So it’s been a couple of months since we ended the Weekend Warrior as a weekly column and kicked it off a somewhat more erratic blog, but one of the things I liked doing every year was looking at the upcoming year’s releases and figuring out which ones I’m looking forward to the most. Admittedly, a lot of what excites me about movies comes down to them living up to expectations and that’s partially why some movies end up in my Top 25 and others don’t, because the ones I have low or little expectations for end up surprising me, while those I’m really looking forward to tend to disappoint.
With that in mind, here are 15 movies that I can’t wait to see and a couple others that I also hope will deliver:
1. Prometheus (20th Century Fox – June 8) – With the most recent trailer, I’ve become more pumped for the new movie from Ridley Scott than I have for any other movies this year. I loved Alien with a passion–it’s probably in my Top 10 movies of all time–and I’ve generally either liked or loved everything he’s done in the last few years. I may be an admitted Ridley Scott apologist but to think he’s returning to familiar territory and doing so with such a great cast (Noomi Rapace! Michael Fassbender! Charlize!) makes me more excited about this movie than anything else this year.
2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (New Line/WB – Dec. 14) – Peter Jackson’s original “Lord of the Rings” trilogy remains among my top movies of all time–above the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” movies mind you–and I’m super-excited for his return to Tolkien with two more movies featuring some of the characters. Sure, the new teaser doesn’t have any of the creatures or ferocious battles, but believe me, sometime in the future, once they’ve gotten some of the CG done, we’ll start seeing how epic the movie’s going to be and that’s when everyone else’s excitement will match mine.
3. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony – July 3) – It kind of surprised me that of all the big superhero movies coming out next year, this is the one I’m anticipating most, but that’s because I’ve been the biggest Spider-Man fan since I was a kid. It’s one of the few comics that I buy and read every single month without fail and regardless of who is writing and drawing it and frankly, I was never a HUGE fan of the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire movies. I’m excited to see what Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer) does and how the new cast works out, but just the thought of another Spider-Man movie after five years makes me very happy.
4. Marvel’s The Avengers (Marvel/Disney – May 4) – Considering how much I loved the “Iron Man” movies and Thor and how Marvel Studios can do no wrong in my book, I’m excited to finally see one of my favorite comic superteams brought together, and I hope it delivers the type of mega-epic action we’ve come to expect from the comics. From what we saw while visiting the set earlier this year, we’re really excited and we hope the movie gives Joss Whedon the chance to do even bigger movies of his own creation down the road.
5. Skyfall (MGM/Sony – Nov. 9) – Major James Bond fan. Big time Sam Mendes fan. (The Road to Perdition is one of my favorite comic book movies of all time.) The idea of the two things brought together and what Mendes can bring to the table in terms of the drama makes me very excited for 007′s return in far too long. This is probably going to be the year’s sleeper since everyone’s going to be so focused on the summer and before you know it, September will come around and those looking for action will realize this is only two months away.
6. The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.- July 20) – Looking forward to this movie has become such a cliché–and anyone who reads my reviews knows how much I hate clichés–so I’ve allowed my excitement for Nolan’s follow-up to The Dark Knight and Inception to settle down slightly so I won’t be setting myself up for disappointment. I like what I’ve seen so far and I’m sure it’s going to be great, but we need to moderate and temper our excitement as to not go completely nuts waiting seven and a half more months to know for sure.
7. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate – March 23) – I love Suzanne Collins’ novels and I can’t wait to see them brought to the big screen because they’re written in such a cinematic way that if they can get half of what I love about the books into the movies, these movies will be terrific. Fingers (and other appendages) crossed that Gary Ross’ first movie delivers and we get to see the entire epic.
8. The Bourne Legacy (Universal – Aug. 3) – While I was a bit lukewarm on the earlier Bourne movies and I’m not 100% sure starting over without Matt Damon was the best idea, Jeremy Renner’s a great actor (he really delivered in Mission: Impossible) and I’m a big fan of Tony Gilroy’s previous two films (Michael Clayton, Duplicity) so I’m convinced this reboot should be just as intelligent a spy-thriller as the previous two by Paul Greengrass.
9. Looper (Sony/TriStar – Sept. 28) – Probably the closest we come to an indie on this list is the new movie from Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom), which takes him further into genre territory with a sci-fi crime thriller starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. We’re going to be waiting a long time for this one but it’s gonna make September a lot easier to get through knowing we’ll finally get to see the movie that we first heard about almost five years ago.
10. This is Forty (Universal – Dec.21) – Judd Apatow’s Funny People was a bit disappointing since it was essentially two movies in one, but with his latest, a spin-off from Knocked Up, he seems more focused again and dealing with something that this writer’s probably going to relate to even more than The 40-Year-Old Virgin (one of our favorite comedies of all time) and definitely more than Knocked Up. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann are reprising their characters from the latter and we hope he invites her to see The Amazing Spider-Man this time around!
11. Django Unchained (The Weinstein Company – Dec. 25) – It’s Quentin Tarantino doing a Western. Need we say anymore? Probably not.
12. The Gangster Squad (Warner Bros.- Oct. 19) – I’ve been a fan of director Ruben Fleischer since his first movie Zombieland, and I also kind of dug 30 Minutes or Less, so I’m excited to see what he can do with a period crime-drama that harks back to Michael Mann’s Public Enemies and an era of gangsters I’ve been obsessed with since I was a kid. (While we’re thinking about it, when is Brian Bendis and Marc Andreyko’s Torso gonna be made into a movie?)
13. 47 Ronin (Universal – Nov. 21) – I’m not so much looking forward to this to see what Ridley Scott’s son-in-law Carl Rinsch can do in his first feature film outing but because I absolutely love love LOVE samurai movies and any movie that makes an effort to revive them is okay by me. Rinsch has a great Japanese cast including Rinko Kikuchi (swoon) and we’re even kind of excited to see the former Neo Keanu Reeves back in battle mode. We visited the set earlier this year and can’t wait to tell you about it.
14. Rock of Ages (New Line/Warner Bros. – June1) – Another one where I visited the set, but this Broadway musical holds a special place in my heart ’cause I saw it with my good friend (and former CS contributor) Heather Newgen. I liked it a lot more than she did. Yeah, I wasn’t that big a fan of Adam Shankman’s Hairspray, but this one feels more my speed.
15. Total Recall (Sony – Aug. 3) – I’m hopefully optimistic that Len Wiseman’s take on the Philip K. Dick story previously adapted in a classic ’80s sci-fi film that teamed director Paul Verhoeven with Arnold Schwarzenegger. First of all, it’s got a much better cast including Colin Farrell, Bryan Cranston, and the super-hot duo of Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel. Oh, and this is another one where I visited set. (Notice a pattern?)
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Sony – Feb. 17) – We’re holding out hope for what Neveldine/Taylor bring to their first comic book movie (we’ll pretend Jonah Hex never happened and they weren’t involved).
Dark Shadows (Warner Bros. – May 11) – I wasn’t that big a fan of the old television show, but I’m always interested to see what the 21st Century Adams Family of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter do in their movies. Hopefully we’ll see a trailer soon.
Wrath of the Titans (Warner Bros. – March 30) – I kind of liked the remake of “Clash of the Titans” (bad converted 3D aside) and I can’t wait to see Sam Worthington return as Perseus and Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes back as the Gods, plus lots of the great mythical creatures I’ve loved since childhood. Maybe this can wash the taste of Immortals out of my mouth.
American Reunion (Universal – April 6) – Not a huge “American Pie” fan but have high hopes that the reunion will bring back some of the magic of the first movie, and just the thought of seeing Alyson Hannigan and Jason Biggs back together on screen, plus some of the other characters who’ve been absent since the first movie makes us excited that they’ll up the game on the R-rated comedy. (Incidentally, this will be the subject of our next “Long Distance Box Office.”)
The Raven (Relativity Media – March 9) – I really liked James McTeigue’s V for Vendetta and I think he’s a smart director with a lot of cool ideas who has been slightly overshadowed by his connection to the Wachowskis. Here, he tackles Edgar Allen Poe along with John Cusack.
Argo (Warner Bros. – Sept. 14) – Ben Affleck’s third movie as a director has a terrific premise and a great cast that could make it a fun follow-up to The Town and Gone Baby Gone. Another September movie that should keep us sated between summer and the holidays.
And that’s it for the lists, for now. Feel free to post your own anticipated list below.
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