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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Anticipation Meter: 22 Movies (...and then some more)

By Rob

There's always a bunch of movies I'm looking forward to seeing... So I thought I'd make a list featuring those movies. All of them are in various stages of development, and I've ranked them based on my current level of anticipation and will adjust it when that changes.

As of August 14, 2008:

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (to be released: December 19, 2008)
Easily one of the top 10 best trailers I've ever seen. This movie seems as promising as they come.

2. Lincoln (to be released: sometime in 2010; filming to begin: early 2009)
Liam Neeson is one of my favorite actors. And to me, Abraham Lincoln seems to fight Howard Hughes for the title of 'most interestingly complex man of prominence in American history.' Steven Spielberg is a tremendous director. I thought that the most recent Indiana Jones was a C+ movie. But SS is still having a solid decade. He had that streak where Artificial Intelligence: AI (a solid B movie) came out in 2001, and had both Catch Me If You Can (A-/A) and Minority Report (A/A+; one of my top Spielberg movies and likely in my top 10 for the 2000s thus far) in 2002. I don't even have too many bad things to say about The Terminal or Munich. I think he's putting out movies that are just as ambitious those he had in the 90's. The bottom line is that the only thing about Lincoln that upsets me is that the film's production continues to be pushed back for Spielberg's less interesting projects. (namely Tintin)
3. Quantum of Solace (to be released: November 7, 2008)
It's nearing release is partly what gets QoS this high as it is. However, it'd still be in my top 5 if it were March. I really, really enjoyed Casino Royale and I expect more of the same.

4. The Road (to be released November 26, 2008)
5. Up (to be released May 29, 2008)
It's Pixar... What more must I say? Check out the teaser trailer.

6. Sin City 2 (to be released: sometime in 2009) & Sin City 3 (to be released: sometime in 2010)
7. Inglorious Bastards (to be released: sometime in 2009)
8. Shutter Island (to be released: October 2, 2009)
9. The World's End (to be released: sometime in 2010)
I don't really know what the movie is going to be about, although the title is probably self-explanatory. All I know is Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are starring, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg are writing the screenplay, and Edgar Wright is going to be directing it. And that's more than good enough for me.
10. Australia (to be released: November 14, 2008)
What a trailer! The movie will be Baz Luhrmann's fourth. He takes awhile between films (four years between Strictly Ballroom and Romeo + Juliet; five years between Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!; and seven years between Moulin Rouge! and Australia) so I hope this one is worth the wait.

Sidenote: Hugh Jackman's character is named "The Drover." Sounds pretty badass to me.

11. Blood Meridian (to be released: sometime in 2009)
Another Cormac McCarthy novel is coming to the big screen. Any complaints?... No? I thought so. I like the resumes of the guys behind this adaptation a little more than I do the resumes of those behind The Road. For this round of Cormac, Ridley Scott is directing and William Monahan (who penned The Departed) has written the screenplay.
12. Funny People (to be released: July 13, 2009)
Judd Apatow goes back to the director's chair for only his third film from that spot. His best movies (Knocked Up; The 40-Year-Old Virgin) have come as a writer/director, so you can expect Funny People to move up this chart as production gets underway.
13. Tripoli (to be released: sometime in 2009)
William Monahan has written a screenplay for the film, which may be in development hell.
14. Observe and Report (to be released: April 10, 2009)
OK, look... I know I've placed this way too high up but formatting sucks. I'd tweak here and there on the second half of the list, but the order is not so off that it's worth the incredible amount of time it could take an idiot like me.

Moving forward:: Jody Hill, writer/director of The Foot Fist Way and the TV series East Bound and Down, writes and directs Observe and Report. So he's a very funny fellow and it's got a pretty funny, and talented, cast. I think East Bound and Down will go down in my book as 2008's best new TV series. Even if it doesn't run for long, I can say for certain that it has one of the best pilots I've ever seen. Check it out on HBO.

15. Nine (to be released: December 11, 2oo9)
Daniel Day-Lewis stars in Rob Marshall's film version of the 1982 hit Broadway musical, based on Frederico Fellini's 8 1/2. Yes, I'm interested. My understanding is that it's exactly like 8 1/2 but with singing. Sounds strange, but yes, I'm still interested.
16. The Hobbit (to be released: sometime in 2011) & The Hobbit 2 (to be released: sometime in 2012)
This movie is bound to jump some spots once... well, if they ever finish scripting..
17. Untitled Bruno Project (to be released: May 15, 2009)
Sacha Baron Cohen is bringing the character Bruno from his popular TV series, Da Ali G Show, to the big screen. The Channel 4-turned-HBO series had only three characters (Ali G, Borat, and Bruno), so I have pretty high expectations for Bruno; the last of the trio to make the jump from TV to film.
18. The Green Hornet (to be released: June 20, 2010)
19. Whatever Works (to be released: sometime in 2009)
Larry David with Woody Allen? It could be the Woody Allen comedy I've been waiting for. I hope Larry David has a bigger role in Whatever Works than he did in New York Stories and Radio Days. Oh, and Ed Begley Jr. has a role too, and he's a pretty funny fellow.

The big question is this: Will Larry say "These pretzels are making me thirsty"...? I can't wait to find out.

20. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (to be released: sometime in 2o10)
I'll know exactly where to put this as soon as I see a trailer for Shutter Island. It's Scorsesse, so assume this will hit single digits on this chart.
21. Burn After Reading (to be released: September 12, 2008)
I love the Coen Brothers but the movie is being released so soon to this list being posted. I still wanted to show it some attention.

22. Eagle Eye (to be released: September 26, 2008)
Like Burning After Reading, Eagle Eye has a release that is too near to make it worth ranking higher. I think it'll be a very fun movie, and the #21 spot isn't necessarily a slight against it.


Untitled Alfonso Cuaron Project (to be released: sometime in 2009)
Details are scarce, but who even cares what it's about? I'll watch it with the sound off if I have to.

1906 (to be released: sometime in 2009)
IMDb breaks down the plot: "A young man discovers a series of secrets and lies that left San Francisco highly vulnerable to the fires that engulfed it in the aftermath of the historical 1906 earthquake." The story is pretty intriguing (it's an adaptation of a book) and oh, yeah... Brad Bird is directing!! Sure it's not animated, but I trust him as a filmmaker. Ratatouille was a masterpiece... I've gotta see his follow-up. This will climb the list soon.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (to be released: November 7, 2008)
I enjoyed the first one quite a bit. Not top of the line for animated movies, but it was good. This should make the list.

Bolt (to be released: November 26, 2008)
It looks pretty goofy to me. It could be OK.

(to be released: sometime in 2009)
Francis Ford Coppola directs, Vincent Gallo stars. There... You've peaked my interest. Francis Ford Coppola is only 3 films removed from Jack (I'm not providing a link to that one), and it's clear he's never going to be back on his game. But at least now he's working on something interesting. The thing that could have sent the movie onto the brink of very interesting was Javier Bardem's involvement. Bardem quit the project, and later dropped from movie-musical Nine, citing exhaustion. As weird as Vincent Gallo is, I'd favor an eccentric guy such as VG to someone flat. I'm really only moderately interested anyway.
PLOT: "Follows the rivalries of an artistic Italian immigrant family." Very vague, I know. That's one of the reasons why it's on the fringe.

Star Trek (to be released: May 8, 2009)
I liked Cloverfield (I understand he didn't direct, but whatever; it was him and his team behind it) and Mission: Impossible III. I enjoy LOST. I'm interested to see what J.J. Abrams does with Star Trek.

Wartime Lies (to be released: sometime in 2009)
The story of Wartime Lies move to the big screen is an interesting one, but the short of it is this: Stanley Kubrick "was going to adapt Wartime Lies in the early 1990s, but dropped it when Schindler's List was released." [1] And now William Monahan has written a screenplay for it... I really want to see it brought to life, if only to see what the hubbub is all about. It'd be on my list, but with so few details made public it's hard to get excited.

Jurassic Park IV (to be released: sometime in 2009)
More Monahan (he's writing this, too) but it makes little to no difference. It's taken forever to get the ball rolling on this one, and with the 2nd and 3rd installments turning out to be sub par, it's no real wonder why. Spielberg has reportedly been turning down screenplays for a couple years now, and I only wonder why he didn't wait longer on the 2nd and 3rd. My expectations are low. Still... I've gotta see it! For anyone interested, you should check out the plot summary.

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