|My official motto|
But next year is 2014 (this seems like a painfully obvious statement but I need constant reinforcement in my life). I'm excited about next year, just not pee-your-pants kind of excited. Yes, I pee my pants with excitement sometimes. BECAUSE PEEING YOUR PANTS IS THE COOLEST; and if it's the coolest, you can call me Miles Davis.
Just to break things down a bit - there are about 20 sequels, reboots and franchise movies on this list. Maybe a little bit more or less, depending on what you consider a reboot or remake (take for example, last year's Great Gatsby. Technically it's a new movie, but The Great Gatsby has been made before - I did count it as a remake on my list FYI). That's actually a bit down from last year when half my list was part of a remake or franchise. So hooray for originality this year! Now onto the list!
50. Hercules: The Thracian Wars
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane
Director: Brett Ratner
Writers: Ryan Condal, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Release Date: July 25
There is a trend building in Hollywood where it seems like studios are fighting to get out a similarly themed movie (this year it was White House Down/Olympus Has Fallen, last year it was Snow White). Not that this trend is unwelcome, it actually might provide some healthy, creative competition between the studios as they try and make something that stands out from the rest of the crowd. Hercules has been tapped for two movies this year. The studios must have looked at the failure of Conan a couple years back and said "We can do better!" The first adaptation comes out early next year and stars Kellen Lutz in the title role...and it looks boring. It reminds me of every other 300 wannabe the past couple of years - there's nothing special going on here. However, the Dwayne Johnson Hercules has some promising details. First of all, it's The Rock, and damn if I don't admit he's all kinds of charming and fits the Stanley Tucci rule quite perfectly (no matter how awful the movie, if it has Tucci in it, it's 10 times better). And the movie is based on a comic book series (I guess the kids are calling them graphic novels nowadays) that looks brutal. It's not Disney's Hercules - this is a way darker and more violent take on the legend. The only thing holding this movie back is the director, Brett Ratner, the man who many have claimed burned down the wonderful X-Men franchise with the third entry, X-Men: The Last Stand. I don't think he was solely responsible for that mess, but Ratner isn't exactly on my list of good directors (his last movie, Tower Heist was particularly awful). So I'm hesitant to put this movie higher on my list, but I could be proven wrong come next summer!
49. Jane Got a Gun
Starring: Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Joel Edgerton
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Writers: Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis
Release Date: August 29
Westerns have received little love in the past decade and I can count only a handful of decent titles that have come out. I don't think Jane Got a Gun is going to start any Western revival, but the movie does sound like it's going to be sweet. In fact, the movie landed on the Hollywood Blacklist a couple of years ago, so it's at least a well-written story. Jane is married to a an outlaw and when her husband turns against his own gang, she takes matters into her own hands (and with the help of her ex-lover as well) in exacting revenge. First of all, I hope this is Natalie Portman being a badass in this movie - I think the Western could use a feminine heroine. I really like the cast and director - Gavin O'Connor recently did the wonderful Warrior with Joel Edgerton. And Edgerton is set to play Jane's ex alongside Ewan McGregor as the bad guy. The film almost has an entirely different cast then what was announced. In fact, this has probably been one of the most troublesome pre-productions in history. Not only has the cast of the husband and villain been cast three different times, the original director, Lynne Ramsay (best known for We Need to Talk About Kevin) did not show up on set for the first day. Apparently she quit, but who knows the whole story. What I do know is that you don't just not show up without giving some notice. That is a dick move in my book and Lynne Ramsay is officially on notice from me. Aside from the all the drama, the film is moving forward and I'm looking forward to seeing what Western movie magic the cast and crew can bring to the screen.
48. The Equalizer
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chloë Grace Moretz, Melissa Leo
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writers: Richard Wenk
Release Date: September 26
Antoine Fuqua seems like the right fit for this movie adaptation of the 80s show The Equalizer. And it seems even more appropriate that he's working with Denzel again as the lead actor. If you aren't too familiar with the TV show, the plot is about Robert McCall, a former CIA agent turned vigilante who helps anyone who needs it by putting a classified in the newspaper. This particular movie centers around one case where Robert decides to help a young hooker, which draws heat from the Russian mafia. I'm not a huge fan of crime movies, but I do love me some spy action and this sounds like a good mix between the Bourne movies and any random Jason Statham movie. The plot may not be Shakespeare (in fact, it sounds a lot like Man on Fire or The Transporter, really), but I trust Fuqua and Washington to deliver a really frenetic and relentless action movie.
Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, Jai Courtney
Director: Angelina Jolie
Writers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Richard LaGravanese, William Nicholson
Release Date: December 25
Based on a true story, Unbroken chronicles the life of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini. After the Olympics, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. The plane he was on crashed in the Pacific Ocean and alongside two other survivors from the wreck, tried to stay alive. Once they washed ashore they were immediately captured by the Japanese army and held as prisoners until the end of the war. It's a fascinating tale and the dude is still alive (almost 100 years old!), so you know this guy is tough. Angelina Jolie, while getting some praise for her previous directing (In the Land of Blood and Honey), is directing and she's kind of a wild card. I don't know what to expect from her. But I do know what to expect from a script mainly written by the Coen brothers. They're simply one of the best creative duos in Hollywood and they should deliver a solid story. The main lead is played by Jack O'Connell who is mainly known for his role in the UK series Skins. I'm excited for the movie because I really loved his role in Skins and how he portrayed his character; it was simply brilliant. Obviously this movie is gunning for some Academy Award love and I wouldn't be surprised if we hear about this film come Oscar season.
46. The Interview
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Lizzy Caplan
Directors: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Writers: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, Dan Sterling
Release Date: October 10
The last time Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen teamed up as co-writers and co-directors, they brought us the funniest film of 2013: This is the End. And it seems like this next movie will deliver the funny again. The film is about a hot shot talk show host played by Franco and his producer who get entangled in a plot to kill the prime minister of North Korea. Lizzy Caplan plays the CIA agent who seduces Franco into the plot. I'm guessing Rogen and Goldberg saw Argo and thought "This movie needs to be funnier. Let's just make it ourselves!" I haven't really gotten sick of Rogen's schtick, mainly because he's had a pretty diverse set of movies lately (50/50, The Green Hornet, Guilt Trip) that doesn't necessarily pigeon-hole him into that stoner character from Pineapple Express. And him and Franco teaming up again should make this a good comedy. But the plot sounds a little too goofy and not smart. It's hard to judge a film without at least seeing a trailer or teaser, so this is why it's so low on my list. But coming from these guys, I expect nothing but a huge bowl full of laughs - like laughing so hard fluids start to come out of all your orifices laughing. That may be gross, but ya know, bodies do break down when they get older and I'm getting old.