Monday, September 17, 2007

Top 20 movies for the rest of the year

These are the 20 movies I am most looking forward to for the rest of the year- in no particular order

1. No Country For Old Men- This may be the movie I am most looking forward to. The Cohen Brothers direct this violent manhunt movie starring Tommy Lee Jones. I love almost everything the Cohen's do, but this looks to me more Natural Born Killers than Big Lebowski. Buzz has already pegged this as a possible Oscar contender.

2. There Will Be Blood- This seems to be a year with the return of good westerns. 3:10 to Yuma, Jesse James, and then in December is this. Daniel Day Lewis plays an oil prospector who will do anything for money. This includes swindling a very religious family. I am a tremendous fan of Lewis and director Paul Thomas Anderson (Punch Drunk Love)

3. Margot at the Wedding- This is Noah Baumbach's followup to his fantastic movie, "The Squid and the Whale". Nicole Kidman, Jeniffer Jason Leigh, and Jack Black star in this dark movie about failing relationships and family secrets. Pauline is getting married to Malcom, but Margot shows up and the whole scene turns into a mess.

4. American Gangster- Billed as this year's the Departed, Gangster follows the story of Frank Lucas, a drug kingpin operated outside of traditional organized crime, accomplished things the established mafia could only dream of. With Denzel Washington as Lucas, and Russell Crowe as the detective trying to bring him down, and Ridley Scott at the helm, this is another movie almost guaranteed a best picture nomination.

5. Across the Universe- This is a wild-card for me in my list. It's producing quite a buzz, but I'm still slightly skeptical about a musical set in the sixties to a Beatles soundtrack (also including some animated segments). The story itself, however, seems promising. A young man travels to America to find his father, falls in love with a girl named Lucy, and the two of them become peace activists when her brother is drafted.

6. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford- Like I said, another western. This one looks to be a little slower paced movie than 3:10 to Yuma, which is fine with me. Brad Pitt stars as the famous outlaw, and Casey Affleck is the titular member of his gang. The movie focuses on Ford's growing jealousy of James' fame, and his plot to kill him.

7. Grace is Gone- This looks to be potentially the saddest movie for the rest of the year. John Cusack stars as a father who's wife was killed in Iraq. He has to learn how to connect to hid two kids for the first time- by telling them this. Cusack's roles just seem to be getting better and better.

8. The Darjeeling Limited- Another Wes Anderson- with Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrien Brody (of all people). Three brothers try to form a bond as they take a journey across India by rail. This looks to be another oddly touching, and darkly comedic wonder by Anderson.

9. Into the Wild- Sean Penn creates what seems to be his perfect project. It follows Christopher as he travels across the country, making stops along the way on his journey to live in the wilds of Alaska. Sound like the closest Penn could get to living his dream?

10. The Good Night- Gwyneth Paltrow, Penelope Cruz, Danny Devito, Martin Freeman, and Simon Pegg- do you need any other reason? How about a story about a man so dissatisfied with his own life that he creates a fictionalized one in his recurring dreams. But what if this dream life became blurred with the real one, and wasn't all you dreamed? My only complaint- it was my idea first.

11. Finishing the Game- They're making a mockumentary about the tragic death of Bruce Lee, and the studio's attempts to replace him in his final and unfinished film- Game of Death? And Christopher Guest is nowhere to be found? How inappropriate. But judging from the clips I've seen- how very funny.

12. Rendition- This is going to be another heavy one. A man suspected of being a terrorist is abducted at an airport, and taken to a secret detention center. A young CIA agent is witnessing his first interrogation, while the man's wife tries desperately to find out what happened to her husband. Include Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, and Alan Arkin, and you have some potential.

13. Things We Lost in the Fire- Benecio Del Toro has proven himself to fit the troubled and desperate characters (see 21 Grams). This time his best friend (David Duchovny) who helped out his entire life is killed. He moves in with Duchovny's widow (Halley Berry) and helps her and her family out, while trying to get his own life back on track.

14. I'm Not There- Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Winshaw all portray Bod Dylan at different junctures in his life.

15. Feast of Love- A group in Oregon experience new love, old love, love lost, and some rather painful love. They all bring different incarnations to this story. This is more of an exploration into the nature of love than a single coherent plot line.

16. August Rush- This is another music inspired journey in the vein of "Once." This time, an orphaned street musician uses music, and a cowboy hat to try to find his parents, who were forced to give him up as a matter of circumstance. Except I don't know about Robin William with a soul patch.

17. The Kite Runner- Based on the best selling novel Khaled Hoseini, this tells the story of Amir, a boy who grew up in Afghanistan and moved to America. He left behind his best friend, Hassan. All is well until Amir hears from Hassan that his son is in trouble. Amir heads back to the country of his birth only to find that everything has changed, and that this is no longer his country.

18. We Own the Night- Two brothers (Joaquin Pheonix, and Mark Wahlberg) chose different sides of the to law, one is a cop, the other a night club owner dabbling in organized crime. They need to put aside their differences and try to stop a mafia hit on the chief of police (Robert Duvall)- their father. This is another promising crime drama that has actually been likened to a reversal of Goodfellas.

19. Dan in Real Life- Steve Carell plays the role that he does best, a pathetic, sad, and absolutely endearing character. Here he is a widower who happens to fall in love with his brother's girlfriend. He has to keep himself together, while raising his three daughters alone. I imagine this will be a similar performance to the one he gave in Little Miss Sunshine- one of my favorites from last year.

20. Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street- Bwahaha, you knew this one was going to be on here somewhere, so I figured I wrap up with it. Steven Sondheim's notorious musical about a murderous barber finally hits the big screen. This dark dark comedy is directed by nobody else but Tim Burton, and stars nobody else but Johnny Depp (Their 6th movie together). Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter round out this stellar cast. The premise/genre may alienate some viewers, but I am very very excited.


grigorisgirl said...

You know the Sweeney Todd trailer is only a fan made one, I presume?
We are all stil awaitng the real thing with bated breath.

Harry said...

Thanks, I wasn't actually sure about that. I figured it would best to put at least put something up there, but thanks for clarifying that.