- It goes without saying: As a twenty-something geek, there are certain movies that are just way too obvious to put on this list (otherwise, my list would look like everyone else's list). In no particular order: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and The Incredible Hulk (these last two worry me a bit, but I will most assuredly be seeing them).
- The International: The most art-housey of the films on my list sounds like one of my favorite kinds of art house movies: the art house crime pic. Director Tom Tykwer infamously combined art house and crime in his brilliant 1999 film, Run Lola Run and while I don't expect this film to be that good, I think it still shows a lot of promise.
- Trailer Trash: The funniest part of the Grindhouse double-feature last year were these "fake" trailers for non-existent movies (for example, Werewolf Women of the S.S.) that they played between the two main features. Director Eli Roth (who did the hilarious Thanksgiving preview, a pitch perfect parody of the original Halloween trailer) had the idea to make an entire movie of fake trailers. It's a high concept, but it sounds like it could be a lot of fun, and Roth seems like a decent choice to head this sort of thing up.
- The Happening: M. Night Shyamalan gets a bad rap because everyone loved his first few films but not his most recent films. The impression is that he's just getting worse and worse but from my perspective, I've never been all that impressed with him in the first place. Sure, I enjoyed his first few movies a lot, but I didn't consider them masterpieces. I think both The Village and Lady in the Water are flawed yet entertaining movies and I really don't understand the almost universal dislike of these two movies (though I will note that I saw both of these films with very low expectations, which could be part of why I enjoyed them). For the most part, my opinion of Shyamalan's work hasn't changed much. I tend to enjoy his movies, and so I'm looking forward to this one.
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army: Guillermo del Toro has emerged as one of the better fantasy/horror directors out there, and the first Hellboy was quite enjoyable (I mean, come on, monsters, the occult, nazis, Cthulhu-like creatures from another dimension - what's not to like?). This second film looks to be an even more eclectic mixture of "folklore, myth, and fantasy" (as he describes it). I love this quote from del Toro: "...he's saving the world from an archvillain who's determined to do, you know, very arch things."
- Pineapple Express: I like stoner comedies. I like action movies. What's not to like about a stoner action film? This movie, the latest from the Apatow juggernaut (written by Seth Rogen and starring a bunch of Apatow gang members), follows two stoners who go on the run after witnessing a murder. It doesn't sound like much, but then a couple of years ago, two fellas set out for White Castle and it ended up being one of the more enjoyable movies of that year (there's a sequel to that one coming out soon too, but it doesn't look so great). Probably not fine oscar-caliber cinema, but I'm looking forward to it nonetheless.
- Honorable Mention: The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Step Brothers, Hancock, WALL-E, and Speed Racer
Top 5 Anticipated Summer Movies
The first few months of 2008 has been a real movie wasteland. A couple of interesting releases, but nothing all that great. As summer approaches, things are looking up a little. The guys at Filmspotting will be doing a top 5 anticipated summer movies on Friday, so in an effort to beat them to the punch, here's my top 5: