There are a lot of promising releases this year... I kind of expected the recent union strikes to have ruined 2009, but it doesn't seem so.
The decade-end years seem to be among the best in movies: 1919, 1939, 1959, 1969, 1989, 1999 for sure, with 1929, 1949, and 1979 at least being better-than average. 1999 gave us AMERICAN BEAUTY, AMERICAN PIE, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, BOYS DON'T CRY, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, ELECTION, FIGHT CLUB, GALAXY QUEST, THE INSIDER, MAGNOLIA, THE MATRIX, OFFICE SPACE, THE SIXTH SENSE, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, TOY STORY 2... and I could go on. Now, unfortunately '09 is off to a really bad start, however, here are the ten films I've got high hopes for....
1. INGLORIOUS BASTERDS: I know Tarantino is just poised to "go too far" one of these days, but I've liked all of his movies and I'll be the first one in line for this one.
2. TERMINATOR SALVATION: I'm a big fan of the franchise... just hoping they get it right a fourth time (and yes, I do like the 3rd one).
3. BRUNO: Poised to be the funniest film of the year.
4. AVATAR: Basically this movie is in a four-way-tie with the above two movies; Cameron's big push for 3-D.
5. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE: If it's good, it'll be great.
6. STAR TREK: Never a fan of the franchise at all, but J.J. Abrahms trailer has ramped up my expectations (unlike the WOLVERINE trailer which moved that film from "must see" to "must I?")
7. SHERLOCK HOLMES: I bet it'll be good despite the age of the source material (although there's a comic in between); and Robert Downey, Jr. is an interesting choice (Jude Law, the safer bet as Watson).
8. MONSTERS VS. ALIENS: Really looks fun... a welcome relief for grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles the world round.
9. JULIE AND JULIA: The still photo of Meryl Streep as Julia Child is priceless.
10. THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX: I really liked THE DARJEELING LIMITED-- stock in Wes Anderson is up.
Some "will most probably see" titles include: WATCHMEN, UP, HARRY POTTER, THE WOLF MAN, THE A-TEAM, THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123, SHUTTER ISLAND (Scorsese), and A CHRISTMAS CAROL.