Friday, August 28, 2009

Top 20 movies for the rest of the year

I figured it's time to post the top movies I'm looking forward to for the rest of the year. These are in no particular order (mostly in order that they're coming out)

Taking Woodstock

I know this one is already out, but I haven't seen it yet, so it's leading off my list.

This looks like a fairly standard romantic comedy (except that it actually looks funny). I'm a big fan of Jason Bateman, and think that he makes a really good underdog romantic lead. Add to that a supporting cast of Mila Kunis, Kristin Wiig, and Ben Affleck, who is always so much better as a supporting actor, and I think we'll have a winner.

There's never a shortage of zombie-esque movies. Carriers looks much better than the overly, albeit intentional, cheesy Zombieland which comes out around the same time. Carriers plays up the isolation and the forced mobility that made movies like 28 Days later so good. Carriers may end up being terrible, but I hope it'll at least be scary.

This is Shane Acker's feature length debut. After directing a short of the same name, Timur Bekmambetov and Tim Burton gave him the opportunity to turn it into a feature. There's no shortage of animated movies rounding out the year (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Planet 51, Princess and the Frog) but this seems to be the only serious one, and the only post-apocolyptic animation I can recall since Heavy Metal.

No Impact Man
This seems to be a fairly interesting documentary on a family's attempts to minimize their carbon footprint, and the struggles that follow. If anything, it may just show how futile this attempt really is.

The Informant
This seems like a very funny case of the wrong man for the wrong job. The Informant is a corporate dark comedy that seems to be in the same vein as last year's Burn After Reading. And Matt Damon as a lovable goof? Sound good to me.

In a very plausible future, people are able to live their lives through a robotic proxy, while staying in the comfort of their own home. But then people start dieing while hooked up to their surrogates, and Bruce Willis must actually go out in the world to figure out what's going on.

A Serious Man
I don't know what this movie is about, other than a perennial loser's life spiraling out of control. But the fact that it's from the Cohen Brothers nearly guarantees a winner.

Whip It

In general I've become sick of the quirky indie film. I had no interest in 500 Days of Summer or Paper Hearts. Whip It, however, looks like it transcends the quirky quicksand (despite staring Ellen Page) and looks like it will be genuinely entertaining.

The Invention of Lying
This one may be entertaining or awful. Ricky Gervais is one funny guy, but doesn't have a very good record in film. Hopefully this will be better than Ghost Town.

Good Hair
This is one of two documentaries on my list. Hosted by Chris Rock, this study in the history and stigma of African American hair seems genuinely compelling. And judging from the trailer, despite some serious undertones, it does not take itself too seriously. With Chris Rock leading it, it promises to be very funny.

The Road
I did not particularly like Cormack McCarthy's book, but i think the bleak post-apocalyptic future will lend itself to a beautiful movie. My concern is that the movie appears to reveal more about what happened before the story begins than the book. It always worried me when a movie takes liberties like this.

Where the Wild Things Are
I have no idea how they can turn a children's book with more than 10 sentences into a feature length movie. If anyone can, Spike Jonze can. What I've seen of it looks absolutely wonderful.

New York, I love You

This is the sequel (sort of) to Paris, je t'aime, which I believe I gave a 5 to. This time the movie is series of short films about New York. The movie doesn't have the same caliber of directors found in the original one, and it lacks the presence of any director who is associated with New York. No Scorsese, no Woody Allen, no Spike Lee. The only person really holding that tradition is Allen Hughs. I hope this will lead to a New generation of New York directors (despite the inclusion of Brett Ratner).

Lovely Bones
Peter Jackson's new story of what happens after a girl is murdered looks exquisit, and thrilling at parts. I never read the book, but this is near the top of the list for movies I'm looking forward to.

Directed by Mira Nair (who also contributes a segment to New York, I Love You), this Amerlia Earhart biopic features Hilary Swank in the starring role.

The Fourth Kind
"based on true events" is always both a draw and a caution. Like many of the movies on this list, this one is a wildcard. It could either be fantastically scary (which the trailer makes it look) or a complete dud. Here's hoping for fantastically scary.

The Boat that Rocked
This looks like one of the funniest movies on the list. It follows the story of a pirate radio station transmitting of a boat in 1960's. With a cast led by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, and Kenneth Branagh, this one can't lose.

The Princess and the Frog
Finally Disney is returning to 2D. This movie adds a cajun feel and decidedly original twist on this classic fairy tale. I'm hoping that this movie does well, because we are in desperate need of a return to classic animation.

Sherlock Holmes
This isn't quite the dignified Hound of Baskervilles Sherlock Holmes, but I think Robert Downy Jr. can bring the famous detective in the new century.

1 comment:

Megan Stark Photography said...

Oh my, I didn't know you were posting again... now I have three months of reviews to read in order to catch up! A little warning next time would be helpful :-)