye-patched Nick Fury, and Robert Downey Jr to steal the show as the wisecracking billionaire playboy Tony Stark.
Released April 27

this means war film still

The one for the ladies: This Means War
Two of the world’s hottest young stars – Captain Kirk Chris Pine and soon-to-be Mad Max Tom Hardy – star as hotshot CIA agents and best friends who clash, in spectacular ways, when they both fall for the same girl. Spy-fi histrionics (think Jason Bourne with a case of jealousy), sharp-suited cool and ultra-smart dialogue make this a refreshing spin on the boy-(and other boy) meets-girl set up. 
Released February 17

the woman in black film still

The period chiller: The Woman in Black
Potter’s gone but Daniel Radcliffe is moving on, his first post-Hogwarts release being this adaptation of Susan Hill’s enduring ghost tale in which he plays a lawyer who encounters a vengeful spirit in a remote English village. Eden Lake director James Watkins brings the period chills and is sure to show there’s more to the boy wizard than spells.
Released February 10

the dark knight rises film still

The big one: The Dark Knight Rises
Rumours are Christopher Nolan has been getting all emotional over this, his third and final Bat-outing. He vowed only to return if he could go one better than his Oscar-winning The Dark Knight and, judging by the newly unveiled trailer and hysteria surrounding the six-minute IMAX screening prologue, Rises looks set to do just that. With muscled maniac Bat-foe Bane (a seriously pumped-up Tom Hardy, again), Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman, as well as Christian Bale’s gravel-voiced hero and the batwing, this is the summer movie to beat.
Released July 20


And the bands....

The superstar to be: Azealia Banks
This rapidly rising, Harlem-bred firecracker topped the NME’s cool list and has but a handful of UK shows to her name. Single 212, with its filthy, flirty and none-funkier beats heralds a new superstar’s arrival.

howler

East coast meets west coast: Howler
Debut EP This One’s Different cemented their arrival and with long player America, Give Up due to hit in Jan, this Minneapolis bunch’s west coast sunshine vibes-meets-east coast ‘tude garage-surf rock makes The Strokes look – and sound – positively geriatric by comparison.



The new Noah: Dry The River
Set to ride the folk-rock revival to mainstream success, Dry The River grew from 2009’s solo-project beginnings when Norwegian-born frontman Peter Liddle hired his mates. March’s debut album Shallow Bed and subsequent headline tour will send them stratospheric.

spector

The sharp-suited popsters: Spector
These east London indie-popsters have the sharp suits, sultry specs, and soaring, swooning melodies – the style and the substance – to prevail in 2012. A debut album and Florence And The Machine support slot won’t hurt their chances much either.

lianne la havas

The singer-songwriter storyteller: Lianne La Havas
Her jaw-droppingly haunting performance on Jools Holland’s Later ... last October supporting debut LP Lost And Found, saw Lianne go from an under the radar ‘who?’, to sold-out dates in Jan/Feb as one of next year’s hottest stars. Check out Willy Mason duet No Room For Doubt.

clock opera

The surprise package: Clock Opera
Electro-rock-pop with pensive psychedelia and ambient awkwardness, Clock Opera (led by Guy Connelly) have risen to prominence with a slew of remixes en route to April debut Ways To Forget.

flux pavillion

The real dubstep deal: Flux Pavillion
This dubstep newcomer’s Bass Cannon propelled him into the public consciousness and saw him Zane Lowe-d as the hottest record of the week. Recent Tweets boast" recording my first string section – that’s why I love music". And that’s why people are going to love him.



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2012 preview: The bands and films to look out for
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