I've made no bones about how bad the 2010 movie calendar really is. Even the majority of the movies I've been excited about going in have proven to be little more than mediocre. That said, there are still a few movies worth looking forward to and this is before all the award fodder films that I've never heard of start getting mainstream releases in the fall. I give you my Top 10 Most Anticipated Films for the rest of the year.
10. "Due Date" (November 5) - Robert Downey, Jr., Zack Galifianakas
A modern day recreation of "Planes Trains and Automobiles" with Downey in the Steve Martin role, Galifianakas as John Candy. Instead of Thanksgiving, however, this story revolves around Downey trying to get home to see the birth of his child. Just saw a trailer and while it looks a little more slapstick than I was hoping, I'm still quite interested.
9. "The Expendables" (August 13) - Every conceivable action star from the 80s and 90s
OK, I admit, it is 100% foolhardy for me to even care about this thing. I'm not usually the guy who falls for the super-macho, no-plot-lots-of-explosions action movie but I mean, come on! Stallone, Willis, Statham, Rourke, Arnie, and everyone else? Together? Just the idea of the crazy steroid-laced exploits that took place on the set are enough to get me interested. I know it's likely to be terrible. I just can't help myself.
8. "The American" (September 1) - George Clooney
Clooney plays an assassin on a difficult final mission. The trailer for this was mediocre and the September release date worries me. But George Clooney is just so good it's hard to doubt him. What I love about Clooney is that he makes you feel like he is the only actor who could play his character. Almost every role is identifiably his. Last year's work in "Up in the Air" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" just renewed my zeal for Clooney's work.
7. "It's Kind of a Funny Story" (September 24) - Zach Galifianakas, Keir Gilcrist, Emma Roberts
A relatively artsy look at the life of a teenager who gets placed in the adult wing of a psychiatric facility where he learns some life lessons from a couple of nutcases. I saw a trailer for this a couple of days ago and it rapidly escalated my interest. I'm sure I won't get a chance to see it in theaters as it will probably run only in art houses but maybe it'll slip in at a big theater somewhere around here.
6. "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" (August 13) - Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
I'm just going with the IMDB plot summary on this one: "Scott Pilgrim must defeat his girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart." Michael Cera going all "Kill Bill" on us? Um...yes, please! I know that one of these days the whole Michael Cera one-trick-pony thing is going to wear me out. But I don't think that day will be today.
5. "Red" (October 15) - Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren
Sure, it's a cliche formula: a retired Special Ops guy gets the old band back together to take out an assassin that's messing with his quiet new life. I know, I know, it's been done a million times. But has it been done with Bruce Willis?! That's right! 22 years later and I will still buy into just about anything Bruce Willis does just because of "Die Hard." I might be stupid, but I'm loyal.
4. "The Other Guys" (August 6) - Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg
Ferrell and Wahlberg play desk-jockey cops who finally get a chance to take a big score and find that big time detective work is harder than it looks. I love both of these guys and while it will CERTAINLY be juvenile absurdity, the trailer made me LOL quite a bit. All I want at the end of the summer is stupid laughter so I'm definitely in.
3. "True Grit" (December 25) - Jeff Bridges, Barry Pepper, Josh Brolin
Not exactly the family Christmas fodder you might expect, this Coen Brothers' remake of the John Wayne classic has been all over my radar for quite some time. Coens+Bridges+Brolin+Pepper+Matt Damon in a guest spot = HOW COULD THIS NOT BE INCREDIBLE?! So in.
2. "Inception" (July 16) - Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard
I'm hoping to be in a theater late tonight for this and I'm bursting with excitement. Really battling the overhype machine in my brain.
1. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" (November 19) - Daniel Radcliffe et al.
This was my number one most anticipated movie of 2010 at the beginning of the year and nothing has changed that. I'm a complete Potter nerd, the type that's read all the books multiple times, watches the movies religiously, and only just stops short of actually contemplating which House of Magic I'd get in were I to have the Sorting Hat placed upon my head. If not for this thing called "work" I might be inclined to get in line for this by, say, August. If nothing else it would provide some magnificent content for this blog. Man, I might need some professional help...