Top 10 films for the rest of 2010
|LISTS - MOVIE LISTS|
A summer of action and thrills culminating in a dark mystery to challenge Avatar...
As expected the sun has come out to ruin cinematic winter-wonderland, where hibernation needs no excuse. Here we already saw a benchmark set far, far in the distance with the likes of Precious, Up In The Air, A Single Man, Crazy Heart and Kick-Ass (probably your favourite). But galloping over the celluloid horizon is geek heaven reborn, tough indie love, animated utopia, Comic-Con reverence and mind-bending genius to blend summer back into cosy winter. Here are some of the best...
10. The Last Airbender (released 16th August)
(POSSIBLE) SPOILER! Critical mindbender M Night Shyamalan returns from the wilderness of 2008's The Happening, ironically, in a change of genres for him. When elemental overlord and the only ‘bender’ vanishes, war inevitably breaks out between the factions of earth, fire, water and air. It then remains for a 12-year-old boy, Aang, (first-timer Noah Ringer) to try and take the helm as the new Avatar to restore order and peace. Although a change, it does promise to have a twist of some kind - but let’s hope that isn’t Ringer drying out like Haley Joel Osment. Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel also adds considerable credibility.
9. Jonah Hex (TBC)
DC Comic’s own facially scarred Wild West bounty hunter gets a live-action make-over. Josh Brolin dons the Stetson. Former Finding Nemo animator Jimmy Hayward shoots. Their meeting is reassuring, as knowledge of the territory both scenic and filmic is inherent of their previous work. Brolin’s Hex must track down Turnbull (John Malkovich), a voodoo practitioner hell-bent on rearing an army of the undead, whilst avoiding the clutches of Megan Fox’s corset. Brit, Michael Fassbender brings his own cult status to the screen, with the co-writers of Crank: High Voltage and Gamer – Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor likely to add some gusto. Ingredients suggest it could stack up very well against the ever-expanding wealth of graphic novel adaptations.
8. The A-Team (TBC)
This 80s remake was never ever going to escape monumental hype, with casting perhaps the biggest source of speculation. Finally, Liam Neeson (Hannibal), Sharlto Copley (Murdock), Bradley Cooper (Face) and Rampage Jackson (B.A. Baracus) were chosen to clear their war-torn names, this time in the aftermath of Iraq. NARC’s Joe Carnahan directs a script penned by Michael Brandt, who formerly delighted with 3:10 To Yuma. Despite anticipation for the madness of King Copley (already revered in District 9), bated breath should be held for the first taste of Jackson showing sorrow for those simple folk who act unwisely.
7. Robin Hood (14th May)
The return of the inimitable combination of Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe manifests in one of cinema’s frequently churned-out characters. This time though, there will be a convincing accent and there won’t be a god-awful Canadian husk topping the music charts for months on end. The bearded partnership has always developed serious scenes of violence and Robin Hood should be no different, with war, and more war. Once again, the cast is rife with stalwarts including Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Danny Huston, Matthew Macfadyen, William Hurt and Ming the Merceless himself, Max von Sydow! Penned by, Brian Helgeland, who already has Salt and Green Zone under his nib this year, the script also promises medieval goodness in a summer release of epic proportions.
6. Tron: Legacy (26th December)
Synthesized, luminescent geek-paranoia returns to the screens, this time in 3D – just for a bit more effect. Remember the light cycles? Remember the Frisbees? Remember Jeff Bridges? (How could you forget him at the moment?) Well, they’re all back in director Joseph Kosinski’s first feature film, also scored by Daft Punk. In this remake of CGI dystopia, Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) taps into the same cyber universe to release his imprisoned father, and original hacker (reprised by Jeff Bridges, of course). But it appears paternal Kevin Flynn may not be the blue guy anymore. Interestingly, Kosinski’s second film is supposedly Logan’s Run – pigeon-holed much?
5. The Rum Diary (TBC)
For all gonzo enthusiasts, this is a must. Based on Hunter S Thompson’s novel, this adaptation is the work of one Bruce Withnail and I Robinson and stars possibly the only actor (maybe apart from Bill Murray) who should and could pursue further Thompson's imaginings after the triumph that was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Jonny Depp. Expect utter genius comedy from Robinson, who writes and directs the story of Paul Kemp, a journalist living in the Caribbean during the 1950s, eager to address a critical point in his life. Not much else is known apart from a reassuring left-field support by Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Giovanni Ribisi and SL’s favourite cameo, Marshall Bell.
4. Scott Pilgrim vs The World (6th August)
Brit ballast Edgar Wright takes charge of comedy insurgent Michael Cera in this highly anticipated indie take on the superhero frenzy. A slight diversion from the common norm, this delight tells of the titular Pilgrim (Cera), resuming his typical guitar-playing underestimated nerd, on his quest to defeat the seven exes of his new girlfriend – all of whom are legitimate superheroes – and win her heart. Cue 1960s Batman style comic captions and Street Fighter-esque commentary as Cera squares up to Chris Evans and indie favourite Jason Schwartzman. It just remains whether Wes Anderson could have done better.
3. Iron Man 2 (6th May)
The most eagerly-anticipated comic sequel is finally upon us, and it’s a battle royal. Jon Favreau returns at the helm to direct Downey Jr, who is undoubtedly at the peak of his exceptional, if somewhat expected, Hollywood revival. This time around, Stark (Downey Jr) battles Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) and the US government for his suit and the limelight, after announcing his identity. With Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) potentially out to get him too it’s a good job he has help from the trusty Don Cheadle a.k.a. War Machine. It. Will. Kick. Off. Also, Johansson has a catsuit.
2. Toy Story 3 (8th June)
Already the pinnacle of Pixar’s illustrious career, the Toy Story franchise continues to grow whilst Up (2009) reminded us what they are capable of. In the third instalment, Andy has left for college and Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and Jessie (Joan Cusack) are left behind, in a box, on their own. Along the way new challenges and characters emerge voiced by the likes of Michael Keaton, Whoopi Goldberg, Timothy Dalton and R Lee Ermey. Clearly a metaphor for lost childhood, Toy Story 3 has the director of Finding Nemo (2003), Lee Unkrich, and the writer of Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Michael Arndt, so it appears we are in just the right hands to remember.
1. Inception (16th July)
Nothing much is known about the plot of Christopher Nolan’s latest potential masterpiece, apart from that it’s futuristic and it’s very likely to mess with your head. The puppeteer behind Memento and The Dark Knight brings us a new hint of sinister beginnings, something almost parasitic in a quest for mental stability amongst a world with rules similar to The Matrix. The film stars Hollywood’s leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio as - from what can be deciphered - a man who invades dreams and recognises the power of ideas. Inception is backed by the stellar support of Marion Cottilard, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe and Michael Caine. Biggest film of the year? Probably. Most important, most intelligent and most inspirational film of the year? Definitely.
Some others to keep an eye on:
Cillian Murphy and Sienna Miller star in Hippie Hippie Shake, the story of the founders of controversial 60s magazine Oz. Miller gets naked again. The Fighter sees ol’ red-eyes himself, Christian Bale, which is being hyped for potential Oscars for next year, whilst Let Me In attempts to remake one of the best films of last year, Swedish vamp-chiller Let The Right One In, thankfully it does have Cloverfield director Matt Reeves in control. Further installations ensue in the form of Shrek Forever After and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the former more likely to suffer prematurely. Action fanboys will be pleased a fine gaming franchise finally gets a good screen outing in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, with Jake Gyllenhaal waving his scimitar. Elsewhere, Jude Law is a penny short of a new heart in sci-fi Repo Men. Finally, a superhero emerges in The Green Hornet, and it looks good – starring chirpy Seth Rogen and creepy Christoph Waltz.
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