Every year for the last few years, I’ve published my most-anticipated movies list, a list of a dozen movies that have to be seen in theaters, a “see it or bust” if you will. This year reveals the growing
12. R.I.P.D. (July 19). Ryan Reynolds meets “The Dude” Jeff Bridges in a ripped-from-the-graphic-novel story about dead/undead cops who battle forces the average human can’t see. Think of it as a (slightly?) more serious version of Men in Black.
11. Fast & Furious 6 (May 24). I wanted to give up on this series but Fast Five introduced the Rock, and this is about the only way to catch Vin Diesel growling and battling. It looks like guaranteed popcorn fun with the typical car chases, pile-ups, and more.
10. 2 Guns (August 2). Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg team up to take down a drug cartel. Washington and Wahlberg sounds even better than Washington and Reynolds. I’m in.
9. The Wolverine (July 26). I love three Marvel characters (the list of DC characters is much longer): Daredevil, Spiderman, and Wolverine. The first two are for ideological/theological reasons, but the last is simply because he’s cool. Hugh Jackman stops singing long enough to don the claws again, with a bit of a reboot into the history of the character.
8. The Lone Ranger (July 3). The hype has died down for this one, but my childhood Saturday mornings were tied closely to the LR and his buddy, Tonto. I’m not completely sold on Johnny Depp as a Comanche warrior, but I’ve got to see the film, and nothing beats the theater. We’ll see how they handle all of the aspects of the legend, but I’m sure they’re skipping the Christopher Lloyd tie-in.
7. Pacific Rim (July 12). Bumped back twice, this Guillermo Del Toro sci-fi thriller looks like it will be a more serious version of Battleship with a dash of Voltron thrown in. Starring Idris Elba, there has to be a certain amount of gravitas, and Del Toro is no slouch. Giant, man-controlled robots dueling it out in the sea against fierce creatures? Count me in.
6. World War Z (June 21). Max Brooks’ novel gets some real hype when it stars Brad Pitt in the cinematic version. I still think Walking Dead deserves a lot of credit for Z getting made: were zombies really on the radar before that hit? Will this be I Am Legend or 28 Days Later?
5. Epic (May 24). My lone cartoon choice (sorry, Monsters University), Epic, looks to have a story, a human girl who is shrunk to the size of some minute warriors, that will be both Borrowers and battle royale. The initial animation looks solid, and therefore gets the lone animated nod.
4. Elysium (August 9). Between Steve Norton’s coverage at HollywoodJesus.com and Neil Blomkamp being the director, I’m definitely down to see what happens with District 9: Part 2. Not really what it’s called, but you get the point. This will be part-political, part-sci-fi, and part-action flick, starring Matt Damon as a guy who has to lead a daring raid against the “privileged” living in space so that those loving in squalor on Earth might survive.
3. Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17). I just watched J.J. Abrams’ reboot, and I couldn’t be more excited (especially as a Star Wars guy) to see the sequel, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the “Khan role,” however that plays out. Kirk (Chris Pine) et al. will be battling a terrorist in this one, and it’s bound to be fierce.
2. Iron Man 3 (May 3). Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), philanthropist, hero, alcoholic. The Avengers world gets grimmer with the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) on the attack. Downey has more successfully taken his character deeper in the Iron Man series than any other actor, short of Christian Bale in the Dark Knight trilogy.
1. Man of Steel (June 13). Duh. There’s no other movie that touts a Christ figure quite like this one. Listen to the voices in the trailers, and tell me that Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner don’t come across like Marlon Brando! A superhuman who chooses to use his powers for the good of all even at the expense of himself, that just provides the set up that seems absolutely watchable.
Check back in later this summer. We’ll see if I go 12 for 12. It’d be fun.