Times are tough and the majority of theatrically-released films suck. There, I just blew your mind. Happy?
Okay, maybe I didn’t. But to anyone out there who spent $15 to see Avatar, movies are “expensive!” (mom!) Sometimes, when you’re a broke-ass college student who lives off a combination of student loans, scholarships and the profit margins of selling prescription drugs at twice their going rate to the emo skaters at the mall food court, you can’t afford to be wrong about a movie. Case in point, Paul Blart surely set some family of four back a good $50 (when they could have seen ‘Observe and Report’ instead…Aziz Ansari wasn’t in Paul Blart!)
But to avoid such a setback in the 2010 calendar year, here’s Collin’s outlook for the next few months. I’ll give you one movie to see for each month that I can pretty much guarantee will not be a waste of your money. My track record is pretty clean. Except all Dwayne Johnson flicks.
List/trailers after the jump.
If you can only see ONE movie this month, make it…“Shutter Island.”
Martin Scorsese’s should have come out last October. In fact, in was supposed to come out last October. But I guess Marty wasn’t satisfied with the final cut and ended up making some last-minute alterations. If you’re Scorsese, a studio lets you do that. If you’re any other director, they say “go play in traffic, we’re releasing it no matter how shitty it is, and if it’s really shitty, we’ll make sure to list you as the sole cast & crew member.”
Luckily for Scorsese, though, making a genre masterpiece should not be difficult. All the parts are already there. The movie is based on a Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, and Lehane novels are acing their translations so far (see also: ‘Mystic River’, ‘Gone Baby Gone.’) Plus, just to hammer the point home more, Lehane is a fantastic writer. I’m almost to the last book of the Patrick Kenzie/Angie Gennaro series and Lehane is so good it makes me scared to stake out a writing career for myself, against that kinda competition anyway.
Moving away from Lehane’s source material anyway – and yes, Shutter Island is a great, breezy read with a fairly mind-blowing twist – Scorsese is working with an unsurprisingly awesome cast. Leo, of course, lands the starring role, but with talent like Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer and Jackie Earle Haley around him, the entire cast list impresses. Production values also look to be off-the-chart, too. This has the potential to be a real genre-definer, much as Scorsese’s Cape Fear remake proved to be for thrillers.
The film follows a pair of U.S. marshals as they investigate the disappearance of a patient from a mental institution on Shutter Island. Insert “but are things really as the seem” questions here.
‘Shutter Island’ hits theaters February 19. Here’s a look at the trailer:
If you can only see ONE movie this month, make it…Green Zone.
‘Green Zone’ reunites director Paul Greengrass with actor Matt Damon. The two previously joined forces for arguably the most bad-ass action trilogy of all-time: the Bourne films. It would appear that they’re primarily going with the same formula here, but if it ain’t broke…
This movie is based off journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City, which I have not read, but details the story of a CIA operative (Damon) searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And then everything presumably goes to shit, but awesome, ass-kicking shit.
The Greengrass/Damon team speaks for itself, but I’m stoked for the rest of the cast in this movie as well. Amy Ryan is one of the most tragically underrated actresses working today (seriously, go rent ‘Gone Baby Gone’ if you have not already seen it, it’s worth it just for her performance!) Brendan Gleeson is excellent in everything he does, which is saying a lot for a character actor with his kinda mileage. And thank God, Jason Isaacs has a role too! Isaacs plays the best villains in modern cinema, no debate necessary. His Colonel William Tavington (‘The Patriot’) is one of the most loathsome and therefore awesome bad guys to ever take the screen, and say what you will about the Harry Potter films, but Isaac steals every minute he’s on screen as Lucius Malfoy. I expect nothing less than villain greatness from him in this film.
If you have any taste in film at all, you enjoyed the Bourne films. And this looks to just improve upon that formula. Check it out on March 12! Trailer below:
If you can only see ONE movie this month, make it…Kick-Ass.
I have heard only ridiculously cool things about ‘Kick-Ass’, which either means we’ve got a cult classic in the makings or I’m being set up for disappointment. April is actually somewhat of a really hedged month as far as movies goes. A lot of movies could go either way, and I’m thinking specifically films like Peter Berg’s ‘The Losers’, Samuel Bayer’s ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ reboot and Thor Freudenthal’s ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ (actually the trailer makes it looked like they really Disney-fied an otherwise biting look at junior high and the American family, which sucks because this movie only works if it has the same sort of edge the books do.)
Anyway, now that I’m off my tangent, ‘Kick-Ass’ is probably the safest bet. It’s hyper-stylized, so even if everything else is lacking, it should be fun to watch. It looks funny, always a plus. And it has a 12-year-old assassin in it, which apparently is upsetting the shit out of those parent advisory type groups. The plot actually reads a lot like ‘Mystery Men’, and while I’m not sure that’s a good thing, I like the idea of normal people trying to play superhero and overcompensating in the ass-kicking department to make up for their lack of powers.
Hell, I just like the title. This one hits theaters April 16. I wanted to link to the bad-ass Red Band trailer, but I don’t have a YT account (18+ only!), so you’ll have to scope that yourself.:
If you only see ONE movie this month, make it…Iron Man 2.
Too easy. I’m not a comic book movie guy, but the first ‘Iron Man’ was pretty cool. And, I mean, Robert Downey Jr. versus Mickey Rourke. ‘Nuff said. Oh, you’re throwing Scarlett Johnansson in too? Yeah, I’m sold.
Guess I really don’t have to hype up this movie too much, it’s done well enough on its own. But May was a somewhat difficult choice between this and Ridley Scott’s ‘Robin Hood’ (with Russell Crowe!) Thing is, I really can’t see this sucking. There is a chance that ‘Robin Hood’ does, and the trailer really doesn’t do much at all for me.
Look for RDJ to blast some suckas on May 7.
If you only see ONE movie this month, make it…Toy Story 3.
This one isn’t even up for discussion. If you think you’re too cool for Pixar, blow me. I’ve never seen a studio so consistently raise the bar every year after they’ve already raised the damn thing higher than anyone imagined. Their work has transcended the animated form altogether, transcended some of our understandings of art perhaps.
Legitimately, in their respective years of release, ‘Up’, ‘Ratatouille’, ‘The Incredibles’ and ‘Cars’ have all been in my top five movies of that year. The first three on that list are in my top films of 2000-10 list easily. So I have some pretty lofty expectations for TS3, and I really don’t see how it can disappointment. For one, the hiatus should win me over with the nostalgia factor alone. And it’s also being released in Disney Digital 3D. If I’m being honest, the trailer hit me pretty heavy and sent chills down by back. This might be my movie of the summer. Maybe the year.
Look for it on June 18.
If you only see ONE movie this month, make it…Inception.
Even with TS3 out in June, ‘Inception’ might be the most anticipated movie of the year. It’s Christopher Nolan’s first film coming off the unprecedented (well, thanks to ‘Avatar’, precedented) succeed of ‘The Dark Knight.’ It’s got DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard…(breath)…and Michael Caine.
And, remarkably, nobody knows what the hell it’s about. Yes, in the year 2010, in a time where scripts are leaked left and right and we find out the new Batman villain years before they even start shooting…nobody has a damn clue what this movie is about.
I’m expecting to have my mind blown on July 16. But before I post the trailer, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some other completely worthwhile films dropping this month: ‘Despicable Me’ (July 9), ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ (July 23) and the as-yet-untitled latest Focker foray (July 30.)
So that should get you through the summer. I’ll look back into August-December as we get closer. Those release dates tend to slide around too much to offer anything solid now anyway.