10. Tower Heist
Tenth on the list because of some pretty poor recent track records on Eddie Murphy and the director Brett Ratner. However, Ratner can make an entertaining movie when he wants to, Eddie Murphy NEEDS to return to form. His career has been a joke for the past... 15 years maybe? But, who wouldn't love to see live-action Eddie Murphy be funny again? And coupled with Ben Stiller, it should be interesting to see how they work together.
Tarsem Singh is an interesting filmmaker, but I'm not too keen on these types of films. Especially since studios simply don't know how to market the sword-and-sandal epic anymore, especially after 300. So, I'm approaching caution with this one, but it would be cool if it turned out great.
8. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
The red band trailer looks crazy and it's always fun to see Harold and Kumar back even if the sequel wasn't all that great. They're smart by waiting every 3-4 years to release a film or else we'd probably be sick of them. It looks as if they've upped the insanity up to a considerable degree, it'll be fun to see how far they go with it and Harold and Kumar are just two characters with such great chemistry that just watching the two of them riff of each other is worth watching alone. Plus, it's a Christmas movie... in 3D!
p.s. I was too lazy to find the red band trailer, you're gonna have to find it yourself... or maybe I'll look for it tomorrow.
7. J. Edgar
Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover, judging from the trailer, it's Oscar bait to the max. But you know what, I love the chances Leo takes with each of his roles. He's played a wide range of characters, although he never really strays too far from characters who are constantly at war with themselves. Still, the combination of him, Clint Eastwood's efficient directing, and the up-and-comer Armie Hammer should make this interesting to watch. Eastwood, however, hasn't really been knocking them out of the park lately. His last few films have been kinda weak, but you can't help but marvel at his work ethic. It's not a bad world to be in when Clint Eastwood's making a film once a year. Let's just hope he can make a few more classics even at his old age.
6. The Artist
You don't know it now, but this could be the film that will be getting all the awards attention early next year. Trying to revive the silent film genre in 2011 sounds like a tough task and yet, I think it's an ingenious move, especially if the film is really as good as the hype is making it sound.
Lars von Trier, ever the provocateur, actually has a film coming out this year. Kinda overshadowed by his Nazi comments at Cannes, but there was actually a good critical response to this film coming out of Cannes and even though he's hit-and-miss with me, I'm pretty much over what got him in trouble a few months ago. Plus, Kirsten Dunst gets naked, that's pretty cool, right? But no, seriously, this might be worth seeing at the local arthouse theater.
4. A Dangerous Method
The hype for this one has been a bit muted, maybe a bit toned down, but Cronenberg, Viggo, Michael Fassbender... and they're playing Freud and Carl Jung? I can't help but be intrigued. Word on the street is that Keira Knightley's performance has divided some people, so viewer beware.
Martin Scorsese making a family adventure film in 3D. Yes, it is happening and you know what? The reviews coming in for this film has been very encouraging. Apparently this is Scorsese's love letter to both film and childhood and that he has a masterful control over the 3D form. Thank God. But also, should we be surprised or should we be that much more impressed with someone like Scorsese? He's entering his sixth decade of filmmaking (his very first film came out in the '60s) and this is his second film in two years. The man is still going strong and he's still showing people how it's done. Don't let the studio's poor use of pop music in the trailer fool you, this could be a truly great film to watch during the Holiday season.
2. The Descendants
I do this often, but let me tell this to you all again, please go see more dramas in the theaters. I know it's more convenient and easier to wait to DVD, but it really does hurt the process that much more. Mainstream studios don't make dramas anymore and films like The Descendants will wind up coming out less and less if we don't go and see them. Alexander Payne is one of the great filmmakers of the last 15 years and he's made four great comedy/dramas in his career. The Descendants is his first film since 2004, starring George Clooney, and the word is that he hasn't missed a beat since he left the cinema world with the Oscar-nominated Sideways. I'm looking forward to this a lot because I've really grown to respect and admire Payne as a filmmaker since his seven year hiatus and I won't take his effortless filmmaking skills for granted this time around.
1. The Muppets
This is basically me going back to relive old childhood memories right here. Not only that but they've done a great job of marketing this film in really creative and clever ways. Add the fact that Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) are behind the film and there's much intrigue and desire to go see this movie. It does concern me that the great Frank Oz didn't participate in this film mainly due to his disagreement with the script, but I'm willing to take a plunge into the Muppets world if Segel and Stoller do a good enough job with it. How could you not want to see this film? Holy shit, right? The Muppets are back!