Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Year of Living Theatrically

Far be it from me to talk about movies in this medium, but here's a heads up for some of my most anticipated, guaran-damn-teed excellent movies of the year - one (or a couple; April showers bring May blockbusters) per month.

January

A lean month, theatrically, so my first suggestion would be to catch up on any of the December fare you have missed (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or The Spirit, say), but for a January theatrical release:

Revolutionary Road
Revolutionary Road, January 23

Should prove to be a solid outing - Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have had some success in previous pairings, and Sam Mendes has a proven pedigree for movies dealing with dark issues lying just beneath a shimmery surface.

February

The International
The International, February 13

Director Tom Tykwer and writer Eric Singer are quite new to the scene (Singer is brand new), but Clive Owen's skill should help carry this espionage flick.

March

Watchmen
Watchmen, March 6

An early favourite to be my top movie of 2009, if the film is half as bleak, dirty, dangerous, and haunting as the comic book (it's comic book, not graphic novel. I'm a dork, you're a dork, calling it a "graphic novel" does not make us less dorky), it will still be fantastic.

April

Another lean month, unless you're 12, but there is one that should be pretty solid.

The Soloist
The Soloist, April 24

I'm not the world's biggest Jamie Foxx fan, but Robert Downey, Jr., seems dead serious on making a legitimate comeback in a wide variety of films, and director Joe Wright also helmed Atonement.

May

Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. I can't decide what to see more, so let's just try to go one week-by-week.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, May 1

Director Gavin Hood hasn't been behind the camera for a ton of films, but the actors (not the least of which is the vastly undervalued Liev Schreiber) and the story should make this more than worth the money spent to see it.

Star Trek
Star Trek, May 8

I'm not a big Star Trek fan, but I am a big prequel fan. Perhaps an odd choice to cast Chris Pine as James Tiberius Kirk, seeing as his biggest movie was, arguably, Smokin' Aces, but Zachary "Sylar" Quinto looks identical to Leonard Nimoy, and a supporting cast that includes Simon Pegg, Winona Ryder, Bruce Greenwood, and John Cho can't be argued against.

Angels & Demons
Angels & Demons, May 15

Haven't read the books, wasn't blown out of the water by The Da Vinci Code, but I simply can't see myself not seeing this movie.

Terminator Salvation
Terminator Salvation, May 22

Bad news: Bryce Dallas Howard (she's listed fourth on the credits on IMDb, so that can't be a good sign - lots of screen time)
Good news: Christian Bale (bye bye poorly cast Nick Stahl) as John Connor
Bad news: Directed by McG, who's probably a douchebag in person (does he insist people call him McG?), who's done...music videos...and Charlie's Angels
Good news: It's f-ing Terminator!

June (yes, we really got here)

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, June 26

Hate to tell you all, but the first movie was not as good as you think. And Megan Fox was not as hot as you think. Shia LaBeouf was as whiny as you thought, though. That being said, even if this movie isn't awesome from a film perspective, the simple fact that it's also being prepared for IMAX should guarantee that it will be one of the most fun movies of the year. And, if nothing else, Michael Bay knows how to blow shit up.

July

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, July 17

The fact that nothing is coming out the same day as this movie speaks to the impact it will have. It will more than likely gross more than anything else in 2009. Still, though, I'd also like to see 2012.

August

Inglourious Basterds
Inglourious Basterds, August 21

Despite the fact that the name drives me absolutely nuts, Quentin Tarantino has made the war movie he's been saying he wants to make for years, and he invited quite a cast to do it with him.

September

Daybreakers
Daybreakers, September 11

Vampires? Willem Dafoe? Futuristic plague? Distributed by Lionsgate? Sounds like a must to me!

October

Shutter Island
Shutter Island, October 2

Generally, about the only thing worth mentioning in October is how well the perennial Saw movie did. This year, though, DiCaprio teams up with The Departed director Martin Scorcese again for this military/crime drama set in 1954. Also on screen: Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, and Elias "Casey Jones" Koteas (that's for you, Nad). It's also adapted from a novel by Dennis Lehane, who's previous works include Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River.

November

Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes, November 20

With all that this movie has going for it (Robert Downey, Jr. as Holmes, Jude Law as Watson, a classic story), it's hard to imagine this movie not living up to the hype. Guy Ritchie is an extremely odd choice to direct, but, regardless of the types of movies he directs, he is undeniably a highly skilled director.

December

Avatar
Avatar, December 18

For the time being, there's nothing terribly exciting coming out on Christmas, but Avatar appears as though it will take in a lot of the holiday purse. James Cameron directs this film about humans colonizing a far-off planet, only to find that the indigenous population isn't overly hospitable. It's a bit of an odd cast (Giovanni Ribisi, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, to name a few), but nobody cared who Arnold Schwarzenegger was before Cameron got his hands on him, so he knows what to do when the stereotypical star power isn't present.

And there you have it, 12 (alright, well, 15) movies to paint your year with a vibrant palette (well, unless you see Watchmen...or Terminator...or Shutter Island)...OK, vibrant isn't the right word, probably. But, regardless of the word you use, I'll see you at the theatre.

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