Friday, March 26, 2010

Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2010

In honor of seeing Shutter Island last month, I decided to do a quick list of my most anticipated films of 2010. I find that these lists are often made up of very commercial films because those are the ones that are typically well advertised a while in advance. I searched IMDB's release schedule and even looked up movies that didn't show up on there, but that I knew were supposed to be coming out in this calendar year, in the United States. If I miss something significant, please comment and let me know.

Honorable Mention: Iron Man 2 - 5/17

I absolutely loved Iron Man when I saw it in theaters in May 2008. Robert Downey Jr. brings such a huge presence and sense of humor to this comic book universe, that really transcended the genre for me, and let me enjoy it a lot more than I usually enjoy comic book movies. I don't expect the sequel to be what The Dark Knight was for Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise, but I expect it to be of similar quality as the first movie. Another added bonus is seeing Mickey Rourke playing a villain. He looks incredible in the trailer, and more menacing than Jeff Bridges in the first movie. See you in the theater on May 7, along with every teenage boy in the country!

10. Toy Story 3 - 6/18
While I wasn't as high on Toy Story 2 as every critic in the world, I did enjoy it, and maintain that Pixar has yet to make a bad film (still haven't seen A Bug's Life). I don't expect this film to fill the impossibly huge shoes of its predecessors and keep the 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes alive for the entire series, but I do expect great things from Pixar on every occasion, especially when they tackle a sequal with well established characters. This isn't somthing that they do often, and hopefully won't make too much of a habit of it, but of all their movies, Toy Story lends itself the best to a continued film universe. Well I say best, but who wouldn't love to see The Incredibles 2? Toy Story 3 hits theaters on June 18.

9. Robin Hood - 5/14

While it looks like Gladiator 2 from the trailer, I am still very much looking forward to this film, in fact, Gladiator 2 would be awesome. Ridley Scott is a terrific director, and Russel Crowe still does action as good as anybody (or so we're about to find out). this is one where I am actually more excited about the premise than those making and starring in the film. Robin Hood is my favorite Disney movie ever, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was a favorite when I was younger. Something about the character Robin Hood is just extremely appealing to me. I should really catch up with The Adventures of Robin Hood from 1938, which is supposed to be amazing. Maybe I'll watch that one right before this one... that should make for an interesting comparison!

8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - 8/13

Writer/director Edgar Wright who created the before-mentioned Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, is directing a comic book adaptation starring Michael Cera. Evidently Scott Pilgrim has to battle his new girlfriend's seven evil ex-boyfriends in order to win her heart (thanks again IMDB). It's only because of who's making this film that it made this list. Judging from the trailer, this movie is going to be a lot of fun.

7. Animal Kingdom - 6/3 limited

All I know is that this Australian gangster film won the World Cinema Jury Prize at Sundance this year, and it has a sweet trailer featuring "All Out of Love" by Air Supply. I absolutely love gangster films... almost as much as I love Air Supply. Hopefully Guy Pierce will be alive in the film longer than he was in the Hurt Locker!

6. Kick-Ass - 4/16

I am staying away from trailers and in depth reviews because I really want to enjoy my first viewing of this film. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, who gave us Stardust and Layercake, Kick-Ass is another comic book adaptation, starring Nicholas Cage and McLovin as "normal" people who put on costumes and fight crime. Sort of, a comedic Watchmen. If I'm getting this completely wrong, I'm sorry, but like I said, I want this to be fresh going into it. Best quote from someone who's seen it: "It's like Kill Bill, with a ten year old girl." OK, I can dig it.

5. Mother - 3/12 limited

This latest film from Joon-ho Bong, has received very high praise from festival goers over the past year. I personally loved his last film, The Host, which was an interesting take on monster movies. This film I can tell you nothing about, because I've stayed away from ALL plot details. I've heard only hyperbole, mostly concerning the ending of this film. Sometimes you can just tell about a film, without knowing much, if you're going to love it or not. I'm getting that vibe from this one.

4. Inception - 7/16

Christopher Nolan's newst project looks to be a mind-bending adventure, mysterious in it's nature. Yet again, I am avoiding information on this movie at all costs. I really hope they don't make a trailer that gives away half the film like they do for so many other films these days. With an incredible cast, headed up by Leonardo DiCaprio, and the skillful writing and directing of Christopher Nolan, I have no doubt this will be a memorable film.

3. Un Prophet - 2/26 limited
Un Prophet is a French film that was nominated for the foreign language Oscar at this year's Academy Awards. It didn't win, but almost everyone I read and listen to on the internet declared it the best film in the category. As for the story, it's essentially a prison drama about a young French Jewish man who learns to play the political games in the prison, and thrives because of it. Un Prophet has been compared by several critics to The Godfather, too many to write off as an instance of overzealous hyperbole. Also, I believe it was Adam Kempenaar from Filmspotting that said that it was the closest he's seen a film get to nailing the atmosphere and engrossing characters of The Wire. High praise indeed. I simply can't wait to check this out, and am anxiously waiting for IFC to put On Demand.

2. Black Swan - TBD

The IMDB description is, "A thriller that hones in on the relationship between a veteran ballet dancer and a rival." Hmmm... doesn't sound all that interesting. What if I told you that the two stars were Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis? OK, now all the guys are paying attention. Now here's the clincher: This is the new film from Darren Aronofsky. Boom. This guys is simply incredible, and it's my opinion that his films have gotten better and better. To quote Gareth Higgins from The Film Talk podcast, "The Fountain is a Masterpiece!" I agree, but The Wrestler is better. Requiem for a Dream was incredible as well, and Pi was above average for a first feature film. Not that he has anything left to prove, but if Darren pulls off this film, despite my high expectations, he will earn a place among very elite company in my book of filmmakers whose projects I eagerly anticipate no matter the subject.

1. True Grit - 12/25

I got two words for you: Coen brothers. These guys have been in that book I mentioned above for a long time. Tru Grit is a western that was originally filmed back in the 1960's. This is an adaptation of the book more than a remake of the John Wayne film. Everything the Coen brothers do I pretty much adore. I think they make better films than everybody except Quinten Tarantino, but the Coens release their films at least twice as often has Tarantino. I just hope it comes out on Christmas and doesn't get pushed back. This film will bring Matt Damon into the Coen family, but the real reason to see this film, as though you needed anymore: The return of the Dude.