The top films of 2010… Or are they?
2009 certainly brought us a few cinematic corkers, from sci-fi epic Avatar (barely squeezing into the last decade’s films, let alone last year’s) to comic-book crunching goodness from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Watchmen. But it wasn’t all wham, bam and explosions – Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, A Serious Man and the big screen adaptation of the BBC’s State of Play providing chewable drama for those wanting more meat on their narrative bones. Though it has to be said that more intelligent films were waylaid at our screens in favour of moneymaking, brainless blockbusters – and with more than a few flops on Hollywood’s hands, will 2010 see a shift to smarter moviemaking? Here’s hoping.
In lieu of this, though, there’s bound to be some fun to be had, and maybe a think-piece or two in there to boot. So here – in no particular order – is BestForFilm‘s picks from the next few months. Book your tickets now, folks…
In terms of up-and-coming, it doesn’t get fresher – this one’s out next week, and boy does it look good. Ever since the Coen’s No Country For Old Men we’ve been hankering to see more Cormac McCarthy adaptations on the big screen, and this adaptation of the eponymous novel looks far more than promising, having already garnered rave reviews in the states. Not exactly zip-a-dee-doo-dah in its outlook, mind, so don’t take your missus if the dog just died.
Alice in Wonderland
Though we’re admittedly getting a bit sick of the whole Johnny Depp/Tim Burton bromance, the trailers alone are enough to have us excited. Burton’s madcap imagination comes to the fore and there’s a veritable RADA’s worth of British talent including Michael Sheen, Alan Rickman and Stephen Fry. Alice Through the Luvvie Glass, anyone?
In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to be remade as a movie, released June 2010…” Consider us hopeful but wary – out of everything on the list, we have to admit that this has the greatest potential to be a crapsack of epic proportions. Director Joe Carnahan can go one of two ways – campy nostalgia or down-the-line action. Let’s face it – he’s as bad burnt as scalded. Either way, someone’s gonna be disappointed.
Remakes of Romero have proved to be pretty solid fare, as 2004’s Dawn of the Dead admirably proved. Anyone who’s caught the ’73 original will know it’s got a good mix of genuine creepiness, gore and Romero’s trademark social commentary, as residents of a small Pennsylvania town start butchering each other for kicks. We just hope the remake retains the smarts, such as the freaky, bio-haz military guys who start firing on the townsfolk… are they infected with The Crazy or just under orders? Yipes! Oh, and with any luck, at some point in the year we’ll also be treated to Survival of the Dead, Romero’s sixth flick in the Night of the Living Dead series.
Brit-born Layer Cake director Matthew Vaughn helms this adaptation of the Mark Millar comic about a would-be super-hero with absolutely bugger-all in the way of superpowers. Even getting his backside handed to him by back-alley thugs doesn’t stop the plucky green punching bag (played by Aaron Johnson, aka Nowhere Boy), who inspires like-minded citizens to take up arms – and masks – in order to wash the scum from the streets. It looks slick, smart and sexy, and by Crimmeny, it’s got Nicolas Cage in it. We reckon it’s an early contender for the best of 2010.
Toy Story 3
The wait’s been long enough, so it’s safe to say that Toy Story 3 hasn’t simply been shoe-horned into production for the sake of a quick cash-in. If that wasn’t a good enough indication that the finished product is going to be up to scratch, there’s various teaser trailers looking smart as paint, and snippets of new characters like the Timothy Dalton-voiced Mr. Pricklepants whetting our appetite all the more. You’d have to a heart made of the blackest, coldest stone not to be looking forward to seeing Woody, Buzz and the gang back together again.
Iron Man 2
Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau created a smash hit with 2008’s Iron Man, so it was inevitable a sequel would be greenlit as soon as Downey Jr. uttered the immortal words “I am Iron Man” at the end. And as far as ramping up the stakes for the sequel, Iron Man 2 has it all sewn up. Downey Jr. returns as the titular man of steel (no, not that one) alongside Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle stepping into Terrence Howard’s shoes to play Air Force buddy James “Rhodey” Rhodes. Clashing swords with our do-gooding trio are Scarlett Johansson as sexy super-spy Black Widow, Mickey Rourke as energised psychopath Whiplash and Sam Rockwell as evil industrialist and Iron Man nemesis Justin Hammer. Colour us excited. Oh, and then show us that footage in the trailer of War Machine kicking ass, and then you can colour us anything you damn well please.