A friend of mine left me a voicemail the other day, in which he rather incredulously announced that in the next couple of months, there are a lot of movies coming out that actually look good. I know, it's weird, especially since the summer season has already been quite good (Iron Man, Wall-E) but there's reason to be excited about big studio movies between now and September, before the Oscar-bait pictures start rolling in. Here's what I'm looking forward to, with my excitement on a Bale-scale from 1 to 5 (note, even if a film gets only a single Bale, I'm still excited!):
1. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Release Date: 7/11/08
Why It Should Be Awesome: The people who've seen this movie have described it as Hellboy + Pan's Labyrinth, and that sounds fantastic to me. Guillermo del Toro designs weirder creatures than Miyazaki himself, and Ron Perlman has been a favorite for a while.
Reasons for Reservations: Del Toro is not a master of pacing (ie his movies are slow) and something this epic could get even slower. I'm not too worried.
2.The Dark Knight
Release Date: 7/18/08
Why It Should Be Awesome: If you don't know already...
Reasons for Reservations: N/A
3.The X-Files: I Want to Believe
Release Date: 7/25/08
Why It Should Be Awesome: The show was great, but frequently got bogged down in endless in-references and pointless mysteries. No time for that in a movie, plus this one's got Billy Connolly.
Reasons for Reservations: What seemed creepy when I was like 10 might not be too scary now
4. The Mummy 3
Release Date: 8/1/08
Why It Should Be Awesome: I really liked the first one, and any movie that has Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, and Brendan Fraser recently trained in Israeli martial arts has got to have its moments.
Reasons for Reservations: No Rachel Weisz, a new director, and what looks like 1 (or 1000) too many CG shots.
Release Date: 8/8/08 (make a wish!)
Why It Should Be Awesome: The 80s greatest genre, the buddy action-comedy, has fallen on hard times lately. Who better to revive it than Judd Apatow and his golden touch? And as far as I'm concerned, Seth Rogen can do absolutely no wrong.
Reasons for Reservations: James Franco...not so great actually.
6. Tropic Thunder
Release Date: 8/15/08
Why It Should Be Awesome: Ben Stiller's been in a rut lately, but this action-comedy about a group of actors who think they're filming a war movie but are actually in an actual war looks like a real winner. I'm particularly excited (and already offended) by Robert Downey Jr's performance as a method actor who has blackface surgically applied to play the African-American soldier.
Reasons For Reservations: Did I mention Stiller hasn't done anything good for a while?
7.Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Release Date: 8/15/08
Why It Should Be Awesome: If this prequel to a prequel is anything like Genndy Tartakovsky's earlier series, it should have scintillating action to spare. And since everything is already CG already, George Lucas' tendencies to pick terrible actors, direct them terribly, and surround them with CG are rendered moot.
Reasons For Reservations: Did I mention this is a prequel to a prequel? Episode III made me want to hurt myself...if this is like that, God help us all.
8.Burn After Reading
Release Date: 9/12/08
Why It Should Be Awesome: The. Coen. Brothers. Also, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, and Brad Pitt in a Coen Comedy about a spy whose dangerous memoirs have been stolen. Can't wait.
Reasons For Reservations: I thought The Ladykillers would be good.
Trailer (Redband!): http://www.slashfilm.com/2008/05/29/burn-after-reading-red-band-movie-trailer/