Before we begin, I should mention that there are three movies that did not make the list this year, and despite my best efforts, I'm still being drawn to. One is Green Lantern, which is one of those movies I thought I'd love, but when I finally saw the trailer, I just felt uneasy. It feels like they may have missed the mark on it. Still, I love Ryan Reynolds enough that I will likely see it anyway. The other two that I really shouldn't be excited about, but somehow I am, are the next Pirates and the next Transformers. Both franchises had genuine clunkers last time out, but somehow I just can't help myself rooting that they right the ship this time. Still, no way I could put them on the list proper in good conscious.
In reverse order of anticipation, the 7 movies I'm most geeked about this summer:
Much of my anticipation for this entry (and the next on the list) is due to my high hopes that an Avenger movie can put all the pieces together and give us a unique film experience. I do feel a little weird about a super hero who is technically a god though. I would much prefer he be an alien, a genius, or even bitten by some sort of scientifically compromised arachnid. I should be ok though, as long as they don't cheapen it by playing an MC Hammer tune. That would be like playing Black Sabboth during an Iron Man movie... oh wait.
6. Captain America: The First Avenger
The only thing that puts this above Thor for me is Chris Evans, who showed his super hero chops in The Fantastic Four movies and his acting chops in a movie called Sunshine. I love his sense of humor, but I also think he has a depth and gravity in him that you don't often see in the chiseled jaw set. Plus, the physical transformation they give him in this movie is nothing short of spectacular.
5. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2
No, the movies never live up to the books, no I haven't even seen part 1 yet, and no I can't imagine they are going to tell the story in enough depth to make me happy. Yet, somehow I cannot wait to see those final battles on the big screen. By the way, not seeing the first was a conscious choice on my part, to try and avoid the ugly feeling in my gut after Matrix 2 and Pirates 2. There is an art to telling full stories that have continuations, and unfortunately only Peter Jackson seems to have figured it out.
4. Cowboys and Aliens
Every time I see another trailer for this movie, I'm shocked at what it does to me. I see the title and I think, "yeah, that sounds like fun." I hear that Jon Favreau is directing and Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are starring and I think, "Awesome, I love those guys." But then I see the trailer and I turn into some sort of slobbering Neanderthal that can only seem to communicate with grunts and frantic hopping. Must... see... soon...
3. Cars 2
Listen, Pixar movies are a summer tradition on par with Tiger's baseball and burgers on the grill. But someday they will make a mediocre movie and I'm kinda worried this is the one. Plus, the original Cars sits at the bottom of my Pixar list (it was still a great flick, just not as great as the others for me) so you can see why I would be nervous. Still, I was nervous with Ratatouille as well, and that turned out amazing. Consider my anticipation sky high for it, but consider my anxiousness up there as well.
2. X Men: First Class
I loved the first two X-Men movies and personally think that the X Men universe should be the most successful movie franchise of all time. There is no excuse not to put out a great mutant movie every other year or so when you have such a variety of colors to paint with. Unfortunately X3 felt stale and cheap, and the Wolverine movie was flat out butchered. The casting and previews for this one, though, give me great hope that they have found their way again, and I cannot wait to see Professor X and Magneto when they were just Charles and Erik. Also, the brief glimpses of Nightcrawler in the preview were enough to set my geek senses over the edge into full out giddy mode.
1. Super 8
Sure, Mr. double J and Mr. double S being involved necessitated my interest, but it's the incredible first trailer that set the tone for the film that I'm most tugging at my chain to get to. It's also important to note that this is the only film on the entire list that is an original non franchise property (Cowboys and Aliens is not a franchise yet, but it's based on a comic book series). There is just something about the creativity involved in telling a story from scratch that is so beautiful, and if the movie holds the nostalgia, wonder, and intensity of the trailer it will likely be my favorite two hours spent in a movie theater in a long time.