War seems to be the theme at this point on the list. I'm not really a huge action fan - don't get me wrong, I love me some gun-shootin' and hand-to-hand combat as much as any other self-respecting bro, but sometimes they're just so dumb. I can't get behind anything Jason Statham does now. He's pretty much pigeonholed himself into replacing Steven Segal. And he's a good actor - he would be awesome in a romantic comedy or a drama (The Bank Job was a great example of this). But Killer Elite? Blitz? There's mainly no soul to all these movies except for the next explosion or choreographed fight. Which is fine, it just doesn't float my boat. Despite my disposition to this genre, there looks to be some interesting movies next year that might just keep my boat floatin'.
Starring: Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker
Director: Peter Berg
Release Date: May 18
Hasbro has got to be raking in the dough nowadays. After the successful launch of the Transformers movie franchise, they're looking to expand their empire. When Battleship was announced, everyone laughed it off, but seriously, it wouldn't surprise me if this movie makes $150 million. First of all - you have a familiar face with Liam Neeson (dude will star in anything, I swear! He's in four movies this year!) and secondly you have an easy-to-swallow story - alien ships engage the American Navy! Hopefully someone will say the catchphrase "You sunk my battleship!" and wink at the camera. I won't say this movie is going to be great, but it looks so fun and campy. And I love campy - at least in the case where the movie knows it's being campy (like Captain America or Spider-Man 3). Plus Tim Riggins cuts his hair! I'd never think I'd see the day that would happen (he does have a lovely set of locks). And I like the director - he's directed The Kingdom, which I think was a highly underrated movie; one of the most entertaining films set in the Iraq War. He's also done Hancock (a solid movie, if a bit flawed) and Friday Night Lights - so it's not like this is some first time director taking the helm. I love how at the end of the trailer you see a dome surround the ships and it looks like a Battleship (R) board. I can only hope they make a video game version of the movie version of the board game. Full circle, people, full circle.
Starring: Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
Director: Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh
Release Date: February 17
This is going to be an interesting movie. It's pretty much taking the Call of Duty franchise and turning it into a live action movie (seriously, the title of this movie couldn't come closer to that video game franchise without getting the pants sued off of them). And much like Call of Duty, the story is at best going to be incoherent and at worst, non-existent. And there's no real actors (and no real directors, either! They're just stuntmen!), just real live Navy SEALS. Which is pretty bad ass, but part of me thinks the producers are being manipulative - we're supposed to feel for these "characters" because this is real (but not really). But at the same time - some of the footage in this trailer seems completely balls to the wall awesome. But you know what? This might be better suited for those awful Army/Marine commercials they were playing in theaters a few years back with that awful 3 Doors Down song "Citizen Soldier." Who gave permission for that band to represent America? They're almost a step down from Nickelback. If Nickelback or 3 Doors Down isn't on the soundtrack, there will be consequences!
33. Wrath of the Titans
Starring: Liam Neeson, Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Release Date: March 30
Liam Neeson strikes again! Reprising his role as Zeus, he finds himself taken prisoner by his other, traitorous son Ares and his old nemesis and brother Hades who are trying to bring the old gods, the Titans, back to power. It's up to Perseus to save the day once again and rescue his dad as he confronts his fate. The first movie was fun and full of some great action set pieces. One can expect only more of the same, which isn't bad - it's not like there's a ton of movies about the ancient gods and demigods being produced. And much like the first one, the story takes a back seat to some great action. And you got the director from Battle: Los Angeles doing this movie - which I thought was one of the better action flicks last year. So count me in come March - which is lining up to be a great month for action fans.
Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Release Date: January 20
Steven Soderbergh is a mystery, an enigma nestled in a box of conundrums. He offers up crowd pleasers like Ocean's Eleven while making sure the critics and indie film lovers are satisfied with movies like The Girlfriend Experience and Che. Then he goes and proclaims he's retiring from filmmaking, but only after he finishes about half a dozen movies first. Dude can't make up his mind and I highly doubt he's totally leaving Hollywood. He'll come crawling back as soon as he realizes he misses his lobster dinner and $50 caviar when he's sitting on a milk crate eating ramen noodles because his last piece of art sold for $5 to a homeless man who needed it to complete the roof of his back-alley house. But before that all happens, he's got an intriguing movie coming out next year. Haywire's main lead was an MMA fighter and played as Crush on the American Gladiators reboot. Apparently she's pulling a Dwayne Johnson, so I'm guessing her next role is some family-friendly affair. The movie looks like a straight up action flick - kind of like Shooter from a few years back, which I enjoyed. This looks to mine similar territory, so I'm up for it! Soderbergh, despite his ADD attitude towards filmmaking, is a great director and I'm excited to see what he'll deliver.
Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Sean William Scott
Director: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Release Date: April 6
Despite having a successful franchise on their resume, most of the cast of the original American Pie movie have never really found much success. Except for Alyson Hannigan with the TV show How I Met Your Mother, every other actor has faltered in other movies and TV shows. So it's no surprise that the whole cast is back to tackle the subject of parenthood and reaching your thirties. It's pretty amazing that the owners of the American Pie franchise have found success outside of the main "trilogy" with four straight to DVD affairs, all starring Eugene Levy (who must be seriously hurting for cash). But now everyone's back and while the first trailer hasn't blown me away, I'm sure it's going to be way better than the crappy (quite literally) American Wedding and those four straight to DVD movies. The guys who wrote all three Harold & Kumar movies are behind this one, so you know it's going to be raunchy and disgusting. This American Pie movie isn't a teen comedy anymore, but don't expect it to have grown up and matured.
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