Sunday, February 22, 2009

What I'm Looking Forward To Watching In 2009

Release Date: (9/9/09)
The Facts: A post-apocalyptic CG cyber-punk movie about little puppets who fight cat-like robots. Produced by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Nightwatch, Daywatch) and Tim Burton, and starring the voice talents of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, and Crispin Glover.
Why I Wanna See It: It's a hard premise to make look good on paper, but the trailer looks amazing and the short film it's based upon was entertaining.

12 Rounds
Release Date: (3/27/09)
The Facts: A cat and mouse game in the vein of Die Hard With A Vengeance between a cop who's trying to save his wife and a recently released criminal he helped put away. Directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Cliffhanger) and starring the WWE's John Cena.
Why I Wanna See It: Cena sucked in The Marine, but the trailer for this movie makes it look like a mindless 80's/early 90's explosion-fest, which was enough to catch my eye.

Release Date: (11/13/09)
The Facts: A disaster film about the end of the world (presumably as predicted by the Mayan calendar based on the title) directed by Roland Emmerich (Stargate, Independence Day).
Why I Wanna See It: What can I say? I still enjoy some of Emmerich's older films and I had a good time watching 10,000 BC.

Astro Boy
Release Date: (10/23/09)
The Facts: Based on Osamu Tezuka's classic manga series about a super-powered robot designed to look like a young boy. Featuring the voice talent of Nicholas Cage, Kristen Bell, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, and Bill Nighy.
Why I Wanna See It: I've never read any Astro Boy comics, but I like comic books, CG movies, and superheroes, so why not?

Release Date: (12/18/09)
The Facts: Director James Cameron's (Aliens, The Terminator, T2, The Abyss, True Lies, Titanic) return to non-documentary filmmaking after a 12 year hiatus, to the action genre after a 15 year hiatus, and to the science fiction genre after an 18 year hiatus. The story involves a group of humans (including Sam Worthington, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, and Sigourney Weaver) who are forced to do battle with an alien species on a distant planet far in the future.
Why I Wanna See It: Considering that Aliens is my favorite film of all time and Avatar is not only James Cameron's return to the genre which he just about single-handedly invented, but also his reunion with Sigourney Weaver, this is easily my most anticipated movie of the year (if not the past decade).

Big Fan
Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: A huge New York Giants fan (Patton Oswalt) is beaten up by his favorite player. Written and directed by the writer of The Wrestler: Robert D. Siegel.
Why I Wanna See It: I don't even know what genre this film is, but that basic premise sounds like a good springboard for a funny movie and I like Patton Oswalt.

Black Dynamite
Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: A modern blaxploitation film starring Michael Jai White (Spawn) as the title character.
Why I Wanna See It: The trailer made this movie look hilarious and I like the fact that this film isn't only a parody of blaxploitation films, but also seems as though it's trying to literally be one of them.

The Box
Release Date: (11/6/09)
The Facts: A couple (James Marsden and Cameron Diaz) come into possession of a box which has the ability to grant them one million dollars. The catch is that if they choose to take the money it will cause someone they don't know to die. Directed by Richard Kelly.
Why I Wanna See It: I like Donnie Darko enough to forgive Richard Kelly for Southland Tales, and this premise sounds more along the lines of the former than the latter anyway.

The Brothers Bloom
Release Date: (5/29/09)
The Facts: Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody play con-men doing what they do best to a wealthy heiress played by Rachel Weisz. Directed by Rian Johnson.
Why I Wanna See It: I don't just want to see this movie because the director's name is spelled the same way as mine. I do want to see it because of the director, though. Rian Johnson's debut film Brick not only made me an immediate fan of his work, but also of it's star Joseph Gordon Levitt. I know next to nothing about The Brothers Bloom, but since Johnson wrote and directed it, my admission is essentially already bought and paid for.

Release Date: (7/10/09)
The Facts: Sacha Baron Cohen is now hoping to do for Bruno (another of his characters from Da Ali G Show) what he did a for Borat a few years ago. Same premise, different main character.
Why I Wanna See It: I loved Da Ali G Show and really enjoyed Borat although with each viewing it seems to deliver diminishing returns. I'm just hoping that Bruno is even half as funny the first time I watch it as Borat was.

The Clone Returns Home
Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: All I know about this movie is that it's Japanese and it must somehow involve cloning.
Why I Wanna See It: I heard the title and immediately became interested, but the plot summary on IMDb gives absolutely nothing away concerning the plot. I'll probably have to catch this on DVD late this year or early next year like I did with CJ7 or Chocolate.

Release Date: (2/6/09)
The Facts: Based on a young adult book by novelist and on again/off again comic book writer Neil Gaiman, Coraline is a stop motion animated film from Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) about a young girl who discovers another dimension in her new home which is accessible through a small door hidden behind the wallpaper. At first it seems like a fun place to visit, but she soon learns that it isn't a place she'd like to stay.
Why I Wanna See It: I absolutely love The Nightmare Before Christmas, so I was interested in this movie from the start because it's from the same director. The fact that it's written by Neil Gaiman doesn't hurt either, considering that Sandman is among his comic book writing credits. And if those two factors weren't enough, the movie is also being shown in 3D, which I've yet to experience in a feature film.

Dead Snow
Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: Some skiers are attacked by Nazi zombies.
Why I Wanna See It: Nazi zombies! 'Nuff said.

Drag Me To Hell
Release Date: (5/29/09)
The Facts: A girl is cursed by an old woman and haunted by all manner of ghosts, demons, and other ghoulies in Sam Raimi's (Evil Dead, Spiderman) long-awaited return to the horror genre.
Why I Wanna See It: I love all three Spiderman films and am excited to see Raimi return to the director's chair for the rumored fourth and fifth installments of the series, but I think that anyone who is truly a fan of his movies has been dying to see him make a new horror film since he wrapped up the Evil Dead franchise with Army of Darkness back in 1992.

Dragonball: Evolution
Release Date: (10/9/09)
The Facts: Based on Akira Toriyama's megahit manga/anime franchise Dragonball Z, this film will follow Goku (Justin Chatwin) as he trains to be a great fighter and attempts to collect and protect all seven of the fabled, all-powerful Dragonballs before his enemies (namely Piccolo) can get their hands on them.
Why I Wanna See It: Everyone is shitting all over this movie already because it doesn't look a thing like the Dragonball manga or anime, but I'm still willing to give it a chance. I used to casually watch the show, so I'm interested to see what they do with it in a live-action setting.

The Expendables
Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: Sylvester Stallone's action-packed directorial follow-up to last year's Rambo will star Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Sandra Bullock, Mickey Rourke, Ben Kingsley, Forest Whitaker, Steve Austin, and Stallone himself. Does the plot really matter?
Why I Wanna See It: Rambo was a badass movie and there's just no way I could pass up a film with a cast like the one The Expendables has managed to amass.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Release Date: (11/6/09)
The Facts: A town takes action against a fox who has been preying upon their chickens in this film based upon a book by Roald Dahl. Directed by Wes Anderson and featuring the voice talent of Bill Murray and George Clooney, I've heard that this film will be animated with stop-motion.
Why I Wanna See It: I've been interested in this film since I first heard about it because Wes Anderson's films may not always be my favorites, but tend to be interesting nonetheless. If the rumors that it will be stop-motion are true, my interest will be immediately doubled.

Fast & Furious
Release Date: (4/3/09)
The Facts: The original The Fast & The Furious cast of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, and Michelle Rodriguez re-unite for more mindless action, sweaty midriffs, and wacky car races.
Why I Wanna See It: Back when The Fast & The Furious came out I was talked into seeing the movie because someone else bought my ticket, and I guess my low expectations combined with Jordana Brewster's hotness allowed me to really have a good time watching it. The last two sequels haven't interested me at all, but the return of the original cast and the crazy, balls-out trailer for this confusingly-named film have grabbed my attention.

G.I.Joe: Rise of the Cobra
Release Date: (8/7/09)
The Facts: Based on the 80's cartoon and 3 & 3/4" toy line, G.I.Joe will presumably update the terrorist fighting U.S. military task force for the new millennium, though all the usual suspects will be present including Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Cobra Commander (Joseph Gordon Levitt).
Why I Wanna See It: When I was a kid G.I.Joe was my favorite TV show aside from Ghostbusters, but even if that wasn't enough to make me want to see this movie, all I needed to hear was "Joseph Gordon Levitt as Cobra Commander".

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
Release Date: (9/25/08)
The Facts: Director Terry Gilliam brings us a story about a traveling theater group which will most likely be as visually incredible as some of his previous works. Starring Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, and the final performance of Heath Ledger.
Why I Wanna See It: I've enjoyed enough Terry Gilliam films that he'll always be on my radar. Also, the cast is pretty impressive.

Inglorious Bastards
Release Date: (8/21/09)
The Facts: Quentin Tarantino's new World War II period film features Brad Pitt as the leader of a small group of Allied soldiers saddled with the task of making their way through Nazi-occupied territory brutally murdering every Nazi in their path.
Why I Wanna See It: I shall forever be compelled to watch every single movie directed by Quentin Tarantino. I like Brad Pitt, too.

Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: A high school kid decides to become the world's first real superhero by donning a garish costume and picking fights with some people that he probably shouldn't. Matthew Vaughn directs based on a comic book by Mark Millar (Wanted) and John Romita Jr. (Spiderman, Daredevil, etc.).
Why I Wanna See It: Y'know, I don't really care for this comic all that much, but it is an interesting premise. I guess that I'm hoping some things are changed for the better the in film adaptation so that I may end up liking it despite Nicolas Cage's involvement.

Release Date: (1/23/09)
The Facts: Having been completed in 2006, this film based on an Elmore Leonard novel about a couple (Diane Lane & Thomas Jane) in witness protection being pursued by two hitmen (Mickey Rourke & Joseph Gordon Levitt) is finally getting a release (albeit a limited one).
Why I Wanna See It: Outside of 2007's 3:10 To Yuma, I've yet to truly enjoy a film based on the works of Elmore Leonard, but this plot sounds right up my alley. Also, as with G.I.Joe: Rise of the Cobra, Joseph Gordon Levitt's involvement is reason enough for me to be interested.

Release Date: (3/20/09)
The Facts: A man (Nicolas Cage) begins to think that he can predict horrible catastrophes after his son brings home a piece of paper filled with code which he finds in a time capsule at school. From there the plot seems to delve further into science fiction, with perhaps even an apocalyptic outcome. Alex Proyas (Dark City) directs.
Why I Wanna See It: At first I thought this movie looked horrible. However, after seeing a new trailer which lets the audience in on a bit more of the story, I must say that I'm intrigued. Nic Cage's involvement doesn't do a whole lot for my expectations, but Alex Proyas' gives me a glimmer of hope.

Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: Something goes very wrong on the moon base inhabited by a lone employee (Sam Rockwell) of a mining company who is scheduled to return to Earth from his solitary shift on the lunar surface.
Why I Wanna See It: I like science fiction and I like Sam Rockwell. There's not much more to it than that.

Mystery Team
Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: A group of former child detectives attempts to solve a decidedly adult crime.
Why I Wanna See It: Sounds like a dark comedy take on Scooby Doo, which is intriguing.

Next Day Air
Release Date: (5/8/09)
The Facts: A delivery man unwittingly leaves a package containing a large amount of cocaine on the wrong doorstep and a battle of wits ensues between all parties involved to right the situation. Donald Faison, Mos Def, and Mike Epps star.
Why I Wanna See It: I saw the trailer for this film and immediately felt a resemblance to the Guy Ritchie style of comedies of errors. Also, ever since 16 Blocks and Be Kind Rewind I've been a fan of Mos Def.

Release Date: (1/23/09)
The Facts: A futuristic spaceship carrying a lone astronaut (James Caviezel) crash lands on Earth circa medieval times in pursuit of a bloodthirsty dragon-like alien creature. The spaceman must convince the locals (Ron Perlman and John Hurt included) that the creature is indeed a dragon so that they will aid him in tracking down and killing it before it can do any further damage.
Why I Wanna See It: No one else who I tell the premise of this movie to seems to find it all that interesting, but I think it sounds badass. Space dragon? Hell yes!

Release Date: (2/6/09)
The Facts: A rag-tag group of super-powered individuals must work together to save one their own and escape the clutches of a government organization which aims to use them as weapons.
Why I Wanna See It: This premise is nothing new, but the fact that it's an original story about people with inhuman abilities which isn't associated with a pre-existing comic book interests me in the same way that Jumper did last year.

The Road
Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: A man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son attempt to survive as they trek across the charred wasteland of a post-apocalyptic world. Based on a book by Cormac McCarthy.
Why I Wanna See It: I've never read any of Cormac McCarthy's books, but if one could inspire a film as amazing as No Country For Old Men, you'd better believe that I'll be checking out the next film based on one of his works.

A Serious Man
Release Date: (10/2/09)
The Facts: The synopsis' I've read for this film don't make a whole lot of sense, so I'll just say that it's directed by the Coen brothers.
Why I Wanna See It: I don't love all of their movies, but the Coen brothers have made enough masterpieces that I'll shell out the admission price for any film they make.

Sherlock Holmes
Release Date: (11/13/09)
The Facts:The classic literary figure as portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. under the direction of Guy Ritchie.
Why I Wanna See It: Guy Ritchie is easily one of my favorite directors, so why shouldn't I be excited to see him working with Robert Downey Jr.?

Shutter Island
Release Date: (10/2/09)
The Facts: A U.S. Marshal played by Leonardo DiCaprio is in pursuit of a maniacal female killer who has escaped from a mental institution. Martin Scorcese directs and Max Von Sydow, Ben Kingsley, and Mark Ruffalo co-star.
Why I Wanna See It: Martin Scorcese plus Leonardo DiCaprio equals me being very excited. But then again, who doesn't that equation work for?

Star Trek
Release Date: (5/8/00)
The Facts: The classic science fiction franchise is re-imagined by one of the masterminds behind LOST and Cloverfield: J.J. Abrams.
Why I Wanna See It: I've never much cared for Star Trek, but based on the trailers, J.J. Abrams' version looks like something that I might actually enjoy. Also, I can't wait to see Simon Pegg as Scotty.

Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: Literally all I know about this film is that the Coen brothers are behind it.
Why I Wanna See It: As I mentioned in reference to A Serious Man, the brothers Coen are enough incentive for me to drop 10 bucks at the theater regardless of the subject matter of their movies.

The Surrogates
Release Date: (9/25/09)
The Facts: In a futuristic society where robots called Surrogates act as the sole form of law enforcement, a human police officer must come out of retirement to solve a series of crimes being committed by the synthetic cops.
Why I Wanna See It: Whether I was consciously aware of it or not, I think I've always wanted to see Bruce Willis in a comic book movie. Unbreakable was up that alley, but until Erik Larsen gets his wish and Willis dons the green fin in a Savage Dragon film, I guess this will have to do.

The Taking of Pelham 123
Release Date: (6/12/09)
The Facts: A New York Subway dispatcher (Denzel Washington) becomes a makeshift hostage negotiator when one of his trains is hijacked by a small group of criminals (led by John Travolta). Tony Scott directs this remake of a 1974 film starring Walter Matthau.
Why I Wanna See It: I recently saw the original version of The Taking of Pelham 123 and enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm not particularly crazy about Scott, Travolta, or Washington, but I am interested in seeing how this film stacks up to the original.

Terminator: Salvation
Release Date: (5/22/09)
The Facts: Now that the machines have taken over, the true conflict begins between John Conner (Christian Bale) and the deadly robots which have plagued his existence since before he existed. McG directs and Helena Bonham Carter, Sam Worthington, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Roland Kickinger co-star.
Why I Wanna See It: The first two Terminator films are amazing enough that I'd be hard-pressed not to check out any sequels they may spawn (though I've avoided The Sarah Conner Chronicles like the plague). Not to mention, Christian Bale is one of the best actors working today, and I hold no grudge against McG like most people seem to. I actually like the first Charlie's Angels film (so sue me!).

This Side of the Truth
Release Date: (?/?/??)
The Facts: Co-written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson, this film takes place in a world where nobody has ever lied and examines what happens when someone finally does. The cast includes Gervais himself along with Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Patrick Stewart, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Christopher Guest, Jeffrey Tambor, Rob Lowe, and Louis C.K.
Why I Wanna See It: Honestly, I just don't see how you can go wrong with a cast that massive and impressive. Gervais alone would have sold me, but I'd say this film has plenty of feet to stand on.

Toy Story in 3D
Release Date: (10/2/09)
The Facts: Pixar's first film gets the 3D treatment in this theatrical re-release leading up to next years debut of the third film in the series.
Why I Wanna See It: I saw Toy Story in the theater when it first came out and I've watched it over and over again on VHS and DVD over the years, but I'll still pay to see it on the big screen again. I love Toy Story and I'm interested to see what the 3D element will bring to the table.

Release Date: (5/29/09)
The Facts: In Pixar's latest CG all-ages film, an elderly man, accompanied by a local boy scout, fulfills his wife's dying wish of traveling to a foreign land by lifting his entire house into the air with a menagerie of balloons.
Why I Wanna See It: While the premise alone doesn't immediately spell "classic" to me, Pixar has earned my trust so many times over that I would pay to see a movie called "Rian Miller Of Union Bridge, Maryland Is An Asshole, And In This Movie He's Brutally And Repeatedly Raped By Rabid Gophers" without a second thought so long as they were producing it.

Release Date: (3/6/09)
The Facts: In an alternate 1985, after one of the Watchmen (a retired group of superheroes) is killed, an unofficial investigation begins by some of his former teammates to find out whodunnit and why. This synopsis only scratches the surface of the story, but that's the base premise. Zak Snyder (300) directs.
Why I Wanna See It: Watchmen isn't my favorite comic, but I recognize it's greatness. I was skeptical about this film from the beginning, but the more I see/hear about it, the more I'm intrigued.

Where The Wild Things Are
Release Date: (10/16/09)
The Facts: Based on a classic children's book, a young boy sent to bed without his dinner creates a fantasy world filled with magnificent creatures.
Why I Wanna See It: More than anything, I'm just curious to see what kind of wacky visuals this movie's going to bring to the screen.

Release Date: (9/11/09)
The Facts: A U.S. Marshal (Kate Beckinsale) tracks a serial killer at a research station in Antarctica.
Why I Wanna See It: I quite liked the comic book that this movie is based upon and I think it will work well as suspense thriller.

The Wolf Man
Release Date: (11/6/09)
The Facts: It's all in the title. Benicio Del Toro stars and Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer) directs.
Why I Wanna See It: I've never been a huge fan of werewolves, but I do enjoy a good update of a classic character or franchise like this every now and then. I'm most interested to see the transformation scenes. They're always fun.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Release Date: (5/1/09)
The Facts: Everyone's favorite character from the X-Men comic book and film franchise gets his own movie. Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) back story is told leading up to a conflict between he and a group of mutants working for the people who both stole his memory and gave him his adamantium skeleton. Gavin Hood (Rendition) directs and Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Dominic Monaghan, and Kevin Durand co-star.
Why I Wanna See It: I've always been a fan of Wolverine and the X-Men in general. Add to the equation that Liev Schreiber is playing Sabertooth and I really can't wait to see this film.

The Year One
Release Date: (6/19/09)
The Facts: A pair of primitive men (Jack Black and Michael Cera) are banished from their village and set off on an adventure. Along the way they encounter numerous historic and biblical figures. Co-starring David Cross, Hank Azaria, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Paul Rudd, and Vinnie Jones, and directed by Harold (Egon Spengler) Ramis.
Why I Wanna See It: Back when I first heard about this movie I didn't really know anything about it aside from the creative talent involved, and that hasn't changed much over time. I'm just really excited to see what Harold Ramis can do with a cast like the one he's rounded up.

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