The summer movie season starts with The Avengers on May 4th.  In anticipation, we’re counting down the movies we’re most looking forward to.  We agreed to do top 12s, but I got a little overexcited.  Actually, turns out, a lot overexcited.  Here’s part I of the preliminary movies.

25. Hope Springs – Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play a married couple seeking professional counseling from Steve Carell in this dramedy from the director of The Devil Wears Prada and the writer of the last filmed episode of Cupid (the first go-round).  Anyone who isn’t a little excited about Streep and Jones going head to head is probably reading the wrong blog.

24. Savages – So every preview of this film begins with Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson playing drug dealers who have to go rescue their common girlfriend, Blake Lively, after she gets kidnapped, and that the movie is directed by Oliver Stone.  If you stop reading there, you’ll miss a Tarantinoesque supporting cast that somehow includes: John Travolta, Salma Hayek, Demian Bichir, Emile Hirsch, Uma Thurman, and Benicio del Toro.  And that the movie looks absolutely friggin’ insane.

23. Your Sister’s Sister – I’m not the world’s biggest Lynn Shelton or Mark Duplass fan, but count me in for any love triangle involving Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt.

22. God Bless America – Sure, odds are the film ends up like Bobcat Goldthwait’s previous effort: World’s Greatest Dad – great idea, middling execution.  But when that idea is a middle-aged guy going on a shooting spree to rid the world of obnoxious people, well, you get a little leeway.

21. Ruby Sparks – You might remember directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s last movie: Little Miss Sunshine.  Which came out a half-decade ago.  That’s a mighty long vacation.  For their “comeback”, they chose a film written by Zoe Kazan, who co-stars as a fictional character dreamed up by writer Paul Dano that comes to life.  The movie boasts a rather fun supporting cast, including: Chris Messina, Annette Bening, Alia Shawkat, Antonio Banderas, Deborah Ann Woll, and Steve Coogan.  The crazy talented Kazan, by the way, is due for a mainstream breakout any day now.

20. Sleepless Night – All descriptions of this French action/thriller I’ve found make it sound like a generic genre piece involving cops and drugs and having one night to get some drugs to Mr. MacGuffin’s or wherever.  But the early slate of reviews I’ve seen suggest the film is a taut, frenetic, thrill ride that revitalizes the genre.

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