Friday, February 16, 2007

My Ten Most Anticipated Flicks of 2007

"Hot Fuzz" (April 20th)

There's not many bigger fans of "Shaun of the Dead" than I, so the pedigree here is perfect. Wright, Pegg and Frost are back, as well as bit parts for the likes of Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Steve Coogan and pretty much every other brilliant British person who's funny. Add to the equation, the trailer is great, and all the early reviews have praised it as even better than "Shaun." This is one I already have a feeling I'll be seeing multiple times.

"The Simpsons Movie" (July 27th)

Granted, I was MUCH more excited about this when they first announced it-- i.e.: when I still watched "The Simpsons." But nonetheless, America's favorite family has been such a great and significant part of my life, that I can't help but still be excited about the promise of their own feature film. And while the show may have lost its heart, on the rare occasion when I catch it, it's still funny as shit. It's just a shame they couldn't have gotten this one out a few years ago.

"Shoot 'Em Up" (September 7th)

This is probably the only movie on this list virtually guaranteed to have zero chance of making it onto my end-of-the-year Top 10, but I've included it purely because it seems like it'll be a balls-out hardcore fun time at the movies. To the best of my knowledge, Clive Owen plays a dude who has to protect a BABY from being assassinated by a group of bad guys, and Monica Bellucci's a lactating prostitute who caters to clients with a mother-baby fetish. On top of that, the main villain is played by none other than Paul Giamatti. Need I say more?

"Beowulf" (November 16th)
As if the prospect of Robert Zemeckis delivering an adaptation of "Beowulf" wasn't awesome enough, this is being done in complete motion-capture a la "The Polar Express," and promises to be one of the real mindblowers of the film year. No, Tom Hanks isn't in this one.

"Leatherheads" (December 7th)
Okay. I'm not totally in love with the premise on this one-- Romantic Comedies don't always allow for the most originality. And I'm super-not-thrilled about the female lead (it's *shudder* Zellweger). But, it's Clooney's next as a director (and star) and I have to trust my favorite guy in Hollywood's instincts. And ya gotta love "The Office's" John Krasinski getting a major film role-- not just cameos in "The Holiday" and "Dreamgirls."

"There Will Be Blood" (December)

I'm not going to lie: I know nothing about this one other than it's the brilliant Paul Thomas Anderson's ('Boogie Nights," "Magnolia") first movie in 5 years, it stars Daniel Day-Lewis, and it's loosely based on Upton Sinclair's "Oil!" I don't know about you, but that's more than enough for me.


Danny Boyle has yet to disappoint me... well, "A Life Less Ordinary" wasn't exactly the cat's pajama's but you get what I'm going for here. More often than not, the guy fucking delivers. From "Trainspotting" to "28 Days Later" to "Millions," I've fallen in love with his work time after time after time. Here, he's given a decent-sized budget, a cool-as-shit premise (reigniting the sun), and the trailer is probably the best I've seen this year so far. If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on this one being great.

"Lions for Lambs" (November 9th)
Synopsis pulled from "consists of three interconnected storylines: Tom Cruise as a congressman who interacts with a journalist (Meryl Streep); Robert Redford as an idealistic professor who attempts to inspire a privileged student in his class; and a third storyline about a pair of American soldiers wounded in enemy territory, one of whom is Redford's former student." Sounds pretty good, don't it? I'm not the hugest fan of Redford (read "Rebels from the Backlot" and you won't be either), but I'm certainly rooting for a comeback from the talented-but-crazy Cruise, and I'll flock to anything featuring Streep that isn't an ABBA musical.

"The Darjeeling Limited" (Fall)

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a whore for some Wes Anderson, so it shouldn't be surprised I'm superpumped for his 5th film about three brothers' (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) voyage to India to search for their mother. I was lucky enough to read the screenplay for "Darjeeling" last summer, and I'll say this: it's drastically different from Anderson's last few films while keeping much of his typical trademarks, but it's more in line tonally with "Life Aquatic" and "Bottle Rocket" than "Rushmore" or "Royal Tenenbaums." Reading a screenplay for one of Anderson's films is really only maybe 1/10 of the finished product, and I can't wait to see what he does with this one.

"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (December)
I don't know if this is the film I'm most excited about this year, but it's certainly the one I'm most nervous about. Sondheim's "Sweeney" is, in my opinion, the greatest musical of the 20th century, and last year's Broadway revival of it starring Michael Cerveris and Patti Lupone (pictured above) was hands-down the greatest production of a show I've ever seen. For the most part, the casting seems right from an acting stance, but I'm really not sure if Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter have the singing chops to pull off Sondheim's incredibly demanding score. On the plus side, Alan Rickman and Sacha Baron Cohen seem perfect for Judge Turpin and Senor Pirrelli, respectively. If Tim Burton doesn't go overboard on the macabre, and his gothic sensibilities, he has the potential to make the greatest movie musical of all time... or not. I'm not getting my hopes up just yet.


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