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The Priority Report: 2012 Edition

By Jeannine Stanley, James LaVecchio, and Keith Spencer

We know anticipation can be killer, so our latest edition of NoBo’s Priority Report features a list of the best in movies, music, books, and film to look for in January and the coming New Year. Fill up your entertainment calendar with some of the works that we are most looking forward to seeing in the months ahead.

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Television

Angry Boys (HBO debut on 1/1/12)

From the manic mind of Chris Lilley, who you may remember in the role of EVERY CHARACTER in the hilarious and tongue-in-cheek mocumentary shows Summer Heights High and We Can Be Heroes This time around, and borrowing some of the characters from past hits, this series follows the lives of a handful of young 21st century men and how they deal with the world around them.

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Are you there, Chelsea? (NBC debut on 1/11/12)

Does Chelsea Handler sleep? Best selling author, TV host of not one but 2 shows on E! AND executive writer and producer (as well as reoccurring character) of this new endevor should leave her pretty busy in 2012. While this show is based on the best selling book of the same name, Handler actually plays real-life older sister Sloane, leaving Laura Prepon (Donna of That 70’s Show) the title role of the wild 20-something.

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The River (ABC debut on 2/7/12)

Are you lost without Lost? Steven Spielberg’s production company Amblin and the producer of Paranormal Activity bring you the story of a son restarting the search for his father deep into the Amazon, where he’s been missing for 6 months.

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GCB (ABC debut on 3/4/12)

In the land of botox, gossip and fraud (aka Dallas, Texas), a former debutant returns home from the “real world” after being discraced by a failed marriage, only to be welcomed back into the social circle she left. This marks a return to regular TV for Kristin Chenoweth, multi-talented star of Glee and Broadway fame.

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Don’t trust the B**** in apartment 23 (ABC debut TBA)

Another new comedy geared towards the audiences who’ve embraced this year’s Whitney, New Girl, and 2 Broke Girls genre of edgy, Sex in the City meets Friends comedy, this one stars a naïve young Midwesterner (Dreama, Gossip Girl) that moves to the city and finds herself befriending a hardcore party girl (Krysten Ritter, Breaking Bad). And yeah, James Van Der Beek (playing himself, of course) is their snarky neighbor.

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Music

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded by Nicki Minaj

You may have heard a little song called “Super Bass” which has been infecting the American airways for almost a year now. If you don’t know who Nicki Minaj is by now, you’ll definitely know when this album drops. Using her “multiple personalities”, Roman Zolanski, Minaj’s album drops on Valentine’s Day, so fitting for our Pink Princess. Even though the track list hasn’t be officially released, “Roman Reloaded” is Minaj’s freshman debut of Pink Friday plus a handful of extra tracks, two of which have been already released on iTunes. Check out Roman in Moscow on iTunes.

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Born to Die by Lana Del Rey

Del Rey describes her sound as “gangster Nancy Sinatra”. Only twenty-five years old, Del Rey already has a name for herself with critical acclaim of her EP entitled Video Games, which was released last year. On her full length LP album entitled “Born to Die” due out January 30 and an SNL appearance penned for January 14, Del Rey has nowhere to go but up. Check out her website.

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Azelia Banks

If you like Nicki Minaj, you’ll LOVE Azelia Banks. This brash Brooklynite has the both the rapping capability of Ms. Minaj, but can also belt out some high notes. She currently just leaked her racy track, 212, the area code for a section of Manhattan, which takes on all of the phonies in her life. Even though Banks hasn’t been officially signed yet, she plans to release a mixtape this year, and hopefully a full length album. Check out Azelia Banks’ website.

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The Weeknd

For indie rappers, this has been the year of the Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye). Releasing three free mixtapes within the year and making an appearance on Drake’s new album, Tesfaye has a very promising year ahead of himself. With all of his free mixtapes, Tesfaye hasn’t really made a lot of money on his music, but shows that social media (Facebook, Tumblr, etc) is a major jump of for building an audience. Check out his free mixtapes on his website.

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Madonna

During 2012, pop fans will once again witness a reinvention of the icon Madonna. Slated to do the 2012 Super Bowl half-time show and with a new all encompassing contract that includes promotions, tours, and everything under the sun, Madonna will be a very visible star in 2012. For her new album, due out in March, Madonna has brought in a lot of big names to help write and guest star. This includes Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Sia, and former Ray of Light producer, William Orbit.

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Mumford and Sons

With a whirlwind year, 4 Grammy nods, and a major headlining tour, Mumford and Sons are the band to be. Recently, they leaked a very somber song called “Ghosts” on a local Philadelphia radio station. No release date is set for the new album, but it’s supposed to be very different from “Sigh No More”. Hopefully Mumford and Sons keep their staying power with their sophomore try. The band is currently recording, according to a recent interview by MTV.com.

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Books

The Red House by Mark Haddon

The author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is releasing his third book this June, about two extended families on a vacation in the English countryside and the commonality of every families tragedy and comedy.

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The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus

Coming in January, its been called an urban ironist’s reply to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. In this not-so-distant future, the sound of children’s speech is lethal to adults, and thus, the children are all in charge, leaving their parents fleeing or being killed by the simple sound of their child’s words.

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The Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems

Listen to my Trumpet by Mo Willems

From the classic author of dozens of charming, heart-warming and ever-so slightly sarcastic childrens stories, these two new releases (April and February respectively) are set to be another added treasure into the lexicon of children’s literature.

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Movies

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Already in a limited release, this film adaption of a fantastic Jonathan Safran Foer book will be released nationwide on January 12. The story focuses on a 9-year old boy looking for answers following his father’s death on September 11th. Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks play the parents of the narrator and main character, Oskar. Newcomer Thomas Horn, whose previous claim to fame was winning Kids Jeopardy in 2010, plays the young boy. If the film is half as moving and thought provoking as the novel, it is sure to be an Oscar contender.

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Beauty and the Beast 3D

The Disney classic comes back to the big screen but in 3D on January 13th. On the heals of the successful return of The Lion King in the 3D format to theaters, Disney is sure to ramp up this new effort to bring these classics to a new generation of Disney fans while also profiting immensely from the effort.

 

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Lorax

Another book-turned-movie, this classic Dr. Seuss story of a creature trying to protect his world.  With promising visual effects and a long list of celebrity voices (Danny DeVito as the Lorax, and Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, and the omni-present Betty White) the Lorax may just be the blockbuster kids movie of the New Year. It’s scheduled for release on March 2, 2012.

 

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Brave

A Disney movie where the princess is a warrior and not a passive witness to her own life?  It’s never happened before, but maybe 2012 is the year for a bad ass heroine, master archer, and director of her own destiny!  Slated for release in June, just in time for summer vacation!

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Wanderlust

A movie staring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd? Sign us up!  In theaters on Febuary 24th, this story of a couple, who chose to explore alternative living situations after losing their jobs.  Directed by David Wain, of such underground gems as Wet Hot American Summer and Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim), this comedy is a timely (and humorous) take on the current (and rather not funny) economic recession. It’s due out in theaters on February 24, 2012.

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The Raven

Historic Fiction at it’s finest, The Raven stars John Cusack as the creepy and brilliant Edgar Allen Poe during the last days of his life as he chases a serial killer who seems to be borrowing from the plots of his scary stories. In theaters March 9, 2012.

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The Three Stooges

The classic threesome comes back with one Moe story in 2012. The film tells the origin story of three adorable and mischevious babies raised in a nunnery, run by Jane Lynch.  The film stars Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), Will Sasso (Mad TV), and Chris Diamantopoulos (24, American Dad) as the classic trio. The Stooges is due out on April 13, 2012.

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The Hunger Games

Weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, the country of Panem is divided into twelve districts ruled over by the Capitol. Each year, a boy and girl from each district will fight to the death, live on television for the people of Panem. Katniss, the daughter of a miner, volunteers when he younger sister Prim is selected as their district’s representative. He male counterpart, Peeta, will be pitted against her and the other, much stronger representatives of the other eleven districts. With a strong cast and great storyline (the young-adult series by Suzanne Collins is a fantastic read), The Hunger Games surely will not disappoint, and may replace the Potter and Twilight series as the tween choice over the next several years. The Hunger Games opens in cinemas on March 24, 2012.

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The Dark Knight Rises

In the third and final installment of Christopher Nolan‘s ‘Batman‘ film series, the Dark Knight Rises will be released on July 20, 2012. Eight years after the events depicted in ‘The Dark Knight,’ terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham city, forcing former hero Batman to resurface after having taken the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes. While we can’t wait to see Christian Bale in action once again, it will be disappointing to see the epic series come to end.

 

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The Hobbit

The Hobbit is a two-part film prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Christopher Lee from the previous The Lord of the Rings films reunited with director Peter Jackson on the film. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is scheduled for release on December 14, 2012.

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The Amazing Spiderman

Directed by Marc Webb (What are the odds!), ‘The Amazing Spider-Man‘ sees Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) spending his days trying to unravel the mystery of his own past; discovering his father’s secret that will lead him down the path of becoming Spider-Man. The film will be released on July 3, 2012.

 

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