Tag Archives: Inception

Top 10 Movies of 2010

What would this blog be without a few year-end lists? My laptop is getting repaired right now, so some of the lists that I’d been working on are M.I.A., but I figured that I’d at least post a couple of basic ones, which I might elaborate on later. Here are my 10 favourite movies of the past year, keeping in mind that there are a LOT that I still haven’t seen.

Honorable Mention: True Grit

10. The Runaways

It may be a by-the-numbers rock biopic, but Floria Sigismondi’s story of Joan Jett’s teenage band has enough style, spirit, and heart to make it an unusually enjoyable watch. Though Dakota Fanning (playing petulant jailbait Cherie Currie) and Michael Shannon (as the band’s abusive manager) give the flashier performances, it is Kristen Stewart’s slow-boil performance as Jett that provides the most compelling human drama. She conveys the many facets of the introverted but driven Jett with sincerity, and sceptics of her work in the Twilight movies may be pleasantly surprised.

9. Cyrus

Directing team Jay and Mark Duplass have earned a reputation for creating high-concept films on a shoestring budget (their 2008 riff on horror movies, Baghead, is a prime example). So when they teamed up with a studio and hired big-name actors (John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, and Marisa Tomei), some fans were understandably wary. But while the star-studded cast does distract a bit from the stark realism that they’re known for, there is still plenty of their documentary-style camera work and heavily improvised dialogue in Cyrus. Funny, and with more than a hint of melancholy, Cyrus is  a low-key, fun ride.

8. The Ghost Writer

With help from a solid cast, Roman Polanski created a moody, subtly stylish noir drama with The Ghost Writer. The film is slow, but that patience earns the film its whirlwind of an ending (no pun intended). Thanks to Polanski’s steady eye, even the film’s low-key action (for example, a low-speed car “chase” home) feels utterly exhilerating.

7. Toy Story 3

Viewers who grew up with the franchise (such as myself) may get swept up in the nostalgia, but the fact remains that Toy Story 3 is an incredibly well-constructed film for all ages. As cliche as it sounds, it is a film that will probably make you laugh and cry. And even if it may not be the best of the trilogy, Toy Story 3 has the biggest laughs, and a very, very well-deserved heartwrencher of an ending.

6. Inception

The long-brewing hype around Inception reached a fever pitch just before its release. And though it failed to meet some people’s unrealistic expectations, it also became something of a pop culture touchstone, which has to count for something. It was one of the few highlights in a grim summer movie season, and Inception brought whimsy and creativity to a genre that often seems catatonic. The cast is top notch (Cillian Murphy is the unsung MVP, if you ask me), and director Christopher Nolan brought his vision to life in a way that would only be possible with a summer blockbuster budget.

5. The Kids Are All Right

The “quirky indie comedy”  has been an annual staple of cinema for a while now (thanks, Little Miss Sunshine!), and this year was no exception. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore give bouyant performances as a middle-aged lesbian couple whose two children contact their charming but highly flawed sperm donor dad (played by the always fantastic Mark Ruffalo). It gets surprisingly dramatic as the film goes on, but The Kids Are All Right works because it avoids maudlin Important Moments and instead opts for realistic human drama.

4. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

I will never understand how films like this can tank at the box office. It has a great cast, a sharp script, some of the funniest moments I’ve seen all year, and a lightening-quick pace that would suit the ADD mentality of today. And those who did see Scott Pilgrim were treated to Edgar Wright’s inventive direction (chocked full of video game sights and sounds), delightfully bizarre pop culture references (including a Seinfeld-inspired segment), endlessly quotable dialogue (“Bread makes you fat?”), and a tour-de-force comedic performance from Kieran Culkin, of all people.

3. Fish Tank

I could probably write a thousand words about how much I love Michael Fassbender’s performance in Fish Tank. The physicality alone is remarkable; even the smallest gesture seems loaded with ambiguity and menace. Yet the great charm that Fassbender brings to the role makes the viewer want to have the same optimism towards him that the young protagonist, Mia, has. However, that risky, unspecified relationship between Mia and Fassbender’s Connor (her mom’s boyfriend) inevitably begins to unspool. And even though you kind of know where the film is going, that doesn’t stop the ride from being utterly compelling, in a vaguely horrifying way. Fish Tank blurs the line between ugly and beautiful (exemplified by director Andrea Arnold’s breathtaking ability to create stunning images out of England’s housing projects), good and bad, and optimism and hopelessness. I can’t get this film out of my mind.

2. The Town

And now, my award for the most enjoyable movie-going experience of the year (yes, even more so than Scott Pilgrim!). Considering that The Town is a film about bank robbers, there is surprisingly little action (though what is there is done impeccably). But everything in between is so equally compelling and exciting that is hardly matters. Between this and 2007’s Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck is proving to be a tremendous directing talent. Here, he accomplished the difficult task of creating an edge-of-you-seat thriller that pleased crowds but also satisfied moviegoers with a desire for quality and depth. The Town is what movies are all about.

1. The Social Network

It may be at the top of everyone’s list this year, but that is for good reason. The Social Network is a smart, timely, fresh take on themes that have been explored since the dawn of story-telling (pride, friendship, betrayal, jelousy, etc.). This is to the credit of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, whose witty, twisty dialogue set against a Harvard backdrop somehow comes across as perfectly relatable and grounded. David Fincher also does an amazing job of taking a very contained story (which mostly consists of people talking in a room) and making it utterly cinematic. And let’s not forget Jesse Eisenberg, who is amazing as the seemingly inpenetrable but ultimately sympathetic Mark Zuckerberg. Throw in an unorthodox, rumbling score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and great supporting turns by Andrew Garfield and Armie Hammer (and even Justin Timberlake is pretty good), and you’ve got a film that is both timely and timeless.

Trailer Round-Up: May 15, 2010

Charlie St. Cloud

I feel like an idiot for being excited for this movie, but I kind of am. Call it Zac Efron fangirl-ism if you want, but I think that Efron’s a surprisingly decent actor. Considering how fun he was in 17 Again, it’ll be interesting to see how he handles a fully dramatic role. By the looks of the trailer, Charlie St. Cloud seems a bit overly sappy, but Efron’s acting isn’t bad, from what I can tell, and it might be a good transition for him into weightier roles. It’s always a good sign when I’m more excited to see a movie after seeing the trailer, and even though it looks rather clichéd, I’m still interested.

Easy A

I loved Emma Stone in films like Superbad, The Rocker, and Zombieland, so it’s great to see her getting her own movie. Easy A looks surprisingly good for a teen comedy, and with Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Lisa Kudrow, and Thomas Hayden Church in the supporting cast, I’m pretty much sold on this Scarlett Letter-inspired comedy.

Inception (trailer #3)

We’re finally kinda sorta getting some plot information, and it’s great to see all of the major players in the cast pop up in the third trailer for Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated Inception. I’m trying not to build it up to much in my mind, because it’ll be hard for it live up to my expectations, but this trailer is pretty awesome.

The Adjustment Bureau

What starts off as a rote romance film soon adds an interesting twist to the political thriller genre in this trailer for the latest Matt Damon vehicle. Damon and Emily Blunt are great, and The Adjustment Bureau looks like a big, fun film. Glad to see both of these actors making a film like this.

You Again

Kristen Bell is a charming actress, and Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Sigourney Weaver are always a lot of fun when they pop up in goofy supporting roles. However, this trailer is too manic and clichéd to make me want to see the movie.

Buried

This teaser trailer for Buried barely shows us anything, but it looks like a refreshingly different role for Ryan Reynolds. Definitely intriguing, but I’d like to see more.

Super 8

Again, this shows us barely anything. The train crash on its own isn’t that interesting, but if it’s a J.J. Abrams film (presumably) about aliens, I’m on board.

2010 Summer Movie Guide

= Awards Contender = Big-name Star = Potential Cash Cow = Up-and-coming Indie = My most anticipated films

May 7

Iron Man 2

Director: John Favreau

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow

After the massive success of 2008’s Iron Man – and star Robert Downey Jr.’s subsequent comeback – it’s no wonder that audiences will be treated to a second helping. With some of the best actors in the business on board (Downey, Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Don Cheadle), it’d be hard for this sequel to fail.

Also Released: The documentary Babies, which captivated audiences with its adorable trailer, and two small Oscar-baity films: Mother and Child (which is already giving Annette Bening Oscar buzz), and Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (which earned Andy Serkis a BAFTA nom when it was released in the UK last year). Other indie releases include Multiple Sarcasms
(Timothy Hutton, Mira Sorvino), Solitary Man (Michael Douglas, Jesse Eisenberg, Susan Sarandon), and The Trotsky, which stars Jay Baruchel as a teen who is convinced that he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky.

May 14

Ridley Scott teams up with Russell Crowe for the fifth time with his action remake Robin Hood (also starring Cate Blanchett), while Amanda Seyfried continues her date movie run with the ostensibly romantic Letters to Juliet. Also, Queen Latifa and rapper-turned-actor Common star in Just Wright, a rom-com about a basketball player who falls for his physical therapist.

May 21

Macgruber

Director: Jorma Taccone

Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Val Kilmer, Ryan Phillippe

Movies based on SNL skits were common in the 90’s (Wayne’s World, A Night at the Roxbury, Superstar, etc.), but this MacGyver spoof is the first one to hit theatres in ten years. It’s clearly going for a hard R-rating, and if it can bring the proper mix of raunch and genuine humour, it could work.

Also Released: The last instalment in the wildly popular Shrek franchise, Shrek Forever After. Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and Antonio Bandaras all return to lend their voices. Also, Holly Rollers, starring Jesse Eisenberg as a Hasidic drug runner opens in limited release.

May 28

Fans of the TV series will be happy to see Carrie Bradshaw and friends going global in Sex and the City 2
(Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristen Davis, and Cynthia Nixon all reprise their roles). Meanwhile, history buffs can check out Jake Gyllenhaal as an action hero in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and Rachel Weisz as an ancient Egyptian slave in Agora. As well, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) brings us the fanciful Micmacs, and George A. Romero presents the zombie flick Survival of the Dead.

June 4

Splice

Director: Vincenzo Natali

Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley

In the first of Brody’s two sci-fi films coming out this summer (huh?), he and Polley play scientists who become embroiled in the task of combining human and animal DNA. This small, smart thriller may not find much of an audience, but it looks like the best horror film coming out this summer.

Get Him to the Greek

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Starrng: Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Rose Byrne

This spin-off film revolves around Brand’s Aldous Snow character from 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The zany “we have to get him to the gig!” premise may wear thin quickly, but with comedic talent such as Brand and Hill on board, there are sure to be laughs had.

Ondine

Director: Neil Jordan

Starring: Alicja Bachleda, Colin Farrell

After gaining good buzz from its premiere at last year’s Toronto Internal Film Festival, Ondine is now receiving Oscar buzz for lead actress Bachleda. Jordan’s (The Brave One) drama about a man who finds a mermaid may not be the most conventional summer film, but it certainly sounds intriguing.

Also released: The Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Hiegel vehicle, Killers, which
is likely to rake in big money at the box office. And for the kids, Owen Wilson lends his voice to the adaption of the comic strip Mamaduke.

June 11

The A-Team

Director: Joe Carnahan

Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharto Copley, Quintin Jackson, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson

With a film veteran (Neeson), a new superstar (Cooper) and a promising up-and-comer (District 9‘s Copley), there is a lot to be hopeful about with this re-boot of the classic 80’s TV show. Here’s hoping that it strives to be more than a big, dumb action movie.

Also Released: The Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith reboot of the 80’s classic, The Karate Kid. And though you’ll have to look hard to find it, the Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner, Winter’s Bone, is going into limited release.

June 18

Cyrus

Directors: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass

Starring: John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener, Marisa Tomei

The Duplass brothers (Baghead, The Puffy Chair) are known as forbearers of the mumblecore movement, but their latest movie is a story of a man (Reilly) who is terrorized by his new girlfriend’s overly protective son, Cyrus (Hill). With bigger names and good buzz from Sundance, Cyrus could be the Duplass brothers’ breakthrough to the mainstream.

Toy Story 3

Director: Lee Unkrich

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusak

The third instalment in the Toy Story franchise is finally here, and it’s likely to find new fans that weren’t even born when the earlier films were realised. Pixar has been on a run with Ratatouille, Wall-E, and Up, and here’s hoping that Toy Story 3 won’t break the streak.

The Killer Inside Me

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Starring: Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson

In his first film since 2007, Casey Affleck stars as a homicidal sheriff who is assigned to investigate murders that he himself has committed in The Killer Inside Me. It will likely struggle to find an audience (the film’s explicit portrayal of violence against women had viewers walking out of its Sundance screening), but Affleck’s presence may convince some film fans to give it a chance.

Also Released: Yet another comic book adaptation, Jonah Hex (starring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, and John Malkovich) and I am Love, which finds Tilda Swinton showing off her Italian.

June 25

Two films full of star power hit the screen on June 25. The comedy Grown Ups (Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade) finds five childhood friends reuniting, while Knight and Day (Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz) continues this year’s trend of action-based rom-coms.

June 30

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finds protagonists Bella and Edward (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) going to battle with their vampire friends, while The Last Airbender (directed by M. Night Shyamalan) brings the popular children’s TV series to the big screen. Also looking for a comeback is director Joel Schumacher (St. Elmo’s Fire, The Lost Boys), who
returns to his teen film roots with Twelve, a drama about a young drug dealer (Chace Crawford).

July 9

The Kids Are All Right

Director: Lisa Cholodenko

Starring: Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hutcherson, Mia Wasikowska

This comedy about two lesbians’ kids trying to find their biological father earned critical praise at Sundance, and boasts an all-star cast. Mainstream audiences may not be ready for the subject matter, but it has the potential to become the sleeper hit of the summer.

Also released: Despicable Me, a cartoon featuring an top-notch comedic vocal cast (Steve Carrell, Kristen Wiig, Jason Segel, Will Arnett) and Predators, which inexplicably stars Adrien Brody. For horror buffs, [REC] 2 is a sequel to the Spanish film that inspired 2008’s Quarantine.

July 16


Inception

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard

Christopher Nolan’s Inception is one of the most anticipated films of the summer, despite the fact that no one knows what it’s about. After 2008’s The Dark Knight, expectations are high, but with its exciting trailers and exceptional cast, it’s sure to draw a big crowd.

Also released: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the fantasy film that’ll keep Jay Baruchel’s big year alive (also starring Nicholas Cage). Another up-and-coming actor, Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), has a French/Russian drama called The Concert opening in limited release.

July 23

Angelina Jolie’s latest vehicle, Salt, finds her as a CIA agent on the run, while Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, and Zach Galifianakis star in Dinner for Schmucks, in which they compete to find the dumbest person to bring to a dinner party. Also, Ramona and Beezus (starring teen star Selena Gomez) adapts the popular Beverly Cleary book series, and Todd Solondz brings audiences his latest ensemble piece, Life During Wartime.

July 30

Charlie St. Cloud

Director: Burr Steers

Starring: Zac Efron, Kim Bassinger

In his first fully dramatic role since High School Musical, heartthrob Zac Efron stars in Charlie St. Cloud, which centers around a young cemetery caretaker who attempts to connect with his deceased brother. It has the potential to be dumb, or, if Efron handles the lead role well, surprisingly good.

Get Low

Director: Aaron Schneider

Starring: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, Lucas Black

It was supposed to be a contender for the 2009 Oscars, but Get Low got pushed to a summer release. However, star Robert Duvall is still getting buzz for his performance as an elderly man who wants to plan a premature “funeral party” for himself. An unconventional summer release, but certainly interesting.

Also Released: Beastly, a fantasy romance starring Zac Efron’s real life girlfriend, Vanessa Hudgens (same release date? How adorable…), and the totally unnecessary sequel, Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Indie releases include I Love You Phillip Morris, a controversial film, which finds Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor getting cozy, and The Extra Man (starring Kevin Kline, Paul Dano, John C. Reilly).

August 6

The Other Guys

Director: Adam McKay

Starring: Will Farrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson

Will Ferrell takes a break from his sports comedies to co-star with Mark Wahlberg as a cop in this action comedy. Farrell has saved some pretty weak material in the past, so even though the trailer was underwhelming, I still hold hope for this one.

Also Released: The eye-roll-inducing Step Up 3-D, and Middle Men, a crime comedy starring Giovanni Ribisi and Luke Wilson.

August 13

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Director: Edgar Wright

Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman

This oddball adaptation of a graphic novel series finds Michael Cera as a young man who must defeat “seven evil exes” for a shot at his love interest’s heart.

Also Released: The ultimate guy movie of the summer, The Expendables, which stars Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, and Jason Statham is unleashed. And perhaps not coincidentally, the ultimate chick movie of the summer, Eat, Pray, Love, is also released, which stars Julia Roberts as a misguided woman who takes a worldwide journey to find herself.

August 20

The Switch

Director: Josh Gordon and Will Speck

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis

The concept is strange – a man (Bateman) purposely replaces his sperm with that of a donor’s, unbeknownst to his friend (Aniston), who is trying to get pregnant. Yet what ensues looks like a surprisingly sweet romantic comedy, largely thanks to its two charming leads.

Also Released: Three movies which I plan to ignore completely. Takers (a bank heist movie starring Paul Walker and Zoe Saldana), Nanny McPhee Returns (starring Emma Thompson and Ralph Fiennes), and The Lottery Ticket (starring “no longer Lil” Bow Wow).

August 27

Going the Distance, starring Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, and Christina Applegate explores long-distance relationships, while Josh Radnor’s directorial indie debut, Happythankyoumoreplease, considers growing up and first love. For something entirely different, Piranha 3-D lets you see the gore from all angles, and Centurion (starring Michael Fassbender) takes on a Roman war epic.

10 2010 Movies I’m Excited For

January may not have been a stellar month for theatre releases, but it looks as though things will inevitably be picking up over the next few months. Of course, many new favourites will emerge as the year progresses, but based on what I know of them, here are ten films (plus a whole bunch of honourable mentions…yes, I’m cheating) slated for a 2010 release that I’m excited to see. It’s based mainly on actors and directors that I like. Click on the titles to see trailers, where possible.

1. Inception

Release Date: July 16, 2010

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy

The strength of the cast is undeniable, and fresh off the massive success of The Dark Knight, there’s no way that Christopher Nolan’s upcoming thriller won’t be a huge hit. The filmmakers are being tight-lipped with plot details, but the tagline (“Your mind is the scene of the crime”) sounds pretty intriguing. I’m just hoping it can live up to expectations.

2. Somewhere

Release Date: TBA

Director: Sofia Coppola

Starring: Stephen Dorff, Benecio Del Toro, Elle Fanning, Michelle Monaghan

I recently saw Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation for the first time, and it blew me away. Her next project, about an actor surprised by a visit from his daughter, has Benecio Del Toro (one of my favourite actors) starring, as well as Elle Fanning, who though I kind of hate to admit it, is a fantastic young actress. And the ten year old girl in me is a little bit excited that, according to the film’s IMDB page, Robert Schwartzman (who I had a huge crush on in The Princess Diaries) will be making his first acting appearance in almost 10 years.

3. The Town

Release Date: September 10, 2010

Director: Ben Affleck

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Chris Cooper, Blake Lively, Jeremy Renner

I didn’t think that I’d ever be excited by anything to do with Ben Affleck, but after his incredibly impressive directorial effort in 2007, Gone Baby Gone, I’m excited for his follow-up. The film centers on the after effects a bank hold-up, and the feeling that the thief develops for one of the bank managers involved. I’m hoping to see more of the terse, stylish fare that he gave us with Gone Baby Gone. I’d rather see Casey Affleck onscreen than big brother Ben, but with a fabulous supporting cast, it looks very promising.

4. Blue Valentine

Release Date: TBA

Director: Derek Cianfrance

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams

I’m on board with anything that Ryan Gosling’s involved with, and while I didn’t like Wendy and Lucy as much as I wanted to, Michelle Williams was pretty fantastic in it. It got solid reviews at Sundance, and it’s been picked up by The Weinstein Company for distribution. Is it too early to predict that Gosling and Williams will each picking up their second Oscar nominations a year from now?

5. Dinner for Schmucks

Release Date: July 23, 2010

Director: Jay Roach

Starring: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jermaine Clement, Bruce Greenwood

Though it has a strange concept (men compete for who can bring the lousiest guest to a dinner party), but it sounds like a potentially funny one. The main draw for me is leads Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and Zach Galifianakis. They might just be the three funniest guys working. Director Roach helmed the Austin Powers and Meet the Parents franchises, and while his films may not be especially subtle, they are pretty funny.


6. The Social Network

Release Date: October 15, 2010

Director: David Fincher

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, Justin Timberlake

David Fincher is always innovative, so somehow it’s not terribly surprising that his next project will revolve around the creation of the popular social networking site, Facebook. It has an interesting young cast, but it’s hard to say whether audiences will want to see a movie about something that’s already so present in our everyday lives. Because of its director, I’m more than willing to give it a shot.

7. Cemetery Junction

Release Date: April 7, 2010 (UK), TBA in North America

Director: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Ricky Gervais, Tom Hughes, Christian Cooke, Matthew Goode

When I first heard about this film, I imagined it to be vastly different from what the recently-released trailer showed us. With Ricky Gervais attached, I was expected something more along the lines of Ghost Town or The Invention of Lying, for obvious reasons. And while I enjoyed both of those films reasonably, this coming-of-age tale looks sweet, and far more cinematic. I’m a sucker for these kinds of movies (Stand By Me and Almost Famous are two of my all-times favourite films), and this one looks great.

8. Black Swan

Release Date: TBA

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder

Darren Aronofsky’s highly-anticipated follow up to 2008’s The Wrestler has made waves already for its reported girl-on-girl scenes, but while his films are usually provocative, his sense of artistry is like none other. This thriller about competitive ballerinas has an inspired cast (it’ll be interesting to see how Kunis fares in a major dramatic role), and I’m excited to to see where Aronofsky’s going next.

9. Due Date

Release Date: November 5, 2010

Director: Todd Phillips

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Alan Arkin

After the massive success of The Hangover last year, director Todd Phillips is already back with a new comedy. IMDB tells me that it’s about “A high-strung father-to-be [who’s] forced to hitch a ride with a college slacker on a road trip in order to make it to his child’s birth on time”. It kind of sounds like The Hangover, except with babies instead of weddings. But with Downey and Galifianakis as the leads (I think you can guess who plays which part) I’m betting it’s going to be pretty funny. Seriously, just look at that picture.

10. Shutter Island

Release Date: February 19, 2010

Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer

Based on a Dennis Lehane novel (who also penned the source material for Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone), this movie about a U.S. Marshal (DiCaprio) investigating a mental hospital looks genuinely freaky from the trailers. The Scorsese/DiCaprio pairing has worked three times before (Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed), so why mess with it? Plus, it has Mark Ruffalo, which is always a bonus.

Other Films of Interest:

  • I’m very interested to see what else actor Sam Riley (Control) can do, and we’ll all get to see when Brighton Rock gets released this fall
  • British up-and-comer Aaron Johnson has some big roles coming up, first playing a young John Lennon in Nowhere Boy (which was already released in the UK, and got him a Best Actor British Independent Film Award nom), and leading a cast of unlikely superheroes in Kick-Ass.
  • It looks like a good year for comedies. As well as the ones mentioned above, Date Night
    (starring Tina Fey and Steve Carell), Greenberg (Ben Stiller), and Cryus (John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill) all look quite promising from their trailers. And David Gordon Green will give us his comedic follow-up to Pineapple Express with another James Franco stoner flick, Your Highness.
  • As for the more serious fare, The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams, and Christian Bale, looks like a possible Oscar contender. Rabbit Hole may finally get Aaron Eckhart some of the attention that he deserves as a dramatic actor, with help from co-star Nicole Kidman. And since Up in the Air converted me to a Clooney fan, I’m now excited for The American, which is also Anton Corbijn’s follow-up to his wonderful director debut, Control. Though I don’t know much about it, Terrence Malick’s (The Thin Red Line, The New World) upcoming film, The Tree of Life, sounds very interesting.
  • The Killer Inside Me (starring Casey Affleck in his first role since 2007) made waves at Sundance for its brutal depiction of violence against women, but it sounds intriguing. Other promising Sundance films include Jack Goes Boating (Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan), Frozen (the trailer alone has scared me off of chairlifts forever), Buried (Ryan Reynolds), and The Kids Are Alright (featuring one of my favourite teen actors, Josh Hutcherson. And Mark Ruffalo!)
  • And what year would be complete without some bona fide blockbusters? Hopefully Iron Man 2 and Toy Story 3 will live up to their predecessors. I’m not as excited for Alice in Wonderland as most seem to be, but it still looks interesting. With a great cast, Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan) could be pretty good. And since their pairing worked so well for the Bourne series Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon have teamed up for another exciting-looking action picture, Green Zone.