Chekhov's Gunman


Top 20 Movies to Look Forward To- A Mexican Standoff

sin city a dame to kill for josh brolin

Chekhov’s Gunman is a film and television blog by Kevin “Kevin” Lanigan, a future writer of movies and TV and current underpants enthusiast. “Mexican Standoff” is our newest feature, a categorical list of something.

There’s a lot of good stuff waiting for us at the motion pictures. Of course, none of it is out right now, but there’s lots on the horizon. I’ve been trying to soak news up like a Bounty Quicker Picker Upper (thanks for the money, Bounty) and here’s a list of the 20 movies that I’m most looking forward to, or to which I’m most looking forward if you’re a grammar ass.

There are movies that are of course not on this list, mostly sequels to movies I didn’t enjoy. The second The Hobbit movie comes to mind, as well as The Amazing Spider-Man 2, although the casting news on that one is really promising. Admittedly, I’ve only seen the first ten minutes of the first Andrew Garfield Spider-Man flick, but that was a really terrible ten minutes. In either case, here’s the list…

20) Twelve Years a Slave (Dir. Steve McQueen)

Director Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame) is fast-becoming one of those directors everyone wants to work with and the cast for this one proves it. Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Quvenzanhe Wallis, and Michael K. Williams all star. Release: 2013


19) Sin City: A Dame to Kill For/ Machete Kills (Dir. Robert Rodriguez)

Kills comes first, but I’m far more excited for the sequel to Sin City, which brings back all of your favorite dead people (Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke) and introduces a whole new gamut of soon-to-be dead people (Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Release: Machete September 13, 2013; Sin City– October 4, 2013

18) “Bullshit”- The Untitled David O. Russell/ Abscam Project (Dir. David O. Russell)

David O. Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) is a fine filmmaker, and he’s bringing with him all your favorite people he’s ever worked with… Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Louis C.K. Release: 2013

17) Birdman (Dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)

Something about a former superhero actor who must put on a play and reclaim his former glory, but the cast includes Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zack Galiafinakis, and my childhood crush Naomi Watts. And, barring perhaps sudden amputation, there is very little that will stop me from seeing a comedy from the guy that made Babel, The Most Depressing Movie Ever. Release: 2014

knights of badassdom peter dinklage

16) Knights of Badassdom (Dir. Joe Lynch)

I’ve been following this one for a while, and it seems to be stuck in the adultery level of Development Hell. There’s no poster yet, but there’s a trailer, and there’s also a cast that includes people form your favorite TV shows, including Community’s Danny Pudi, Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage, and Firefly’s Summer Glau. I’ve got my fingers crossed in expectation for this LARPingly demonic tale. Release: 2013

star trek into darkness benedict cumberbatch

15) Star Trek Into Darkness (Dir. J.J. Abrams)

The first one was underrated and incredibly fun, and with a cast that still includes Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, and villain Benedict Cumberawesomevoice, things look up for this Star Wars audition piece. Release: May 17, 2013

anchorman 2 the legend continues

14) Anchorman: The Legend Continues  (Dir. Adam McKay)

I don’t think this will be very good given Will Ferrell’s recent track record, but I don’t think there’s any way I won’t see this. But, then again, that’s what I said about Die Hard vs. Putin or whatever it was called. Release: December 20, 2013

13) They Came Together (Dir. David Wain)

David Wain made Wanderlust, the only truly good straight-up comedy in 2012 and now he’s back, bringing with him Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Ed Helm’s and How I Met Your Mother’s Cobie Smulders. As the last purveyor of good movie funny, you should give him your full, undivided money. Release: 2014

man of steel henry cavill

12) Man of Steel (Dir. Zack Snyder)

They still haven’t proven to me that Superman is a character that can be interesting for longer than two minutes, but those were a really good two minutes. Snyder’s also a very underrated director. He’s stylish. He just has a habit of filming bad scripts. ZOD! Release: June 14, 2013

inside llewlyn davis justin timberlake

11) Inside Llewlyn Davis (Dir. The Coen Brothers)

Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan in a Coen Brothers movie about the New York folk scene in the 1960s. It writes itself, really. Release: 2013

10) Monuments Men (Dir. George Clooney)

”In a race against time, a crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renown works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys them” reads the IMDB description of a movie starring Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Clooney, and Matt Damon. Yep. Release: December 18, 2013

9) The Grand Budapest Hotel (Dir. Wes Anderson)

Moonrise Kingdom revived a lot of people’s faith in Wes Anderson and his ability to tell touching and honest stories, albeit ones that look like a cross between an oil painting and a children’s book. And this one’s got Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton and (as to be expected) Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman. If that cast doesn’t pipe your interest, you are beyond my help. Release: 2014

the way way back steve carell sam rockwell

8) The Way, Way Back (Dir. Nat Faxon and Jim Rash)

Fax and Rash (The Dean on NBC’s Community) won an Oscar for their work on The Descendants and now they’re using that clout to assemble one of the best casts in a while.  Steve Carrell, Toni Collette, Rob Corddry, Maya Rudolph, Allison Janney, and Sam Rockwell star in what promises to be a touching story about growing up and summer camp. Release: July 5, 2013

much ado about nothing poster

7) Much Ado About Nothing (Dir. Joss Whedon)

Whedon chose to underplay his first film after The Avengers Hulk-smashed us out of our seats, and it feels like totally the right call. The trailer seems slick and stylish and the perfect case that Joss Whedon should have directed The Great Gatsby. The cast also features Nathan Fillion and the boys of BriTANick, which is sale enough for me. Release Date: June 21, 2013

6) Inherent Vice (Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

Anderson has made six films and all of them are fantastic. He made my favorite film from all of last year (The Master) and Joaquin Phoenix is back to give another stellar performance in this one, too. I’m disappointed it’s not another original story, but Anderson’s last adaptation was There Will Be Blood and that movie had more memorable stuff than you could shake a bowling pin at a priest. Spoiler. Release Date: 2014

iron man 3 international poster

5) Iron Man 3/ Ant-Man (Dir. Shane Black, Edgar Wright)

The original Iron Man still remains to be the only Marvel solo film that I’ve felt compelled to watch more than once. Thor was saddled with too much of the Avengers set-up weight and thus we got a movie where nothing happened, and Captain America was just a tad dull. After Iron Man 2 stunk, I was defeated. But now Shane Black, writer of the original Lethal Weapon and director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, is at the helm and the trailers have been great, so I’m ready for what should be a dark and stylish superhero film. Release: May 3, 2013

Ant-Man wouldn’t be on this list without Edgar Wright’s name on it, but Edgar Wright’s name is on it, you guys! And the preview footage is supposed to be legendary. This is the superhero film I am looking forward to more than any other. I’m getting my tickets now. Release: November 6, 2015

gravity george clooney

4) Gravity (Dir. Alfonso Cuaron)

This is Cuaron’s first film since the fantastic Children of Men and also about the only thing slated for awards season this year. It’s about George Clooney and Sandra Bullock adrift in space, trying to make their way back home and should involve at least one sex scene between the two of them of at least adequate quality. No matter how mundane the inevitable intercourse, I’m looking forward to this offering from the man who brought us the best Harry Potter film. Yes, I said it! Come at me, Internet! Release: October 4, 2013

3) Interstellar (Dir. Christopher Nolan)

The reason this puppy’s in the pound is because of that name attached to direct. Nolan has a good habit of making films that bring both the noise and the funk and usually a pretty strong performance by Michael Caine. All we know is that it was written by Nolan’s brother, Jonathan, and should involve something… stellar. Release Date: November 7, 2014

the wolverine hugh jackman

2) X-Men: Days of Future Past/ The Wolverine (Dir. Bryan Singer, James Mangold)

There’s a good chance Future Past isn’t going to be the second best movie on this list. In fact, there’s a slight chance it’s going to be a confused, timey-wimey mess. All I know is that I will be there hours early for the midnight premiere. The X-Men franchise was my childhood and is a huge part of why I’m a screenwriter now. I’ve been lapping news for this like a dog. Basically everyone from the other films is coming back, including the stellar Michael Fassbender and Oscar Winner Jennifer Lawrence. Even Peter Dinklage is along for the ride. But Fassbender made First Class, so I’ll pay him the highest compliment I can pay an actor: He made that helmet not look stupid. Release Date: July 18, 2014

The Wolverine sounds promising and hopefully moves as far away from Origins as we can possibly get. Let’s hope, shall we? Release Date: July 26, 2013

the world's end simon pegg nick frost martin freeman

1) The World’s End (Dir. Edgar Wright)

Edgar Wright is my favorite filmmaker working today. Or any day. All three of his films (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) are endlessly rewatchable and wonderfully unique comedic pieces. After taking a break from his partnership with Simon Pegg to make Scott Pilgrim, they’re back with something vaguely intriguing and reliably English about the fate of the world resting on five friends at a pub crawl (Pegg, Nick Frost, The Hobbit’s Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and that cop from the Sherlock Holmes movies). Release Date: October 25th– USA

Omissions and why:

Star Wars Episode 7– Because I’m sick of hearing about it.

Pacific Rim– Because I don’t know, you guys. Looks good but also not.

The Great Gatsby– Baz Luhrman can go cocaine himself. Except for Moulin Rouge!, which is awesome.

Chekhov’s Gunman updates several times per week, with essays on film and television, regular reviews of Community and others, and this new Mexican Standoffs feature. Be sure to check back. Leave your comments here and be sure to follow Kevin on Twitter. Because he loves you.


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