Don Jon's Addiction
Man of Steel
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Iron Man 3
Star Trek Into Darkness
Fast & Furious 6
The Hangover Pt III
Despicable Me 2
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2
Thor: The Dark World
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The World's End
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - Loved Part 1 and I am looking forward to the cinematic conclusion of one of the most beloved young adult novels of all time.
Scre4m - Having recreated the opening scene from the first film with a friend in the classroom of my elementary school I can honestly say that I await the return of Ghostface.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Badly worded English aside, I enjoyed the hell out the first one and hope this is a return to form because the second (while wasn't as bad as I originally thought) was not great.
Thor - I hope Kenneth Branagh brings some of his Shakespearean influence to this mythic super hero and damn is Chris Hemsworth ripped.
Captain America: The First Avenger - Chris Evans deserves his shot, I enjoyed him as The Human Torch and even more in the lesser seen "Cellular" I am hoping for the best here. If anything it should be better than the 1990 version (which I remember renting and watching on VHS)
The Tree of Life - The trailer alone intrigues me beyond comprehension. The imagery, camerawork and Terrence Malick have me in the theatre already.
Green Lantern - One of my favourite comic book characters comes to life. Woot! No evil shall escape my sight.
The Adventures of Tin Tin: Secret of the Unicorn - Intrigue, sweet intrigue surrounds this picture. All we have seen in images so far and so far I am intrigued.
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol - Mr. Hunt is back on the case with a new mystery, new costars, new director, and me at the theatre.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - So sue me, I've seen all of the other ones in theatre and I'm seeing this through to the end.
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Megamind: I decided to see this regardless of all of my preconceived notions and you know what - I enjoyed it. It wasn't great but I laughed and giggled enough for my own pleasure to say that I can recommend this film. My fears of it being pop-culture laden were wrong, the voices didn't seem to match the characters, but one thing against the film was that the trailers and the TV spots (when combined) tell you basically what happens...oh well.
Tangled: Had I known this was going to be a animated musical I would've put this on my "see" list. Instead I thought this was going to be a straight forward CGI cartoon - it's not. The songs are great, the voice talents fit the characters and it is an enjoyable film for families and adults/anyone else. I really enjoyed this film, and the 3D added depth that really made me feel like I was looking out a window into this world.
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This final list won't involve me writing anything too wordy because I already listed these films in an earlier post and I'm physically exhausted from a long weekend. The first couple (two-three) are my tops of the year, then the rest follow in no particular order:
[*]Up in the Air
[*](500) Days of Summer
[*]In The Loop
[*]Drag Me To Hell
[*]Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
[*]The Hurt Locker
[*]I Love You, Man
[*]Rudo y Cursi
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This year's list is almost split in half. One half being dramatic/critically acclaimed films and the other half are films that were well received but not necessarily awards material - although some, if not most of the films on this list, garnered some sort of award throughout the year. The first two on the list are my top two, and the rest follow in no particular order.
[*]The Dark Knight
[*]Kung Fu Panda
[*]Forgetting Sarah Marshall
[*]Hellboy II: The Golden Army
[/LIST]I know what some are thinking already: "Where's 'Wall-E'?" Truth be told, I liked "Wall-E" but it didn't make the impact on me the same way "Kung Fu Panda" did. I felt more of a connection with Po than Wall-E and I found myself enjoying "Kung Fu Panda" more than "Wall-E". "Wall-E", to me, was more about style than substance. (I also find "Ratatouille" and "Up" to be better films.) There are great sequences in "Wall-E" but it didn't leave me with the sense of wonder I usually got when watching a Pixar film. I know it's unfair to compare Pixar film to Pixar film but I felt that something was missing from "Wall-E" that is present in all other Pixar films. I'm not exactly sure what, but there was no connection between the film and me. "Kung Fu Panda" has the whole package: it's great to look at, the music compliments the film perfectly, the characters are enjoyable, there are great jokes, and the final fight sequence - as well as the entire film - made me laugh as well as left me amazed at what I was watching.
A lot of great films came out in 2007. This list and year has the distinction of having two films that avoided American theatres and went straight to DVD. One is a slick South Korean martial arts/action film based around crime, corruption and cops. I saw it at BIFF (Brisbane International Film Festival) in 2007 and fell in love with it's style, choreography, and overall badassery. The action sequences are wonderfully choreographed and the story twists and turns through streets, back alleys, and underground crime syndicates. It also features one of the best fight scenes I've ever seen, complete with BMX bandits and baseball players.
The second is a film that if I mentioned it to 10 random people I would surmise that 8 or 9 would probably never have heard it's name. Which is odd considering who's starring in it and who wrote and directed it. It's one of my favourite comedies of the decade and it features a winning performance from the female lead. Who is always charming, but here, she takes it up a notch. I won't reveal it's title yet because I like to build suspense so I'll leave you hanging until the end. The first three titles on the list represent my top three, then the rest follow in no particular order.
[*]There Will Be Blood
[*]No Country for Old Men
[*]Paris Je T'aime
[*]The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
[*]The Bourne Ultimatum
[*]The City of Violence
[*]I Could Never Be Your Woman
If you haven't seen "I Could Never Be Your Woman", what are you waiting for? Amy Heckerling ("Fast Times at Ridgemont High", "Clueless") delivers a great romantic comedy that is enjoyable for both sexes. Paul Rudd, Jon Lovitz, Saoirse Ronan, Fred Willard and last, but certainly not least Michelle Pfeiffer are all terrific with the real bright spots being Rudd and Pfeiffer. Their chemistry is undeniable and the film would've most definitely failed had it not been for the two of them. Had one of the two of them not been casted, it would not have worked. They work extremely well with each other and you believe and cheer for their romance throughout the film.
You know what, I was going to write more but I want to let the film speak for itself - so go see it.
I'm taking a break from my best of the decade list to jot down a few films I am looking forward to this coming year. Some might be out that I have yet to see and others will be out in the future. As a side note, I have decided NOT to see "Clash of the Titans" in 3D because it was not meant to be in 3D. I've read early reports that the converted film looks clunky and distracting. I'm not down with the conversion process that has overtaken film studios since "Avatar" so I will be seeing it in 2D, like it was originally intended.
The following list is in order from Most Anticipated to Least Anticipated-but still anticipating:
[*]Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
[*]The Last Airbender
[*]Iron Man 2
[*]Toy Story 3
[*]Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
[*]Hot Tub Time Machine
[*]The Green Hornet
[*]I Love You Philip Morris
[*]Knight & Day
[*]Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
[*]The Rum Diary
[*]The Social Network
[*]Clash of the Titans (will be seeing in 2D)
[*]The Adjustment Bureau
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I'm not quite sure what to say about 2006. It was hard to whittle down all of my choices, and it took me a while. I seesawed on a couple. Added, deleted, then re-added films because I found myself liking things about each one. In the end I came up with a list I am fairly pleased with because I know I took the time to remember each one and think about it in a greater context. But, I'm not entirely sure what my favourite of the year is because I love some many of them. I will say that Ryan Gosling, almost on his own, put "Half Nelson" on this list. Anthony Mackie is fantastic (as we witnessed again in "The Hurt Locker") and it is one of my favourites of the year. I was hard pressed to find one that I truly and utterly felt was the best of the year so, I wrote them down as they came to me.
[*]Little Miss Sunshine
[*]Stranger Than Fiction
[*]Thank You For Smoking
[*]Mission: Impossible III
[*]Find Me Guilty
[/LIST]I'm a big fan of Vin Diesel, when he's doing good work. In "Find Me Guilty" his magnetic personality shines through and he delivers one the best performances of his career. His character, Jackie DiNorscio, never lets anything bother him too much (even while he's serving 30 years in prison) because he is the kind of guy who likes it when others are happy. He always wants the best of others and won't stoop to being a rat for the prosecution because he is loyal to his "family". This movie is a comedy sprinkled with dramatic elements throughout and nothing is better than when Jackie gets up in the court and delivers his testimony and asks the witnesses questions. It shows that, unlike some people would have you believe, Vin Diesel can act! This film slipped through the cracks because of its limited release but if you give it a chance you might enjoy it and you'll probably find yourself wondering why Vin Diesel isn't doing more films like this one.
2005 was an odd year. Not just in the sense that it ended in an odd number, but that it was a year that featured only a few stand-out films. For starters, there was no Pixar film and it featured the rebirth of the R-rated comedy. These are my favourite films from 2005 with my top two and then the rest in no particular order.
[*]Hustle & Flow
[*]Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
[*]The 40-Year-Old Virgin
[*]Kicking & Screaming
[*]The Devil's Rejects
[*]Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
[*]The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
[/LIST]The last one might throw a few people for a loop but, if you've seen the film you know it is much more than just about girls falling for boys and the drama that ensues. While that is a part of it, it's not the whole thing. The four leads are charismatic and charming as they deal with situations that more closely resemble real life than most films about teenage girls do. The standout segments come with America Ferrera and her soon to be remarried dad, played by Bradley Whitford (of "West Wing" fame). We watch her wrestle with being neglected by the man her father has now become and how she deals with being a girl of color with the white family her father is joining.
The girls deal with life, love, the reality of death and the struggle to fit in. Each story is presented as life and is rarely sensationalized which adds to its overall appeal. We see each girl struggle and overcome obstacles because of their, to use a word directly from the title, Sisterhood. The bond they share extends beyond borders as they are always there for each other. The film is often dismissed but if you give it a chance you might like it.