Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 Preview: February - April

Well, I’ve held off on writing any type of movie preview for the year, mostly because it’s slim pickings at the cinema during January. So, now that we're well into February, here’s a list of some notable films coming out between the remainder of this month through April.

Shutter Island
I’ve been ready for this one a long time now. Martin Scorsese’s latest reteams him with Leonardo DiCaprio for a full-on horror/thriller, territory the filmmaker hasn't really covered since Cape Fear. The story follows two detectives investigate the disappearance of a woman at an insane asylum. The excellent supporting cast includes Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Williams, and Jackie Earle Haley among others. The trailers have promised a scary-good time and I for one cannot wait.

Cop Out
This latest film from Kevin Smith has me apprehensive to say the least. The promotional material I’ve seen for this buddy cop film has been somewhat underwhelming, although I’ll still give it a chance. Plus, Smith is testing some new ground with this project (for him), so I give him credit for that.

Alice in Wonderland
Tim Burton seems like a perfect fit for this material. I’m somewhat surprised that he’s embraced CG as much as he has with this film since he typically prefers to keep things at least partially practical. The film has an interesting look though and I certainly can’t argue with the casting.

Brooklyn’s Finest
This new cop thriller from the director of Training Day (Antoine Fuqua) garnered some buzz at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and now finally receives its theatrical release. Don Cheadle, Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, and Wesley Snipes star in a story of three policemen who lead very different careers, but somehow end up “at the same deadly location.” It seems like a solid time.

Green Zone
When I first heard about this project, all I knew was that Matt Damon starred and Paul Greengrass was directing. That combination was enough for me based on their collaborations on The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. Here’s plot description via IMDb: “Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.” That sounds good to me.

The Runaways
This one gathered a sizable amount of buzz from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, so I’m curious to see what the fuss is all about. The film stars Dakota Fanning and Kristin Stewart and chronicles the band The Runaways and the relationship between two of its members, Joan Jett and Cherie Curry.

This latest from Noah Baumbach stars Ben Stiller as an unemployed man who moves to Los Angeles to house-sit for a relative while he attempts to figure out his life. From the trailer you get the typical Baumbach humor which mostly plays well, I thought. If nothing else, it’s nice to see Stiller doing something other than generic family comedies for a change. As far as the director’s previous work, I’m hoping that this film hits more like The Squid and the Whale than Margot at the Wedding, but only time will tell.

Hot Tub Time Machine
This just looks stupidly funny to me.

I Love You Phillip Morris
Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor star in this comedy that made a pretty big splash last year at film festivals, but is only now getting distribution. A plot description from IMDb say, “On his second go-round behind bars, scam artist Steven Russell (Carrey) commits the ultimate con in order to break out and win back the heart of Phillip Morris (McGregor), with whom he fell in love during his first prison sentence.” It’s too bad that this film has struggled to find commercial opportunities (no doubt because of its gay themes). Hopefully it won’t fall through the cracks when released in late March.

A subversive super-hero film that has received a lot of buzz from people who have seen footage from it; Kick-Ass intrigues me. Once again, a plot description from IMDb: “Despite the fact that he has zero superpowers, teenage fanboy Dave Lizewski looks to reincarnate himself as a crime-fighting superhero named Kick-Ass, a decision that will inspire a subculture of copy cats, put his life in danger, and unite him with a similarly minded father-daughter duo.” The budget for this film was raised independently by its director Matthew Vaughn because no major studio was interested in the hyper-violent story. After footage was screened at Comic-Con last year, an immediate sensation was born as people responded ecstatically. Lionsgate then picked up the film for distribution. Now we’ll see what’s in store for us in April.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Oliver Stone has returned to old territory here, continuing the story of Gordon Gecko as he leaves prison and navigates through America’s corporate world in the 21st century. At first, I thought this seemed like a bad idea, but now I’m starting to see some potential in it. Stone may make some heavy-handed points through his films, but when he on, he’s very effective. It will be interesting to see what commentary Stone places on America and the current state of the economy. (Oh, I still hate the subtitle though.)

That's about it for now. Next up will be a summer movie guide. I'm sure it'll be here before we know it.

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