These are the movies I've deemed a must see for 2008 (a Top 19 if you will). I'll give a little write-up for each movie so you know what is what, but I believe each of these will be worth going to a theater and watching for $10.
Be Kind, Rewind (February 2008)
From director Michael Gondry (Being John Malkovich), this stars Mos Def as a clerk at a New York video/thrift store, and his friend Jack Black somehow manages to erase all the videotapes in the store because he's magnetized. So they have to "swede" (make by themselves) all the movies Jack Black erased.
Synecdoche, New York (Early 2008)
Written/Directed by Charlie Kaufman (writer Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener. I'm not exactly sure what this is about, something to do with PSH as a theater director, but anything from the mind of Kaufman should be worth seeing.
Iron Man (May 2)
No need for a description here. But Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark I think will be pretty sweet. Should be a good popcorn flick.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (May 22)
He’s back! 20 or so years later, but finally a fourth Indy film, featuring his son played by Shia LaBeouf and the return of Marion Ravenwood. Unfortunately there is no Sean Connery but still this should be interesting. The plot is still unconfirmed but I’ve been hearing a return to the Lost Ark storyline and something about aliens. Not sure how it’s going to turn out but I’m sure it’s going to be fun.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (April 18)
Another movie from the Apatow camp, although not written or directed by the leader, Judd. This one, written by the star, Jason Segal, is about how he breaks up with his famous girlfriend (Kristen Bell) of a couple years and goes to Hawaii to get away from life, but ends up bumping into her there with her new boyfriend. So far the Apatow guys have yet to lead me astray.
Righteous Kill (April 18)
De Niro and Pacino in the same film! Say no more, two legends are back on screen together as two cops hunting a vigilante who may be one of their own. Both of these haven’t had the best track record in the past couple of years, but both should put in a hell of a performance.
Based on a novel written by the same guy who wrote Fight Club, this is sure to be a good film. I’ve heard this book as better than Fight Club, so maybe the movie will be as well, although it will be hard to top one of David Fincher’s masterpieces.
The Happening (June 13)
The new film from M. Night Shyamalan should be interesting at least. I’ve heard that this was his best script since The Sixth Sense, possibly even better. And say what you will, I’ve yet to hate any of his movies (I didn’t see Lady in the Water). But Unbreakable still remains my favorite movies of his. Should be good, Friday the 13th.
The Incredible Hulk (June 13)
So the Ang Lee directed Hulk sucked, but let’s face it, that movie didn’t star Edward Norton, who pisses excellence in the morning. Show me a bad movie with him in it, and I’ll fight you on it. Also add in the fact he may have had a hand in writing part of it, I’m sure this one will be much better than the other piece of crap.
Wall-E (June 27)
Pixar is king. I’ll just say that. Never have they turned out a bad movie. Never (Maybe Cars…). And this surely will not be their first. They know how to make good movies and this will just add to the resume.
Hancock (July 2)
Pixar is king….well so is Will Smith. He could be starring in a movie about a guy taking a crap and it would still gross $200 million. Right now I don’t think there is an actor with more appeal than him. Directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom), Will Smith is a superhero who has lost the faith of the people and needs help getting back into their goodwill. Also stars Jason Bateman, who I love.
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (July 11)
The first Hellboy I won’t say was amazing, but it was definitely entertaining. Guillermo Del Toro really knows how to relate his vision onto the screen (Pan’s Labyrinth anyone?). Returns all the same old characters, but should be better I think. Del Toro doesn’t turn out many bad films.
The Dark Knight (July 18)
I’ve been waiting for this one for about two years now, and it’s inching closer day by day. Everything about this should and will kick serious ass. Heath Ledger should really bring a new twist to The Joker which will be superior to Nicholson’s. It’s unfortunate about Ledger’s death, but this movie will really show how versatile an actor the Aussie really was. I have complete faith in both Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale (who also pisses excellence, right alongside Edward Norton, and possibly better than him). Add to that Katie Holmes is out of the picture, and we’re golden.
Pineapple Express (August 8)
The last script written by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg was Superbad, and that was phenomenal, so this should be just as good if not better. This movie is supposed to be a merger of comedy and action, something about two stoners on the run for witnessing a murder with Rogan and James Franco in the lead roles, should be a whole mess of fun.
Quantum of Solace (November 7)
The next Bond movie, back with Daniel Craig as James Bond, this should be good. Casino Royale really surprised me with how good it was and how well Craig played the 007 agent. This movie starts a couple hours after the last one ended and revolves around the group/company that made Eva Green’s character do what she did.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (November 21)
I like the Potter movies, say what you will. My favorite being the third (Prisoner of Azkaban), but 4 and 5 have also been very good. The sixth probably won’t be the best Potter movie (save that for the two Potter movies for book 7!) but it should still be some fun. Dumbledore dies here, so should be fun to watch on screen. And yes I said two movies for Book 7, I’ve been hearing they’ll break up the book into two parts because it’s so dense they want to get a lot of the material in, and that’s what they should do.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (November 26)
David Fincher’s next movie sounds pretty damn intriguing. First off, Seven, Fight Club and Zodiac I all loved, with the latter being my favorite of the bunch. This stars Brad Pitt as an 80 year old man who is born that way, and ages backwards. Based on a book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it should be really good. Also stars Cate Blanchett.
Star Trek (December 25)
I’m really not into Star Trek at all. I’m more of a Star Wars guy. That being said, this is directed by JJ Abrams, who I loved. Creator of Alias and Lost, I stand behind him whenever he puts his head into something. Also directed Mission: Impossible III which was much better than I thought it was going to be, mainly because of him. I think this is going to be a whole lot of fun. Check out the video of JJ Abrams below, under Mystery in a Box – best twenty minutes you’ll spend all day.
I was actually lucky enough to see an advanced screening of this movie back in November. One word: excellent. Ron Howard is really in top form here with Frank Langella playing Tricky Dick to the tee and Martin Sheen playing David Frost very, very well. This movie is about the interviews that David Frost gave Richard Nixon after the Watergate scandal, and when Nixon finally apologized to the U.S. for his devious schemes.