With the Super Bowl commercials here, we're going to get a lot of new movie trailers for 2010. The year's most heavily awaited films are very much like the cinnamon rolls I am currently cooking as I type this with impatient and rumbling hunger: I can only speculate as to how they're going to turn out, but I can drool all over my computer imagining how awesome the films of 2010 could possibly be. In a year when Tron gets a high-tech, digital 3D sequel, there must be some delicious surprises waiting to be devoured by audiences. Michael Cera is going to fight ex-boyfriends in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Christopher Nolan is going to fight for Dark Knight-like domination once again with his "sci-fi actioner" Inception, and Seth Rogen is gonna fight crime under the direction of Michel Gondry. Forget the cinnamon rolls, I think I am going to smear frosting all over my MacBook instead (with my Firefox aiming at IMDb, of course).
Of course there are hundreds of films to be unleashed in 2010, (not to mention future award winning ones). But you can bet your Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls that I will be checking out these treats ASAP. I am talking about begging for advanced screenings, hitting up midnight shows, and even busting into one of Sylvester Stallone's mansions just to get a peek at the awesomeness that WILL BE The Expendables.
7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (April 30th)
Recap: Freddy Krueger, the "Ultimate Horror Villain" (according to SFX Magazine) gets his own reboot in the vein of last year's Friday the 13th. The classic gloves have been passed from Robert Englund to Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), but the concept remains the same: "One, two, Freddy's coming for you - three, four, better lock your door - five, six, grab your crucifix - seven, eight, gonna stay up late - nine, ten, never sleep again." Reason: It's about time that kids were taught to fear their dreams again. A re-boot like this is inevitable, so the only thing we can do is really embrace it. Whether one believes that Freddy is the absolute "best" horror villain or not, he is still a haunting figure in the genre, and with a method for killing much more interesting than those in the Saw films, etc. Likely to be the most polished and gory Freddy film yet, it's up in the air as to whether Haley will be able to adopt the same pitch-black humor that made Englund's version so entertaining. At the very least, I hardly doubt they will make Haley rap during the credits. That particular Nightmare still gives me shivers.
6. Let Me In (October 1st)
Recap: Matt Reeves, director of J.J Abrams' viral monster hit Cloverfield, is trying to do what some horror fans would call the impossible - adapt the successful Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In for American audiences without dumbing it down to "another vampire movie with kids." Reason: I was not a big fan of the original film, and its clamoring by critics and regular moviegoers alike left me out in the cold. It is mostly curiosity that has me placing this reboot at #6, but it's a serious amount of interest, and with a few questions. Does an American version of the film mean even more references to "classic" vampire traits? How violent will it be, and how much are they going to water down the gore? Speaking of water, will this movie keep the "un-American" ending of the original?
5. The Green Hornet (December 22nd)
Recap: Right before the end of the year, it will be time to suit up for yet another superhero film. But when considering the forces behind this particular "reboot" of the character, one shouldn't be dismissive to a Fantastic Four point just yet. For one, Christoph Waltz, flying high off the many awards he's received for Inglourious Basterds, will be playing the villain. The man who made Be Kind Rewind and The Science of Sleep will be directing, and Seth Rogen, the guy we all know for his hearty laugh and (formerly) beefy figure, is going to play the Green Hornet himself. Reason: After years of being kicked around the development stages between various directors (from Kevin Smith to Stephen Chow and now to Michel Gondry), Britt Reid is finally going to make his mark in modern film's fascination with superheroes. Arguably not as popular as a crusader like Batman, it will be very interesting to see how someone like The Green Hornet holds up with regular moviegoers, and if the embodiment by a slimmed down Seth Rogen will really help ticket sales. Michel Gondry is directing this one, so while the Hornet's mask may not be made of cardboard, we can expect some unique visuals even if the screenplay (written by Evan Goldberg and Rogen) doesn't follow through.
4. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (August 13th)
Recap: Michael Cera plays Scott Pilgrim, a young man who meets "that special girl" (played by the underrated Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and must defeat all of her seven ex-boyfriends. Based on "Scott Pilgrim" by Bryan Lee O'Malley, the summer release is directed by Edgar Wright and co-stars Jason Schwartzman, Anna Kendrick, Keiran Culkin, Chris Evans, and more. Reason: Part two in the duo-film collection of "Judd Apatow staples fighting people," Scott Pilgrim is bound to be a unique experience, especially for those who still think Michael Cera mopes around in American Apparel hoodies while speaking in a soft voice (this was disproven by Youth in Revolt). It has the imagination of Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright working on material from a popular graphic novel, and it should be a unique contribution at least to the "romantic comedy." I don't think "quirky" will be the easiest way to describe it (as many have tried to label Cera's films before).
3. Inception (July 16th)
Recap: Director Christopher Nolan returns from giant stack of money (very similar to the Joker's) earned by The Dark Knight to explode our brains with a "sci-fi actioner that takes place within the architecture of the mind." Assisting him in presenting his original script is Leonardo DiCaprio, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Reason: Even if this high-budget film fails miserably, it will be a must-see just to witness a filmmaker attempt to follow up something as monstrously successful as The Dark Knight. This time, Nolan does not have the handicap of familiar characters from an ingrained franchise, but he does have a collection of followers from his previous works. The trailer for this film is pretty wild. A locomotive train crashes down some city streets, and the world literally folds into itself. Sound awesome? You bet your IMAX dollar it does.
2. The Expendables (August 13th)
Recap: A group of mercenaries head down to South America to overthrow an evil dictator. Co-written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, this should be fulfilling the bloodlust we had from his previous Rambo that has not been topped by anyone since. Oh, and Stallone plays a guy named Barney. Barney! Reason: Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, and Danny Trejo. Only someone like Stallone, who lest we forget helped kick start the high-class restaurant chain Planet Hollywood, could organize such a miraculous cast. This already sounds like the action film of the year, if not the decade (okay, until Rambo 5 rolls around). Do you remember the 1996 Summer Olympics? Maybe? Yeah, well f*** 'em! This is the real dream team.
1. Tron Legacy (December 17th)
Recap: Now that the world is ready for it, Disney has made a sequel to its graphic-enhancing Tron, which originally released in 1982. Returning are Light cycles, Jeff Bridges, and the general concept of making our computers feel like gods. Set to be released in IMAX 3D and Disney Digital 3D, this is bound to be an absolute feast for the eyes, and a film that truly takes advantage of its third-dimension format. Reason: Have you seen the trailer yet? No? Watch it, now! This is not the 80's Tron, but a step forward with the same faithfulness to the original designs. The new visual technologies are bound to take advantage of the groundwork already laid down by the first film, which was impressive for its time. It's a sequel that deserves to be made, especially since Tron has such promising ideas that could use more shine than the lovably retro blocks and light suits. On top of all of this, electro-dance duo Daft Punk is doing the score. This should be a geek's delight! End of line.