Predicting the future can be a tricky business, but we've had a go...
Time Out Bahrain staff
It would be hard to say 2009 was the year of great films. There were a few moments of brilliance (Inglorious Basterds was pretty good, and Up was a complete surprise), but on the whole, we were drenched with forgettable flicks. The credit crunch scared off investors and shut down the production of anything that wasn’t written to a formula, and the occasional good picture sank thanks to the lack of a publicity budget. 2010 is not likely to see a massive reversal in fortunes. Budgets remain low as the movie business remains precarious, with anything that is not a sequel having a hard time getting made. But there are a few highlights to watch out for...
Resident Evil: Afterlife It might have been based on a video game (a formula that spawns box-office blockbusters and critical flops), but at Time Out Bahrain we can’t get enough of zombies, Milla Jovovitch and the Umbrella Corporation. The fourth in the series, we’ve already booked our tickets for the first three nights.
Wall Street 2 It might be the sequel to a classic (read: flop), but the timing couldn’t be better. With Michael Douglas’s unscrupulous stock market trader having served his 20 years, he’s back in business and trying to prevent a global financial crisis. Which sounds rather too worthy for the Gordon Gekko we remember. Co-starring Shia LaBoef, this will be Indiana Jones and the Temple of Wealth.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Another movie based on a video game (explains the wooden acting), Jake Gyllenhaal will play the Iranian while ethnically versatile Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina will co-star. Without any historical basis, Gyllenhaal, the prince, gets locked up by the Grand Vizer Molina while Gyllenhaal’s father Kingsley is away waging war. Mir-Hossein Mousavi might be inspired.
Green Zone Bourne director, Brit Paul Greengrass, hooks up with perennial movie envoy to the Middle East Matt Damon in what is likely to be a rather critical view of America’s invasion of Iraq. Based on Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s brillinat book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, this looks set to be a pretty authentic glimpse of what life is like in Baghdad’s Green Zone.
The Book of Eli Post-apocalyptic and based, presumably, on what the greens tell us will happen to the earth if we keep leaving our televisions on standby, Denzel Washington stars with a stellar British cast that includes Michael Gambon, Frances de la Tour and Ray Stevenson.
Sex And The City 2 Leaks on the internet have already told the world what Carrie Bradshaw will be wearing in the film, and since the plot is something of an after-thought, expect broken hearts, wimpy men, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Penelope Cruz, Miley Cyrus and plenty of talk about that which rhymes with pecks.
Eclipse If you still need your fix of Twilight, the next instalment is due out next year, making millions for the author Stephenie Meyer and overshadowing yet another Harry Potter release (why won’t somebody kill them off?). Teen slush with teeth.
Alice in Wonderland Tim Burton directs muse and partner Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp in the latest remake of the Lewis Carroll classic, which is slated to be one of the best films of the year. Last time Burton hooked up with Depp for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the actor went all Michal Jackson. Word is Depp’s Mad Hatter is based on convicted B movie actress killer and wall of sound innovator Phil Spector.
The A Team It’s been a while, but the resurrection of the A Team is likely to be applauded by anyone who remembers the 80s. Liam Neeson, Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson all come along for a ride in that van.
Shutter Island We have grown to like Leonardo DiCaprio over time, and never more so when he is playing the exact opposite of his tedious Titanic character. In this eerie chiller-thriller from Martin Scorsese, DiCaprio tries to figure out the case of the missing mental home patient. Also starring a resurgent Ben Kingsley.
Iron Man 2 We loved the first one and, even though it was born of a comic book, Iron Man 1 had critics spouting superlatives. With a cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle (replacing Terence Howard) and Robert Downey Jr., this is the one to watch.
And the Oscar goes to...
We tell you who we think will be grabbing gold at the Academy Awards on March 7 2010.
Best Film The Hurt Locker If there was any justice... District 9
Best Director Clint Eastwood, The Human Factor If there was any justice... Joel and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man
Best Actor Morgan Freeman, The Human Factor If there was any justice... Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island
Best Actress Hilary Swank, Amelia If there was any justice... Penelope Cruz, Broken Embraces
Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds If there was any justice... Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress Sophia Loren, Nine If there was any justice... Mo’Nique, Precious
Best Foreign Film Broken Embraces If there was any justice... The White Ribbon