The Way of the Word

10. January 2010

2010 Must-See

For me, 2009 was a very lukewarm year in movies. There wasn’t much that interested me, and what little I did see mostly disappointed me. On the other hand, there were several movies that weren’t on my radar at all, which I found out too late I might have liked. I guess I’ll catch them on DVD.

With that in mind, I’m fairly excited about what’s coming up in movies in 2010. Today, I would like to talk about which movies of 2010 interest me, and why, and which hyped movies I expect will disappoint, and my ideas of what the year’s sleeper hits might be. I expect to be totally wrong regarding that last thing. 🙂 If I do this again next year, you’ll have a much better idea of how much weight to give my opinion; by then you’ll know just how much my own tastes match yours.

Shall we begin? I’ll proceed in chronological order. Please keep in mind that this is nowhere near anything resembling a complete list.

So far, the buzz on Legion is mixed. Personally, I’m not too sure about this movie. It seems to borrow too much from other movies. It has a good cast, though, and that might make this a Sleeper.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief might be the next Harry Potter. It has ties to Clash of the Titans, which will be big later in 2010, it has a terrific cast, and it seems to share a lot of Harry Potter’s sensibilities. There’s no buzz yet, but I have a good feeling about this one.

The year’s comedy highlight of 2010 will be The Bounty Hunter with Gerry Butler and Jennifer Aniston. Gerry Butler plays a bounty hunter who gets the pleasure of taking his ex-wife to prison. The trailer is laugh-out-loud funny, and if that isn’t all the funny scenes in the movie, I’m gonna love this one.

Did I just mention Clash of the Titans a bit earlier? That one has a huge cast too. I like Sam Worthington, he’s a good leading man. And the trailer looks big. I can’t help thinking, however, that the original 1981 movie didn’t need remaking. That one had only one problem, and that was the lack of chemistry between Harry Hamlin and Judy Bowker. The remake seems to like its special effects too much. Frankly, I’m not sure about this one. I want to like it, but… I have a bad feeling about this. I’m afraid it will try too hard to be epic, and fail because of trying too hard.

I am, however, fully enthusiastic about How to Train Your Dragon. Sure, it has your typical outcast teen geek rising to the occasion of winning the respect of everyone else. The dragon design reminds me very much of kittens. I like kittens. What sells me on this one is the somewhat sarcastic tone of Hiccup’s narrative in the trailer. If that’s also in the movie, this just might be fun. Like Shrek.

This is where I break continuity, because there are three movies coming out this year that on the surface share certain similarities. Let’s start with the original, shall we? The A-Team.

Looking at this, I get the feeling that Rampage Jackson as BA will be the movie’s pleasant surprise. Other than that, Liam Neeson is no George Peppard, and it looks as if this movie is not going to ramp up the action but rather the camp factor. I’m a huge A-Team fan, but I think I’ll cuddle up with my DVDs of the original show instead of watching this. (Unless someone pays me to watch this.)

Anyway, another movie with a similar premise is The Losers. The Losers is based on a DV/Vertigo comic book series. A group of former CIA operatives is out to give the CIA a hard time.  There isn’t even a trailer up yet that I could show you. That worries me a bit. The story should be okay, it’s supposedly based on the comic’s first story arc, which I have read and liked. But with several other similar movies coming out this year, it might get lost in the shuffle.

The third one in the same vein is the one that I look forward to the most in 2010.  If I can see only one movie this year, this will be the one: The Expandables. Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Rourke, Statham, Lundgren, Li … This movie has almost every iconic action hero of the last three decades in it. It has me very excited simply by virtue of its cast. This promises to be huge fun.

And do I even need to mention Iron Man 2? I loved Iron Man,  and I definitely will not miss this one. It might become the biggest movie of 2010, even if not, it will be among the top 5. (But if I were forced to choose between IM2 and Expendables, I’ll still go with Expendables.)

(What, you ask, no love for Kick-Ass and Nightmare on Elm Street? Nope. I’ll admit that the Kick-Ass trailer looks like fun, but the story’s by Mark Millar, and I don’t like Millar’s work. He’s too much of a “shock for the sake of being shocking” kind of writer. Regarding Nightmare, I consider it a case of “remakes the world doesn’t need.” Regardless, I’d be willing to bet money that Kick-Ass will be big in 2010, and Nightmare will at the very least not be a bomb. Still, I won’t see either of them. I am also not interested in Gladiator 2 — err, I mean, Robin Hood. Which I also don’t expect to fail at the box office.)

Inception seems interesting. Even though there’s not much information available yet. Christopher Nolan usually provides intelligent fun, of which there isn’t nearly enough coming from Hollywood these days, so I’m very interested in what this movie has to offer. Even though on the surface of it it sounds like a mix between Matrix and Dreamscape.

Here’s another potential sleeper: Knight and Day. There’s something in this movie that might scare people off: Tom Cruise. But the trailer has a lot of energy, doesn’t reveal very much of the plot, and is a lot of fun. I might be willing to tolerate Tom Cruise if the movie is a lot of fun.

(What, the chorus sounds again, no love for Predators, Twilight Eclipse, Shrek 4 or Prince of Persia? Right. I have no interest in Predator 3, I’m not a teenage girl and therefore not interested in the Twilight saga, I haven’t even seen the first three Shrek movies yet, and Prince of Persia seems to be the kind of pretty but braindead thing that I am increasingly inclined to avoid. There’s too much good stuff out there to bother with the fluff. Anyone willing to take bets that they’ll all make a lot of money?)

After Legion, Paul Bettany will play a vampire-killing priest in the movie Priest, which is an adaptation of a manga. Finally, a man who remembers what we are supposed to do with vampires: kill them! No trailer yet, but I’m still cautiously optimistic.

And do you know what sounds like fun towards year’s end: Your Highness, a movie about a prince whose laziness forces his brother to go on a quest to save the kingdom. At first glance, and I admit I don’t know very much about this movie yet, this sounds as if it takes fairy tale and fantasy tropes and turns them on their head. This one could go either way — it will either be a sleeper, or die quietly.

Tron: Legacy will end the year for me. The original was groundbreaking for its time (there would be no Avatar if there had been no Tron), but it is of course horribly dated. The trailer to Legacy rocks, and I for one am very curious (just like, I suppose, everyone else of my generation) what they have in store for this one.

For your entertainment: the following is the trailer to the original Tron. Just pay attention that even in the trailer, Jeff Bridges stumbles over even simple computer terminology. 🙂

Here you have it: my 2010 at the movies. What do you think of my picks for the year? What are your picks of the year?

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