Richard Crouse’s Predictions – Looking Ahead to 2010 at the Movies


Here’s what my crystal ball predicts for 2010 at the movies:

· A Nicolas Cage overload. He has no fewer than five movies scheduled.

· Comic book heroes coming to life–look for Jonah Hex, The Green Hornet and the return of Iron Man.

· A new catchphrase in the form of “Good call, baby doll,” from the movie Kick Ass. It’s the new “I’m Rick James, bitch!”

· Many jokes about The Last Airbender, the name of the new M. Night Shyamalan fantasy.
· The thrill of Russell Crowe in tights.

Of course, then there’s the movies themselves.

Five hundred or so movies will be released in 2010 but only The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and the penultimate Potter movie, The Deathly Hallows: Part I are guaranteed number ones and then, only if Avatar ever relinquishes its reign of the box office charts.

Other possible box office bonanzas belong to the imaginatively titled Iron Man 2, which sees director Jon Favreau paired with legendary Hollywood bad boys Robert Downey Jr. and Mickey Rourke in a sequel to 2008’s three hundred million dollar hit.

Fellow hell raiser Russell Crowe looks to make a comeback of sorts–OK he never really went away, but when was the last time you paid to see one of his movies?–in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. The character has appeared on screen dozens of times–played by everyone from Errol Flynn to Rich Little–but based on the trailer Scott has ramped up the action and the sex appeal–thanks Cate Blanchett!–to breathe some new life into an old story.

Then, from Christopher Nolan comes his first post Dark Knight project, Inception, a film he describes as “a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind.” Cool.

Want to see why everyone is all atwitter about Twilight but can’t stomach the crowds? Why not check out The Yellow Handkerchief, a grown-up drama starring Ms. Bella Swan herself, Kristen Stewart. She’s joined by William Hurt and Maria Bello in this dark story about an ex-con who hitches a ride with two teens to see his ex-wife.
Or how about Greenberg, a semi-indie film–small budget, big star–from director Noah Squid and the Whale Baumbach? Starring Ben Stiller in a rare serious role as a happily unemployed New Yorker this one should play like American Beauty for slackers.

Don’t mind subtitles? Check out A Prophet, a French language film about a young Arab man who becomes a mafia kingpin while serving time in a French prison. Be the first one on your block to sing the praises of star Tahar Rahim, a young actor poised on the edge of major stardom.

From the book shelves to the big screen it’s I Love You Phillip Morris. Based on the memoir of the same name by Steve McVicker it features big stars–Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor–as lovers separated by prison bars.

A more conventional love story can be found in Eat, Pray, Love, an adaptation of the best selling memoir about a woman (played here by Julia Roberts) who changes her life by traveling the world. Advance word has this one pegged as this year’s Julie & Julia.

Perhaps the most anticipated book adaptation this year is Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Everyone knows the story–rabbit hole, crazy tea party, the Red Queen!–but the real draw here is to see how visionary director Burton brings it to the screen. That and Johnny Depp’s cheekbones. It should be the trippiest fairy tale of the year.

Feel like a laugh? Been missing The Three Stooges? Pine for them no more! The Farrelly Brothers are back with a new film, not a Stooges biopic, ynuk, ynuk, ynuk, but a brand new Three Stooges comedy tentatively starring Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro.

Not a fan of slapstick? Date Night teams-up TV’s funniest actors, Steve Carell and Tina Fey, for this story of a romantic night out gone wrong and in Grown Ups former SNLers Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and David Spade play reunited high school friends. More ambitious is Knight & Day, an action comedy about a blind date between a secret agent and a single woman (Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz) that turns into a deadly adventure.

As usual a feeling of déjà vu hangs heavy in the air as 2010 brings the usual onslaught of sequels, remakes and retreads.

In Little Fockers (the Meet the Fockers sequel) there’s a baby on the way for stars Ben Stiller and Teri Polo. Perhaps co-star Robert De Niro will be called the Godfocker and the movie’s way with terrible “focking” puns will finally be complete.

In other sequel news, I get why Sex and the City 2 would pump up their cast with a few new additions–Miley Cyrus and Liza Minnelli but why would Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas re-team 27 years after the fact to make Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. Greed I guess! And as the first movie taught us, greed is good; let’s hope the movie is too.

2010 promises much at the multiplex–from a Wolfman reboot starring Benicio Del Toro as the furry-faced lycanthrope to Mel Gibson’s return from The Edge of Darkness to the year’s strangest sounding film Hot Tub Time Machine–but one thing is for sure, there’s something for everyone out there.

richardcrouse.jpg– Richard Crouse
In Toronto listen to Moore in the Morning on NewsTalk 1010 every Tuesday and Friday morning at 8:40 for the latest DVD and movie reviews and… Tune in again on Saturdays at noon Richard Crouse At the Movies!