Thanks for reading our past four installments. Hope you’ve enjoyed, and if Jared and I are lucky the movies covered in past posts and the ones below will be good enough to make repeat appearances come Oscar season (either as snubs or maybe even nominees!)


5. Thor – Sure, the fact that initial reviews are positive helps some. But to me, this movie seems less like a “comic book movie” and more like a plain ol’ badass film. Perhaps partially because this comic book hero is based in mythology. The trailer was sufficiently awesome, I thought. Also because the film is directed by noted Shakespearean Kenneth Branagh, who has been in saying in interviews he feels Thor’s story could be something out of the Bard’s writings. Also, I mean, any movie with Natalie Portman AND Kat Dennings? Come on. That’s just not fair. Fun fact about co-screenwriter Ashley Miller: According to imdb, he graduated from Thomas Jefferson HS in Virginia. Which was a quiz bowl (or It’s Academic, to use the term more familiar to us) archrival of the high school Brian and I attended.

4. X-Men: First Class – How does the saying go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me two, no, three, no, four times, shame on me? I really wasn’t a fan of the X-Men trilogy or the Wolverine spinoff. So what’s the difference here? Well, Bryan Singer isn’t directing and David Hayter isn’t writing, that’s a start. Matthew Vaughn has taken over the helm, and he’s got quite the filmography. Layer Cake is a great movie, one that made me believe Daniel Craig was a better choice than Clive Owen for Bond. Really, in a lot of ways, it is the Bond movie people think Casino Royale is. Stardust was a flop, and while it didn’t quite meet my admittedly lofty expectations, it is a must-see film. Even if only for De Niro’s best role since Wag the Dog, at least. And Kick-Ass, which I didn’t like as much as others, but still, I think the movies all combine to show Vaughn has a unique, refreshing, and eminently watchable style for action flicks. And the cast is all kinds of awesome, with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender excellent choices for eventual nemeses, Oliver Platt and Ray Wise lurking in the background, not to mention Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence and the underrated Rose Byrne.

3. 30 Minutes or Less – Let’s see. Original premise, fantastic-looking trailer, crazy hot buzz, directed by the guy who did Zombieland, with Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari? The film certainly has the pedigree to be the funniest film of the summer. So what’s keeping it off the #1 spot? Danny McBride. I realize I’m in a distinct minority here, so maybe I’m the one with a complete and total lack of a sense of humor. Or maybe there’s really nothing funny about Danny McBride. Sure, he was tolerable in Pineapple Express, but he still brought the movie down and was only supporting by everything else being so fantastic.

2. The Guard – I realize this pick is a little bit out there. But stay with me for a sec. The film played Sundance to generally favorable reviews. All of which seem to boil down to some variant of: Yeah, this totally isn’t In Bruges, it just also stars Brendan Gleeson, shares a sense of humor, has great action scenes bookended by hilarious musings on life, and oh yeah, was written and directed by the brother of the guy who wrote and directed In Bruges. So yeah. It also features Don Cheadle and Mark Strong (in a bad guy role, naturally). In Bruges was a favorite of this here blog, and The Guard sure looks to be shaping up as its successor.

1. Super 8 – Gavin was very much unimpressed when I said this movie was atop my list. “You don’t like J.J. Abrams”, he claimed. I’d counter that I like his ideas. Lost, Undercovers, if you want to count What About Brian, all were pretty great concepts. That, sure, didn’t finish as strong as they started. But he also directed Star Trek, which was fantastic. And worked on the screenplay for Armageddon. So there’s that. I also responded that I liked how no one really knew what the film was about. Gavin, of course, responded, “Cloverfield” Which, fair. But that was always a one-trick monster movie. This film appears to be shaping up as a scifi thriller with the depth you’d expect a Spielberg-produced film to have. Plus, any movie that nabs FNL‘s Coach has to have some idea what it is doing.


5. Harry Potter 7, Part II — Truth: part of the reason I have this so high is to defend my bold prediction last year that the last chapter of the Potter franchise would be the frontrunner in the Oscars Best Picture race this year. But I also am eager to see how things are wrapped up cinematically and most crucially, how the battle at Hogwarts will look. The Momma Weasley retort to Bellatrix LeStrange has the potential to be among the most cathartic movie experiences of the year — if done right. I was underwhelmed by the first half released last year, but that may have been intentional, with the unresolved loose ends and all. I wish that director David Yates had ignored J.K. Rowling’s cheezy and tacked on epilogue, but he didn’t. Maybe I’ll just leave the theater with a smile on my face before the final 5 minutes, but then again, I’m the guy who’s not supposed to care about endings.

4. Captain America: The First Avenger — I don’t understand Jared’s trepidation here. Not only do we get Nazi baddies, but we get to see one of the most iconic superheroes. Give me a movie where we’ve fought Nazis, and it hasn’t been good. Then, leading the enemy forces is Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull. Hugo Weaving — also an excellent bad guy. The trailers have only increased my anticipation, and Chris Evans looks to be the ideal guy for the role. We haven’t really gotten a sense of what Steve Rogers’ personality will be like — but I have confidence in Evans as he was one of my favorite parts of Scott Pilgrim. I may be one of the few defenders of The Phantom, a superhero movie of a pre-CGI era that was silly, goofy camp — but I get a similar light-hearted, America Fuck Yeah, feel for this one.

3.Green Lantern – I may have confused Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds in an earlier post written in a sleep-deprived haze, but the sentiment still stands; I like them both. With the release of each new trailer, my expectations continue to skyrocket. Back in the days of Justice League cartoons, the Green Lantern was my favorite character. The ring that can essentially do anything was like a kid’s imagination. What if you could….have a giant sledge hammer, or a saw, or a sword, or a baseball bat, or a HUGE FIST! Throw in Peter Sarsgaard as the creepy villain (the role he was born to play) and I’ll be there for the midnight showing.

2. 30 Minutes or LessJared hit most of the right notes in his preview. Zombieland remains one of my biggest surprise loves of all-time, with Jesse Eisenberg playing a large part in that (the ear tuck!), so consider that the reason why it’s so high on my list now. He’s also right about Danny McBride. No, Jared, you aren’t alone on this one. Danny McBride isn’t funny and never has been funny. Yet another knock on Will Ferrell. And considering that, at least based on the trailer, we could have at least one epic, hilarious bank heist? I mean, one thats intentionally funny unlike The Town?

1.  Super 8 I haven’t been this excited for a movie in a while, and the reasons why begins with Kyle Chandler as a lead character and ends with Spielberg producing. As a sucker for movies about fathers and sons, I’m loving that these two are involved in the movie. Friday Night Lights was all about Coach as the surrogate father to the Panthers and then the Lions and some of Spielberg’s best has focused on these themes as well. Some (Gavin) might call me an apologist for late-era Spielberg like Minority Report and War of the Worlds, but those were damn good crackerjack films that I’ll see again and again. The previews present a movie that looks like a mix of The Goonies, E.T., and Iron Giant — all solid films in their own rights. There’s even some early M. Night Shyamalan in there. Call me a sucker, but this has tear-jerking nostalgia written all over it.