The MCND’s Terribly Incomplete Previews & Predictions for 2010

I haven’t yet splurged on that subscription to imdb Pro, which is where the incomplete part comes in. But I’ve crawled the net and found out a little bit about some Movies Yet to Come, and I’ve helpfully gathered it all into one place! If there’s another movie that you’d like to hear more about, let me know on Twitter (MovieCriticND) and I’ll see what else I can hunt up. These are just a few that have attracted my interest.
First up for the New Year is something that looks pretty promising, namely Daybreakers. If it’s half as good as the trailers make it look, I’ll be happy. The image of the vampire is in dire need of a remodel, and this could be the movie that makes them once again just as creepy as they should be.
Trailers for Legion have been in the rotation for a long time already — I’ve seen it at least six times, but still can’t make up my mind about it. This one could really go either way. On the surface it looks like just another man vs. monster flick, but then, so did 28 Days Later, and I like that.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief will, I predict, be the longest-titled movie of the year. It’s based on a popular series of young adult books, and with fantasy as big as it is right now, the box office, at least, should be tremendous on this one. Besides, what teenager hasn’t occasionally wished that one or both parents were actually Greek gods?
The Wolfman gives Anthony Hopkins and Benicio del Toro the chance to do for werewolves what Daybreakers will (hopefully) do for vampires. The wolfman was never a favorite character of mine, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with this one. If nothing else, the transformation effects look like they’ll be horrible, but fantastic.
I’ve seen the trailer for Shutter Island even more than the trailer for Legion, and I’m starting to wish it would just come out, already. I’m also starting to wish that someone would sit Leonardo DiCaprio down for a long talk about these tough guy roles he keeps trying to play.
I saw the previews for The Crazies just once. If they show them again, I’ll have to just cover my eyes until it’s over. It’s possible this is another example of a zombie movie that rises above the usual, but I have a horrible feeling it’s just one of those movies meant to make you jump, and to make teenage girls cling to their dates.
They’re remaking Alice in Wonderland, as nearly everyone must know by now, because Johnny Depp is in it. Alice, the supposed main character, is played by a virtual unknown, because who cares who else is in it if Johnny Depp is in it, right? But he’s been looking steadily weirder ever since he played Willy Wonka, so I suppose his turning into the Mad Hatter was inevitable.
They had a (very brief) trailer for Iron Man 2 before Sherlock Holmes, for the Robert Downey Jr. fans. There’s not much there yet — it isn’t due out until May 2010 — but there was a bunch of dancing gilrs, a congressional hearing, a battle royal with what looked to be Iron Man and War Machine against a bunch of robots, and Whiplash as a villain. This character is sort of a cross between Backlash (who used to be called Whiplash) and the Crimson Dynamo, a Russian adversary of good old Shellhead’s. (If you’ve never read an Iron Man comic, all you even sort of need to know is that they’ve combined two of the villains from the comic to create a new one for the movie.)
Inception is yet another Leonardo DiCaprio film, though I’m not sure how tough he tries to be. It looks like they go all Matrix-y in this one, which is often a bad idea, but it’s an interesting concept. As near as I can tell, Leo’s part of a team that uses a new technology to enter peoples’ minds and sift through them to find things out. Now that’s a good way to interrogate someone, as long as you can get out with everyone’s sanity intact.
And when I went looking to see what other projects he might have coming up that I could mention, there were twenty-seven listed. Twenty-seven. I’m not touching those. Someone make him take a vacation. Apparently he might be in Aquaman, though, so at least he’s not sticking too closely to the tough guy roles. Hee.
Ridley Scott is also working up a retelling of Robin Hood, to go with his proposed version of Brave New World — he’s almost as busy as Leo. Mark Strong (recent Sherlock Holmes villain) seems to be a villain here as well — that’s fine. Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian — also good. But I’m not sure I can root for Russell Crowe as Robin Hood. *sigh*
And last but not least, Clash of the Titans. If you remember the 1981 version, then you’ll probably want to forget it. There was no indication of a plot in the trailer, though I doubt there’s much of one, anyway; but wow, people had fun with the designs for the creatures. They were great.
Before this gets any longer, I’ll sign off. There are so many fun things to preview, though! I’ll have to try this again sometime.

The MCND Best of the Worst, 2009 edition

Or maybe Worst of the Best? I’m not much good with titles. But all the real critics get to put together reviews of the past year about this time, so here I am, taking a little stroll through Memories of Movies Past and picking out some of the most memorable flicks from the past year… memorable not always meaning good, unfortunately. But it’s still fun to reminisce. So without further ado:
The good:
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Gran Torino. Clint Eastwood proves there’s no age limit on being tough.
Watchmen. It was wild, it was over the top, and it was violent; but like a good roller coaster, it was a grand and entertaining ride.
District 9. At the end of the day, it’s all about being able to look at yourself in the mirror.
The bad:
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Knowing. Nic, you’re wonderful. But nothing, I mean nothing, could salvage that script.
The Box. Because throwing special effects at a story isn’t the way to make it better.
2012. See above. These aren’t even good special effects.
The ugly:
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Zombieland. There isn’t much uglier than a zombie. Braaaainsss.
9. The little dolls were adorable. Those monsters chasing them were seriously creepy, and win the award for Scariest Creatures of the Year in my book. Yes, even including the ones in the film mentioned below.
Avatar. Because throwing special effects at a story isn’t the way to make it better. How many times do I have to say that?