Okay, I've already told you about the movies I loved and hated in 2008. But what am I most interested in seeing in 2009? Well, here's a list of 18 upcoming movies I really want to see, in order of scheduled release date. Please note that any or all of these release dates are subject to change by the studios without notice.
1. Coraline - Feb. 6
Henry Selig (The Nightmare Before Christmas) directs this stop-motion adaptation of Neil Gaiman's story about a little girl who discovers an alternate universe behind the walls of her own home. Featuring the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Ian McShane, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.
2. Friday the 13th - Feb. 13
Marcus Nispel, who directed the not-terrible Texas Chainsaw remake, takes on one of the genre's most despised and loved films with this update starring "Supernatural"'s Jared Padelecki. As bad as the original movie was (despite the presence of Kevin Bacon), the trailer looks like they may have done a decent job of updating this schlock-tatstic entry from the slasher fest that served as horror in the '80's.
3. Watchmen - March 6
Zac Snyder directed 300, a visually fascinating, if ultimately empty film. But, even though I am not a rabid fanboy of the graphic novel, the trailer makes me wet (yes, I went there). Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Billy Crudup and Carla Cugino are on hand as human eye-candy.
4. Aliens vs. Monsters - March 27
The second of four fully animated films on this list, Aliens vs. Monsters is directed by Rob Letterman, whose last animated fim was the less-than-terrific Shark Tale. But I'm hoping that a smart script and voice work by Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Hugh Laurie, Keifer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Will Arnett and Stephen Colbert will make for a fun time.
5. Sunshine Cleaning - April 9
I loves me some Amy Adams! Christine Jeffs directs this indy entry about a woman (Adams) who starts a crime scene clean-up service. Alan Arkin and Emily Blunt co-star.
6. Star Trek - May 8
Wunderkind producer J.J. Abrams (Cloverfield, "Lost," "Fringe") directs this origin film, recounting how Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Uhura, Bones, Sulu and Chekov became mates aboard the USS Enterprise. Paramount is hoping to reboot a franchise, without disenfranchising the many Trek fans already in existence. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana, Eric Bana, Winona Ryder and the voice of the late Majel Barrett star.
7. Terminator: Salvation - May 22
Another beloved Sci-Fi franchise is rebooted in the first Terminator film to take place entirely in the future. Best Batman ever, Christian Bale is joined by Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard and genre legend Michael Ironside in director McG's big-budget actioner.
8. Drag Me to Hell - May 29
Sami Raimi (Spider-Man; The Evil Dead I & II) returns to his horror roots with this story about young woman who incurs a gypsy's curse. Mac cutie Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers; Live Free or Die Hard) and Allison Lohman (Big Fish; Beowulf) star in Raimi's first horror movie since 2000's The Gift.
9. Up - May 29
The only Pixar movie I didn't care for was Cars, arguably their weakest film to date. But boy, did I love last year's Wall-E! This summer, director Peter Docter (Monsters, Inc.) takes us on a fanciful flight with an old curmudgeon who ties a million balloons to his house and heads south. Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer and Pixar touch-stone, John Ratzenberger lend their voices to this animated fantasy.
10. 2012 - July 10
Roland Emmerich has given us aliens (Stargate; Independence Day), monsters (Godzilla) and a new Ice Age (The Day After Tomorrow). So what's next? Why, nothing less than the end of the world. John Cusak, Woody Harrelson and Amanda Peet struggle to survive.
11. 9 - Sept 9
The second of three numeric titles this year, and last of the animated films on this list, 9 picks up after 2012 (not literally) and involves a group of what can best be described as "creatures" and their efforts to revive a decimated Earth. Director Shane Acker, who previously did effects work on The Lord of the Rings, has assembled Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connolly, John C. Reilly and Martin Landau to provide the voices for this futristic fantasy.
12. Jennifer's Body - Sept. 18
Screenwriter Cody Diablo (Juno) follows up her feel-good Generation Y comedy with this nasty little horror/comedy about a possessed cheerleader. Karyn Kusama (Girlfight; Aeon Flux) directs Megan Fox, Johhny Simmons, Any Sedaris (!!) and Juno's J.K. Simons.
13. Trick 'r Treat - Oct. (?)
IMDb lists this movie as having been released in October of 2007, but I'll be damned if I know anyone who has actually seen it. This long-delayed shocker from director Michael Dougherty has had horror fans chomping at the bit ever since we first got a glimpse of the trailer. Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Leslie Bibb and Anna Pacquin head the cast in what could be one of the scariest movies, ever.
14. The Box - Nov. 6
Richard Kelly directed one of the most enigmatic and fascinating films of all time, Donnie Darko. His follow-up, Southland Tales was an apparent mess, derided by crtics and ignored by audiences. The Box stars Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella in a story about a couple who find a mysterious box on their doorstep, which leads to both wealth and horror.
15. The Wolf Man - Nov. 6
Joe Johnston (Jumanji; The Rocketeer) directs this update of the Lon Chaney, Jr. classic from Universal. "Even a man who says his prayers by night..." Benicio del Toro stars as the afflicted lycanthrope and Sir Anthony Hopkins plays his father. Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving and Geraldine Chaplin are also on hand.
16. Nine - Dec. 11
Not to be confused with 9, Rob Marshall directs the film version of the msuical based on Frederico Fellini's 8 1/2, about a loutish flm director and the many women in his life. Marshall's version of Memoirs of a Geisha sucked, but his Oscar-winning musical Chicago is enough to make me want to see it. Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson and the imcomparable Sophia Loren all lend their talents.
17. Avatar - Dec. 18
James Cameron (Aliens) returns to his Sci-Fi roots in his first non-documentary since the lamentable Titanic, a movie that should have failed as miserbaly as predicted. Shot in what may be the ultimate 3D, Avatar has had fanboys and film buffs going crazy for many years. Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and Giovanni Ribisi star.
18. The Road - Date Unannounced
Cormac MCCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Post-Apocolyptic America is brought to the screen by director John Hillcoat, starring Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pierce and Robert Duvall in a rather depressing (but ultimately uplifting) story about a man and his son making their way across a devastated America in search of a place to call home.
Well, there are the 18 movies I am looking forward to seeing this year. How about you? What future releases have you chomping at the bit to be first in line for tickets? I'd love to know. Leave me a message in the Comments section - we'll talk.
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