Friday, January 14, 2011

30 Movies to Look Forward to in 2011: Pt. II


16. Restless (?) - Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper do the star-crossed teenage lovers thing for Gus Van Sant.

17. Shame (?) - Michael Fassbender reunites with Hunger director Steve McQueen for provocative familial drama Shame.  Fassbender plays a 30-something New Yorker with a screwed up sex life whose life is shaken up when his sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment.


18. Young Adult (?) - Juno director Jason Reitman directs Charlize Theron as a writer who returns to her Midwest hometown and reconnects with the folks she once knew.  I find that indie comedies about writers work more often than not.  Sold.  Also?  It's written by Diablo Cody. 



19. We Bought a Zoo (12/11) - Cameron Crowe hasn't made a movie since the muddled piece of tripe that was Elizabethtown, but he's gearing back up for a very Crowe-y adaptation with Matt Damon, ScarJo, and Elle Fanning about a family who owns a zoo in the English countryside.  Won't that be nice?


20. Moneyball (9/11)Moneyball is a sports movie. Somehow, however, it's making my list.  Adapted from the book by Michael M. Lewis, it's essentially a story about nothing but structure, following the general manager of the Oakland A's as he attempts to scrape together a team using apparently atypical methods.  Honestly, that sounds insanely dull to me.  But, the film version stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman as that general manager, and slides Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in as backup.  That makes it a different story altogether.   That I want to see.

21. Crazy, Stupid, Love (7/11) - Early buzz on Crazy, Stupid, Love claims it's one of those rare romantic comedies that's deft and smart enough to be worth watching.  The film stars the almost always likeable Steve Carell as a father in marital crisis.  The whole 'dad' angle is nothing new for Carell, but what is intriguing is that this film has Ryan Gosling cast as Carell's wingman.  That's an odd couple that could work, and the rest of the cast isn't too shabby either:  Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon all find places here.

22. Contagion (9/11) - This is another year of two Steven Soderbergh films.  The smaller of the two is Haywire, the bigger is Contagion.  This time around, Soderbergh is bringing us a star-studded outbreak action thriller.  Soderbergh regular Matt Damon is back again, this time with Oscar darlings Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, and Gwyneth Paltrow in tow, as well as Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, and Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston.


23. Bridesmaids (5/11) - The most important thing to note here is that Bridesmaids isn't some sequel to 27 Dresses.  It's an Apatow produced female ensemble comedy co-written by (and starring) SNL funny lady Kristen Wiig and directed by Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig.  The hope is that it's a female driven comedy centered around weddings that manages to not be catty or insipidly full of petty cliche jealousy, which may be tough, as the film follows two friends as they compete to plan their best friend's wedding.

24. Beginners (6/11) - Thumbsucker's director Mike Mills may be in the summer running for 2011's sleeper hit indie with Beginners.  Starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, the film is said to be a bittersweet tale about a 38-year old son (McGregor) dealing with the death of his mother and the recently announced homosexuality of his father (Plummer). 


25. Jane Eyre (3/11) - Charlotte Bronte's classic novel gets another cinematic adaptation.  It's time for some  rollicking English intrigue on the moors.


26. The Skin That I Inhabit (9/11) - It's always a big deal for film nerds when Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar decides to make another movie.  Like a vibrant Douglas Sirk, Almodovar takes soap opera scandal and transforms it into palatable art.  With his next film, he reunites with Antonio Banderas to bring us the story of a plastic surgeon out for revenge on the men who raped his daughter.

27. The Descendants (?) - This movie has George Clooney in it.  That's probably all you really need to know.  This time, George Clooney plays a dad dealing with issues (because that's what a lot of movies are about), figuring out whether to sell his Hawaiian plot of land, and delivering what will likely be fairly neurotic dialogue written by Alexander Payne (Sideways).  You'll probably see it, he'll probably get nominated for something.
28. 30 Minutes or Less (8/11) - It's an action comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg!  It's an action comedy directed by Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer!  It's an action comedy also starring Aziz Ansari!  He's cute like a lemur!
29. The Grandmasters (?) - Because I geek out every time a Wong Kar-wai movie comes around, even when the last couple have been relative disappointments (My Blueberry Nights, anyone?), I'm pretty excited to see the Hong Kong director's take on the biopic.  He's not the first person to take on bringing the life of IP Man (the martial arts master who trained Bruce Lee) to the screen, but he'll undoubtedly do it with the most style.


30. Paul (3/11) - There are certainly plenty of things to worry about with Paul.  The sci-fi comedy's early trailers featured an overabundance of juvenile bathroom humor and absurd hijinks, but it's got enough legitimate comedy clout for me to keep the faith.  Starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Spaced), the British pair who have yet to fail, as two UK comic book geeks on a road trip stateside who come across a real live alien (voiced by Seth Rogen).  It's actually got an R rating, so let's hope it's not dumbed down into gimmicky kid's stuff.

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