Has anyone realized that 2008 has just as many big movies, if not more big movies, than 2007 did? We get Batman, Bond, Harry, Indy, Kirk, Rambo and Mulder over the span of approximately 180 days, and those are only a fraction of the cool-looking movies coming out this year. Of course, the most anticipated movies of 2008 includes a lot of big budget films – because the smaller films and dramas that come out at year’s end have yet to release trailers or develop much buzz as of yet. That will change, but in the meantime, here are my 20 most anticipated movies of 2008. Enjoy the 2008 movie list:
- The Dark Knight (2008)
Easily my most anticipated movie of 2008, The Dark Knight brings back nearly everyone that made Batman Begins so great, while adding Heath Ledger as The Joker. I was skeptical about whether it was smart to bring back The Joker after Jack Nicholson made an icon of the character in Tim Burton’s original, but there is no denying that Heath Ledger looks and sounds a heck of a lot more terrifying. Without all the back story that slowed down the first one (don’t get me wrong – I loved it), The Dark Knight promises to be more action-packed and even better.
- James Bond 22 (2008)
On Batman’s heels is the latest James Bond film, which once again stars Daniel Craig. After Casino Royale defied expectations and proved that the world could handle a blond Bond, I have huge expectations for this sequel. That being said, there have been a few worrisome developments. There was one article that suggested the producers wanted to inject more humor into the film, though I’m guessing that was fake news – after all, why would they mess with a formula that worked so well, both critically and financially, the last time out? Oh, and the director has never done an action movie before. Regardless, expectations have never been higher for a Bond film; I usually went to the theaters expecting some fun action and entertainment, but now I expect a truly quality film.
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
In other years, this movie might have been #1, but not this year. Still, there’s no denying that the biggest movie of the year will probably be Indiana Jones 4. We haven’t seen any previews yet, but with Harrison Ford returning to the role and Steven Spielberg back as director, there’s no reason not to expect another entertaining thrill ride. The only thing that could kill this film will be super high expectations; fans have been waiting nearly 20 years, and the anticipation in the weeks leading up to the film’s release will be crazy.
- Star Trek (2008)
The buzz is already big on this film. Abrams is flying high right now after Cloverfield launched big (and his previous directorial effort, Mission: Impossible III, was an awesome movie), and thus I am expecting nothing less than incredible for the new Star Trek movie. Looking back, the last several movies have been a bit cheesy and not all that great, but the teaser trailer for this film indicates that much of the cheese factor may be removed. How this rests with Trekkies is anyone’s guess, but hopefully fans of the shows (like me) realize that something like this is necessary to keep the franchise going – much like the Bond franchise needed Casino Royale.
- Cloverfield (2008)
This J.J. Abrams-produced movie has already been released in theaters, but even before I saw it, I was definitely looking forward to it. The marketing team did an incredible job of creating buzz for the film over a six-month period, and for the most part, the film lived up to expectations.
- The X-Files 2 (2008)
This sequel is flying under the radar right now, and often times I forget that it’s even coming to theaters this year, but once the trailer hits the airwaves, things will change. As a huge X-Files fan, I’m definitely looking forward to this long overdue film, but the question remains: will anyone care? It’s been a long time since The X-Files ended, and the movie is probably not going to make hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s anyone’s guess, but I hope it delivers big in one way or another.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2008)
Normally, a Harry Potter movie would rank much higher, and in years past they have often topped my lists; however, after the disappointing last movie, it’s a waiting game for me. David Yates, who I pretty much blamed for the previous film’s lack of cohesion, is returning to direct this film, and I really have to wonder what Warner Brothers was thinking. That being said, the original screenwriter – who has done all of the other movies except for The Order of the Phoenix, is returning, and that should spice things up a bit. This prequel to the final movie (rumored to be two movies?) is an important one, and so Yates better not blow it again.
- Rambo (2008)
Okay, it might be endless entertainment, but if you’re a guy, you have to be at least a little excited at the prospect of watching a new Rambo movie. Sure, Sylvestor Stallone is scraping for any way to make a buck, but after Rocky Balboa managed to be halfway decent, I’m holding out hope. Furthermore, the previews have absolutely kicked ass; I don’t care how old Stallone is – if he’s tearing apart bad guys with his bare hands and blood is flying everywhere, I am in theaters opening night.
- Iron Man (2008)
I was skeptical about this one at first. While I was a comic book fan as a kid, I never purchased a single Iron Man comic, though I’m sure I’ve read one or two over the years. The character never intrigued me very much, and the thought of a tin man flying around doesn’t sound like it could work. Still, the previews for Iron Man have suggested otherwise. The trailers are kick ass, full of explosions, special effects and everything else you’d want from a movie like this.
- Hancock (2008)
This superhero movie took me by surprise when I saw a preview for it in front of National Treasure 2; I hadn’t heard or seen anything about it up until then. But this movie, about a loser of a superhero who causes millions of dollars of damage to everything he touches, looks pretty damn entertaining. Did I mention it stars Will Smith? That alone means this film will be a blast, as he has yet to truly disappoint in a blockbuster flick.
- Get Smart (2008)
Steve Carrell is at the peak of his career right now, and Get Smart looks like it may finally capitalize on his sense of humor (since Evan Almighty sucked Jesus balls). The teaser trailer for the movie is spectacular, and features Carrell in all kinds of awkward, spy-oriented situations. The phone booth sequence is entertaining, as is the phone-throwing attempt. I usually don’t put too many comedies on my list, but Get Smart definitely deserves a place.
- Wall-E (2008)
This is the new movie from Pixar. Enough said. Okay, I’ll add that the visuals look great, and once again Pixar is doing something unique, which is more than what can be sound about their competitors.
- Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo (2008)
The first movie looked completely awful, but it was so funny and I ended up watching it twice in the same day. The second movie looks pretty funny as well, though for these kind of films, you can never tell. The marketing team will of course be able to make a funny two-minute trailer out of ninety minutes of stupidity, but I’m holding out hope that this Harold and Kumar sequel will be pretty good.
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
The trailer for this sequel isn’t as good as I would have liked, but since the first movie was such a refreshing jolt of excitement, I have high hopes for this sequel. All of the main cast members are returning, and it looks like Guillermo del Toro, fresh off his foreign-language masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth, has injected similar styles from that Oscar-nominated film into this one.
- Jumper (2008)
This Hayden Christensen/Samuel L. Jackson sci-fi thriller may end up being mindless fluff, but Jumper looks cool. The concept, about a young man who can teleport anywhere in the world, is relatively unique, and the special effects look good enough to back up the idea. The movie’s release date suggests it won’t be anything too intelligent, but you never know.
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
I actually liked the first Hulk movie moderately enough, up until the absolutely horrible ending. That being said, if I watched it again, I would probably laugh at how bad it is. I’ve never been a fan of the Hulk – I never understood what the big deal is about an anti-hero who turns into a monster – but this movie does have potential. After all, the studio heard the complaints about the original film and have presumably made amends. The presence of Ed Norton as Bruce Banner doesn’t hurt, either.
- Revolutionary Road (2008)
Again, here’s another drama without a trailer, but come awards time, everyone expects this film to be right up among the major contenders. Why? The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, reuniting for the first time since Titanic, and is directed by Sam Mendes, who directed one of my all-time favorite movies, American Beauty. You may have heard of it.
- Sex and the City (2008)
I’m not anticipating this comedy as much as I am intrigued by it. Even though I am a 25-year old straight male, I have to admit that I have seen almost all of the Sex and the City episodes and thoroughly enjoyed them (living with two females for a year helped). It’s truly one of the best comedies ever to be seen on television; of course, HBO has an unfair advantage in that it puts a lot more dollars into its shows than the average sitcom. Whether the television show will work as a movie is anyone’s guess, but we’ll find out in a few months…
- Run, Fatboy, Run (2008)
Just to fill out my Top 20, I added one that I haven’t seen on anyone else’s list. Run, Fatboy, Run, starring Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) looks funny in a completely goofy kind of way, and that’s enough to have me looking forward to it. Pegg really hasn’t stumbled yet, and while I’m not expecting anything as clever as his Shaun or Hot Fuzz, this one should be a bloody good time.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
Some people are really looking forward to this movie. I’m holding my breath. The previews don’t make this one look as good as the first one, and the first one was a mild disappointment. I thought the first one looked cool, until I sat down for a two-and-a-half hour film that was mildly entertaining at best and boring at its worst, so the marketing department is really going to have to step it up to convince me that this sequel is different.