5 days into the new year, every Raj, Rahul and Raja* website seems to be capitalizing on my inertia to blog and have started coming up with their lists on movies to watch out for in 2010 (Not that they would not have done it anyways but nothing beats grandeurs of self-delusion). So heres my grand list of movies to watch out for 2010, in no particular order
1. Iron Man 2 – Who am I kidding? This has to be the first among equals among the movies for its trailer alone. A charismatic Robert Downey Jr reprising his role of Tony Stark aka Iron Man and virtually stealing the show in the opening 30 seconds of the trailer. Iron Man was easily one of the big fun movies of 2008 and if it wasn’t for a certain Dark Knight, it would have easily been the superhero movie of 2008. Expectations are certainly running high for this Jon Favreau-directed movie. With a rogue’s gallery comprising of Mickey Rourke as Whiplash and the Scarlett Johansson as the sexy spy the Black Widow aka Natasha Romanov and a supporting cast of Gweneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle (as War Machine), the movie is indeed star heavy. What however has added on to the buzz of the movie is the possible direction of the Marvel Universe and the Avengers movie as Iron Man featured a cameo by Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury and Hulk featured a cameo by none other than Downey himself, ensuring that stories are interlinked for the upcoming Thor, Captain America and the Avenger movie.
2. Shutter Island – Martin Scorsese + Leonardo Di Caprio = No-brainer. Past successful association of the 2 have given to us the awesomely heavyweight movies of Departed and Gangs of New York along with the Aviator. While Departed and Gangs of New York have been fundamentally ultra violent, Shutter Island promises to amp up the psychological thrill as it deals with the story of 2 US Marshals who investigate the disappearance of a patient from a psychiatric hospital called Shutter Island and are trapped in the hospital due to a hurricane and a hospital riot
3. The Losers – Based of the comic series by Andy Diggle, The Losers are a set of covert operatives, betrayed by their handler and left for dead. Eager for revenge, the Losers conduct covert operations against the CIA. The buzz behind the movie arises from the success of the original series which featured the trademark Diggle-sharp, wicked and terse dialogues combined with fantastic plotting and devious twists. Jeffery Dean Morgan, who has a cult following after his role in Watchmen and Supernatural is another reason.
4. The Book of Eli – Denzel Washington playing a total bad-ass. Check one. Post Apocalyptic world. Check two. Gary Oldman playing the baddie. Check three. The Book of Eli ticks all the right boxes as it has Denzel Washington guarding the Book of Eli which hold redemption for all mankind, thirty years after Apocalypse.
5. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief – A direct adaption of Rick Riordan book of the same name, Percy Jackson for those who have read the series offers the same enjoyment that the early Harry Potter books generated. Hopes are riding high on this franchise as the last highly anticipated book to movie adaptation, the Golden Compass, was a damp squib. Great expectations lie on the shoulders of Chris Columbus (coincidentally the same person who directed the first Harry Potter movie). To add to the buzz, Uma Thurman and Pierce Brosnan are associated with this movie (albeit in minor roles)
6. Alice in Wonderland – Exciting times lie ahead as another Tim Burton-Johnny Depp collaboration takes shape, as a direct sequel to the Alice in Wonderland book by Lewis Carroll. Depp as the Mad Hatter is an intriguing proposition as are Helene Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen (and boy o boy, she has an awesome way of describing her character “Cute but psycho”). The trailers are suitably colorful and it does seem that the movie is likely to be released in IMAX format. (Another excuse to fleece us)
7. Kick-Ass – Based on the comic series, created by superstar writer Mark Millar and superstar artist John Romita Jr, Kick-Ass tells the story of an average teenager, who inspired by the comic book he reads, takes up the mantle of a real life superhero vigilante, takes a new name -Kick-Ass, dons a costume (masks et al) and fights crime. The only hitch – he has no superpowers. Promising to be as ultra-violent and campy as the comic, Kick-Ass literally brought the house down when the trailer was screened at the San Diego Comic Con
8. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – The reimagined game designed based on the immortal Prince of Persia, it is easily one of the best games of the decade and marked a new paradigm for action-adventure games. Wildly successful, the game also had a good storyline behind it and that is now translated into the movie, starring Jake Gyllenhall and Ben Kingsley.
9. Inception – The movie that should have ideally been the Dark Knight Returns (or insert another Batman movie title here), this is Christopher Nolan’s first movie after the Dark Knight and is based on a script written by Nolan himself. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio, the movie is shrouded in secrecy with the only known gossip about the movie being that it is a sci-fi action thriller set within the architecture of the mind. Oh and btw, it also stars Ken Watanabe
10. The Last Airbender – One cannot say the full title as they might be sued by James Cameron, but this upcoming action adventure movie could well be the make or break for M. Night Shyamalam. Based on the original animated tv series (wildly successful too), the movie is part of a trilogy. A fear here shared by many fans is that it is Shyamalam, a cerebral director tacking an essentially summer masala movie (After all, no fan would forget the Hulk movie by Ang Lee err rather remember that movie). But the trailer kind of assuages that fear.
So these are the ten most anticipated movies. 2009 too had its list of hot movies most of which flopped (I am looking at you Terminator: Salvation, Dragon Ball Z and Public Enemies) but one hopes 2010 will be a better year.
* – Raj, Rahul and Raja happen to be the most common names if one goes according to filmdom of recent and not-so-recent times. Shahrukh has single handedly made Raj and Rahul famous, while our great superstar Rajnikanth made Raja popular until his films started to bear his characters name and hence Raja was stopped