It's about this time of year that I get so damn sick of the 2007 crop of movies that I can't think straight. Thank God, Nathaniel shares this malady, and for the second year in a row he's invited me to help combat it by counting down the movies we're most looking forward to this year. The fifteen most anticipated movies have been voted on my a jury of my peers, and you can (and should) go read about them at The Film Experience.
Since this is my blog, however, I'm going to ring the bell for the movies I can't wait for that didn't make the list:
The Brothers Bloom (Rian Johnson)
A globe-trotting con-man adventure with Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo as brothers and swindlers who set their sights on an heiress (Rachel Weisz). Rinko Kikuchi from Babel is playing the brothers' mute cohort. Rian Johnson directed Brick, which was one of my favorite movies last year, and the Brody/Ruffalo/Weisz trio only raises the stakes. The images I've seen suggest a highly stylized production -- The Sting meets Wes Anderson crossed with Richard Kelly? -- but Johnson did stylized damn well in Brick, so I trust him.
The Day The Earth Stood Still (Scott Derrickson)
Keanu Reeves in a remake of the 1951 alien-and-robot-visitors classic. Yes, remakes are the devil, and no, Keanu isn't much of an actor, but this is a case where I'm forgiving both sins at once. After fifty years, I think we're ready for a new version, and if you cast Keanu correctly, he's fine. And honestly? He's kind of an alien anyway, so it's no big stretch. The rest of the cast -- Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, John Hamm -- is very strong, and Derrickson did a decent job in spots on The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I worry about his handling the political and allegorical elements of the plot, but perhaps he can rise to the occasion. This could also turn out super cheesy and "warm," but I really hope not. There's a lot of potential here, but a long way to fall if it sucks.
Miracle At St. Anna (Spike Lee)
Four black soldiers in WWII -- Derek Luke and Michael "Hello, Blue Eyes" Ealy among them -- find themselves stranded in a Tuscan village and under fire. I figure Spike Lee taking on the greatest of American stories will either result in Spike's great return to mainstream American consciousness or else an unholy implosion that will anger old white men from sea to shining sea. Either way sounds like fun to me. The fact that it's being produced by Disney is troublesome -- particularly concerning the film's awards chances -- but Spike is Spike, and the supporting cast features Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Gandolfini, and John Turturro. What's not to like?
Pineapple Express (David Gordon Green)
The other Apatow-produced comedy this year, this one featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco (Freaks and Geeks freaks reunited!) as a pair of stoners on the run from the cops. Smiley Face is my favorite stoner comedy of the moment, but this could certainly contend. Particularly with the odd but possibly inspired choice of David Gordon Green (Undertow, All The Real Girls) as director.