Movies I’m Looking Forward to in the Second Half of 2010

I’ve been absent from blogging for awhile because I haven’t had too much to say. I still don’t – I’ve started umpteen blogs such as:

• Some of My Favorite TV Characters of All Time

• Neil Young: Twisted Road Tour – Best . . . Show . . . Ever

• The Filthiest Show You’re Probably Not Watching: The Hard Times of R.J. Berger

• My Favorite Films and Why I Love Them: Part 2

• Things That Make Me Go Hmm . . .

But I just can’t find the oomph I need to finish what I’ve started. I think it’s the heat.

At any rate, while I’m a football widow tonight–hubby has taken the HDTV (w/DVD player and DVR) ransom to watch World Cup, and I only have basic cable in the other room–so I’m attempting to occupy myself online for awhile. Yes, I do read, but lately any time I sit down to read, I fall right out asleep. This is what happens when you turn 41 freaking years old.

The summer movie season SUCKS with a capital S. I’ve finally had some Sundays free to go to a matinee, and there’s not one single thing on that will motivate me to make the drive to the theater – and it’s pretty close by. So, I’m psyching myself up for the late summer/Fall movie season by watching some trailers. These are some of the films I’m most looking forward to seeing, in no particular order:

1. SOMEWHERE – directed by Sofia Coppola – I love Ms. Coppola’s films and in my eyes, she’s done no wrong so far in her writing/directing career. This one seems to be a father/daughter story, and it should be interesting to see Stephen Dorff in a likely-empathetic, parental role. You can see some standard Coppola images here in the trailer, and the music is lovely (a Strokes demo version of “You Only Live Twice.”) She certainly knows how to pick the music for her films. This film is due to be released in December of this year.

2. NEVER LET ME GO – directed by Mark Romanek – This film is an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s (The Remains of the Day) highly-acclaimed novel, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2005. I loved the book, but it’s been a couple of years since I read it. I can say that the film looks to portray the same creepy atmosphere that I imagined when I was reading the book. The cast looks strong with Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Charlotte Rampling, and Sally Hawkins. It’s a bit hard to tell you about the novel without giving too much away, but I will tell you that the story takes place in a dystopian Britain, and it concerns a character named Kathy H. who looks back on the boarding school that she attended in her youth . . . a boarding school that was actually part of a greater “social experiment.” This novel is creepy and heart-wrenching at the same time, and I’m hoping the movie can portray this.

3. THE LAST EXORCISM – directed by Daniel Stamm – presented by Eli Roth & Strike – This one could go either way. I loved the Hostel films just because they were inventive and boundary-stretching. Cabin Fever was a refreshing addition to the horror genre, with some absolutely hilarious scenes. This film seems to have a lot going for it, at least as far as I’m concerned. Deep Southern Louisana; an exorcism; a determined preacher–sounds very Gothic. However, I’ll reserve judgement on this one until I see it.

4. DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS – directed by Jay Roach – This one can go either way for me. I love Steve Carrell, and Paul Rudd is always a big draw for me. What a hottie! This looks silly, but pretty cute, and I’ll likely go to see it. However, it’s directed by the guy who did Meet the Parents, and I HATE, HATE, HATE that movie.

5. THE WINNEBAGO MAN – A documentary that tracks down Jack Rebney–the most famous man you’ve never heard of. He used to be an RV salesman whose filthy mouth made him an Internet sensation. (Incidentally, I’ve never seen the videos). Rebney turns out to be just as crotchety as he seemed to be when the videos were originally made, and this doc looks to be very funny. It comes with recommendations from Michael Moore and The Onion, so I’m in.

6. SCOTT PILGRAM VS. THE WORLD – directed by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead) – When I heard about this film, I thought it might put me off, but I think the trailer looks great. When Scott Pilgram meets the girl of his dreams, things aren’t as rosy and warm as one might imagine. He discovers that to win her hand, he must battle her seven, evil ex-boyfriends. These guys actually have control over her life and they will stop at nothing to eliminate Scott from her life. I think this will be good fun, and I would love for my husband battle my evil exes–simply because they all need a serious ass-kicking.

7. THE NATURE OF EXISTENCE – from Roger Nygard, the director of Trekkies – Nygard wrote down the toughest 85 questions he could think of, roamed the globe to the source of each of the world’s philosophies, religions, and belief systems, and interviewed people who have influenced, inspired, or freaked out humanity. Combining an investigative approach with a spiritual quest, the film is a humorous yet uplifting search for enlightenment, presenting some of the most challenging ideas and extraordinary people living today.

8. THE KILLER INSIDE ME – directed by Michael Winterbottom – From the 1952 Jim Thompson novel, which Stanley Kubrick stated was probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind he had ever encountered. The trailer looks fairly tame, which leads me to hope that the movie is actually pretty depraved. Stars Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson.

9. IN/SIGNIFICANT OTHERS – this follow–up to the festival hit Among Brothers is a multi–narrative drama that navigates through the different lives of one city’s residents, each of whom is connected to the same local homicide investigation.

10. INCEPTION – from Christopher Nolan – An original sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams. To me, Christopher Nolan can do great things (Memento) and mediocre things (The Dark Knight). But this looks very promising, and the cast looks exceptional, with Leonardo Di Caprio, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Ellen Page.

11. NOWHERE BOY – Imagine John Lennon’s childhood. Liverpool 1955: a smart and troubled 15 year—old is hungry for experience. In a family full of secrets, two incredible women clash over John: Mimi, the buttoned-up Aunt who raised him, and Julia, the prodigal mother. Yearning for a normal family, John escapes into the new and exciting world of rock n’ roll where his fledgling genius finds a kindred spirit in the teenage Paul McCartney. Just as John begins his new life, tragedy strikes. But a resilient young man finds his voice — and an icon explodes into the world. This film looks to address John’s relationship with his mother vs. his aunt, which is a different view than many other Lennon biopics have taken. I’m curious about this, so I really want to see the film.

12. CROPSEY – This is a must-see for me! Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true, two filmmakers delve into the mystery behind five missing children and the real—life boogeyman linked to their disappearance in their hometown of Staten Island, New York. Growing up on Staten Island, filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio had often heard the legend of ‘Cropsey.’ For the kids in their neighborhood, Cropsey was the escaped mental patient who lived in the old abandoned Willowbrook Mental Institution, who would come out late at night and snatch children off the streets. As teenagers, the filmmakers assumed Cropsey was just an urban legend: a cautionary tale used to keep them from doing all those things that teenagers like to do. That all changed in the summer of 1987 when a 13-year old girl with Down syndrome disappeared from their community. That was the summer all the kids from Staten Island discovered that their urban legend was real.

13. SUPER 8 – This one doesn’t come out for a long time, but it’s at the top of my list. It’s produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by J.J. Abrams – an amazing pedigree! The plot is still a mystery, although Variety quotes insiders as saying it’s very influenced by the Lost co-creator’s love of Spielberg’s ’70s sci-fi movies. Since I’m a huge Lost fan and a huge Close Encounters fan, I can’t imagine how this could fail. (famous last words)

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