There are quite a few good-looking movies coming out during Oscar season this year. So far, I've been fairly impressed with the entertainment we've received, but mainly because last year was so God-awful terrible, which gives very little to compare to. We've had numerous box office titans and moderate hits, and happily the two movies I had hoped would bomb DID explode on delivery. Luckily, what we are left with is a slew of high-profile films that look to be award-worthy entertainments. Here are a handful I'm looking forward to:
Sicario - from the director of the superb Prisoners, starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio del Toro. Previews look exciting, while keeping a very realistic vibe that will surely draw the viewer in to the visceral violence and vulnerable lead character. Nothing makes movie violence more impacting than giving us the look-and-feel of realism within a "reality-based" motion picture. This one looks exactly that.
Black Mass - Johnny Depp playing the infamous Whitey Bulger, theformer FBI #2 Most Wanted man. Judging by the first extended preview that was released, Depp looks to be hearkening back to his Donnie Brasco days by playing a character that is mostly subdued and restrained, rather than flamboyant and over-the-top (post Pirates of the Caribbean days). It will be good to see him in makeup that isn't supplied by Disney.
Everest - all this movie has to do is have a beautiful, sweeping musical score and build characters enough for us to cry when their death occurs (on screen) in order for it to be considered in the top 10 for the Academy's Best Picture list. Also, it feels like someone asked the producers, "Which actors do we cast in this film?" to which the producers responded, "...all of them."
The Martian - I know nothing of the story on which this Ridley Scott-directed, Matt Damon-starring film is based, and I want to keep it that way. I'm assuming he's stranded on Mars, making HIM the "Martian", with no hopes of a Jar Jar Binks approaching him claiming to be the one TRUE Martian. Actually, that would also be hilarious.
Bridge of Spies - Steven Spielberg is still overall my favorite film maker of all time, though I've wondered if his spark may have gone missing in the past decade. Regardless, with Tom Hanks back in collaboration for the fourth time, this Spielberg film looks to be a thematic mix of his enjoyable Catch Me if You Can and his hard-hitting Munich.
SPECTRE - A new James Bond film is always welcome, and I have some theories on this one. Though they haven't said it specifically, Christoph Waltz looks to be playing Blofeld (the leader of the organization known as SPECTRE, played originally by Donald Pleasance, Max von Sydow, and a couple other actors in the Sean Connery/Roger Moore days). This also looks like the first of the Daniel Craig Bond films to get a henchman character for him to spar with (Dave Bautista). Should be fun and quality-filled, given that Sam Mendes (Skyfall) is returning to direct.
Trumbo - Bryan Cranston starring as legendary screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted in the McCarthy era for being a "Communist". Fans of biopics, the 40s, film making, and dark political intrigue should be fans, though I find it rather interesting that Austin Powers director Jay Roach is directing this.
Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Click and watch this and try not to get a cine-boner.
The Hateful Eight - Quentin Tarantino's next film, and judging specifically by his track record, just by saying "this is his next film" should get about $100 million in the box office. The fact that he creates his screenplays on HIS schedule, and has the most creative use of dialogue of any other film maker in Hollywood today makes anything coming from this madman's mind a gem. Also, it's a western that stars Kurt Russell. Fuck yeah.