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Friday, February 6, 2009

If there is a story, there is a way to tell it.... (what 2009 is about!)

As promised, here's the list that will continue to go on and on and yet never be truly exhaustive - the must-sees of 2009 (I reserve the right to include movies for reasons that range from the obvious to the kinky). Without further ado, here they are:

March 6

Watchmen: The perfect way to begin the list is with what is arguably the most anticipated film of the year! Created by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins, Watchmen was published as a series by DC Comics during 1986 and 1987 and has been subsequently reprinted in collected form. It was the only graphic novel to be on TIME Magazine's list of the 100 greatest English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. The legendary Moore changed the comic book genre forever with his deconstruction of the superhero mythos and the material is still revered to this day. Moore has also since disassociated himself from film adaptations of his works and termed Watchmen in particular as 'unfilmable'. Watchmen has been in development for more than 20 years with talent and studios coming and going. Finally, it has got made and with Zach Snyder, who has claimed he fought to maintain a slavish adherence to the source material. It is a dirty, gritty and shocking tale of alternate reality where costumed vigilantes co-exist with the normal folk. If you're a fan of the novel, this is a must-watch. If you have a sensitive disposition, best to stay away. All of the footage seen so far has been brilliant and the early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. What is the least that is expected from this movie? That it redefines the superhero genre forever!

May 21

Terminator Salvation: I'm not usually prone to extreme reactions to movies, ideas for films or cinema buzz. However, this film was an exception - I hated the idea for this movie. For me, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines does not exist because T2 ended the franchise so superbly - T3 just felt like an insult to everything that was right about the first two. James Cameron gave us two great movies that have since become classics; the first was iconic and scary; the second was an action fan's dream come true. Then for some reason (dollar signs), they made a third that was an unintentional parody of all that came before. You know it's bad when a film ends with a nuclear holocaust and that's the best part of the whole flick. 
       After doing all they could ruin this series, I wondered why they were going back again. Gluttons for punishment, huh? Sure seemed like it when McG (yes, that's his name - director of Charlie's Angels, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle) was confirmed as director. I then decided to switch to a more measured approach. I saw McG's 'We Are Marshall' - showed some talent but still Terminator Salvation seemed like too much and I wrote this one off.
        Since then, three things have happened that changed my mind completely; 1. Jonathan Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight) rewrote the script. 2. Christian Bale was cast. 3. The trailer is already better than the whole of T3. I always wondered what the man-machine war would look like on film and now we will see it. I am prepared to forgive timeline alterations if the film can keep me riveted for two hours. If nothing else, this film means that the bad taste of T3 can be washed away from our mouths. Looking forward to it!

March 13

Race to Witch Mountain: Now to shake things up a bit! Why should must-sees always be so predictable? For a change of pace, let's talk about a must-see family movie in 2009. If you're old enough, you probably remember the 1975 family film 'Escape to Witch Mountain' starring Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann. If you don't, you can experience the story for the first time with Race to Witch Mountain. The original had a lot going for it and the 2009 version has just as much, if not more. Dwayne Johnson is on a family movie hot streak after 'The Game Plan' and (though I may be a little biased) any film that has Carla Gugino in it can only be the better for it. The trailer alone is probably one of the best Disney has come up with in a while. And if you talk about young talent, AnnaSophia Robb can give both Abigail Breslin and Dakota Fanning a run for their money. Alexander Ludwig (The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising) plays the second lead in this tale of two alien kids with extraordinary powers who join forces with a cabbie and a UFO expert in a race against time to prevent global catastrophe. Sound like fun at the cinema? You betcha!