Thursday, January 08, 2009

5 Most Anticipated Films of 2009

I absolutely love movies, but I dislike going to the movie theater. In the past 2 years I've seen maybe a half dozen movies in the theater, and very rarely will I go on a busy movie day (like a Friday night) if I go at all. I like a nice Sunday matinee, but really with TVs and DVD players being what they are, with all of the easy access we have to movies via Netflix, movie channels, TiVo, Netflix on TiVo, etc. it just seems kind of silly sometimes to go to a movie theater when I (personally) can be guaranteed to enjoy the experience at home. Going to the movie theater is not a sure good time, mostly because of the occasional rudeness of other movie-goers.

But sometimes you just can't avoid the hype and you find yourself unwilling to wait for the DVD release.

My buddies at LastBestAngryMan and The Philosophy of Time Travel agreed we would all post our top 5 most anticipated films of 2009. Here's the top 5 movies I'm most likely to see in the theater in 2009, which by proxy means they are the most anticipated:

5) 9 - This film will mark the real feature film directing debut for Shane Acker, who really cut his teeth doing animation with Weta during the Lord of the Rings films. Here's the deal with this one - Acker made a 10 minute or so short film around the concept a few years ago. The movie is embedded below. The film coming out in theaters this year is the whole story. The visual style is super cool and I'm always a fan of animation in all its incarnations.

Short film "9":

Feature Film Trailer, featuring a terrific song by Coheed and Cambria:

4) The Lovely Bones - There are two big reasons I'm looking forward to seeing this. Number one, the book is absolutely terrific and for me exceeded the critical hype. Number two, Peter Jackson is directing, and the material from the book is something I think he could prepare a feast with. No trailer available yet.

3) The Wrestler - This movie is technically out right now in the US but only under limited release. I check every weekend to see if it is out around Delaware but so far no luck. The number one reason I want to see this: I haven't seen a Darren Aronofsky movie yet that I haven't loved. I also have a soft spot in my heart for the material here because when I was a kid I was a huge fan of pro wrestling. There's a lot of Oscar talk swirling around Mickey Rourke's performance in this one, if that kind of stuff matters to you.

2) Public Enemies - It's a 1930s crime drama starring Christian Bale and Johnny Depp directed by Michael Mann. If you need any more explanation than that I have no idea what to tell you.

1) Watchmen - I'm worried about this movie. Really, really worried. There is a very good reason that Watchmen is the only graphic novel on Time's 100 greatest novels list: it is an absolute masterpiece. It is also really, really complex and has always seemed like it would be a nightmare to faithfully translate to the big screen. We already know that at least one key element (the Tales of the Black Freighter framing device) will not be in the movie. There are more and more reports suggesting that the ending has been changed. The director's original 3 hour cut was apparently loathed by the studio and who knows if it will survive tampering. The whole thing is a recipe for a colossal disaster.

But I had a lot of the same skepticism with Lord of the Rings, and boy was I completely wrong there. This easily gets #1 because it is probably the only movie I will definitely see this year in the theater, and that's because there's no way I'll be able to avoid it. A great deal of my friends love the graphic novel as much as I do, and I'll be unable to avoid discussions of this movie when it is finally out.

Hopefully they will be discussions about how we were totally wrong about all our concerns over the movie.