Between MTV News, The Relentless Radio Show and the blog, I've done a lot of looking back in the past few weeks to compile a series of "Best of" lists... but now, as a new year and new decade dawn, it's time to look forward to the three movies I'm most psyched about in 2010. (And one film I'm excited about even though I don't think it's gonna be worth a damn.)
1) Shutter Island I'm a huge Martin Scorsese fan and have really enjoyed his recent collaborations with Leonardo DiCaprio. Gangs of New York, The Aviator and The Departed were all great movies (and interstingly, I found each one got better than the previous one) so that alone would have put Shutter Island on my wish list. But when you factor in that this is Scorsese doing a genre picture, then you've really got my attention. He last dabbled in horror/thriller mode with his 1991 remake of Cape Fear and it seemed Scorsese had a lot of fun with that flick so I'm very intrigued by what he has in store for us with Shutter Island, which, from the trailers released thus far seems to be an over-the-top creepy thriller. I'm definitely looking forward to this one, though working the Olympics means I won't be able to see it until a few weeks after its release on February 19th 2010.
2) Inception Christopher Nolan has wisely opted to wait on a third Batman flick and instead decided to do something bold and nearly unheard of in today's Hollywood - he made a totally original film that didn't previously exist as a video game/graphic novel/failed 70's tv series/board game. Inception has released some very vague, intriguing trailers and precious little about the plot has been released/leaked so much of my anticipation for the flick is based on my immense respect for those involved. First and foremost, as previously mentioned, the movie is written and directed by Christopher Nolan and it was shot by the excellent Wally Pfister, the cinematographer behind The Italian Job, Memento and Nolan's Batman flicks. It also has a fantastic cast, top lined by Shutter Island's Leonardo DiCaprio who's joined by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard and Ken Watanabe. The wait for this one will be long, it doesn't hit theatres until July 16th 2010.
3) The Green Hornet I'm not a comic book by any stretch of the imagination - in fact, I've never actually read a comic book in my entire life - but I'm definitely eagerly anticipating this flick. Perhaps what intrigues me about this project is that it doesn't seem to be following the traditional route for studio comic book movies. First and foremost, the movie is written by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, the guys who scripted Superbad and Pineapple Express and stars Rogen in the title role. Rogen, despite his recent health regime, doesn't strike me as the typical casting choice for a superhero movie and if you're not convinced yet; the movie will be helmed by Michel Gondry. Gondry, the creative filmmaker that brought us Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind, again is an atypical choice for this kind of movie (which isn't always brilliant, see Ang Lee's Hulk for ample evidence.) but I think Gondry is a brilliant choice for a film as unusual as this one is. December 22nd 2010.
(Dis)Honorable Mention Let me just say that I strongly suspect this movie won't be very good, but nonetheless, I'm very intrigued by the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. For the record, I really don't think the movie needed to be remade, as Wes Craven's inventive original still holds up (while many of the sequels are already trashed relics of the 80's) but it was still inevitable that the property would get recycled. The remake is being helmed by veteran music video director Samuel Bayer who's making his feature debut. Bayer, who's directed the bulk of Green Day's videos, as well as iconic spots like 'Smells Like Teen Spirit,' and Blind Melon's 'No Rain,' is essentially a question mark because I don't know nearly enough about him to handicap his work on this film; but I'm cautiously optimistic. What has me most intrigued is character actor Jackie Earle Hayley who will have the daunting task of filling the battered fedora of Robert Englund who made Freddy Krueger an icon of horror films in the original series. The trailer that's been released shows very little of Mr. Krueger, but the voice (which is rumored to be changed for the final release) and the strange CGI meets the Grinch Who Stole Christmas makeup effects left many, including me, cold. This should, at the very least, be interesting. April 30th 2010.