1. The Family (9/13) - From writer/director Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional), starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones, about a mafia family under witness protection. I can't really see this going wrong. Strong director, strong cast, strong concept.
2. Prisoners (9/20) - I like the idea of being a "prisoner" of revenge. Once you go down that road there is no escape. This is a similar idea in Denis Villeneuve's previous movie, Incendies, except that it is about the overwhelming nature of hate. Incendies is an emotional, gut-wrenching movie with a brutal ending (exactly "my kind of movie"), so I am interested in seeing more from him. It's also packed with an impressive cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello and Melissa Leo.
3. Don Jon (9/27) - I already mentioned this in my summer movie post, but the release was pushed back a month. I wrote "starring JGL, directed by JGL" and that's enough to get me excited for a movie. I've learned a little more about it since then. First, it's written by JGL as well. Second, I saw the trailer and um....it's...um....interesting? It's definitely not something I would want to see if it wasn't for him. I have zero interest in watching a typical New Jersey asshole on the big screen (I endure it every day in real life. Seriously, I would love to say that it's just a gross stereotype, but I've lived in several places and the assholes in NJ are a rare breed. I should only have to say "not interested" once. I'm not playing hard to get. I'm just not interested. It's that fucking simple. Rant over.). Third, AAAAHHHHHH! Scarlett Johansson can not act (unless she is being directed by Woody Allen). Fourth, I am still going to see this movie, but now it seems like a chore rather than something I actually want to do. I am hoping, for JGL's sake, that I am completely wrong and this movie is fantastic.
4. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (9/27) - I'm not a big fan of animated movies, but since the first one is so cute and witty, I will happily watch this sequel.
5. Gravity (10/4) - So, I've seen the trailer twice now in the theater, and each time the audience laughed at it. It does look pretty ridiculous - Sandra Bullock just floating around in space? Obviously, there has to be more to it. I've heard chatter about some other clips and marketing online that are supposed to be great, but I think I'll just wait for the movie. It's getting some Oscar talk (for Bullock and director, Alfonso Cuaron), plus it has George Clooney. I have no reason not to see it.
6. Runner Runner (10/4) - I haven't decided for sure yet if I want to see this, because it looks kind of like a stupid and predictable thriller. But sometimes, that's exactly what I'm in the mood for. I like the idea of Ben Affleck as a bad guy and I'll never complain about watching Justin Timberlake on the big screen. Plus, I am a bit of a poker player myself, although, I would never play any online gaming because I'm convinced it's all a scam (which is exactly what this movie is about! See, I knew it!!!).
7. 12 Years a Slave (10/18) - Steve McQueen + Michael Fassbender = perfection. If you don't believe me, watch Shame and Hunger.
8. Carrie (10/18) - I'm not as against remakes as most film fans are. Sometimes they can be fun. I think Carrie is a good pick for a remake. It's 36 years old, yet still pretty relevant to the younger generation. They cast the absolute perfect person for the role, Chloe Grace Moretz. Kimberly Peirce is also a great pick as the director - Boys Don't Cry is a stunning movie and I even enjoyed Stop-Loss.
9. The Counselor (10/25) - Novelist Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, The Road), wrote the screenplay, with Ridley Scott directing. The big draw for me though, is obviously Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Javier Bardem.
10. Diana (10/?) - I don't really follow the whole "royal family" media explosion ("one of them had a baby recently, right?" is the extent of my knowledge). However, when I was younger I was a bit fascinated by Princess Di. It was mostly due to her charity work. I was captivated by the fact that someone so visible was doing so much good in the world. Specifically, her work with the National AIDS Trust really interested me, because AIDS was not really something privileged white women talked about in the 90's. It's because of her that I fought to have World AIDS Day recognized at my high school and went on to volunteer at the AIDS awareness group during college. I actually did a shitload of volunteer work during the late 90's/ early 00's, because of her influence. I think back to that time and am amazed at how I found that much time in the day and that much energy, and I realize that I am lazy as fuck now. I still try to do something at least once a year, and when I do, I think of her. I am surprised it took this long to make a movie about her, but I'm glad that the movie seems to be based on her advocacy work rather than her personal life. Also, Naomi Watts is going to kill it.
11. The Wolf of Wall Street (11/15) - Holy fuck, the trailer is AWESOME. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch it (and I am someone who usually cautions people to NOT watch trailers); you won't be able to take your eyes off of it. I have no idea what the movie is about, other than Leonardo DiCaprio being excessively rich. I do know that Leo and Martin Scorsese are a win/win and that Matthew McConaughey is on a role (and he looks hilarious in the trailer).
12. Her (11/20) - The idea of falling in love with the unattainable "perfect" woman is obviously not a new concept, but Spike Jonze takes it a bit more literally in this movie. As in, the woman is unattainable because she doesn't actually exist; instead she is just an extremely empathetic operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson (GRRRRRR...at least she's not actually in the movie). I can easily argue that it's still not an original idea (Mannequin, Lars and the Real Girl, and most recently, Ruby Sparks), but with the updated "Siri"-type aspect it could seem fresh, if it's done well. Films like these always teeter on the edge of misogyny (or they go completely overboard, like Ruby Sparks), with the idea that one will never find the perfect woman so why not make one up?! Guess what guys? The woman you fall in love with will not be perfect. I'm sure that will be the "moral" of the story, but I think Spike Jonze films usually showcase a little more depth than that, so I am hoping for some really emotional stuff from Joaquin Phoenix about human connection, heartbreak and loneliness. It shouldn't be hard for him; he did it to perfection in The Master (yes, I'm still mad that he didn't win the Oscar). I just had major deja vu writing that. SO WEIRD.
13. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (11/22) - Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the first one. I really wasn't expecting to at all. For real, I thought I was going to tear it apart. This is exactly why I watch everything that I can possibly get my hands on, even if I think I'm going to hate it. I like being surprised by something. I'm excited to see what happens next in the story, and since I haven't read the books, I have absolutely no clue where the story will go.
14. Oldboy (11/27) - Ugh...I know that I just wrote that I am ok with remakes, but this is when I get annoyed. Remaking a pretty-damn-close to perfect movie, that's only a few years old, just because people are too lazy to read subtitles. I say, if you're too lazy to read subtitles, then you don't deserve to witness the magic of the movie. I was standing firm against this remake, but the cast is just too damn good. Josh Brolin has never been bad in anything, has he? (The only acceptable answer is Jonah Hex.). I haven't seen the trailer, but I've heard everything from "awful" to "fantastic" from people who have, so that actually makes me even more interested. Fuck it. I'm going to see it, but I'm probably going to hate myself for it.