Looking Forward to 2008 (Movie Edition)

Speed Racer - The Wachowskis

This is, by no means, a comprehensive list (if you want that, go to IMDb or Metacritic). Rather, these are just releases that have caught my eye. Oh, and I realize this list is fairly Hollwood-centric. I just haven’t been as up on the international circles as much I’d like. I hope to remedy that ASAP.

As with all such things, release dates are subject to change. So don’t go standing in line just yet — unless it’s for WALL‑E. In that case, I’ll see you there.

  • In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale — Truly, a movie that looks so absolutely craptacular as to be totally awesome. Release date: 1/11
  • Cloverfield — The trailer for this (then unnamed) movie played before Transformers, and truth be told, was about ten times more awesome. Yeah, it looks to be another “giant monster attacks New York”, but apparently it’s all shot on handheld video so as to give the film a more intense look, and the gimmick appears to have worked wonderfully. Release date: 1/18
  • Rambo — Sly seems to be going back to the character’s routes in this latest outing by the tortured veteran. This time, he’s contracted to help a group of missionaries in Myanmar. But when the missionaries are captured, well you just know that all kinds of hell is going to break loose. If the early footage is any indication, this film has earned its “R” rating, and then some. Which, for a character like Rambo, might be a good thing. Release date: 1/25
  • Jumper — Normally, I’d pass on this simply due to the fact that it stars Hayden Christensen. But the trailer looks pretty cool and it’s directed by Doug Liman, whose previous films The Bourne Identity and Mr. And Mrs. Smith have both been very enjoyable mainstream hits. Release date: 2/15
  • Be Kind Rewind — I didn’t care for Michel Gondry’s previous film, The Science Of Sleep, as much as some. But there’s something about the premise of his latest film, which stars Jack Black and Mos Def as a couple of guys trying to recreate famous movies, that just strikes me as brilliant. Release date: 2/22
  • Snow Angels — The latest from David Gordon Green, currently one of the best filmmakers working in America. The film officially came out in 2007, and gained a lot of buzz and acclaim in the festival circuit. Release date: 3/7 (limited)
  • Synecdoche, New York — The latest mindbender from Charlie Kaufman revolves around a theatre director (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) whose latest play involves a life-size recreation of New York, and whose sense of reality is slowly but surely crumbling as he loses himself in his project. Kaufman is best known for his screenplays, but this is his first directorial effort. Release date: 3/21
  • Run Fat Boy Run — There are only a handful of actors whose name immediately conjures up intense feelings of joy and good will within me, and one of them is Simon Pegg. The man’s a comedy genius, plain and simple, and the trailers for this one have me grinning from ear to ear. Release date: 3/28
  • Iron Man — I was never a fan of the Iron Man comic book, so I know little about the character. What I do know is that the trailer kicks all kinds of metallic ass and it stars Robert Downey, Jr. Nuff said. Release date: 5/2
  • Speed Racer — This looks to be the ultimate example of “style as substance”. If anyone can pull it off, I suppose its the Wachowskis, who if nothing else, have always been eminent stylists. On the other hand, it could go down as an extraordinarily garish trainwreck. Release date: 5/9
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian — The first Narnia movie was an adequate adaptation, but missed a few things that would’ve made it even better. Hopefully, they get it right with Prince Caspian. My first suggestion? Stop trying to be like Lord Of The Rings! Release date: 5/16
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — Indy’s back, though this time he’s fighting Commies in the 1950s, rather than Nazis in the 1940s. And the film supposedly has a bit more of a sci-fi influence/twist. I just want to know one thing: is he still as handy with a whip? Release date: 5/23
  • WALL‑E — This is, without a doubt, my most anticipated movie of 2008. I’ve loved every single thing I’ve seen or read about the film so far, and heck, the film’s tagline — After 700 years of doing what he was built for, he’ll discover what he’s meant for. — gets me tearing up, for crying out loud. Release date: 6/27
  • The Dark Knight — I had some initial doubts about Heath Ledger as the Joker, but the most recent trailer has put all of my fears to rest. This is going to kick so much ass. Release date: 7/18
  • The X‑Files 2 — Yes, we all know that the X‑Files went out with a pitiful whimper. But for a few years, this was the show on television as far as I was concerned. And so I’ll see the sequel, if only for the sake of nostalgia. Release date: 7/25
  • Dragonball — Yes, it’s a movie for that Dragonball, which I really couldn’t care less about. And it’s directed by James Wong, who hasn’t turned out anything really stellar. But it does star James Marsters as the big bad, and that’s enough for me. Release date: 8/14
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince — I haven’t read any of the books, but I find the movies to be incredibly enjoyable. And so I’m looking forward to the latest adventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Release date: 11/21
  • Star Trek — Personally, I think they should shelve the whole Star Trek franchise for a decade or so, and let it slough off some of the lack of inspiration that’s been surrounding it for, oh, years. But J.J. Abrams’ Mission: Impossible III was more fun that it had any right to be, so maybe the same will be true of this prequel, which follows the early days of Kirk and Spock. Release date: 12/25
  • The Sasquatch Gang — A huge hit at the 2006 Slamdance Film festival, where it won the “Audience Award”, the film follows a group of kids who think they’ve discovered evidence of Bigfoot, and the hijinks that ensue. The trailers look hilarious, especially Justin “I’m A Mac” Long as a dimwitted mullet-bearing goon trying to save his precious car. Release date: 11/30 (limited)

Did I miss anything? If so, let me know in the comments.