28 March 2009
  10 movies to look forward to this year (plus 40 more)

yeah, that's right. i tried to narrow it down more, but i just couldn't so here are the top 10 movies i am most looking forward to this year plus 40 more that may or may not be worth my time. of course most of these films don't even have trailers yet, so who really knows what they will look like when they are done. gawd knows there have been many films lately that looked good on paper, but ended up being absolutely ridiculous on screen (paging miracle at st. anna). in any case, moreso than in any other year i can remember. i have a pretty good guess what my fave movie is gonna be this year. . .

1. angels & demons- three years ago i was one of 14 people worldwide who loved ron howard's the da vinci code. now i have seen it a dozen times and i still can't figure out why people thought it was so terrible. in fact it was my fave movie of 2006. now the prequel is coming out may 15. the book is awesome and the movie will be too.

but there are at least a few more movies coming out this year that could potentially achieve high levels of general bodaciousness, including

2. nine- this year's dreamgirls. definitely the most hyped movie of the year, 9 months in advance of its release. it is definitely the one to beat at this point, but it also has the most to lose. a musical starring a lot of awesome people including nicole kidman, dame judi and daniel day louis.

3. inglourious basterds- this is one of the few movies on the list that i have actually seen the trailer for, and it looks awesome. granted, quentin tarantino can be sort of hit or miss, but i think he is due for something great. and plus the trailer has just a hint of pulp fiction going on, which is a good sign.

4. julie & julia- amy adams is quickly rising on my list of favorite actresses, and this is definitely one of the films i am most looking forward to this year. if you've seen the pictures of meryl streep as julia child, the resemblance is sooo eerie. i can't wait to hear how meryl effects julia's voice and mannerisms. this is going to be hilarious.

5. the informant- like amy adams, matt damon has definitely emerged as one of my four or five favorite actors this year. i've been going through pretty much everything he's done this year, and i definitely like his action-y stuff the most. this soderbergh-directed political thriller about a government investigation of big agro-business seems right up my alley.

6. biutiful- iñárritu's first film since babel a few years ago. honestly, i don't know too much about the film other than the brief imdb summary ("a man involved in illegal dealing is confronted by his childhood friend, who is now a policeman") but it's iñárritu, so odds are it will be fantastic.

7. rudo y cursi- a football movie reuniting gael and diego luna. it's already been seen at sundance and was, i believe, released in mexico last year. according to imdb it's finally coming to the u.s. in may. i hope they're right. i've been waiting for this one for a year now.

8. the boat that rocked- the trailer is already out for this one, and it looks great. i think bill nighy is an odds on favorite for an oscar nomination. this looks like a trippy film about a hippie radio station trying to outwit the authorities. the weird thing is that it is being released in the uk like next weekend, but it isn't coming to the u.s. til late august. i don't quite get the delay.

9. antichrist- finally, another lars von trier movie is supposed to be release this year. he has been working on this one for a while, and it sounds like one his more ambitious projects. it's supposed to be a horror/thriller thing (a la his europa trilogy) where a couple camping in the woods meets a satanic force or something like that. i am doubtful that i will actually get to see this in 2009 (his stuff is always released in the u.s. dead last if at all), but if it actually does come out this year i will be a happy boy.

10. earth- of the top 10, this is definitely the movie that is most likely to fail. this is a much hyped feature length version of the bbc documentary planet earth. if they include new footage, tell new stories and keep the adult candor it could be incredible on the big screen. if it is just clips of the dvds i have on my shelf pieced together and/or dumbed down i will be really disappointed. it's coming out on april 22.

but there are lots of other movies coming out this year that definitely look like they have potential. here's 40 of them (haha). . .

in addition to the informant, there are a few other movies coming out this year that fall into the political/juridical/spy thriller genre. (11) state of play stars russel crowe as an investigative reporter following a story about the murder of congressman's mistress. (12) killing pablo is the story of the assassination of colombian drug kingpin pablo escobar. and (13) the taking of pelham 1 2 3 is a remake of an old 70s movie about a new york hostage crisis.

there are also quite a few movies coming out this year about the wars in iraq and afghanistan. granted the track record for these kinds of movies has been pretty grim with the exception of in the valley of elah, but maybe this year will be the one where that turns around. (14) the hurt locker is about a bomb squad in iraq, and the female director kathryn bigelow has been getting oscar buzz which is always a plus. (15) green zone reunites matt damon with paul greengrass (bourne trilogy) about cia agents searching for weapons of mass destruction. and (16) men who stare at goats is about a secret paranormal force in the iraq war.

a bunch of action movies this year, like inglourious basterds, also have period drama elements. the most anticipated of these are (17) public enemies, a johnny depp movie about the government pursuit of john dillinger and (18) shutter island, a martin scorsese/leo dicaprio film about the hunt for a murderer in the 1950s.

there are a bunch of other period dramas coming out in 2009 too. (19) cheri has my attention because people are talking about it being michelle pfeiffer finally getting her oscar. it's a romantic drama set in 1920s paris. (20) love ranch is a helen mirren-helmed look at the funding of the nevada brothel the bunny ranch in the 1970s. and (21) the young victoria focuses on the early years of the reign of queen victoria, played by emily blunt.

julie and julia and the young victoria aren't the only biopics i'm looking forward to this year. (22) amelia is the story of the life of amelia earhart played, perhaps too predictably, by hilary swank. (23) the human factor (or, depending on who you listen to, mandela) is the story of the life of nelson mandela, played, perhaps too predictably, by morgan freeman (but directed by clint eastwood, which is a definite plus). (24) the mercenary: love and honor is the story of catherine the great played, perhaps too predictably, by angelina jolie. (25) coco avant chanel is the story of coco chanel, played, perhaps too predictably but it's good to see her anyway, by audrey tatou. and (26) toussaint is the story of revolutionary haitian slave toussaint l'ouverture. i'm not sure who's playing the lead, but i am sure it will be a predictable choice.

nine isn't the only musical i'm looking forward to in 2009. the remake of (27) fame is coming out this year, and it's bound to suck, but i'll probably see it anyway.

strangely enough there are a bunch of movies coming out this year with apocalyptic, science fiction-y themes. lars von trier's antichrist is one. but another that i am really looking forward to is (28) avatar, the long, long awaited james cameron movie about an futuristic extraterrestrial war. i really hope it's good. then there's (29) 2012, a big budget blockbuster type movie about the end of the world with no realistic scientific content whatsoever by roland emmerich, maker of the day after tomorrow and other big budget blockbuster type movies with no realistic scientific. content whatsoever. and there's (30) 9 (what's with the numerical titles?) an animated film about a post-apocalyptic planet and (31) the road, an adaptation of a novel about a post-apocalyptic planet. it's been in the works so long, and it's been built up so much, that it is pretty much bound to fail though.

in addition to the road and angels & demons there are a few other popular novels coming to the big screen soon. (32) dirt music sounds particularly good. it stars russell crowe as a crusty alcoholic australian (do you think he can pull it off?) (33) need, also based on a novel, stars nicole kidman as a new york therapist whose husband is having an affair.

there are a few spanish language movies coming out this year that sound good. rudo y cursi is one. (34) almodovar's los abrazos rotos is another. it stars penelope cruz in yet another role (maybe one too many) in a quirky almodovar dramedy. (35) pedro páramo is another gael film about a mexican ghost town.

dark comedies have been becoming more and more popular lately, and there's a few potentially good ones coming out this year. i just saw the trailer for sam mendes' new film (36) away we go, and i actually think the trailer is pretty terrible, but it's sam mendes so i still hold out hope. (37) a serious man is a coen brothers flick about a failed marriage of a quirky midwestern couple. and (38) serious moonlight is an adrienne shelley-penned movie (i loved waitress) about a woman's revenge on her husband who's having an affair. it has meg ryan. *yea*

there are a few weird fantasy/literary/experimental-sounding flicks coming out this year that could definitely go either way for me. (39) the imaginarium of dr. parnassus is by terry gilliam so you know it's gonna be weird. it's also heath ledger's last film. (40) cirque du freak stars salma hayek as a bearded lady-slash-vampire. enough said. and (41) the tempest could be a normal retelling of the shakespeare play, but it's by julie taymor so it's bound to be bizarre.

last year there were two award winning independent films about immigration issues, the visitor and frozen river, and this year a couple more are coming out. (42) crossing over, already out in limited release, has been described as crash-lite, only focusing specifically on race and immigration. (43) mammoth sounds sort of like babel. it consists of parallel stories about a wealthy new york couple and the family of their filipina maid. and it stars gael (he has three movies coming out this year, *yea!*).

strangely enough, husband and wife paul bettany and jennifer connelly are starring in two films together this year. (44) creation is a story of the life of charles darwin and his wife emma. and (45) american pastoral is the story of a couple living after wwii and fighting with their politically rebellious daughter played by evan rachel wood.

one of my fave actresses, julianne moore has a couple films coming out this year. (46) a single man is the first film directed by fashion photographer tom ford. it's about a man dealing with the death of his long time wife. (47) chloe is about a woman trying to catch her adulterous husband in the act.

then there's (48) seventeen again, the first big non-musical film for my boyfriend zac efron (49) rage, an experimental british film about murder in the fashion industry, has gotten terrible reviews, but it stars judi dench smoking a cigarette which intrigues me for some reason. and (50) happy tears could finally get parker posey some awards attention as one of two sisters (demi moore's the other) dealing with the imminent passing of their father.

*deep breath* did i forget anything?
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