Top 15 Films To Look Out For: Pre-Summer 2008 Hype List
by Alex Billington
February 14, 2008
Although we're already well into 2008 with only three months left until we finally arrive at the beginning of the summer movie season in May, that doesn't mean there aren't an abundance of good films to look forward to before we get there. Last year we offered our readers a similar pre-summer 2007 list with 15 films that ended up being very worthwhile, and now it's time to look at what we have in store for 2008. Today we look at the 15 movies that should not be overlooked in the next three months in what we call the Pre-Summer 2008 Hype List. If you're ready to dive in, then take a look for yourself and make sure to jot down the names of these must-see pre-summer movies.
The reason why there is popcorn as the title image is because this list features 15 movies that could be considered "popcorn flicks". Or at the very least, you could enjoy all of them with a big bucket of popcorn at your local movie theater while you wait for May to arrive.
Keep up-to-date with the complete 2008 Release Schedule for movies.
A sci-fi movie about teleportation that is being directed by the same guy who started the Bourne series (Doug Liman)? This sounds great just from the description alone and all of the trailers have been quite promising so far. It might be one of the few good action / sci-fi films that we'll get to see before the summer kicks in. Although Hayden Christensen isn't exactly the strongest lead actor, this does look fun and entertaining and for that alone it deserves to be seen. On Valentine's Day, too, nonetheless! Watch the trailer here.
Be Kind Rewind
We've been pushing this once ever since we first heard the concept a few years back. Jack Black accidentally destroys all of the VHS tapes in a local movie rental shop and must remake all of the movies with co-worker Mos Def to help save the business. And coming from Michel Gondry, the creative genius who brought us Eternal Sunshine and the Spotless Mind and Science of Sleep, this movie has been my most anticipated indie movie for quite some time. After catching an early screening at Sundance, I can assure you that it lives up to the hype. It's a movie full of heart and great comedy that I can easily watch over and over and still enjoy. Watch the trailer here.
This movie has been on our radar for quite a while, ever since the trailer first appeared last June. It's a Rashômon-like story of an assassination attempt on the President in Spain. And ever since that first trailer, I've been wondering what in the hell is going on! More than anything I want to get the full explanation and see exactly what happened, because the trailer really throws some interesting curve balls. I've got high hopes for Vantage Point and am really expecting a suspenseful action film that never lets up from start to finish. Watch the trailer here.
The Other Boleyn Girl
For a period romantic drama, this actually looks quite good. Not many guys can say no to a movie starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson as sisters competing for the love of Eric Bana. The story is actually about King Henry VIII and this time I think the script, written by Peter Morgan (The Last King of Scotland, The Queen, Frost/Nixon), is the strong point. While I'm not normally one to be even remotely excited for a period piece, this one seems to have all the right elements to attract a mainstream audience and actually provide some solid entertainment. Let's hope this isn't as boring as Marie Antoinette. Watch the trailer here.
I haven't been this excited to see what Will Ferrell has been up to since Anchorman! Not only is Jackie Moon, Ferrell's character, a basketball player, but he's the team's coach, the team's owner, and a musician who had a hit single from 1970 named "Love Me Sexy". I'll be damned if this doesn't look as good as Anchorman and all of the extra marketing and red band trailers have me anxious as hell to finally see this and laugh my ass off. This could really be the best comedy of the pre-summer months! Watch the trailer here.
The Bank Job
Every guys loves heist movies and this time it's a job in London breaking into safety deposit boxes. British badass Jason Statham is back working next to British hottie Saffron Burrows. I'm very curious to see how the heist plays out. The film is based on a true story and after the real life heist, the government got involved and covered up the whole thing until quite recently. The trailer looks promising, like a balls out British heist movie that delivers some smart comedy the full way through, and that's got me excited enough to put this high up on the list. Watch the trailer here.
While not everyone may be familiar with Stephen Chow, he's the brilliant filmmaker who brought us Kung Fu Hustle and he's back again with a sci-fi comedy titled CJ7. The film is about a very poor kid and his dad who find an alien shaped like a dog that has special powers. That's about as much as I know, but considering it is Stephen Chow and considering I'm a sci-fi nut, I'm interested. The first trailer looks promising, too, and I'm hoping this is a funny as it is heartwarming. Watch the trailer here.
One of the best dramas to come out of Sundance last year, Snow Angels is about a divorced couple, played by Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale, who are still struggling to live in the same town and manage time together with their daughter. After a year and a half of waiting, this is finally getting its debut in theaters and thank goodness because it's an incredible movie. I was riveted when I saw it and after the first screening I already wanted to see it again. It's such and intense and heartbreaking drama that will tear apart your emotions, but at the same time it's a brilliant movie with hope at the end. Watch the trailer here.
Doomsday seems like an odd futuristic combination of Mad Max, The Warriors, and 28 Weeks Later, but I'm so impressed at what director Neil Marshall (of The Descent two years back) has done, that I'm really giving it a chance. While the first trailer unexpectedly switches tones halfway through, I do think this could have some great action scenes. Marshall said that he filmed all of the action, like in the photo above, with practical effects in South Africa. Meaning there isn't much CGI, but real explosions, car chases, and fights. I've got my fingers crossed hoping that this is something unique. Watch the trailer here.
Everything about this movie looks awesome. From the lead Jim Sturgess, to Laurence Fishburne punching through even more walls, to their bald teacher Kevin Spacey, to the smokin' Kate Bosworth, and to the card counting tactics that they apply to blackjack. It's another film that throws in so many aspects that everyone loves, including the sights and sounds of Las Vegas and boat loads of money, all wrapped around an interesting plot about MIT kids scamming casinos using card counting tactics. I've been very excited for this since the first trailer and despite it may not follow the original book exactly, I think it'll make for an entertaining movie itself. Watch the trailer here.
What makes Leatherheads look so great is more the story, written by sports writer Rick Reilly, than anything else. But then you throw in John Krasinski and George Clooney and you've got something that looks really damn good. This isn't something I'm expecting will be the most amazing movie of the year, but it's something I'm expecting to sit back and enjoy with some popcorn. It just has that genuinely entertaining feel to it, like you'll get a good kick out of it and walk away smiling. I was delightfully surprised by the first trailer - it actually looked a lot better than I was expecting and now I'll be the first in line to see this come April. Watch the trailer here.
My Blueberry Nights
Although I'll admit that the trailer for this makes it seem rather confusing and dull, the cast makes up for it. Featuring not only the gorgeous Natalie Portman, but also Jude Law, David Strathairn, Rachel Weisz, and Norah Jones in her big screen debut. The colors and the visual style that Chinese filmmaker Wong Kar Wai brings to this adds such a unique texture to the film that there's no way I can pass this up. It debuted at Cannes in 2007 and now almost a year later it's finally showing up in theaters across the pond. Watch the trailer here.
The first big Sundance 2008 film arriving in theaters, Smart People is a very smart comedy that is loaded with laughs. It was a delightful surprise initially, as I wasn't expecting much, but it comes close to the same level of Juno in entertainment, story, and comedy. Starring Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, and the charming Ellen Page, the best character instead is that of Thomas Haden Church. He's the funniest thing you'll see on screen for almost the entire year and I guarantee he'll have you falling out of your seat laughing. Watch the trailer here.
The Forbidden Kingdom
The concept isn't that great: a kid in modern times somehow gets sucked back through time to ancient China and joins with three other ancient kung fu masters to defeat some evil. However, the latest trailer makes it look pretty incredible, especially considering the fight choreography was done by Yuen Wo Ping, of the Matrix trilogy and both Kill Bill movies. Beyond that, I think it's been a pipe dream of every self-respecting movie fanatic to finally see Jet Li and Jackie Chan team up. I think that's about all I need to say for this and I've convinced everyone to go see it. Watch the trailer here.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Since Knocked Up and Superbad last year, we've all been waiting to see even more great comedies from the Judd Apatow team. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the next one and it stars Jason Segel along with the super hot Kristen Bell in a movie about a break up that turns even worse when the two just happen to be vacationing in the same hotel in Hawaii. The trailer looked great and I'm really hoping that this is as good as any of the other Apatow productions we've seen so far. Watch the trailer here.
You'd be amazed to find that some of these movies are actually pretty damn good. I'd encourage you to catch a couple, if not all of them, in theaters sometime this spring. What are you most highly anticipated pre-summer 2008 movies?