I'm leaving off movies that appeared on last year's list that I still haven't been able to check out: The Disaster Artist, the upcoming Wiseau blockbuster; 2007's Flooding with Love for the Kid, a one-man cheapo remake of Rambo that might be at the top of my "must see" list; Jodorowsky's Dance of Reality sequel (Endless Poetry); Svankmajer's final film (still not out) called Insects; Tickled, the documentary about competitive tickling; Colossal, the Nacho Vigalondo monster movie; A Cure for Wellness, Verbinski's horror-ish follow-up to the hugely underrated or immensely underappreciated Lone Ranger; Jarmusch's Paterson; and a few other things.
These aren't really in any specific order.
This "crime comedy" has George Clooney, the world's most handsome man, directing from a script the Coen boys penned in the mid-80s, right after Blood Simple. Some Coen regulars (Moore, Brolin, Isaac) are joined by Matt Damon and Glenn Fleshler. I'll pop the DVD in expecting a Coen Brothers movie and likely wind up disappointed. I'm still a little mad at Clooney for being a distraction during Tom Waits' final Letterman appearance, but I'm drawn to the man's dimples and hair.
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project, 2017
This movie is currently filming, and I have my doubts it'll actually come out in 2017. I'm not sure how interested I am in the 1950s London fashion scene, but this is Paul Thomas Anderson we're talking about. Inherent Vice, The Master, There Will Be Blood, Punch-Drunk Love, Magnolia, Boogie Nights. That's an incredible run, and I even think the more controversial parts of his filmography are great movies. A new Paul Thomas Anderson movie is an event! Oh, and the prolific Daniel Day-Lewis is in this.
The plot synopsis on imdb says this is about a "devastating earthquake in Los Angeles." That's nothing that's going to grab me. But with a reported large number of walkouts at Sundance, an article about how it's the "grossest movie ever made," and the following trailer, this is something I'm really looking forward to. It's the directorial debut of somebody annoyingly named Flying Lotus who is a renowned music producer, and it's got George Clinton in it.
I'm sorry. I lied about the trailer. It's not here. You can go look it up on the YouTube though.
I was going to avoid old movies this time around and just look to the future, but I'm pretty excited to see this movie from James Nguyen, the visionary director of the Birdemic movies. This, another romantic-thriller, is about a guy who gets a new kidney and falls in love with his doctor after she introduces him to the fascinating world of biotechnology. And it appears to be just as inept as those Birdemic disasterpieces.
Pass Thru, 2016
I wasn't able to get Breen to bring his newest masterpiece to the greater Indianapolis area despite my half-assed efforts, so I'll have to either buy his overpriced DVD directly from him or wait until somebody puts it on YouTube. But it looks every bit as magical as Double Down, Fateful Findings, and I Am Here. . . .Now, the trio of films that pushed the auteur Neil Breen straight to the top of my favorite director list. This movie has a tiger! I'll go anywhere Neil Breen takes me.
I should also note that Breen is in pre-production on his fifth feature, a thriller with the working title Twisted. I'll save that for next year's list.
Small Star Seminar, ????
It's unclear to me what this is or when (if) it will be completed as a feature film. However, any project of Cory McAbee's (The American Astronaut, Stingray Sam, and Crazy and Thief) is worth paying attention to. I've made no secret about how deliriously creative I think McAbee is. This might be some sort of concert thing or it might be something else (screenanarchy.com says it's a "playful riff on motivational seminars" in which he "encourages people to be quiet and accept their limitations." I don't really care what it's about. If it's from the McAbee mind, I'm in!
Again, I don't even know if this is a real movie or if it'll ever be anything at all. But I'll look for any reason to mention Cory McAbee and maybe persuade somebody into watching The American Astronaut.
Paddington 2, 2017
Longtime readers might remember how I couldn't control my giggling every time a preview for the first movie came on. I wasn't sure I was mature enough to see Paddington in the theater actually. I have yet to see previews of this, but if it's as charming and fun as its predecessor, I should love it. Nicole Kidman won't be in this one, but Hugh Grant is nearly as pretty. I'll probably end up watching this one without pants.
It's another two-movie year for Pixar although I can't get all that excited about Cars 3 despite having a secret love (or at least a strong "like") for the original Cars. When this was announced, seemingly about fifteen years ago, I was wondering why there was going to be a second movie revolving the Day of the Dead, but I'm not sure it's got a lot to do with that and the preview made this one look absolutely dreamy and magical. Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, co-director of other things) and first-time director Adrian Molina helmed this one. It looks gorgeous, and I might see it in the theater.
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, 2017
What a wonderful time to be alive with a new Star Wars movie coming out every single year! I'm not as enthusiastic about Rian Johnson directing this as I wasn't near as gaga over Brick or Looper as most everybody else seemed to be, but I am excited to see the next chapter with all these new characters. I'm hoping this has Gungans. And I hope Luke Skywalker does something other than scowl. I'd be all over this movie anyway because it's a Star Wars movie, but I'm especially curious about this one since I think they'll be forced to venture further from the characters and motifs of the original trilogy than Rogue One or The Force Awakens did.
I should probably see Brick and Looper again.
She's Allergic to Cats, 2016
I don't know much about this Michael Reich film other than it's a horror-romantic-comedy about a dog groomer in Hollywood who wants to make an all-cat remake of Carrie and falls in love with Klaus Kinski's granddaughter. And that's really enough for me. It's also apparently interrupted frequently with video cassette montages. It sounds wonderfully original and fun.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, 2017
Lots of buzz for this Martin McDonagh, director of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, dark comedy. Larry pointed me in the direction of the trailer because of a Peter Dinklage appearance (there's a story here, but it's not worth mentioning), and it looks like a nice juicy role for Frances McDormand and has a few other actors I enjoy. No Tom Waits, unfortunately. Or a bunny.
War for the Planet of the Apes, 2017
As faithful readers will remember, I hated 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so much that I'm not even sure why I bothered watching 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But I bothered and ended up really loving it, obviously enough to feel like putting this third prequel entry on my list here. I love the Charlton Heston movie enough to want to find out how the Statue of Liberty gets that way anyway. I'm not sure how many of these prequels they're planning to make, but if this is the last one, it should be dark and poignant and a lot of fun. Director Matt Reeves seems to be on a bit of a role, by the way. He directed Dawn (not Rise though) and some other things you might have enjoyed.
The Brand New Testament, 2015
With a dopey title and the premise of God living in Brussels with a daughter who thinks she can do a better job than him (Tagline: If you thought God's son was trouble, wait until you meet his daughter), it might be hard to have a lot of faith in this movie. It sounds a little too wacky. However, this is a Jaco Van Dormael movie we're talking about, and I do have faith in the director of the wonderful (and wonderfully complex) Mr. Nobody and equally wonderful Toto the Hero. I'm expecting whimsy.
The Thousand Miles, 2017
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Sylvain Chomet has a new animated feature coming out! This is enough to give me a raging boner, that special kind that certain cartoons are capable of giving a man. My blog readers know that I love (maybe even a "love" with all capital letters) The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist. So of course I'm going to be excited about this one about 1950s Italy and "the world's most beautiful car race." Chomet's screenplay (which apparently will feature actual talking this time) was inspired by a Federico Fellini.
This reminds me: Chomet slipped a live-action comedy called Attila Marcel past me in 2013. I should include that in this list, too. I haven't been able to find it yet.
I know exactly one thing about this movie as I start to type about it--It's written and directed by Pablo Berger, the guy behind the wholly original Blancanieves, the silent retelling of the Snow White story with a heavy dose of bullfighting. This movie's plot centers on a housewife trying to help her possessed husband.
There are pre-Blancanieves movies of Berger's that I still need to check out, too.
The Killing of the Sacred Deer, 2017
I worry somewhat that director Yorgos Lanthimos, my favorite Greek filmmaker since I can't seem to name any others, is on some sort of every-other-movie-is-good pattern here. I loved Dogtooth, so much that I actually watched it twice. I was bored nearly to tears by Alps, a movie that admittedly went over my head. And then I loved last year's The Lobster. Colin Farrell (who I know as one of the Colins) returns in this story about a teenager, a surgeon, and a dysfunctional family. However good this ends up being, it'll at least be different.
The Other Side of Hope, 2017
It's been six years since the critically-beloved Le Havre came out, and that's too long to go without a new film from my favorite director, Aki Kaurismaki. No wonder the world has gone to shit! I have no idea what this is about and don't care. The characters, the setting, and the humor will likely be about the same as they are in every other Kaurismaki movie, and that's exactly why I'll see it as soon as possible. I love this guy, and if you haven't seen any of his movies, you need to fix that immediately.
Fate of the Furious, 2017
Holy shit! We're less than a month away from the next installment of this franchise, and my balls ache in anticipation. I'm trying my best to avoid seeing anything about this but keep accidentally catching parts of trailers. Not a lot of movies are capable of dragging me to the theater, but Rubber Duck and I are seeing this one as soon as it comes out. And I couldn't be more excited!
Also, I'm planning on revisiting the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th movies once again (Movies a-Go-Go style!) in the next couple weeks as I get mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared for this 8th one.
Other Movies I'm Either Anticipating or Know I'll End Up Seeing But That Don't Deserve Pictures:
Mary Poppins Returns. I'll likely include this in next year's "anticipated movie" post since it's not going to be released until December of 2018. I'll more than likely watch this movie while masturbating.
La La Land. Here's a movie I could have easily seen by now, but I want to wait and watch it on my phone.
Kong: Skull Island. I might even see this one when it hits the dollar theater. I can't even figure out why I'm excited to see this movie. I mean, sure it has a giant monkey fighting dinosaurs. And John C. Reilly. But is that enough?
Get Out. Lots of good vibes surrounding this movie, so I feel like I have to include it here. All the kids seem to dig it.
The Love Witch. I know nothing about director Anna Biller, but this horror-comedy that is supposedly a "tribute to 1960s pulp novels and technicolor melodramas" looks to be right up my alley.
Salt and Fire. Response has been very bad for this latest Herzog narrative film, so it's hard to get overly excited. I also never saw his last drama with Nicole Kidman--Queen of the Desert. Still, I do sometimes call this guy my favorite director, so I should list them somewhere on here.
Der Bunker. This is director Nikias Chyrssos's (that's a lot of s's!) follow-up to Der Samurai, a movie that I only sorta liked but that still kind of haunts me. This also features Pit Bukowski.
An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn. Jim Hosking's follow-up to The Greasy Strangler, a movie I'm still not sure I liked at all but that is impossible to stop thinking about. I'm excited to see where this cat's career goes from that greasiness.
The Beach Bum. This has Matthew McConaughey playing a stoner surfer dude in a Harmony Korine movie. Who knows what to think? It's unclear why McConaughey would be interested in doing this, and Korine usually infuriates me. But I really like those car commercials.
Gutboy! A Badtime Story and The Lure. I put these together because they both feature mermaids. The first is an all-marionette movie that is advertised as "the weirdest movie in the world." I can't put it up there because 1) I don't believe that and 2) the title is stupid. The second is a Polish mermaid musical.
Everything, Everything and Wonderstruck. Together because they're both from young adult books I've read. The first is a sweet and intriguing tale of young romance and the latter is a book from The Invention of Hugo Cabret author Brian Selznick. The latter is directed by Todd Haynes.
Dean. I really enjoy comedian Demetri Martin, despite his hair, and this is his writing/directing debut. He's an insanely creative guy, so this should be fun.
Baby Driver. I haven't even seen Edgar Wright's The World's End. Is that worth seeing? This movie looks like a blast.
Split. This will either be entertainingly good-bad or Shyamalan will surprise me with an actual good movie. Everything I've heard makes it seem like it's a good movie, but I'm skeptical. I did like The Visit though.
God Particle and the new Alien movie. A Cloverfield movie (I think?) after the lackluster 10 Cloverfield Lane doesn't get me too excited. And after Prometheus, a lame movie, it's hard to get excited about another Alien prequel. I was intrigued by the trailer though.
Dunkirk. I'm not usually into war movies, but I guess we can trust Christoper Nolan to do something interesting with the genre.
Battle of the Sexes. I think a movie about the famous 70's tennis match between Billie Jean King and that blowhard could be fun.
The Dark Tower. I just read this, and I liked it less than I figured I would after hearing people I trust rave about it. I'll still see this, but it's really only listed here so that I can brag about reading a book.
Murder on the Orient Express. Did I read this book? I'm going to go ahead and pretend that I did. Kenneth Branagh's directing this.
Downsizing. I like existential comedies in which people shrink themselves. This an Alexander Payne movie that has Kristen Wiig, Matt Damon, and Christoph Waltz.
Guardians of the Galaxy and Wonder Woman and Spider-Man and Thor and Justice League. Two of these I really am interested in seeing, but they're superhero movies so I'll likely see them all. I did like the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie fine, have always been intrigued by Wonder Woman, and want to see exactly what the hell Taika Waititi is doing with Thor even though I didn't like Thor 1 or Thor 2.