HONORABLE MENTIONS: WORLD WAR Z, KICK ASS 2, THE WOLVERINE, GRAVITY, NOW YOU SEE ME, THOR: THE DARK WORLD, AFTER EARTH, OZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL.
This appears to be the year of the director as it seems to be them more than the talent or script that’s peaking my interest. Case in point, this film. Chan-wook Park has directed some of my favorite films (Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance). This particular film features a pretty solid cast but looks a bit predictable. Though, I’m sure, if I know Park’s work (and I do), it’ll be anything but. Either way, I can’t wait for his American language debut.
9. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a prettier, grittier, more innovative and loyal comic-book adaptation than the original Sin City. My only question is What the hell took so long? That question hurts my anticipation for this film a bit. I mean, it’s been like seven years. Has it been too long? Or will I fall right back in love with these characters as soon as the opening credits start to roll? Guess I’ll find out on opening night.
I’d probably want to see just about any film starring Matt Damon. The guy is just that good at what he does. However, you put him in a Sci-Fi film by the director of the horribly underrated District 9 (Neill Blomkamp) and I have no choice but to stop whatever I am doing and see that film!
7. UPSTREAM COLOR.
This film is a Shane Carruth joint. His second film. I can sum up my desire to see this film in three words: DUDE. WROTE. PRIMER.
6. MAN OF STEEL.
If you know me, you know I’m not a Superman guy. I’d much rather be hanging out in Gotham City or at the Daily Bugle. Still, while the trailer didn’t completely win me over, I have a lot of interest in this film. Zack Snyder is of course a much loved director in my house (and that of all Fanboys) and the idea that Christopher Nolan is there to keep the story on point makes me feel pretty good about it. The main interest, though, comes from what’s riding on this. If it sucks, Warner Bros enacts the Superman Returns rule and heads back to the drawing board. If it kicks ass, we’re a few short years away from DC’s answer to The Avengers: The Justice League.
5. ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES.
There’s no way in hell that this film can live up to expectations but is anyone NOT foaming at the mouth to see this?
4. IRON MAN 3.
Trailer looks good. We all love Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and we all ready have two out of three great movies featuring the title character. Favreau has moved on but I think that might be okay. Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) has stepped on board. The man who arguably gave RDJ his first step to a comeback (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang). There’s a built in mutual respect and working relationship there that should help this film to succeed. And let’s not forget, just a couple decades back, Shane Black was the most sought after screenwriter in Hollywood commanding the highest salaries a writer had seen up until that point. Did I mention he wrote this?
I mentioned the original version of this film earlier in my list. Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy is one of my favorite films of all time. However, the original film is dark, violent and unrelenting. Something the Koreans do amazingly but American film studios tend to shy away from. It can be done though. Scorcese did it with The Departed and earned his first Oscar in the process. I think the pieces are in place. I love the casting of Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley for the three main leads. The only thing that bothers me is Spike Lee. If he can keep his fingerprints off the piece and turn in a solid and entertaining film, like Inside Man, then I am all over it. If it gets mutated into a Spike Lee Joint, I’m going to have major issues with it.
2. PACIFIC RIM.
Do you honestly think I give a shit about giant robots fighting gigantic monsters from another dimension? What am I? Some sort of child? The answer is yes and yes! The latest film from Guillermo del Toro looks like a super-fun flick!
1. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.
I am NOT a Trekkie… or a Trekker… hell, I don’t even know what they call themselves. I’m a Star Wars guy. The original Star Trek reboot really knocked me on my ass though. It is, by far, the most often re-watched Blu-Ray in my collection. It’s like a great comfort food. If the follow-up can come close to reliving that magic, this has a shot at being my favorite film of the year. No small feat in a year full of some promising films!
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.