Topyxyz’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2014 Part I: January to June

Topyxyz

Wow, it’s been a while since I made a list like this. I remember I had to scrap last year’s due to my lack of time and patience. So to prevent that from happening again I’ve decided to split it into two parts not only because it’s much easier to rank, but also since the trailers just aren’t there yet for most of the movies to be released in the second half. I have to warn the people looking for art-house entries though, because most of these films will be on wide release. It’s just my way of lobbying for the ones I think deserve to be seen in theaters and segregating them from the rest of the crowded marketplace.

So without further ado…let’s begin with

32. Stretch

Starring: Chris Pine, Jessica Alba, Patrick Wilson, Brooklyn Decker, Ed Helms

“Hard luck limo driver Stretch (Patrick Wilson) is struggling to go straight and pay off a debt to his bookie when he picks up a crazed passenger (Chris Pine) whose sought-after ledger implicates some seriously dangerous criminals. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: Patrick Wilson has gotten himself into a winning streak as of late with horror flicks such as Insidious and The Conjuring. And I’m interested in seeing how him and his cast mates will interact in this R-rated, suspense action comedy.

31. The Fault In Our Stars

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Willem Dafoe

“Hazel and Gus are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them – and us – on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: I haven’t read the book and there are no trailers around, but author John Green’s vlog caught my attention and he sounds pretty confident with how the project’s being handled. I can’t say my excitement is high for this, but it does show some promise.

30. The Purge 2

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: Yes, there will be a sequel and yes, some people said the trailer for the first one was better than the actual film. But having recently seen The Purge, I feel there’s still plenty of room for them to explore the premise. Hopefully, they’ll cover a wider area next time for maximum thrills and kills.

29. Vampire Academy

Starring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry

“Rose Hathaway (Deutch) is a Dhampir: half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story. (c) Weinstein”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: The first of two vampire-themed movies on my list is Vampire Academy from Mean Girls director Mark Waters. I’m a bit skeptical with its hybrid of drama, romance, sci-fi and fantasy elements as it may suffer some tonal issues; but hey it made my list anyway.

28. Only Lovers Left Alive

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin

“A story centered on two vampires who have been in love for centuries.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: This vampire drama is not your ordinary Twilight flick. There seems to be a deep exploration within the characters and having that talented cast around only benefits them. It’s at 89% at RottenTomatoes so far so that’s always a good sign. And my goodness, Loki’s here!

27. Robocop

Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish

“In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: I’ve never seen the 1987 Robocop, so any arguments against this 2014 version that’s related to the original will not change my outlook on this film. The trailer actually suggests it’s going to be good, but that’s coming from a guy who also enjoyed last year’s Total Recall, so beware.

26. Winter’s Tale

Starring: Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe

“Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, “Winter’s Tale” is a story of miracles, crossed destinies, and the age-old battle between good and evil.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: Nothing much to say here save the fact that I got hooked by this film’s mix of romance and fantasy. Colin Farrell got me in the trailer. Reminds me of Stardust and Cloud Atlas too. It opens on Valentine’s Day, against Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde’s (what a beauty) Endless Love.

25. Chef

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Dustin Hoffman, Sofia Vergara

“A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: The last time Director Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr., teamed up was in Iron Man 1 and 2, which ultimately paved the way for The Avengers. Obviously they know how to please the audience, which is exactly what I’m looking for this next summer.

24. Million Dollar Arm

Starring: Jon Hamm

“Based on a true story, Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” follows JB Bernstein, a once-successful sports agent who now finds himself edged out by bigger, slicker competitors.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: Disney has managed to generate some Oscar buzz with their latest family fare “Saving Mr. Banks”. They’re doing well with Frozen and the executives seem to value quality as well. Hopefully the critical darling Jon Hamm (Mad Men) can also buoy this film to success.

23. Need For Speed

Starring: Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper

“Fresh from prison, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business associate joins a cross country race with revenge in mind. His ex-partner, learning of the plan, places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: I’ve played most of the entries in the franchise: Underground, Most Wanted, Carbon, you name it. I backed up Prince of Persia despite getting flak from critics, so regardless of other peoples’ opinions, I’ll watch it anyway.

22. Filth

Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots

“Scheming Bruce Robertson, a bigoted and corrupt policeman, is in line for a promotion and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: James McAvoy is a brilliant actor, and that’s it. I’m kidding of course. Watch the trailer and find out why 🙂

21. Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz

“A mechanic and his daughter make a discovery that brings down Autobots and Decepticons – and a paranoid government official – on them.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: Will this be Michael Bay’s first fresh film since 1996’s The Rock? Frankly I’m not sure, as critics often seem to react negatively towards his work all the time. I’m actually more interested now that Labeouf, Fox and Whiteley are gone, so let’s see where Wahlberg takes us.

20. Noah

Starring: Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman

“Academy Award (R) winner Russell Crowe stars as Noah, a man chosen by God for a great task before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world. (c) Paramount”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: The star-studded cast that director Darren Aronofsky has come up with. Aside from Crowe, Emma Watson and Logan Lerman are also around. Noah will battle Mark Burnett’s Son of God for the religious crowd this year. But I have no doubt in my mind this epic will emerge victorious.

19. Welcome To Yesterday

“A teenager prospers after using an Almanac when time traveling, but doesn’t understand the ramifications of what he’s done until it’s too late ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: This reminds me 2012’s surprise hit Chronicle minus the found footage element. I can already see where the story’s heading, but getting there should be fun.

18. Maleficent

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning

“The “Sleeping Beauty” tale is told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent and looks at the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse young Princess Aurora.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: The last time we saw Jolie in action was in Salt, and since then I’ve missed her presence and charisma. Suffice it to say, she really pulls off her look as a villainess.

17. Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac

Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman

“A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: Unsimulated copulation confined in a barbaric, highly-intense story. Supposed to be so long that Von Trier’s ended up splitting the film in two parts.

16. That Awkward Moment

Starring: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan

“Three best friends find themselves where we’ve all been – at that confusing “moment” in every dating relationship when you have to decide “So…where is this going?” (c) FilmDistrict”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: The chemistry of the trio in the trailer is rock solid. And I’m banking on Michael B. Jordan to be the next Will Smith.

15. Neighbors

Starring: Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne

“A comedy about a young couple suffering from arrested development who are forced to live next to a fraternity house after the birth of their newborn baby.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: This time, the tandem of Zac Efron and Seth Rogen. It all depends on who joins Efron. He’s a cool guy, but he’s no cash magnet when alone.

14. Veronica Mars

Starring: Kristen Bell

“A feature film adaptation of the TV series, ‘Veronica Mars’.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: Just to see how a Kickstarter campaign can lead to a successful movie. I’ve only seen the first season of the cancelled TV series, but so far it has been sweet entertainment.

13. Dom Hemingway

Starring: Jude Law, Emilia Clarke

“After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he’s owed.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: I enjoyed Jude Law’s performance in Soderbergh’s Side Effects, but when he’s crazy as hell, he becomes more exciting to watch. Emilia Clarke is also a big draw for me, although I’m a bit bothered with her being Law’s daughter in the movie.

12. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Starring: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh

“When Jack Ryan believes he’s uncovered a Russian plot to collapse the United States economy, he goes from being an analyst to becoming a spy and must fight to save his own life and those of countless others, while also trying to protect the thing that’s more important to him than anything, his relationship with his fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley). (c) Paramount”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: It’s an adaptation of the late Tom Clancy’s novel….and Chris Pine!

11. Godzilla

Starring: Aaron Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen

“The king of all monsters gets a reboot with this Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures production helmed by Gareth Edwards, who gained critical attention with his intimate twist on the giant-creature genre with his feature-film debut, Monsters. David Goyer (The Dark Knight) provides the script. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: You have to see the trailer because it piqued my interest twofold. I promise it doesn’t spoil. You’ll actually feel safe as they seem to have made a good reboot.

10. The Lego Movie

Starring: Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Farrell, Liam Neeson

“An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: It’s different. We might not even see another movie of its kind (unless they go for a sequel). The voice over fits the characters as well.

9. 300: Rise of an Empire

Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro

“The Greek general Themistocles battles an invading army of Persians under the mortal-turned-god, Xerxes.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: I loved Eva Green in Casino Royale, and I’ll buy a ticket for a chance to witness a catfight between her and Lena Headey, whose character is most probably pissed off now that King Leonidas is dead.

8. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Starring: Saoirse Ronan. Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Johnny Depp

“The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: My first encounter with director Wes Anderson was in Moonrise Kingdom, and his weirdness is unlike any other. He also has a good eye for talent and a showcases some excellent cinematography with his work.

7. Transcendence

Starring: Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman

“A terminally ill scientist downloads his body into a computer. This grants him power beyond his wildest dreams, and soon he becomes unstoppable.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: The first two 1-minute teasers of Depp and Freeman narrating was superb, and this trailer is just as good. No more costumes for good ol’ Johnny here!

6. Edge of Tomorrow

Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

“A soldier fighting in a war with aliens finds himself caught in a time loop of his last day in the battle, though he becomes better skilled along the way.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT:  Tom Cruise is still an action star and he’s killing it with his latest projects (Ghost Protocol, Oblivion). Emily Blunt has proven she can handle futuristic sci-fi (Looper). Make a movie, earn money. repeat.

5. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Fan Bingbing, Ellen Page, Lucas Till

“The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past, “X-Men: First Class,” in order to change a major historical event and fight in an epic battle that could save our future. (c) Fox”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: X-Men The Last Stand was a sour conclusion to the first three X-men movies. This hopes to erase that in our memories. This would’ve made it to the top 3 but the announcement of another sequel, X-Men Apocalypse, makes it look like the stakes in Future Past are not as high as I initially thought.

4. A Million Ways To Die In The West

Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman

“A cowardly farmer seeks the help of a gunslinger’s wife to help him win back the woman who left him.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: Seth MacFarlane’s first role in a live-action movie is more than enough reason. At the same time it’s also a western and a comedy, and Amanda Seyfried’s interview above hints on it as being very dirty and very hilarious,

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Haley Atwell

“Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: Because it’s the third to the last advertisement until Avengers 2 arrives. In addition, you have Black Widow, Nick Fury and Maria Hill supporting the cap.

2. The Monuments Men

Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Cate Blanchett

“An unlikely World War II platoon are tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: It’s directed by George Clooney, and it should’ve been in awards contention had they not delayed its release due to problems with completing the film. Clooney mentioned they were never gunning for the awards anyway (yeah right). Still, it’s always entertaining to explore and alter our history. That ensemble is quite loaded as well.

1. How To Train Your Dragon 2

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harrington, Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

“It’s been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island’s new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.”

WHY I’M ANTICIPATING IT: The original was my top film of 2010. It’s funny, beautiful and sweet, but most importantly, it has heart. I already saw it about 7 times in theaters, so imagine how excited I am to find out what happens next in Hiccup and Toothless’ adventures. The characters have grown up a lot, so I hope the sequel could also add some extra maturity in its story.

So that’s it, the first half of the year covered in one article. I’ll be back 6 months later for Part II of my most anticipated list, where you’ll most likely find Guardians of The Galaxy, Mockingjay, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar at the top. Among those, which movie will be my #1? Stay tuned :). Thanks for reading!

Reviewing Bond Films: From the Living Daylights to Skyfall (Movies #392-399)

James Bond – 51 years and counting!

By 14 titles you’d start to wonder if a franchise had anything left in its tank. As each sequel gets released it becomes more susceptible of being branded as cliché, derivative and formulaic. But while it tends to stray towards mediocrity sometimes, I’d say the makers of the 007 films have done a great job in keeping the quality of James Bond films high and continuously entertaining the audiences after so many outings. In fact, the last three as of today are among my favorites. Before I get there though, let’s dial it back a bit.

The first few Bond films were classic. Sean Connery was the epitome of James, with his tall stature, dashing features and endless wit. People used to think of him as 007. Six actors and 50 years later, Bond has become less of a look and more of an identity. I’ve always kept an open mind while I watched the subsequent films in the franchise, and I realized that save for George Lazenby, everyone had me convinced with their performances. The last three actors I haven’t discussed yet, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig, had very different styles and it influenced their movies greatly.

Dalton took the serious route, which surprised viewers during his time when The Living Daylights and License to Kill came out. Having replaced the tongue-in-cheek Roger Moore, his take was hugely contrasting and maybe people weren’t ready for that. Personally I found Dalton as having more charisma and drive than Moore, whose already weary look heavily affected his last movie, A View to a Kill. Despite that, Dalton’s two entries were still among the lowest-grossing out of the 23.

Meanwhile Brosnan managed to position himself as the modern representation of James in four outings: Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day. He was definitely handsome enough for the role. He could pull off the jokes, the stunts and seems more invincible than the others. The biggest problem he had was Bond’s overreliance in CGI and special effects, but even that wasn’t his fault. Most of the story was very dependent on the use of gadgets and it took away some of the realism and emotional connection as I was watching his episodes. Goldeneye was the best, though it progressively became worse after that.

But then came the 21st century with Daniel Craig replacing Brosnan in 2006. He wasn’t too well received when he got casted because he didn’t match the original profile of 007. He surely proved skeptics wrong when Casino Royale was released and he showed off a grittier, rougher, and tougher image that nobody really expected. Like Craig his films were the most different, most engaging, and most human. Backed by a strong production overall, and being  advantaged by the fact that Royale was a restart to the franchise, the last three films by Craig in my opinion are among the best James Bond films of all time.

Ranking the most recent Bond films 15 to 23:

  1. 1.    Skyfall (2012) – A-
  2. 2.    Casino Royale (2006) – A-
  3. 3.    Quantum of Solace (2008) – B+
  4. 4.    Goldeneye (1995) – B
  5. 5.    The Living Daylights (1987) – B
  6. 6.    License to Kill (1989) – B-
  7. 7.    The World Is Not Enough (1999) – C+
  8. 8.    Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – C+
  9. 9.    Die Another Day (2002) – C

Martin Campbell directed both Casino Royale and Goldeneye, two films that kickstarted an era anew. And I’m very glad the producers were able to maintain the quality of Royale until today unlike what happened a decade ago. The top three features Craig, while the last trio is Brosnan’s.

For the last time, listed below are the best in different categories:

Criterion: Story, action, bond girls, villain, theme, acting, opening credits, and overall entertainment value

Story: Casino Royale (runners-up: Skyfall, Goldeneye) – Ooh it was a close one, but I thought Casino Royale had a more cohesive and emotional story than Skyfall, which was compelling as well but is a bit scattered at times. Goldeneye had that ‘back from the dead’ factor that made things more exciting and engaging.

Action: Quantum of Solace (runners-up: Skyfall, Casino Royale) – When you end up being chased by everyone, even your own country, there’ll likely be more fighting involved. I really like the hand-to-hand combat and the locations used in the past three films. Sorry, but CGI is hardly exciting in this franchise.

Bond Girls: Casino Royale (runners-up: Skyfall, Goldeneye, Quantum of Solace) – I had to acknowledge four because it was so difficult to choose! But of course the best one would be Vesper Lynd (Eva Green). She was the only one who I sincerely believed was loved by Bond. And her character’s so mysterious and alluring and Green plays her so well. The others are Severine (Berenice Marlohe), the strong-legged Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) and Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko). Others would argue that Electra King (Sophie Macraeu) is a great bond girl. I’m not convinced.

Villain: Skyfall (runners-up: Casino Royale, Goldeneye) – Javier Bardem took villainy to cyberspace and acted like the Joker, causing a lot of chaos in Skyfall. While in Casino Royale, Mads Mikkelsen played around with bond’s naughty bits while he was naked. Meanwhile, Goldeneye had Sean Bean betraying his country alongside Onatopp. No wonder he always dies in his movies.

Theme: Casino Royale (runners-up: Skyfall, Quantum of Solace) – Craig’s films had their own niches. Royale had cards; Skyfall leaned on resurrection and memories of the past, while Quantum had everyone out on revenge.

Acting: Casino Royale (runners-up: Skyfall, Quantum of Solace) – Craig, Green, Mikkelsen, and Judi Dench had some very nice performances. In my opinion this was Craig’s best outing as bond, while it’s too close to call for Dench because of Skyfall. I really liked how the women acted the past few films.

Opening Credits: Quantum of Solace (runners-up: Skyfall, Casino Royale, Goldeneye) – for the longest time I had Skyfall as the best one, but after watching all openings once again I realized the effects were a little messy and it’s just incredibly helped by Adele’s Oscar-winning vocals. Jack White and Alicia Keys killed it in Quantum of Solace and K12, the designers, made it so beautiful from the rendering to the text effects. Casino Royale gets props for an awesome intro and a good utilization of its theme. And finally, the tune of Goldeneye is definitely one you won’t forget!

Overall Entertainment: Skyfall (runners-up: Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace) – On average, this is the best Bond era out of six, surpassing even Sean Connery’s. But among them, Skyfall is the most entertaining, with Casino Royale a close contender. The three films took entertainment to a whole new level, but what made Skyfall better was its execution. For starters, the cinematography is amazing, and I’m not one to take notice of that. Also, it reintroduced some of our favorite characters such as Q, Moneypenny, and even another M. They also finally talked about Bond and M’s past, something that was never explored and I enjoyed how they were able to use it to propel the story forward. These additional things allowed it to surpass a very good reboot (Casino Royale) and a hyper-charged installment (Quantum of Solace).

Finally, here’s my opinion of these films in a nutshell:

The Living Daylights: Dark, serious, and surprisingly refreshing

License to Kill: Breaking series conventions, Bond once again delivers with passing marks

Goldeneye: Despite some flaws, it’s a solid entry featuring great performances from the old and new

Tomorrow Never Dies: Features as many good moments as there is bad

The World Is Not Enough: Watchable but forgettable

Die Another Day: Starts out great, then gets bogged down with an overreliance of visual effects

Casino Royale: Even against 20 others before it, undoubtedly it’s one of the best

Quantum of Solace: Supercharged with action and a quest for revenge

Skyfall: Craig’s best bond film to date is also Bond’s

My 10 Most Anticipated Films For The Rest of 2012 [PART III]

So this is it – the 10 films that I’ll prioritize seeing in theatres. These are the movies I’d recommend seeing the most based on their trailers, plot sypnosis, or the overall vibe it exudes. Some of these have already been released, so I apologize for being a tad late. I also want to mention Holy Motors, a movie starring Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue which I wasn’t able to notice before and is now getting some good buzz. But it’s too late to change my list now.

Without further ado, here it goes!

MY TOP 10

10. Smashed 

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer

A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober.

The one thing that’s bugging me is that I’m not even sure if it will be released here (in the Philippines). I’m a big fan Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She’s the only reason why I’m eager to watch this film and there have been talks about her Oscar chances. I hope that’s true because my expectations for her is way high and I hope her popularity gets to rise even more after this.

9. Silver Linings Playbook

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Based on critics’ consensus, this one looks like the frontrunner for best picture. Even my favorite critic over at Rope Of Silicon gave an A+. Jennifer Lawrence will give Winstead a run for her money for best actress as well. Even Bradley Cooper could get his first nod. But I bet it won’t stay there for long, as is always the case.

8. Les Miserables

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried

An adaptation of the successful stage musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel set in 19th-century France, in which a paroled prisoner named Jean Valjean seeks redemption.

Thought the previous adaptation with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush and Uma Thurman was great. So this one I’d definitely like to see. Although I still don’t get the point why they had to remake it quite soon but Hathaway and Jackman’s potential to elevate this film  turned things around for me. Their short stint during the 2009 Academy Awards was quite impressive.

7. Hitchcock

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johannson, Jessica Biel

A love story between influential filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho in 1959.

The tandem of Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren should be a delightful watch. I haven’t seen any of Alfred Hitchcocks films, but the concept of the movie piqued my interest a lot. Scarlett Johannson and Jessica Biel will draw in a broader demographic as well.

6. The Man With The Iron Fists

Starring: Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, RZA, Jamie Chung, Dave Bautista (Batista)

On the hunt for a fabled treasure of gold, a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descend upon a village in feudal China, where a humble blacksmith looks to defend himself and his fellow villagers.

Oh man, give the trailer a watch. I bet you’d put it in your top 10 as quickly as I put it in mine. Seriously, it looks so badass. And Batista’s here!

5. Wreck-it-Ralph

Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch

A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives.

The animated film which I hope will exceed expectations and trump Brave (Pixar seriously needs to get their mojo back). I’m not saying that Pixar films have already become bad because I haven’t seen any of them in the past couple of years, but I feel like they need to be motivated a bit more. Take this for example. Brilliant concept, looks funny and the story already seems quite touching at first glance. That’s something you don’t see a lot anymore with animation.

4. Looper

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to ‘close the loop’ by transporting back Joe’s future self.

This is when I apologize for not being able to release this article quick enough. This one takes on time-traveling and adds in a little twist to separate it from the rest. It also stars JGL and Willis, whose films I enjoy most of the time. Having high expectations for it and I really hope it gets met.

3. Django Unchained

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Jonah Hill, Jamie Foxx

With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned-bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Inglorious Basterds was one of the best of 2009 and should’ve won Best Picture if they just didn’t want to give it to Avatar (seriously, The Hurt Locker?). Very thrilled to see Quentin Tarentino’s work again andcheck how Leo DiCaprio will fare as a villain.

2. Cloud Atlas

Shorter trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQFAPeaJOf8

Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Bae Doo Na

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

Did you see the trailer for Avatar? How did you feel? Well, check the trailer for this one. Tell me if you don’t feel the same way. Although recent events say it’s not the BEST film out there, the concept, the effects, and the incredibly long screen time will probably guarantee that you’d get the best value out of your money. It almost made my #1, but one had to give.

1. SKYFALL

Starring: Daniel Craig, Bérénice Marlohe, Ben Whishaw, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris

Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Adele,  new Q,Bérénice Marlohe, Daniel Craig’s last Bond film, James Bond in action. 007 isn’t even one of my favorite franchises but the way they presented Skyfall bested all other movies set to be released this quarter. My hopes are extremely high for this film, and looks like director Sam Mendes could actually exceed it and make incredible things happen. Seeing it on IMAX in a few weeks so I’d tell you right away if it’s good or not. But you don’t even have to wait for my opinion or any other person’s to find out. Just go see it!

S

o this is it – the 10 films that I’ll prioritize seeing in theatres. These are the movies I’d recommend seeing the most based on their trailers, plot sypnosis, or the overall vibe it exudes. Some of these have already been released, so I apologize for being a tad late. I also want to mention Holy Motors, a movie starring Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue which I wasn’t able to notice before and is now getting some good buzz. But it’s too late to change my list now.

Without further ado, here it goes!

My 10 Most Anticipated Films For The Rest of 2012 [PART II]

Wait! Before I get to my actual top 10, let me continue with a list of 10 more films which ALMOST made it, but got pushed down. And they’re more or less ranked from 20th to 11th. But make no mistake, all of them look good and there’s still a possibility that I’d catch each one in theaters depending on how others will react to it.

ALMOST MADE IT, BUT NOT QUITE

Life of Pi

Director: Ang Lee

The last (and only) Ang Lee film I’ve seen was 2003’s Hulk, and I ended up liking the 2008 incarnation more. Still, he’s a well-respected visual director, and his skill is quite obvious and impressive in the short preview. Not sure if the story is strong enough, but it could still be the surprise film of the year.

Alex Cross

Stars: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Rachel Nichols

Tyler Perry in a serious role? I don’t know how that’ll work, as he’s more famous being Madea more than anything. No biggie though, I’m only anticipating it for Matthew Fox’s seemingly badass performance (and maybe a little bit of Rachel Nichols).

The Impossible

Stars: Ewan McGreggor, Naomi Watts

If I were one of those majorly affected by the 2007 SEA tsunami disaster, I might get offended by this film. But the story seems earnest enough to be respectable and artistic at the same time. The concept is 2012-esque, and I gave that one an A-, so maybe if people can convince me to see this film I’d give it a go.

Pitch Perfect

Stars: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow

It looks like a hipper version of High School Musical. And while I passed by it the first time, the second preview showed me that it could actually be great (refer to video). Along with the surprisingly vocally talented Anna Kendrick, this one could be a musical people will talk about for a long time aside from Les Miserables.

Fun Size

Stars: Victoria Justice, Johnny Knoxville, Chelsea Handler

Is it weird for me to like Victoria Justice and not watch Victorious? The Idea of Knoxville teaming up with a teen star honestly piques my interest. I just hope Justice is good enough to allow her to visit the big screen much more. Chelsea Handler is also featured here.

Flight

Stars: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle

The trailer did a very good job of getting me intrigued, that’s for sure. Don’t have much to say about it, just take a look and decide for yourself. Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump).

Lincoln

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones

The most obvious OSCAR BAIT of them all (*cough* Spielberg)! But who cares, it actually looks good! And JGL is in here…plus points for that!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis

I know a lot of people are excited for this, but I’m not sure if I have the same opinion as the majority. Doesn’t seem to possess the epic scale of the LotR stories, and I’m not exactly crazy about that franchise either after that four-hour finale. But hey, the gang is back along with the guys from Sherlock. The more, the merrier!

Argo

Stars: Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck’s transition from an actor to a legit director has been smooth so far. And this one’s already earned great reviews over at RottenTomatoes (as well as strong word-of-mouth from American moviegoers). This was originally in my Top 10 until a couple of films snuck themselves in at the last minute.

Breaking Dawn Part II

Stars: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Maggie Grace, Dakota Fanning,  Nikki Reed, Michael Sheen, Kellan Lutz

And the last honorable mention goes to… the epic conclusion to the most polarizing vampire drama the world has ever witnessed! Hey, what’s this film doing here? This one belonged to the “Not Really Feelin'” section until a few hours ago when Summit released an extended trailer showing what could actually be the only “fresh” film of the franchise (though I highly doubt it). And I’ve always dissed each of the movies since New Moon but end up giving unbelievably decent grades for it (Twilight – C+, New Moon – C, Eclipse – B, Breaking Dawn Part 1 – C+). Now I’m raising my expectations yet again. It’s a love-hate relationship for me. But despite all that, it didn’t make my Top 10. Too bad.