Welcome back to Part II of my 2009 Film Year Preview. If you missed Part I, you can find it HERE. This part will consist of all the films that don't exactly fit into the highly anticipated or most anticpated categories. The categories basically speak for themselves, and I think create a pretty comprehensive preview of what I expect from the year on hand. Of course, until trailers and more info. come out most of these films are hyped primarily on the the summaries and the crews attached to them, so take it for what it's worth. Feel free to comment and add any films that you think I may have missed.
“Want to like, but have my doubts that I will”
The Green Zone: Paul Greengrass (United 93) and Matt Damon re-unite for a Iraq war thriller. Everything about sounds great, except that its an Iraq war thriller, and we know the track record for those.
Angels & Demons: Ron Howard and Tom Hanks re-team for a prequel to The Davinci Code. Wasn’t to big on The DaVinci Code, but it’s hard not to be interested in Howard and Hanks.
State of Play: The trailer is lackluster, but this Washington-based journalism thriller has quite the pedigree to it, Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind), Rachel McAdams (The Notebook), Helen Mirren (The Queen), and director Kevin McDonald (The Last King of Scotland).
Funny People: One of two Judd Apatow directed comedies releasing this year and it just might be the first I’ll like. The setup sounds great, a standup comedian (Adam Sandler) finds out he is dying and wants to another struggling comedian under his wing; but my history with Apatow is not great. Check out the cast list, this will be a big film.
Crossing Over: Wayne Kramer’s fist film since the underrated Running Scared with Paul Walker. It’s a film about the U.S. Mexican border and it stars Sean Penn and Harrison Ford. Great actors, but will it be a balanced film? I have no desire to watch the sequel to Babel.
Star Trek: It looks like its going to be a big hit, but something doesn’t sit right with me on it. Will it be Starship Troopers with a brighter color palette, will the battles be people sitting on the bridge getting thrown around? Just too many questions to get my expectations up high.
The Year One: Harold Ramis (director of Groundhog Day) directs this comedy about the first year of existence. Its basically a spoof of the early Christian accounts of creation, and the idea sounds really funny, but it could be too disingenuous for my taste.
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince: I was disappointed in Order of the Phoenix, but the series has enough good will going for it that I’m going to finish it out.
Watchmen: Zack Snyder (300) brings us one of the more hyped films of the year. The early trailers have me interested, but I didn’t like 300 very much at all, so I’m cautiously optimistic here.
G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra: Everything about this film from Stephen Sommers says its going to be terrible. However, Sommers has made two decently fun films, The Mummy and Van Helsing, so I hold out hope.
Men Who Stare At Goats: Another Iraq film, but this is more of a drama starring George Clooney and supporting cast of A-listers. Will a decent Iraq drama finally be made in 2009?
Knowing: Looks like one of those films that Nicholas Cage does just to get work, but its written and directed by Andrew Niccol. How can the man who wrote Gattaca, Lord of War and The Truman Show go wrong?
Pink Panther 2: I must admit that there were some funny moments to Steve Martin’s pretty ridiculous first film. I’ll see the second one, and the presence of John Cleese in the sequel can only make it better.
Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li: I’m sure that this film will be all sorts of bad, but there is no way that I couldn’t go out and see this film when it has two things going for it; martial arts fights, and Street Fighter childhood nostalgia.
Transformers 2: The first one was a decent blockbuster (Michael Bay begin connected to exactly the type of films he needs to make), and the guilty pleasure for me here is in just watching an effects extravaganza and Bay’s military fetish
Saw VI: The movies are not good “movies”, but I’m sucked into the Saw universe and I must see the storyline to an end.
Sci-Fi Movie: With David Zucker’s presence on this film, I am hoping for something closer to Scary Movie 3 or 4, but I’m afraid I’ll get something more like An American Carol or Date Movie.
“Curious, Keeping an Eye On”
Whatever Works: Patricia Clarkson stars in Woody Allen’s follow-up to Vicki Christina Barcelona
Land of the Lost: Brad Silberling (Lemony Snicket) directs this television remake with Will Ferrell and Danni McBride. I like all involved, but I’ve just been burnt by Ferrell and McBride too much.
The Brothers Bloom: A comic heist film featuring the great talents of Rachel Weisz and Mark Ruffalo.
The Taking of Pelham 123: John Travolta and Denzel Washington directed by Tony Scott in a NYC hostage film. Could be good.
Shorts: Robert Rodriguez’ next family film, a genre he normally does well in.
Astro Boy: A November animation release that looks to have promise, but I’m waiting for a full trailer.
My Life in Ruins: Nia Vardalos in her first serious follow-up to My Big Fat Greek Wedding
The Maiden Heist: Morgan Freeman and Christopher Walken in a heist film.
Taking Woodstock: Ang Lee proves yet again his versatility in tackling a comedy about Woodstock.
The Informant: Matt Damon stars in Steven Soderbergh’s Insider’esque informant thriller.
The Boat that Rocked: Richard Curtis, director of Love Actually, directs my favorite actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), in this 60’s comedy about a British radio station.
Drag Me to Hell: Sam Raimi’s first film after his Spider-Man trilogy, and his return to the horror-comedy genre.
Hail Ceasar, A Serious Man: Two comedies by the Coen brothers (Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski) scheduled to come out in 09’. Don’t know enough about either to get excited.
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus: Heath Ledger’s final acting role and Terry Gilliam’s (Twelve Monkeys) latest film.
Up in the Air: Comedy with George Clooney
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday) directs Jennifer Garner in this comedy. Waters is a director that I enjoy following.
The Fighter: Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, The Fountain) directs another fight film, this time its boxing, starring Mark “Say Hi to Your mom For Me” Whalberg.
Getting Out: Sydney Lumet’s first film since Before the Devil Knows Your Dead
1906: Brad Bird’s (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) first ever live action film.
“Unsure of their release in 09’, but still interested”
Ong Bak 2: The much troubled, much buzzed about Tony Jaa (The Protector, Ong Bak) project. Will be released in Asia this year, but in America? We can only wish.
The Shinjuku Incident: Jackie Chan’s next film, but its American release is not pinned down yet.
Alfonso Cuaron Project: Cuaron’s first project since Children of Men is a Mexican film, which means its American release is still unsure.
Red Cliff: John Woo’s epic Chinese period piece is already on DVD nearly everywhere else in the world, but will it come out in 09’ in America?
Hope you made it through ok!