The title is self-explanatory, and I think I might be listing some titles my cohorts haven’t included (and vice versa)…. so let’s get started, shall we?
#5. This Is the End
Release Date: June 12
This star-studded flick is the first in an ungodly slew of apocalypse titles to be released later this year – and, in my opinion, one of a mere two worth seeing. I’m a sucker for meta-anything, and this meta-comedy/disaster flick is sure to tickle my film geek fancy. The teaser had me crying with laughter, and I explicitly (no pun intended) avoided the most recent Red Band trailer to spare my funnybone for the film’s release early this summer. I’m a sucker for stars playing themselves, especially in a meta-hailstorm of self-referential cackles at the apocalypse.
#4. The World’s End
Release Date: August 23
It’s Edgar Wright, okay? Need I continue?
A quintessential geek auteur whose track record is rivaled only by the likes of Joss Whedon, Edgar Wright’s third and final installment in his Cornetto trilogy boasts the most complex plot in recent comedic memory. Here is a director who truly challenges himself with each film, necessitating year-long gaps in between films to synthesize with his next stroke of genius. Hot Fuzz outdid Shaun of the Dead, and I’m confident The World’s End can trump them both. Unfortunately, Edgar Wright fans all over the world will have to wait for its end until August. I want to get there now, though. Let’s jump over fences to get there. What’s wrong, never taken a shortcut before?
(Watch Hot Fuzz, I promise the reference is funny)
#3. Man of Steel
Release Date: June 14
Kal-El has had a checkered cinematic history, to say the least. In this writer’s opinion, only two Superman films made so far have been passable, and those are decades old – Bryan Singer’s 2006 dud Superman Returns yielded us with nothing more than a tired rehash of the original Richard Donner classic, and the long-rumored Batman Vs. Superman never came to fruition. However, I’m greatly hopeful for Man of Steel, and with Zack Snyder at the helm, the world may finally get the quintessential modern rendition of the Man of Tomorrow it deserves. Here’s hoping that we can believe a man can fly once more, and that it’s not just a cash grab to tie-in with Warner Bros.’ frantic scrambling for a DC cinematic universe. However, with early rave reviews trailers brandishing a gorgeously fresh visual style from Snyder, being optimistic about this flick is easy.
#2. Iron Man 3
Release Date: May 3
I distinctly remember sitting in 2008’s Iron Man, disappointed in my lack of enthusiasm for the film – I wanted to love it, but it didn’t do anything for me that previous Marvel films hadn’t. After a couple Nick Fury cameos, a kick-ass sequel, and The Avengers, however – I’m on board. Helmed by Shane Black, scribe of the genius Lethal Weapon and director of the little-seen but much-loved Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 has brandished trailers that have induced nerdgasms everywhere. I’ve stopped watching them, myself – I want some surprises left for the midnight showing – but I’m biting my nails in anticipation. Going deeper and darker into the hero’s psyche as he is pitted against a Middle-Eastern terrorist is veering dangerously close to Dark Knight Rises territory, but Marvel and Downey Jr. are just getting started.
#1. The Great Gatsby
Release Date: May 10
Baz Luhrmann is one of my favorite working directors in Hollywood today. With two full-fledged visionary masterpieces under his belt (the bombastic, ever-tragic Moulin Rouge as well as the high-octane of Romeo + Juliet, which I’ve adored since the day we watched it in my 8th grade English class), the man knows how to deliver complex tragedy dressed in crowd-pleasing eye candy. Expertly cast, scrumptiously scored and gorgeous to look at, the adaptation of the classic novel is sure to please viewers of all ages. No longer the source of groans in AP English classes, the material has made a resurgence as a “hip” book among the teen demographic, the same demographic responsible for the film’s re-labeling from a Christmas Oscar film to a summer blockbuster. No matter, though – The Great Gatsby is a sure-fire film for all seasons.