Last year was a surprisingly good one for films, at least for films that I like. Two films came out (Wall E and The Dark Knight) which I consider among the best of their specific genres, some great comedies (Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder), a great "man drama" (The Wrestler) and two political films that I really enjoyed (Frost/Nixon and W). So will this year live up to last year...at least for me? Not that you give a shit, but here are some films that I'm looking forward to this year:
I've never seen a Woody Allen film in the theater, but I've been a fan of his for several years now. After having the one-two punch of seeing both Match Point and Crimes and Misdemeanors last year, I'm really anxious to see his new film. Its plot involves "a botched suicide attempt turned messy love triangle," which is enough to sell me on it. Plus it has the biggest asshole currently working in comedy, Larry David, as a main character in it. That alone makes me want to see it, along with the inevitable excursion to either Canters or Greenblatt's afterward for sandwiches and conversation.
I didn't need to see the preview to know that this was gonna be worth watching. After all, it's Pixar, and they have never put out crap. Only the average Cars "steered" me wrong (GET IT???), but even that film was miles above anything the Disney studio's put out since their second golden age which ended with The Lion King. I finally saw the preview for this film before The Watchmen of all films, and was laughing my ass off. Before, I just wanted to see it because it's Pixar. Now, I want to see it because it looks fucking hilarious. God bless Pixar. Walt would be proud of them, and ashamed that the studio that bears his name can't fucking touch them when it comes to plot, animation, and entertainment.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Even though Warner Bros. did an extremely dick-headed move by bumping this movie up half a year after its scheduled release date just because they "needed a summer blockbuster" and no other reason, I'm still gonna go see it because the series has gotten much better since that shithead Chris Columbus left and let talented directors take over. Sorry Chris. As far as I'm concerned, Gremlins was the only masterpiece you ever did. Also, the series has gotten progressively darker, and even though I already know what's going to happen, I can't wait to see how it translates to the big screen. Still, it's fucking unnerving that the "kids" are adults now. They looked so doughey and short in that first film, and now they're all lanky with deep voices.
Where the Wild Things Are
Ridiculously hipster, since it's written by Dave Eggers and directed by Spike Jonze, but the very fact that they have actual puppet costumes is enough to sell me. Plus, Jonze has done some amazing films, and the preview looks great. I've read this book during my story times, and the kids love it, so I have that extra connection to the story. The only bitch is having to wait for it.
Ugh...I KNOW this film is going to suck balls, but I want to see it because last year I started watching Star Trek The Original Series for the first time, and I liked the idea of these planet-hopping schmucks going on adventures. The show was fun, and I want to see this film against my better judgment. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't turn out to be crap.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
I was unimpressed by the first X-Men film, but I've heard good things about the second one (and because of the rule of 3, the third one allegedly blows). Plus, I'm a sucker for superhero movies. Another reason why I'm interested in this film is because it has an "indie" director (Gavin Hood) at the helm. For some reason, I trust "indie" directors to do the right thing with superhero films, but I might actually wait and read some reviews before seeing this one.
The Wolf Man
I'm extremely torn with this one. On one hand, I LOVE werewolf legends and think that the mythology behind werewolves is damn interesting, plus the film stars Benicio Del Toro, who actually looks like a fucking werewolf and probably needed very little makeup for those transformation scenes. On the other hand, it's directed by Joe Johnston, who directed Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Jumanji, Jurassic Park III, and The Pagemaster. While The first two of those films I mentioned weren't terrible, they weren't great either. I don't expect this film to have that "arty" touch that I like in horror films, so if I see this in the theater, it will be with lowered expectations.
It's Quentin Tarantino. Grindhouse was fucking amazing, as was Kill Bill and pretty much everything else that he's shit out...with the exception of Four Rooms, which he should lose a finger for. Anyhow, yes...another WWII film, with an abundance of violence and Nazi-killing excitement. Unless he really fucked up and accidentally made a piece of shit, I'm pretty sure I'll be leaving the theater satisfied with this one.
The Lovely Bones
I love Peter Jackson. Everything he's ever done is great, from Bad Taste to King Kong. I don't know what this film is about, but some people are comparing it to Heavenly Creatures, which everyone needs to go out and rent immediately. This man is overflowing with talent, and I'm glad that he's finally going to have something new for me to watch this year.
That's all I can think of. I'll add others as I find them.