Most Anticipated Films of 2010
We’re almost to the end of Hollywood’s ‘garbage’ period, and so far the only film I’ve seen worthy of serious praise is Scorcese’s ‘Shutter Island.’ But soon the good ones will start coming, and I thought it would be a good time to lay out my ten most anticipated films of 2010. I’m really excited about this year’s slate, which offers a mix of attractive films by trustworthy directors and exciting films helmed by relative newcomers. Let’s take a look at ten potentially great films yet to come out this year.
10. The Adjustment Bureau
Adaptations of stories by science fiction master Philip K. Dick have run the gamut from lame (‘Paycheck’) to legendary (‘Blade Runner’). While the presence of an unproven director will likely keep this one out of the latter category, a promising premise and a terrific cast lead to me to believe this could be a really good one. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt navigate a typically complicated Dickian plot involving an average man trying to get by as his reality crumbles around him, literally.
9. Iron Man 2
I’m just not as huge a fan of this franchise as many seem to be, though I do think that star Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau are doing a great job with the character. This sequel looks appropriately badass, as our hero publicly embraces his robotic alter-ego, only to have a tarrying new villain arise to take him on (Mickey Rourke as Whiplash). The trailer looks great, but I’m not quite in the fan-boy tizzy that surrounds the film’s release.
8. True Grit
This one has been creeping along under the radar, but it involves the Coen Brothers revamping the John Wayne classic with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon in the lead riles. Ho-ly-Shit. If ‘No Country for Old Men’ is any indication, the Coens can do Westerns with the best of them, and the talent on board for this picture could put the brothers in contention for another gold statue to put atop their mantle.
7. Robin Hood
The pitch for this is fantastic: proven badass Russell Crowe working for proven auteur Ridley Scott in a bloodier, grittier retelling of the adventures of our favorite bandit. The problem for me is the recent track record for these two, which isn’t bad but has dipped into noticeable mediocrity. Hopefully they bring back the ‘Gladiator’ magic and make this one a winner. I’m betting they will.
6. Tree of Life
The next release for the least productive genius in cinema; reclusive auteur Terrence Malick. Brad Pitt and Sean Penn make for an excellent core cast. The details of this are as vague as you’d expect from Malick, but it involves something about a family’s multi-generational journey through time, which may or may not involve a magic tree. If you’re like me and consider Malick one of the most brilliant filmmakers of the last 50 years, then it doesn’t matter what this one’s about. Any Malick release is worth ample notice.
5. Never Let Me Go
This adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s amazing novel promises a science fiction drama like we’ve really never seen before. It’s an incredibly moving and heartbreaking story that I won’t fully divulge here, but Kiera Knightley and newly minted Oscar-nominee Carey Mulligan have the opportunity to create something really special here. The script has been gathering kudos for years, and finally it’s getting put up on the screen. Director Mark Romanek (‘One Hour Photo’) is the big question mark, but I sincerely hope he’s up to the task. This film is begging to be great.
4. The Expendables
Wow. Is there any film in history with more potential for ungodly amounts of badassery than this? Sylvester Stallone has rounded up a who’s who of action movie icons to mount this grand sendoff to the lovably bombastic films that highlighted the 1980s. In addition to himself, he’s got Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundren, Jet Li, Steve Austin, Bruce Willis, and Arnold fuckin Swarzenegger on board for the carnage. I can’t wait.
3. The Social Network
The story of Mark Zuckerburg’s founding of internet titan Facebook is a tricky one to tell in a film, but if anyone can do it, my money’s on the ultra-talented tandem of director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin. Starring gifted youngster Jesse Eisenberg, who’s been on a fine run of late (Adventureland, Zombieland), will play the cocky and mercurial young CEO, and I’m very excited to see how this one turns out.
2. Tron: Legacy
I only became interested in this recently, but now I’m just insanely psyched about it. The released teaser footage and the new trailer look absolutely incredible, and it looks to me like they nailed the look and the feel that this one demands in order to be great. The project’s rookie director has been doing a busy circuit to prove his potential to doubtful fans and movie onlookers, and I’m starting to believe. The stark visuals and unsettlingly dark tone look much more Kubrick than ‘Speedracer,’ and the return of Jeff Bridges brings an added legitimacy to a sequel that’s taken almost three decades to reach the screen. Not to mention some superb score work by Daft Punk that could elevate the entire thing.
We know even less about this film than we do about ‘Tron,’ but what we do know is enough to prop this up as the most exciting release of 2010. Christopher Nolan, fresh off the spectacular success of ‘The Dark Knight,’ has been given $200 million to create a spy mystery of the mind. The cast is about as can’t-lose as it gets (Leo DiCaprio, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Ellen Paige, even Tom Berenger!), and the visuals look astounding. The director and cast have been extremely tight-lipped about the story specifics, but the trailer is great, the scope looks breathtaking, and the promise is off-the-charts. Also keep in mind that Nolan has never made a bad movie. He’s never even made one less than awesome.