Coming attractions

catching_fireThrough the first seven months of 2013, I’ve seen only 11 movies (they’re listed over on the right). That’s pretty sad by my standards, even given the fact that my in-theater movie consumption has decreased in recent years.

I can name about ten more that I wish I’d seen (and will catch up with on DVD, I hope), but none that I’m truly kicking myself over.

However, the back half of the year promises to deliver a bunch of films with real potential. I have identified 16 upcoming movies I’m eager to see and listed them below in order of least to most anticipation.

For the record, the final episodes of Breaking Bad take the crown as the work I’m most dying to experience, but these big-screen efforts are next in line.

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Finally, some movies I actually want to see!

The year in movies has thus far been rather disappointing. Apart from a trio of solid comic book movies (The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises) and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, I hadn’t had a really memorable experience at the movies through the first nine months of 2012.

But I’m hopeful that things are about to change.

Last weekend I saw Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, The Master (more below), and it was preceded by seven trailers — yes, seven! — all of which were at least mildly promising. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

Here are the eleven upcoming movies I’m most anticipating (in order of my excitement):

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2010 Fall movie preview

While compiling this annual preview, I realized I’m actually more excited about the new music releases due this Fall than I am the new movies.

New CD’s from Ben Folds, Elvis Costello, Belle & Sebastian and Lucinda Williams will hit the shelves over the next few months — an embarrassment of riches.

But I’ll find time to go to the movies in between listening to all those albums, and below is a list of the ones I want to see the most.

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2010 Summer movie preview

Summer may not officially begin until the end of June, but in Hollywood it starts in early May. This year it’s May 7, to be exact, when Iron Man 2 hits theaters and could well top the opening weekend record set by The Dark Knight a couple of years ago.

Following are the ten films I’m most looking forward to this summer. As always, this list is merely a snapshot of my thinking right now and could change as reviews roll in… though I’ll watch the films at the top of this list regardless of how well they’re received.

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The Best Movies of the 00’s

This list was even harder to put together than my top albums of the last decade. I see a lot more movies than I buy CDs — an average of about 50-60 per year — and I love enough of them to put together a solid top ten list every year. Even looking at only the top fives, that’s 50 films vying for ten spots.

That said, many of these titles were no-brainers. The most difficult task was narrowing down ten or so titles to fill in the bottom half of this list. As with the album list, I could easily reshuffle the deck and swap out some of those films for these, depending on my mood, but I suppose the fact that I’ve settled on the ten that I did says something.

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The Best Albums of the 00’s

If you had told me way back when the decade began that at the end of 2009 my top two albums would be by Rihanna and Brad Paisley, I’m sure I would have called you crazy and booted you back into your time machine. My growing fondness for certain pop/R&B and country artists is definitely a development I didn’t see coming and one that has made the last ten years more interesting.

Looking over the ‘best of the decade’ lists in various publications recently, I’m reminded that my tastes fall pretty much dead center between the excessively commercial and the fiercely independent. Nothing on the list below will have anybody scratching her head asking “Where does he find these obscure acts?” But with a couple of exceptions, you’re not going to find any chart-toppers either.

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2009 Fall movie preview

seriousmanThe year in movies so far has been quite solid. We’ve had an instant Pixar classic, the thrilling reinvention of a beloved series, a thought-provoking sci-fi thriller, a charming showcase for the industry’s finest actor and one of the most inventive romantic comedies I’ve seen in years — and that’s just my top five.

But if the lineup of movies yet to come comes close to living up to its promise, we ain’t seen nothing yet. The list that follows is a veritable roll call of my favorite directors (only Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Spielberg and Alfonso Cuaron seem to have taken the year off), with a few Jason Bateman appearances to boot.

Here are the ten films I’m most looking forward to, in order, followed by an alphabetical list of runners-up:

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