Film OverSaturation

So a while ago (and by a while I mean a really, really, really really really long time) I put together a lovely, elaborate list of the top 11 (I’m having some trouble understanding my past self’s thought process behind that number)upcoming movies I was most excited to see. 5 of these movies have now been released, and 3 are tumbling hot on their heels towards beautiful releasementship (these latter 3 would be Brave, Bourne Legacy and Perks of Being a Wallflower, in that order).

With the end of the school year I’ve recently come into a little free time, and obviously desperate for a way to fill it all up, I decided I might revive my poor, neglected blog with not only an updated list but some quality reviews through which to share my praises and gripes with the films in question.

I thought I’d begin with the new and improved list, seeing as it’ll be the easiest to get out of the way and I’m anxious to have something posted after a roughly three-month hiatus.

So let’s see, my List-of-Movies-Most-Currently-Highly-Anticipated-By-Amy, Part 2.

10. The Dark Knight Rises

Okay, originally this was going to be on my first top 10 list, but I took it off because my top 10 list was at 15 movies and I kind of figured it went without saying. But you know what, I’m putting it up here now. I. Am. Pretty. Excited. I enjoyed Batman Begins, loved The Dark Knight (who didn’t?), and am super stoked for the third and final installment. The fact that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy and Marion Cotillard (plus director Chris Nolan makes this a lovely little Inception reunion) are involved only amped up my excitement. My only reservation, and I don’t think I’m alone in this, would be the inclusion of Anne Hathaway. I’ve always been a fan of the girl but lately she’s been picking up a lot of parts that just don’t seem to fit (Once, what exactly possessed her to sign up for Valentine’s Day, and don’t even bring up Fantine around me or I will go postal). But the movie’s got too much in its favor to not be good, and I for one am dying to know if big bad Bane will or will not ‘break The Bat.’

9. Moonrise Kingdom

Yesssss, I know, it’s already out, has been for a while. This is another one that totally should’ve been on that last list, not quite sure why I cut it since I was entirely in love within the first twenty seconds of the trailer (“No, I said, what kind of bird are you.”) But yes, I am super psyched to get out and see this highly-praised Edward Norton/Wes Andersen collaboration.

8. Prometheus

Yes, also already out. But don’t tell me after all you’ve heard you’re not super psyched to check out this Alien-esque thriller starring the amazing Noomi Rapace, goddess Charlize Theron, and the ever-cool Michael Fassbender.

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7. Lincoln

Not gonna lie to you, if this movie had any other cast I probably wouldn’t be interested at all. I mean, sure, Lincoln’s a fascinating individual, but I know all about that from biographies and history classes. Do I really need the passages of my high school text book filmed and edited and retold (in a slightly less faithful fashion, I’m sure) on a movie screen? Well, since Daniel Day Lewis will be playing Lincoln himself with a supporting cast including Joseph Gordon Levitt (I don’t know if you’ve noticed a trend here, but I really love Joseph Gordon Levitt) and Lee Pace, I’m gonna say it couldn’t hurt. And while yes, the ‘other’ Lincoln movie (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) looks pretty entertaining, I’m not exactly expecting the quality I’m hoping to get out of this one.

6. Cloud Atlas

This is one I’ve been eyeing for a while, and while it’s seen the loss of a few names that were previously attached (Ian McKellen, Natalie Portman) there are still plenty to go around (Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent and Ben Wishaw all have roles). I’m sorry to admit that I haven’t actually read the book yet, but I’ve heard only good things and the premise sounds beyond intriguing. So obviously getting my hands on the novel is a prerequisite to viewing the movie, but I have faith that I’ll find quality both in the paperback version of the story and its upcoming film adaptation.

5. Gangster Squad

Suave mobsters, 40’s fashion and the presence of Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, Giovanni Ribisi, Sean Penn,

Anyone else getting a ‘Reservoir Dogs’ vibe?

Anthony Mackie and, of course, Ryan Gosling have earned this otherwise rather nondescript film a spot on my movie-radar. Previously the upcoming ‘Wettest County’, recently retitled ‘Lawless’ (coincidentally also the name of another movie on this list, which I assume will have to be changed in response) was filling my 30’s-40’s era gangster movie quota, but the release of a decidedly underwhelming trailer has dampened my excitement. So Ryan Gosling, I’m just saying, you better pull through for me on this one!

4. Spring Breakers


So give me a moment to explain myself. I know, I know – a movie starring a bunch of previously squeaky-clean tween queens (Selena Gomez, Heather Morrison of Glee, Ashley Benson and Vanessa Anne Hudgens) partying hard and getting themselves involved in crime, sex and drugs sounds extra-sleazy. And I’m sure it is extra sleazy, and there’s absolutely no way I would even consider seeing it except for the fact that Harmony Korine is writing and directing. Korine’s never been known for subtlety (man loves his shock value), but there’s no denying his movies leave a strong impact. This is the writer/director of Gummo and the writer of Kids we’re talking about here. I don’t know for sure if his movies have something to say, but he’s very good at convincing his audiences that they do. The fact that the likes of Hudgens and Selena Gomez would sign on for a Korine movie is absolutely mind-boggling, and that’s why I’ve just gotta see it.


3. Lawless or Untitled Terrence Malick Project #2

If you remember, my last list included an Untitled Terrence Malick Project starring Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck. Whereas that film has been titled ‘To the Wonder’ (no idea what that could possibly mean), it is not in fact the Untitled Terrence Malick Project listed above. That would be the tentatively titled Lawless, which will star Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Wes Bentley and Haley Bennett (that cute girl from Music and Lyrics whose career I’ve been inexplicably awaiting to take off for a while). And of course, as you might have gathered through very keen perception, it will be directed by Terrence Malick. Basically, if this movie were ice cream, it would be a Frozen Haute Chocolate (you know, that $25,000 sundae with the edible gold and the diamond spoon?). The plot summary reveals only this: “Two intersecting love triangles. Sexual obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.” Considering the aforementioned factors, how could this movie possibly be anything but fantastic? (As a side note, Malick’s third slated love story, Knight of Cups, sounds pretty promising too)

2. The Great Gatsby 

Okay, I know, I know, I’m such a hypocrite. If you read my first list you’ll know I included the latest Great Gatsby adaptation as one of my three ‘to be avoided at all costs’ movies for the year, on the grounds that previous attempts have been complete and utter failures and that Baz Luhrmann’s unorthodox approach to filmmaking didn’t really seem to jive with the tone of the classic novel. But I should first explain that despite my misgivings I’m a huge Luhrmann fan (Moulin Rouge, Strictly Ballroom and his ever polarizing Romeo + Juliet are among some of my favorite films) , and although I didn’t think his style would be a match the trailer completely swept me away. I know there are already rumblings about the modern music and the weird editing and such, but that’s just Luhrmann. You love him or hate him, and if you’re in the latter category you will without a doubt detest this movie as Luhrmann’s artistic stamp absolutely consumes every project he’s involved in. And since I admittedly love him, as well as Leonardo DiCaprio, I’ve decided to officially be excited. I am a little miffed, however, concerning some of the casting. Carey Mulligan seems all wrong as Daisy, pixie cute as opposed to delicate, manipulative and devastatingly beautiful. Tobey Maguire just didn’t come off well as the overwhelmed and somewhat detached Nick Carraway, and his choice of a Jordan Baker couldn’t appear more bland (and now that I’ve typed that watch her become next year’s Jessica Chastain). Anyways, I’m a little nervous about getting my hopes up but after the trailer I can’t help but be excited for Luhrmann’s latest project.

Django is Off the Chain.

1. Django Unchained

Oh my goodness gracious, I’m actually incapable of expressing to you exactly how much I am looking forward to this movie. I’ve never met a Tarantino film I didn’t like, and if you’ve seen the trailer you might share in my excitement (that shot of the blood on the white flowers and, oh my god, Leonardo Leonardo Leonardo). I can’t wait I can’t wait I can’t wait.

Feel more than free to chip in with your own comments and movie additions. 🙂

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Film Saturation

So I’m so sorry I haven’t gotten anything up since, oh dear, Sunday? Anyways, I’ve got a good excuse. My laptop is totally fried; I have no idea when I’ll be getting it back, and I’ve been too busy till now crying in a corner to get to a computer lab and write something up. 

Buuuut, I happened to be almost finished with the article below at my laptop’s ETD, so hopefully this can act as a sort of apology:

You probably don’t know this about me, but I’m a bit of a closet movie buff. When you hear people say something like, ‘Ah, what was that movie where the guy did this thing and who was that lady with the face?’ I’m the one who jumps in and yells, ‘United States of Leland, Jena Malone, Bam!’. Sometimes I get embarrassed and just pretend I don’t know the answer either, but it always absolutely kills me inside.

Anyways, I like movies, a lot, so I thought I’d give you my list of Movies-Most-Highly-Anticipated-By-Amy-For-2012.

11. Hunger Games

I’ve been fighting this movie with everything I have for pretty much the past  year. I mean, first Jennifer Lawrence had to step in and snag the part that   was, as we all know, rightfully mine. But then there’s the run-of-the-mill  concern that the book (just the first one; I happen to think the second was  ‘meh’ and the third was absolutely godawful, but that’s a tangent for another  time) was so original and fast-paced and just so good, how can the movie live  up to it? However, since that trailer came out last week, I think I might’ve just  been converted to the dark side. It looks like they decided to treat the material  seriously (maybe a little more seriously than a young adult best-seller like Hunger Games can really get credit for) instead of slapping it together as the next summer blockbuster, like so many other failed book-to-movie trilogies. I guess time will tell if Hunger Games can live up to its current hype.

10. The Bourne Legacy

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, I was thinking it to. Why mess up perfection? Why exactly do we need a fourth Bourne movie that doesn’t even include Jason Bourne? But just do me a favor and check out this lineup: Joan Allen returning as CIA director Pam Landy, Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker, The Town), Rachel Weisz (The Fountain, The Brothers Bloom), and Edward Norton (A Good Portion of the Greatest Movies Known to Man). I not entirely sold on another Bourne installment quite yet, but I trust that these greats wouldn’t be signing on unless it had something to offer.

9. Untitled Terrence Malick Project

So, there’s really next to nothing known about this movie, except that it will be a epic romance and will showcase a love set to rival that of Moulin Rouge and The Notebook. It’s got a whole lot of impressive names attached though, which is the real motivating factor behind my anticipation: the always wonderful Rachel McAdams, rapidly-ascending star Jessica Chastain, Rachel Weisz (again), Ben Affleck (love him or hate him, he’s still a name!), Javier Bardem, Michael Sheen, Olga Kurylenko (of Bond Girl fame), Barry Pepper (love), Amanda Peet, and of course the inexplicably incredible Terrence Malick directing. I’m excited.

8. Perks of Being a Wallflower

I haven’t actually gotten around to reading this book yet, but I’ve heard from everyone that I absolutely have to because it’s apparently amazing. I’m a huge Logan Lerman fan (yes, he’s ridiculously attractive and my age, but I also happen to think he’s a good actor too, thank you very much. 🙂 ), plus Paul Rudd and Melanie Lynskey is a huge plus! I’m still not quite sure how I feel about Emma Watson though, and as her first non-Hermione acting venture I’ll be seeing, this movie will definitely carry a lot of weight in that respect. And even though I’m out of high school, I can definitely dig the parallels  between freshmen Logan and college-freshmen me having our eyes opened to the so-called ‘real world’.

7. Brave

Check out that cloud of red hair!

Aaah, what’s not to love about another Disney Pixar movie??? Especially one that happens to be set in Scotland!!! Featuring Disney Pixar’s first female protagonist, Princess Merida, and a collection of beautiful Scottish brogues, there’s no way it won’t be good. 🙂 Actors lending their voices include Kelly McDonald as the feisty princess and Emma Thompson as the queen, as well as Julie Walters, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane.

6. Mirror, Mirror

One of the two competing Snow White films being released next year, my anticipation for ‘Mirror, Mirror’ has actually died down a little bit after watching the trailer. Tarsem Singh being one of my fave directors (I was absolutely blown away by The Fall) I was totally banking on this being the Snow White to watch, expecting breath-taking visuals, a fairy-tale elegance and a faithful yet edgy re-telling of this classic story. Instead, the trailer has it coming across as a slightly more artistic repeat of ‘Ella Enchanted’. The Evil Queen (played by Julia Roberts) is a carbon copy of the recent ‘Alice in Wonderland”s Queen of Hearts, which doesn’t seem to suit the poised, icy ruler I’ve always envisioned. They’ve also taken a cue from most fairy-tale updates and turned Snow into a warrior, which can work when executed correctly, but what was supposed to set Mirror, Mirror apart from Hunstman was a classic quality and faithfulness to the original tale. You may wonder why I still have this in my most-anticipated list after ragging on it so much, but I just can’t let go of all those high hopes I was carrying for it yet! Especially since Tarsem Singh is involved! Oh yeah, and having Nathan Lane in the cast gives it an edge too. 🙂

5. Snow White and the Hunstman

I feel like a traitor for saying it, but let’s face it, Snow White and the Hunstman looks awesome. Every second of that trailer was pretty much perfection. I mean, the reason I love Mirror, Mirror director Tarsem Singh is for his unparalleled visuals, but for some reason the images in Hunstman were able to blow his out of the water! What is happening here? And while I’m not a huge fan of Kristen Stewart (not a hater, either!), this movie is probably worth it for Charlize Theron alone. It looks like Snow White might be getting pushed to the sidelines in her own movie, but Theron absolutely kills it as The Queen. It doesn’t feel right to admit, but Snow White and the Hunstman emits darkness, presence, poetry; everything I hoped Mirror, Mirror would be; and I think it just became my bet for winner in the battle of the Snow Whites.

4. Cabin in the Woods

Fran Kranz, Amy Acker, Tom Lenk, Joss Whedon, and a slasher-movie satire? ‘Nuff said. Now if it will only ever come out….

3. The Avengers

Again, Joss Whedon. That’s all I really have to say. But I’ll also add that it combines Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans at Captain America, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner (I love Ruffalo, but if only it were Edward Norton again! 😦 )  in the most extreme clash of franchises I’ve ever seen. It’s gonna be awesome. !!!

2. Ender’s Game

So this is a movie I’d been worrying about for a while. Ender’s Game is my favorite book of all time, and there was a long period where I really couldn’t picture anyone pulling it off as a film; the simulated battles, The Giant’s Drink, and especially the fights that take place in The Battle Room in zero-gravity. But we all know that Avatar coming out changed a lot of things, and I honestly think I could see this movie taking place now. Asa Butterfield has officially been cast as Ender, who absolutely blew me away in The Boy With the Striped Pajamas and, I’ve heard, is equally impressive in Hugo. This movie has some incredible potential, if they can get it right.

1. The Hobbit

I’m definitely not alone in listing The Lord of the Rings trilogy as some of my favorite films in the history of cinema. Director Peter Jackson took some of the most beloved and celebrated novels of all time and transposed them onto the screen as elegantly as could’ve been hoped for (we’ll overlook the whole Faramir debacle just this once). The films were incredibly faithful for a movie adaptation, and, for a geek like me, even at age nine, it was pretty incredible to watch the classic universe of Middle Earth come to life. So I am definitely pumped to see Peter Jackson do it again. We know that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be a faithful rendering of the original tale, while part 2, There and Back Again, will be a more original work filling in the blanks between The Hobbit and Fellowship. Anyways, I’ve got some really high hopes! I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they rise to expectations. 🙂

On the flip side, there are a few movies I am actively dreading coming out next year. Bad movies will happen, but sometimes they cross that point where they trash something previously so beautiful that it just becomes painful. There are a whole slew of unnecessary sequels on the slate for next year, including The Expendables 2 and The Wolverine (as vastly opposed to the previous X-Men Origins: Wolverine). None of them are exactly worthy of Oscar buzz, but no one’s expecting them to be. They’ll have no problem finding their audience and delivering pure entertainment, as promised. There are three movies, however, that the more I hear about the more legitimately upset I become.

The Great Gatsby

I mean, first off, check out that cast. Except for Leo as Gatsby, who I happen to see as pretty much perfect, I’m not impressed (Tobey Maguire for Nick Carraway? Really?). Plus, guys, we’ve tried this before. Twice. Neither exactly left audiences riveted. And while I’m a huge fan of director Baz Luhrmann, I really don’t think a novel like The Great Gatsby is ready for the Moulin Rouge treatment. Can’t we just agree that some classics are best left untouched?

Les Misérables

Okay, Les Misérables is my favorite musical of all time, and  you know how much I love musicals. To even think about them converting the magic of the staged Les Misérables to the big screen, without any Broadway actors in the main cast, no less, is hysteria-inducing. Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean? Anne Hathaway as Fantine? What is this, Music Man? Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thenadier? I love her as an actress, but did you see her butcher Mrs. Lovett? Girl can’t carry a tune in a bucket. But definitely the last straw is that Taylor Swift is apparently the front-runner for Eponine. Talk about a stab in the heart. I’m honestly too upset to even form a coherent sentence. I hope this inevitable mess lasts in theaters two days tops.

A Good Day to Die Hard

Really? That’s all I have to say about that.