Ah, it’s that time of year again. Every year, there is that one season where things start to look up. This time of year is all about the awards. Voters for the Academy, Golden Globes, and MTV will be looking at all of these films that are released this year, and they will keep the films released around this time in mind.
Will this year be better than last year? Last year, we had Scorsese, Nolan, Cuaron, del Toro, Frears, Condon, Eastwood, Inarritu, Almodovar, Gibson, Zwick, Soderbergh, Field, and De Palma. This year, our line-up includes Taymor, Cronenberg, Lee, PTA, the Coen brothers, Baumbach, Scott, Farrelly brothers, Haggis, Mangold, Jordan, Penn, Anderson, and Forster. You decide which year is better.
But I’m looking forward to a few particular films. Whether it has Jack Black in it, or an Ian Curtis lookalike, they are all going to be checked out in theaters if they are playing near me. If not, they will be on DVD. This is Part I of my two-part series [read Part II here] “The Rest of 2007 Movies — The Good, The Bad, and the Very F**king Ugly.” This half is for all of the films that I’m looking forward to. Also, just notice that this is MY opinion. If you don’t like it, all I have to say is “eat me.”
The Film I’m Looking Forward to the Most:
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
If you have talked to me before in any type of circumstances, you will know that I have been looking forward to this movie since seeing the trailer when it was shown in front of Grindhouse. Julie Taymor directs this musical based on Beatles‘ music, which basically has been put through hell since it has been announced. The most well-known incident of this film is of negative test screenings, all basically because of the two and a half hour running time. First off, you have to know what you are getting yourself into when you are watching a Julie Taymor film. She has been one of the most visually poetic directors in this generation of film. That being said, Across the Universe looks like a romantic trip on LSD that the only thing on the radio is the damn Beatles, but who am I to complain about this?
Well if you’ve been paying attention to the buzz surrounding this film, you should know about all the problems that it’s been having with its distributer, Revolution Studios and executive Joe Roth. Roth reportedly made a much shorter cut of the film, showed it, and got a much better response. But remember who this guy is, who made such “classics” like Christmas with the Kranks and Revenge of the Nerds II (notice I didn’t say Freedomland, because I thought that was very underrated). Roth never let Taymor know that he was going to make his own version, but now it’s unknown which one will be released in theaters. First off, if you aren’t new to this world of film, you would know that Julie Taymor is an extraordinary director with her own vision, and like most directors with their own vision, they may be very hard to work with. Many people complained about how hard it was to work with Taymor on such occasions, but it isn’t just her. I’m sure you knew that Alfred Hitchcock was hard to work with on occasions, and so has Martin Scorsese, two of my favorite directors of all-time. But if Taymor’s version (or even not her version) is released, we will know that her contribution to this film may even pay off. Of course, it couldn’t be that bad if Roth’s version is released, can it?
Naww, nothing can screw up this movie.
Director: Julie Taymor
Cast: Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood, Joe Anderson
Rated PG-13 for some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence and language
Release Date: September 14, 2007 (limited), September 21, 2007 (wide)
Best Comedy of the Fall:
THE HEARTBREAK KID
Now, honestly, tell the truth — when was the last time the Farrelly brothers actually made a good movie? Stuck on You was mediocre at best and way too serious. Fever Pitch tried to be too cutesy and Drew Barrymore. Me, Myself, and Irene was funny, but was killed by the terrible ending. Honestly, their last best movie was There’s Something About Mary. Remember the first time you saw that movie? You laughed your ass off. I remember the first time I did. When I spent a night in Virginia, this was on. Granted, it was halfway over, but it was my introduction to that infamous “hair gel” scene. I still get a crack each and every time whenever I see that clip, or people trying to imitate that clip. But after Me, Myself, and Irene, these guys have gone ultra-sweet, jerking us off with them PG-13 films and Osmosis Jones. The Farrelly brothers and Ben Stiller team up again for the first time since There’s Something About Mary, and they actually go full throttle There’s Something About Mary on us –- they give us the R. According to the trailer, it looked like a hilarious ride that the Farrellys should always create -– a fun and very raunchy ride. If The Heartbreak Kid is anything what the trailer promises, you are sure to be seeing a different side of me once I write my review, a side that can only be touched by romantic comedies that I ACTUALLY like.
Director: Peter and Bobby Farrelly
Cast: Ben Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, Jerry Stiller
Rated R for strong sexual content, crude humor, and language
Release Date: October 5, 2007 (wide)
The Film That Only I’m Looking Forward To:
Before I begin, let me tell you that I absolutely hated and Alone in the Dark, but I thought that Bloodrayne was stupid Z-movie fun. I expect nothing more from Postal -– just a dumb movie that you can have fun with. When I saw the trailer months and months ago on YouTube, it looked like nothing that Uwe Boll made before. While he’s still doing videogames, he took on a creative and more hilarious approach. And just because I don’t like Boll’s films doesn’t mean I don’t like him as a director. To be honest, I always admired the guy. He tells critics that don’t like his movies to fuck off and stop trying to ruin his dreams. Now that’s the kind of director that we need more often. You didn’t see your good ol’ director Clint Eastwood telling critics to fuck off for not liking Flags of Our Fathers last year, did you? No. What Boll is doing is showing us that there are films made for movie-goers, and movies that are made for fans (notice how I changed up films and movies). That being said, I’m going to see Postal (probably on DVD because it probably won’t even play near me), but I’ll be damned if the movie is anything less than a one and a half stars on my scale.
Director: Uwe Boll
Cast: Zack Ward, Dave Foley, Chris Coppola
Rated R for extremely crude humor throughout, including strong sexuality, graphic nudity, violence, and pervasive language and drug use
Release Date: October 12, 2007 (limited)
The Film That Will Surprise Us The Most:
ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM
I’m pretty sure everyone thought that Alien vs. Predator blew chunks, so I’m not gonna go into why this is going to be a big surprise, but if you saw that new trailer that was released just a week ago, you will know what I meant. Alien vs. Predator finally became badass, with so much blood and guts and aliens that this film will just be off the chain. Visual effects workers Greg and Colin Strause direct their first big motion picture, and it actually looks like it can be pulled off. Notice how so many of these newcoming directors are actually turning sequels into films that just may be better than their originals. Earlier this year, we had Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo work his magic on us with 28 Weeks Later, and I’m STILL deciding which one is better between the original and the sequel. I’m sure that in this case, however, this will be better than Paul W. S. Anderson’s original AVP. If this gets any more than three stars from me, I’m going to shit.
Director: Greg and Colin Strause
Cast: John Ortiz, Steven Pasquale, Shareeka Epps
Rated R for violence, gore and language
Release Date: December 25, 2007 (wide)
The Best Remake of 2007:
3:10 TO YUMA
By the reviews that are already out there for us to read, and even if we didn’t have them, could you honestly think this is going to fail? First off, it’s directed by the same guy who did Walk the Line (the previews tell you that like about five million times, if you haven’t noticed). Secondly, it’s Christian Bale and Russell Crowe teaming up together. Come on, two of the greatest actors of this generation are together at last. We gotta have a hand party over this film. But the real reason that I want to see this film? The trailer. I never had been so ecstatic for a remake before. I’m really pissed off this isn’t playing near me for a sneak peek, but I’m going to see it sometime soon, but it’ll be after opening weekend. But in no means will I stay away from this film when it comes to theaters. Bale and Crowe is a pair that just can’t be watched on the small screen at home. You must see it on the big screen.
Director: James Mangold
Cast: Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Peter Fonda
Rated R for violence and some language
Release Date: September 2 (sneak preview), September 7 (wide)
And because I brought up Walk the Line “¦
The Film Better Than “Walk the Line”:
WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY
An obvious spoof/homage to Walk the Line, Walk Hard is produced by the same guy that’s been involved with Superbad and Knocked Up. That’s right. Our boy Judd Apatow is up to it again, and this time it seems like a much cleaner film is in order for the teenage audiences. Right now, it only looks like Anchorman if Ron Burgundy went country, but because I loved Anchorman and Walk the Line, I just have to see this film. And like in many Apatow films, this one has a bunch of people that I just love. John C. Reilly plays the title character. Paul Rudd makes a cameo, and Jenna Fischer has her role in this too. So what isn’t there to like? Apatow is becoming the hotshot in comedic films these days, and it makes us wonder what would happen if this happened about seven years ago. Would Freaks and Geeks still be on TV?
Director: Jake Kasden
Cast: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, David Kochener
Not Yet Rated
Release Date: December 21, 2007 (wide)
The Film That Only I Will Like:
NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS
I think I was the ONLY one that really did like the first movie. It was a fun joy ride. I didn’t give two shits about the performances of the characters. All I wanted from the movie was that it was fun and to keep me interested. Because it did just those two things, I enjoyed it and it became one of my favorite Nicolas Cage films. That being said, National Treasure 2 couldn’t come any sooner. I only saw the trailer just a few weeks ago and it looks awesome. Say what you want about my taste in film, but I couldn’t give two shits about what you guys think about this one, or Postal. So that being said, I don’t have much more to say about this film. It looks fun and wildly entertaining. That’s it.
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha
Not Yet Rated, but most likely a PG
Release Date: December 21, 2007 (wide)
The Movie That Stars Clive Owen, So Already It’s Ultimately Badass:
SHOOT “˜EM UP
I’ve been looking forward to the next Clive Owen movie since , and before that, Sin City, where he showed me how badass he was. Now, it’s only a week until this ultimate action-packed film comes out. Where Sin City showed how badass he could be, and Children of Men showed how heroic he could be, and he will show both sides in Shoot “˜Em Up. When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I literally crapped myself. Because Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti are in it, and because we also get the super, omega, smokin’ hot Monica Bellucci. Quite frankly, I don’t see how this film could fail. I’m sure going to be seeing this opening weekend, and yours truly will be writing a review for Geeks Of Doom, letting you know how badass this movie was.
Director: Michael Davis
Cast: Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, Paul Giamatti
Rated R for pervasive strong bloody violence, sexuality and some language
Release Date: September 7, 2007 (wide)
The Film That Is Guaranteed To Be Noticed During Oscar Season:
Denzel Washington is probably the best actor that we have working in this day and age. He appeals to almost all audiences and everyone knows his name. He is someone to look up to and the one person in Hollywood that does not cause high school drama. That being said, the guy is a god, and the same thing can be said about Russell Crowe. With these two teaming up with director Ridley Scott (just coming off of his “hit” film called A Good Year –nothing is a good year unless if you have a big box of condoms), the film is sure to be getting some nominations. If the buzz over this film keeps up like it is right now, we can be seeing a big picture nomination in the making. But there just may be that one fucker that may stop this film, who you will find out that I absolutely despise in the second part coming to you very, very soon. Oh yes, you see how much I can’t wait to tear that movie a new one.
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, T.I.
Rated R for violence, pervasive drug content and language, nudity, and sexuality
Release Date: November 2, 2007 (wide)
The Film That Lost Control:
See, I’ve been a Joy Division fan for quite some time now. I’ve been listening to their music a lot more lately, and the main reason is because I found out that a film has been coming out that is based on the lead singer’s life: Ian Curtis. Now if you know who this guy is, you should know that he was just a confused kid who was depressed from time and time again. But for all of you who don’t know who Joy Division is, go search them on Google. From his twenty-three years of life, the guy accomplished so much, but because he accomplished so much, he fell into a Ray Charles and Johnny Cash addiction, and unlike Charles and Cash, this guy never stopped. In many of his performances, the guy would act like he would have a seizure on stage, and they would all be harmless. But then he would actually start having a seizure, but none of them knew that he was really having them because it was all an act before. You can bet your rat’s ass that I will be seeing this movie. Hopefully, it just plays in theaters near me.
Director: Anton Corbijn
Cast: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Craig Parkinson
Not Yet Rated
Release Date: October 10, 2007 (limited)
The Film That Looks Awesome Because It’s Directed By The Coen Brothers:
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Be honest, the Coen brothers have been shitty for the past few years. Intolerable Cruelty had much wasted talent, and The Ladykillers just wasn’t as entertaining as it could have been. Let’s only hope that No Country For Old Men actually does some good for these guys, because their last great film was O Brother, Where Art Thou, and that was seven years ago. Could this be the Coen comeback? Let’s look back on their films: The Big Lebowski is without a doubt a classic, in my eyes and everyone else’s; Fargo, while I didn’t like it as much as everyone else did, was a good movie. I have to re-watch it again, as well as their other ones except for The Big Lebowski, which I watch almost every week. If No Country For Old Men is anywhere as good as The Big Lebowski, I will shit.
Director: Ethan and Joel Coen
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson
Rated R for strong graphic violence and some language
Release Date: November 9, 2007 (limited), November 21, 2007 (wide)
The Weirdest Film This Year:
The previews didn’t make the movie look weird at all, but for all of us film fans, we all know what David Cronenberg is about. We know that his vision of film is different than most, and we all know that he has them weird plot elements in them. A History of Violence showed us that Cronenberg still has it, and Eastern Promises only states even bigger and better things. When this film comes out in theaters (or DVD, whether it comes anywhere near me), I will be checking this out immediately. Cronenberg’s A History of Violence was a fantastic watch, and became my fifth favorite film of last year that was released on DVD. Cronenberg is taking the more mainstream approach, but I think what he’s doing is better than not being as mainstream. Get people to know that you are there. Let them know that M. Night Shyamalan isn’t what he was almost ten years ago, and let them know that you are as good as ever. I guess there is nothing else to say, other than Go David.
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel
Rated R for strong brutal and bloody violence, some graphic sexuality, nudity, and language
Release Date: September 14, 2007
The Film That No One Has Heard Of:
MARGOT AT THE WEDDING
Noah Baumbach changed my life around last March when I watched Squid and the Whale — I fell in love with it. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you see it very soon. It will change your life forever. Margot at the Wedding is Baumbach’s follow-up and with that being said, I’m not looking forward to this movie any more or less than the other films I listed above. Margot at the Wedding won’t be noticed until DVD, and that’s for damn sure. But if we let people know about this film, maybe more people will see this and Squid and the Whale will be noticed by a whole lot more people. And like Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding has tons of stars that you see in films these days. You have Nicole Kidman, Jack Black, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Turturro, and Flora Cross, the little girl from Bee Season. Hopefully this one will be just as good as Squid and the Whale, but then again, it won’t be as impactful, as Squid and the Whale was one hell of an impactful movie.
Director: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Jack Black, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Rated R for sexual content and language
Release Date: November 16, 2007
The Winner of the Foreign Film Oscar:
Tell me right now that this guy, Ang Lee, doesn’t have balls, and I’ll tell you right now that he has enough balls that he can slap you with a pair and still have enough to go on for his life. Lust, Caution is Lee’s follow-up to his Academy Award-winning film Brokeback Mountain, where Lee goes from the controversial subject of two gay cowboys to the controversial subject of sex, so controversial and so explicit that the Motion Picture Association of America slapped Lust, Caution with an NC-17 rating. If “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” didn’t teach the MPAA anything, it should have taught them that they are ruining the director’s vision. But Lee has enough balls to take what the MPAA has given him, and that is why I’m naming this film, without seeing it in advanced, the best foreign film of 2007. And tell me you don’t agree with me, and I’ll send Lee over right now.
Director: Ang Lee
Cast: Joan Chen, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Wei Tang
Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexuality
Release Date: September 28, 2007 (limited)
The Film That Features PTA’s Arrival:
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
And for the final film of part one, let it be known that I am heavily looking forward to There Will Be Blood. Paul Thomas Anderson is back after Punch Drunk Love and it looks like he has just as big cajones as he did before in Magnolia. Will we all like this film? No, because it is Paul Thomas Anderson and his films are all different than the ones that everyone else watches. But for those of us who call ourselves his fans, we will bow down to this film. There Will Be Blood will be like no other. Oh, and no, this isn’t Saw V. Keep your panties on.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O’Connor
Rated R for some violence
Release Date: December 26, 2007 (limited)
Well, that’s it for the films that I am looking forward to this year. Check back soon to find what films I am not looking forward to. You just may get a laugh at a few of them.