I figured I would complete this trilogy of movie related posts with my buzz worthy films to look out for in 2008. There is a good selection this year, though in no way as anticipatory as 2007, with three of the highest grossing franchises in history coming out within a month of each other. There will be plenty of tent pole summer action this year though with several big budget sequels in the pipe line. I tried to make the list reflective of public expectation in the first 5, with my picks in the second 5.
This will probably be one of the highest grossing films of the summer and you cannot go wrong with a Disney/Pixar combo. I don't feel the anticipation factor is as high as some of my other choices in the list, but this film will be a force to be reckoned with this summer.
9-James Bond 22
The longest running series in film history is back, I enjoyed the action sequences in Casino Royale, but I really want to see the pacing picked up for this installment. Royale bogged down in some instances, but since it was essentially a reboot with Bonds origin, I expect this installment to have a bit more spectacle, while retaining that real world feel that they were going for in Royale.
Will Smith in a downtrodden super hero comedy. Smith is usually spot on with his film choices and I don't see him making a mistake with this one. Despite my feelings for I am Legend, you can't argue with its box office success.
7- Star Trek XI
Essentially another reboot of the franchise, we will flashback to tales of young Kirk and Spock. So far I like that J.J. Abrams of Lost and Cloverfield fame is helming the picture, and casting seems to be spot on casting Zachary Quinto of Heroes, Simon Pegg, Winona Ryder, and Leonard Nimoy to appease the faithful. I don't feel expectations are as high as some others on the list though as the last few films haven't been great. I am intrigued to see where they will go.
6- The Incredible Hulk
The idea is not to retread on the original, but build on the man on the run premise. I like the new casting direction with Edward Norton and Liv Tyler. Norton I feel can relate a lot more angst and depth than Eric Bana did in the sequel. They are also going far more action oriented, more Hulk Smash, less Hulk sulk.
So far everything that's been released looks great, the effect sand casting, like Robert Downey, Jr, Terence Howard, Samuel L. Jackson and Gwynth Paltrow. I am curious to see if director Jon Favreau can handle a film with this kind of budget and expectation, having previously directed fare like Will Ferrell's Elf. This could be a big step for Marvel Comics producing their own work independently, or a big loss.
4- Hellboy 2
It's well known that I love me some Guillermo del Toro, and the first film was pretty good. I feel that with all the cast returning for the sequel, the franchise will be in good hands.
3- The Dark Knight
It almost pains me to say that there are two films I am looking forward to more than this one. Batman Begins was spot on the best super hero movie ever made. Better than the original, better than the Spider-man series. Christopher Nolan is a great director, and Christian Bale can do big budget action, or subtle character acting. Heath Ledger is also looking to be a good choice in a "real world" take on the Joker.
2- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
It's been a stellar franchise for 5 films so far, and this will be the darkest and most shocking yet. It's easily one of the strongest books in the series and should offer new and old Potter fans a serious shot of adulthood and darkness.
1- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Umm.. it's Harrison Ford in his best role ever. It's George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. It has the biggest expectations and the most buildup. It cannot suck because so many people want.. no need it to be what they remember. This will cement these creators as genius, or revile them as idiots.
A few other films that could deserve an honorable mention are The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Wanted (with Angelina Jolie) the remake The Day The Earth Stood Still, Madagascar 2: The Crate Escape,X-Files 2, and the Mummy 3. This could be a good year for movies, and I surely will see you there. Thanks for reading.
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