Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top 15 most anticipated movies for the rest of the year

So, you think that there won't be any movies worth seeing this fall, huh? So far the summer has disappointed you, why would the fall be any better? Well, douchebag, you're wrong! Ok, you're not a douchebag, you're probably a nice guy. You're not that nice though. Trust me, I've heard enough about you. But enough about you... let's talk about my top 15 most anticipated movies for the rest of the year! I'll never again use two exclamation points in one paragraph.

1. Black Swan

Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Release date: 12/1/2010

Why is this the most anticipated movie for me? Well, you have Aronofsky, you have Clint Mansell composing the music, the film stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, there may or may not be some crazy sexual tension in this film, the style looks like a combination of old-Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream) and new-Aronofsky (Wrestler), and after watching the trailer, I still have no idea what we'll be in for. I was never even a fan of Aronofsky, not for the longest time. If you'd noticed, Requiem for a Dream wasn't on my 2000s list and that wasn't a mistake. I'm not a fan of the film. I think it has some great visuals and it proved that Aronofsky was a very stylish director... but I felt that the style overshadowed the substance and when you're making a movie about drugs, I just feel that's the wrong approach. While it was interesting and it wasn't a bad movie, it just kinda left me feeling empty.

The Wrestler was the complete opposite. Here, Aronofsky completely stripped his style and the result was brilliant. That being said, I welcome some of the old Aronofsky as long as it doesn't get too ahead of its content. From the looks of the trailer, I think everything will be just fine. I'm hoping with this film, Aronofsky will prove that people should be paying more serious attention to his work - if they haven't been already. With the Nolans, PTAs, and Tarantinos in the world - where does Aronofsky fit in this group? I think we'll find out with this film.

2. The Fighter
[No Poster Yet]
Cast: Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg
Director: David O. Russell
Release date: 12/10/2010

There's no poster, no trailer for this film yet but I'm really looking forward to this film regardless. I've heard a lot of great things about the on-set chemistry between actors and crew and when David O. Russell isn't making news for being a hot head, he's making great films. This happens to be his first film in six years. I'm interested in seeing how he approaches this material and the Wahlberg-Russell team has been solid (see Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees). I wasn't really a fan of Million Dollar Baby or Cinderella Man. Could this be the boxing movie I've been waiting for since Raging Bull? We'll see; we'll get a better idea once the trailer's released.

3. The Social Network

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake
Director: David Fincher
Release date: 10/1/2010

I'm sorry if you're not feeling a movie about Facebook, but you know what? I am. The trailer has only made me ten times more interested than I was before. Why did Aaron Sorkin want to write the screenplay for this film and why did Fincher decide to direct it? Will Jesse Eisenberg be able to pull off this role? The film has got a very interesting, young cast and it's only supposed to be two hours long. Could this be the movie for the current times we live in? That's certainly possible.

4. True Grit
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon
Director: The Coen Brothers
Release date: 12/25/2010

I may be slightly burnt out on the Coen Brothers. They never made films this quickly. No Country For Old Men, Burn After Reading, and A Serious Man--three years in a row? But True Grit is a Coen Brothers western and that has automatically made me very interested in seeing this film. It's not based on the 1969 movie with John Wayne, but moreso the novel that came way before that. I'm definitely looking forward to a Coen Bros' western and seeing Jeff Bridges in a Coen Brothers movie again.

5. Somewhere

Cast: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning
Director: Sofia Coppola
Release date: 12/22/2010

I was a huge fan of Lost in Translation when it came out and Somewhere looks like it may be in the same vain. I admit I was a little apprehensive of a film that seemed to be too close to familiar territory for Coppola. But I've watched the trailer a few times and have seen the photos that have been released on set and I really don't think this film will be that similar. This is a father-daughter story and Coppola is at her best when she gets personal. Also it would be great to see how Stephen Dorff acts in this movie. Can Sofia Coppola bring the serious, dramatic actor out of Stephen Dorff?

6. Another Year
Cast: Jim Broadbent, Leslie Manville
Director: Mike Leigh
Release date: 12/29/2010

Mike Leigh is one of the greatest directors you probably never heard of or cared about. He's responsible for "Naked," "Secrets & Lies," "Vera Drake," and "Happy-Go-Lucky." If you haven't seen any of those films, I suggest you rent them right now. All of them are great British dramas (the last one being more of a serio-comedy). The way Mike Leigh works is very interesting to me. He doesn't work from a script, but instead, a detailed outline. He makes his actors find their characters through improvisation and by doing that, he discovers things about the human psyche that other films simply don't cover. Leigh is a fascinating filmmaker and his latest effort is definitely on my list of films to see this year (although I probably won't actually be able to see it 'til early next year).

7. 127 Hours
Cast: James Franco
Director: Danny Boyle
Release date: 11/5/2010

Danny Boyle's follow up to "Slumdog Millionaire" definitely won't be the crowd pleaser that Slumdog was. In fact, he has stated that 127 Hours may be a bit of a challenge for the audience. First of all, it's been on the true story of a mountain climber that gets trapped under a boulder and must cut his own arm off to save his life. In this movie, we're mostly alone with James Franco as he's going through these very stressful moments of his life. The movie should be very intense and, at times, tough to watch. You know what, though? I'm accepting the challenge. You should too.

8. Biutiful

Cast: Javier Bardem
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Release date: 12/17/2010

Inarritu films are also tough to watch in their naked honesty, but they are all well-made even if "Babel" wasn't as strong as his other two movies. Here he's working with one of the most versatile actors working today, Javier Bardem. This is Javier's movie all the way. The movie came out in Cannes to mixed reviews but they all praised Bardem's performance. You can never really trust the reactions from Cannes and either way, I'm hoping this will be a return to greatness for Inarritu.

9. Never Let Me Go

Cast: Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan
Director: Mark Romanek
Release date: 9/15/2010

Of the top 10 films to come out this year, Mark Romanek is the wild card director. He made a film in the '80s hardly anyone saw, then made a string of visually striking music videos, then made "One Hour Photo" which was a decent thriller with a good performance from Robin Williams. That came out 8 years ago though. Romanek's been in the business for a while but this is only his third film. The trailer suggests this could be a great film and apparently the film made Spike Jonze cry. Will it make the rest of us cry too?
10. Hereafter
Cast: Matt Damon, Cecile de France
Director: Clint Eastwood
Release date: 10/22/2010

The next Clint Eastwood film comes out in just two months and there's no poster or trailer for it yet. That must mean it should be coming at any day now. There's no denying that Clint Eastwood is still in his prime as a filmmaker... even at age 80 and this film has been described as a supernatural drama. Although Eastwood has since downplayed the supernatural elements of the film. Anyway, it should be interesting to see Matt Damon work with Eastwood and whenever an Eastwood film comes out in the Fall, we're always paying attention. At least I am.

11. Blue Valentine
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Release date: 12/31/2010

This film opened in Sundance and Cannes to rave reviews almost across the board. Blue Valentine is supposedly packed with great performances from Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling. Michelle Williams has been flirting in Oscar territory for awhile now as has Ryan Gosling. The film depicts a deteriorating marriage between the two leads and it should be great to see a romantic drama that doesn't try to be too sentimental. Definitely an interesting film to check out toward the end of the year.

12. Machete

Cast: Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal
Director: Robert Rodriguez, Ethan Maniquis
Release date: 9/3/2010

While this film certainly won't be a contender for any serious awards, it will be a contender for most kickass film of the year. Expendables eat your heart out. I've been looking forward to this film for way longer than Expendables. This film has been gestating for quite awhile and it'll be interesting to see just how far Robert Rodriguez goes with this film.

13. The American

Cast: George Clooney
Director: Anton Corbijn
Release date: 9/1/2010

Say what you will about George Clooney but the dude has consistently starred in great films for awhile now. He knows how to pick his projects. While I'm admittedly more interested in seeing his next film (The Descendants, directed by Alexander Payne), this film looks like a stylish, old-school type thriller. This will be esteemed photographer Anton Corbijn's first film so you know we'll be getting a visually delightful film, but will the rest of the film deliver as well?

14. Due Date

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis
Director: Todd Phillips
Release date: 11/5/2010

The first true comedy in this list is definitely still a movie I'm very excited to see. It'll be great to see Downey and Galifianakis work together, especially in a Todd Phillips film. The Hangover experienced quite a backlash toward the end of last year, but I still think it's a hilarious film. It'll be interesting to see how Phillips follows that up.

15. Tron: Legacy

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Release date: 12/17/2010

I'm not much of a Tron fan, but I loved the visuals that I saw out of the trailer and this'll probably be the only other 3D film this year. Luckily, this was actually shot in 3D so maybe it won't look as bad as Alice in Wonderland. Let me correct myself, it DEFINITELY won't. Whether or not it'll actually be a good movie remains to be seen.

Honorable Mention:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I
Release Date: 11/19/2010
I'm tired of the Harry Potter films, honestly. It's been going on for almost ten years now and I just can't wait for this series to be over. That being said, of course I want to see how it all ends.

It's Kind of a Funny Story
Release date: 10/8/2010
Not too excited for this film, but it could be pretty good. Another movie with Zach Galifianakis in it and the directors of this film also made Half Nelson and Sugar. So, who knows, maybe it'll be the runaway indie comedy-drama of the year.

The Tourist
Release date: 12/10/2010
I really only just heard of this film yesterday. Apparently, it's the next film by the director of the Lives of Others. It stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie and... yeah that's pretty much all I know so far. We'll see how this turns out.

The Tree of Life
Release date: Whenever Terrence Malick feels like it
Ok this would be an easy #1 if it actually had a release date. It doesn't. It may not even come out this year. Terrence Malick is a stubborn son of a gun but when the film finally comes out, I know I'll be blown away.

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