Wednesday, February 11, 2009

David's Most Anticipated Films of 2009

In the spirit of the best films about to be crowned, here are the films I'm most anxious to see this year, which has already promised a lot of blockbusters this summer, some films which missed out on this year's Oscar ceremony and some of the biggest directors' next projects. Here are my top 10 films to see in 2009:

10. The Human Factor

I put this film here because I'm still not sure it will be released this year, but if that were to be the case, a Clint picture rarely disappointed as of late, and Morgan Freeman loves working with him so this should make a great film. In case the film is not released this year, please note then my 10th film on the list would be Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones.

9. Bruno

Borat was one of the funniest films of the decade and Sasha Baron Cohen will present his next character, Austrian fashionista BrĂ¼no to shock us yet again with his mockumentary about America. Just seeing Schwartzie here promises a lot (Proposition 8!)

8. Avatar

There is still a lot of mystery shrouding this next project, but the fact of the matter is, James Cameron has given us some of the best science-fiction films from the last 25 years with the first 2 Terminator films (I'm looking forward to Salvation as well this summer), Aliens and the mega-blockbuster Titanic (yes, the script was laughable, but who can deny the visuals were nothing but spectacular) and he promises this one will change our way of watching movies, so I'll be seeing this one with great interest.

7. Shutter Island

The last time Leo and Scorsese united, they took home the Best Picture award for The Departed. Expect a fast-paced action thriller with a stellar cast and DiCaprio keeping up his good streak.

6. Public Enemies

Already viewed as one of the early favorites for next year's top prize, Johnny Depp will go head to head with Batman's Christian Bale from director Michael Mann whose film Heat inspired some of the scenes from The Dark Knight. Although he's never won an Oscar, Mann is no stranger to the big ceremony nominated for The Insider as a Producer/Director/Writer and for The Aviator as a producer, and this film shows a great cast and a lot of promise as we follow the story of one of America's notorious bank robbers, John Dillinger. Expect Johnny to pick up another Actor nom.

5. Funny People

Judd Apatow is certainly Hollywood's reigning comdy king. Although this is only his 3rd feature film as a director, he has produced some of the raunchiest, most shockingly funny films in recent years. This time around, he directs his Zohan buddy Sandler starring as a comic who takes an inxeperienced one under his wing, Rogen. It will be hilarious watching these two lashing out at each other and at others' expense. Expect a funny sex scene between Sandler and Apatow's wife Leslie Mann, and it will be fun seeing Eric Bana opposing the two comics (Bana has another high profile baddie role in the upcoming Star Trek from Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams). This should be, with Bruno, one of the funniest comedies of the year.

4. Watchmen

I never read the graphic novel, but with great trailers already available, the promise of an IMAX formatted presentation and with an interesting cast to portray the superheroes, director Zack Snyder once again brings the graphic world to life and this film promises to be visually amazing. It is said that the film is very faithful to the novel which should reassure the hardcore fans, and I expect this film to be one of the box-office champs of the year mainly due to its early release with no one close to be able to compete with it for a while. I can't wait.

3. Up

Apparently the only thing that disappointed from this film when half of the film was previewed to critics was when the reel ended and they craved for more. Pixar is clearly the king of animation today, and with WALL-E almost making a run for Best Picture, a lot of people will expect their next adventure about 78-year old Carl Fredericksen and his journey to the end of the world in his floating home and hopping along for the ride, 8 year-old cub scout Russell. This will be a visual wonder and will make a run for the Animated Feature award next year.

2. Inglourious Basterds

Even though WWII was popular this year (Benjamin Button, The Reader), Tarantino's next anticipated film will be fun to watch as nominee Brad Pitt takes on the role of a lieutenant who trains 8 soldiers for only one purpose : killing Nazis behind enemy lines. The trailer is already available, and knowing Quentin, expect no holds barred, in your face violence and a spectacle die hard fans will love.

1. The Road

This was the film which had a chance of taking home this year's top award, at least according to most of Oscar bloggers and fanatics early on but post-production setbacks forced the film to be delayed onto 2009. Although there still is no release date for The Road, we remain hopeful we'll see Cormac McCarthy's next novel turned to the big screen this year and make it into the top 5. Expect Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee to compete for awards as well. Having read the novel, I really want to see how they made the film and I hope they remained true to it.
Well, what are your top 10 films to see this year?

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