List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runners-Up: 10-6 | 5-1 |
We've finally arrived at the top five movies. I'm so very stoked for these movies, it's hard to explain how I feel. There's just so much potential for these films and they all have incredible talent both in front of and behind the camera. 3 of the 5 movies on this page are original scripts. Not based on a book or anything else - these are strictly Hollywood blockbusters in the making. It's pretty awesome that when a lot of sequels and reboots keep getting the green light and grab all the attention, there's still a hefty amount of awesome original stuff coming out. With that in mind let's start off the top 5 with one of the hardest working and most creative man working in Hollywood: Guillermo del Toro.
Starring: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Travis Beacham
Release Date: July 12
I really wish del Toro would direct more movies. His last effort, Hellboy II: The Golden Army was a complete visual masterpiece and a really fun and quirky superhero movie. He's finally got a movie - and it's a big one, quite literally. The official synopsis: When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, start rising from the sea, a war begins that takes millions of lives and consumes humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon is devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers prove nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes - a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) - who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse. I want to emphasize that this won't be some "found footage" film like Cloverfield even though this teaser video seems to imply that situation. del Toro wants to create a "beautiful poem to giant monsters" and you can't do that if the camera is shaky and out of focus. Who doesn't love giant robots and monsters? I think we're in a cultural shift - giant robots are in (Transformers, Real Steel, Robopocalypse) where vampires are on the way out. And who better to envisage a large scale war between these behemoths than del Toro? This is going to be epic in every sense of the word and I cannot wait to see flick. You also have a great cast - Idris Elba is on the verge of A-list stardom (he's even been mentioned as being the first black James Bond when Daniel Craig's contract expires!) and he deserves it - the dude is an amazing actor. Plus you have Charlie Hunnam (I best remember him as Lloyd from Undeclared, but most know him as Jax from Sons of Anarchy) and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Brothers Bloom), Ron Perlman and Charlie Day - all great actors who will bring their A-game to this movie. The writer, Travis Beacham, has written only a couple of movies - Clash of the Titans is one of them - but del Toro was able to guide the development of the script, so no worries there. This is also one of the few movies I'll check out in IMAX 3D - I think giant robots and monsters were meant to be seen this way and I cannot wait to have my jaw drop for this megaton monster movie.
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch
Director: J. J. Abrams
Writers: Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Release Date: May 17
2009 seems like a long, long time ago for me. But back then, people were pretty skeptical of J. J. Abrams' ambitious re-boot of a long dormant franchise that had seen its stock fall in the past decade. But surprise! Star Trek was an excellent re-imagining of the series and brought a little rock and roll and fun to this mostly serious franchise. It's pretty crazy to think it's going to be four full years for the sequel to hit - there's been a lot of pent-up demand for Abrams to deliver a second outing and so far, this film looks like it's going to deliver the same amount of kick-assery that the first one did. Details are pretty scant on where the next film will go, but here's the official plot: After being called back home, the crew of the Enterprise find a seemingly unstoppable force which has attacked Starfleet and left the planet in chaos. Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are tasked with leading the deadly manhunt to capture the party responsible and settle an old score. Rumors are flying around that Cumberbatch is indeed playing Khan and Klingons will be involved - but nothing's been confirmed. His official character name is John Harrison, but there's not a character named that in the Star Trek canon. So who knows? I just know Cumberbatch is a really good young actor and I think he's going to be better than Eric Bana (even though Bana played the shit out of his role in the first movie!). The rest of the cast is intact and so are the writers from the first movie - they've been comparing the tone and structure of the move to The Dark Knight - which is pretty good comparisons to make. Now it just has to deliver on that promise - which I think it will.
3. The World's End
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman
Director: Edgar Wright
Writers: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright
Release Date: October 25
Edgar Wright has had a pretty awesome career so far: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World are all awesome movies. Hot Fuzz, I believe, is one of the most insanely genius and incredibly funny movies I have ever seen. And that was part two of the Pegg's and Wright's Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy and now his next directorial effort is the finale - The World's End. In each of the films - a character is seen eating a different flavor of Cornetto - red for Shaun of the Dead, blue for Hot Fuzz and Green for this final chapter. The plot is thus: Five childhood friends reunite after twenty years to repeat a legendary pub crawl from their youth, returning to their hometown once again to attempt to reach the fabled pub "The World’s End." Over the course of the night, they begin to realise that the real struggle is "not just theirs but humankind's," and completing the crawl becomes the least of their worries. The first movie tackled the zombie genre (and romantic comedy too!) while the second was a near-perfect satire of buddy-cop movies. I gather this is going to be mix of science fiction and end of the world (duh) genres. I cannot explain how excited this movie makes me - I think Pegg and Wright are on a whole other level, comedy-wise, than most of their contemporary counterparts. And if you haven't seen Hot Fuzz, I advise you to stop reading this right now and find the movie, watch it several times and get back to me. I expect nothing but perfection again from this movie and there's no doubt in my mind they won't deliver.
Starring: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Writer: Neill Blomkamp
Release Date: August 9
Blomkamp exploded out of nowhere with his directorial debut, District 9. It was an awesome science fiction film that was clever and exciting all at the same time. Well, Blomkamp is back with his sophormore effort and the stakes are pretty high - he's got all all-star cast this time and everyone's paying attention to him now. Which is great - I'm so thrilled that science fiction has a made a comeback the past couple of years - it would have been unheard of ten years ago to think this genre would produce guaranteed money for studios, but here we are and Blomkamp is part of the revolution. Here's the plot info: In the year 2159, two classes of people exist. The first are the very wealthy who live on Elysium, a pristine man-made space station looking like a stanford torus built by the Armadyne Corporation. The rest live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard-nosed government ofﬁcial, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That does not stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky ex-con Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds. That right there sounds awesome - I think Damon, playing a badass (seriously, he looks good holding a gun), was perfect casting for this role. I think Blomkamp knows how to create a frenetic pace and this movie sounds like it's going to be a nonstop thrill ride from the start to finish. I love watching original movies and the fact that a lot of the movie is shrouded in mystery is what gets me excited. There's been very little revealed about the movie, aside from the plot and that only leads to awesome surprises during the movie. I don't think Blomkamp is going to swing and miss on his second movie - this seems destined to be awesome and epic.
1. Kick-Ass 2
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace-Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Jeff Wadlow
Release Date: June 28
If it wasn't for Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan in 2010, Kick-Ass would have been my number one movie that year. The original Kick-Ass was something I was looking forward to, but I didn't think it would perfectly blend comedy and action into something quite as awesome as chaingun-wielding jetpacks! Aside from the cast returning, the movie has a whole new director and writer. That doesn't bother me too much - Matthew Vaughn, the original's director is co-producing and so is Mark Millar, the creator of the comic book. They both have a significant hand in the process and I don't think they'd put the film in incapable hands. That being said - what makes this film stand out is the cast of characters they're introducing this time around: there's at least six or seven new superheros and the film is going to expand upon the original's premise. The sequel's plot will follow Kick-Ass as he joins a group of like-minded citizens who have transformed themselves into costumed heroes. Red Mist is plotting his revenge against Kick-Ass and there's supposed to be an epic battle at the end. Mark Millar has been on record saying that all the shock value and gruesome stuff he had in the comic book sequel will be in the movie - there's a gang rape scene of which I have mixed feelings about if it shows up in the movie. As long as it's not shoved into the movie for a reaction, but rather an integral part of a character's story, than I'm for it. But I'm reserving some judgement on this and I trust the filmmakers to understand there is a very bold line on this particular issue. That being said, I think the level of violence and wackiness this film will generate will be quite intoxicating - the first one turned the idea of being a superhero into something less idealistic and romantic into more narcissistic and tragic. I think the sequel could potentially continue this line and it would be a better movie for it. The film also has a great supporting cast that includes Jim Carrey, who was practically born to play a demented character in this universe. All in all, this is going to be an exciting sequel if they can pull out all the stops. I have high confidence that Vaughn has picked the right director for the job, with what little experience he's had and that this will be a worthy successor to the original.
List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runners-Up: 10-6 | 5-1 |