I unfortunately was so ridiculously busy this year that I didn’t see that many movies, listen to that much music or do much at all except work. However in the spirit of new beginnings I’m hoping this year will be quite different. In that spirit I’m going to list my top anticipated films of the new year.
Feel free to call me an idiot for my picks. Or just add in your own.
#5 Django Unchained
Tarantino has been working on his western for over a decade. I suspect it’ll be like Inglorious Basterds and bear little resemblance to rumors of what the plot will be. (In Basterds the main characters somehow became somewhat minor characters) The cast is fantastic and is a bit of a mashup between the classic Spaghetti Westerns and Blacksploitation films. The title is based on an old influential western that I saw. (It definitely did not live up to the hype) It was supposed to have stared Will Smith but for various reasons now stars Jamie Foxx. I’ve never been a big Foxx fan, although he is talented. We’ll see how it goes. Foxx plays an escaped slave and Tarantino does his usual reinvention of older actors to fill the rest of the roles. It’s an all star cast including Basterd’s Waltz along with DiCaprio and Kurt Russell. And Don Johnson is supposed to be playing the evil slave master.
Say what you will about the excesses of Kill Bill or Inglorious Basterds. I still enjoyed both although I hope he plays this one a little more straight. (More like Reservoir Dogs or Jackie Brown)
#4 The Hobbit
The big concern is whether Jackson can play up the tone of The Hobbit correctly. It is light hearted and fun. Much more of a children’s book than the dark and heavy Lord of the Rings. In some ways the flaws in his original trilogy have become more obvious with time. And the special effects much more dated. Clearly Jackson is pushing the technology on this new film. To me, at least, the art direction seems spot on – especially for the dwarves. But there are some legitimate worries.
I’m going to rematch the original trilogy soon to see if it truly has aged as poorly as some have suggested. It’s been an awfully long time since I last watched it. Still, I’m truly excited that this film is coming and hope for the best. It’s a great year when this is the fourth most anticipated film of the year.
I’ve already written a lot about Bond. But man I’m excited about this one. It seems like it has people who truly care about the character and have spent a long time crafting the story and script. It’s supposed to bring forward Bond as the suave character. And it’s rumored to have the reinvention of Blofield and his (or her) cat. The plot is about attempting to recover a fallen spy satellite with events from M’s past potentially unraveling MI-6. Honestly, I can’t wait.
Ridley Scott has had a few misses. (Robin Hood or 1492 anyone?) But even many of his failures are interesting and enjoyable. (Kingdom of Heaven or Matchstick Men) Here he may be returning to the film that started it all for him: Alien. However he’s denied that this is a prequel. Exactly what it’s relationship to Alien isn’t quite sure. It sure looks like it’s the spaceship that Ripley found the alien egg on. It has a very similar art design.
It’s been a very long time since Scott did science fiction but when he did do it he created two of the all time masterpieces of the genre: Alien and Blade Runner. If ever there was a film fans absolutely want to be great this is it. What people fear is that despite a director with undeniable talent and an amazing cast of actors that it’ll all fall flat.
I don’t care what any of the haters say. I’ve liked every film Nolan has done and have loved the last few he’s done. Yes I know the controversy over how he stages and edits action scenes. Old school editors hate him and think he confuses the audience. I agree it’s not the classic style but who cares? I feel involved in his film whereas Michael Bay leaves me nauseated.
But what I truly love about this upcoming film is wondering just what he’s going to do with it. Even in his initial Batman film he truly rethought things. But with the Joker he gave us something new yet complex. His films are deeper than your typical summer blockbuster – even if they aren’t quite as deep as some fans like to pretend. But hey, neither was the Matrix. With this one we know he’s playing on the minor character of Bane who broke Batman’s back and nearly ended his career in the comics. The previews make it seem like Nolan may have anticipated a lot of this summer’s occupy Wall Street movement. Honestly though no one knows what he is going to do. And that’s half the anticipation.