Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 Preview Part 1


With the 2008 year in film now falling behind us (even though I'm still waiting on certain 08' films to come to Tallahassee), I thought it would be fun to take a look at what the 2009 year of cinema holds for us. Even though it seems ridiculous to try and sum up a "year in film", I think its fun to categorize and analyze nonetheless. I found 2008 to be a generally disappointing year for me, but as I look forward to 2009, I can't help but get excited about a number of films.

I'll try and parcel out my expectations for the 2009 film year (based on the information that we currently have, keep in mind that it always changes) into two parts for easier consumption. In this first part, I'll give you my Top Ten most anticpated films of 2009 as well as my second tier of greatly anticipated films. In the second part, I'll talk about the films I want to like but have that nagging suspicion that I won't like it. Along with that, I'll go over the guilty pleasures I'm looking forward to as well as the other films I'm curious enough to keep my eye on. So without further ado, here are my top ten most hotly anticipated films of 2009.



10. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
- Directed by Gavin Hood
- Opens May 1st
- After The Dark Knight the standard for superhero films has reached ridiculous heights. Fortunately, I don't have very high expecations for this as a "film", but I do look forward to seeing some great high octane action sequences. The trailer leaves me netural, but I'm willing to get excited for the opener to this year's summer blockbuster season.


9. Inglorious Basterds
- Directed by Quentin Tarantino
- Opens Aug. 21
- I'm hoping that this WWII Action film is more Kill Bill or Resevoir Dogs than it is Deathproof. No matter though, anytime Quentin comes out with a film, its an event. The fact that he has cast Mike Myers in a role has also peaked my interest.


8. Where the Wild Things Are
- Directed by Spike Jonze
- Opens Oct. 16
- It was a troubled production, but I can't wait to see what creativity Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adapation) brings to this adaptation.


- Directed by Pete Doctor and Bob Peterson
- Opens May 29
- Pixar's Summer 2009 entry comes from the director and writer of Monster's Inc. I haven't really enjoyed a Pixar film since 2004's The Incredibles, and I hope that this is a return to form here. I hope that this May release hearkens back to the last time Pixar released a movie in May, Finding Nemo.



6. Terminator Salvation
- Directed by McG
- Opens May 22
- Early production materials really make this film look like its going to take the Terminator franchise into a whole new direction. Terminator 3:Rise of the Machines left us the with judgment day and it looks like Terminator Salvation is really going full throttle with the aftermath. I actually have high expectations for the McG the director, and hope that he brings the talent he showed on the horribly underrated Charlies Angels: Full Throttle (yes, I'm being serious) to this new franchise.

- Directed by Martin Scorsese
- Opens Oct. 2
- If the director alone doesn't get you excited then did you know that this is his first feature film since he won the oscar for The Departed (Shine a Light doesn't count)? Did you know that the screenplay is based on a novel written by Dennis Lehane, the writer of Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River? Excited yet? Well, did you know that Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Max Von Sydow, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, and Jackie Earle Haley are all this film? If that isn't enough for you, then I suggest you give up on cinema.

- Directed by Prachya Pinkaew
- Opens Feb. 6th
- I know that most of you are probably going saying, "Huh?" Let me explain. If you are a martial arts fan, then there is no more exciting country putting out martial arts film today than Thailand. Thanks to Tony Jaa and Prachya Pinkaew (both worked on Ong Bak and The Protector), as well as numerous others, Thailand is currently putting out some of the craziest and freshest fight films avaliable. Just watch the trailer for the film (LINK IS HERE), and tell me that it doesn't get you excited to watch some crazy martial arts action? No? Well, it does for me anyways.


- Directed by Michael Mann
- Opens July 1st
- A 1930s gangster film directed by Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider) and starring Christian Bale and Johnny Depp. The only thing that could make it better is if it was released during the summer...oh wait...it is. Can you imagine? Going into a dark theatre on a hot summer afternoon to watch this?


- Directed by Peter Jackson
- Opens Dec. 11th
- When the director of your favorite film of all-time (Return of the King) puts out a new film, you take notice. When its a pet project that has been in the works for over a decade, you take an even closer look. I don't quite know the storyline or the details, but I don't mind.


- Directed by James Cameron
- Opens Dec. 18th
- Cameron's first feature film since Titanic, and its no simple comedy or romance. Avatar is advertised as the future of film. Several years in development, if Cameron accomplishes what he has claimed, Avatar will present the cutting edge of computer enhanced effects as well as the cutting edge of 3-d presentation. Did I mention that when Cameron makes a sci-fi film they automatically enter in as classics? With titles like Aliens, Terminator, The Abyss, and Terminator 2, whats to think this film will be a disappointment?

Most Anticipated Films: Second Tier (In Alphabetical Order)
A Christmas Carol : Jim Carey and Robert Zemeckis team for this remake
Coraline: from the maker of Corpse Bride
Duplicity: Looks like a fun spy game from Julia Roberts and Clive Owen
Edge of Darkness: Mel Gibson's first leading role in years
The Fantastic Mr. Fox: Wes Anderson presents an animated feature
Gentlemen Broncos : from the writer/director of Napoleon Dynamite
I Love You, Man : based soley on the hilarious trailer you can watch HERE
Julia and Julia : Meryl Streep plays British chef Julia Childs
Monsters vs. Aliens: 3-D animated feature releasing in March
The Princess and the Frog: Disney's great return to handdrawn animation, releases on Christmas
The Road: from the director of The Proposition and the writer of No Country for Old Men
Sherlock Holmes: Action oriented and featuring Robert Downey Jr. has raised my interest
Surrogates: Bruce Willis in Sci-Fi action directed by Jonathan Mostow, Yes!
Taken : Liam Neeson in an action role written by Luc Besson
The Three Stooges : Farrelly Brothers finally doing a dream project

Stay Tuned For Part II, Coming Soon!

4 comments:

Peter Chan said...

We have 4 films in common, #1 anticipated is the same...

1. Avatar
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
3. The Lovely Bones
4. Sunshine Cleaning
5. Nine
6. Shutter Island
7. Duplicity
8. Star Trek
9. The Box
10. Public Enemies

8rent said...

Lovely Bones is based on a novel by Alice Sebold. Peter Jackson taking it up is strange, but we'll see.

Public Enemies spent weeks of filming up here in 'Sconsin. They paid for a number of restoration projects in the Milwaukee area, and Mann, a UW-Madison alum, understands better than most the value of getting geographical context right. (Small things matter!) Dillinger spent nights in some of the run down buildings here in Point that used to be hotels, Capone and other Chicago mobsters had hideouts and cabin-mansions up in the Northwoods.

Depp by all accounts was a class act with the fawning public. Bale, on the other hand, was nowhere to be found. Might just be because of the coverage, but still.

Kyle Leaman said...

Peter,
I fear that our super-high expectation of Avatar might lead to disappointment. Do you think Avatar will be more Titanic in space or Abyss in Space?

Several of your films I am looking forward to as well, they find a spot on my next part. Really unsure about Nine, just need to see some stills or hear some of the music

Kyle Leaman said...

Brent,
I've read a few interviews with Jackson from past years and his admiration and love of the novel is what peaks my interest. Particulary when he talks about some sequences taking place in heaven and how he couldn't wait to share with the world his ideas for visually showing heaven.

I didn't know that Public Enemies was shot there. Perhaps, Bale and Depp were still in character?

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