As a follow up to our 2008 movie preview and based on the conversation that followed I thought it would be appropriate to list the movies that I'm looking forward to most in 2008.
The top five were a piece of cake, but beyond that there was much juggling and shifting around of movies. It's pretty subjective as it stands beyond the top 5 movies and I might even be talked into moving some of them around. :-)
15. X-Files 2 - July 25, 2008
I'm putting this one on the list out of deference to Heath and Niall, who I know are both really looking forward to it. Me, not so much. It's going to be a standalone movie instead of continuing down the ridiculously twisted plot path established in the TV series and previous film so maybe it'll turn out to be great. I'm still not fired up about it, though.
14. Wanted - June 27, 2008
This action flick about professional assassins is based on graphic novels by Mark Millar and stars Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie. I'm basing this one on the trailer which make it looks like a cool Matrix-style action flick.
13. Punisher: War Zone - September 12, 2008
In this franchise reboot Frank Castle (but not Thomas Jane) returns to fight crime, this time in New York City. Apparently Marvel thought the same thing I did about the previous Punisher film and has decided to restart the franchise much like they're doing with The Hulk. I'm hoping for more from this latest version and we'll have to see what director Lexi Alexander brings to it.
12. The Spiderwick Chronicles - February 14, 2008
A young boy discovers a world of goblins and fairies that exists just beneath the surface of what we can see. I first saw footage from this at the San Diego Comic-Con last July and it has high quality written all over it. Looks like a great one for parents to bring their kids to.
11. Hellboy (2): The Golden Army - July 11, 2008
Guillermo del Toro returns to write and direct Ron Perlman as the wise-cracking Hellboy once again. I wasn't looking forward to this at all until I saw the trailer and it prompted me to re-watched the first one. I had forgotten how excellent it was and I'm now fully looking forward to this sequel.
10. Jumper - February 14, 2008
Hayden Christensen and Samuel L. Jackson star in a sci fi thriller involving a small number of people who have the ability to teleport - and those who hunt them. As I've stated before, I think this one may sneak up on us and end up being one of those movies that come out of nowhere but turns out to be very popular. I like the concept but hope that this one turns out better than the last movie that Sam Jackson and Hayden Christensen co-starred in (cough, starwars, cough)...
9. Speed Racer - May 9, 2008
The Wachowskis are back with a live action version of the 1960's anime series. Whether this will rock or stink, there's a lot of buzz around it. It's either going to be very popular or will seem totally cheesy with a surreal, psychedelic look. The G-rating is going to put a lot of family butts in the seats.
8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - May 22, 2008
What?! I've got this at number 8!? Sorry folks, but that's as fired up as I can get on this one. Be happy it's in the top 10. I realize that people are extremely excited about it, but I just don't know if they'll be able to recapture the magic.
7. Wall-E - June 27, 2008
It's Pixar so it will be awesome. Period.
6. The Incredible Hulk - June 13, 2008
This reboot of The Hulk superhero movie franchise stars Ed Norton, Liv Tyler and William Hurt and directed by the guy who brought us the adrenaline/action movie The Transporter. There is a ridiculous lack of marketing going on with this movie but I do believe that this is another one that may come out of nowhere and knock our collective socks off. Marvel was very disappointed with the reaction to the last one (I just re-watched it and confirmed what a misfire it was), so they're going to feel like they have a lot to prove with this new version. In the end I believe that means that we win. :-)
And drum roll, please... Here we are at the Top 5 movies we're looking forward to in 2008:
5. Bond 22 - November 7, 2008
Although there hasn't been much news on this one yet, Daniel Craig hit it out of the park as the new James Bond. Martin Campbell is not returning to direct, but the tone of the last one obviously contributed to it's success so the hope is that they'll stay on that more realistic, gritty track with the next one.
4. Cloverfield - January 18, 2008
Whether it ends up being great or not we'll know soon enough, but this is one of the movies we've been most curious about for months now. The viral marketing on this one has been driving people into a frenzy and we'll know in a few days whether it is worth all the hype.
3. Star Trek - December 25, 2008
No matter how you slice it, J.J. Abrams reboot of the Star Trek universe is a controversial decision. I don't know whether it will be a hit with new audiences, outrage the old or what, but there's no denying that anticipation for this one is extremely high.
2. The Dark Knight - July 18, 2008
Chris Nolan returns to direct Christian Bale as Batman in this sequel to the wildly successful Batman Begins by pitting our hero against his ultimate nemesis: The Joker. It was a tough call on this one, but despite the fact that Batman is a much more well known character, I think this may be overshadowed by the number one pick on this list.
1. Iron Man - May 2, 2008
Was there any doubt that this would be at the very top of this list? :-) Jon Favreau directs Robert Downey Jr. who seems to be channeling the comic book character Tony Stark, whose alter ego is the armored hero Iron Man. While I've been waiting for this movie to be made my entire life, it looks like audiences are going to get blown away but one of the best comic book to screen adaptations yet. In six months Iron Man has gone from relative obscurity to being the most highly anticipated film of 2008, and I couldn't be happier about that.
So there you have it. Five sequels, three "reboots" or "re-imaginings" and the rest original films (and maybe the start of sequels in their own right).
What do you think? I'm sure you'll want to shift some of those movies around and maybe add some of your own. Regardless, it looks like we're going to have a good year for movies, folks!