Summer blockbuster season is over, but there are still plenty of big films to come this year
When: December 18, USA
Who: Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington are the ‘big-name actors’ but it is James Cameron’s behind the camera work that really grabs our attention. This is his first feature film in more than 10 years and we can’t expect he has forgotten the basics.
Why : Avatar will be one of the most talked about films of the year. That much we are sure of. Imagine the love story of Titanic crossed with the sci-fi extremes of Terminator or Abyss and you start to get the impression this might be Cameron’s finest work to date. The visuals will certainly push all boundaries with a completely new way of filming being invented just for this movie.
What: Twighlight Saga: New Moon
When: November 26, UAE
Who: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
Why: If you have to ask then the teen vampire phenomenon that is the Twighlight Saga has obviously passed you by. Meaning there is a very good chance you are over the age of 30. Considering just how popular it is (best selling book of 2008, 17million copies sold for the first part of the story, on the NY Times best seller list for 91 weeks etc) there must be some adult fans. But we still think this falls into the guilty secret category. It is also the film that made household names (if you have teenage daughters or read celebrity websites) of Robert Pattinson. Judging from the trailer it seems likely that R-Patz (seriously, is this what we’re supposed to call him) will shrug off his shirt at the drop of a hat and Kristen Stewart will continue the moody sulking from the first part of the saga.
What: The Invention of Lying
When: October 2, USA
Who: Ricky Gervais, Jonah Hill, Jennifer Garner, Tina Fey, Christopher Guest, Patrick Bateman
Why: Did you not read the cast list? It reads like a who’s who of contemporary comedy and with Gervais behind the camera as well as in front of it expectations are high. Maybe you think he is a one-trick, pug-faced, shrieking braggart but you can’t deny he is a pug-faced comic genius as well.
What: Where The Wild Things Are
When: October 16, USA
Who: Forrest Whitaker, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo
Why: Spike Jonze made his name directing pop videos. Pop videos with spectacular visuals and amazing cinematography. But could he handle the more complex direction of fully-fledged feature films? Being John Malcovich and Adaptation proved he can? What next? Take a much-loved children’s story and spin that pop video sized fairy tale into a thing of beauty and hidden complexity. We’re very excited about this and surely there is a wild thing in you that should be excited too.
When: November 13, USA
Who: John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Amada Peet, Thandie Newton
Why: We liked 11th Hour. It was a brilliant piece of documentary film making. It made us think. Unfortunately, we spent most of the time thinking this would be so much better if there were astonishing CGI images of tidal waves crashing over icy mountain tops and a racy Roland Emmerich style plot. Don’t know Emmerich? You do, he is the one who directed Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow and 10,000BC. Don’t expect Oscars, do expect big bangs and huge scale effects.
What: Fantastic Mr. Fox
When: November 25, USA
Who: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson
Why: Modern animation can be brilliant. You will never convince Time Out otherwise. We love Pixar like we love our kids but there is something charming about old school stop motion animation. It is the same sort of charm that embodies the works of Roald Dahl so we’re doubly delighted that the two are being combined. Chuck in the ever charming George Clooney and a venerable cast of favourites and this is shaping up to be a cuddly extravaganza.
What: Sherlock Holmes
When: December 25, USA
Who: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
Why: Potential to be brilliant. Potential to be awful. Ever the optimists we’re feeling hopeful that a ‘sexed up’ Sherlock Holmes might just work. We’re pinning our hopes on the general brilliance of Robert Downey Jr and vague memories of how good director Guy Ritchie used to be.
When: Released in America already
Who: Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Martin Landau
Why: Imagination is a wonderful thing and this Tim Burton produced animation looks spectacular in that respect. Like everything that has been brushed by the hand of Burton it is dark, twisted and mind-bendingly creative and for those reasons alone we’re very excited.
What: Three Idiots
When: December 25, India
Who: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor
Why: Film fans have had to wait a long time for the most anticipated Bollywood film of the year. Entertainment websites such as masala.com and bolyywoodhungama.com labeled it as one of the most anticipated flicks of the year back in January. Having waited a full year we’ll be first in line to check out the production that has suffered numerous setbacks. Despite the loss of potential leading man Shah Rukh Khan this comedy is likely to be a mega-hit.
Why: British tabloids are likely to make much of Kylie’s Bollywood debut but that is just a sideshow. The real interest is in seeing how the star of Akshay Kumar continues to rise. Another smash here and he comes closer than ever to toppling the accepted Bollywood royalty and taking his crown as the real king of Indian cinema. Ably supported by the music of A.R. Rahman his performances in this remake of Hollywood’s Into The Blue (with Jessica Alba) is sure to earn him new fans.