Almost a month overdue, here is my very own Top Ten of 2007 list. Now, before I begin, let me warn you readers that this list is not my predictions on which films will come out the victors for the year. Any non-moviegoing accountant can look at historical box office reports and create a list feating Potter, Pirates and a superhero named Spider-Man.
Come on, these are no-brainers.
I wish I could say my list didn't include them -- to try to break the mold a bit -- but they easily fall within my "holy shit!" list.
The films below will be the ones that have the fans exalting "holy shit" with every new trailer, clip and, eventually, their theatrical release. These are the film's that have you so excited, you don't forget what you came to see when the theatre strikes you with its plethora of opening trailers.
And, when credits role, you should still (hopefully) be thinking "holy shit!"
Top 10 Holy Shit Films of 2007
10. Ocean's 13
I almost gave this one to Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The only problem is that the first installment was a little too Daredevil for me to forget; no matter how cool the new CG effects look in the film. Ocean's 12 was a disappointment for most, and the first teaser trailer for Ocean's 13 still conveys some of that er, arrogance witnessed in the second installment. As long as they don't pull a "Julia Roberts" joke, we should be cool; and that's what these films are all about, right?
9. Shrek the Third
The second installment in the uber-successful Shrek franchise gave me a shit-eating grin for the entire 90 (or so) minutes. In short, I was heavily entertained. The entire gang that made Shrek 2 the follow-up success is back and this time with new additions including Justin "Dick in a Box" Timberlake. There is only one problem, the first teaser trailer for the film was not up to par with the franchise.
8. Live Free or Die Hard
This could have been higher if it wasn't for my undying affection for the franchise's original and (in my opinion) best installment. The third installment was a significant improvement over Die Hard 2 and this one -- with its flipping cars -- looks to pull out all the stops.
7. The Golden Compass
This is more of a "holy shit" film for those of us who have read the books. I was recently alerted by HisDarkMaterials.Org that New Line would be throwing out most of the religion themes found in the trilogy from author Phillip Pullman. This worries me, as the first book's (The Golden Compass) most amazing twist relies on a reference to religion. New Line helped put fantasy on the charts with LOTR, and they are hoping to do it again with Compass.
6. Hot Fuzz
I was one of the many who couldn't come to appreciate Shaun of the Dead until the film's release on premium cable. It's not that I didn't like the film in theatres, I just didn't catch it in theatres. After watching it, I quickly agreed with the general consensus on the brilliance to the film. Now Edgar Wright (director), Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost are back again for Hot Fuzz, a film that takes advantage of explosions, comedy, crazy cinematography and just about anything else you could expect from those who have watched every action movie ever made.
Every trailer, poster, still and clip looks like a work of gory art. Sin City kicked our asses with the green screen and now Zack Snyder will try a similar approach with a more epic topic, the ancient Battle of Thermopylae. Add in blood splatter at zero gravity and we really have something here.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End
If Gore Verbinski and Disney are hoping to outdo Dead Man's Chest, they have got a ton of work to do. It is nearly impossible to say how they are coming along since Disney feels that a teaser trailer isn't necessary just yet (4 months to go!), but the return of Geoffrey Rush and the addition of Chow Yun-Fat is a huge start. The second installment sorely missed Rush's pirate prowess. Yes, the second installment killed at the box office, and nobody is expecting anything different from Worlds End.
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The books are getting longer, which means they have to be picked through at a rate equivalent to Nicole Ricci picking through her dinner salad. The fifth book in the Potter franchise is a huge stepping stone for Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, it also features the death of a major character. Depending on how David Yates handles the film's direction, Phoenix could be the darkest Potter yet.
It also looks like Deathly Hallows will be released some time this summer, which should raise Potter fever higher than high school boys wall hangings of Emma Watson. Yes, that high.
2. Spider-Man 3
Since the first villain rumor, we have been begging for Venom. Having Spider-Man go toe to toe with a similar nemesis seems like a dream come true. The only problem we can see is Raimi's handling of multiple villains. One of the strengths of the two previous Spider-Man films was the character development of each film's single villain. Spider-Man 3 will feature at least three villains, which could get complicated. On a lighter note, Columbia Pictures has sampled the film and they are already begging for a Spider-Man 4; sounds like they loved it!
Every top ten list across the net refused to list Transformers near the top of the pack. Hell, on more occasions than not, the film didn't even make an appearance. This film is the ultimate "holy shit" film. Though one would assume the lack of love given to Transformers has something to do with Michael Bay's name being attached to the project, we should let Bay do what he does best -- entertain us -- while Spielberg keeps the film under control. If you have seen the teaser trailer, than you know that watching a chopper transform and then proceed to blow shit up is one step off from orgasmic.
That's it! My top "holy shit" films of 2007. One more film does need to be mentioned, however, as it only didn't make the list because I couldn't figure out how I'd rank it or my reasoning. Without a doubt, Grindhouse should be nothing short of insane. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino teaming up for something like this is a moviebuff's wet dream come true.
Stay tuned for updates.