Friday, November 14, 2008

Top Movies for 2009, Revealed!!!

For those who are excited on the next year's top movie, here is the list... Spot on what you will watch out for...




50: The Pink Panther 2 (February 2009)

Moviegoers might well be tempted by the impressive cast lining  up for this wholly unnecessary sequel to a completely superfluous continuation of the once mighty comedy franchise. Steve Martin, Jean Reno, John Cleese and Andy Garcia may be acting greats, but for signing up to this they should hang their heads in shame.

49: Friday the 13th (February)

Back to Camp Crystal Lake again. The twelfth (couldn’t they have made it 13?) Friday the 13th movie is apparently a remake of the first film in the venerable teen slasher series, so long-time fans will have a fair idea what to expect. Probably not the ideal date movie for February 14.

48: Red Sonja (No release date announced)

Despite months of rumour about a new Conan movie, it’s his female counterpart Red Sonja who seems to be returning to the big screen first. There's some confusion about a release date for this film although the generally reliable IMDB has it hitting screens in late 2009. Planet Terror and Sin City director Robert Rodriguez re-teams with Grindhouse alumna Rose McGowan, who seems a somewhat unlikely choice as the Xena-type who fights her way across a sword-and-sorcery Hyborian landscape wearing as little as the censors will allow.

47: Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (May)

A repeat of 2006’s ‘museum comes to life’ cameo jamboree with more or less everyone except Robin Williams back at the end of May to ham it up for the entertainment of young and undemanding cinemagoers. The film will need something very special in terms of advance reviews to give it any commercial visibility in what promises to be a very busy month at the movies. Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson and Ricky Gervais are already crossing their fingers.

46: Fast & Furious (June)

Fourth in the franchise but (and pay attention, there will be a test) occupying the number three slot in the series narrative, the movie will take the story back to its very beginnings. Paul Walker and Vin Diesel reunite in the franchise that inspired a million minor motoring offences.

45: Spy Hunter (no release date announced)

Video game adaptations are rarely beloved of the cinema cognoscenti and there’s little likelihood that Spy Hunter will break that honourable tradition. The game is a fairly routine ‘heavily armed spy and supercar’ adventure distinguished only by a voice and motion capture contribution from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson who, one assumes, must be favourite to play the lead in what we can safely assume will be an undemanding popcorner. Englishman Paul WS Anderson, of Alien vs Predator and Resident Evil fame, is slated to direct.

44: Nine (December)

In a year packed with remakes, this is perhaps the bravest of all: taking on Fellini’s hugely influential 8½ but going just that little bit further, it’s the behind-the-scenes story of an Italian movie director featuring a stellar cast (Including Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sophia Loren, Penelope Cruz and Dame Judi Dench), some of whom will be singing. The purists will be furious, the rest of us merely sceptical. Mamma Mia it isn’t.

43: Knowing (March)

A teacher (Nicolas Cage) opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son's elementary school; in it are some chilling predictions -- some that have already occurred and others that are about to -- that lead him to believe his family plays a role in the events that are due to unfold.

42: Them (no release date announced)

Them, a recently announced feature to be directed by Sean of the Dead and Hot Fuzz’s Edgar Wright, is not, as far as we can tell, an update of the hoary old giant ant chiller but a fictionalised adaptation of Jon Ronson’s investigative book about the shadowy conspiracies that operate behind our notional governments. Unless it turns out that the Illuminati and the Bilderberg Group actually are all enormous ants.

41: Ninja Assassin (no release date announced)

Few star names – unless you remember Korean pop star Rain from the Wachowskis hallucinogenic Speed Racer – feature in this standard ‘assassin rebels against his masters’ tale. The title alone though promises to give Ninja Assassin that internet-friendly Snakes on a Plane appeal that should ensure a decent performance at the box office.

40: The Proposal (August)

A rom-com based on the morally rather questionable premise of a book editor (hence the title) forcing one of her subordinates to marry her so that she can gain US citizenship. Sandra Bullock is probably due another hit, and Malin Akerman still be surfing on the huge wave of excitement about Watchmen will but whether audiences will buy this rather dubious plot (remember Green Card?) remains to be seen.

39: Planet 51 (November)

A classic 1950s B-Movie plot – alien lands among the white picket fences of a fearful, simple small-town community. The twist is that the alien is an Earthly astronaut and the small town folk are little green men. A promising CG-animated caper for younger cinemagoers in the 2009 Christmas holiday.

38: The Box (March)

Set, apparently, in the Seventies, The Box is the story of a young married couple who are given a mysterious box that has uncanny, deadly powers. Somehow connecting time travel, the 1976 Viking Mars lander, teleportation and kipper ties. With former X-Man James Marsden, the always watchable Cameron Diaz and the sinister presence of Frank Langella it’s an intriguing prospect indeed.

35: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (January)

Rhona Mitra takes over from Kate Beckinsdale as the female lead in the third instalment of the Vampires versus Werewolves saga. A prequel, it’s set before the birth of Beckinsale’s character, neatly sidestepping complaints about the regrettable absence of her PVC clad form. Unlikely to attract quite as many cinemagoers as its predecessor, it might still fill a dull winter’s evening.

36: Creature from the Black Lagoon (no release date announced)

Little is known so far of this planned remake of the classic 1954 creature feature which is to be helmed by Sahara director Breck Eisner. Bill Paxton is rumoured to be leading the team, which discovers a hitherto undocumented amphibious humanoid in the depths of the South American jungle. In keeping with the current remake mania, Eisners next project is expected to be a new version of Flash Gordon.

35: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra (August)

G.I Joe is a bigger name in the US: the toy line that we called Action Man gave rise to a popular 1980s cartoon series and long-running comics franchise. Without the solid bed of nostalgia that will give it a running start in its homeland, the movie’s appeal over here stands or falls on its star director – Stephen Sommers from the enjoyably silly Mummy films - and stellar cast, including Christopher Eccleston and Sienna Miller as well as Sommers’s old Mummy pals Brendan Fraser and Arnold Vosloo. If August 2009 is as much of a washout as 2008’s, summer legions of staycationers will be flocking to cinemas looking for some easygoing escapism, and this might just be it.

34: Fanboys (February)

The long-delayed comedy which sees a group of rabid Star Wars fanatics attempting to steal an early print of The Phantom Menace for their dying pal finally gets a release early in 2009. A version of the movie with the cancer-stricken fan removed nearly made it to cinemas in 2008 but was met with a vast internet campaign that demonstrated the awesome power of the fanboy. We’re assured that the movie will finally be released in early 2009.

33: Inkheart (January)

Brendan Fraser, fast becoming Hollywood’s go-to guy whenever kiddie-friendly action is required, joins with Andy Serkis, the man who brought Gollum and King Kong to life, in this umpteenth attempt at the now-traditional ‘storybook miraculously comes to life’ plot. A little early for the half term crowd, but Fraser’s undeniable charm should bring in a few viewers.

32: The Surrogates (December)

A promisingly thoughtful sci-fi concept. Humanity is housebound and relies on remote-controlled drones to handle all the outdoors work. Bruce Willis stars as a futuristic detective investigating the apparent murder of these ‘surrogates’alongside former Bond Girl Rosamund Pike and charismatic bruiser Ving Rhames.

31: The International (February)

What could be more timely than a drama about the international banking system? Clearly, the producers didn’t appreciate the serendipity because it was delayed while additional, more action-packed, scenes were added. Will the world be tired of hearing about bankers by February? Naomi Watts and the thinking woman’s action man Clive Owen rather hope not.

30: The Wolf Man (April)

We’ve had modern takes on Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and The Mummy, so it was only a matter of time before The Wolfman was disinterred for another howl around the moors. More important than star Benicio Del Toro will be the inclusion of everybody’s favourite wolfman, makeup supremo Rick Baker who provided the eye-popping transformations in American Werewolf in London and The Howling. Anthony Hopkins turns up as the unfortunate lycanthrope’s father. Art Malik and Hugo Weaving will also be along for what promises to be a dark and disturbing ride.

29: The Spirit (January)

Will Eisner was one of the first comics writers to achieve personal fame and his best known creation, The Spirit, is considered by aficionados to be one of the great heroes of comics’ Golden Age. It’s surprising that we’ve had to wait this long to see the lighthearted Noir detective on the big screen. The director who has brought The Spirit to life is Frank Miller, himself a star comics writer (he wrote 300 and completely reinvigorated the industry in the 1980s with his Dark Knight Batman miniseries). Featuring Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendes the movie is shot in the same stylised hyper-realistic way that characterized Miller’s previous movie, Sin City. The Spirit is unlikely to break out of the fanboy demographic, but should provide undemanding comic book thrills in the long, cold weeks before Watchmen appears.

28: A Perfect Getaway (March)

A complex twisty-turny chase thriller filmed in Puerto Rico but set in Hawaii and starring Milla Jovovich and, in a rare lead role, Hitman star Timothy Olyphant. Ideal for movie fans who like to be kept guessing until the final scene, it’s about a honeymooning couple pursued across the picturesque island by a pair of relentless killers. Expect the unexpected.

27: The Birds (no release date announced)

Few details are available about this re-make of Hitchcock’s strangest movie. Naomi Watts is reputedly playing Melanie Daniels, the mischievous socialite portrayed byTippi Hedren in the 1963 film, and there’s talk of George Clooney for the role of Mitch Brenner, the smoothly irresistible lawyer who draws her to the doomed township of Bodega Bay.

26: S. Darko (no release date announced)

An unexpected sequel to 2001’s hallucinatory time loop brain-teaser Donnie Darko, which already has fans of the original film near-apoplectic at its superfluity. Curiosity value alone guarantees S. Darko a strong opening weekend. Word of mouth will determine whether it can survive in theatres for more than a week.

watch out for the next batch...