There's going to be some gargantuan movies next year and I certainly am excited for all of them. If 2012 is going to be the end of the world, at least there's going to be some good movies to watch. The beginning of the list sees some comedies that may just transcend from good to great - they have potential with all the talent behind them, but they could all just be duds, too. And remember, all these release dates are tentative, studios are fickle and are prone to changing their minds at the last second, so take these dates with a grain of salt. Let the countdown begin!
Starring: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Steve Zahn
Director: David Bowers
Release Date: August 3
You may be asking yourself - how can you get excited about a family movie about a middle school kid? One word: Rowley. I've recently discovered the Diary movies and their genius - a surprisingly funny take on growing up. But Rowley - the main character's best friend - is the best part of these movies. They hired the perfect actor - he has such a dumb/sweet smile on his face the whole time and it makes me giggle. I wouldn't say the Diary movies are essential viewing for a kid growing up, but they're pretty darn hilarious. The new one combines the third and fourth books that covers his disastrous summer break, but more importantly there's going to be more screen time with Rowley - which was sorely lacking in the second installment.
Starring: Jason Segal, Ed Helms, Judy Greer, Susan Sarandon
Director: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Release Date: March 2
Pretty much anything Jason Segal is involved with I will get excited about. He's on fire, with the recently released Muppets movie getting rave reviews and making a splash at the box office, and it seems he's poised to have a solid year (again). The story centers around Jeff, a stoner who lives with his mom who gets a wrong call and is sent on a mission to look for a "Kevin." Along for the ride is his brother, played by Ed Helms. The events that unfold will forever change their family dynamic. This is all brought together by the Duplass brothers, who made the wonderfully quirky Cyrus movie last year. It's been getting some solid reviews and it sounds like another indie comedy that will have some really funny moments along with more sincere poignant ones as well.
Starring: Adam Sandler, Adam Samberg, Leighton Meester
Director: Sean Anders, John Morris
Release Date: June 15
I haven't been a fan of Adam Sandler movies in a long time. Jack and Jill looks like a train wreck and Grown Ups was so boring. But sometimes he'll surprise me - Funny People was a smart, fun comedy (it didn't hurt that it was coming from Judd Apatow). So here's Sandler working with what I consider the funniest comedy directors in Hollywood now. The guys who wrote and directed Hot Tub Time Machine, She's Out of My League and Sex Drive are looking to have their first breakout hit. Plus Ken Marino and David Wain (of MTV's The State and greatest comedy of all time Wet Hot American Summer fame) were called in to do a rewrite of the script. Originally titled I Hate You, Dad, Adam Sandler plays a father who moves in with his son right before his wedding and soon begins sparring with his daughter-in-law. Sounds a lot like Hot Rod, only a lot funnier. This should be higher on my list, but this one is a huge question mark. It could live and die by its marketing campaign and if the trailer seems funny enough, I'll definitely go and see this.
|My photoshop skills are pretty awful. So you're stuck with this crappy graphic.|
Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Release Date: July 27
Speaking of Hot Rod, the director from that movie is trying to have his breakout hit. He's already garnered a ton of good will with comedy fans for being one of the singers in The Lonely Island and pretty much helping Saturday Night Live survive with Digital Shorts (Dick in a Box, Lazy Sunday, etc.). I think I'm a bit tired of Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn - they seem to have dug themselves a hole as to the roles they're willing to play. Stiller hasn't done anything worthwhile in the past five years besides Tropic Thunder and Double V (as I affectionately call him) is in the same boat - Wedding Crashers was the last great comedy he's done. But Jonah Hill is, pardon the pun, one to watch. He's right next to Jason Segal in my book - I'll pretty much watch anything he's in. So you can understand why this isn't higher on my list. The plot sounds just ho-hum: Suburban dads form a neighborhood watch group to get time away from their families, only to discover an alien plot to destroy Earth. It has a lot of potential, but it all depends on the cast and the director, in my opinion. As long as Stiller and Double V don't ham it up every time they're on screen, I think this could be really good!
Starring: George Clooney, Sandra Bullock
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Release Date: October 19
Cuarón is the architect behind the massively under appreciated Children of Men a film that's one of my favorite sci-fi flicks. So to say this is going to be awesome might be an understatement. He wrote this movie with his son and it's about a group of astronauts whose space station gets hit by satellite debris and the two lone survivors are forced to survive to get back to Earth. It's taken forever to get this film off the ground, but it's in production right now and I cannot wait. I really don't like Sandra Bullock all that much, but she's not going to stop me from seeing this movie. The reason this movie didn't land any higher on my list is that I don't know if this is going to be a straight-up survival story or if there is really going to be some sci-fi mixed into it. If it's more of a tale of rugged survival, it might just end of being 127 Hours in Space, and I will pass. But if there's more to the story, oohhhh boy, that would be awesome! I'll have to wait and see the trailer for this to really pass judgement. But I cannot wait until then!
List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runner-Ups: 10-6 | 5-1