Monday, January 28, 2013

Brad Bird's "1952" retitled "Tomorrowland", new details emerge

One of the most intriguing projects of the next few years is Brad Bird's science fiction project that is his follow-up to the terrific Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol. Up until today, that film was called 1952 and set to star George Clooney and debut on December 19, 2014. And while the last two things are the same, the project now has a different title: Tommorowland. For those unfamiliar, Tomorrowland is a section of the Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks that deals with the future, and alien life. And it seems that the story will revolve around that. According to many sources including Collider and EW, the inspiration for the film was a box found by a Disney executive and given to director Brad Bird and screenwriter Damon Lindelof. The box is said to contain materials for a possible ride or theme park that was going to be made but was scrapped. Previously, this film has been described as a Close Encounters-style film about alien life and human contact.

Now, there are several theories on what this movie could be. Some think that now because it is titled Tomorrowland, it is about the construction of Disneyland and the development of the Imagineers division. Some think that it is a drama about Walt Disney. I tend to lean towards a different solution. One that I created myself. I think that Bird and Lindelof's film will be about a real encounter between George Clooney's character, who I assume will be Walt Disney and alien life. His adventure shows him something and it causes him to create Tomorrowland and a film but the film idea was scrapped. That may sound crazy but I think that it is most definitely plausible. All in all, Tomorrowland is one of my most anticipated for the next few years. Period sci-fi is something that I love and I think that Bird and Lindelof will do a great job.

Sources: EW, Collider


JJ Abrams to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII"

I know that I am kind of late on reporting this big announcement but I have been very busy. Last week, Disney announced that Star Trek and Super 8 director JJ Abrams would be the director for their new Star Wars film, which would be the seventh in the series. The director, who has a film debuting this year in the form of Star Trek Into Darkness, at first denied interest in the film but it turns out was actually always a contender. The only other real contender was reported to be Ben Affleck but I don't think that he would ever actually take the job. Paramount has reported that Abrams will remain a consultant for the following Star Trek films and on Mission: Impossible 5 but would not direct that film or Star Trek 3. Disney hopes to have Episode VII in theaters by 2015. It is unknown whether Abrams would direct all three films in the planned trilogy.

In my opinion, this is the best decision that Disney could make. Nobody would be perfect for the role and these films will not be on the same level as the original trilogy which is fantastic. Abrams is probably best suited for the role because of his experience in sci-fi (Star Trek) and with big action sequences (the train crash in Super 8). I think that there was another director that should have been considered by Disney more and that is Brad Bird. He has done good in animation and created one of the best action movies of all time with Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol. I think he would have been great but unfortunately, he's busy with Disney's Tommorowland, which is one of my most anticipated films of the next few years. I do hold Abrams in high regard as a director and think that he will do justice by the material, while also putting his own spin on it. He's the best choice for the job. I think that he could have clinched this job because of Super 8. If you know me or are an avid reader of this blog, you know that I hold that film in high regard and I hope that it is what he can do with Star Wars. Pay homage to the material while putting his own spin on it. I don't want a carbon copy of the original trilogy. However, I have one problem. Abrams is a great director and I would like to see him do more original material like Super 8 and I'm afraid with this, he'll end up being like Lucas and just doing Star Wars. I hope not but it could happen. I hope that he puts one of his friends in charge of Star Trek because I can't see anybody else doing those films as well as Abrams. But all in all this is a good move by Disney.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

SAG Award Winners

The live blog has begun and the SAG awards have started. We got two big categories right off the bat after a weird opening that was unfunny and boring for the most part. I'm not sure if they do this every year so if someone could tell me that would be good. But for now, here are the first two categories.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

TOMMY LEE JONES, Lincoln

This category is so unpredictable. Waltz wins at the Globes, Jones at the SAG's and someone else at the Oscars is what I am guessing. I am happy for Jones though, he gives a great performance in Lincoln. But Arkin and Bardem are deserving too. I don't know. This has been a tough and random category this year. Jones is deserving and one of the best things about Lincoln. Nicole Kidman had no idea what she was doing presenting that award.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

ANNE HATHAWAY, Les Miserables

Still haven't seen it, still don't know if she's that great. She gave a half-decent speech this time but it still got a little boring and repetitive in the second half. But she has that Oscar locked up. It's over.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

ALEC BALDWIN, 30 ROCK

I forget that this was 30 Rock's last year and now I know that they are going to win everything. Once again, I was hoping for Parsons to take home an award for his remarkable work on The Big Bang Theory, but no dice. Look for wins by Tina Fey and the cast later.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

TINA FEY, 30 ROCK

Another one that I predicted right and it is not surprising. Fey is very funny and even though I do not watch 30 Rock, it still seems to be very funny. Fey needs to stay in television comedy and keep doing these shows. Look for a possible ensemble win.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES

Modern Family

Well, I guess that Modern Family was still too good to pass up. I though that 30 Rock might get a few nostalgia votes but it didn't. Modern Family is another show I didn't watch but does anyone watch Nurse Jackie? I hope it's better than the clips that they show because they are always not funny.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A MINSERIES OR TV MOVIE

JULIANNE MOORE, Game Change

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A MINSERIES OR TV MOVIE

KEVIN COSTNER, Hatfields and McCoys

LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Dick Van Dyke

He gave a pretty good speech. A little too much like oh, actors are just so great but isn't that what this show is all about? At least it was comprehensible, unlike Jodie Foster's. He still is an icon of the entertainment world and very funny and recognizable. I know him most from Night at the Museum, but I think that he is pretty good in Mary Poppins as well. He is just a good actor. Now was he joking when he said Tony Bennett instead of Alec Baldwin? I'm not sure.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

BRYAN CRANSTON, Breaking Bad

Upset! This was the first big one of the night and I was happy to see someone win that wasn't who I expected. Homeland gets so much recognition and rightfully so. But I think that it is good for others to win as well. Cool to see an upset.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

CLAIRE DANES, Homeland

After Cranston's win, I thought that there was a small chance for an upset in this category but it turns out that the competition was just too weak for anyone but Danes to win. Just from watching the awards clips, I think that she is most definitely deserving. No shocker here.

Well, I am done for tonight. This is the Movie Guru signing off.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

DOWNTON ABBEY

Another surprise. The SAG's must not love Homeland. While Danes won, Lewis didn't and he has won everything this year. I have to say, Downton was the last show I expected to win best drama. I thought that Breaking Bad or Mad Men would win over it, but they seemed to like it a lot.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE

JENNIFER LAWRENCE, Silver Linings Playbook

The Oscar race just cleared up quite a bit. While I know that Jessica Chastain isn't out of the running, and Emmanuelle Riva has her supporters, I think that Lawrence is going to take the gold. She's a likable personality and it is a movie that everyone loves and she was also in a blockbuster this year. Her SAG award will definitely help her case.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, Lincoln

The biggest shocker of the night.....not. Day-Lewis is going to win and it seems like a waste to give him the award at the ceremony every time. Why not just send it to him? We all know that he is going to win. Day-Lewis should already clear space on his trophy shelf for his third Oscar. \

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE

ARGO

Wow. Just wow. Argo is the best film of the year that I saw and deserves every bit of praise it is getting. But it is still shocking. I thought that the Critic's Choice and Golden Globes would be the big prize for Affleck and co. but then they won the Producer's Guild and now the SAG. Right now it is looking good for Argo and if the film wins the Director's Guild, then the Oscar is a sure thing.

Look for a piece on this later. But for now, this is it.

SAG Awards Predictions

After Argo's Producers Guild award last night, the race has shifted and is now heavily in Argo's favor. And despite how much I love Argo and how good it is, tonight is down to Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln in my opinion for best ensemble. The award is best ensemble, not best picture. Argo is a great picture but not necessarily a great ensemble. With all the recognition that Silver Linings Playbook's cast has gotten, I expect that that film will win tonight but with this year, nothing would surprise me. I will be live-blogging the event tonight and I hope that it is an enjoyable night and a lot of fun. Here are my predictions:

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE

Argo
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Denzel Washington, Flight

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Alan Arkin, Argo
Javier Bardem, Skyfall
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Phillip Seymour Hoffman- The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Sally Field, Lincoln
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


TELEVISION

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA SERIES

Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Homeland
Mad Men

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES

30 Rock
The Big Bang Theory
Glee
Modern Family
Nurse Jackie
The Office

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Clair Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Louis CK, Louie
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Amy Poelher, Parks and Recreation
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland

I'm skipping projections on the miniseries but I think that it will be an interesting night for everything. This is a very interesting race.

"Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" tops box office, ahead of awards favorites and flops

The Jerermy Renner and Gemma Arterton vehicle Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters topped a flop filled weekend at the box office. The action film, which Paramount reports cost $50 million earned an estimated $19 million this weekend at the box office. It was expected to earn close to $25 million but did not come close to that number. In some ways this is a disappointment and in some ways it isn't. After all, it is a goofy, violent, R-rated action comedy about Witch Hunters but then again it still was not a cheap film to make. Thankfully, the film will be a modest success and won't be known as the worst flop this weekend. More on that in a minute. In second place, Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror film Mama finished with $12.9 million. This film has been a decent hit and will continue on to about $70 million. In third and fourth were Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty respectively. The films grossed $10 million and $9.8 million a piece and should both finish over $100 million once awards season is done. By the way, look for reviews of Silver Linings Playbook and Les Miserables next weekend. I have been meaning to see them but I just haven't got to it yet. Parker finished in fifth place with $7 million. The latest Jason Statham kills bad people film is definitely and flop and I think that this studios should start to question his validity as a star. All his movies seem to be the same. It's like the quote from Singin' in the Rain: why not just release the old picture under a different title? It just seems like a waste. Jason Statham KILLS people. That is all he does. Anyways, it wasn't the biggest flop this weekend. Movie 43 takes that title. $5 million dollars worth of people saw Movie 43 this weekend and with the size of the cast, it can be classified as a massive flop. But it only cost $6 million, so I guess Relativity can't be that upset. In addition to those films, Django Unchained finished in six with $5.05 million. It now has $146 million and is Quentin Tarantino's biggest hit ever by a mile. Gangster Squad continued to not have a presence with $4 million. Les Miserables added another $3.9 million to its not $137 million cume. And Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg vehicle Broken City is officially a flop. Next weekend sees the release of Warm Bodies and Bullet To the Head.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

THE MOVIE GURU AWARDS: Nominations and a few winners

After the first annual movie guru awards were botched last year, I decided to bring them back this year. Note that I have not seen Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook, or Zero Dark Thirty so there are NO nominations for those films. If I do see those films before February 23, I will be sure to add those to the list and remove less worthy contenders. There are some notable changes from last year's set of nominees. The best newcomer awards has been abolished, original and adapted screenplay have been condensed into one category, and best cinematography has been added. Here are this year's nominations:

UPDATE: After watching Silver Linings Playbook (review coming later), I have provided some updates to these nominees.

BEST PICTURE

ARGO 
THE AVENGERS
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
SKYFALL
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

BEST ACTOR

Christian Bale, The Dark Knight Rises
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock
Robert Downey Jr., The Avengers
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

BEST ACTRESS

Judi Dench, Skyfall
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Alan Arkin, Argo
Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Javier Bardem, Skyfall
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Anne Hathway, The Dark Knight Rises
Charlize Theron, Snow White and The Huntsman
Scarlett Johannson, Hitchcock
Sally Field, Lincoln
Elizabeth Banks, The Hunger Games

BEST DIRECTOR

Ben Affleck, Argo
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Sam Mendes, Skyfall
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises
Joss Whedon, The Avengers

BEST SCREENPLAY

Tony Kushner, Lincoln
Chris Terrio, Argo
Chris and John Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Zak Penn and Joss Whedon, The Avengers

BEST ANIMATED FILM

THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS
WRECK-IT RALPH
BRAVE
MADAGASCAR 3
FRANKENWEENIE (for the animation only)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Joanna Johnston, Lincoln
Jacqueline West, Argo
Julie Wiess, Hitchcock
Bob Buck, Anna Maskrey, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Judianna Markovsky, The Hunger Games

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

John Williams, Lincoln
Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight Rises
Alan Silvestri, The Avengers
Thomas Newman, Skyfall
Alexander Desplat, Argo

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Roger Deakins, Skyfall
Rodrigo Pietro, Argo
Wally Pfister, The Dark Knight Rises
Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
Seamus McGarvy, The Avengers

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

The Avengers
Prometheus
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
The Impossible

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

"Skyfall", Skyfall

The only nominee. It is too good and there are too few nominees.

WORST PICTURE

Ice Age: Continental Drift
Frankenweenie
Life of Pi
John Carter
The Lorax

BEST TRAILER

The Dark Knight Rises
Argo
Skyfall
The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Zero Dark Thirty

MOST ANTICIPATED OF 2013

Iron Man 3
Star Trek Into Darkness
Man of Steel 
Monsters University
Anchorman 2

The winners will be announced on February 23. Look for a few changes if I see any of the movies that I missed. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" finally to hit theaters in 2013

One of the most anticipated films that not everyone was sure would come out in 2013 has a definitive release date. And it is in 2013. Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, a big space epic that is said to be groundbreaking from early test screenings will hit theaters on October 4, 2013. The film will share it's release date with Robert Rodriguez's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and Paranoia. A lot of people suspect that Gravity is a truly amazing film that is just being postponed for marketing reasons. The film stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts who end up being lost in space when their ship malfunctions. The film is said to have an 18 minute openings shot and sounds a lot like 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film is finished and has a PG-13 rating and comes during a busy October. In addition to the films previously mentioned, Spike Lee's Oldboy remake will be released on the 11th along with an early Oscar favorite in Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks. Also that month is The World's End, another Paranormal Activity and The Seventh Son. Maybe Argo opening in October had an effect. Gravity only has two actors and is directed by Alfonso Cuaron.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Jurassic Park IV" in June 2014, Disney's Maleficent in July, The Muppets 2 in March

There has been a slew of release dates announced from Disney and Universal. Here they are by date:

Jurassic Park IV will be released on June 13, 2014. The film does not have a director but will be produced by Steven Spielberg.

The Muppets 2 was moved from a tentative 2013 release date to one in March. Although a move from Christmas to March isn't a big move, I think that The Muppets will flourish in March. It is a good fit. The Muppets 2 will be released on March 21, 2014.

Disney's Maleficent was moved to a prime summer release date in 2014. This shows that Disney has a lot of confidence in the Angelina Jolie starred film. This concerns me about Oz, The Great and Powerful which is in March and not in July. Both films are very similar and the fact that Maleficent used to be in March and is now in July makes me nervous about Oz.

Disney placed Brad Bird's 1952 on December 19, 2014. The top secret film currently shares the date with Despicable Me Minions. I am very excited for this film as Bird's last live action film, Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol was one of the best of 2011. It was also announced that George Clooney would star in the film.

Also, Steven Spielberg indefinitely delayed his sci-fi epic Robopocalypse, citing issues with putting the film on the big screen. The film was previously set for a April 25, 2014 release date and was to be directed by Spielberg. He is currently picking up awards for Lincoln and preparing other films.

Disney also set another Jack Sparrow adventure for a prime release date on July 10, 2015. There are no current details on the plot but it is assumed that the cast from the fourth film will return. No director has been announced.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Golden Globe Winners

This is a live blog so it is going to keep getting gradually bigger as the night goes on. Wow, what a start. Tina Fey and Amy Poelher are taking the roof down and are practically laugh out loud hilarious. The first categories have been announced and here they are:

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

CHRISTOPH WALTZ, Django Unchained

We've got a surprise to start the evening. I knew that Waltz' performance was popular but I didn't think that he would win. I thought it was down to Arkin and Tommy Lee Jones. Anyways, this was an exciting way to start the evening as it was something that I didn't expect.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SHOW OR MOVIE

MAGGIE SMITH, Downton Abbey

I didn't predict this one so I have no comment but I know that the show is very popular, somewhat in my house.

BEST TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE

GAME CHANGE

No shocker here, Game Change was THE most acclaimed and well reviewed TV movie of the year and it would have been a major shock if anyone else had won this award besides Game Change.

BEST ACTRESS IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE

JULIANNE MOORE, Game Change

Another no brainer. Moore was heavily acclaimed for her performance in Game Change and it would be a surprise if Game Change won and she didn't.

BEST ACTOR IN A TV SERIES, DRAMA

DAMIEN LEWIS, Homeland

Although I predicted Bryan Cranston to win for Breaking Bad, once I thought about it, I knew that Damien Lewis was going to win. It was just a no-brainer that if Homeland was going to win, Lewis was going to win with it. We got a free Showtime preview this weekend and my dad has been addicted to the show so I think that it is well deserved.

BEST TV SERIES, DRAMA

It won last year and it won again this year. Homeland is basically the new Mad Men. It sweeps the awards. I'm betting on Clair Danes winning later because this is just a powerhouse TV show that is going to get really big.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

MYCHAEL DANNA, Life of Pi

Not a fan of this movie and wasn't overly impressed with the score. I was sure that this would go to John Williams or Alexander Desplat. But oh well. I think that Life of Pi is going to be a movie that I watch again because I'm sure that there is a great film there, I just didn't see it the first time.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

SKYFALL by ADELE

One of the best Bond themes ever wins the award that it deserves. I was extremely happy when this was announced because Skyfall is the best Bond of all time and it isn't quite getting the recognition I think that it deserves. Awesome.

BEST ACTOR IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE

KEVIN COSTNER, Hatfields and McCoys

Costner gives the best speech of the entire ceremony looking back at his career and giving an awesome speech about the craziness of the movie industry. Good to see Costner back and looking forward to seeing him in Man of Steel and Jack Ryan.

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY OR MUSICAL

JENNIFER LAWRENCE, Silver Linings Playbook

Not a surprise here. But the whole delivery by Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig was killer. Downright stupid and downright hilarious. Jennifer Lawrence delivers a great, funny and awesome speech that contains two great quotes: "I beat Meryl!" and "Thank you Harvey for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here." Awesome.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

ANNE HATHAWAY, Les Miserables

And I still haven't seen Les Miserables. Anne Hathaway gives a great performance supposedly but I still want to see what this film is all about. I hope to see it soon. This was another Globe that went to the actor I expected it to go to. I'm hoping to get some surprises later.

BEST SCREENPLAY

QUENTIN TARANTINO, Django Unchained

I CALLED IT!!! I just had a feeling that without any really strong scripts standing in Tarantino's way that he would take the prize. This is a shock to some people but not to me although don't expect a screenplay win at the Oscars. The HFPA is a little hipper than the Academy and seem to recognize Tarantino more.

BEST ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

DON CHEADLE, House of Lies

I don't know what House of Lies is. I have never heard of the show in my life and I don't even know what channel it is on so it surprised me slightly that the award was given to Cheadle. I was hoping for Jim Parsons but I didn't get it. Too bad.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

AMOUR

Schwarzenegger and Stallone were pretty funny and I wasn't surprised that Amour won. I went with the upset in The Intouchables and it was a bargain and I lost. It was worth a shot but with the Oscar nomination, you just had to know that Michael Haneke's film was going to win. He actually spoke pretty good English.

BEST ACTRESS IN A TV SERIES, DRAMA

CLAIR DANES, Homeland

Homeland swept again. They got the brooms out and took all the awards. It isn't really a surprise; that show is keeping Showtime afloat. I didn't know that Danes won when she was fifteen, that was a surprise to me. Anyways, look for Homeland to dominate the next few years at the Golden Globes.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

BRAVE

A surprise for me, even though Pixar usually wins. I just felt like the reaction to Brave was not as strong as it was to Wreck-It Ralph or even Frankenweenie. Brave was one of the weaker Pixar efforts and one of the first true surprises of the night for me. Also, Sacha Baron Cohen gives the most scathing and hilarious nomination announcements of the night.

BEST ACTRESS IN A TV SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

LENA DUNHAM, Girls

My dad absolutely hates this show so to see Lena Dunham win was not a happy moment for him. For me, it was another sort of surprise but given the reaction to the show, I'm really not surprised at all. But why couldn't she move in her dress? What was up with that?

What the heck was up with Jodie Foster's speech? Did anyone understand that?

BEST DIRECTOR

BEN AFFLECK, Argo

Affleck can now tell the academy that they were wrong and he can say the famous phrase from Argo along with it. I can't say that there has been a happier moment in my evening then when I heard Affleck's name announced because it is the best film of 2012 and deserves all the recognition it is going to get. Let's see if it wins best picture....

BEST TV SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

GIRLS

Considering Modern Family's dominance, this was the shock of the evening for me. I thought that there was a chance that Dunham would win for her performance but I didn't think that the show would win. I was hoping for a win for the Big Bang Theory but once again, didn't get it. Once again, I am disappointed.


Well, that's it for my live blogging but check back tomorrow to see the winners for the two best picture awards and best actor.

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA

JESSICA CHASTAIN, Zero Dark Thirty

Jessica Chastain wins the other main actress award of the night. This Oscar race is down to her and Lawrence and I think that it is going to come down to which film has the most momentum come Oscar night. It's looking like Lawrence right now but the tide could turn on her and the award could go to Chastain but this a discussion for another time.

BEST MOTION PICTURE , COMEDY OR MUSICAL

LES MISERABLES

A sort of surprising choice even though I picked it. I think that Les Miserables is this year's The Help. Everybody seems to have some sort of opinion on it, the public adores it, the critics thought it was meh, and it is picking up lots of acting awards for Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman just like Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer did. But still, I'm surprised the Silver Linings Playbook didn't win. It is a favorite and it is a Weinstein film but it looks like the power of the musical was too much.

BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE , DRAMA

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, Lincoln

The biggest surprise of the night came with Daniel Day-Lewis winning for Lincoln. I seriously did not see this coming. His performance in Lincoln was not the most talked about of the year and I was sure that John Hawkes was going to win for his extremely popular film The Sessions. Everybody loved that film and I'm surprised he didn't win. If you don't get this joke, you're an idiot.

BEST MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA

ARGO

Argo! Yeah! I was so happy when I found out that Argo won, I wished that I could play the music that they play at the end of that movie. I just think that it is such a fantastic movie and I hope that it gets the recognition at the Oscars. It's looking like a major dark horse right now that could come and upset Lincoln or SLP or Life of Pi or whoever wins Oscar night. And it is funny that I'm so happy for this film because I still haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook or Beasts of the Southern Wild. But I'm still confident that Argo is going to be the best movie of the year and a classic for years to come.


That's it for the Golden Globes but let's see what happens next at the SAG awards. Then it's Oscar time. Look for a post about that coming soon.

Golden Globes Predictions


I'm doing this on really short notice so here it is, my film and TV predictions for the 2013 Golden Globes:

Movies-Winners in Bold

BEST MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA

Argo
Lincoln
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE DRAMA

Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

BEST MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Silver Linings Playbook
Les Miserables
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bill Murray, Hyde Park On Hudson
Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Jack Black, Bernie

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE

Alan Arkin, Argo
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE

Sally Field, Lincoln
Amy Adams, The Master
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

BEST DIRECTOR

Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

BEST SCREEPLAY

Argo
Django Unchained
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty
Silver Linings Playbook

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Frankenweenie
Brave
Wreck-It Ralph
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Amour
The Intouchables 
Kon-Tiki
A Royal Affair
Rust and Bone

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

"Suddenly", Les Miserables
"Not Running Anymore", Stand Up Guys
"Skyfall", Skyfall
"Safe and Sound", The Hunger Games
"For You", Act of Valor

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Life of Pi
Argo
Cloud Atlas
Lincoln
Anna Karenina

TV- WINNER IN BOLD

BEST TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA

Breaking Bad
Boardwalk Empire
Downton Abbey
Homeland
The Newsroom

BEST ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damien Lewis, Homeland

BEST ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA

Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
Clair Danes, Homeland
Julianne Marguiles, The Good Wife
Michelle Dockerty, Downton Abbey

BEST TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Girls
The Big Bang Theory
Episodes
Modern Family
Smash

BEST ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis CK, Louie
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

BEST ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Julie Louis-Dreyfuss, Veep
Amy Poelher, Parks And Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock

BEST MINISERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Game Change
The Girl
Hatfields and McCoys
The Hour
Political Animals

There are a couple more TV categories, but I don't care to guess about them. I think that it will definitely be a fun night and kick off the awards season in style. I will be live blogging the event up until 10:30 so stay posted.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Josh's Top 10 of 2012

2012 has come to a close. It actually came to a close a week ago, I just haven't written this yet. I still have two films left to see (Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook) but I figured that I would put my list out there because I don't want to publish this in February. First I'll give you a list of the films that I saw this year:

John Carter                                              The Dark Knight Rises
The Hunger Games                                   Frankenweenie
The Lorax                                                Argo
The Avengers                                           The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Men in Black 3                                         Wreck-It Ralph
Snow White and the Huntsman                 Skyfall
Madagascar 3                                          Life of Pi
Prometheus                                              Lincoln
Brave                                                      The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Amazing Spider-Man                        Hitchcock
Ice Age: Continental Drift                         The Impossible

So in total, I saw 22 films this year and thought that it was a rather disappointing year for me despite a few great films. There were ten films that I can say were the best and here is my list of the top ten of 2012:


10. PROMETHEUS


An intriguing sci-fi adventure that has some of the best special effects of the year, Prometheus is an intense film that is short in terms of many things but after listening to so many podcasts dissecting the film, I come to like it even though I pretty much knew everything about the film before watching it. The best performance here is Michael Fassebender as David. He gives a chilling portrayal of a scary and somewhat evil android. The film also delivers some memorable sequences including a disturbing cesarean and a gross scene at the end that sets up the inevitable sequel. I think that Prometheus is a decent film in its own right but as part of a saga it will be even better.


9. THE IMPOSSIBLE


One of the most disturbing, visceral films that I have ever experienced. I figured that I would get a good, uplifting disaster movie but what I got was a film that will stay with movie for a long time; a haunting gruesome film that you don't just watch, you experience. The film pushes the boundaries of the PG-13 rating and doesn't hold back in its stark and brutal content. I had never really seen a film about a real life disaster that was so intense, so gruesome. The Impossible definitely caught me off guard. I went out of the film exhausted, because it is a film that remains intense and disturbing until the final frame. I didn't review it and I won't review it because I'm not sure I know how to. The Impossible is not the best film of the year but it is the most affecting experience.



8. THE HUNGER GAMES


A faithful and entertaining adaptation of one of the best YA books in years, The Hunger Games has started a franchise that is only going to get better. The Hunger Games franchise didn't exactly start with a bang but it was still good enough for me to really like it and get very excited for the next film. The cast has to be one of the best ensembles of the year. Like Harry Potter gathered all the great British actors, the Hunger Games looks like it might gather a group of great American actors. My only problem with the film is that it is never exactly exciting and has a lot of bland and boring special effects. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is even less action oriented but they can make it have a lot more action. I still was a very good adaptation of the book and exciting me for the next.


7. LINCOLN


A film that I admire more than I like. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln is a very good movie that contains spectacular acting and dialogue and is certainly one of the best made pictures of the year. Daniel Day Lewis is a surefire Oscar winner for his great performance as Lincoln but Tommy Lee Jones might be even better as unbending abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. It also contains what is possibly the best scene of the year when Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field) and Stevens fire off line after line at each other in some of the wittiest dialogue of the year. It also humanizes Lincoln in a way that no film ever has. But my one problem with it was that it didn't stick with me like the other great movies this year. It's great but forgettable. But it's got some of the best performances of the year so it is definitely worth a watch (or several watches).


6. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER


An affecting and entertaining teen drama, The Perks of Being A Wallflower is something that goes back to the great John Hughes movies of the 1980's. The Perks of Being A Wallflower was a film that I really liked but it frustrated me at times. It would get really entertaining but then it would get kind of boring and it would make me upset. And at first the acting was pretty bad. But in the end, the film does a great job of making you love and care about these characters and it does it in an entertaing and fun way. And I loved the way that it would change from dark to light really fast and vice versa. Also, the acting is very good. Logan Lerman is fantastic, Emma Watson is ok and Ezra Miller is great in a performance that should have been nominated for an Oscar. He creates a symphatetic gay character, one that I haven't seen in a mainstream movie in a long time. Overall, a well made and entertaining film.


5. WRECK-IT RALPH


Hands down, the best animated movie of the year, Wreck-It Ralph is the only animated film this year that is fun for both adults and kids and will hold up as a classic. The thing that struck me about Wreck-It Ralph was just how fun it was. There was so much color and so much action that I love in animated movies. And it creates a full universe that isn't seen in many animated movies nowadays. Madagascar 3 also had some of these qualities but it wasn't nearly as clever as Wreck-It Ralph was. Wreck-It Ralph was such a clever homage to video games that you actually feel that you are in the world. And the voice cast is good as well. I had a few complaints about the film but they are secondary to the pure enjoyment that I got from watching it.


4. THE AVENGERS


One of the best superhero movies of all time, The Avengers is an infinitely watchable and fun film from Marvel which established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the film world. Everyone in the film gives a great performance and Joss Whedon is masterful here, giving numerous characters enough screen time for everyone to be satisfied. Robert Downey Jr. gives another great performance as Iron Man, Chris Evans is good, Chris Hemsworth is good, Samuel L. Jackson is good but the standout is Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk. The Hulk is alive finally and Ruffalo's performance is just awesome. They finally got him right. And The Avengers also has one of the smartest scripts ever for a superhero movie, with tons of one liners and smart dialogue that brings these characters to life. But most of all, it is just pure entertainment. A summer popcorn blockbuster that will remain a classic for years and continue to entertain.


3. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES


A spectacular conclusion to the greatest film trilogy of all time, The Dark Knight Rises is full of just pure action film awesomeness. The first hour is slow but it spends a lot of necessary time building the plot and makes it so that the second and third hours are awesome. The Dark Knight Rises is constantly awesome and full of action. Once again, The Dark Knight Rises has awesome cinematography and a score that will remain a classic forever. And just like all Christopher Nolan films, it feels real and like something that could happen in real life and is steeped in reality. It also has a nice mixture of special effects and practical effects, a first for a Christopher Nolan film. A lot of people felt that the villain in this film would never live up to Heath Ledger's in The Dark Knight but Tom Hardy came really close as Bane. He gives a great performance without even moving his mouth. All in all, The Dark Knight Rises was a worthy and awesome conclusion to The Dark Knight Trilogy. I still haven't decided if this film is quite as good as The Dark Knight but I know that it is not an easy decision.


2. SKYFALL


The best James Bond movie of all time is Skyfall. I've seen most of the classic Bond films and I can determine that Skyfall is the best. It seems like a carbon copy of The Dark Knight at times but is that a bad thing? And it is pretty much the first film since The Dark Knight to do that style and feel the right way. Skyfall also feels like classic Bond, it has all the great action and a great villain along with the original score from Dr. No. Everything about this film is right. Javier Bardem is the best villain in a Bond film since Auric Goldfinger and gives a creepily charismatic performance. And Daniel Craig is quite good again as Bond, and for the first time he seems a bit light hearted. The film moves at a rather brisk pace and builds toward a second half that is full of action. The last thirty minutes at Skyfall mansion is the best action set piece of the year. Also, it is awesome and fantastic as a standalone film but it also provides the set up for great Bond films to come. The reappearance of Q, along with a new Moneypenny and M makes me ridiculously excited for the next film. The cinematography is also the best of the year.


1. ARGO


The best made film of the year, Argo is a masterwork of film. Relentlessly exciting and always funny, Argo is the best movie of the year. It's a shame that this film didn't get more recognition at the Oscars because this truly is a great film. It is not an easy thing to do to make a film that is exciting without firing a bullet and is built on just good old fashioned tension. It is also the smartest script of the year. It does a great job of balancing the action and the humor and not making the humor over power the film like it could have. All of this would be impossible without Chris Terrio's fantastic script and Ben Affleck's fantastic direction (the worst snub of the year at the Oscars). The acting is also very good. Bryan Cranston is extremely good and so is John Goodman, but the standout is Alan Arkin. He makes the Hollywood section the best thing this year followed by the last thirty minutes of this film and the last thirty minutes of Skyfall. The first twenty minutes of Argo is also great. Oh, what the heck, everything is great!


Well that's it for this year. Argo and Skyfall were really close and both worth watching over and over again. Argo is going to a classic for years to come, Skyfall is going to be considered the best Bond film and The Dark Knight Rises completes a fantastic trilogy. And they were lots of other decent films too. I guess, despite my earlier thoughts, this was a pretty good year at the movies.

Image Credits: Variety, Joblo, Screen Rant, Hollywood Reporter, Slash Film, 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Avery's Best of 2012

          2012 was a great year for the movie industry and was one of my favorite years yet. Here is a list of the best blockbusters of the year. WARNING: Contains spoilers.

BEST of 2012

5. The Amazing Spider Man
     One of my favorites of the year and one of the best Spiderman films yet. Andrew Garfield did a great job portraying Peter Parker. In my opinion, it was a good idea to reboot this great series.









4. Men in Black 3
          I enjoyed this movie and was entertained through out the whole movie. Josh Brolin does a great job as Young Agent K. Will Smith did a good job in his first film in three and a half years. This movie is by far the best out of the other two movies and by far a HUGE improvement from the horrific MIB2.







3. The Hunger Games
          The much anticipated adaptation of the best-selling book, The Hunger Games, finally came to the big screen this year. One word: Great. All of the actors and actresses were phenomenal. Gary Ross could not have made the movie any better.







2. The Dark Knight Rises
           The epic end of the Batman trilogy was close out with the great The Dark Knight Rises. TDKR was good but I think that The Dark Knight was better than TDKR. I liked Heath Ledger as The Joker more than Tom Hardy as Bane. The only thing I did not like about it was Bane's death. I feel like it was too quick and it really wasn't much of a surprise.






1. The Avengers
          My favorite movie of the year was The Avengers. How could you not love it? It was funny and action-packed. You can not ask for more! There was nothing bad about this movie. Joss Whedon did an excellent job directing this movie. I can not wait for The Avengers 2 to be released into theaters!





Top 25 Most Anticipated of 2013

2012 has come to an end and while my year wasn't quite as good as many other peoples were, I still had a good year at the movies with four great films that I saw: Argo, Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers. With the exception of those films, I didn't see anything too great. But those four were truly great. Honestly I would say that I saw more classic films this year that were great than I did at the theater. I watched films this year that I will be revisiting and re-watching over and over again in the years to come. Some of my favorites include Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, along with The Shining, Singin' in the Rain, Casablanca, Close Encounters, Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, The Bridge on the River Kwai and much much more. While I won't be writing a top ten list yet (I haven't seen Les Miserables or Silver Linings Playbook yet), I figured that I would write up a list of all the films that I am anticipating in 2013.

25. WARM BODIES

The zombie comedy is pretty much uncharted territory (with the exception of Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland) and before the trailers I thought that this would be less comedy and more Twilight. But after watching a few of the trailers, I'm convinced and hoping for one of the best pictures of the year. It looks like the perfect mix of action and comedy and I think that this might be Nicholas Hoult's breakout year. I actually might see this on Thursday, because of advance screening tickets. We'll see, but no matter one I think that this looks really good. 

24. OBLIVION

Tom Cruise's latest picture looks interesting, but not really in a good way. I like two kinds of sci-fi. The kind where there's a ton of aliens and explosions and it's just really entertaining and then the kind where it is like 2001 and really thought oriented. This looks like neither. Joseph Kosinski always delivers great-looking movies (see Tron: Legacy for reference) but they are pretty much substance less. The only reason this film is on the list is because it looks like a mysterious film, one that we won't know much about going in. I've seen the trailer a couple of times and each time it looks better but still, I'm waiting to get really excited for this one. 

23. JACK THE GIANT SLAYER

Another Nicholas Hoult feature looked like it was going to be great at first before Warner Bros. delayed it nearly a full year and moved it from a prime release date to a March one. Now, it seems that everybody has forgotten about it. I think that the cast is too good to pass up and the promise of some action in March seems exciting. I think that the quality of the trailers has gone done but it still might surprise me. 

22. THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

I wasn't all that impressed with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and it won't be on my top ten list but I think that the films can only get better and I hope that The Desolation of Smaug regains the magic that Lord of the Rings captured. The only thing that I will say that I really disliked about The Hobbit was it's odd and sometimes distracting color pattern that made the film look overly computer generated and fake. Lord of the Rings always looked real and I hope The Desolation of Smaug recaptures that. But I think that Peter Jackson is going to really have to do some digging to make two more great movies. 

21. G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was not very good. It was fun but kind of stupid. I think that after watching the trailer for Retaliation, I was really excited. And then, like Jack The Giant Slayer, it got delayed for a year to March 29. But my excitement was rejuvenated after seeing the most recent trailer which makes the film look like a lot of fun. I don't know. I like great and quality movies just like most people but Retaliation just looks like fun. Sometimes we need a break from the intense and serious and just have fun watching a movie. 

20. ENDER'S GAME

Ender's Game is a book that I had always wanted to read but never did. I tried but I had a really crappy library copy so I didn't get through it. But I think that it has the possibility to be an extremely entertaining science fiction film. And that cast is amazing: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Hailee Steinfeld (who gave a great performance in True Grit). I think that I will definitely read the book before I see the movie and based on fan opinion and early buzz, this could be a great movie. 

19. THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 6

I actually don't know if they are calling this Fast Six or Fast and The Furious Six so I just put the latter. But with the promise of a plot about dueling heist teams gets me really excited. I think that Fast Five was a ton of fun despite not loving it like everyone else did. The whole cast is back and I'm waiting for a trailer for this film. And the fact that Universal hasn't moved the film off it's current release date, which it shares with The Hangover Part III, which is a film definitely aiming at the same audience as Fast Six. 

18. 47 RONIN

A Samurai movie that sounds really good on paper but when it comes down to it, might be one of the biggest flops of the year. I think that this genre is one that American films have never quite tried out but it could turn out to be the next big thing. This might be something that audiences fall for and it might not. It sounds really weird too which could be a bad thing. But it sounds interesting which is what intrigues me. 

17. JACK RYAN

As I'm looking up information for this film, I'm wondering if this should be higher on my list. This might just be the year when Kevin Costner comes back into the spotlight. He has two high profile roles in Jack Ryan and Man of Steel and I think that both films will be blockbusters. Jack Ryan also has Chris Pine as the title character, who is on his way to being a big time star, Keira Knightley and Kenneth Branagh as the director and villain. How much more exciting can you get for a Christmas time action flick? 2011 had a great one with Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol and I hope 2013 has one too. 

16. OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

The Wizard of Oz is a great film, without a doubt. It has been and still is one of the "untouchable" Hollywood films, one that will never be remade or tampered with. Well, The Wizard of Oz is touchable now. Sam Raimi said that he immediately rejected the film but after reading the script, agreed to direct it. It has a stellar cast and impressive visuals that look to give the land of Oz its own new visual flair. It all looks to be there and I hope that we get an Oz movie that does justice by the characters and the original.

15. WORLD WAR Z

I have the book on my list to read but according to most, the movie will be nothing like the book. The film looks like large-scale action scene and crazy fast zombies. That aspect has gotten a mixed reaction. A friend of mine who is a huge zombie fan said that he loved the fast zombie aspect and then a teacher of mine completely rejected the idea of a fast zombie. I don't know but I was impressed by how massive this film is and how big it all seems to be. It truly is a global film and it is dealing with a global pandemic. I hope that it actually has some intelligence to it but I think that it will be enjoyable no matter what.

14. NOW YOU SEE ME

A film that I had no idea existed until I saw the trailer. I'm actually not sure that anybody knew it did. But after I saw it, I knew that we were in for an action-packed, star-studded rise. This film looks like it is going to be the opposite of all the big- budget tentpole stuff. It'll be nice to have a good mystery caper film during the summer and I have a feeling that Now You See Me will be a word of mouth success. Also who can pass up a cast that has Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine? The answer: nobody.

13. DESPICABLE ME 2

Despicable Me is an animated film that I always find funny and I've seen it three or four times. It surprised me big time in 2010 and I've been waiting for a sequel since. I have no clue what the plot is going to be but I don't think that it matters because if we have Gru and more minion madness, it'll be a fun time at the theater. The two trailers have been absolute genius, using the Halloween theme and "Barbara Ann" by the Beach Boys to great effect. This is the animated film that I'm anticipating the second most this year.

12. THE MONUMENTS MEN

A Christmas release that looks like the major Oscar contender at this moment. I know that is pretty far to look ahead but this is another George Clooney directorial feature and the cast has Daniel Craig, Matt Damon, Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin about historians searching for stolen pieces of art by the Nazis during WWII. 'Nuff said.

11. THE WOLVERINE

I think that The Wolverine has the opportunity to be a ground-breaking superhero film. Instead of the typical alien invasion plotline, The Wolverine takes place in a foreign country, Japan. It is a sort of samurai movie and stars several Japanese actors. I personally don't love the X-Men films (the best is X-Men: First Class) but I think that being a stand alone film lets The Wolverine do a lot of interesting things and I think that it could be a surprise hit in the late summer.

10. WHITE HOUSE DOWN

When I was younger, I was very excited to see Roland Emmerich's disaster film 2012. It ended up being a disappointment but I still think that he does very good action scenes. For the first time with White House Down, it seems that he is not doing a disaster film and more of a Die Hard-esque thriller. That sounds to me like the perfect summer film and while I have seen no footage for White House Down, the idea alone is what sells me on this being a can't miss film.

9. THOR: THE DARK WORLD

The Marvel superhero universe is expanding and Thor: The Dark World is one of the places where Marvel can expand the most. I liked the original Thor more than most people did and while it is a little campy after a few watches, I think that it got a lot of things right. The Dark World is going to be a lot better than Thor. I can just feel it. It has a director that knows the kind of material that fits this kind of movie in Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) and the promise of more realms and a more epic storyline. Count me in.

8. PACIFIC RIM

The premise alone is enough to get any action movie fan excited but I found the first trailer to be a bit disappointing. It looks good and all the technical stuff looks great but the action looks a little clunky. The only thing that I'm concerned with is that the scale is so big and that everything is going to be huge and it will get out of control and be a complete mess. I think that there really is a slight chance of that though and Warner Bros. will get their new franchise.

7. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

I liked The Hunger Games but it felt a little too low-budget and wasn't a film that I loved. Catching Fire is the most ambitious book in the trilogy and it is going to be the best movie unless they screw up really badly. The cast has expanded and is looking better than ever with Jeffrey Wright, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Clafin, and Amanda Plummer all joining the cast. I hope that this film is really good because I love the book and I think that it fits well for the screen.

6. THE GREAT GATSBY

I really love all the trailers for this movie. I love dramatic films and serious films and especially when they have a twist of fun to them and The Great Gatsby. I haven't see a full movie by Baz Luhrmann (I'm currently watching Romeo + Juliet) but I just love the trailers and two of my favorite actors are on screen (DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire) and I just think the film is going to be awesome and a smash. Nice counter programming to the big films of summer.

5. ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

I just recently watched Anchorman and my excitement for this film was rejuvenated. There are dozens of quotable lines in that film and I'm hoping that Adam McKay and company can create another masterpiece of comedy. The film, which will supposedly focus on the news team as Hispanics enter into play in the news team. I honestly think that this film will be great no matter what because the characters are just so funny and great actors play them. THE comedy smash of 2012.

4. IRON MAN 3

This film looks like a darker Marvel film. I love Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and pretty much all of the Marvel films so naturally I'm excited for this one. I think that the villain is going to be great and I hope that the action is darker and the plot more sophisticated than Iron Man 2. I have confidence in Shane Black who everyone loves to deliver the first GREAT Iron Man film.

3. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

A prequel to what is probably my favorite Pixar film with two of the best voice actors in history? Count me in. Monsters University is going to be fun, a lot of fun and it is what us Pixar fans want. I liked Cars 2 but I understand its critics. Brave was ok but sort of depressing for a Pixar film. I hope that the film is as clever as the original and I think that it will be. The whole college landscape is something that Pixar hasn't ever explored so that will be interesting too. While I think that the true Pixar resurrection will happen with The Good Dinosaur in 2014, Monsters University will be a good start.

 2. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

The trailers are very impressive and I think that we may truly be getting one of the best action/sci-fi movies of the year or many years with Star Trek Into Darkness. Copying the Christopher Nolan formula of making superhero and science fiction films with a rather dark edge to them has been rather successful (Skyfall, Nolan's own Inception) but has also had its share of flops (Watchmen). Into Darkness is going to fall into the first category. JJ Abrams has directed three films over the years but two of the three are personal favorites of mine (including my #1 movie of 2011, Super 8). The whole cast is returning and some impressive additions have been made, making Star Trek Into Darkness one of my most anticipated of the year.

1. MAN OF STEEL

And finally, my most anticipated movie of the year is Man of Steel. Two of the greatest filmmakers of the past ten years join forces to help create a darker, better take on Superman along with an all star cast containing some of the greatest actors of the past ten to twenty years. I have never seen a full Zack Snyder film but I know that they are all visually impressive. I have seen a good amount of Watchmen and 300 and they contain some of the greatest effects ever. Christopher Nolan, hands down, is the best filmmaker of the past ten years. He has delivered classic after classic and never ceased to amaze me. This team up is awesome. Visual effects meets the master of plot, character and action. The cast featuring Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne and Michael Shannon along with Henry Cavill as Superman is one of the greatest put together for a movie about a single superhero. I have never seen a great Superman film in my lifetime. I'm counting on Man of Steel to fill that void.

In addition to all of those films, I will also say that I am very much looking forward to seeing A Good Day to Die Hard, Captain Phillips, The Lone Ranger, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Cloudy 2, Rush, Elysium, The Mortal Instruments and the 300 sequel.