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Alex's Definitive Upcoming Hype List

by
July 16, 2006

 My own definitive (and I mean it) list of upcoming movies that have garnered enough hype to get me to go out to the theatres and see it. There may be some yet that haven't had a trailer or anything and given that there is nothing to hype it, then it isn't on here. Comedies are in a category of their own because they are generally "seperate." They'll still worthy, but not as epic as everything else. For now this is the list that I am excited for and looking forward to in the next few months. Read it, live by it, know it, and most importantly, be out there for release days!

The Prestige - October 27th
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Synopsis: Bale and Jackman will play rival magicians in turn-of-the-century London who battle each other for trade secrets. The rivalry is so intense that it turns them into murderers.
What's The Hype: They've done it. It's Batman Begins all over again in the 1900's. They've even got Batman himself (Christian Bale) and his trusty servant Alfred (Michael Caine) as well as Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). The trailer for this thing is truly intense. How the story develops into a battle between them and the twists at the end, just, wow… this movie will blow us away. It's a new trend (see The Illusionist below) with magicians, but I am already liking it and definitely looking forward to this movie above all others!

The Illusionist - August 18th
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Synopsis: A magician in turn-of-the-century Vienna who falls in love with a woman well above his social standing. When she becomes engaged to a prince, the magician uses his powers to win her back and undermine the stability of the royal house of Vienna.
What's The Hype: I'd heard of this movie, with the recently-reappearing Edward Norton, far before The Prestige. It again features a magician and his trickery back a century ago. But this movie is a bit more indy (as in, independent) and has a bit of a different story. This time it's love. I have trust in Edward Norton and his ability to fit the role and I'm much more excited for an indy flick that puts more emphasis into the story and development of the plot and characters than the spectacle. Another magical list topper.

The Fountain - October 13th
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Synopsis: Spanning over one thousand years, and three parallel stories, The Fountain is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world.
What's The Hype: This movie debuted a confusing trailer a number of months back with nothing else to it. An interesting story spanning 1000 years and a super-hero lead (Hugh Jackman) and comic-book ties have kicked this one off to an exciting start. It's finished and already being screened and has a release date in just a few months, but there hasn't been much more than that first short teaser trailer. Although there isn't much, there is enough hype for me to truly be excited for this one. It has an aura behind it that is just waiting to come out from hiding, maybe at Comic-Con, but when it does - you be ready for one hell of a movie.

Fearless - September 22nd
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Synopsis: Li plays real-life martial arts legend Huo Yuanjia, who became the most famous fighter in all of China at the turn of the 20th Century. Huo faced incredible personal tragedy but ultimately fought his way out of darkness and into history, forever defining himself at a tournament for the honor of his country and the true spirit of martial arts.
What's The Hype: It's been a while since the trippy kung-fu "trend" of recent years has sparked up again. However, Jet Li (the man himself) is back again in a movie that wasn't made for Americans (thus, making it better). It came out about a year and a half ago in Hong Kong and received numerous awards. Coincidentally I've seen it myself already, with my roommate translating the entire dialogue for me (before it was subtitled). However I am excited to get out and see it on the big screen with American subs (hopefully not dubbed). The kung-fu in this is incredible, done with no-stuntman, and there is no cheesy story-line, it's actually built on a "true" historical story (look it up!). This kung-fu flick is not to be missed come September.

Pulse - August 11th
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Synopsis: When their computer hacker friend accidentally channels a mysterious wireless signal, a group of co-eds rally to stop a terrifying evil from taking over the world.
What's The Hype: I'm not that big of a horror movie fan (hence the lack of Saw III or Grudge 2 or… on this list), but Pulse is above the regular horror movie. Again another remake of a Japanese horror film, Pulse is a unique and twisted story about dead souls from another realm creeping in via our electronics (in the form of computers, printers, washing machines, and more). It's one of the only horror movies that seems to effectively capture the essence of technology correctly into its story and at the same time scare the shit out of you. On top of that, just one friend's suicide (and soul) escalates into the entire world's souls wanting to come back to earth. Turn off your computers when you go see this one.

Casino Royale - November 17th
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Synopsis: The very first outing of James "Agent 007" Bond, as he infiltrates a high stakes casino housing a banker that funds a who's who of terrorist organizations.
What's The Hype: James Bond isn't really back, yet. He's new, and this is going back before even Dr. No, so what the hell? I have to see it because, well, that's who I am - a James Bond fan. I've got all 17 originals on VHS sitting behind me and the rest on DVD. Bond is the man, and it usually gets better with every year. Although with Pierce Brosnan it went from great (Goldeneye) down to crap and worse (World Is Not Enough), they've canned him and put in someone new: Daniel Craig. They say he's British, so let's hope he can be the modern Bond that kicks as much ass a Connery. Either way, a must see, with Bond action, Bond chics, Bond gadgets, Bond fun… well, you get the idea!

Scoop - July 28th
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Synopsis: A young college journalist lands the biggest scoop of the century from a spirit that arose while she was a volunteer in a magic trick - the identity of Britain's "Tarot Card Killer." She rushes off with the magician to spy on the suspect and land her story. The only problem is, she begins to fall for the subject of her expose.
What's The Hype: Woody Allen is a mastermind, and he pulled off a success the last time he put Scarlett Johansson into one of his films (Match Point). This time he does it again, and he's in it too! The story is about a college student journalist who goes to London and while visiting finds out about the "scoop of a lifetime," but in the meantime falls in love with the murderer and gets involved in other trickery mysteries. Who can deny Woody Allen and his films, except that typically, I don't see them in theatres. However this one may just be worth it. It looks as delightfully comical as some of his other classic masterpieces and yet as sly and twisted as Match Point. I'll do my best to find an indy house around me and catch this in just a few weeks, and I suggest you do the same as well.

Science of Sleep - September 15th/22nd
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Synopsis: A man held captive by the people in his dreams tries to wake himself up and take control of his own imaginings.
What's The Hype: Warner Independent is pulling another fantastic film out of its hat, tying in again with the theme of dreaming (as in Scanner Darkly as well). Gael García Bernal looks great and the story looks… interesting… nonetheless, about a romance between two creative individuals. What I love about indy films is that they put so much into the elements of a movie that so many big budget films entirely forget about. And that is what this has going for it, a real development of characters into what seems like a story that is just mesmerizing. This film is incredibly unique, as was Scanner Darkly, and will be worth seeing just because of that. You can go to all of the drull lame films over and over the rest of this year, but you'll never find anything like Science of Sleep.

The Quiet - August 25th
IMDB Link
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Synopsis: Dot, a young deaf and mute woman, is sent to live with her godparents and their daughter. The new addition to the household realizes that everything is not copacetic in the home, and the family's dark come to light.
What's The Hype: If you haven't noticed, I've been putting in quite a few independent films. This is because they are truly some of the best out there. The Quiet is another one, featuring some big names like Elisha Cuthbert and Shawn Ashmore. The trailer starts out a bit happy and exciting, but quickly turns dark and suspensful and becomes a shocking set of twists and turns. The reason why I've opted to include this is because it is an unconventional suspense film with a disabled person (she's deaf) that pushes the boundaries of human emotion. It drew me in, just to the trailer, and I wanted to see the rest of it right there. I wanted to find out what this girl's secrets were. And that, right there, is what makes it worth every penny.

Hollywoodland - September 8th
IMDB Link
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Synopsis: The drama, inspired by one of Hollywood's most infamous real-life mysteries, follows a 1950's private detective who, investigating the mysterious death of "Superman" star George Reeves, uncovers unexpected connections to his own life as the case turns ever more personal. The torrid affair Reeves had with the wife of a studio executive might hold the key to the truth.
What's The Hype: I am hesitant to include this at all, but I have so much respect for Adrien Brody's capabilities, that he may swing it enough to be a worthy film. Or at least force me to get out and see it to determine so. It's another great mystery adventure film in the making, with a riveting performance from Adrien Brody and tying in with Superman. Some people hate Superman, some love him, but the point of this film isn't Superman, it's the man behind Superman and his person in Hollywood. I'm still a bit confused at the story they show in the trailer, but again another reason to see it. Adrien will be driving this film and I can't wait to see what he can pull off in the name of Christopher Reeves and Superman (as in, such an enormous person in history).

Rocky Balboa - December 22nd
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Synopsis: Rocky Balboa has now been retired for some time, but hard-up for money, he decides to step back into the ring against a few small-time boxers. Everything changes, though, when Rocky is offered the opportunity to step in with the reigning Heavyweight Champion, Mason "The Line" Dixon.
What's The Hype: Another hesitant addition. There are already innumerable complaints at the idea of bringing Rocky "back from the dead," but I saw the trailer, and I'll give it a chance. After all, it is frickin' Rocky! The story is quite cheesy, with him being put up against a modern fighter in a comptuer simulation, and then that sparking the interest of viewers. I'm hesitant because that's all it is, just a cheesy way for Hollywood to make money. I can already tell you this won't be better than Cinderella Man, but it could be good, and that's all I'll give it. Comeback stories are what make Hollywood (Mighty Ducks, Miracle, just to name a few), and this is another one of them. Maybe there will be enough heart in it to win my own heart. Good luck Rocky, good luck.

Flyboys - September 29th
IMDB Link
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Synopsis: The adventures of the Lafayette Escadrille, young Americans who volunteered for the French military before the U.S. entered World War I, and became the country's first fighter pilots.
What's The Hype: These are some of the last few that deserve to be up on my hype list. This movie is a big budget Hollywood movie that looks like Pearl Harbor about 30 years before though. It's a WWI flying movie with high end special effects and CGI and an emotional story about the early boys who fly some of the first airplanes; and throw in a love story or two probably. Given that it's another Pearl Habor, most would be convinced to not see it, but the trailer has changed my own opinion. Hollywood has done it, and they've persuaded me that a WWI story about flying is well worth it. And with the awesome CGI of the camera flying through the sky along side of the planes, I can't help but be just a little excited.

Snakes on a Plane - August 18th
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Synopsis: On board a flight over the Pacific Ocean, an assassin, bent on killing a passenger who's a witness in protective custody, lets loose a crate full of deadly snakes.
What's The Hype: To tell you the truth, I am more excited for the crowds of people at the opening than I am the actual movie. The cult buzz and underground hype for this film is so HUGE, that the people seeing it on opening day are just going to blow up (literally). Alright, it does look a little bit cool - like Con Air and Anaconda put together in an ugly mish-mash of Samuel Jackson madness. This is already a B movie, but you know what, I am going to see it, and I am going to cheer with Sam Jackson chops the head off of some snake. Could there be a better to-laugh-at cheesy action film this summer?! No there can't!

The Comedies:

Beerfest - August 25th
IMDB Link
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Synopsis: Two brothers travel to Germany for Oktoberfest, only to stumble upon secret, centuries-old competition described as a "Fight Club" with beer games.
What's The Hype: I love Broken Lizard, hands down. Club Dread was great… though I think I am the only person that will ever say that. But at least everyone will agree that Super Troopers was awesome. Now they've got a downright American (and German, and…) film that just captures the heart of us all - Beerfest! This is another underdog story (refer to Rocky Balboa above) about a group of Americans who head to an underground beer-drinking competition in Germany and attempt to win it all. This movie has already taken the crown of comedies just in its trailer alone. You want to go see the funniest film coming up in the next few months? Go see Beerfest, you won't be let down, I guarantee it.

Employee of the Month - September 15th
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Synopsis: Hearing that the store hottie will date the employee of the month, two slacker Costco workers vie for the honor.
What's The Hype: Dane Cook is the best stand-up comedian around today. His humor is unlike anything out there and above all hilarious. He was the best in Waiting, even with a small role, but now is taking on the full lead role in this one. This just looks amazing. Non-stop comedy in a Walmart-rip-off gigantic store with employees ranging from another great stand-up comic (Harland Williams) to midgets to Jessica Simpson - wait what the hell? She shouldn't be in this movie, but Dane Cook is more than enough to counter her addition. Another must-see comedy that will leave all of us laughing on the ground for days, weeks, and months to come.

Borat - November 3rd
IMDB Link
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Synopsis: Kazakhstani TV talking head Borat is dispatched to the United States to report on the greatest country in the world. With a documentary crew in tow, Borat becomes more interested in locating and marrying Pamela Anderson.
What's The Hype: You have to first know who plays Borat and what he really is, and then you'll fall over on the ground laughing your ass off at this trailer. This man is brilliant! I'll reveal it for you: Ali G. This movie is going to deliver non-stop laughs the entire time just because he is so damn good. The trailer itself is hilarious, and that is just an intro to the first few minutes. Imagine what the entire movie is going to be as he "chases" Pamela Anderson around the "US of uh A." Oh… even if you have no clue who Borat or Ali G is, go see this, you won't be let down, that's for sure!

Talladega Nights - August 4th
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Synopsis: Rebel NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby faces stiff competition in the form of his new teammate, Jean Girard. Bobby partners with his buddy Cal, to form Thunder and Lightning, the most feared duo in the game.
What's The Hype: The latest trailer for Talladega Nights has been the only one to win my interest. I'm tired of all this Nascar bullshit (Cars…), it just sucks. I was worried about this film until I remembered that Will Ferrell is a genious! He can take any role and turn it into such a piece of brilliance. He took Anchorman up to an incredible level and I hope he does the same with Talladega Nights. The cougar is already classic and everything else in this will be, too. I can only say so much for comedies, because part of the experience is going to them and laughing your ass off for an hour and a half, and that's what I am saying about this. Just go to it and enjoy all the jokes and humor and disregard the Nascar!

Idiocracy - September 1st
IMDB Link
Synopsis: Private Joe Bowers, the definition of "average American," is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program, set 1,000 years in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed-down that he's easily the most intelligent person alive.
What's The Hype: This is the only movie on my entire list without a trailer so far. However, I only need to say one thing: Mike Judge. Yes, the director/writer who took the comedic world by storm with Office Space is back at it again. This is his next real film after Office Space and holy crap, I am pumped. We've been waiting 7 years in the making since Office Space first came out for the next Mike Judge masterpiece and this may be it! And get this, it's in the future, too. And starring Luke Wilson. Could we ask for a better movie?! But oh, stop taunting us - we need a trailer!! This will be a required movie to see - required!

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