So, it’s been 2011 for almost eight days now. I guess I should probably get around to announcing the films I’m most eagerly anticipating, shouldn’t I? Since me and everybody else on the internet love making list of things, here’s my top ten list for 2011!
1. Cobalt Neural 9
Am I the only one who recognizes the Wachowski brothers’ genius these days? Out of their five films, three of them are great. (“The Matrix” sequels… Not so much. Yes, I just called “Speed Racer” great. BECAUSE IT IS!) That’s a pretty good track record for anyone. Their latest film is described as a cinema verite story about the secret homosexual love affair between an American solider and an Iraqi insurgent and the political upheaval that follows, as recalled in the far flung future. Also, something about Jesse Ventura having a third psychic eye. This is exactly the kind of project I so eagerly anticipate. Is it just crazy enough to work, or will it be a complete and total clusterfuck? Either way, it’s bound to be more interesting then anything else that comes out this year.
2. Green Lantern
I’m reluctant to place this film so highly. Despite being a DC man these days, I’m not a huge Green Lantern fan. (Aquaman is my hero of choice.) Ryan Reynolds wasn’t anybody’s first choice for the role, I think, and the trailer curbs a lot more from “Iron Man” then I’d prefer in addition to being a little too goofy. What’s really riding on this movie, more so then anything else, is the entire future of DC Comics on film. If this succeeds, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and, yes, even Aquaman will follow. If it bombs, expect nothing but Batman sequels. In other words, I don’t know if this will be good, but I sincerely hope it is, less so for the actual movie’s sake, and more for the franchise’s sake.
3. Sucker Punch
Set in the 1920s, a bunch of barely dressed Loli sluts grab katanas and machine guns, and proceed to fight dragons, robots, Nazis, and a giant samurai with a Gatling gun. I don’t know how Zack Synder got a hold of my eighth grade sketchbook but, if the trailer proves anything, I’m glad he did. My opinion of the director is mixed at best but his juvenile slo-mo obsessed style might actually benefit a born guilty pleasure like this.
4. Captain America
I love 1930s pulp heroes almost more then I love traditional superhero. Captain America always seemed like he belonged just as much to the former genre as he does the latter. Joe Johnston obviously got this job based on “The Rocketeer,” a movie dim in script that nevertheless perfectly captured the retro-serial look and feel. The fantastic production art makes it apparent that the same can be said for this one. Hopefully, the script is up to snuff…
5. A Dangerous Method
Who doesn’t love David Cronenberg? Douchebags, that’s who. His non-horror output has never endeared me to him as much as his genre offerings. But this film, a story about the rivalry between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, seems perfectly in tune with Cronenberg’s sensibilities. The premise is interesting enough on its own, but Dave’s attachment is enough to shoot this one into the top ten for me.
Superhero movies are fucking everywhere this year, obviously. You can’t throw a rock around here without bumping one. Out of all of Marvel’s major properties, this is probably the trickiest one. Kenneth Branagh, as unconventional a choice for a superhero movie as Jon Favreau was, seems to have a handle on the material, if the impressive trailer is any indication. This has the potential to be the most visually striking of this summer’s blockbuster offerings.
If you recall, Tarsem blew my mind a few years ago with “The Fall,” a visual smorgasbord destined to be retroactively recognized as one of the best films of the 2000s. Normally, yet another take on Greek mythology wouldn’t interest me that much, but this director’s involvement immediately promises a far more attention-grabbing approach to the material. Tarsem fits the epic scope and magical spectacle of Mount Olympis more then any other director around.
8. The Muppets
Yeah, I love the friggin’ Muppets. Of course I do. Jim Henson’s creations haven’t been in a really good movie for over ten years. The indie-comedy talent staring, writing, and directing suggest this will at least be more interesting then “Muppets from Space” was, if not funnier while also maintaining the classic muppet sense of bitter sweetness. And, hey, that list of guest stars is pretty cool too!
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are the best comedy duo we have, right now. “Spaced,” “Shaun of the Dead,” and “Hot Fuzz” are all modern classics. Guess what? This has an ALIEN in it! Seeing these guys take on the UFO conspiracy sub-culture sure gets my nerd juices pumping. The lack of Edgar Wright causes me to approach with some caution, as does the goofy CGI title character, but I trust these guys.
10. The Tall Man
Pascal Laugier, madman behind “Martyrs” and one of the most talented young horror directors out there, is essentially making a Slender Man movie. Not only is that a great match of director and material, it also promises to push mainstream horror into creepier, far more artistic territory. Yeah yeah, Jessica Biel is in it. Don’t kill my buzz.
Other stuff of interest (hopefully) being released this year:
The Adjustment Bureau, Adventure of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, Beautiful Girl, The Beaver, Bernie, Born to be a Star, Burke and Hare, Cabin in the Woods, Cars 2, Conan, Cowboys and Aliens, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Dylan Dog, F, Fantomas, Frankenweenie, Freeheld, Fright Night, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Green Hornet, Hanna, Hanukkah, Hobo with a Shotgun, The Hole, Hugo Cabret, Iron Sky, Jack and Diane, John Dies at the End, Kaboom, Killer Joe, Knights of Badassdom, Lovers of Hate, Machine Gun Preacher, Meek’s Cutoff, Now, Piranha 3DD, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Rango, The Raven, Real Steel, Red State, Rise of the Apes, The Rum Diary, Scream 4, Sherlock Holms 2, Source Code, Super, Super 8, Tabloid, The Thing, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, The Troll Hunter, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, The Ward, Winnie the Pooh, The Woman, Woman in Black, X-Men: First Class, Your Highness
Yeah, I could’ve done write-ups for all of those but would you have read them? I mean, honestly, would you?
Here’s hoping for a great new year! MORE STUFF COMING SOON!