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Caffeinated Clint : 10 for ’10

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I know it’s a bit early to be talking about 2010 – but quite frankly, 2009 is shaping up to be such a lackluster year for movies, that I’ve convinced myself all the good stuff has been saved for the next year. That is how it works right? One year off, One year on?

Admit it, besides “Star Trek”, the tardy brilliancy that is “The Brother’s Bloom”, and the lamentably futile but fun “Watchmen”, most of the films released so far this year have blown worse than a toothy hooker : “Terminator Salvation” had everyone headed to Borders to pick up ‘The Dummies Guide to Tying a Noose’,  “X-Men Origins : Wolverine” had no claws, “Angels & Demons” proved, once again, Ron Howard’s incapacity to craft an intriguing religious thriller, “Monsters Vs. Aliens” was more overrated kids fluff, scrappy sci-fi did  “Knowing” raped us all of two hours, “Streetfighter” and “Dragonball” had us cursing our joysticks for days, and the pricey “Friday the 13th” redo proved studios really shouldn’t fuck with believed horror franchises that still stand up. And did anyone else in the media consider handing in their press pass after catching the brain-damaging “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”!? What was that!? I bit my-arm half-way through the thing just so I’d wake out from the nightmare. Didn’t work!

There’s just been disappointment after disappointment. My tissue box is full of tainted rag. Print ads full of drawn-on moustaches.

And the films that have entertained are the ones you most expected to suck like a Lost Boy – ‘’The Last House on the Left”, ‘’The Hangover”, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, “My Bloody Valentine”, “Fanboys”…. Good quality ‘small’ films. Glad someone knows how to entertain still. But where are the big, bad blockbusters!? Filmmakers, so far, seemed to have a real inability to produce knock-your-socks-off tentpolers at the moment (sans “Trek”). God I miss 1984.  God I miss good “Terminator” movies.

Granted, there’s still time for 2009 to prove it’s got more to offer than the Bacon Bug, Bushfires and Busty Kardashian chicks – I hear “Up” and “Drag Me to Hell” are excellent, even “The Proposal” is supposed to be surprisingly good, and “Sherlock Holmes” and “Avatar” also look like they could be fun – and hopefully there’s some unexpected surprises on the way. But nevertheless 2010 is already shaping up to be a much more exciting year for films. I’m as excited as a bag-lady on a tour of the tip about a few of them, too.

Here’s a look at ten films I think I’ll be asking Mr Moviefone to hold tickets for me for in 2010.

Ghostbusters 3

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver

Directed by TBA

No guarantee this’ll be out next year, but if it does go before the cameras before the end of the year (which it sounds like it could), chances are it may be ready for Summer 2010… if not Christmas. We can hope, anyway.

According to Aykroyd, whose been blabbing to the media about the film for the past couple of years (it’s a wonder Sony hasn’t gagged him by now), the new film fixes on a group of female Ghostbuster cadets who’re being trained by the ageing original troupe. And yes, Dana (Weaver) is back in there too, somewhere.

We’ve been waiting sooooo many years for another “Ghostbusters” film (Aykroyd spent several years in the early 90s trying to convince Sony to make his “Ghostbusters go to Hell” script) that I really believe we’re going to get something genuinely good here – if even because Bill Murray (intent he’d never do another “Ghostbusters”) kept knocking it back until he could be convinced they’d be making a better sequel than the first (1989’s tired “Ghostbusters II”). He ultimately agreed when “Office” scribes Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky presented their pitch. That speaks volumes if you ask me. And also the fact that Bobby Brown hasn’t been called back to cameo. A representative for Sony Pictures tells us, “The script is superb. We can’t say much. But personally, as a fan of the first film – I’d be very excited to see this one. It’s much better than the last sequel”.

Look, even if it isn’t as good as the first film, who the heck cares – the fact of the matter is, the original gang are back together, and in today’s world, with most popular movie franchises intent on following the ‘out with the old, in with the new’ motto (and remaking everything), that’s a rare, and special thing. Can’t wait!

The Green Lantern

Starring TBA

Directed by Martin Campbell

It’s been way too long between drinks in regards to DC/Warner Superhero flicks – the Burbank bunker’s last superhero flick, “The Dark Knight” will be two-years-old when the emerald avenger’s first big-screen jaunt hits theatres Christmas 2010. A bigger cap than the space between Scott Speedman’s top teeth hey?

I just hope the studio has taken their time here for good reason. I think they have. They say they have anyway. Apparently the WB aren’t rushing their other superhero films into production because they want everything to be as good (I don’t think anything will be a better) than “The Dark Knight”. That’s why they cancelled the worrisome “Justice League” project a few weeks out from its start date (hallelujah!). Good decision. Whether the WB succeeds in making a superhero project as gripping and as epic as the “Batman” sequel is another thing. But there are a few things in this one’s favour – the script (haven’t read it myself) is reportedly excellent, the director (Martin Campbell of “Casino Royale”) has an impressive back catalogue, and the studio’s searching near-and-far to land the perfect lead, with everyone that’s been rumoured to be in contention so far an excellent choice (Sam Worthington, Chris Pine and Bradley Cooper have all been mentioned in recent months). Patience young Padawan. Green will be the new Black come Chrissy ’10.

The Expendables

Starring : Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Steve Austin, Gary Daniels, Charisma Carpenter, Brittany Murphy

Directed by : Sylvester Stallone

I’m as excited as a slut at Prom about this one!  Apparently a throwback to the testosterone-packed ensemble actioners of the 80s (think “Dirty Dozen”), the Sly Stallone written/directed “Expendables” already has one BIG thing going for it: It has one of the best ensembles since, well, “Cannonball Run”…only this bunch is from the world of action cinema! Check this – it’s Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Steve Austin, Gary Daniels, & Randy Couture! There’s no way this ain’t gonna be fun. The story could suck, and it’d still be a blast watching all these guys come together!  But I’ve read some of the script and it’s a blast. Don’t think we’ve got anything to worry about here. I’ll take two. One of the actors in the film dropped us a line recently to let us know that the movie is “shaping up to be terrific. Very explosive stuff. I can promise you you’ll love it Clint!”.

Jean Claude -Van Damme is madder than a cassette-salesman for passing on this thing. See you on the way down bro!

Iron Man 2

Starring Robert Downey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Garry Shandling

Directed by Jon Favreau

I don’t think anything really needs to be said about this one does it? Ok, maybe one thing : Iron Baby! (please?)

Toy Story 3

Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Michael Keaton, Joan Cusack, John Ratzenberger

Directed by Lee Unkrich

The teaser trailer hit the web this weekend. Looks great. And apparently the film really delivers (based on those that have either read the script or worked on the film) too. I don’t doubt this’ll be terrific. They’ve been working on it for quite some time. There’s no way Disney are going to hold us down and make us swallow something putrid – this is their baby!

Alice in Wonderland

Starring Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Helena Bonham-Carter

Directed by Tim Burton

Even when he’s a little off-the-mark (happens quite often being that his taste is a little Vegimite-dark), Tim Burton’s films are never unwatchable – in fact, they’re still rather good, if not great. In my opinion, his “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is probably his least entertaining film, but tell me it still doesn’t look absolutely magnificent?! Sure, it’s a bit on the nose… but it was probably twice as good as most of the other family films released the same year. And Depp rocked. He was scary. He still rocked.

I’ve a feeling, “Wonderland”, what with Johnny Depp as The Mad Hater and Anne Hathaway as the Queen of Hearts, is going to be a real return to form for the “Beetlejuice” and “Batman” director. We know there’s a terrific story here already. We know what a visionary Burton is. Those early shots, the leaked story details, the production design, the cast and crew involved… there’s a lot of tasty I ingredients in the pot; I’d be very surprised if it makes us want to heave afterwards (unless of course, the psychopathic Mad Hatter is set on fire and we pan down on his melting frame, as Alice flees for cover in the milieu).

The A-Team

Starring TBA

Directed by Joe Carnahan

If Fox were still making ‘’The A-Team” film they intended to make a couple of years ago – ya know, the one directed by John Singleton starring Tyrese as B..A? – I don’t think it would’ve made the list. I just couldn’t get excited about that project. Something smelt off about it. Not even vanilla mist helped.

But now that Joe Carnahan (“Smokin’ Aces”, “Narc”) is onboard to write and direct, and both Ridley and Tony Scott are producing, it tells me Fox are intent on giving us something a little more solid than, well, whatever Singleton planned to make. Chances are, Fox just want to make money again – and know sometimes, just sometimes, more money comes with a better product.

There’s been a bunch of casting rumours- Bradley Cooper as Faceman, Common as B.A – but nobody has officially signed on yet. I’m confident Carnahan will form a great crew. I don’t think it’s even a concern.

With this, and “The Expendables”, humping at a silver screen in 2010 – action buffs are gonna need a change of underoos.

Cabin in the Woods

Starring Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Kristen Connolly, Jesse Williams, Brian J.White, Amy Acker

Directed by Drew Goodard

Yes, I have a hard-on for Joss Whedon, and I know he’s an acquired taste, but I honestly think this’ll be the one to earn him his cinema stripes. The “Buffy” and “Dollhouse” helmer is voyaging outside of his comfort zone here, producing a horror film that’s more about frights than funnies, and by all accounts, “Cabin” reads very, very well. Better still, Whedon’s hired Drew Goodard, the man responsible for some of the finest episodes of “Angel”, “Alias” and “Buffy” (‘Conversations with Dead People’), to direct the thing. That guy knows how to entertain. He also knows character.

The flick, featuring a terrifically-capable ensemble including Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Chris Hemsworth and [“Underbelly” hottie] Anna Hutchison, is a twisted take on the old ‘Cabin in the Woods’ formula that’ll, according to someone I know that’s read the script, “scare the absolute poop outta ya!” (I hear people pay heaps for that!).

I Love You Too

Starring Peter Dinklage, Brendan Cowell, Peter Helliar, Yvonne Strahovski, Megan Gale

Directed by Daina Reid

‘’I Love You Too” is an Aussie comedy (Oh calm down! We have produced better flicks than ‘’Crackers” and ‘’You Can’t Stop The Murders”, ya know!?) that’s bound to have a higher purpose than serving as a drink coaster come the DVD release (You should see the circles on my “Welcome to Woop Woop” disk!). That should say it all.

The flick, featuring an easily-marketable international cast headlined by Peter Dinklage (“Death at a Funeral”) and TV fave Brendan Cowell (“Love My Way”), is the brainchild of local comedian Peter Helliar, and I’m told the script works on quite a few levels. I’d believe it too. Helliar tells me he’s a huge fan of Wes Anderson and Alexander Payne, and loves their witty, character-based comedies. If either guy has served as inspiration, which it sounds like they have, I think it’s safe to say there’s something tasty in the works. As a constituent of the media himself, Helliar’s forced to sit through as many shitty comedies as we are, and he doesn’t want to see another “New in Town” in existence as much as we do. But also, Roadshow Films have a great track record of picking and producing Aussie comedies (be it ‘’Crackerjack”, ‘’Bad Eggs” or “The Dish”) and I can’t see them donating cabbage to something that’s going to fall flat on its face as soon as the starter pistol sounds. In fact, Managing Director Joel Pearlman told me at a conference recently that the script is awesome. He’s one of a few studio heads I believe.

From what I gather, the flick is a little bit ‘’Malcolm”, a smidge ‘’Crackerjack”, and a fraction ‘’The Fisher King”. If that doesn’t interest you, maybe the prospect of two of today’s best actors, Dinklage and Cowell, teaming up will?  Or even these legs donning the silver screen (they belong to “Chuck” starlet Yvonne Strahovski)? Thought that’d sell you sceptics. A lotta things going for this one.

I know a lot of Aussie films that are about as enjoyable as waxing Robin Williams back, but this, I believe, will be the exception.

Jonah Hex

Starring Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox

Directed by Jimmy Hayward

This is going to kick off a whole new genre (or breathe new life into an old one): the horror western!

Based on the DC comics, it tells of a bounty hunter, Jonah Hex (Brolin), who in the late 19th century tracks down voodoo practitioner Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich), who plans to free the Confederate South with an army of the undead.

I think this is going to be crazy fun – sorta Sam Raimi meets Robert Rodriguez.

The always-dependable Josh Brolin will surely rock as Hex, and the easy-to-oogle Megan Fox is likely going to dampen audiences with her turn as Leila, a gun-wielding beauty and Jonah Hex’s love interest. Also feel Will Arnett’s going to be super-fun in his supporting role of a Union Soldier who enlists Hex’s help, and tell me when John Malkovich has given a bad performance as a villain!?

I’m so fuckin’ glad – after their abysmal “Crank 2″ – Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor were turfed from the project. The only thing that incarnation of “Jonah Hex” would’ve done is spur a boost in Panadol sales.

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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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