|Pretty much sums up my feelings.|
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine
Director: Louis Leterrier
Release Date: June 7
One can't help but think this is going to be the douchiest of movies on the list. I mean, this movie just screams DOUCHEBAG! But I can't help myself. I love mystery movies, especially ones that involve magicians and their tricks (Illusionists, I mean. Tricks are something whores do for money). This seems to be a cross between The Prestige and Inside Man. I am honestly thrilled to see how they pull this off. I'm hoping for an AHA! moment rather than a REALLY? moment followed by me throwing the rest of my pretzel bites at the screen. It's also nice to know that Michael Caine will be lending his illusionist handy man services once again (dude knows how to play the servant class well). Morgan Freeman does his best Morgan Freeman impersonation and narration. The rest of the cast is a hodgepodge of respectable actors - Hulk himself (Mark Ruffalo), Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, little Davey Franco!, Melanie Laurent (from Inglourious Basterds) and Common. The film is directed by Louis Leterrier, whose done a really good movie (Incredible Hulk), some okay movies (Clash of the Titans, Transporter) and the abysmal Unleashed. I really don't know what to expect - but the trailer does make this movie out to be pretty fun. My secret wish is that Jesse Eisenberg and his crew are really just a bunch of teenage aliens from Mars and are playing practical jokes on Earthlings to pass the time.
Starring: Lena Headey, Lily Collins, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Director: Harald Zwart
Release Date: August 23
It's hard to shake the effect of Twilight and Harry Potter. It seems like every year there's at least two or three young adult novels that claim to be your new favorite series. Some of these have gotten made into movies that have mostly sucked (I Am Number Four, The Golden Compass, Percy Jackson and the Olympians). But there's an occasional breakthrough (The Hunger Games) that, in fact, turn out to be really good. So with the blessing of Phil Collins daughter, we are supposed to believe she's the key to saving the world or something like that. The setting looks interesting enough - I definitely feel this Hellboy-vibe from the trailer. The movie will be good if it is as creative with the monsters/demons as del Torro was with that franchise. The movie does seem to be more focused on action and drama rather than romance, which is a good thing. But never underestimate the 13 year-old girl demographic - I wouldn't be surprised if we see some love-triangle centered trailer soon. There's some really creepy shots of demons (that police demon dude will give me nightmares) in the trailer and I hope the movie goes for a darker, edgier tone. The cast seems okay - I'm not particularly thrilled by anybody in the movie and the director hasn't really done anything good - unless you like Frankie Muniz's Agent Cody Banks or the Will Smith exploiting-his-son remake The Karate Kid as must-see classics. The big red warning flag is the release date - the end of August is a dumping ground for movies that the studio doesn't know how to market or handle. We'll have to wait and see if the movie can hold its own against the big name franchises next year.
Starring: Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg
Director: Allen Hughes
Release Date: January 18
This movie reminds me a lot like the excellent political thriller State of Play. And much like that movie, Russell Crowe has the lead role, although this time he's the bad guy and doesn't have flowing locks of hair (unless this trailer is a misdirect, in which case, kudos, trailer-makers - ya got me!). Of course Mark Wahlberg is a cop (I think he's contractually obligated by Hollywood to play a cop at least once every year) who gets in over his head when he decides to become Crowe's lackey. This looks like a good thriller and top it off with Jeffrey Wright (that one guy who's in everything!) and this is going to be a solid movie. Allen Hughes (of the Hughes Brothers fame - the guys behind Menace II Society and Book of Eli) directs by himself for the first time and I'm excited to see how this turns out. I bet we get at least one "Say hello to your mother for me" line from Mark Wahlberg and him walking around with a gun, shaking his head "I just don't know!" That's Oscar gold, folks.
Starring: Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis
Director: Jon M. Chu
Release Date: March 29
One of the many, many movies that was on my list last year, the unsolicited sequel to a very terrible movie, G.I. Joe: Retaliation seeks to ride the Channing Tatum bandwagon to glorious box office gold. What's wonderful about this movie is that they're killing off 90% of the characters from the first movie, except for aforementioned man-hunk Tatum. The studio will deny this, but they re-shot a lot of the film to make sure people got more Tatum, because they kill his character off right in the beginning! This was before Tatum was wooing Rachel McAdams and audiences to the tune of almost $400 million dollars in box office money. But aside from all this high school drama - the sequel is shaping up to be a pretty good movie. Adding The Rock into the mix is always a good thing (worked for The Mummy and The Fast and Furious - it should work here!) and who can't dig ninjas fighting on a cliff while an avalanche threatens to devour those who aren't quick enough? And frickin' Bruce Willis is in this and his name is Joe! So vis a vis he's the original G. I. Joe. I can only hope they decide to pull an X-Men: First Class and do a prequel on Bruce Willis' Joe character and they use the technology/make-up from Looper to get Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play a young Bruce Willis again! Plus JGL was in the original G.I. Joe so I can only hope for some awesome plot twists. Circle of life, people, circle of life. Yes - I just psyched myself up for a movie that will never happen, but I am kind of a big deal in the G. I. Joe fanfic community - so yeah. The only thing holding this movie back is that Jon Chu is directing. He did Justin Bieber's documentary and all those Step Up movies so it's not like we're talking about action-packed, tanks running over skulls, flamethrowers burning ninjas action here. I just know it's going to be very well choreographed and that's all you can really ask for in this situation.
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor
Director: Bryan Singer
Release Date: March 1
Yet another movie that was originally slated for 2012, Bryan Singer's re-imagining of the classic fairy tale finally sees the light of day next March. Next to superhero movies, it seems like fairy tales are all the rage nowadays. There's been quite a lot of these films and they're going to continue to flood theaters for the next few years (Maleficent is the one I'm really excited about, but that's not until 2014!). This movie looks appropriately enthralling. I mean, you have a solid cast - Nicholas Hoult who shows up three times in this list! - is quickly becoming one of my favorite new actors to look out for and Stanley Tucci, by rule, always makes a film 25% better. I just don't know about this Bryan Singer guy. Sure The Usual Suspects was a good film and the first two X-Men movies were really good. But the dude has never really wowed me like Christopher Nolan or David Fincher. I think he's a good director, but I'm still not convinced he's one of the top directors working in Hollywood right now. I hope this movie proves me wrong and we get to see some sweet, sweet giant slaying action along with some wonderful improvised quips from Stanley Tucci along the lines of "The bigger they are, the harder they get slayed" or something to that effect.