This week for The Ten I’ve decided to lay out all the movies I’m looking forward to for the remainder of the year. And there are lots. I’m damn near giddy for The Dark Knight Rises to grace us with its presence and so I thought this was the perfect time to share all the movies I’m pumped for closing out the year.
Following my list, I’m going to turn the figurative mic over and let Joseph rank his top 10. I’m also going to bank on two things happening: 1. Joseph ranking Looper way higher than it should be and 2. You as the reader to comment on this post and let him know that time travel movies aren’t that cool. Thanks in advance!
Also click on any of the movie titles to pull up a trailer. You’re welcome.
July 20- The Dark Knight Rises– Check out the new 13 minute preview attached. Goosebumps ensue.
July 27- Killer Joe (Limited Release)- NC-17 rated suspense mystery/comedy staring Matthew McConaughey (and his clothes) and Emile Hirsch.
July 27- The Watch– This movie has gone through name changes and date pushes which makes me less confident in it but I love the cast and think it’ll be fun and entertaining.
August 3- Total Recall– I was recently discussing this with Joseph and told him my initial thoughts are comparing it to Terminator Salvation. It’ll be decent but a couple years from now we will have forgotten it. I also could be way off on this one.
August 3- Celeste and Jesse Forever (Limited Release)- Written by Rashida Jones from The Office and Parks and Rec and released by Sony Pictures Classics is a solid combo. It has also gotten mostly positive reviews. This may be more of a rental in the future but I think it has some legitimate potential to be a solid movie.
August 10- The Bourne Legacy– The one good thing this film has going for it is consistency in the director’s seat with Tony Gilroy coming back to the franchise. I like Jeremy Renner too but I think he needs to slow his roll a little bit with the Blockbusters.
August 10- The Campaign– Undoubtedly stupid. Undoubtedly funny. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis together is like a dream team for high school Clayton and current Clayton. I’m really ashamed to admit this because I usually judge other people for being this way but I’m truly unable to not laugh at anything Galifinakis does.
August 10- Red Hook Summer (Limited Release)- The latest from the wildly overrated Spike Lee.
August 17- Cosmopolis (Limited Release)- Weird David Cronenberg being weird again. I have to give him creativity points though as usual.
August 24- Thunderstruck (Limited Release)- Blog post on this coming soon. I don’t even know where to start.
August 29- Lawless – Starring two of The Dark Knight Rises‘ biggest stars, the classic Hollywood starlet gracing us with her presence Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, and Even Stevens… what’s not to love? Oh yeah, that’s right… that it’s rural backwoods Boardwalk Empire. This movie might just be the party you’re looking for.
September 12- Argo– I have an unwavering record of being anti-Ben Affleck but I do think he has proven himself as a great director. I can promise you one thing though, if he finds a way to tie Boston into this movie I’m chuckin’ up the deuces.
September 21- Killing Them Softly– Brad Pitt and Sam Rockwell are two of my favorites. This one has already gotten lots of high praise reviews.
September 28- Looper– Look, I’ve loved Rian Johnson ever since I saw Brick and I do think this is going to be a good movie, but whatever Joseph is going to write about it below is going to be absurdly over-blown.
Septembe 28- Trouble with the Curve– Clint Eastwood’s return to acting with Amy Adams. Throw in Justin Timberlake and John Goodman and there is no way this isn’t a winner. Also note I’ve seen conflicting release dates for this one.
October 5- Frankenweenie– Tim Burton returns to making weird, dark movies. Just kidding that’s all he does. But boy does he do it well…
October 5- Taken 2– Because why the hell not?
October 12- Gambit– Crime drama written by the Coen Brothers starring Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, and Stanley Tucci. It is a remake of the 1966 film by the same title for the record.
October 12- Gangster Squad– Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Michael Pena, Anthony Mackie, Bryan Cranston, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte. Jack. Pot.
October 12- The Master– I love Paul Thomas Anderson. This one has a bizarre plot but with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jesse Plemons (Landry from Friday Night Lights), it will definitely be gold.
October 19- Alex Cross– Based on the James Patterson best-selling novels, this is a crime drama starring Matthew Fox and Tyler Perry. Do what you will with that information.
October 26- Cloud Atlas– Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run and Perfume) directing Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. The plot synopsis is, “Six interlocking stories, spanning the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, weave a tale of human drama through the ages.” FUTURE CRASH ANYONE?
October 26- The Sessions– (Limited Release)- I love William H. Macy and John Hawkes. It has also been well reviewed so far. The only question is Ben Lewin as director.
November 2- Flight– New Denzel Washington film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Too early to really know if this will be good but the Denzel/Zemeckis combo is definitely interesting.
November 2- Seven Psychopaths– (Limited Release)- Martin McDonagh (director of In Bruges aka my jam) returns with Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, and Christopher Walken.
November 2- Wreck-it Ralph– New Disney film with the voices of John C. Reily, Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman, and Jane Lynch.
November 9- Anna Karenina (Limited Release)- Adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel directed by Joe Wright (Atonement and Pride and Prejudice) and stars Jude Law and Keira Knightley. Definitely some potential here for people with patience and a love for classic literature.
November 9- Skyfall– New James Bond movie that I think has a lot of potential.
November 16- Lincoln– I don’t know when this will actually come out. Rotten Tomatoes says December 1st now, some say Christmas, I think it’ll be early next year. Nevertheless, it’s Spielberg directing Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln. This time instead of vampires he’s slaying barriers to our inalienable rights.
November 16- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 2– Finally! It is over!
November 21- Gravity– New film from director Alfonso Cuarón, who is the man. This film stars George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, and Robert Downey Jr. Rotten Tomatoes has this release date and IMDb has next year. Not sure which is correct but this film could be big.
November 21- Silver Linings Playbook– Comedy from the always reliable David O. Russell, staring Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker (BACK FROM THE DEAD!!!), Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Julia Stiles (who has new outlook on life thanks to Dexter).
December 7- Hyde Park on Hudson– (Limited Release)- Bill Murray in a dramedy period piece. Enough said.
December 14- The Hobbit– This one would be near the very top of my list for sure.
December 14- Les Miserables– Tom Hooper’s follow up to The King’s Speech has a lot of promise with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter.
December 14- Life of Pi– Loved the book and interested to see what Ang Lee does with this one.
December 19- Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Project– I’m definitely interested to see what Bigelow does with a bigger budget to follow up The Hurt Locker.
December 21- Jack Reacher– Christopher McQuarrie is pretty hit or miss as a screenwriter/director. Loved The Usual Suspects but this one looks like it could be a flopper. Given it’s release date the studio seems pretty confident in it though.
December 21- This is 40– Judd Apatow returns to the director’s chair in his next comedy starring all of his usual suspects. See what I did there?
December 25- Django Unchained– Quentin Tarantino.
December 25- The Great Gatsby– Please don’t screw this up. Please don’t screw this up. Please don’t screw this up.
December 25- The Guilt Trip– Well Anne Fletcher at the helm doesn’t exactly excite me for this one but I do like Seth Rogen, Yvonne Strahovski (from Chuck), Adam Scott, Colin Hanks, and Danny Pudi (fromCommunity).
Alright Mr. Williams, your options are set. What are we most looking forward to?
Bits of Banter from the Balcony with Joseph Williams: Alright, here we go team… out of the remaining films to be released in 2012, what are my Top 10? We’ll start at 10 and descend towards 1, because it’s a) more dramatic and b) metaphorical to what Bruce Wayne does when going into the bat cave with ol’ Morgan Freeman. LET’S DO THIS!
Honorable Mentions: This is 40 (Apatow will be great and I’ll laugh a lot but I question how much longer his formula can work); The Campaign (hoping the political season can make this one fresh, relevant, and give us hope that Anchorman 2 will actually still have that special something); Total Recall (it DOES have both Jessica Biel AND Kate Beckinsale…); The Bourne Legacy (I actually think this one will be as good as the trilogy… call me crazy!)
10. Gangster Squad/Lawless: I put these two together because they remind me a lot of each other. All-star male casts from multiple Hollywood generations, it-girls of the moment who I believe have longevity (acting chops and classic, unique beauty) to be some of the biggest Hollywood stars for the next several decades (Jessica Chastain and Emma Stone), and classic gangster drama done well, loosely based on a true story.
9. Silver Linings Playbook: If Jessica Chastain and Emma Stone are the future of Hollywood, then Jennifer Lawrence is their leader, so she gets the #9 spot. This dramedy looks poignant, fun, and looks like it’ll tell a good story about life without taking itself too seriously. I trust David O. Russell with that and it appears Robert DeNiro has actually found a legitimate supporting role, Bradley Cooper has decided to take it to the next level and not just play a “bro”, Chris Tucker is alive, and Jennifer Lawrence is ready to play a grown-up role.
8. Les Miserables: I’ve seen revue shows that have captured Les Mis. The characters are powerful, the music is balanced perfectly between haunting and it’ll-have-you-humming-and-dancing, and this cast is one of many ensembles this year that is simply staggering. I think they’ll do this justice and this will finally be a film version of the Broadway play that joins the pantheons of great movie musicals.
7. The Great Gatsby: I don’t have quite as much hope about this one as I once did. I become increasingly worried that Luhrmann’s desire to put his imprint on it will possibly leave us still wanting for a Fitzgerald-worthy film. BUT, I still hold out hope that the cast and Luhrmann’s style will do justice to Fitzgerald’s warnings about the downside of the American Dream. The question is simply whether he allows the power of the story to not be overwhelmed by the style which could depict the Roaring 20’s so well.
6. Looper: Admittedly, I originally had this one at #8. But then I thought about the importance of this ranking being subjective. And, if I’m honest with myself, I’m much more likely to enjoy Looper than I am Les Mis and Gatsby. Because, even if this movie isn’t great, I have great hope that this is the next film to join Back to the Future, Minority Report, and other favorites of mine dealing with destiny, free will vs. predestination, time travel and its accompanying paradoxes, and all sorts of other fun. The action looks fun, the cast seems sharp, and I just have faith that they won’t disappoint me here. I’ve long said that Time Travel is my third favorite thing in movies.
5. Skyfall: Here’s the deal. The Bond people knew they blew it. After giving us one of the all-time great Bond movies in Casino Royale, they gave us one of the worst ones in Quantum of Solace. Goodness, even the bad Brosnan movies are entertaining, but there just wasn’t much of anything in Solace. Then they said that they weren’t making any more Bond films. But they know the hill they have to climb and these are the people that are going to come through – how else could you explain them bringing two of the greatest actor villains of the past two decades (Fiennes AND Bardem? Voldemort/Amon Goeth AND Anton Chigurh?) Bond should never be more scared… meaning this movie will be awesome!
4. Django Unchained: In retrospect, Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds will be viewed in retrospect as the best movie of 2009 by far. In retrospect, 1994 is known as one of the best years for movies over the past several decades, primarily because of Pulp Fiction. Lesson of this story? Don’t doubt the man! DiCaprio as a slave owner? Waltz as a bounty hunter? Foxx as a runaway slave? Tribute to westerns? Why would you NOT want to see this?
3. The Hobbit Part 1: Star Wars. Indiana Jones. The Lord of the Rings. Nolan’s Batman trilogy. These will be remembered as the great, epic movie trilogies of all time. The Hobbit had to be made. And it had to be Peter Jackson. I switched this back and forth with Lincoln multiple times…. if this were the second Hobbit film, it might even be #1.
2. Lincoln: Spielberg has either been missing or a semblance of what he once was lately. This cast. This story. This source work. No one is better to chronicle this story, this man. DO YOU REALIZE THAT SPIELBERG (THE KING OF HISTORICAL DRAMA) IS DIRECTING DANIEL DAY-LEWIS AS PRESIDENT LINCOLN? Forget the rest of the stellar cast and all that jazz… that’s enough. How is this not #1?
1. The Dark Knight Rises: Don’t doubt Christopher Nolan. As much as I’ve joked about it, I’ve honestly believed for several moments that perhaps Heath Ledger wasn’t dead and this is all Nolan’s greatest ruse. Because as Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception have taught us, Nolan will stop at no bounds. When you think he can’t top himself, he does. He puts together the modern-day blockbuster better than anyone else. He manages to make great blockbuster films that are also universally compelling stories that also break the barriers of what films could be before. He is the standard by which all other superhero and blockbuster films are measured. He might just kill off Batman. We say he can’t and he never would… but since when did Christopher Nolan take the easy way? He never has… and he hasn’t disappointed. Why should we start expecting anything but the best from him now? Like Batman, he hasn’t given us everything. Not yet.
Past Editions of The Ten: