The Most Anticipated Films of 2010

2010 looks to be a very intriguing year for the film world. A lot of big name directors are coming in with new work, hopefully continuing on their winning ways, while others are returning to perhaps erase some recent blunders and get back on track. There are two true sequels on the list, four depending on your definition, (and Harry Potter isn’t one since I’m not quite sure what to think, being only a Part I of a final chapter), a couple television shows getting big screen love, and a ton of original work. I’m sure there are more smaller films coming from people I love that I just haven’t been privy to discovering yet, so there are a few more blockbusters here than perhaps deserved. Either way, I can’t wait to see them all.

Dates are correct as of publishing

Ten Worth Noting (in alphabetical order):

The A-Team (6/11/10) -
Joe Carnahan returns behind the camera after way too long and the casting of Liam Neeson alone is worth keeping this 80′s TV show adaptation in the back of your mind. I respect the hell out of Mr. T for declining to take a meaningless cameo that would be whored out to sell tickets and I hope that Bradley Cooper and Sharlto Copley can live up to the all of a sudden A-list status. Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is a wild card as B.A. Baracus, but I’ll wait to see before passing judgment.

Cop Out (2/26/10) -
Can Kevin Smith exist without the ViewAskewniverse? Can he excel from a script not written by himself? I really don’t know the answer to these questions, but I’ll believe the man himself via his Twitter account that we won’t be disappointed. The trailer looks trivial PG-13, the man says it’s R-rated laughs. I’ll go with Smith and look forward to another raunchy good time.

Paul (2010 UK) -
The question here is whether Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s natural rapport can excel without Edgar Wright conducting, (as he was too busy crafting his own film to be seen later on in the list). I believe they can, even with an entirely animated costar in the titular Paul. Greg Mottola showed some intelligence and comedic ability with Adventureland, so I’m ready to see America meet Britain behind the scenes of this one.

Greenberg (3/12/10) -
Even though I really disliked Noah Baumbach’s last film, something about his trailers hit you on the core of being human. Couple that delicate balance with Ben Stiller, who has recently surged forward in my actors to see column after many years on the actors to avoid shortlist, and this thing looks like an indie delight full of darkness and emotional realism.

Iron Man 2 (5/7/10) -
Iron Man showed that not only could you be funny, but also dark and serious at the same time. Taking the best parts of films like Fantastic Four and The Dark Knight and mixing them together for a comic book adaptation containing weight and pulp feel, Jon Favreau delivered the goods. Can the crew come back and do it again? I sure hope so. Robert Downey Jr. is incapable of doing wrong and despite my love for Terrence Howard, I’m digging Don Cheadle’s involvement. Oh, and Mickey Rourke’s in this one too, isn’t he …

Shutter Island (2/19/10) -
My fingers are still crossed that Scorsese and company pushed this back to finish special effects work and not because it is bad. I loved the book in a pulpy thriller sense and can’t deny how great the cast is. I thought the trailer did its job and showed some wonderful moments from the book, depicted with graceful beauty and grimy, dank despair when called for. No matter the rumors and dump month release date, I’m still eagerly looking forward to visiting the island.

The Social Network (10/15/10) -
I seriously had no desire to see a film about Facebook’s origins. But then Aaron Sorkin signed on to write the screenplay and my interest piqued. Then David Fincher of all cinematic visionaries took the job as director and it all of sudden rose to the top of my to do list. Jesse Eisenberg is always solid, but the casting of Justin Timberlake takes the cake as he can finally have a chance to carry a high profile film. The guy is good, honestly.

Toy Story 3 (6/18/10) -
Sequels to classics never work out, with few exceptions. When they do somehow succeed, why would you try your luck to hit paydirt a third time? I don’t know, but my trust in Pixar is unrivaled, so until they prove me wrong, I’ll stick to their word. Woody, Buzz, and the clan are going to be in 3D and that is a draw in itself; hopefully the story will be strong enough to make the whole thing worthwhile.

Tron Legacy (12/17/10) -
Here is a film whose original incarnation needs to be seen first, (I know, this is a sequel/remake hybrid, either way I need to acquaint myself with the universe). The graphics are breathtaking and seeing the bike and some shots at FaneXpo last Sept just whet my appetite. A lot of money and buildup is forming around this Disney venture, I hope it’s well placed and earned.

War of Gods (2010) -
Knowing Tarsem, this film may not see the light of day for a few more years, but as of now it’s slated for 2010. Will it hold a similar storyline to Clash of the Titans? Perhaps, but I’m sure it will be visually all its own. After The Fall blew me away a couple years ago, Tarsem is someone I need to keep tabs on and watch everything from. Here’s to a speedy production and calendar year release.

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Top Ten Most Anticipated Films of 2010

10. The Green Hornet (12/22/10) -
Some people equate Seth Rogen to Michael Cera status of playing the same role over and over, an extension of himself rather than acting. I can see their point, but I believe Rogen has shown some range, no matter how subtly. Whether he can pull off action hero remains to be seen, however. Heck, I’m not even sure if he has the chops to write an action flick, but he’s doing both here. Hopefully Michel Gondry can infuse enough of his own unique style to let this thing takeoff and be great.

9. Biutiful (2010) -
This is the test—can Alejandro González Iñárritu work his magic without Guillermo Arriaga pulling the strings with his words? Biutiful will be the first test on whether the visual style can work on its own and if this auteur can write himself, (with some help). Egos flared and friendships broke, sending Mexico’s dynamic duo on separate paths, but I’d give this one a look either way just by the inclusion of Javier Bardem.

8. The Last Airbender (7/2/10) -
M. Night Shyamalan has something to prove to me now. I didn’t mind his mediocrity at first, because I never saw the brilliance so many others did early in his career. Unlike most, The Village and Lady in the Water were my entries to begin hailing this Philadelphia via India boy as genius. However, I do agree with everyone in respect to the gigantic letdown of The Happening. The phoenix will attempt to rise again with his first non-original work. Based on a popular anime, Shyamalan looks to silence the critics and get back on top. I’m rooting for him.

7. Alice in Wonderland (3/5/10) -
What do you get when you mix my favorite Disney film with the disturbed mind of Tim Burton? Fingers are crossed that excellence is the answer. This follow-up to the classic Lewis Carroll tale is in 3D, stylized as only the man with the crazy hair, (no not Brian Grazer), can do. I’m loving the distorted caricature-like vision of the actors, as well as the feel of being on mushrooms myself watching the trailer. Burton’s use of existing material hasn’t done well for me, (Planet of the Apes and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), so I won’t hold my breath. It will be an enormous disappointment if this doesn’t deliver though.

6. Kick-Ass (4/16/10) -
Bravo to Matthew Vaughn for getting his comic book adaptation afterall. X-Men 3 fell through the cracks, but also allowed him to own Stardust and bring back family-friendly fantasy for a new generation. With Kick-Ass, he independently produced a work that became the talk of the town and darling on the auction block. I’m hoping Nic Cage doesn’t derail it and the humor stays strong. Absolutely love the trailers and marketing campaign thus far.

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) -
Again with the Michael Cera … the man is prolific. It seems more of the same from him, but the rest of the cast is phenomenal, let alone having Edgar Wright at the lens. Another comic adaptation, (what isn’t these days), Pilgrim appears to be everything we could hope for and more. Bringing Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s beauty back onto the big screen only gives it bonus points.

4. Black Swan (2010) -
Darren Aronofsky … ’nuff said. You want more? Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Darren Aronofsky. I really have very little knowledge on what Black Swan is about, but I honestly don’t care. The man behind the scenes is a veritable stamp of approval in itself, so save me a seat, I’ll be there with bells on.

3. The Tree of Life (2010) -
Can I hope that Terrence Malick allows his new epic to see the light of day in 2010? Supposedly Cannes is the place for a debut, so I’m going to be optimistic and say yes. Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and the synopsis of the loss of innocence is all I can glean for now. Frankly, I don’t want to know much more before going in. Malick is a visionary of pacing, tone, and cinematography. His newest shouldn’t disappoint.

2. The Tempest (2010) -
With the visual prowess of Julie Taymor at its back, The Tempest should be a real visual treat. I’m hoping to get a debut screening at Toronto this year, much like I attended for Across the Universe, as her return to Shakespeare only interests me more. The plan is to rent Titus and prepare myself for a feast for the eyes.

1. Inception (7/16/10) -
What is Christopher Nolan doing with his newest non-Bat work? The mind is the scene of the crime, the cast is more vast than the Grand Canyon, and the effects look mind-blowing. No one can keep a plot under wraps like this Englishman and the intrigue built by the trailer is full to the brim. I’m expecting something like I’ve never experienced before and have a feeling I won’t regret the high expectations I’ll be arriving with.

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