This part of the list is full of comebacks, remakes and going back to your roots. Hollywood does have an unhealthy obsession with remaking movies, but if they're done right, who cares? For every Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), there's Let Me In. For every Total Recall (2012), there's War of the Worlds (2005). So they're hit and miss - but as long the cast and crew are solid and there's good intentions for the remake - I'm all for it and will always be on board to check them out. There's actually a really great four-part web series by Kirby Ferguson, who goes in depth into our creative culture and how unoriginal it really is (in both good and bad ways!). I highly recommend watching if you have about 10-15 minutes to spare (for each part). Now onto the list!
Starring: Chloe Grace-Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Release Date: March 15
I don't think anyone was asking for this movie to be remade. Brian De Palma's take on Stephen King's novel was ground breaking and is regarded as a classic. But when you have a talented crew around a movie, it doesn't matter if it's new and original or just a cash-in, they tend to be good. Everyone lamented about how Spider-Man was getting a reboot after just 12 years from the original's debut. But that movie turned out awesome - just as good, if not better, in some respects, to Sam Raimi's version. The same thing is happening with this movie - there's a talented director surrounded by a great cast. Kimberly Peirce hasn't done a whole lot since winning tons of awards for her drama Boys Don't Cry, but the few films she's done are really, really good. And Chloe Grace-Moretz has simply been amazing these past few years - from Kick-Ass to Let Me In - she's blown away people twice her age in the acting department. I also think casting Julianne Moore as the crazy nut job mother is perfect - Moore can slip into any character will relative ease and I'm excited to see how she plays this role. Maybe John Travolta will make a cameo appearance as one of the chauffeurs to the dance and end up getting killed again by Carrie! How awesome would that be?
Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Spike Lee
Writer: Mark Protosevich
Release Date: October 11
This was another movie I don't think anyone thought they could remake, myself included. The original Oldboy is a cult classic - it's a sucker punch of a movie - it just punches you in the gut and the story and characters stay with you long, long after the credits have rolled. The original movie tells the story of Dae-su Oh, a man kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years. He's never told why he's been imprisoned and one day gets released and has to find out who and why in the next 5 days or he will die. The remake is pretty much telling the same story, instead you have Josh Brolin playing the lead role along with the better third of the Olsen siblings (Elizabeth), Sharlto Copley (from District 9) and friggin' Samuel L. Jackson (his role is unknown). This is an amazing cast and top it off with Spike Lee, who needs to do more movies like this (Inside Man is one of my favorite heist movies) instead of documentaries. So color me excited - my eye roll at the news of them remaking this movie for American audiences has turned into bug-eyes because this should be a really good movie. I'm a little hesitant about how the tone of the movie will end up. The original film covers some dark (and I mean dark) and heavy shit - it's a tale about revenge and what lengths people will go to. I'm afraid Hollywood might not want to tackle this subject matter in such frank terms, but we'll just have to wait and see how this movie ends up - count me to be first in line to check this out!
Starring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writers: Joseph Kosinski, William Monahan, Karl Gajdusek, Michael Arndt
Release Date: April 19
I'm excited to see the return of Tom Cruise as a bonafide action star. Sure, so far it's just been the latest Mission: Impossible that's brought him back, but he's got a lot of movies lined up that sound like winners. This is one of them: A court martial sends a veteran soldier to a distant planet, where he has to destroy the remains of an alien race. The arrival of an unexpected traveler causes him to question what he knows about the planet, his mission, and himself. The movie is based on the director/writer Joseph Kosinski's own graphic novel and initially was going to be a Disney production. But they wanted a PG rating and Kosinski was not willing to stifle his script for a more family friendly audience. Thank god, because I'm sure this would not have made my list if that had been the case. Kosinski's last film as a director was Tron: Legacy, but we shouldn't hold that movie against him (that movie had more script problems than production problems). The cast looks great - Kurylenko is most famous for her role in the Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, but she's slowly been making some really good independent movies (There Be Dragons, Centurion) so I'm excited to see her in a big movie again. Then you got Melissa Leo and Morgan Freeman making sure to add Oscar credibility to this sci-fi flick. The main reason this movie isn't higher on my list is that there has been very little shown of this movie and I can't grasp the tone or feel for this movie. I'm going into this blind, but it's certainly a movie worth keeping an eye on.
27. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Starring: Clive Owen, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke
Directors: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Writers: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, William Monahan
Release Date: April 1
The original Sin City came out so long ago (2005!) that I can barely remember all the stories. I just remember it being pretty awesome - it was a truly unique and original film that really hasn't been imitated well since the seven years afterward. So it's with great pleasure that Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez finally get this thing out of production hell and into theaters next year. Most of the cast is back - Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson and Michael Madsen (who's has 212 acting credits to his name on IMDb! He does about 10 movies per year which must mean he's got some sort of addiction - gambling? money? acting?). The film is going to be both a prequel and a sequel - stories will intertwine with events from the first movie. That's exciting, if I could remember what happened in the first film. And that's the problem with this movie - it's been a really, really long time for this sequel to appear and I have a bad feeling most audiences won't be as forgiving as I am when it comes to renting/watching the original in order to gear up for this installment. But I'm still excited for this movie, I mean, Sin City was fantastic and I don't expect any drop-off from this sequel. It's essentially more of the same and that's not a bad thing!
26. The Wolf of Wall Street
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey
Director: Martin Scorcese
Writer: Terence Winter
Release Date: ???
Speaking of comebacks, I'm glad Scorcese is back doing his bread and butter - gangster movies. Although this isn't quite a story centered around gangsters, it does involve the mob. During the day, the protagonist chunked out thousands of dollar in a minute only to spend it all on vices such as drugs, sex and a globe trotting spree. The Wolf of Wall Street is the story of an ill-fated genius that’s nicknamed “The Wolf of Wall Street”; and his eccentric ways who managed to sink a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, as well as running up a hefty $700,000 hotel bill, while he left his wife and kid at home. The Wolf of Wallstreet is the story of a sleek-talking, hotshot stock broker who referred to himself as a king and carry out his bidding (Read more http://www.ecnforex.co.uk/book-review-the-wolf-of-wallstreet/). Wow - this is a summary of the book and if Scorcese can at least capture the craziness of this true story - I can only imagine this is going to be a really fun movie. Much like Goodfellas and The Departed, Scorcese knows how to distill drama, comedy and action into a well-blended piece of art. This movie feels like it's going to be a lot like Goodfellas - following one man's rise and fall in a very exclusive group of elite men. I love the cast - DiCaprio and Scorcese team up again for the fifth time and there's a great supporting cast that includes Jonah Hill (who is building a strong dramatic resume - he deserved his Oscar nomination for Moneyball), Matthew McConaughey (who is born for these roles), Kyle Chandler (he deserves more movie roles. Texas forever) and a host of eclectic actors (Rob Reiner, Jean Dujardin, Jon Favreau, Spike Jonze!). But where's all the women in this movie? There's only a few women whose characters have actual names in the credits and this is kind of a disturbing trend in Scorcese's movies. But at the same time, most of the subject matter is male-dominated business and crime. So take all that with a grain of salt. Either way, I'm going to be catching this opening weekend (whenever that happens! How have they not locked down a release date?!?).