Tag Archives: Woody Allen

Most Anticipated Movies for 2009

Despite the fact that my top 20 list from last year turned out to be a bit of a disaster (5 of the films got pushed to 2009, and 8 other films ended up ranging from bad to mediocre), I’m going to give it another shot. 

20.)  Whatever Works

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– The new Woody Allen comedy starring Larry David as the “Woody Allen character.” 

19.)  Watchmen

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-It’s much farther back on my list than most, mainly because I’m not a huge fan of Zack Snyder or 300.  He’s great visually, but he can’t direct dialogue or drama very well, and considering neither trailer for Watchmen has had more than one line of dialogue, I remain skeptical.  But if it lives up to the graphic novel at all, then it’ll be amazing.

18.)  Terminator Salvation

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-Christian Bale really is the go-to-guy for big summer action movies now.  The trailer looked good, and I trust Bale, so I’m excited.

17.)  The Limits of Control

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-Jim Jarmusch always makes great, quirky movies, and this looks no different.

16.)  Bruno

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Hopefully it’ll earn enough money to pay off all the inevitable lawsuits and still make a profit.

15.)  Public Enemies

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-Bale vs. Depp.  Should be pretty amazing (assuming Michael Mann’s still got it).

14.)  Dodgy Dealings by the Dozens

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– A new comedy by the director of Amelie.

13.)  The Lovely Bones

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– Peter Jackson’s new movie.  The only thing that keeps me from being really excited is that Ryan Gosling was replaced by Mark Wahlberg for the lead role, but other than that, this looks to be pretty incredible.

12.)  Nine

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– It’s by the director of Chicago (which I didn’t care for), but it stars Daniel Day-Lewis, which means I’ll be at the theater opening day.

11.)  Avatar

– James Cameron’s follow-up to Titanic.  Rumored to have groundbreaking special effects.  If nothing else, it’ll be amazing to see it just for the spectacle.

10.)  The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

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–  Heath Ledger’s final role.

9.)  Biutiful

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– By the director of Amores Perros and Babel

8.)  Coraline

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-Based on the Neil Gaiman graphic novel, and by the director of A Nightmare Before Christmas.

7.)  Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

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– My favorite book in the series.

6.)  Lost Embraces

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– The new Pedro Almodovar film.  He’s one of the best writers/directors around, and he’s been on a role lately.

5.)  Shutter Island

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– The new Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio collaboration.  Considering how good of an actor Leo’s become (I thought he was the best part of Revolutionary Road), I think this could be their best yet.

4.)  Inglorious Basterds

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– Finally! After a decade of rumors, it’s finally being made.

3.)  The Road

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– John Hillcoat (The Proposition) directing a Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men) novel starring Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings; Eastern Promises).  Should be out of this world good.

2.)  Ponyo On A Cliff

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– Miyazaki’s anime was released last year in Japan and received amazing reviews.  It’ll be out in the states soon with an English dub voiced by Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Tina Fey, and Lily Tomlin.  Spirited Away is one of my all time favorites, so I can’t wait for this.

1.)  The Tree of Life

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– The new Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven) film with Sean Penn and Brad Pitt.  I think he’s one of the best living directors, and he’s been wanting to make this for over 30 years.  I think this has the potential to be, well, one of the best films ever made.  I know, I’m probably setting myself up for disappointment, but Malick can do no wrong.

Barely missing the list were The Wolfman (starring Benicio Del Toro), Where the Wild Things Are (directed by Spike Jonze), Mammoth (Michelle Williams and Gael Garcia Bernal), and Year One (Michael Cera and Jack Black).

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Vicky Christina Barcelona

About a month late, I thought I’d lend a thought to Woody Allen’s relatively new film, Vicky Christina Barcelona. The film, so obviously an Allen film, characterized by an underlying darkness and undefinable sense of longing, or loss, stars Scarlett Johansson (Match Point, Lost in Translation), Penelope Cruz (Volver, Vanilla Sky), and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men). Rebecca Hall (The Prestige) also stars, and, in my opinion, becomes the reason for the film’s semi-disheartening tone.

Vicky (Hall) and Christina (Johansson) are two friends venturing to Spain for very different reasons; Vicky for a romantic distraction from a failed love life – a constant need/want for reality’s drama – and inspiration for a newly-aquired love of photography, and Christina for research, as well as a pre-marriage getaway. Their venture through Barcelona leads them to an introduction to Juan Antonio (Bardem), an artist and a man that goes too far beyond any preconceived notion of a Spanish Don Juan, and soon, both girls, admittedly or not, are enamored by him. Juan Antonio’s past becomes the present when his ex-wife, Maria Alena (Cruz), comes back into his life. Cruz is, without a doubt, the comedic touch to this Allen movie, and coupled with intensities from all other actors, creates a beautiful film deserving the reputation Allen is now carrying. The film is narrated, which distances audiences from the story a bit, but provides a humorous story-telling to the blatantly obvious.

I’d see it again, and probably again. A-


AFI’s Top 10

Earlier this month the American Film Institute released their top 10 films in 10 “classic” genres, and though it completely contradicts their past lists, I am in agreement more often than not. Before you start screaming about their “Western” list, keep in mind that only American made films are eligible.

Being a Kubrick fanboy, I’m VERY happy to see 2001: A Space Odyssey at #1 in the Science Fiction category, beating out Star Wars. BUT, it’s strange to see the inclusion of A New Hope at #2 while The Empire Strikes Back is completely absent from the list. Other disappointments are the lack of a horror genre list, Titanic just being listed, and having the top 10 romantic comedies as opposed to just the top 10 comedies (which excluded Some LIke it Hot, Dr. Strangelove, and Blazing Saddles, among others).

I’ve posted a couple of the lists below, but for the full set, click here.

EPIC

1. “Lawrence of Arabia,” 1962.

2. “Ben-Hur,” 1959.

3. “Schindler’s List,” 1993.

4. “Gone With the Wind,” 1939.

5. “Spartacus,” 1960.

6. “Titanic,” 1997.

7. “All Quiet on the Western Front,” 1930.

8. “Saving Private Ryan,” 1998.

9. “Reds,” 1981.

10. “The Ten Commandments,” 1956.

SCIENCE FICTION

1. “2001: A Space Odyssey,” 1968.

2. “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope,” 1977.

3. “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” 1982.

4. “A Clockwork Orange,” 1971.

5. “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” 1951.

6. “Blade Runner,” 1982.

7. “Alien,” 1979.

8. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” 1991.

9. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” 1956.

10. “Back to the Future,” 1985.

MYSTERY

1. “Vertigo,” 1958.

2. “Chinatown,” 1974.

3. “Rear Window,” 1954.

4. “Laura,” 1944.

5. “The Third Man,” 1949.

6. “The Maltese Falcon,” 1941.

7. “North By Northwest,” 1959.

8. “Blue Velvet,” 1986.

9. “Dial M for Murder,” 1954.

10. “The Usual Suspects,” 1995.


Trailer for new Woody Allen film

Here’s the trailer for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the new Woody Allen film starring Javier Bardem, Scarlett Johansson, and Penelope Cruz.  It’s said to be his best in many years, and his most visually impressive yet: